I sometimes come across a question on SO from a new user that was structured well, asked properly and the user showed their code, etc. Essentially it's a good question and follows the rules.

But I will see that someone voted to close the question based on it being Off Topic and not Programming related, which is absolutely not true in this case. The question is clearly a programming question with code and everything.

If people are misusing the close votes, can anything be done about this? Can any non-moderator see the names of people who are closing questions? I have almost 20k reputation on SO and I can't see that yet. How do you report issues like this?

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    Which sub-reason of off topic did they vote to close the question as? Plenty of those sub reasons would apply to a question that is a programming question. – Servy May 22 '15 at 18:16
  • Here is the question: stackoverflow.com/questions/30402392/… Closed as off-topic, not related to programming, which is absolutely incorrect. – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:23
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    Since this is about application of site-specific policies (namely Stack Overflow close reasons), this probably should be asked on Meta Stack Overflow. You might also benefit from some specific questions you feel were wrongly closed. You may find that your interpretation of a "good question" is not in line with the community's. – psubsee2003 May 22 '15 at 18:23
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    @Jakobud The vote was to close it because: This question was caused by a problem that can no longer be reproduced or a simple typographical error. While similar questions may be on-topic here, this one was resolved in a manner unlikely to help future readers. This can often be avoided by identifying and closely inspecting the shortest program necessary to reproduce the problem before posting. Which isn't asserting that it's not related to programming. – Servy May 22 '15 at 18:24
  • So a programming question with a typo in the code is considered off-topic? That is news to me. – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:25
  • @psubsee2003 Thanks I wasn't aware of Meta Stack Overflow. Thank you. – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:26
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    @Jakobud you are hung up on the word "off-topic". All site-specific custom close reasons are put under "off-topic". That was an unfortunate design decision/ – psubsee2003 May 22 '15 at 18:26
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    @Jakobud It shouldn't be, if you've been using the site for as much as you have been. Have you seriously never read any of the sub-reasons for off topic, even in response to me asking you about the sub-reasons of off topic? – Servy May 22 '15 at 18:26
  • Honestly I have never noticed that one before or seen a question voted to be closed because of a typo. I don't spend a lot of time moderating questions so I was surprised to see this one being voted to close. – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:27
  • @psubsee2003 Yeah I think the "off-topic" threw me off, you are right. Thanks for the education everyone. – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:28
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    The question you've linked in a comment here has never (as of this moment) been closed. – jscs May 22 '15 at 19:01
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    For the issue of the term "off topic", see Shouldn't "off topic" be only about...off topic? – jscs May 22 '15 at 19:03

If people are misusing the close votes, can anything be done about this?

It generally takes 5 or more close votes to close a question, so a question that actually gets closed is probably one that should be closed. If you see one that's clearly a mistake, vote to re-open if you can and point it out in meta.

This should really only be a concern if there's a rash of improperly closed questions.

What you should not do is to post a comment like this:

What idiot voted to close this question based on it being "Off Topic" and "Not programming related"?

That's unnecessarily inflamatory. The mere fact that someone doesn't agree with someone else's close vote doesn't justify name calling.

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    Not to mention the begging for upvotes and accepts under the answer as well. – psubsee2003 May 22 '15 at 18:28
  • SO itself reminds OPs to accept answers.... – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:30
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    @Jakobud yes, so you don't have too. If you look, the OP has accepted answers in the past, so he is well aware of how the feature works. The community looks down upon people begging for votes and accepts on their own posts, especially if the OP appears to be aware of the feature. – psubsee2003 May 22 '15 at 18:32
  • @Caleb you are right, the comment was uncalled for. I have removed it. – Jake Wilson May 22 '15 at 18:36
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    The SO Close Vote reviewers chat room has a bunch of regulars that close vote questions. You can always drop a message there if you need help or feel something got closed incorrectly. – rene May 22 '15 at 19:15

If you have the feeling a question is wrongly closed, you can do several things:

  • Vote to reopen. Since you have far enough reputation on SO, you can simply do your part in voting to reopen once a question has been closed.
  • Edit the question to clarify it. Maybe it would turn the votes to close. This will also put the question in the review queue so it gets eyes on it.
  • Ask in an appropriate chat room for another set of eyes. Don't stick with your feeling if it turns out you were wrong. If it turns out you were right, enough people have the ability to set things straight.
  • If you think one specific user is misusing his or her privileges, and you are really really sure, flag one of the posts and let a moderator review it.

I want to add a few words on the actual question linked. The close reason is an 'typographical issue', which isn't useful to future readers and is considered off-topic due to that.

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