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When a question is closed as:

Opinion-based
This question is likely to be answered with opinions rather than facts and citations. It should be updated so it will lead to fact-based answers.

…a post notice is placed above the question, for example:

Post notice for a question closed as “opinion based”.

This says:

Closed. This question is opinion-based. It is not currently accepting answers.

But the problem is not that the question is opinion based, the real problem is that question is soliciting opinion-based answers.


I suggest that the post notice wording be changed to something such as:

Closed. This question is seeking opinion-based answers. It is not currently accepting answers.

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    related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/388030/997587. not sure what its status is. Mar 25 at 4:54
  • @starball "I'd always thought the proper path for closed questions was to edit and fix and then reopen." The system allows you to abandon your previous question asking attempt and ask another one. One could say there are different paths to fixing questions. What was problematic in the past was that even fixed questions, as rarely as that happened, didn't get reopened or didn't make it to a positive score unless one acted really fast. I don't know what the best/proper path is. Maybe the staging ground would have helped. Mar 25 at 13:59
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    Are these question actively seeking opinionated answers? More like they attract them because some sort of specification is missing, like asking for what is the best without specifying what best should mean. Maybe all these questions are secretly underspecified? Mar 25 at 14:02

3 Answers 3

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I'd change it to something more like "This question does not meet the guidelines for constructive subjective questions. It is not currently accepting answers."

Too many people (especially those with less familiarity with SE in general) have the misconception that subjective Q&A is totally disallowed. Go into any "SO sux" reddit thread, and the top comment will be one of two memes: "closing. duplicate", or "closing. opinion-based". From my viewpoint, even SO Inc. seems to have some misconceptions with respect to this. Saying "doesn't meet the guidelines for constructive subjective Q&A" is an easy way to mitigate that misconception, and I think it has just the right amount of clickbait to make people actually want to read a Help Center page.

Also, I find it weird that the closure notice suggests creating a new question as an option. Though I recognize the reopen system is flawed because it doesn't get enough eye-traffic, I'd always thought the proper path for closed questions was to edit and fix and then reopen- especially given the question ban contribution.

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I'd probably change the wording to something a bit more clear. Saying that 'this question is seeking opinion-based answers' is a little inaccurate - the question isn't looking for answers that are opinion-based, it just so happens that opinion-based answers are more likely to flock to the question.

Possibly a better-worded post notice: 'Answers to this question are likely to be opinion-based.'

This also matches up with the close reason, which says, and I quote:

This question is likely to be answered with opinions...

...which would make it a bit clearer and also more consistent.

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  • also posting as an answer by request!
    – Redz
    Apr 1 at 10:04
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A problem I see with that change is that the poster might not be seeking an opinion based answer and they may be under the impression that they are only going to get fact based answers. It could also be that they are asking a fact based question that is attracting fact based answers but they just don't like them.

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  • re "under the impression" - and that's why there are concrete guidelines on how to solicit constructive subjective answers. Apr 1 at 15:35
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    @starball And that is why it should be based on the question itself not what the intent of the author is. How many times do you see a question get closed because it is opinion based and the author doesn't understand why it isn't a fact based question.
    – Joe W
    Apr 1 at 16:39
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    "it should be based on the question itself" you seem to think I disagree with that point? (I don't) Apr 1 at 16:40

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