My suggestion is to notify the OP when someone votes to close his question informing him the reason behind the vote. The reason is:

Most users don't leave a comment when voting to close, and most OP leave the question alone after asking it waiting to receive an answer.

If an OP came back the next day, say he posted in the evening and checked on his question the next day, there's a high possibility that the question would be voted down and closed by then.

If the OP is notified immediately after the first close vote, they have time to fix the question before it gets down-voted and closed.

It happened to me recently, I received my first close vote, the voter didn't leave a comment, I read the reason, added an single example of what I want and rephrased my question immediately after the vote, and didn't receive any close votes since.

Many questions get close votes for misunderstanding, notifying the OP might save them.

  • 2
    Similar to Use inbox notification for close/open related activities and Send authors an inbox message if their question is put on hold. Your proposal is different because it calls for a notification on the first close vote, not when actually put on hold. Oct 29, 2018 at 19:37
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    Only people with 250 reputation can even see close votes on their questions. Are you suggesting that everyone be notified, regardless of rep? A suggestion that goes a little further is View an Alert on Close Votes for New Users.
    – Laurel
    Oct 29, 2018 at 19:37
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    @Nathaniel yes mine is different, notify before it's too late is what im saying
    – Lynob
    Oct 29, 2018 at 19:39
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    @Laurel a notification is different, i have +1k rep, i can see close votes but I'm not notified, a notification would let me fix the problem quickly before it gets closed. In the notification box I mean
    – Lynob
    Oct 29, 2018 at 19:41
  • This already sort of happens if the close vote is to close as duplicate: they're shown a big banner and a prompt to edit if they don't think it's a duplicate. I don't see why it doesn't exist for other close reasons. Oct 29, 2018 at 22:17
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog The banner true, but does the OP get a notification just I was just notified that you posted a comment? I can't remember seeing it.
    – Lynob
    Oct 29, 2018 at 22:32
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    This is an EXCELLENT idea, it's so simple but I can see how effective it could be. Oct 30, 2018 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


I agree. We should help people fix the issues in their questions as early as possible so that, in cases where a problem can be fixed, we can avert the close-wait-maybe-reopen cycle. This is especially important in an increasingly-diverse worldwide community where questions can be unclear because of language issues, and in a community where new users don't know all the rules. (Editing to address issues raised in comments is not intuitive to most new users I've observed.)

A notification on the first close vote should include (or link to) an explanation of the close reason, like what appears in the post notice when the question is actually closed.

I've heard people argue that we don't need to notify because people should be watching their questions. There are a few problems with that, though:

  • On some sites questions are closed and even deleted within an hour or two. That's not hard to miss even if the user is being attentive. This can happen in the span of a lunch break, code review, or commute.

  • Sometimes older questions receive new attention, but the author doesn't know it's happening. I have lots of older questions that I'm still hoping to get answers to. I don't check all of them every day (or every few hours). I don't think it's reasonable to expect people to notice close voting all the time.

  • New users can't see close votes. Even when they reach 250 rep and can see votes on their own questions, though, I don't think they find the interface obvious or intuitive. Only for duplicate suggestions do they get a notice on the question page; otherwise they have to notice and click on "close (2)".

Some experienced users might find these notifications annoying. I don't know how widespread that feeling is. (I'm an experienced user who'd rather get the notice, but I don't claim to speak for anyone else.) If that feeling is widespread then we might need to provide an option to turn it off. That option should be per-site, not global, so you can avoid notices on sites where you see all the activity anyway while getting them on sites you visit less frequently.

  • I don't think anyone would be annoyed, I think everyone would choose to be notified rather than risking having his question getting closed. Besides experienced users won't get too many close votes on their questions, and they ask far fewer questions than new users.
    – Lynob
    Oct 29, 2018 at 20:11
  • While I'm glad you like my answer, you might want to hold off on accepting an answer. We don't want SE to see a resolved question and skip it. :-) Oct 29, 2018 at 20:18
  • hahaha man you're a genius, in fact I was thinking the exact same thing, accepting your answer is unfair though :)
    – Lynob
    Oct 29, 2018 at 20:23
  • I'm assuming that the notification would just be signed by the Community user. If it was signed by the close voters I could see them being annoyed by frequent questioning of their vote.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 29, 2018 at 20:31
  • @PolyGeo I don't think it has to be signed by anybody. I just got an election notice and it wasn't signed. It definitely shouldn't be signed by the first close voter; that information only becomes public if the question is actually closed. Oct 29, 2018 at 20:32
  • I was imagining that the notification would reflect an auto comment that results from the close vote. Are you thinking the notification will just point to the question rather than to a comment on the question?
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 29, 2018 at 20:36
  • @PolyGeo right. A comment has to be signed and can be deleted (and if it's deleted so is the notification). I meant a direct notification with no artifact on the question page itself. Oct 29, 2018 at 20:45
  • @PolyGeo I imagine a notification, not signed by anyone and it says something like "Your question has received a close vote because it's too broad, click here to fix it" and when you click it, it takes you to your question, in edit mode, (Edit mode or not, doesn't matter)
    – Lynob
    Oct 29, 2018 at 20:46
  • "It definitely shouldn't be signed by the first close voter; that information only becomes public if the question is actually closed." At the moment this actually does happen in the case of first voting to close as a duplicate. I think those comments should be signed by the Community user rather than the first dupe voter.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 29, 2018 at 22:09
  • It does happen for dupes, yes, because of the comment. I don't think dupe is perceived as a "bad" close reason, though, while most of the others are. ("How dare you say my question is opinion-based!*) Oct 29, 2018 at 22:13
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    "How dare you say my question is a duplicate - it's nothing like it!" When users want an instant personal answer I think they challenge closure irrespective of the reason for it.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 30, 2018 at 1:29
  • (Editing to address issues raised in comments is not intuitive to most new users I've observed.) What many newcomers do is to post their clarifications and the necessary details in a comment without pinging the user who first suggested how to improve or fix their post. This happens so frequently on EL&U I have got into the habit of adding "edit your question blah, blah,.." embedding a link to the OP's edit page. Despite this, fixes are still posted in comments and (worse) even a day or two later. If there is no "pinging" it's impossible to know if the OP has repaired ttheir post. Oct 30, 2018 at 6:35
  • I give "please [edit] your question to clarify" guidance so often that I have a canned comment for it. This is not obvious to people. Oct 30, 2018 at 14:10

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