6

When I vote to close a question and leave an explanation, a common response is

Here are dozens of older questions that meet the same criteria. Why don't you close all of those?

Should I respond to comments like these? If so, how?

  • 9
    I tend to thank the OP for directing me towards more close worthy content ;) – Oded Dec 23 '14 at 16:13
  • 1
    Can the downvoter comment? This is a real situation that I encounter maybe 20% of the times that I vote to close a question. – Rainbolt Dec 23 '14 at 16:15
  • 2
    The user is using other broken windows as a justification for tossing a stone themselves. Solution: ---raze the buil--- fix the broken windows. – Martijn Pieters Dec 23 '14 at 16:29
  • 1
  • 2
    Oh geez. My question is so duplicate that a tag has been created for its duplicateness. Thanks @gnat for large amount of material on the subject. I started a close vote. (This is the third time I have voted to close my own question. I don't usually have this problem on other sites.) – Rainbolt Dec 23 '14 at 18:28
  • at MSE, it's normal. I for one have 11 dupe-closed questions, 8 of them I voted to close myself. Not a big deal really: "Since I found an answer, I just don't need my question anymore, and the sooner I get it closed, the less I will need to worry about it in the future..." – gnat Dec 23 '14 at 20:59
7

It is up to you whether you decide to respond or not. I think it is important to respond so that the user knows what the deal is on the SE network.

My answer to that kind of comment is that I've not voted to close the other questions because I've not encountered them yet.

Sometimes the claim is actually:

You cannot close my question for reason X unless you catch all other questions that should be closed for reason X. If I can find one such question that is not closed, then you cannot close my question.

My response here is that this is just not how the world operates when it comes to enforcing rules. I don't know of any case where the mere existence of people who got away with breaking the rule entails that the rule cannot apply to another individual. Note here I've emphasized "mere existence". It's another ball game if someone can prove that preferential treatment is happening, but to prove preferential treatment, the evidence has to rise quite a bit above mere existence. And if a user said they'd have proof of preferential treatment, I'd suggest they send the evidence to the SE staff (with a warning that they better be sure that their evidence is rock-solid).

If the user presents a list of other questions that should be closed, in all likelihood I'd vote to close them, within reason. I'm not going to spend my time going through a list of dozens of cases just to humor someone who wants to keep their question open.

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