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In theory, when a question is voted closed, then the OP edits the question to be site-appropriate, the question will be added to a review queue.

However, in practice, the question, now made good, may possibly never make it back to the land of living questions, due to the original swarm of downvotes.

If a user cannot reclaim the now-good question into an upvote situation, what should they do to revive interest in the question?

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    Questions that are edited to the point that they're actually good questions are very likely to get reopened when fixed. It's the ones that make edits without actually fixing the problems with the question that tend to stay closed. – Servy Oct 30 '17 at 16:10
  • Is this a bad question because the answer is "no", or is this a bad question because it's inappropriate material for meta.stackexchange? This is my first post on here, so I'm apparently confused as to the purpose of the site... – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 16:13
  • In fact, my question is very similar to the prototypical question provided as an example in the official meta.stackexchange tour. Comments to help me improve my question would be appreciated. – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 16:20
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    the downvotes are because you are making a false assertion (that once close, questions that deserve opening aren't re-opened - something you could not know because once re-opened you can't tell it was ever closed) and you are suggesting subverting the rules and doing something that shouldn't be done as a way to get what you want. – Kate Gregory Oct 30 '17 at 16:30
  • "Should a user just delete and repost the question at that point?" does NOT suggest that a user should do that thing, it ASKS IF a user should do that thing. – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 16:33
  • Also, it has been my experience that questions do not get reopened, or viewed, or upvoted once they have been closed, even when I make them of a quality of other questions of mine that have been well received. So I can know that, and I stand by that assertion. – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 16:34
  • @Scott give an example, by the timeline we should be able to tell if the review ended up with "Leave closed" or if it has not been reviewed – Tensibai Oct 30 '17 at 16:41
  • @Tensibai I have a tendency to delete my severely downvoted questions, to prevent further downvoting. Wish I could do the same for this question, or that somebody would provide me with advice to improve it :) – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 16:58
  • Okay. I will try to phrase questions to "suggest" the answer that people want to hear in the future. :) – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 18:15
  • swarm of down votes and down vote hell are phrases that seem to suggest you feel down votes are a bad thing. Most of the meta regulars think down votes are an awesome way to moderate a post. That might influence their voting on your question as well. – rene Oct 30 '17 at 18:18
  • I do not feel that down votes are necessarily a bad thing, but a previously bad question that is now a good question will retain the down votes from the previous badness. This has a tendency to direct attention away from the question. – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 18:25
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    "because once re-opened you can't tell it was ever closed) ..." - this is not true. The edit history contains a record of when and by whom a question is closed or reopened, and the majority reason for a closure. – Nij Oct 31 '17 at 4:56
  • "Should a user just delete and repost the question at that point?“ - Absolutely not. “I have a tendency to delete my severely downvoted questions, to prevent further downvoting.” - If you continue to do this then eventually you will be unable to ask new questions. Questions ban exists to stop this behavior. – Ramhound Oct 31 '17 at 11:48
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    @Meta'sMug, "downvotes don't mean it's a bad question...": This doesn't seem to be the official meta.stackexchange stance anymore. The help tour specifically designates "On posts tagged feature-request, voting can indicate agreement or disagreement". However, it looks as though this may be a new development, as suggested by this question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/187018/… – Scott Nov 1 '17 at 15:00
  • @Servy, at the time, I thought that maybe I was inclined to defer to your knowledge, having myself limited knowledge of the site. However, I have continued to experience a situation where closed questions are very difficult to get reopened, no matter what amount of effort has been put into cleaning up the situation. As such, your statement that "questions ... are very likely to get reopened when fixed" requires evidence. – Scott Sep 30 at 18:48
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One problem with considering it "ok" to re-post instead of going through the reopen process, is that most people that ask off-topic questions do so because they don't understand the posting rules, or the scope, of the site they're asking on.

The Stack Exchange system (not its moderators, not its users: the system itself) will automatically block a user from asking new questions, if they can't be bothered to learn the rules and play by them. The details are unknown, but shortly put, if you have closed, downvoted questions, deleting them won't fix your "standing" in the system - deleted posts still count towards an automatic ban.

