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What can I do if a question was closed for reason A but I believe that it should have been closed for reason B? Is the only option to vote to reopen it and then vote to close it again with reason B?

Why does it matter?

I think this matters in one case, which is where a question is a duplicate but was closed for another reason and is pending automatic deletion.

The reason I think it matters is because it seems questions closed as duplicates are not auto-deleted and duplicate questions are useful.


This question was motivated by a recent example of this taking place on SO. I asked Is it necessary to include the argument in the callback function of Promise.prototype.catch()? which turned out to be a specific case of the more general question of whether JavaScript allows passing more arguments than a function declares. However, this specific case is one where this is often seen, so I think this question should be preserved for people in the future who have a similar question.

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Gold badge holders in one of the question's tags can change the duplicate from A to B but that assumes the question was closed as a duplicate in the first case. In such a case you could raise it on the site's local Meta and see if one of them is willing to make the change for you. In the case of Stack Overflow that's Meta Stack Overflow

In your case it's not closed as a duplicate, but as opinion based. You'd need to edit the question so that the close reason no longer applies. As part of that edit you can request that the question is reopened but if it's only going to be closed as a duplicate then you have to ask yourself whether all that effort is worth it. After all you're asking several people to review your edit, another group to vote to reopen it followed by yet another group to get together to close it again. Is it really worth the time of all those people including your own to do that?

Perhaps just adding a comment that this question is a duplicate of some other question is enough as that will add that question to the "Linked" list on the right hand side of the post.

If however, your answer is still yes it is worth it then your local Meta is again the place to get help with that.

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  • If I understand correctly, it seems indeed that the only way to do it is to get the question reopened and then closed again as a duplicate, which takes a lot of effort.
    – hb20007
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 13:31
  • Except for questions that are already closed as a duplicate, yes. Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 13:34
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    @hb20007 In addition/contradiction to Rob's first paragraph, if you can make a case that this post is really worth the effort of 'saving' as a duplicate (e.g. because it's a good signpost because of the search terms it includes), site specific meta sites may still be an option for discussing the question and changing the close reason. It will likely be more fruitful than spending time editing the post, attempting to get it reopened and closed again, because you'll also get to learn if there are any counterarguments to closing the question as a duplicate as it is now.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 14:36
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    Per the guidelines for reviewing, yes, the effort is worth it, as it results in future visitors to the question being routed to an answer rather than getting stuck. (See its very last paragraph and the post it links to.) Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 17:43
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog Wow, the guidelines talk about this exact scenario.
    – hb20007
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 17:47

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