The question in question: Triple Less Than Sign in Bash

It is closed as

"Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist" – Suhosin, hakre, Dan Lugg, Tilak, Yuushi

I think it should be closed as a duplicate of this question: What does the Bash operator <<< (i.e. triple less than sign) mean?

So the question is: Is it ok to vote to reopen a question, with the intent of closing it again with a different reason?

  • 2
    related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/207768/… Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 6:37
  • @GabrielePetronella Yes I support that request. If would be cool if you could change the vote without reopening. I just followed the advice in the linked answer and flagged the question for diamond moderator attention.
    – user000001
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 6:43

2 Answers 2


In general, changing the close reason is a lot of work as you need 5 people to reopen and then 5 people to reclose it, and the 5 people to reclose it can't be any of the people who closed it previously, so you should leave it alone unless it is really necessary.

However mods can do this on their own because of their binding vote, so it is preferable to have them do it. If something needs to be changed, you should flag it for moderator attention, using a custom reason and explain what you think should be done and most importantly why (but you need to be brief as you are limited on characters).

Typically though this action should be reserved for cases where it absolutely needs to be done. The reason for this is because on busy sites, the you'd rather have the moderators working on more important flags. On slower sites, you have more leeway to do this since the flag queue is smaller.

  • Is the current close reason dangerously misleading?
  • Is the current close reason extremely confusing?

So cases where an off-topic question is a duplicate of an another question, but the first question is closed for another reason, it is not worth adding to the mods workload when you can just leave an appropriate comment.

But if a post is closed as a duplicate of a question that is not a duplicate (and the original still needs to be closed for another reason), it can confuse new users and new programmers, it is probably worth asking a mod to change the close reason to point to a more appropriate duplicate or closed for the correct reason.

And in the cases where the just duplicate target needs changed (closed as a dup of question A, but question B is a better duplicate), the best solution now is to find a Gold Badge holder in one of the tags to edit the duplicate links to add a better duplicate, and remove any incorrect duplicates.

  • 1
    I agree with most of the answer. My only objection is this: Off-topic questions tend to get deleted; duplicates on the other hand tend to stay around. Don't you think that there is a danger of removing potentially valuable content off the net?
    – user000001
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 14:05
  • 2
    You don't want to remove valuable content. Considering you can't control users who delete the post, you should only worry about the auto-delete process. Generally, the auto-delete process takes the votes into account, so unless the post is negatively voted, or doesn't have answers, then the danger of deletion is reduced. And in that case, if it is auto-deleted, the value of the question is questionable. Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 15:25
  • 2
    If that duplicate-but-not-marked-as-such is deleted, is there a Google search that would have found it that won't find the original? Is there a bit if a sample in there that isn't elsewhere? Will it really make SO worse if it is deleted? Even though it is a dupe. Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 15:42
  • @KateGregory Well the phrasing of the off topic question is different than the dupe. If you google triple less than in bash you get the closed one. You need to google "<<<" bash operator to get the other question.
    – user000001
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 16:37
  • 2
    @user000001 then it should stay - flag and tell a moderator that Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 16:41
  • 1
    @Kate It looks like they deleted it anyway :(. It is unfortunate that the deleters' names are kept private
    – user000001
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 17:38

If the question should be closed (in your opinion) the close reason is only a secondary consideration. Leave it close and add a comment like

related: [link to question]

  • 6
    The problem is that off-topic questions can be deleted. Closing as a dupe would prevent that from happening. (btw: I upvoted an existing comment with the link)
    – user000001
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 7:09
  • 4
    Another problem is that this fails known-good audits in the reopen queue. Oh, wait, known-good dupes are a much bigger problem in the close queue. Nothing to see here. Move on. Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 7:13

You must log in to answer this question.

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