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Some user posted a question on IPS twice the past 2 days, and then was rude about the closure of both and the request to edit instead of reposting a slightly recomposed version with the same unaddressed problems as their first one. (from here on, this is just called 'reposting', though I don't mean identical copy-paste questions).

This user was right about one thing though: The first question was closed as primarily opinion based, and the close notice said to edit the question or ask a new one. It will probably have looked like this (taken from sciencing on a post of my own, because it's only shown to the OP of a closed question):

enter image description here

The links go to help/closed-questions (opinion based), the edit page (edit the question) and the help/how-to-ask page (ask a new one).

There's a few problems with this:

  • Last time I checked, reposting a question with only slight edits is not listed as a way to contest a closure (granted, it's also not listed as something that should NOT be done). This explanation is however buried in a link at the bottom of help/closed-questions, so no wonder no one ever sees it.
  • Users deleting their own question and reposting it are bypassing any up/downvotes already on the question, are duplicating community moderation efforts and are bypassing the reopen vote queue with questions that still aren't suitable for a site.
  • This time the repost was obvious because the changes were minimal, but if people delete + repost their question instead of improving it, such things do get harder to track for community members, especially as more time goes by between closure of the first post and reposting of the second one.
  • The how-to-ask page says nothing about not reposting a question that's closed. The one on IPS is just the standard one, and it's apparently not nearly enough to get people to understand how to ask, but moderators can't edit it to prevent reposts from happening.
  • A user going through a few iterations of getting a post closed, deleted and reposted can get them a question ban pretty easily, especially in combination with a few downvotes. And personally I'm more willing to downvote reposted questions to signal that they're not useful.

Now that I think about it, I've seen more posts on IPS that should've been edits. And they might very well have been the consequence of these notices too, and I just never realized it because I haven't been paying proper attention. Even though I usually make sure any comments I make mention the word edit, and link to the edit page, people still seem to take their guidance more from these notices and repost, instead of edit.

There's a comment here that mentions 'a terrible success rate for duplicates' (emphasis mine). I can see how duplicates are a bit special because a question that's already asked isn't going to become unasked that easily by editing. Opinion based or unclear questions seem to be able to be edited much more easily, but there's no information on whether this is also a good reason to just have people repost anything besides duplicates as well, and there's a mention of monitoring data that I can't find anything further about.

Can we please just remove the 'post a new one' wording and not recommend people ask a new question and bypass all existing post quality control systems? I understand from here that promising reopening might be too much, especially if the edits are as lousy as the one to the repost on IPS were. But is that really a reason to tell people to repost and develop habits that people already here have always been taught are 'wrong'?

Or, if it's really necessary to link people to 'how-to-ask' because there's data that shows people click this link and actually improve their questions (either edits or reposts), can we just change the wording from 'post a new one' to 'you can edit the question, keep this in mind' (or something like that)? So that the useful guidance from how-to-ask ends up in their edited questions and not new ones?

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  • 15
    Good idea: 1, 2.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Jun 25 '20 at 14:56
  • Ah, great minds think alike! I never saw 1... I did look!
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jun 25 '20 at 14:58
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? How could we improve our planned post notice improvements? Jun 25 '20 at 14:59
  • @Tinkeringbell But it was in my comments full of related links all along! Jun 25 '20 at 15:00
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    @RobertColumbia That's a request for feedback. The feedback was given in the answer and ignored. Time to make it a question. Closing it would benefit no one.
    – Mast
    Jun 25 '20 at 15:15
  • 5
    Maybe that link should be shown depending on the close reason. Editing doesn't make sense for blatantly off-topic questions. Jun 25 '20 at 15:18
  • 7
    @πάνταῥεῖ Perhaps. I think posting a new one doesn't make sense for blatantly off-topic questions either, if it leads to reposting. And if you are going to suggest a new one, I'd say linking to help/on-topic or help/dont-ask offers more guidance than help/how-to-ask.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jun 25 '20 at 15:21
  • I'm certain that you are aware of these Q&As: 1, 2, etc. IPS will have a different tolerance for opinion or experience based answers versus other sites which may require fact based references or other proof; maybe the banner wording needs changing on IPS, maybe a couple of sites though you've suggested no others, but it's not clear that it needs repair network-wide. --- As for 'edit vs. new', edit if it's a minor clarification and new for very poorly asked and wrong track.
    – Rob
    Jun 25 '20 at 15:34
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    @Rob well, if this isn't any problem network-wide, "Please don't do this because that would damage < other site >" can also be an answer to a feature request. I've gotten some small clues people on other sites may find this a problem too, and that this may not be limited to a single site.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jun 25 '20 at 15:36
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    @Rob I know for a fact that this has happened over and over again on Stack Overflow, to the point where people on MSO have grown tired of seeing comments or Meta questions asking "Why did you tell me to repost my question and then close it as a duplicate of the first one?" See here.
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 25 '20 at 15:55
  • 33
    I'm not sure why someone has voted to close this as "only applicable to one specific site". The question closing box is the same on all sites. Jun 25 '20 at 16:24
  • I'd expand this request to cover another case: sometimes, there are multiple problems with a given question, and the reposted question fixes one of the problems but not the other(s). The review guidance says to leave such questions closed if they are edited, so I believe reposting such a question is the same issue here, as it's another case where the question would merit a Leave Closed review had it been edited instead (which also applies for your given situation at the top). Jun 26 '20 at 9:15
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    The UI also strongly implies reposting in that case (given close reason is addressed, but another one is also applicable). Example scenario: a user posts a question closeable for two reasons, A and B. The question gets closed for reason A (only one of the close reasons can be shown). The author edits it to address reason A so it no longer applies. Reviewers in the reopen queue see that reason B still applies and review it Leave Closed. The author is not notified of this review decision, or that reason B also applies to their question. They see that after a while, nothing has happened. ... Jun 26 '20 at 9:26
  • 1
    ... The author then takes another look at the notice, and sees that it offers asking a new question as an alternative to editing. Well, since editing it (apparently) accomplished nothing, and no one told them of the other issue, they think they're doing OK by posting another question that resolves the indicated issue A. But, as your post says, that's not the right thing to do. Jun 26 '20 at 9:29
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    From my recent experience the notice was changed the other way around: The "edit" part is gone and it only states: "Your post has been associated with similar questions. If these questions don’t resolve your question, ask a new one.". Does anyone know why it was changed that way although there are proposals to change it the other way around (remove the "ask new question" part)?
    – wertzui
    Sep 28 '20 at 11:48
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Based on our current roadmap, we don't have immediate plans to work on this request. We see the merit, and we will revisit it at a later date. We'll provide more details here when it has been prioritized and/or completed.

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  • 17
    Delaying this issue only causes more conflict/confusion among users and mods in SE communities. Also, at Physics Stack Exchange, the closed message posted above closed questions does NOT mention asking a new question. It ONLY mentions editing, whereas the asker gets message which mentions "new question." This creates bad feelings between the asker and the closers.
    – Bill N
    Jul 14 at 3:35
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    So, the message got worse. Now the only recommendation is to ask a new question, no mention of edits.
    – Braiam
    Sep 17 at 15:11

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