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Do users get notified when their question is reopened? I know there are no notifications on close, and that makes sense because 1) you assume the user is paying attention to their open, unanswered question, and they'll probably notice it's been put on hold and 2) it follows with the SE policy of (in general) not sending notifications for negative events.

However a reopening is a good thing, and once a question is closed it becomes less likely that the OP will be coming back to check on it often (so they might not notice the reopening otherwise). If there are not reopen notifications, why not? Or can we add them?

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This answer is now out of date because a notification has been implemented


I'm not sure what benefit this would serve, but it might help in some cases.

It's of no benefit to users who don't notice their question was closed in the first place. If they weren't interested then, they're not likely to be interested now.

If they are interested in the fate of their question then we assume that they noticed the closure and took steps to fix the question. At this point it enters the re-open queue. If it gets re-opened then there's nothing more for the user to do. The question is now deemed good enough and is ready to accept answers.

If it's still not good enough to re-open they'll need to do some more work on it. Therefore they'll have to stick around monitoring it until it gets reopened.

Even if they edit the question and then forget about it, they'll get a notification if the question is answered - which will coincidentally notify them that the question was re-opened. So you see the system already does what you're suggesting (sort of).

  • Fair point. Initially I was just wondering if this was already a feature or not, and then I couldn't think of a reason not to add it if it wasn't. But you make a good case that there isn't really a reason to add it, either, which is just as compelling. – WendiKidd May 3 '14 at 15:23
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    “We assume that they noticed the closure” — on what basis do you make this assumption? There is no notification for closure. (Which is stupid, but reduces the benefit of a notification for reopening.) – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 7 '14 at 21:31
  • @Gilles the important bit is the bit you didn't quote - "If they are interested in the fate of their question". Why should we notify them if they're not interested in what happens to their question. If someone doesn't stick around to check on their question then no notifications are going to be useful. – ChrisF May 7 '14 at 21:33
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    Why would being interested in the fate of their question lead to noticing the closure? I am interested in the fate of my questions, but if something important happens to them (like closure), I expect to be notified. I happen to know that this doesn't happen (because Jeff is against it, with the argument that if you care you should compulsively reload the page). But nonetheless I am not going to compulsively reload the page. It's stupid. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 7 '14 at 21:39
  • I know this is a bit late, but, for example, @ChrisF - when was the last time you checked this question (your own), I doubt you looked recently, but that doesn't mean you don't care about the question... does it? – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Nov 24 '14 at 20:08
  • @Gilles I'm not saying that you should be constantly refreshing the question page to see if it's been closed/reopened or whatever, just that you should be checking on it a few of times a day. – ChrisF May 24 '15 at 21:04
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    @ChrisF No, you should not. You even get a notice if a post is upvoted! It makes zero sense not to notify on important events like closure and reopening. Anyway, if it's so important to check the state of the question, it's worth notifying of the event. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' May 24 '15 at 21:28
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Actually, as of recently, there is now an inbox notification when a question is reopened:

"question update"

As you can tell from the heading "question update", and my actually checking the linked question, this was not just a comment, but a system notification.

It would be nice to know when this was implemented (or if it was announced on a different per-site meta), so I can edit this into the changelog post.

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    I think my question was reopened twice but I only received notification once. I could be wrong about that. Also note that when I click on "see all inbox items," the "hooray" notification doesn't appear in the list -- even though I can see it when I click on the Recent Inbox Messages icon. – aparente001 Oct 28 at 21:38
  • @aparente001 Strange, I saw the notification in my full list of notifications in my network profile. I wonder why you're not seeing it. As far as the notification being only once, if it was for the second time, it could be that the feature was implemented between the two reopenings. (If it was the first, then it probably only notifies for the first reopening.) – Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog Oct 28 at 21:51
  • it could be that the feature was implemented between the two reopenings -- well, all I can say is, yahoo! – aparente001 Oct 28 at 23:31
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I personally would like to receive an alert when a question on Stack Exchange is reopened (and I should be able to bookmark which closed question I am interested in, not necessarily a question I asked myself).

The use case is very simple: I sometimes see a question that has been closed, the OP then improved it enough that it's likely to be reopened, I know an answer to the question but cannot post it before it gets reopened, then forget about the question.

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