Shouldn't there be such responsibility? The question in question is 8 queens unknown error in haskell, initially very badly asked indeed.

The asker is asked to edit their question with clarifications, and when they do just that, their question gets closed on them in less than 9 minutes.

And it stays closed. And when a new guy comes along and edits in more clarifications and then wants to answer, he just can't.

Isn't it just a tad too easy to close a question instead of actually trying to improve it, or engage the OP through comments?

If you did vote to close, wouldn't it be better if you were forced to recast your vote if the question was edited? Could such rash voting be forbidden altogether, say during first 24 hours?

What can we do to remedy this problem?

related discussion from 2010: Notify close voters when a closed question gets edited. apparently the problem persists.

  • 2
    Closed questions which are edited are already pushed into review queues. A fresh pair of eyes is more likely to reopen the question I'd say. Btw, where is your reopen vote? That would push it into a queue as well afaik.
    – Bart
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:01
  • 1
    @Bart I'm tired of all the lawyering.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:04
  • 3
    I don't follow.
    – Bart
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:05
  • 1
    @Bart by analogy with "wikilawyering", from WP world. The "meta" stuff, I don't like it, yet I'm forced to deal in it by these frivolous closures. well OK, I voted now. Still, the original voters should be involved here, I think.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:07
  • 11
    Preventing close-votes for the first 24h would be completely insane (if that's what you meant). Sure there's probably salvageable stuff that doesn't get reopen in a timely manner every now and then, but I sincerely don't believe that's a sizable proportion of the "on hold" volume.
    – Mat
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:24
  • @Mat offensive or spam posts are flagged for deletion, not closed Aug 21, 2013 at 9:46
  • @Jan: sure, but that's not what I'm talking about (I don't think that's what Will has in mind either).
    – Mat
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:58
  • @Mat I don't know what I have in mind; I was asking for suggestions. I don't think there is not problem at all here. It might not be as acute though.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 10:00
  • 4
    something terrible happened to this "com-mu-ni-ty". In 2010 a guy asks practically the same question (linked) and gets 35 upvotes. I try to resurface the issue an get branded as "low quality contributor" and get banned from ever asking new questions - on meta!.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 31, 2013 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


There is no real need for this. Call me a pessimist, but I'd say that relying on close voters to reopen a question is a waste of effort. Just as I don't see a lot of users reverse their downvotes, I think in practice it is not likely that many of them will vote to reopen. A fresh pair of eyes (I assume) is far more likely to cast a reopen vote.

And there are already systems in place to make sure it gets brought to the attention of other users: The Reopen Votes queue. As far as I know, two things can push a question into that queue:

  1. A user casts a reopen vote
  2. The post was edited after it had been closed.

So if you encounter a question that should not really be closed, either edit it into shape to address the most obvious issues, or simply vote to reopen it if it's perfect as is.

I think that should suffice.

  • not relying, forcing them to. Revoking their votes on the question's edit. Or something in the middle. Practice proves that it is much harder to get a question reopen, than it is to get it closed.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:11
  • 3
    @WillNess You can't force users to do anything. If they don't think the question is good enough to be reopened, then they simply shouldn't vote to do so.
    – Bart
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:12
  • Right, forced to recast their vote. Reaffirm it, or change it.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:12
  • 6
    Meh, all wasted effort.
    – Bart
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:13
  • I've just wasted almost full day dealing with reopening of stackoverflow.com/q/18270053/849891. I don't want to have to waste my time. An effort spent in preventing waste of time is not a waste of time. :)
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 9:14
  • 2
    Every single edit forcing the close voters to reexamine their close votes would be wasting their time. Maybe the OP should have submitted a good question in the first place and not wasted anyone's time.
    – Wooble
    Aug 21, 2013 at 12:18
  • 1
    @WillNess Forcing a close vote revoke for no other reason than a question was edited would be abused. All it would take is someone making a minor edit, and viola! Question re-opened/existing close votes removed. An edit made to a question does not automatically make it acceptable. I can't count the number of times I've seen questions edited, and they still weren't acceptable.
    – fbueckert
    Aug 21, 2013 at 13:52
  • 1
    @fbueckert I didn't propose to revoke them outright, just to somehow make the original voters to review their vote and reaffirm or change it. Perhaps a grace period of 24 h would be appropriate. It's not that I have a firm proposition here, I was asking for suggestions myself.
    – Will Ness
    Aug 21, 2013 at 13:57

Since my one deleted and two moderately downvoted questions on meta have got me banned (automatically - there's your secret formula!) from asking more questions - on meta! - and have branded my "contribution" "low quality", I don't want to burden this site with my low quality contributions anymore. I would expect freedom of discussion to be a cherished value of any "community" I were to belong to. The community where expressing an unpopular opinion automatically bans a person from being able to even ask a question - on meta! - is not something I want to be a part of. I will not be forced into silence, and I won't accept being forced into silence. To which I can't object because I'm banned from speaking. On meta no less. Which should be an open place for free discussion.

That's some rotten stuff, I tell you. This is weak.

(go ahead, delete this, an deny me this last refuge of free speech. yeah yeah, "this is not an answer" but I can't well post a question now can I).

...first they explain to you that on meta, the downvotes don't mean that you asked a bad question, just that people were disagreeing with you. "don't take it to heart" on meta, they say to you, "it's not a judgement on your posts".

then after just two good-faith questions with moderate amount of downvotes (and one deleted question in the distant past, which is a story in itself) you are suddenly banned from asking new questions, for posting "low quality content", asking "bad questions", and are suggested to "read your questions to yourself aloud to see how they really are seen by others".

shikes. that's not the rules I was promised to be playing by. Not what I was promised, at all.

banning people from speaking, making them be afraid to freely express a legitimate opinion or even ask for suggestions in fear that this might be considered controversial and they will be banned for it...

double minus ungood. (yes, I am alluding to the Orwellian nature of this policy - on meta!).

  • 2
    If you're even still using SE, I agree with you. I was auto-banned on StackOverflow over 9 months ago... despite the help center rules explaining that I'd be auto-reinstated after 6 months (9... 6...). Oh well, SO's not generally friendly to new users anyway.
    – JBH
    Sep 17, 2018 at 22:08
  • yes unfortunately they know we are their captive participating audience. also, this is an old post; they changed their banning policy - on meta! - shortly thereafter (for the better). the other problem which I cried about in the deleted post (mentioned in this answer -- which they deleted after downvoting it into oblivion) they continued to totally ignore ever since, and are still ignoring. it is about this kinds of user icons which I find VERY disturbing.
    – Will Ness
    Sep 18, 2018 at 6:55

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