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This question has an increasing number of close votes. However:

  • It has a positive score.
  • Its answers have a positive score.
  • Reading answers and comments, it is clear that is not off-topic nor an obvious question nor duplicate.

Yes, can be is not totally clear (could be that if someone is able to write a totally clear question, he/she doesn't needs an answer).

The description of "unclear what you're asking" is:

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.

So, the discussion is: Should a comment be mandatory for voting to close as unclear?

In my opinion, if a question is unclear, comments are received, and author doesn't improve it, it must be closed. But questions that the author is taking care of them should not be closed. It is difficult to clarify something if the doubts or unclear points are not expressed.

Worst, my experience says that questions that are about subjects not usual or repetitive tends to attract this kind of close votes. If we block this kind of questions, the quality of the full site will fail.

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  • 7
    awuihoeg auehgap iughui awregauhiw.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Mar 23, 2018 at 8:49
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    ^ that's an example of what you might get when requiring comments.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Mar 23, 2018 at 8:49
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    @Glorfindel: good example. Possible counter-measures ? In the reviews queue, this vote should be ignored. Even "flag" to his author. Mar 23, 2018 at 8:53
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    It's worth nothing that Math.SE has a specific off-topic close reason which I tend(ed) to use more often instead of Unclear: "This question is missing context or other details: Please improve the question by providing additional context, which ideally includes your thoughts on the problem and any attempts you have made to solve it. This information helps others identify where you have difficulties and helps them write answers appropriate to your experience level.".
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Mar 23, 2018 at 8:54

2 Answers 2

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So, the discussion is: should a comment be mandatory for close vote - unclear ?

No, just like for any vote, clarifying why is not mandatory, nor should it be. The rules are outlined in the help center and on the per-site-meta. The close reasons are clear, there is no need to write more than that.

In my opinion, if a question is unclear, comments are received and author doesn't improves it, it must be closed. But questions that the author is taking care of them should not be closed.

The general consensus is the other way around. A question can be reopened if it follows the guidelines outlined. We are not going to wait until the author has the time to adjust the post. How long should we wait until we vote then? We close it, the question gets improved, and then we reopen it. It is a quality control measure that prevents bad questions and answers.

Worst, my experience says that questions that are about subjects not usual or repetitive tends to attract this kind of close votes. If we block this kind of questions, the quality of the full site will fail.

It is the other way around. Closing such questions gives a clear message that questions should be up to par before posting, not some time afterwards. That improves quality.

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  • Thanks for your answer. Just to clarify, unusual or "original" questions are more difficult to write and more difficult to read (being second case impossible to improve by the author). For both reasons they attract close votes, when they should be specially protected. Mar 23, 2018 at 9:30
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    @pasabaporaqui Original questions are not difficult to write.
    – Ramhound
    Mar 23, 2018 at 21:33
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So, the discussion is: should a comment be mandatory for the close vote - unclear?

Where is the discussion? In 5 years there is only 1 answer and a couple of moderator comments?

Just like for any vote, clarifying why is not mandatory, nor should it be.

A vote to close is not like any other vote. There are potentially thousands of up/downvotes. On the contrary, only a couple of votes are needed to close a question.

The general consensus is the other way around.

I don't see any general consensus here. There is only one answer at the moment without any references. What general consensus are you talking about?

Closing such questions gives a clear message that questions should be up to par

This may or may not be the case. I argue that there should be a comment with at least a single relevant reason why a question should be closed. For example: "Add the expected result, please."



Possible counter-measures? In the reviews queue, this vote should be ignored. Even "flag" to his author.

Agreed.

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