When I am doing the Reopen Review queue, I like to see why the question was closed. If the question is closed due to it being "off-topic" however, I can't see the specific off-topic reason:

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It just says off-topic and expanding the div doesn't reveal any more information about it, so I'm forced to go to the "Question (revised)" tab:

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And view the banner on the question for the specific reason:

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Can we show the specific off-topic reason in that first div?

1 Answer 1


I can't decide if I buy this or not. On one hand, the site has an interest in making sure things are fixed, and showing details of the initial close reason could help efficiency. On the other, that's not the whole goal/story.

If a post has multiple problems, we want them all to be fixed, not just the one that shows up as the official closure reason. If you go to a hospital complaining of a broken leg, you definitely want to get that set, but you don't necessarily want the doctor to miss a gash on your arm because they were focused exclusively on your leg.

Getting back from the analogy to our actual situation, it might be better to present posts without comment, and let reviewers evaluate them "fresh". After all, what ultimately matters is that a post is of sufficient quality to exist on the site, not the amount of progress it made from its previous state.

We already do a similar thing with the popular community standard of asking editors—especially edit suggestors—to fix all the problems with a post, rather than (for example) indenting a code block but ignoring blatant typos.

In addition to pure post quality, the way we're training/affecting users is worth thinking about. For an author who edits a closed post and then is told it can't be reopened without a whole different set of fixes, there's some chance of learning how to write a post more in line with site standards, but a huge chance of learning to dislike both the indirect process and some perceived cabal of arrogant power users.

After all this, I was going to propose allowing multiple close reasons per post, but it turns out there's an existing, moderately popular proposal to do just that, for largely these reasons. But as noted there, it could introduce other issues.

  • "If a post has multiple problems, we want them all to be fixed" - Agreed. I, more often than not, tend to leave questions closed. A lot of the questions that show up in the queue are there, because they were edited, so I want to quickly see why was the question closed to begin with, and does this edit address the issue. If it doesn't, which is often the case, then I click "Leave Closed". In the reverse case, where the edit fixes the issue, but there are other issues, then yes, I will make sure that all of the issues are resolved before reopening.
    – pushkin
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 17:59
  • That sounds like a good workflow, but I don't think that showing the close reason would encourage it for the average reviewer. I'm afraid it'll act more like a subtle hint to focus exclusively on the initial problem than it will encourage reviewers to consider the initial problem as just one of a group of potential issues.
    – SOLO
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 18:16
  • "If a post has multiple problems, we want them all to be fixed" Sure, but how do we distinguish a post having one problem from one having multiple problems? As it stands, usually only one "problem" is displayed in the close banner (at the most, two). Moreover, even if a post has multiple "problems", you can cast close votes for a single reason.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Jun 17, 2018 at 6:51
  • One way to distinguish them would be the feature request I linked to at the bottom of the post, although that has its own issues and is unlikely to happen. Other than that, the way to distinguish is simply reading the whole question carefully and without any preconceptions.
    – SOLO
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 13:03

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