Edits automatically put questions in the reopen queue. So, when I see a reopen question that has been edited, I focus on the edit. And I ask myself, has this edit made a material change to the question? And if the answer is no, I push the button to leave it closed. Because I respect my fellow community moderators, and if five of them voted to close something, I don't think I should substitute my judgement for theirs without a very good reason.

Thus, I claim that audit mechanism is biased towards the assumption that questions are typically closed capriciously. If you really believe that, team, you should have some audit mechanism for close voting, period.

If a question is in the reopen queue because a human being voted to reopen it, it makes sense to me to read it carefully and consider whether it should be reopened based on complete content. But just because an if statement noticed that someone reformatted some code, I don't think it's a good use of my time to give it a comprehensive rethink.

So I will continue to fail some of the audits, and if you ever block me, you block me. And I'll go find something else to do. But I will not waste my time reading crap.

To reiterate the failure mode:

The audit mechanism takes a 'good' question that had an edit, and tees it up as a reopen audit. If you don't ask to reopen (or edit and reopen), you fail. I fail when I see that the edit changes nothing about the quality of the question. The audit is testing a bizarre case: a fine question was closed for no reason and then edited. It's like optimizing for a grand piano flying out of a black hole.

  • I'm somewhat confused, what was invalid with the audit? Do you have any examples? Oct 2, 2013 at 13:05
  • 5
    So, is this just a rant or do you have an actual question?
    – Doorknob
    Oct 2, 2013 at 13:07
  • 3
    It's a complaint. It's tagged 'discussion'. It calls, once again, for the team to think of better criteria for questions in the reopen audits.
    – Rosinante
    Oct 2, 2013 at 13:08
  • 4
    Hmm, if I was a judge and someone had been sentenced to 20 years for no reason at all I might consider accepting their appeal even if no new evidence had come to light Oct 2, 2013 at 13:10
  • 1
    Also; can't just a reopen vote kick it into the queue, without an edit at all. Would you automatically vote to keep closed on these? Oct 2, 2013 at 13:14
  • 7
    You seem to be missing the fundamental point that 5 people can be wrong. And what if a major edit occurred right before it was closed, making it a decent question? That won't show up as part of a future edit, will it? Oct 2, 2013 at 13:17
  • 1
    If the reopen queue was anything like the close queue, I'd actually say you'd have a point - let explicit votes be cast rather than giving an in-depth review to every closed question where a minor edit was made, as to focus on quantity rather than quality (without affecting quality too much). But as it stands, there's hardly anything in the queue, so may as well skim over the question to see if the close was valid, and look further if it looks like it wasn't. Oct 2, 2013 at 13:35
  • I do consider their appeals. if the queue tells me, 'this is here just because someone voted to reopen it,' it gets my full attention. My grumpiness is purely about the case where the only reason its in the queue is an edit.
    – Rosinante
    Oct 2, 2013 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


I believe you are judging the reviews in the wrong way. The re-open queue is not the suggested edit queue. I believe you are supposed to look at the current version of the question and ask yourself: Do I see a reason to keep this question closed for the reason it lists? Not: Was this edit substantial - or even needed?

For good questions that got an edit, there is no reason why it would have been closed in the first place. I doubt it would be different after the edit. It would be 'harmful' to keep the question closed - and possibly there is not even a 'substantial' edit possible. On the other hand: If someone made a substantial edit, it doesn't mean automatically that the question doesn't meet the criteria anymore that it was closed for. In both cases you'll need to read the whole question, not just the edited parts.

  • I disagree. The question is not 'is there a reason to keep it closed', but rather, 'is there a reason to reopen it'. If the team wants your question, I think they need to change the verbiage.
    – Rosinante
    Oct 2, 2013 at 17:24
  • @Rosinante Even when evaluating whether the question should be reopened, it helps to look at the whole question rather than a diff of changes. Nevermind that it's been edited. What if it was wrongly closed in the first place?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Oct 2, 2013 at 18:22
  • Until a reopen next shows up, I can't get to the text that I think tells me that I'm supposed to presume 'don't reopen' that I would ask you to change if you want me to take this attitude.
    – Rosinante
    Oct 2, 2013 at 19:46

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