I was half-way through composing a helpful answer to this question about implementing a text editor, when the horde of roving question-closers descended on me and sent me packing. It was only 19 minutes old, for heaven's sake! What was wrong with the question? I was eager to impart my knowledge and experience to help a fellow programmer, but I wasn't allowed to. Like...WTF? Can we reopen this please? The OP needs my help!

  • 2
    You should thank ire_and_curses - extensive edits made it a pretty easy reopen decision.
    – Nicole
    May 17, 2011 at 21:30
  • 3
    Question is now open. Impart away.
    – mmyers
    May 17, 2011 at 21:31
  • Impartation complete. Thank you everybody.
    – TonyK
    May 17, 2011 at 21:46
  • 11
    I certainly appreciate that you wanted to help, but I agree with the closers: NARQ -- overly broad. Frankly, also, I'm not sure any of the answers are all that helpful. shbk indicated that e looked at some sample code and couldn't understand it, and all the answers say "Look at this sample code."
    – jscs
    May 17, 2011 at 22:04
  • It's a question that will interest some (me, for instance) and offend nobody. So why close it? I suspect there are now just too many members with vote-to-close privileges.
    – TonyK
    May 17, 2011 at 22:40
  • 9
    @TonyK: No, there are just too many bad questions. Your standards have been lowered. It's like a Stockholm effect. Too many questions that are desperately in need of closing are not closed because they slip off the first 10 pages too quickly. May 18, 2011 at 0:10
  • 5
    Quotes from the FAQ: It does not fall into the class of "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face". It is subjective and open-ended -- "every answer is equally valid"; "there is no actual problem to be solved". Like I said below, there's some room for judgement calls, but in my judgement, this one fails the test. I agree with @Cody that there are way too many questions not getting closed. It's possible that the frustration of seeing so many go by makes those of us with close votes a little hair-triggered sometimes, but this ain't one of those times.
    – jscs
    May 18, 2011 at 2:52
  • 3
    Looks like the new "free downvote" thing is doing a lot of damage in this post...The voting pattern in this question+answers made clear to me that "free downvote" is not fair in meta, since here we are just voting using our personal opinions.
    – yms
    May 18, 2011 at 14:09
  • 1
    @yms Why would that be? Costs for expressing agreement and disagreement is now equal, such that I can vote more, but if you look down the Meta homepage, only outrageously bad posts get voted down to the negative regions. Nothing has changed, except to make things fairer, on Meta
    – Yi Jiang
    May 18, 2011 at 15:27
  • 1
    @Yi You see? That is just your opinion! Suppose there is a question A and answer B opposing the question, you can downvote the question and upvote the answer, it will be free for you. If I want to upvote the question and downvote the answer, I have to loose rep. As you can see, it could not be farther to "fairer".
    – yms
    May 18, 2011 at 15:35
  • @Yi: So my post is outrageously bad? I can't believe you mean that. It would make you delusional.
    – TonyK
    May 18, 2011 at 16:37
  • 1
    I'd vote to close that question every day of the week and twice on Sunday. It is way to broad of a question for SO. If the OP puts in some effort, scratches together some code, and needs help then we've got ourselves a question to keep open.
    – user7116
    May 18, 2011 at 18:16
  • @yms What I don't understand is why you think that votes on answers and questions are or should be equal - they're not. Questions do not compete directly with each other for frontpage space (in other words, you're suppose to vote on each question independent of all others) With answers it's different - they do compete directly with each other, so when you need to move an answer up, you can either vote up that answer, or downvote competing answers (voting relative to other answers). One of these is "free", since the team encourages upvotes, while the other is reserved for really bad content.
    – Yi Jiang
    May 18, 2011 at 22:26
  • @Yi Yes, you are probably right about that. I got a similar argument here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/91808/…
    – yms
    May 18, 2011 at 22:51

4 Answers 4


You do a disservice to people with the "vote-to-close" privilege by describing them as "roving question-closers." If you look at the people who closed the original question, you will see that they are actually "roving question answerers" who used their judgement to vote to close a poor question when they read it, and that's a huge difference.

What seems like a conspiracy is actually just a difference of opinion and an increase in the size of StackOverflow itself. Things can happen quickly when there are a lot of views. It doesn't need to explained by a mythical campaign to eradicate imperfect questions.


I agree with you that there was a good question there. Unfortunately it was terribly written, and it seems no one could be bothered to clean it up when the close button is so tempting. I've fixed the question, and voted to reopen.

  • Thank you! Now I can post my reply.
    – TonyK
    May 17, 2011 at 21:33
  • 6
    It's still a bad open-ended pseudo-question. May 18, 2011 at 3:16

With thousands of questions, I can't blame people for closing those they consider bad quality - personally I'll try to improve such question instead of closing it, but many people prefer to take the highway.

This said and done, you can Edit such bad post yourself then notify those who closed it one by one in comments (e.g. @Jim, @Chris, @David) asking them to reopen.


I've had two questions closed on me, one yesterday and one today, as I was in the process of answering them.


I can't find the second question. It was on Stack Overflow.

I'm not looking for an argument or a discussion about the question. I'm just stating my opinion here.

In my opinion, there's a difference between a poorly worded question, and a question that's vague or unanswerable.

I'm seeing more and more that people are voting to close questions that are poorly worded.

  • 1
    The question you linked in your answer, and the one concerning this question, were not closed because they were poorly worded, but because they were overly broad.
    – adamjford
    May 18, 2011 at 17:20
  • @adamjford: If the question was so broad, how could I possibly answer it in less than 200 words? I suppose broad is in the eye of the beholder. May 18, 2011 at 17:24
  • 1
    I'm not saying closing your linked question as "overly broad" was valid or not (on one hand, the user is specifically asking for the first step; on the other, the answers to his question would have been much more useful if he had narrowed down his technologies in the first place), just that it was not closed because of poor formatting.
    – adamjford
    May 18, 2011 at 17:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .