Should one or both of these two close reasons:

  • unclear what you're asking
  • too broad

be removed from list of possible close reasons, after a question has an accepted answer?

I mean, if question is answered, and answer is accepted, then I think it proves that question was neither too broad, nor too unclear, and using these reasons after-the-fact is kind of pointless. If it is otherwise an ungood question, some of the other close reasons should apply.

This mostly applies to the pile of old questions in review queue. So, while this might seem like a small tweak, it would slightly reduce the mental burden of reviewing a question and deciding if it should be closed or not, and for what reason.

To clarify: for obvious reasons, existing close votes with these reasons must still be counted, accepting an answer would not make them go away.

2nd clarification: If the accepted answer is by the asker, then this suggestion probably shouldn't apply. Getting an answer and accepting it is a form of peer preview, and works as a filter. Some reputation limits on asker or answerer could be added too, to strengthen the peer review aspect of accepted answer.

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    if later the asker decides to unaccept the answer, would you then suggest to return close reasons back? – gnat Sep 13 '13 at 8:08
  • @gnat Well, this would be a vote time check, so yes. Also added a clarification to the question about existing votes, that they must of course remain. – hyde Sep 13 '13 at 8:40
  • but then, what is the point of reasons removal to start with? do we expect them to somehow depend on subjective decision of the asker? (who could be actually least "authoritative" to judge about this - if they knew, they wouldn't ask) – gnat Sep 13 '13 at 8:56
  • @gnat The point is to remove clutter from the "vote to close" dialog. Close vote is also subjective, and it's likely that both the asker and the one with the accepted answer know more about the subject. So my reasoning is, if question was good enough to get an accepted answer, and there is no other reason to close the question (and if it is a bad question, there should be), then most moderators are not qualified to say it is too broad or unclear, and presenting them this choice is just clutter. – hyde Sep 13 '13 at 9:12
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    agree that close votes are subjective, but currently they are at least are based on things that are written in the question, making it possible to communicate about. Your suggestion, the way I see it, puts these into strong dependency on asker's state of mind, doesn't it? Because, accepting / unaccepting answer is totally up to asker state of mind – gnat Sep 13 '13 at 9:17
  • @hyde If you consider the close reason from the perspective of another user searching for an answer to a specific question, does that alter your concern here? – HansUp Sep 13 '13 at 15:18
  • @HansUp Do you mean, someone with same problem finding the question but not understanding it? I think that's unlikely, if someone else already understood it enough to answer it. Someone with same problem will likely understand it then, too. Or do you mean, question not being found at all? Well, it being closed or not won't matter in that case... – hyde Sep 13 '13 at 19:45
  • @hyde I was thinking someone searching could have trouble finding it in the first place. My impression is that questions without "unclear"/"too broad" close votes are better search candidates. Fixing the question in response to those close vote issues is much better for the site than declaring it a qood question because someone provided a good answer. – HansUp Sep 13 '13 at 20:10
  • @HansUp Obviously improving the question would be best, but who is going to do it? The asker, unlikely, after accepting an answer. The one who wrote the answer might not even notice the close votes. And the ones giving the close votes chose to vote for closing instead of editing. – hyde Sep 13 '13 at 20:39

A bad question doesn't stop people from providing an answer.

I've seen it happen where someone asks an unclear question, someone provides an equally unclear answer and the author accepts. Same for questions that are too broad. Just because someone took the time to answer the question doesn't mean it is a good question.


No. Because some users give answers to unclear questions too. Sometimes it gets accepted. But that really doesn't mean the question is clear to the community. Also the same scenario on self-accepted answers.

Regarding too broad question. Accepting an answer from multiple answers on a too broad question doesn't make it non-too broad question.


This isn't totally crazy, but... It won't work as-described.

The goal here is to get problematic questions fixed or - failing that - removed. A hard-to-understand question with an answer is still a hard-to-understand question; if someone did manage to figure out what was being asked, it's really not unreasonable to ask that he shares it with the rest of the readers by editing the question as well. Suggestions on how to encourage that are more than welcome...

There's an additional concern here too: that folks could use the threat of closure to bully askers into accepting an answer.

That said, an answer to such a question can be an indicator that the question wasn't as bad as someone feared. We're looking into using similar indicators to improve the criteria for close vote aging (which is now based primarily on "do not close" reviews and an arbitrary (100) number of views. Stay tuned...

  • I don't think bullying is a valid concern; if there really was a cabal of 5 people who would do this, they can just use one of the other close reasons or a custom one, and presumably would be suspended fairly quickly. (Not that I agree with the OP's suggestion to begin with). – Wooble Sep 13 '13 at 15:31
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    Not by closers, @Wooble - by answerers. "Nice question you got here, but there's an 'unclear' close vote hanging on it. Y'know you can prevent it from being closed by just accepting an answer... Oh look, I just posted one for you to accept." Hopefully not something we'd see a lot of, but still - a bad motivation. – Shog9 Sep 13 '13 at 15:35
  • One thing which could help instead of this suggestion, is displaying the accepted or up voted answer(s) along with the question, when reviewing close votes. From information value point if view, question and answers are a combination, as they are meant to be I believe (while comments are intended as something transient), and I think currently review of close votes emphasizes the question too much when there are good answers. – hyde Sep 13 '13 at 19:55

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