As mentioned in this discussion, a question closed because it was not well-phrased is currently very unlikely to be reopened after an edit clarifying the issues. Those who voted to close should at least be asked to reconsider and reopen the question after such an edit.

  • 1
    As a moderator I simply rely on flags to see if it needs reopening, having some way to keep an eye-out without bookmarking them would make sense
    – Ivo Flipse
    Jul 13, 2010 at 12:01
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    @Ivo Flipse♦: that requires the user who made the edit to flag, which if he's new may not yet know, plus it will require mods to have a look at it Jul 13, 2010 at 13:08
  • If you want the bounty revoked so you can correct it, just ask @Pop.
    – Shog9
    Nov 11, 2011 at 19:42
  • @PopularDemand Bounty received and appreciated!
    – Widor
    Nov 18, 2011 at 11:34
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    Great idea. Sometimes I vote to close and post a comment to the OP telling them what they need to do to get the question reopened. After that I have no idea what becomes of the question because I don't get notified. Apr 13, 2012 at 2:52
  • 1
    This idea needs/must/should/could/ought-to-be implemented. I'd love to be notified when questions I've VTC'd have been edited and improved.
    – JBH
    Sep 17, 2018 at 21:59
  • @TobiasKienzler you are supposed to flag an edited closed post for moderator attention? Apr 16, 2021 at 15:15
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    We’ve reviewed this request are moving it to our backlog. I’ve updated the status to status-deferred.
    – Slate StaffMod
    Feb 9 at 22:04

8 Answers 8


I'd like to see this sort of feature possibly integrated with the suggestion to track close votes found here.

As it stands, I can't revisit close votes (unless using Grace Note's favourites abuse which to me feels 'wrong') so that would be a start.

Being able to view them and possibly styled/flagged according to:

  • Whether the question was subsequently closed after voting
  • Whether the question was edited since voting
  • Whether there are reopen votes on the question you voted to close

There have now been 2 bounties awarded on the linked question now without any indication of whether this sort of feature is planned or not.

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    not only does the favourites abuse feel wrong, but it's also encouraging you to mix your real favourite questions (good ones) with some (probably not so good) closed ones (and you can't differ for sure since your favourites might have been closed and questions you voted to close already got reopened) Nov 15, 2011 at 15:43
  • I cannot express how dearly I would like this enhancement. If the only thing I received was a notification (as I do when comments are posted on Q&As or when I've received a badge), it would be more than enough. I'd love to reward (especially new) users who have taken the time to overcome my objections by retracting my vote.
    – JBH
    Sep 17, 2018 at 21:57

That's a good idea! Occasionally I vote to close but I never keep track on those votes and almost never come back to a question where I left a closing vote. And I'm absolutely sure I would use such a notification to leave a reopen vote if there was a significatant change or clarification.

I could - as a workaround - (ab-)use the 'favorite' star to mark those question, but, on the other hand, delete-marked question are not my favourite ones ;)

Some additional thoughts on such a notification feature

  • It could be a good idea to limit notifications to edits done by the OP
  • It could be a good idea to allow some sort of 'unsubscribe' to those notifications, otherwise the feature could be abused in such a way that the author just applies hundreds of micro edits just to annoy the 'closers' (OTH - a question can be deleted, a user can be banned from SO to stop that sort of flooding immediately)

And another thought - if people are aware that closing a question might lead to notifications, some might start thinking twice before they happily jump on the bandwagon.

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    They should just rename "favorite" to "subscribe" and these problems would be solved.
    – sth
    Jul 13, 2010 at 13:13
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    I'd link for sth, but sth has already commented on the question. Nevertheless, for those who haven't seen it, there is a proposal for that name change.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jul 13, 2010 at 13:19
  • @Grace Note - thanks for the link, a +1 for that proposal. Jul 13, 2010 at 13:27
  • Maybe the notification mode should only be activated for certain closing reasons like "not a real question", while "too localized" and "duplicate" of course may not be changed by an edit Jul 15, 2010 at 7:30

In addition to or instead of notifications to the close-voters, this would be a great use case for custom question lists:

filter: closed, then edited

This allows every interested member of the community to easily review and (if appropriate) vote to reopen.

Notifications are pull and question filters are push, so these features aren't interchangeable, but we already have a framework for question filters so it makes sense to at least do that, and if we also get notifications it's not redundant work.

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    I like this idea, it's less obtrusive to those already investing lots of time into close-voting, and great for those wanting to reward improvements to closed questions Sep 19, 2018 at 19:05

I like this idea for a number of reasons

  • Added responsibility for closing. At the moment I can imagine its easy to jump on the bandwagon and add a close vote just because others have voted. This might make people think twice

  • Allows for feedback between those who cast the close vote, and those who disagree (via comments). At the moment once a question is closed, no amount of comments or updates will encourage a review for reopening or even a discussion about the close reason.


Grace Note's suggestion to (ab)use favorites for this is the preferred way to do it for now. As we're going through a top-down (or bottom-up depending on how you look at it) audit of question life cycles, this is something that seems sensible to consider in concept - provide some way for people to look back on votes used to change the state of a question.

Could be some kind of "Recently changed" area of your profile (I don't think anyone but the most hardcore would want push notifications for this) where you could go once a week just to see if anything changed. But honestly, if you tend to use all or most of your close votes daily, this would just become a source of a lot more work and it feels a little presumptuous providing it even though it would be unobtrusive and something you'd need to actively seek in order to use.

As we examine the flow of questions, e.g. what ultimately happens to first posts that go to the helper queue, and how does more or less visibility affect people's perception of site quality, and how does that balance with stuff that's edited properly eventually getting reopened - this could fill a needed void. As in, this could be the right kind of visibility where the reopen queue might not be, if that makes sense.

