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):
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?