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I've seen a few questions around here about retracting close votes, and they bring up two primary points:

  1. It's not obvious that opening the close menu again will allow you to retract a close vote you've already cast.

  2. No one was ever told that the feature was implemented.

The request to allow close votes to be retracted was completed back in July of 2013. Since then, there's been no real mention of the feature at all. In all my searching outside of Meta, the only place the word "retract" even appears is in a Podcast blog from that month, which I imagine not a large portion of our user base even saw.

Worst part of it is, it's not even mentioned in the help center!

Help Center Search

Just to be sure, I visited the cast close and reopen votes privilege page and searched for the word "retract" there too - still nothing.

So how are we to expect people to use this feature if we've never told them about it? Can the existence of this feature be made more well-known to users? I don't mean just making the UI more obvious, but making sure that documentation about it actually exists in the appropriate places.

I would go so far as to say adding a badge to advertise this feature may be useful. A simple bronze badge for retracting a close vote, possibly after the question has been edited, to teach users that the feature exists and how to use it. Retracting invalid close votes is definitely something we want to encourage, and we're very far from encouraging it right now.

  • 3
    I've always sort of thought of the "retract close vote" feature as an "advanced" feature for users already familiar with the platform. The "retract close vote" link is already fairly discoverable, assuming one bothers to reopen the close dialog. Does anyone who is already familiar with the platform ever read the Help Center for reasons other than to explore the current policies in effect? – Robert Harvey Feb 24 '15 at 19:48
5

This is included with a couple of other updates to the cast close & reopen votes privilege:

  • Updated first bullet to reflect new parameters for using the dupehammer on questions.
  • Updated third bullet to reflect new changes for aging away close votes.
  • Added fourth bullet about retracting an active close vote.

It now reads as this:

  • It takes $CloseVotesNeededForClosure close votes to reach the closing threshold (except for duplicate questions, which can be marked as duplicate with a single vote from a user who has earned a gold tag badge in one of that question's current tags, unless that user participated in editing the tags).
  • You may cast up to $CloseVotesPerDay close votes per day.
  • Close votes age away harmlessly if the threshold is not reach after a number of days. If the question has at least 100 views, close votes will age away after 4 days; otherwise close votes will age away after 14 days. Each new close vote resets the timer, so all close votes must be at least 4 or 14 days old respectively before aging occurs.
  • You can retract a close vote at any time if the question has not yet been closed by clicking on the 'close' link under the question. This will display the standard close dialog, with the submit button changed to a 'Retract Vote' button.

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