As it seems that anonymity of votes is a primary concern for many people, and my original request was going in the opposite direction, I am amending it to ask for freedom of choice.

Also, a proposed alternative addressed this problem, but it turns one that the same functionality is already implemented, in a way.

But the point is that on StackOverflow right now there are 92k+ close vote reviews, and go take a tour and see how many times close vote are casts as "offtopic" or "too broad" or "add a code snippet" and no comments are present (disclaimer: this is my experience in doing reviews, i did not run a query against http://data.stackexchange.com, also because there is no column in the Posts table for the reputation of the users at the time of posting).

So my amended feature request is:

can we get an additional button ("vote and comment") or a checkbox ("add a comment") beside the "vote to close" button in the vote dialog? So that, when it's clicked (or checked), a comment containing the reason the close vote is cast for, is automatically added to the question.


Automatically add a comment containing the reasoning, when voting to close a question

This may have been requested in the past but I could not find it.

When voting to close a question as a possible duplicate, a comment that links to the candidate question is generated and posted:

possible duplicate: Button to automatically add the reason for closing, when voting to close a question

When voting to close a question with a custom reason, the custom reason also gets posted as a comment:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about jquery

Is it possible to do the same for other closing reasons (too broad, unclear what you're asking, etc.)?

The wording of the reasons is very good and most of the times fits nicely; having comments of that quality satisfies the "be excellent to each-other", over hand-written quick comments that might become too aggressive or hilarious, and it's obviously better than voting without leaving any comment.

  • I'm slightly confused, automatically add what comments, exactly? So for example, if we close a “too localized” question, would the mod put in a comment? Nov 13, 2013 at 4:57
  • Close-->OffTopic-->Other and the text you provide in it, automatically is generated as comment and posted.
    – Rahul
    Nov 13, 2013 at 4:58
  • @R.J I know, but that implies i close as off-topic (useful for stackexchange websites not in the list). What's wrong in copying the reason as worded in the close-dialog, when closing as "too broad" or "not clear what you are asking"?
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:02
  • @R.J - I think OP means pre-made options, sort of like the pop-up for flagging posts Nov 13, 2013 at 5:02
  • When you close as a duplicate, or use a custom off-topic close reason, the vote will automatically add a comment containing the duplicate, or the custom close reason. I believe the request is for this behavior to happen for any other close reason as well, to give feedback to the person asking showing that there are close votes. (I think this is a bad idea, but wanted to clarify intent)
    – jmac
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:04
  • @Adel not a moderator, but some javascript.
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:04
  • @jmac exactly; why is it a bad idea? you close a question as too broad and go away. Others go doing close vote reviews, and follow your vote. The question is closed without giving the OP a reason before the possibility to amend the question. In my opinion, it's bad
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:06
  • A bit of summary text appears under the question when you close it for any reason; are you suggesting that we move that into a comment instead, duplicate it, or add something else entirely? I'm not quite sure where the text for the auto-comment would come from.
    – user50049
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:13
  • @TimPost the summary is shown when the questions reaches 5 votes and is put onhold/closed. It would be nice to have the comment generated when voting to close, the text should come from the same place where the text used in the close-dialog comes from, which i guess is a property file somewhere
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:19
  • @guido Ahhhh, okay, now I see what you mean. Sorry to be a tad dense, I think I might have actually had too much coffee, if indeed such a thing exists.
    – user50049
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:23
  • @Adel We can't close a too localised question nowadays. There aren't (m)any. Nov 13, 2013 at 5:29

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, people take any sort of criticism, no matter how constructive, quite personally. There are 153 duplicates of Encouraging people to explain downvotes.

People don't like criticism. But it's essential to maintaining high quality of content on SO, so time and time again the community seems to err on the side of caution when revealing the source of any negative criticism, preferring instead to soften the psychological blow.

My primary concern is that I could no longer vote to close anonymously. I am very active on the Workplace trying to help new users and improve questions, but will often place a close vote while trying to help someone improve the post (I can always retract it later). If my close vote gets posted as a comment, it may leave the new user more reluctant to work with me, and give me the poor choice between keeping site quality up, and maximizing the chance of improving new user experience.

Anyone who has 3,000 reputation can see which close votes have been cast, and they can comment that a question is gathering close votes of a certain type if they so feel the need. I don't see any benefit to advertising which users have voted to close on questions that are still open, and I definitely see a potential harm as explained above.

Note: Apparently the below suggestion is already implemented for users with 250+ reputation. So for the developers who I am sure fawn over my every word, you can happily disregard the below as you did it already.

As an alternative, I may not have an issue with a user being able to see the close votes on their own questions (mimicking the current menu with anonymity and no ability to vote). But that is very different from the current request. Something like this:

If there are no close votes on the question, it should display as normal:

No Votes normal Display

If there are votes, an added option should be added like this:

Hold Votes

If that link is clicked, it should give a menu like the close vote menu, only anonymized, with a link of what this window means:

On Hold Menu

This should be accessibly by anyone on their own questions only, and does not allow voting, just seeing what votes are present.

  • I must +1 this answer because it's good, but i still completely disagree on this matter.
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:22
  • 1
    Well, now that you posted your alternative proposal, I must say I like it
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:38
  • 1
    worth noting that users are able to see and cast CVs on their own questions starting with 250 rep - 3K is required only to see and cast CVs anywhere.
    – gnat
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:41
  • 1
    @gnat Well I'll be damned. All that work to recreate an existing feature! Now I disagree with the original proposal even more.
    – jmac
    Nov 13, 2013 at 5:43
  • @gnat worth noting also that neither me or jmac even remembered of that, so it turns out to be well unlikely that a random new user understand anything about this; and, let me point out that most closed questions come from < 250 rep users.
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:07
  • 1
    @guido agree, that makes your question different from that 250-privilege feature. Note also that readers of the question can't see this stuff unless they've got 3K. This maybe is intentional, but I for one would be interested to learn more about why is that
    – gnat
    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:10
  • @gnat I am actually re-targeting my feature request, to something that should very easily implemented and give people more freedom of choice: ta-da-da a checkbox!
    – guido
    Nov 13, 2013 at 6:18

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