The idea is that users are encouraged to edit their bad posts into shape, rather than deleting and re-posting. You see some people don't care about the rules, and will re-post a crap question all day if they think that's how they're going to get an answer. The system protects itself specifically against that, and vigorously.

If your question was put on hold, it's very likely that at least one user commented on it (often with a canned comment, if the question displays a common misunderstanding of how Stack Exchange Q&A sites work). When you edit your post, @ping that user to let them know you've read the link(s) they provided to /help/how-to-ask or /help/on-topic, and have edited your post accordingly.

If you did get your question back on track with that edit, a close vote can be retracted, a downvote can be reversed, and an obsolete comment thread can be wiped out by a moderator.

If an edit is suggested to your question while it's on hold, and that edit does not make your question on-topic, reject that edit: only the first edit made to a question after it's put "on hold" will make the post enter the "reopen" review queue - if the edit isn't making the post on-topic, the reviewers will vote to keep it closed instead of reopening it, and when you do edit it into shape, your question will not make it to the reopen queue, and then yes, it can become pretty hard to get your question reopened.


TL:DR;

Don't delete your downvoted posts, edit them into shape instead. Otherwise you risk falling under some threshold and blocking yourself from asking further questions. Not even moderators can lift an automatic question ban: you're in charge of your own standing.

As for the "initial swarm of downvotes" - deleting the post only makes it worse. If you have enough reputation score, you can put up a bounty to draw attention: if it really is a good question now, that doesn't deserve such a negative score, the bounty period should help turning it around.

In any case, the single best thing to do is: don't do it again. Read and understand the /help/how-to-ask and /help/on-topic links on the site(s) you're asking on, read some upvoted questions on that site, see what they all have in common, and make that an ingredient in your own future posts.

  • "It's not a problem to have deleted posts. But if a large percentage of your posts are deleted by yourself or the community, then apparently they are not suitable for the site." -- meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86997/… – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 18:59
  • "Reputation changes from bounties, votes (both up and down), and acceptances on deleted posts (including answers to a deleted question) are nullified." -- meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5221/… – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 18:59
  • This provides an incentive to delete one's downvoted posts, and to repost the edited made-better-version. I'm not saying it's good or bad, just pointing it out. – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 19:01
  • @Scott the internals of how automatic question-ban works aren't disclosed, but as a moderator on a SE site I can assure you that deleting your downvoted posts is not helping your standing, does count toward a Q-ban, and if you un-delete a deleted post that's sitting at -10, the votes and corresponding reputation adjustments will be re-applied. I've commented on that meta post to get it clarified: nullified doesn't mean what you think it does here – Mathieu Guindon Oct 30 '17 at 19:06
  • @Scott re the first quote, 3 paragraphs above that quote clearly says "If a post was poorly-received (downvoted or closed), that will continue to count against your account even if the post is deleted! Whenever possible, try to fix posts instead of deleting them" – Mathieu Guindon Oct 30 '17 at 19:23
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    Yes, but that is relating to Q-banning, not to rep. There is a rep incentive to delete your own downvoted questions. I'm not arguing that one should or should not delete one's downvoted questions, I just thought that it was interesting that there is an incentive to do so, since users may not know about Q-banning, but will know about rep. My immediate instincts upon seeing my rep go down due to downvotes is to attempt stem the tide. Now, having learned more about the subject, I will think twice, but less informed users may not. – Scott Oct 30 '17 at 19:35
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    @Scott Any user who would be effected by a question ban is warned well before it happens. If they choose to ignore the warnings from the system and other users then that’s on them. – Ramhound Oct 31 '17 at 11:52
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No, it's not appropriate to just re-ask your question when it's closed. The reopen process is there for a reason (to ensure that questions really have been fixed before answers are posted to them) and trying to subvert that process by posting duplicate questions is not appropriate.

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