When a question is closed as a duplicate, other users viewing the question will see a notice like below:

Some community members have associated this post with a similar question.

or, if it was single-handedly closed by a gold-badge user or a moderator, with no other users being involved in the voting:

A community member has associated this post with a similar question.

The same wording is also shown even if the author has self-closed their own question after approving duplicate votes or flags from other users. In that case, the Community user will bindingly close the question on their behalf.

I feel that if the author has bindingly closed the question, the notice should make that clear, especially to users who don't have the required reputation to see the close voters in the notice itself (and thus the mouseover tooltip on the Community user's vote that the author approved the duplicate votes). While in most cases other users have also voted, the direct, proximate cause of the question getting closed was the author's action. Also, if there are multiple targets proposed, it's entirely their action as to which of those duplicate target(s) show up.

The notice is also completely incorrect if the question was solely closed by the Community user (in which case the second notice above is shown). The Community user is not a community member (confusing, I know), so it's wrong to indicate that "a community member" closed it. The phrasing also implies that a separate third party closed the question. (This happens if the question got no close votes but did get recommend closure flags as duplicate.)

In both cases, when the Community user closes the question in response to the author approving one or more duplicate targets, the notice should instead say:

The author has associated this post with a similar question.

Similarly, a different notice is shown to question authors on their own questions closed as duplicates:

Your post has been associated with a similar question.

The same notice shows up regardless of whether it got one or multiple close votes. The phrasing implies that someone else has done the association, but that is incorrect. If the author has approved duplicate votes, it should instead read as:

You have associated this post with a similar question.

Can these changes to the notices please be implemented?

  • When does the "community user" close without the involvement of other users: " completely incorrect (...) if the question was solely closed by the Community user"? Also, without the CV-privilege you never see who closed the question, if the OP self-closes and you make that transparent in the notice then you'll be leaking that info to users without the privilege, and it'd be the only case where that would happen - I fail to see the argument for it.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 29, 2022 at 9:56
  • 1
    @bad_coder While you can force the system to not speak, you can't force the system to lie. The current phrasing is lying to users, especially in the second case. Also, the whole point of hiding the list of voters in the notice is not because they're considered private and sensitive, but simply because which exact community members voted isn't relevant to lower-rep users and authors: if it were the former, SE would have taken steps to obscure their names in post histories, but they explicitly haven't. Finally, your first question is answered in a parenthetical note in the question. Jun 29, 2022 at 10:01
  • Your comment has 2 arguments: 1º the system is lying, 2º it's "irrelevant". About the 2º it's unlikely that a user without CV privileges fully understands how CVs work and what the criteria is. You get 10k-25k users asking on meta: "Why closed?" who obviously don't understand the privilege they have, if you were handing that info out to 120rep users the likelihood of random misunderstand revenge DVs would be considerable - at no gain. As for 1º you'd have to define what a lie is in this case and how the "system is lying" that's a strong word lacking due basis in the post.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 29, 2022 at 10:10
  • @bad_coder when viewing a deleted question without the "access to moderator tools" privilege, you also see different message when it was self deleted. Can't see any harm in that. Jun 29, 2022 at 10:10
  • @ShadowWizardSaysNoMoreWar I don't know if broadening the scope from CVs to Del-Votes casts additional clarity on the issue and I lack a concrete example atm. I don't fully understanding the implications of the comparison
    – bad_coder
    Jun 29, 2022 at 10:13
  • "(This happens if the question got no close votes but did get recommend closure flags as duplicate.)" <- Not sure I've ever seen this happen on SO, nor do I recall seeing a meta post about it. Flags "age-away" leaving the post open...?!
    – bad_coder
    Jun 29, 2022 at 10:16
  • @bad_coder here is an example on MSE of a question closed as duplicate by Community bot only, as result of OP flagging their own question and clicking the "Yes this resolve my problem" button. As Sonic says, it does say "A community member has associated this post with a similar question" and Community is a bot, not a member. Jun 29, 2022 at 10:22
  • @ShadowWizardSaysNoMoreWar good example, if it's a result of the OP pressing "Yes" then yeah, it's an exception where OP gets to cast closure over their own post, in that sense a community member closed it.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 29, 2022 at 10:28
  • 2
    So an author isn't a community member? I agree that the notice could be more precise, but I don't agree that its wrong or lying
    – Luuklag
    Jun 29, 2022 at 11:12
  • 1
    @Luuklag They are, but the way the message is worded implies that other community members did the closure. Jun 29, 2022 at 17:03


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