This question already has an answer here:

If one of your questions has been closed, and you feel it should not have been, what it the best course of action? Suck it up and live with it? Vote to reopen and hope for the best? Flag it and ask a mod to reopen it?

What is the community consensus on this?

Note: Do not assume the question has been closed because of poor quality.

marked as duplicate by Josh Caswell, raven, BЈовић, hims056, Hugo Dozois Jul 20 '13 at 18:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 6
    I'd vote for improving the question and flag for reopen – bummi Jul 20 '13 at 16:25
  • @bummi: I'm not talking about a question closed because of low quality. I don't feel the question needs improvement. I'm talking about a question closed as a duplicate. – raven Jul 20 '13 at 16:31
  • 7
    @raven: You could have said so. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 20 '13 at 16:48
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn: Why? The close reason doesn't matter. I'm just asking what to do about a question that you feel has been unjustly closed for any reason. – raven Jul 20 '13 at 16:54
  • 2
    @raven Because with the close reasons other than duplicate, there's something actually wrong with the question that needs to be fixed. For a duplicate it's a question of "does the other question actually answer this or not." It's a completely different scenario and the advice given to you will be different. That's why. – WendiKidd Jul 20 '13 at 17:00
  • @WendiKidd: I thought that was the point he was trying to make in his responses to bummi and Damien, until I read the response that I just got... – BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 20 '13 at 17:04
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn: I felt that this was a rather innocuous question. However, I don't live and breathe this site like you do. I feel like I'm doing something wrong by asking. Am I missing something obvious that [meta] veterans should know about? – raven Jul 20 '13 at 17:19
  • I take it that you're talking about this question of yours, then? – Makoto Jul 20 '13 at 17:26
  • 2
    @Makoto: It doesn't matter. I was just asking a question. Boy, sometimes it seems the SE community doesn't just hate fun, they just hate. – raven Jul 20 '13 at 17:34
  • 1
    You need to relax haha: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/188667/… – Old Checkmark Jul 20 '13 at 17:35
  • Because they don't like your tone? Just throwing it out there. – Old Checkmark Jul 20 '13 at 17:48
  • 1
    @doubleDown: Please understand that I am not being the least bit adversarial, but written communication is hard. You lose the benefits of voice inflection, facial expression and body language. So, in the interest of more effective written communication, could you please explain what is wrong with the "tone" of my question? – raven Jul 20 '13 at 17:54
  • I don't know man. People take issue with seemingly random things on Meta. I was just making a wild guess. – Old Checkmark Jul 20 '13 at 18:01
  • @doubleDown: Right on. Be sure and down vote this question if you haven't already. Peace out! :) – raven Jul 20 '13 at 18:06
  • I never meant my pointing out of your question to be offensive or accusatory; I was looking for a for-instance. Closures could be rationalized if the question is brought to the forefront, but I didn't know if you were referring to that question or not. – Makoto Jul 20 '13 at 21:03

In general just voting to re-open, or commenting on the question that other people should open it, will not help. You need to understand the reason it was closed and do something about it.

  • Closed as a duplicate, but the duplicate doesn't help you: edit your question to make it clearer what is different in your case. Add a comment saying that you have done so.
  • Closed as unclear what you're asking or must demonstrate a minimal understanding: edit your question to include the missing information. This might be showing what you've tried so far, elaborating on what your error message is, or the like
  • Closed as offtopic: you might have to just accept this one, but if rewording would make it clear it was on topic, do that
  • and so on

Now people who are able to vote to re-open will actually be motivated to do so. If you edit while the question is still on hold (5 or 7 days, I am not sure which) it will automatically be put into a re-open queue. You can read more about the closing process, what on hold means, close reasons, and the re-open process at the help centre for Stack Overflow.

In the rare rare case where a mean and misinformed person closed a perfectly good question that needed no changing, you can post about it on meta. Use the [specific-question] tag and include a link.

  • 4
    Worth noting that if the author makes an edit to a question that was recently put on hold, it goes straight into the reopen queue. So it's a good idea to make sure you fixed everything that folks didn't seem to understand about the question in order to maximize your chances once you get a bunch of eyeballs looking at it to reopen. – Tim Post Jul 20 '13 at 16:40
  • 1
    "and so on" Are you quoting a FAQ page? I understand the different close reasons require different actions. Are they enumerated somewhere? – raven Jul 20 '13 at 16:59
  • @TimPost, does closed questions get put into review queue too once it's edited? Or is it just for on-hold questions? – Old Checkmark Jul 20 '13 at 18:14
  • 2
    @raven I've added a link to the help centre for closed questions. That includes a list of close reasons. The only difference between closed and on hold is the passage of time. While on hold, edits by the author will put it in the reopen queue. After 5 or 7 days it is marked closed instead of on hold, and edits don't put it in the reopen queue automatically (but you can still vote or flag if you have the rep.) – Kate Gregory Jul 20 '13 at 18:39

In the case of what you perceive as a mistaken duplicate, I suggest editing your question to emphasize the differences between your question and the supposed duplicate. One way to do this is to change the order of how your question presents information. This often makes a huge difference in other's perception of your question and how other's absorb and interpret what you are trying to ask.

(Of course, you should also carefully read the linked duplicate to see if there are any helpful tidbits that you can use.)


I would suggest to first of all ask, politely, what could be improved on the question, either by comment or in the site's meta. Take on board any and all advice - use it to improve your question, then vote to reopen.

  • What if is was closed as a duplicate, but it actually wasn't a duplicate because people didn't actually really read the question? – raven Jul 20 '13 at 16:28
  • 1
    @raven do the same thing as suggested above, but ask what has prompted it to be labelled as a duplicate. Once again, be polite about it. – user226423 Jul 20 '13 at 16:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .