I left Wikipedia years ago because of the constant warring between deletionists and whatever else you call "regular" people who contribute content instead of trying to delete everything that gets posted.

As an experienced developer, I don't normally run into this problem on Stack Exchange sites, but today I asked a question and had it closed maybe 90 seconds after I asked it!

how to swap two std::atomic variables?

In the short time the question existed, it already gathered 2 upvotes, so I know I'm not completely out in left field. I just think it would be better for Stack Exchange sites if we as a community weren't so quick to remove question. Give people a chance to post some answers!

Are people given points to quickly close questions?

Is that why some users do it so much?

Looking at the user who closed my question just seconds after I asked it, I see he has half a million points of reputation. While that sounds impressive, if it means those actions simply frustrate "regular" users trying to get answers then it hurts the community more than it helps.

  • 10
    That question is closed as a duplicate, meaning people have already posted answers to it, just on a different question. – TheWanderer Mar 6 at 1:58
  • 12
    The user that duphammered it left a comment with the reasoning for that, and it makes sense to me. If you don't think it is an appropriate duplicate then add add details to the question (or use a comment) explaining why that marked dup isn't correct. – 1201ProgramAlarm Mar 6 at 2:00
  • 17
    "Are people given points to quickly close questions?" ... shouldn't someone with 16k reputation and 11 years experience know that answer? "those actions simply frustrate "regular" users trying to get answers" ... pointing people to the answer they are looking for frustrates "regular" users who are looking for an answer? I don't see the logic in that argument. – Tom Mar 6 at 2:08
  • No, I use SO to ask and answer questions. I don't normally spend my time editing other people's questions and deleting comments, questions, etc. Check my history if you want, there must be a way to see where/how someone has contributed over the years. – Stéphane Mar 6 at 2:10
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic, only applicable to one specific site because fundamentally, this complaint is about a specific question on Stack Overflow, and should be asked on the per-site meta (Meta Stack Overflow) instead. If you can point out other instances on multiple sites where your complaint also applies, I'll remove my vote or vote to reopen. – Sonic the Masked Werehog Mar 6 at 2:43
  • That's fine, @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog. I see it is unlikely people will see that we're harming the community when we close things instead of letting questions get answered. – Stéphane Mar 6 at 3:01
  • 15
    Marking a question as duplicate is providing you an answer to your question. So in your mind that curator should not immediately point you to an answer but instead maybe bookmark your post and come back later and then point you to the answer/duplicate? – n8te Mar 6 at 3:28
  • 2
    "closed my question just seconds after I asked it" The timeline shows that you asked your question at 2020-03-06 00:52:29Z and it was closed at 2020-03-06 00:58:31Z, around six minutes later. – Joel Reyes Noche Mar 6 at 4:00
  • Thanks for the correction, @JoelReyesNoche. I thought it was under 2 minutes, now I see it was actually 6 minutes. But 6 minutes really doesn't leave much time for a question to gather answers. – Stéphane Mar 6 at 4:05
  • @n8te no, I didn't find the other question to be a duplicate of how to std::swap() two atomic variables. It isn't discussed at all on the other question. – Stéphane Mar 6 at 4:07
  • 5
    "it is unlikely people will see that we're harming the community" ... because your question got closed as a dupe? We harm the people who're coming here for years because of the curated content, but are harmed because content gets curated? Another logic I don't get in your "argument". – Tom Mar 6 at 5:41

Questions are closed for a reason. Usually, it is because they are unclear or similar and answers would be premature and probably wrong. Or because there's a duplicate, and if people answer, their hard work will get orphaned when the close does come.

If a question needs closing, it ideally gets closed immediately. If needed, the author fixes it up and ideally, it’s then reopened immediately. Due to needing peer review and such, it’s not always immediate, but it gets closed when the question is not ready for prime time.

Instead of complaining about having your question closed, use it as an opportunity to learn how the SE community has found over time is an effective way of asking questions and getting accurate help.

In your case, your question was closed as a duplicate of an existing question, which should make you happy, because you immediately get pre-vetted answers to your question without having to wait. It's a win.

| improve this answer | |
  • I have > 16,000 reputation on SO, and that was obtained almost 100% from asking and answering questions. And English is not my first language. Where/how do you recommend I learn how to use SE? – Stéphane Mar 6 at 1:59
  • 12
    Then what’s your problem? Close as dupe got you an answer right? – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Mar 6 at 2:00

If a question is going to end up being closed in its current state, for any reason, then it is best that it is closed quickly.

That way its asker is more likely to still be watching it, and able to address any concerns by those who issued a close vote.

I have observed that most closed questions, once edited to address the concerns that led to their closure, are then re-opened just as quickly.

Leaving questions that need improvement open any longer just means that they are more likely to get answers to a different question that the answerer(s) thought the asker had in mind, or another convoluted Q&A and comment trail trying to figure out what is being asked which makes it reminiscent of a discussion forum.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .