Let me first establish what I'm not asking about:
- I know that there are posts that don't show a specific close reason to anyone when three different reasons were chosen.
- I know that users who don't have the said privilege can't see who voted to close the question.
I'm fine with all that.
I'm referring to posts where there is a close reason but it's not shown to users with <3K (or whatever the threshold is). An example would be this post.
This is what I see when logged in (i.e., with the privilege):
This is what I see when not logged in (no privilege):
As you can see, the close reason is not shown in the second picture. This happens to me a lot on sites where I don't have the said privilege. I believe it's important that the close reason is shown, especially to users who are not experienced enough with a particular site because it serves as a learning opportunity (e.g., "I want to know exactly why this type of post is off-topic so that I don't make the same mistake myself"). On sites other than Stack Overflow, the notice simply says "off-topic", with no link to any sort of guidelines.
This was addressed a while ago and marked as status-deferred. A staff member said a year ago that it was planned for an upcoming project, but nothing has changed since then. Plus, that post is now historically locked, which means that it can no longer be updated. As that post says:
Custom close reasons used to show their full text to everyone, which is helpful since they’re all (sometimes rather inaptly) sub-reasons under “off-topic”. They are, obviously, custom close reasons—specific to the site they’re on, and often tailored to address local problems that would not be problematic on most other sites. This makes being able to see those full close reasons important, as without them other people less familiar with that site’s customs will see question closures happening without cause, reason, or explanation.
Unfortunately, with the new post notices, questions closed with custom close reasons now simply say they were closed as off-topic. There’s no explanation of why they're off-topic, and in many cases, the questions are about subjects that are entirely topical for the site.
Can we please have the close reasons shown to all users?
While a small description is now shown for off-topic sub-reasons that were later revamped to use the new five-field system, this means nothing for close reasons that haven't yet been revamped. Considering that the CM team requires an individual, separate discussion for each close reason, and the 6-8 weeks it takes for a discussion to get brought up, go through its course, and eventually get implemented, it'll be a very long time until they all get revamped on all sites.
This also permanently affects questions closed under prior off-topic sub-reasons that were later retired or replaced as close vote options before the five-field system rollout: questions closed under such reasons will continue to show as "off-topic", and the team will not fix these retired reasons so they use the new system. Considering that back then sub-reasons were generally removed and replaced to make edits (e.g. to re-phrase or change links), the subset of affected questions is larger.