I dupehammered Right way to add cronjob-threading functionality to Tomcat webapp with gold badge. Then OP complained and edited the question into a too broad recommendation request. While still a bad question, it technically isn't a dupe anymore. So I wanted to remove the dupe vote so it could be reclosed as offtopic / too broad. It's after all also not a JSF question, so I replaced the by first and then voted to reopen. However, in spite of that I also have a gold badge, I got a message in a blue popup balloon with two or three sentences which boils down to something like below (sorry, missed the opportunity to make a screenshot and I can't find the exact message anywhere here):

Sorry, we can't single-handedly reopen it as you participated in removing the tag.

How does that make sense? Must I in the future remember to reopen before editing tags?

  • I know it's not a bug - definitely status-bydesign because the same person can't close and reopen the same question. Nov 9, 2015 at 11:21
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    @angussidney: I've done it several times before (when I didn't change tags), hence this Q.
    – user138231
    Nov 9, 2015 at 11:25
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    @IlmariKaronen: I'm sure. That part does in turn make sense, but it would show up during close only, not during reopen. As of now, it doesn't show during close btw.
    – user138231
    Nov 9, 2015 at 11:48
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    The disallowing of editing one of your gold tags in so that you can close the question has been baked into the hammer from the start, @IlmariKaronen: only the initial version of the post counts for this purpose. This does appear to be a different problem.
    – jscs
    Nov 10, 2015 at 18:59
  • @JoshCaswell: Ah, good point. Please ignore my (now deleted) comment. Nov 10, 2015 at 19:26
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    @JoshCaswell This has changed, now the dupehammer is based on current tags, but if you've edited the tags, your close vote is an ordinary vote. Which is a bit silly if you've edited the tags only to, say, remove one where you had a gold badge and add another one where you also had a gold badge. (It works symmetrically for closure and reopening, by the way.) Nov 15, 2015 at 20:02
  • Ah, good to know, @Gilles, thanks.
    – jscs
    Nov 15, 2015 at 21:13
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    @IlmariKaronen, Gilles just made me aware that the behavior has changed; I don't remember anymore what your comment said, but it might be relevant again.
    – jscs
    Nov 15, 2015 at 21:14
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    screenshot Nov 18, 2015 at 14:24
  • @Shadow: Thank you for the screenshot! I only remember a slight different message (or they changed it in the meanwhile without notifying here), but yes, it boils down to that message.
    – user138231
    Nov 18, 2015 at 14:27
  • Yeah, it kept changing for a while. Cheers! :) Nov 18, 2015 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


This is one of those situations where I'm not sure the system can be smarter than the user.

The rules are:

  1. There has to be a tag on the post currently in which you have a gold badge
  2. You can't have been the first person to add that tag to the post (or have participated in adding it the first time)

Well, wasn't on there anymore, and you did add the tag. So the system blocked you. As you noted, the only alternative would've been to reopen first and then edit.

A clever system might notice that you'd previously hammered the post closed and dug further to see if you'd removed the relevant tag yourself (or even just always allow single-handed reopening in cases where you'd previously single-handedly-closed); feel free to propose something like that as a feature, but I think we could only special-case this for reopening - there's too much potential for error and shenanigans if we try to divine intent for tag edits in the general case.

  • And if you start thinking about corner cases first, before implementing rules, here’s some food for thought: what if a gold badge holder single-handedly closes a question, but loses the gold badge after that and now wants to revert the closing. Should they be allowed to do that in this special case?
    – Holger
    Jul 3, 2019 at 14:53

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