Some users may vote to close a question and then perform other tasks, ignoring that question.

Other people might indeed give a few suggestions, but may find the question is getting multiple edits or updated frequently, so they might decide to, say, perform other tasks again and then perhaps return to the question to check on its status, assuming they do remember to return to it.

There might be more possible cases, but my point is, in either of the two above cases, one cannot assume said users will go and check the re-open queue. They might think the question's core idea doesn't fit on that particular SE and perhaps no amount of edits can save the question, they might think OP keeps editing the question to attempt to improve it and they're still not satisfied with the question for some reason, so they may keep their vote to close and ignore the question, etc. What I'm trying to say is that users who vote to close should not be automatically expected to remember to retract their vote once the question has improved to a satisfactory enough level.

The re-open queue has its advantages: It's already an established feature, and works in conjunction in a good way with the other queues as well. Possible disadvantages may include: Users not being aware of the existence of said re-open queue (I was not really aware it existed, as an example, and if I was, I may have probably forgot about it back then), and it requires the users to remember to go to the queue, which I think not all users might remember, perhaps especially users who visit it only once in a while.

Therefore, I propose that, when an on-hold question is edited by the OP, all the close voters are notified of this through the usual notification system, since I think it is a more visible place than the re-open queue.

Maybe there should be a sort of reasonable (i.e not too short, not too long) "cooldown" between notifications, for on-hold questions that are edited on a more frequent basis, and maybe a similar system could be used for closed questions rather than just on-hold ones, but that I think is best discussed in other meta questions once consensus is first gathered on this kind of "main" meta question about it.

  • 4
    The purpose of a healthy Reopen queue is precisely so that the original close voters need not follow the question obsessively, but the suitable votes can simply come in from whichever voters happen to show up to the queue. Adding notifications just makes it less practical to fire and forget close votes, but doesn't make it all that much easier for dedicated reviewers in most cases to follow up on potentially-worthy questions. Jan 30, 2017 at 10:02
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    This might actually discourage people from voting to closed, which would be actively counter productive.
    – jonrsharpe
    Jan 30, 2017 at 10:28
  • @NathanTuggy that should be an answer Jan 30, 2017 at 14:12
  • 2
    You need to realize that the large majority of edits to close worthy questions don't actually fix the problems with them and make them worthy of reopening. They tend to be largely spelling/formatting/wording changes that only superficially improve the post. That's great when the post isn't close worthy in the first place and you're making a good post a bit better, but those types of edits very rarely make a close worthy post reopen worthy. Fixing the problems significant enough to close a question are often hard; most people either can't or won't do it.
    – Servy
    Jan 30, 2017 at 14:24
  • Yet another suggestion to, (maybe), assist the posters of bad questions by adding extra effort for the SE contributors that bother to moderate and issue close votes. If so many users did not post so many appallingly bad questions to start with, (eg. by reading, understanding and following the rules/policies of the sites before posting), there would be no problem;( Jan 30, 2017 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


We don't need notifications; instead, we already have a Reopen queue that presents the question to whichever reviewers show up without bothering anyone that wants to forget about the question or stalling if only 4 out of 5 close voters still care about the question.

It also sounds as though a potential advantage of notifications is the ability to retract close votes before the question closes. Unfortunately, this opens a much larger opportunity for notification spam, as close votes can sit around in some cases for weeks before aging away or resolving as a closure, and notifying on any edit in that time, or even any first edit, is obviously going to involve a larger volume of notifications. This is especially true of questions that didn't accumulate enough votes to be closed, perhaps by an early edit or perhaps for some other reason. In the current system, no one is bothered by these at all, but here, one or more voters would always get notifications from the first edit within two weeks or more.

This extra volume of notifications tends to make occasional voters less inclined to use their votes for fear of being spammed, but even for dedicated voters, doesn't make it much easier to handle the few salvageable questions faster, since on most sites, they can simply check the Reopen queue once in a while with better effect and less bother. What's more, as Servy points out, most edits are unsuccessful in making a question less close-worthy. In the Reopen queue, that's unfortunate, but at least we always give a chance. With notifications, though, most notifications would be useless, which is more annoying in comparison to the general state of SE notifications, which are almost always useful.

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