Let's see as we systematically try to make everything less bolted together over the years, and more designed intentionally. It's not a bad idea, and it gets better if it can actually help folks spend less time being less effective in another less optimal part of the system.

No ETA, but let's not let the idea slip through the cracks unless we deliberately decide to go another way.

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    Tim, consider a related idea that I think would help. Sep 18, 2018 at 17:45
  • Glad to hear there's still hope for this or something similar :) Sep 19, 2018 at 19:04

I do not think this is a good idea. There have already been complaints about the multitude of notifications which are being used. Adding more notifications will simply cause people to close less.

Basically it comes down to punishment/reward. When I close a question, the reward is a cleaner more consistent site, the punishment being the possibility of someone disliking me for it (I can deal with that). However, I can do that in one sitting.

Once this solution is implemented, it means that I could be notified about edits to every question I've ever voted to close on. Even if you limit it to only questions which are in fact closed, you'll still be sending out many many notifications to people who don't necessarily care. So you've added "punishment" (that is, undesired results) to an action.

The note "don't necessarily care" is an important one. Currently, the notifications are all geared towards information that an individual user should care about.

  • Comments/Answers to my questions
  • Comments to my answers
  • Comments directed "@" me
  • Edits to my favourite questions

When I close a question I am saying that it doesn't belong on the site, so why would I want to be notified every time it changes?

It's possible that I could want those notifications, but it isn't something that we can assume and then force on people.

EDIT: I do have an alternate suggestion "Edited After Closed" view in 10k tools

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    I'm pretty sure that 95% of all closed question never, ever receive an edit from the OP, so the number of additional notifications flying around is probably pretty small. The typical author of a 'closed' question has very little rep and experience and will most likely either turn away are repost the question (and have this one closed too) Jul 13, 2010 at 13:08
  • @Andreas_D: Doesn't matter how rare they are. Once they start working, we can assume it will happen often, and remember that they won't always work. Eventually, anyone who votes to close will end up being spammed by every question they ever closed. And that's BAD because they didn't sign up for it.
    – devinb
    Jul 13, 2010 at 14:35
  • @devinb: I really think @Andreas is right here, although it might be wise to include an edit-abuse-detection (anyway). When you vote to close you take up to 20% responsibility for this question because your vote renders it "unanswerable" unless reopened. Since an edit may annihilate your reasons to close, you should at least take that minute to look again - at least on first edit. Jul 14, 2010 at 9:48
  • Plus, I'd prefer no favourite notifications instead of no closed-edited one Jul 14, 2010 at 9:49
  • @Tobias, The fact that so many people would prefer no favourite notification already indicates that people don't want more notifications. Favourites at least make sense because people have marked it as something they are interested in. With the closing, I have explicitly said that I'm not interested.
    – devinb
    Jul 14, 2010 at 10:39
  • @devinb: Maybe the notification should depend on the closing reason. "off topic" is obviously something you don't care about afterwards, but "not a real question" might be turned into "now a real question" Jul 14, 2010 at 11:01
  • @Tobias, all questions theoretically could be reformed into valid ones. A duplicate could just be refined to be more specific, too localized could be generalized. Any closed question can be edited into coherence, I'm not denying that. I'm just questioning whether I should be forced to be bothered by their attempts. I personally would love to be able to re-open them, which is why I have my own suggestion, however I want it to be something I do when I have time and not something that inturrupts my normal usage.
    – devinb
    Jul 14, 2010 at 11:48

There's two scenarios here. Either the closer does care, or does not care, what happens to the question post-vote. No matter what, if the closer does not care, no amount of alerts or messages or notifications will make that user budge. They will just be something to click past, not unlike people who would click past all manner of warnings and suggestions when typing posts anywhere online. Some people just don't care, so this really won't help against these users.

Meanwhile, for the users who do care, they won't necessarily want to have info bombarded at them for everything, nor forever. Some of these people already look back, anyway. Personally, I tend to monitor questions that I've recently voted on within a day or so, but I enjoy that I can do this manually. If I'm really concerned about one that might be on-the-fence, then I've already got a nifty feature to get updates on it - marking it as a favorite. This way, I get reports for as long as I want to care about it. Once the question gets reopened or the close decision is completely finalized, then I can remove it. This is something any person can do when they vote to close a question which they might consider looking back on, so I think it's perfectly satisfactory.

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    I like the idea that people are reminded to take the granted persmission to vote for closing questions seriously and that this includes just a little responsibility, namely getting informed on changes on closed questions and voting for reopening if something has changed. Jul 13, 2010 at 13:25
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    @Andreas_D I don't disagree that encouraging more responsible closing behavior is a good thing. It would help shed a better light on the act of closing, which gets a lot of flak as is. But I don't think that forced alerts will really affect this. The problem is people who don't act responsibly with this, and this solution honestly doesn't address that directly, nor very well. We'll end up reducing the number of responsible close votes just as well as we reduce the number of irresponsible ones, which is a fairly bad net loss.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jul 13, 2010 at 14:26
  • Your favourites-abuse is a good workaround for those who want to take more responsibility and I appreciate that. But as I commented on devinb's answer, a vote-to-close means responsibility that should not be so easily ignorable. Jul 14, 2010 at 9:54

I think this would be a great idea, there could be some limits on it (notify only on first edit of the day for instance), but as it is, reopening is excessively difficult. I recently editted a year old question, where the main problem was too much irrelevant information, combined with english obviously not being the posters native language. While the question is now understandable, and probably somewhat generally useful, it is unlikely to be reopened.

  • thanks, some limit is a good idea. As a side-note: If you feel like a question should be reopened after an edit, you can flag it for moderator attention or start a discussion at the meta-site Jan 17, 2012 at 7:22

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