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“Closed by” is incorrect…
When you hover over the name of the person closing a question it should show the reason they've chosen.

I would like to have the possibility to change the question's close reason.

I would also like to have my name not listed and my vote not be counted in the list of people who voted to close a question, if the ultimate close reason is not equal to the reason I selected in the list.

If a question was finally closed for reason X (let it be "Exact duplicate"), I would like to be able to draw a re-close for another reason (let it be "Not a real question").


1 Answer 1


The problem here is that your vote still counted for one of the five needed to close the question, even though you voted on a different reason. If this is implemented as requested, 10 people could close a question 5 times when it should still require 25, if the reasons are distributed such that only one person is disqualified from re-voting every time. This creates an imbalance in the close voting system.

One option to correct this is to allow some symmetry and let users vote to re-open a question multiple times as well, as long as it's a different reason each time. But I think that's starting to get kind of complicated, in terms of people wondering why there were allowed to vote to open some questions multiple times and not others. To casual users it looks like a bug. It also requires some very detailed tracking of votes in a way that my database instincts tell me would severely impact performance.

A better option might be require five close votes for a specific reason before the question is closed with that reason. Then the next question is what happens to votes for other close reasons at this point, but that's a trivial issue. The real problem here is that a question might receive 20 close votes or more and still remain open if users can't agree on why it should be closed, and the corollary of how to allow users to change the reason for their vote.

Put this all together, and I think the system if probably best as it is. It's not ideal, and your suggestion has merit, but as we think about how to implement it I think the conceptual complexity is starting to get up there.

  • "If this is implemented as requested, the same five people could close a question five times, and just use five different reasons." I think this is fine. If those users think that the question is neither programming related, nor a real question, why shouldn't they vote on both? "A better option might be require five close votes for a specific reason before the question is closed with that reason.", yes that is what I am suggesting. Oct 22, 2010 at 16:11
  • Since it will show the number of close votes for each reason, if people think a questions could be closed for multiple reasons they could just select the one that already has a high vote count. To force them concentrate on such a single highly voted reason they agree with, we could disallow voting for more than one close reason. Oct 22, 2010 at 16:15
  • Hmm, although most people close in the very first minutes after the question pops up, so the "look at close votes" approach wouldn't work well I suspect. I think I agree with you that it's not as easy as it looks like. Oct 22, 2010 at 16:26

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