Referring to the new feature here:

Autocomment when voting to close as duplicate

I'm really not happy about this. For starters, it came as a surprise (the original idea was posted in the middle of the night my time, so it was buried by the time I checked the site the next day). But the main concern is that voting to close used to be anonymous.

If the voting to close was successful, then your name would be published, but ONLY once you had the backing of either a) 4 peers or b) a moderator.

With this new method, if I vote to close as a duplicate and nobody else agrees with me, everyone will know. With the old method, if nobody agreed with me, then nobody was any the wiser, and we all went merrily on our way. Nobody got hurt, everyone wins.

It's an invitation for people to start arguing over the close vote reason in the comments, when there's normally no need for arguing until you at least know that 4 other people (or a mod) agree with you.

I for one will probably be no longer voting to close as duplicate, as I don't want my name published unless I have the backing that a successful close would bring with it.

(and if you're going to auto-post under my name, you better get it right).

  • 3
    Arguing? I'd much rather have discussion in the comments about possible dupes than surprise the op with a close, especially when some dupes aren't dupes and mods just pile on without thinking critically.
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 31, 2010 at 2:28
  • 2
    Can you delete that comment made in your name? EDIT: Yes, you can
    – juan
    Mar 31, 2010 at 2:35
  • Given the fact that I can delete the comment, I'll be happ^H^H^H^Hsatisfied once the capitalisation is done. Mar 31, 2010 at 3:52
  • 1
    I'm ready to argue about that duplicate now. Come on, where is everyone?
    – Earlz
    May 12, 2010 at 23:19
  • it seems awfully rude to me when I have people vote to close on a question without even drawing any commentary first. (if you think a question is Argumentative, Subjective, Contentious, you should not be a coward, you should say so.). i do not like the anonymous coward close voting system. Jun 25, 2010 at 13:10

5 Answers 5


Isn't publicizing duplicates a net good? Why would that be bad?

Are users offended by this? I'd think they'd be happy, it means the answer to their question might already exist -- so rather than waiting for answers, then can click through and get them!

I guess I'm wondering what "trouble" this is actually causing, other than the theoretical kind...

  • 4
    The real problem is that you get used to the system working a certain way, then it changes underneath you with no warning and often no discussion that you're aware of. You really ought to be using the blog to announce "upcoming" features and give people a chance to know what's going on. I participate in meta and, at least, half the time changes are made before I'm even aware there's been a discussion. This is one thing I miss about UserVoice -- it was relatively easy to see what people were requesting and what you had accepted. Here you need the magic eight-ball to know what's coming.
    – tvanfosson
    Mar 31, 2010 at 2:40
  • 3
    Speaking of which, still need that magic eight-ball feature...
    – Shog9
    Mar 31, 2010 at 2:48
  • @tvanofosson: Subscribing to the status-planned and status-completed tags can help notify you of changes. Although I pretty much agree that more notification of big behaviour changes would be good. Mar 31, 2010 at 9:36

Close-voting is a privilege. As such, you probably shouldn't cast a vote that you wouldn't be comfortable having broadcasted. You have the chance of being viewed as a prude, but you also have the opportunity to lead four others in maintaining a minimal echo on Stack Overflow.

If anybody assaults you in the comments, ignore it. If it's extra-naughty, flag it for a moderator to review - we've got your back ;)

  • 3
    Flagged for Moderator Review. Not sure why, but still .. Mar 31, 2010 at 2:36
  • 1
    I typically leave a comment when I vote to close, unless it's blatantly off-topic / not-a-real-question / subjective-and-argumentative or whatever, or unless somebody else left one. To anybody who disagrees with me, tough. May 12, 2010 at 21:01

I just tested to vote to close this question, and I was able to delete the comment.

If you feel so strongly about it, you can delete the comment and be done with it

  • Oh... I didn't realise that. I wonder if that "loophole" will be closed? (like the 15-char "bug" was) Mar 31, 2010 at 2:40
  • I don't know, I think I wouldn't delete it because I want to save one extra click, we'll have to see what the majority does and how Jeff wakes up
    – juan
    Mar 31, 2010 at 2:41
  • 1
    @farseeker that's not a loophole, it is 'your' comment so you can delete it if you like.. totally kosher IMO Mar 31, 2010 at 6:17

Quite frankly, if there's a duplicate - even if it's not perfect - I feel I'm doing the op a favor by pointing them towards the right answer. Further, if you were marking as dupe without adding a comment aleady, then You Were Doing It WrongTM anyway.

If you find people are revenge voting, flag for mod attention. Closing was and is not meant to be anonymous - dupe closing especially so.

  • 2
    But you are free to moderate or not according to your will and choice. Lots of people don't participate for a variety of reasons, and no one should look down on your decision.
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 31, 2010 at 2:25

I like it, but that's because I always leave a comment anyway when I vote to close duplicates. Otherwise, the OP has to wait to find the question where (presumably) his answer is already posted (unless he has enough rep to vote to close himself).

I really like that if I post a comment with the link first, SO doesn't post another comment for me. I usually like to phrase things a bit differently ("See this question" vs "Dup alert!")...

That said, I agree that you should be able to delete the comment if you want. Primarily because it has your name on it, but also because you might change your mind about the suitability of the linked question and wish to avoid confusing or misleading others.

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