# Hide the close reason

I see sometimes people vote to re-open a question because the close reason is incorrect, even though it should remain closed (Example). This way, the original people that voted to close cannot do it anymore, risking that the question remains open when it shouldn't.

The incorrect reason could be due to a mis-click, difference of opinion, or something like that, but it doesn't negate the fact that it should be closed, no matter the formal reason (which seems irrelevant to me)

I suggest hiding the close reason at least at first sight, having to mouse over something to see it.
What do you think? Does it make sense?

• In that case you need to have a check box, not a radio, for cases where a post commits multiple crimes. – Unsliced Jan 21 '10 at 14:12
• Just FYI, if you see something that was closed for an obviously wrong reason you can flag it for moderator attention. It only takes us a few seconds to temporarily reopen it and close it for the right reason. (Make sure you tell us the right reason when you flag.) – Bill the Lizard Jan 21 '10 at 14:50
• meta.stackexchange.com/questions/111402/… I think this discussion better addresses the issue. – Lee Louviere Nov 11 '11 at 16:05

Information hiding is almost never the correct answer.

• Almost... almost – juan Jan 21 '10 at 17:11
• This comment intentionally left blank. – Adam Davis 'ze-zir-zem' Jan 21 '10 at 17:14
• @Æther, was that intentional? – juan Jan 21 '10 at 18:39

I don't like it - it means the OP doesn't have the information they need to fix the question making it genuinely worth reopening. For example, if something is closed as a duplicate but the OP thinks it's not, they can edit the question to explain the differences.

The fact that it was closed for a wrong reason does not make it right to try to reopen merely to close again. If it's closed and deserves to be closed, leave it alone. Also, hiding the close reason would fix a marginal problem that only seldom appears (I've never seen it happen).

However, hiding it would cause a lot of problems; if people can't see why it was closed, they'll start asking questions and be bitter about it. Let's leave the system as is; it works 99.9% of the time, which is more than fine.

• +1 - Don't start coding for special cases until you've quantified them. – Adam Davis 'ze-zir-zem' Jan 21 '10 at 16:26

What I've seen is that people don't understand how the close vote counting works.

If 5 people vote to close a question:

# of Votes         Reason
----------         ------
2                  Blatantly Offensive
1                  Exact Duplicate
2                  Not Programming Related


then the close reason has an equal chance of being either Not Programming Related or Blatantly Offensive. It also could be a duplicate, but I don't know from the current system whether or not that will come through when the question is closed.

The problem that brings up is that people vote to re-open based on the close reason listed, and they shouldn't. They should comment and say, "Well, it's not blatantly offensive" but it's also not programming related. But they don't -- they say, "Well, it's closed as "Blatantly Offensive" and it's certainly not blatantly offensive, so I should re-open it!"

• Not equal chance, it's closed as the first one selected based on my experience – juan Jan 21 '10 at 14:04
• The ones on my list aren't chronological. It could have been 1 person voting for Blatantly offensive, one person voting for ED, one for NPR, a second for NPR, and then a second for BO. – George Stocker Jan 21 '10 at 14:06
• And yes, that's the problem I see (your last paragraph) – juan Jan 21 '10 at 14:09

I don't think it makes sense. Usually, the reason that a question is closed is because the user who asked the question made a mistake. If we don't clearly tell them what the mistake was, they cannot learn from their mistake.

For example, if the question was closed because it's "Not a real question," then the user would be able to edit their question and turn it into a real question. If the question was closed because it "belongs on meta," then they know where to go to find their question.

It might be better for the OP to get notification of the close reasons before the post is actually closed so that they can address the issues and stop the post actually being closed.

Other 3000+ users would still see the close votes, but if they were included in the timeline view they would be able to see that the question had been improved (hopefully) and not vote themselves. If they thought that the question hadn't been improved despite the edits, they could still vote.

• Hopefully the OP is paying attention to the question in the first 5 minutes, and would therefore find the close reasons without additional work by the system. – Adam Davis 'ze-zir-zem' Jan 21 '10 at 16:27
• @Pollyanna - that assumes that the closers have left comments. Not necessarily saying they have voted to close, but say why they have. e.g. "Question is subjective and argumentative" or "Belongs on Super User". – ChrisF Jan 21 '10 at 16:52