Not sure if this is a big deal at all. But it appears to me that newcomers are frequently unaware when their questions are going to get closed. And I conjecture that question quality might be raised by simply visualizing this early on.

Actually I wanted to propose an Upvote Wednesday this week, but I was foiled by a few serial lazy one-line askers. A few of those dozen closevote canditates weren't totally useless, and might have been saved by some editing. But obviously, once a question is closed, the OP seldomly touches it again.

That's why I think it might benefit SO if posters were informed when closevoting is still in progress. Newcomers obviously don't see the close(3) link due to low reputation, and thus are completely unaware of the fact until it's too late.
Also obviously closevoting is usually done without extraneous comments (not advisable anyway!). Therefore it's sort of a sudden death for the OP. He doesn't even get the chance to edit schpelling or redact misguided assumptions etc.


Add some clutter to the UI, like closevoting duplicate (2 of 5 votes)

In case I really just overlooked it: make it shiny.


  • Remote possibility that bad questions get edited if OP sees that it's going to be closed else.
  • More importantly, other newcomers that answer poor questions should not be accidently punished. Answering dull duplicates will not lead to a reputation gain, if the question is closed quickly enough. But if someone takes 10 minutes to type an answer, it's cruel and overly discouraging to not even let them save it.
    • I would go so far and proclaim that answer saving should be possible on closed questions - if the typing started before the final closevoting spell. (But that topic has probably been discussed before..)
  • Some closevotes happen too quickly. Often rightly so. But 5 minutes is not a fair enough chance to let people edit something. (I've posted drafts too.)
  • Assumption: Noobs don't post bad questions intentionally.


  • UX clutter. Clearly the link shouldn't be there if the reputation doesn't allow it. But the text version is even more lengthy. And if it's OTOH to subtle, it won't change a thing.
  • "closevoting (1/5)" or even "(2/5)" should not yet be displayed, because it might lead to early complaints even when there was never going to be a majority to closevote it.
  • Cannot teach them a lesson! :/

There are probably more factors to consider. And really I did search, but could not find specific previous discussions. Albeit there are related topics to take into consideration:

  • 4
    At 250 reputation, the author of a question is able to see the close vote count and distribution, in case you were not aware. The author is also able to vote.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 13:05
  • @GraceNote: Did not know. But from the FAQ the 250 seemed to apply to MSO only. I was referring to Stackoverflow, where I assumed 3000 reps is the minimum for voting and display. Okay so, this is really only an issue for < 250 real newcomers, when that's the factual boundary for seeing it on your own questions.
    – mario
    Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 13:30
  • 2
    +1 for the idea, but I think having "close (3)" as simple text (instead of an action button) would suffice.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 16:37
  • 1
    @JonSeigel agree, that would indeed look better. And I assume it could be a link into the FAQ anyway, or carry a brief title= notice.
    – mario
    Commented Dec 20, 2010 at 0:29
  • Very interesting proposal, since nothing happed for quite some month (or did i just miss it?) i wanted to ask if your opinion on the subject has changed at all? My main problem with closevoteing really is that it pretty much removes ops chances of improving his post, especially when a question is cvd really quickly. And thus driving away newbies rather quickly & harsh. Well in short: +1
    – edorian
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 17:03

2 Answers 2


As a user with less than 3K rep (the threshold at which one can cast close votes and see the counts) I too would like to see this implemented.

I regularly flag questions for moderator attention as "Not a real question", "Off topic" and the like, only to find the questions closed a short time afterwards by community close-voting.

If I were able to see that a question was about to close or to be automagically migrated, I might hold off on flagging. That surely has to be better for everyone involved: I would put my flags and my time to better use flagging dodgy questions/answers that are perhaps too old or too niche to have attracted community attention; and the mods & 10ks won't have their time wasted by my redundant flag.

  • 3
    your flag weight will increase when the status of a post changes. that includes users closing the question, even if a moderator has not looked at your flag. Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 14:09
  • Thanks yoda. Presumably my flag disappears from the mod's list too?
    – razlebe
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 14:11
  • 3
    yup. it's automatically marked valid and dismissed... it doesn't matter what your flag said. Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 14:34
  • Allowing users with < 3K to see the current close vote count could allow them to game the system to increase their flag weight (flag a question with 3 or more close votes and there's a good chance it's going to get closed before a mod even glances in it's direction). Not that flag weight means anything...
    – forsvarir
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 10:29
  • @forsvarir - that would apply to any user, not just those with <3k rep. At 3k you gain the ability to vote-to-close et al, but you can still flag if you're minded to chase the flag weight badges.
    – razlebe
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 10:31
  • @razlebe: You can only flag it for 'Very low quality (which I've never used), other, and spam/offensive. You can't flag it for standard close reasons, the flag popup redirects to the vote to close one if you select one of those reasons. I imagine that 'flag other' etc would still make it through the moderator queue, even if the question was closed...
    – forsvarir
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 10:43
  • @forsvarir - thanks, didn't know that.
    – razlebe
    Commented Jul 13, 2011 at 10:59

I guess we can revisit this, but close votes used to be visible to all users in the early days of Stack Overflow.

We turned it off because the amount of complaining about it was epic!

Users who can't cast close votes were peeved that they had to see these votes, without being able to do anything about it -- they can't cast close votes or react to them in any way other than passively watch it happen. And complain profusely in comments about it.

So, I'm not sure. On one hand, the world is a different place 3 years on. On the other hand, I have total confidence in people's genetically intrinsic ability to whine about things out of their control...

  • 2
    Most users have the ability to flag now, so maybe this is moot.
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 22:19
  • as alternative it could be visible only to the question's author at least.
    – Balog Pal
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 18:19

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