I've just bumped into something that I feel shouldn't have happened. Execute 32bit ELF on a 64bit ubuntu machine, getting segmentation fault

The question was IMO clear enough. The one request for source code to a "hello world" program was rather pointless given the problem faced. Yet two people voted the question closed as "unclear".

I then found a question / answer I thought might be effectively the same question asked a different way and voted duplicate... the question closed immediately as "unclear".

The only problem is I did not vote the question unclear and absolutely disagree with that. I'm a bit uncomfortable with my one vote being used to close this as duplicate either, I like the safety net of multiple votes being required. Voting duplicate is tricky and very error prone and it is surely good to let second opinions be cast on this.

I can see why other close votes are cumulative. These all easily overlap:

  • Needs more focus
  • Needs more clarity
  • Opinion based

I really can't reconcile the idea that a question is both unclear and clearly a duplicate. Indeed it's hard for duplicates to be opinion based either since the other question would also have been opinion based and should have been closed.

Why do duplicate votes count as regular "close" votes? Could this group of votes (only) be maintained as a separate count, with separate trigger to close actually, rather than a cumulative trigger between them.

Note this is a different feature request to this one. I'm not talking about the close reason being displayed correctly. I'm talking about the actual trigger being split into two counts. Though both the other feature request and this one are derived from the same "bug".

  • 1
    While you make good points, I suspect that such a change would require massive changes to the software. (You may like to post an additional comment on that question to make it clear that you voted to close as a dupe, not as unclear, although people familiar with SE will realise that from the dupe auto-comment).
    – PM 2Ring
    Aug 14, 2020 at 10:17
  • 1
    @PM2Ring why do you believe this change would be massive? The counts are maintained as separate numbers already, its just a change to the trigger that actually closes the question. Aug 14, 2020 at 10:59
  • Well, it's just my suspicion that it would require a significant change to the software that handles close votes, unlike the relatively simple change that allows SO questions to now be closed with 3 votes instead of 5. (At least 1 other site I frequent would like to test 3 vote closing, but we've been patiently waiting for several months for that test, so maybe even that is not a simple thing to make happen on other sites). But I'm interested to hear from one of the developers about that.
    – PM 2Ring
    Aug 14, 2020 at 11:17
  • @PhilipCouling, there might be more to it than just the separate counters. Or would you be ok with being mentioned as one of the 4 voters for "unclear"? Aug 14, 2020 at 12:00
  • 1
    @BartvanIngenSchenau I see your point that it would be better to have the other feature request as well or just filter attribution. But neither smell like massive code changes individually or cumulatively. The data is all already there, it's just a question of how it's presented / processed in a handful of places. Aug 14, 2020 at 12:19

1 Answer 1


This problem is only really highlighted now that the limit on SO is 3 votes.

IMO, the current behaviour is correct, and it should use the reason that got the most votes, not whatever the last reason happened to be.

Unfortunately, that means only a single vote decides when there is disagreement, but I can't think of a better way. Perhaps the reason with the highest rep behind it?

  • 3
    There was an idea that at least two voters must agree on the same reason additionally to at least three votes, but it wasn't followed through. The alternative was to print all voted close reasons below a closed question. They may all be true. Aug 15, 2020 at 6:52

You must log in to answer this question.

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