I was going through some questions today and I came across one that didn't fit the scope of Stack Overflow. On entering the close dialog I was presented with the following

misuse of custom reasons

(The user who created this custom reason has 20K+ rep)

Is this really what the flexibility of close reasons comes to now?

This is why we cannot have nice things

I propose implementing restrictions and bans for users in a format similar to the way the review tool works.

  • 2
    Wow, that can be seen as being unprofessional (the custom close reason that is) – user226423 Jul 15 '13 at 19:28
  • 4
    While I agree with him, it was unprofessional. – Cole Johnson Jul 15 '13 at 19:30
  • 6
    I agree with you about the ugliness of this. But, y u no freehand circle? – Andrew Barber Jul 15 '13 at 19:59
  • @AndrewBarber Sorted. Phew. I feel calmer now. – AndrewC Jul 15 '13 at 20:02
  • @AndrewBarber he freehand oval, but nou fweehen sircul – Cole Johnson Jul 15 '13 at 20:03
  • 3
    What kind of restrictions would you suggest? A timed ban from being able to vote to close? – Brad Larson Jul 15 '13 at 20:11
  • Are you suggesting banning the user from being able to close at all, or just from using a custom reason? – jscs Jul 15 '13 at 20:28

Does this happen often enough to justify the effort of implementing special bans and restrictions?

I would think this would be much easier handled manually on a case by case basis by moderators, if it is a real problem at all. If once in a while somewhere one close reason out of five was not very useful, than that really isn't all that big of a problem. Having a moderator intervene and have a talk with the offending user in case it gets out of hand should be enough to handle this.

  • 4
    "Does this happen often enough to justify the effort of implementing special bans and restrictions?" How will one figure out that? By the time it is seen as justifiable the damage is most likely twice what is known. How can one track all close reasons in one place? By luck I happened to cross this question. What happens when four others agree with a badly worded unprofessional close reason. This answer is great in principle but fluff in practice – phwd Jul 15 '13 at 19:39
  • 2
    @phwd I agree there should be a way to view stats of custom close reasons, but even then, exceptions like this would float at the bottom, going unnoticed. Flag these things as you see them – you can't restrict the form anyway. – slhck Jul 15 '13 at 19:45
  • 2
    @phwd: I'd expect most people to vote for useful close reasons. So the good reasons should be in the majority most of the time. Just like reasonable comments are much more common than useless/offensive/... ones. Flagging and individual handling by moderators seems to work fine for comments, and it should also work for custom close reasons. – sth Jul 15 '13 at 20:04
  • 2
    @phwd close votes are cast by 3k+ users. These users are supposed to be trusted by the community. If we can't trust 5 consecutive users to flag with a fair reason, or at least one to contact a mod about the bad one - I think we have a bigger problem. Flagging for mod attention is the way to go. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Jul 15 '13 at 20:18

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