13

I recently encountered a rather confused but well-intentioned new member. This member asked a question that I and some others put on hold as too broad. The new member then added a comment to the question asking for clarification, but because the comment didn't @-notify any of the closers, none of us saw the question. I didn't learn that the member was confused until several days later when the member posted a follow-up Meta question asking about the post.

The close message instructs new users to "leave a comment" even though that comment may never be seen.

So that close-voters can help to workshop salvageable questions, they should be notified when the OP adds a comment to the closed question.

  • 1
    A possible topic for discussion is whether the close-voters should also be notified when anyone adds a comment to the closed question. – 3nafish Aug 15 '14 at 15:22
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    Just today several people voted to close a question as a duplicate that wasn't within light-years of being a duplicated. And I found out they don't get notifications of comments. One of them, when I managed to reached him, acknowledged that closing it was a mistake. And I managed to reach several others by circuitous means, and the question was re-opened. But generally those who close questions should be responsible participants in the community and not irresponsible drive-by shooters. They should be notified of comments. – Michael Hardy May 1 '15 at 0:53
  • Since this post has been bumped I will add links to other posts which seem related (which are about some kind of notification to close voters): If you put @username in a comment to a question, does it contact editors/voters? and Notify close voters when a closed question gets edited. – Martin Jul 23 '17 at 9:49
6

This would be a good way to help us be more friendly and helpful to new users. Good feature request. I agree with your reasoning that it is not good if new users leave such a comment and then nobody sees it. IMO a close vote comes with a little bit of responsibility. So getting a ping when the OP comments sounds reasonable. This will make it more likely that close-voters can offer some advice to the OP on how to improve the question and possibly have it reopened. Or, if the question is not salvageable, OP can be told that so that they don't waste time or post more similar questions.

  • Just a helpful tip, try to expand more on your answer rather than just simply stating that the request is acceptable – Anthony Pham Sep 24 '16 at 1:02
  • @PythonMaster Thanks for the tip, done. – Revetahw Sep 24 '16 at 8:19
-8

This feature is needed because there is a severe deficiency of communication between people who make it their business to close questions considered closable for some reason, and everyone else.

It is not the least bit unusual is that the closers are wrong: they close a question as off topic because they didn't understand it. Often that's because the question is not well expressed, but it's also not unusual that it's because of the ignorance of those who close it and the fact that they don't know they are ignorant of the topic.

PS: The user called "Servy" says its "rare" that those who close questions get it wrong because of ignorance of the topic. "Servy" would be right if that comment were about one of the stackexchange sites on which I've posted a lot, but wrong if it were another, on which I have a reputation of more than 175,000. On that one, closers getting wrong because of their own ignorance of the topic is not unusual.

  • It's not the responsibility of anyone else to fix the question author's question. It's their own responsibility to fix it. Some people may choose to help, and that's nice, but they're not the one's obligated to fix the question. If the question is so unclear that people can't understand it, and think it's off topic as a result, then the question still merits closure. A question being unclear is a reason to close it in it's own right. If the question isn't well expressed that's a problem that the author needs to fix before the question can be answered. – Servy Jul 21 '17 at 16:48
  • @Servy : Have I attempted to assign any "responsibility" to fix the question to anyone? What if the question doesn't need fixing and those who vote to close it are in need of finding that out? That's not unusual. – Michael Hardy Jul 21 '17 at 16:54
  • You have assigned responsibility, yes. You stated that users not fixing someone else's question for them is a problem. It's not. When they do do it's great, and we do want them to do it, but it's not a problem if they don't. It is a problem when the question author decides not to. A question being closed when it doesn't need fixing is very unusual, and there are lots of ways to deal with the very rare event when it happens. – Servy Jul 21 '17 at 16:57
  • @Servy : You seem to tacitly assume that those who close questions are right and the person who wrote a question that got closed are wrong. But no such infallibility exists in reality. – Michael Hardy Jul 21 '17 at 16:59
  • Last time I closed a question it showed a post notice with links to the relevant articles in the help center. Is that feature no longer there? – rene Jul 21 '17 at 16:59
  • @rene : You miss the point. The help center won't help in cases where the people who close the question are wrong and the cause is their ignorance of the topic. – Michael Hardy Jul 21 '17 at 17:01
  • Oh, this is not about me then. I'm never wrong. Sorry. – rene Jul 21 '17 at 17:02
  • @MichaelHardy No. As I said in my comment, there are cases where questions are closed incorrectly, they're just rare. You're just assuming that they're typically wrong, and you assume incorrectly. – Servy Jul 21 '17 at 17:02
  • @Servy : Why am I the one you're taking to task? I repeated an idea in the original posting above, and then added my own. You're objecting to the idea that was in the original posting. – Michael Hardy Jul 21 '17 at 17:02
  • @Servy : You say they're rare. WHICH stackexchange sites are you talking about? Those incidents are indeed rare on mathoverflow, which is a stackexchange site. They are NOT rare on math (dot) stackexchange (dot) com. – Michael Hardy Jul 21 '17 at 17:03
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    I've casted 62,222 close votes and I hope some of them resulted in the successful closure of a question. I don't want to be bothered by even a fraction of comments that would be generated in my inbox stating nothing more then Why did you close my question, unfair! – rene Jul 21 '17 at 17:07
  • Well I don't support the original proposal, but your justification for it is much worse than the OP's, and also the OP hasn't been on the site since last year, so there's not much of a dialog to be had with them. – Servy Jul 21 '17 at 17:07
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    @MichaelHardy If a specific site has a specific problem with questions being inappropriately closed, that's an issue to bring up with that site's meta. – Servy Jul 21 '17 at 17:08
  • @Servy : Why is it worse? Ignorant people mistakenly closing questions is a substantial problem on math (dot) stackexchange (dot) com. – Michael Hardy Jul 21 '17 at 17:08
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    @MichaelHardy It could be that a huge portion of the entire site doesn't understand what's appropriate, and votes to close good questions, or it could just be that one person doesn't understand the site's requirements and standards (or just doesn't like them). Occam's razor leads me towards one direction, but like I've said many times, if that's what you actually want to discuss then to to that site's meta because that's the appropriate place to discuss it. – Servy Jul 21 '17 at 17:18

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