Often I see questions which I think are closed wrongfully (often duplicates). I usually nominate them for reopening and leave a comment explaining why I think it should not have been closed (often @-pinging one of the people who voted to close it).

However I don't think many people think to read the comments when it pops up in the reopen queue. It would be nice if there was a way to leave a reason for reopening when nominating a question for reopening. This would then be displayed above the question in the reopen queue.

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    Pinging the closes voters is of not much use as only a dupe-hammer can be pinged: meta.stackexchange.com/a/43020/158100
    – rene
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 18:17
  • @rene Exactly, that's why I think it would be nice to be able to leave a reason.
    – PGmath
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 18:21
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    @rene true, but that dupe hammer (or a moderator) can single handedly reopen the question so it's useful to ping him/her. (and took me a while to figure that's the reason only they can be pinged, and not any close voter :)) Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 18:47
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    I find re-open voting the most complex thing to do so I always check for comments, duplicates, revision history to decide if a re-open vote is warranted. But I only re-open on SO and MSE. Is it possible that there is a site specific difference in re-open behavior?
    – rene
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


I'm not convinced this speaks to how that queue should be used, even if it would be useful for how it is.

I only really do reopen reviews on two sites, sites I know extremely well, so maybe this doesn't hold up in practice, but as we all know, a question should stand on its own merit, without the comments or any notes being necessary.

Once a question is closed, I see three basic paths it can take:

  • It shouldn't have been closed, in which case reopen voters should be able to read the question and know that it's reopen-worthy without any extra feedback.
  • It should have been closed, but it's been sufficiently edited, in which case the same is true.
  • It should have been closed, and it hasn't or can't been sufficiently edited, in which case it shouldn't be reopened yet. The only notes I can imagine seeing here are "I know this question is unclear but I get it and I think I can answer what they were trying to ask" (something I've seen a number of times), which means they should perform the edit.

The major flaw in my argument here comes, as usual, with robo-reviewers, who will just assume "since those people felt this was close-worthy and nothing's changed, it must be!" But I don't think ad-hoc comments are the solution to that problem, and I like to think we have enough users floating around on each site to avoid statistics on that.

The only remaining value, then, is teaching those who voted to close a question that shouldn't have been closed, and I'm not sure this is the most efficient (or risk-free, referring to that off-topic commentary about how "I could answer this") way to address that.

Mightn't it have a similar impact to just notify someone if a question they closed got reopened without edits? That would ensure they were always informed, rather than just when someone really felt like it, and it would avoid the risk of people harassing voters without support of other reopen voters.

I don't mean to make that as a super serious counter-suggestion, as I haven't put too much thought into it, but my point is, I'm not sure this best-addresses the problem set out to fix. In an ideal world, it would be great. But knowing how systems like that occasionally get misused, I'm just not sure.

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    It would be nice if it was immediately obvious to everyone whether a question should be closed or open, but unfortunately I've lost track of the number of times I've carefully voted to close, then had an insightful comment prod me into reopening. Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 21:13
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    @NathanTuggy Sure, we've all had that, but my point is, we should encourage those insightful comments to be made into edits that improve the question so that it is clearer. I can't think of a situation where a comment would rightfully be necessary to indicate that a question be reopened. What if that comment gets removed or hidden some time later? Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 21:39
  • (For clarity, in this question I am primarily talking about your 1st path.) When someone votes to close a question they (hopefully) have a reason for doing so, so just seeing that someone else doesn't think so doesn't usually make them change their mind. But (as @NathanTuggy mentioned above) giving a reason why IMO the question shouldn't have been closed would let them see it from my perspective; instead of just hoping they telepathically gain my point of view.
    – PGmath
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 21:41

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