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Earlier this afternoon we released a new feature aimed at educating folks about the "Cast close and reopen votes" privilege when they earn it.

Going forward, when a user visits a question after earning the privilege, they'll see a popover congratulating them and offering more information. Clicking through to learn more (or dismissing and clicking the "close" or "reopen" link later for the first time) will show a modal with additional information. (Users who already earned this privilege prior to the launch won't be seeing these.)

screenshot from our original mockups, live results may vary :). Transcription of main text below.

You've earned the close and reopen votes privilege!

Awarded at: 3k reputation

You're becoming a top contributor to the community! Here are tips for using your new privilege:

  1. Vote to close questions that can't or shouldn't be answered on Stack Overflow. Learn more about when to use close votes.

  2. Respond to questions and edits by the post author, especially if they're looking for feedback on how to improve their question.

  3. Vote to reopen questions that have been sufficiently improved. Learn more about when to use reopen votes.

Got it Thanks for your contributions to Stack Overflow. We <3 you.

Curators currently don't receive much guidance when they earn new privileges. This gives us an opportunity to educate them on best practices that we want them to follow and hopefully expand the set of users engaging in curation activities. We ran an A/B test in December of last year and saw a strong increase in users casting close and reopen votes within a day of earning the privilege.

The feature is live on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange sites (except child metas). We're working on getting translations in place. No ETA on that at the moment, but once that's done, we'll enable this on international Stack Overflow sites as well. (Update 2020-05-29: Translations are in place and the feature has been enabled on all international sites.)

Questions? Comments? Bug reports? Feel free to post a comment or an answer here. If nothing major turns up in the next couple of days, any future bug reports and whatnot can be posted as new questions as usual.


If you're curious to try it out and you already have the privilege, you can undo the backfill we ran to toggle the relevant flags by executing these two lines in your browser's console:

$.post('/users/toggle-flag/DismissCloseReopenPrivilegePopover/false', { userId: StackExchange.options.user.userId, fkey: StackExchange.options.user.fkey });
$.post('/users/toggle-flag/DismissCloseReopenPrivilegeExplanationModal/false', { userId: StackExchange.options.user.userId, fkey: StackExchange.options.user.fkey });
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    If you have close/reopen on one site do you still get this when you earn close/reopen on every new site? – Robert Longson Feb 26 at 21:00
  • This is great! Is there something like this for accepting and upvoting/downvoting? – default locale Feb 26 at 21:44
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    I would have loved that when I earned those privileges at SO... Hopefully I'll see it when I earn them on other sites – Barranka Feb 27 at 0:11
  • This is really great! – trusha Feb 27 at 10:20
  • I got the new dialog on this post XD – Ian Kemp Mar 10 at 9:50
  • I normally can reopen closed questions with one click - Now my re-open is just a vote. If they are closed by a mod, do they need more votes or am I in some sort of probation for a declined flag or so? Perhaps it was always so that I can only re-open directly questions I had been part of closing? Perhaps some description of things that impact close/reopen could be given - if not there, then in a FAQ (assuming it is a FAQ ;)? – mplungjan Mar 25 at 7:05
  • @mplungjan No close/reopen voting mechanics were changed as part of rolling out this feature. So, let's back a bit. What questions and on what sites are you expecting to reopen with a single vote that aren't working as expected now? – Adam Lear Mar 25 at 7:53
  • @AdamLear Thanks and sorry for not posting an example - could it be the PHP tag? – mplungjan Mar 25 at 7:59
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This looks like a very cool feature and definitely a step in the right direction. Kudos.

A bit of feedback... The word "question" is being used in two different ways in the second list item:

  1. Respond to questions and edits by the post author, especially if they're looking for feedback on how to improve their question.

This is a bit confusing; you're using the word to both refer to the post type "question" and to refer to comments by the OP asking for help. It might be worth changing it to "...respond to comments..." or something similar, to reduce ambiguity.

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Wow, great feature! It's indeed good to see people getting taught how to use their power buttons! I have one minor suggestion for improvement on accessibility, though.

I am not a native English speaker, and I often see a lot of other people around me whose language A is not English. Since definite and indefinite articles are not present in many languages as a concept, a lot of ESL students don't see the difference between, for example, "reading a book" (reading any book) and "reading the book" (this one particular book). Most beginners don't use articles at all, or use them somewhat randomly, and don't understand the information conveyed by articles.

And our new pop-up contains a phrase that could be misleading to many.

You're becoming a top contributor to the community!

A beginner English learner could interpret this phrase as "you are almost the top contributor". It is probably not too bad to think so, but can potentially lead to awkward situations, especially once that misled user understands that they are barely hitting, for example, the top-600 range if we talk about the site that I frequent most (which is RPG.SE).

I suggest changing the wording to reflect that the user is getting some serious power and joining a significantly privileged group, but a wording that would not require significant English expertise to understand the real position of the user.

I don't know which wording would be good, because, again, my English isn't very good either, but I thought that it's important to indicate this potentially misleading situation.

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  • How about "You are joining the top contributors to the community" as a first pass. – mdewey Feb 29 at 14:39
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This is great! Is there a way to add some more information about votes cast by mistake or that take effect immediately?

  1. Details on how/when to retract a close vote (wrong category, or editted question) if it's not closed?
  2. Details on Gold Badge closing? (maybe they've seen it and wondered)

Anyways, thanks for this, I think it's a nice addition to how to properly use our tools :)

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    There's a line here somewhere beyond which we hit "too much information" and the whole thing becomes useless. The help center article explains retraction and gold badge stuff (which, to be fair, also suffers from the "too long; didn't read" factor), so I think we'd be better off exploring other ways to introduce those nuances later if needed. – Adam Lear Feb 26 at 19:28
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    Definitely a fair point there. A lot of information is definitely overwhelming – Sterling Archer Feb 26 at 19:30

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