I recently closed this question as being too localized, but a majority of other users closed it as being not a real question, so the latter is displayed as being the sole reason of why the question was closed.

Why is it that when people cast close votes for different reasons, only 1 reason is displayed when the question is closed? I think it would be valuable for the original poster to know that his/her question was very localized, and probably wouldn't have been helpful and applicable to most other programmers in general.

As this answer to Does a user need to select a close reason if it will make no difference? states (emphasis mine):

And let's not forget that the close vote reasons aren't visible only to users who can vote to close, but also to the OP. For OPs I'd like to think checking what the close votes are about is a very strong hint on what the problem is with their question, there is some small educational value in displaying the different reasons why people thought the question is close worthy.

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    Because closed is closed. The exact close reason is not as important as is the fact that the question somehow isn't suitable for the site. It's not uncommon for questions to have multiple problems, but would it really make any difference if we showed a list of each and every one of these problems?
    – yannis
    May 26, 2013 at 17:51
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    @Yannis but you yourself in the quote above say that there is "educational value in displaying the different reasons why people that the question is close worthy". I often find that the final reason displayed on closed questions doesn't always fit perfectly why a question is unsuitable.
    – user163250
    May 26, 2013 at 17:54
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    I would say the reason is one or two users might be wrong, but the majority (usually three or four users) are less likely to to mistake. So no point displaying a likely mistake. May 26, 2013 at 17:55
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    @ColdHawaiian Oh, come on, you can't expect me to honour what I said over a year ago. That guy was young, and foolish ;)
    – yannis
    May 26, 2013 at 18:02
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    FYI, the close reasons are being re-worked: 1, 2, 3. Hopefully the new close reasons will be a lot clearer, and cases where the final close reason will not be the more suitable one will become extremely rare.
    – yannis
    May 26, 2013 at 18:07
  • Yeah, and with the rework, we have a better chance at completely disagreeing with each other as to why a question was closed ;)
    – Oded
    May 26, 2013 at 18:09
  • Also note that 'all moderator votes are binding and instantaneous and override all other votes. So if 4 users have voted to close as "off topic" and a moderator picked "too localised" then the post will appear closed as "too localised"'. (At least, when written in January 2011.)
    – Arjan
    May 26, 2013 at 18:31
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    I find that if my reason for closing differed from the majority, quite often it's because there is some cross-over and the other close reason is just as good, so I don't mind. I've even had circumstances where I realized I was the one that voted for the wrong reason, and again, glad that my reason was not shown. For the rare cases that I completely disagree with the majority, I just post a comment explaining what I think is wrong with the question and how (if possible) to improve it with respect to that reason.
    – Ben Lee
    May 27, 2013 at 3:06
  • In general, I think the cases where one person voted different are probably more often because that person made a mistake than because there was a legitimate difference of opinion. Hiding a mistake is a good thing.
    – Ben Lee
    May 27, 2013 at 3:07

1 Answer 1


Because displaying a laundry-list of close reasons at the bottom of a post would be noisy and probably not as helpful as you expect, outside of a handful of cases. Let's consider a few possible combinations:

  • Off Topic and Duplicate - confusing! It's a duplicate of another off-topic question? Or it's an off-topic form of another question?

  • Off Topic and Not Constructive - potentially helpful, but if it's off-topic then NC might not even be relevant (or something the closers can judge effectively).

  • Not a Real Question and Not Constructive - confusing. The problems laid out in NaRQ probably contributed to the NC part - generally if you're describing a specific problem to be solved you're already bypassing a lot of the opinion-based pitfalls.

  • Duplicate and Too Localized - very confusing. "No one else will ever encounter this problem... except for that one guy who did a few months back, which you can find answered here."

  • Not a Real Question and Duplicate - potentially confusing. Either we can't tell what's being asked, or we can and have already found the answer to it over yonder. This is partially addressed by the current behavior, which creates a comment linking to the dup regardless.

IMHO, the most useful case for displaying multiple close reasons would involve describing very specific problems with the question being closed - a case that's currently handled reasonably well by just leaving comments.

  • If these arguments hold then it should not display a reason instead of wrongly asserting that users said things they didn't. Misattributing reasons to users is a very serious error. Oct 10, 2018 at 17:31
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    Go right ahead and propose that we start printing "closed for some reasons" under questions if you honestly think that'd be better, @Jack. I disagree that we're misattributing anything though; you're voting to close, and that's what is attributed to you. The reason(s) displayed are derived from all votes and attributed to the group.
    – Shog9
    Oct 10, 2018 at 18:17

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