Do not give the impression that all votes are unanimously in favor of the winning close-reason. I closed for "belongs on superuser," yet SO claims I closed for a completely different reason.

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1319199

  • 3
    That's democracy---the people have elected the president, even those that didn't :)
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 18:46
  • 19
    Explicitly stating "Jonathan voted x" is not democracy :)
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 18:50
  • 4
    Duplicate of: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/926/…
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 19:02
  • 1
    This is not a dupe. See my edit above.
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 19:50
  • Close enough. Starting to get into the realm of "my feature request asked it to be blue not green" Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 19:56
  • 1
    I still don't understand... the previous request was to have voter names grouped by close reason. Are you requesting that your name not be displayed at all?
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 19:57
  • 2
    @Shog9, Sure. Show only those who voted for the majority vote, or show no names at all. But don't say I voted for something that I didn't.
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 20:03
  • You did though. You voted to close the post, and the post got closed. Sure, you didn't give the same reason for your vote as everyone else did, but you still voted... right?
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 20:04
  • 6
    I voted, but "Voted as not-programming-related by Jonathan Sampson" is incorrect. How would you like it if they did the same thing with elections in your state/country? Just tag your name onto whoever wins.
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 23, 2009 at 20:06
  • As long as you don't focus on the solution in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/926/… (and since you obviously care about this issue) I've reopened. But I still think that the solution in #926 is better all around. Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:04
  • 1
    Thank you, Kyle. I've edited my request to clear up any confusion.
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:15

4 Answers 4


Would like to see it show up only those names in the majority, quietly leaving out the names that chose other reasons.


Closed as "not ninja turtle related" by Splinter, Bebop, April O'neil, Casey Jones, Usagi Yojimbo an hour ago

Less clutter, less disinformation:

Closed as "not ninja turtle related" by Splinter, Casey Jones, Usagi Yojimbo an hour ago

You'd still show the majority vote, you'd still show those who voted for that particular reason, but you don't mislead people by saying they all threw down for the same slice of pizza.

If you wanted transparency for all close votes, but didn't want to clutter it up more with other reasons, why not just list the names as other closers, but not linked to that particular choice?

Closed as "not ninja turtle related" by Splinter, Casey Jones, Usagi Yojimbo (other reasons by Shredder, Krang) an hour ago

  • 3
    Why is this downvoted? It's a perfectly reasonable suggestion.
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:36
  • 6
    No, simply because if you vote to close it should be known. All the votes do the same thing, the only difference is the message attached. If by voting against the majority you can still close the post without your name being attached, then you can avoid responsibility for your actions and hide in the shadows. I'm a big fan of transparency. Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:37
  • @Ian, I'm looking forward to what you can suggest then. How might you change the "closed by" message so that it doesn't imply a unanimous support for a particular option?
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:42
  • 2
    Don't really care for this suggestion... I'd rather see us abolish voter names on closed questions entirely rather than let some voters squeak by anonymously simply because they chose a different close reason. That would only make sense if it took 5 votes with the same reason to close a question.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:54
  • Need another downvote for 2199, make it happen people!
    – random
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:57
  • 1
    @Shog9, perhaps you're on to something. Maybe SO should require 5 votes for a particular reason before it's closed.
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 1:57
  • 1
    @Jonathan: in most cases, i don't think it matters - frankly, i don't care if an off-topic question is closed because it's not programming related, because it belongs on server fault, or because it belongs on super user: the key point is, it doesn't belong on SO, therefore it should be closed.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 2:01
  • @Shog9, I agree. it should be closed. I'm not fighting over that. Once it's closed, should a false record be kept? Or should it communicate what really took place?
    – Sampson
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 2:03
  • 1
    Well, i do think a record should be kept; that's why i voted for Olafur's suggestion...
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 2:10
  • Who took away their downvote? It was so close on rounding out to 2199. All ruined.
    – random
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 2:12
  • -1+1 I disliked your initial suggestion, but liked your last edit, so removed my objection. I could always go down-vote a couple other answers if you really want that number...
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 2:51
  • Oh, there's plenty to choose from. If you could, it'd help with an OCD number related high. Lasts a few seconds and then it's out.
    – random
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 3:16
  • 2
    (-4) 'cause i'm just an obliging fella.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 4:13
  • Of a glorious fleeting moment of numerical realignment, 2199!
    – random
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 4:15
  • What's so great about 2199 Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 4:40

As a close voter, I am uncomfortable with indiscriminate attribution of close reasons shown to readers.

I would much appreciate to have current question closure notice rephrased to something that doesn't put words in voter's mouth, for example like

Post Closed by MichaelT, Eric King, Yusubov, Jimmy Hoffa, gnat,

with "primarily opinion-based" reason given by <whoever really picked that reason, no gnat here please>

Above is inspired by the approach I sometimes see implemented in off-topic closures like eg this one:

put on hold as off-topic by psr, MichaelT, FrustratedWithFormsDesigner, Eric King, MainMa

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about what language, technology, or project one should take up next are off topic on Programmers, as they can only attract subjective opinions for answers. There are too many individual factors behind the question to create answers that will have lasting value. You may be able to get help in The Whiteboard, our chat room." – psr, MichaelT, Eric King, MainMa

In above example, FrustratedWithFormsDesigner is lucky that notice doesn't stuff into his mouth words he neither wrote nor voted for.

There is a whole bunch of feature requests suggesting various ways to resolve improper attribution of close reasons, but it looks like SE team doesn't give a shit

  • Worth noting: the question you are answering is four years old. It got bumped because somebody decided to add a tag.
    – user102937
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 2:01
  • @RobertHarvey worth noting: issue that bumped me into this question, occurred two days ago. Side note my 10th Necromancer barge has been awarded at the five years old question (with a nod to someone having 8 Necromancers)
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 2:08

I had a thought on this matter the other day. When the SCOTUS issues decisions, there is an official decision authored by one member of the majority. Other members of the majority can join that decision, or write a "concurring" opinion.

One could image a message like:

Closed as "subjective and argumentative" by Joe. Q Random, John Doe, and John Galt with concurring opinions by A. H. Acker, and A. Non Umous.

Probably too confusing, but there it is.

  • 1
    No, no, no, flagged the question in question as belongs on Usenet, not S&A. Plus, isn't a "concurring opinion" the same?
    – random
    Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 4:31
  • 7
    When discussing court decisions, a concurring opinion is one which agrees on the result (i.e. which side wins), but differs on the reasoning. Which seems to be exactly what we have in cases like this. Commented Aug 24, 2009 at 4:57

Completely agree, this has always bothered me. I'd say just separate them out:

put on hold as

  • primarily opinion-based by user1, user2, user4

  • too broad by user3, user5

I don't see it reducing comprehension (to the extent people read it at all), and may well give some useful additional feedback to the OP (to the extent people read it at all).

Sometimes, the majority close reason was so silly that I've actually felt the need to add a comment disassociating myself from it (having voted to close for a different reason).

For example, this question is unclear (to me), it could be about subclassing a method (that's what it says it's about), or it could be about having a map with case-insensitive keys. I voted to close as unclear. Then someone else with sufficient rep voted to close as a duplicate of a map-with-case-insensitive keys question, and it says

marked as duplicate by T.J. Crowder, Duncan

This is just plain wrong and I would appreciate it if SO would stop saying I did something I didn't do. As Jonathan Sampson said, suppose we applied this reasoning to elections? I voted, so I must have voted for the winner. Um?!?!

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