Once in a while, some well-meaning user appends the string " [closed]" to a question title after receiving a good answer. This is, of course, confusing to people who, for example, visit the question later and don't see a "closed as reason by voters at time" box.

I can't think of any case where this would be a desired behavior, so I propose rejecting any title that ends in " [closed]" except for the ones generated by the system for actually-closed questions. A quick explanation under "Oops! Your question couldn't be submitted because:" should be enough to make this feature non-confusing.

  • Why not just spit out the options they have to [closed], such as accepting an answer, deleting or voting to close?
    – random
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 19:30
  • 4
    How often does this actually happen? The only time I've ever seen it was when somebody on meta was experimenting to see if the system already had this check in place Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 19:53
  • 5
    I have seen it once or twice. Not much on 1000000+ questions. Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 20:17
  • 1
    Yeah, it's not a huge deal. But it could become a non-deal. I was only motivated to make this request after I saw one happen. (The entire question was deleted within minutes, though.)
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 23:52
  • Can you put quotes around the '[closed]' in the title, to not confuse people about the status of this post?
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 1:01
  • 1
    Lol -- I thought THIS question was closed :P Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 1:51
  • Ha, ha, funny, Kop.
    – Pops
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 14:41
  • Tangentially related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/20076/… Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 15:35
  • Familiarly related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/51634/… Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 18:17

3 Answers 3


You're right, there's no reason to ever allow this — added a check for it.

The filter has been updated to check for the strings "[migrated]", "[on hold]", and "[duplicate]" as well.


How about a distinct style for questions that are closed? Perhaps a red title or something of that sort would do.

  • 5
    +1 I've always thought that closed questions should be handled differently than "change the title and append the reason at the bottom."
    – Corey
    Commented Nov 22, 2010 at 23:04
  • 2
    Red would be the wrong color, you don't need to pull special attention to offtopic/bad/... questions that are closed.
    – sth
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 3:41
  • 3
    I was not really specific to red but yes, I see your point. Anything that would distinguish it from open titles would suffice in my opinion. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 12:17
  • 2
    Or some icon if there is a good one. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 15:30
  • @Tsuyoshi Great suggestion! Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 16:09

How often does this actually happen?

There are 29 questions on SO that currently (as of Oct 31 data dump) have something like this in the title (I figured [closed], (closed), and {closed} would cover the vast majority of them), and an additional 39 questions where that same pattern has been edited out at one time or another. Only one of those 68 questions is actually closed.


I think editing the questions and leaving a comment (to say to leave it alone, except if it's a duplicate, in which case flag for mod attention) is probably sufficient.

EDIT: I went in and manually edited the offending posts. I think I got all of them. Unfortunately we'll have to wait until January to see that reflected in the December data dump.

  • 1
    and how many others where [closed] has been edited out? Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 13:53
  • @The: I will investigate that tonight. It'll give me a chance to play with the new PostHistory table.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 17:29
  • 1
    @The: Completed.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 23:41

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