I had three questions that have issues with voting to close system.

Question #1

This has two votes ((Currently on hold exactly as I have expected)) to get closed because it is an opinion-based question. My question was about if "How would your apology benefit me?" sounds clear and understandable based on what I have explained in the question since I have translated it literally from my native language.

I got an amazing answer for it, but unfortunately, it mentioned its user's opinion although my question was about the phrase only.

Question #2

This one has been marked as duplicated simply because there is a question that requires the same word which means "a person got a job because a friend or relative gave it to him, instead of earning it themselves.", when my question wants a word that means "a means of getting a job over reliable candidates", which requires a more general word than that question. I assume the example I have written in my question indicated that meaning, so I have edited it and clarified that that is just an example which means implicitly that that is not the situation I need a word for. Also, my question was saying it all, besides the answer I chose.

Question #3

When I got 4 votes to close it because it was too general that it has so many answers, I doubted myself and deleted it thinking that they are right. But when I have returned to the story I was writing and used the suggestions I have got from the comments, they didn't fit at all.

The original sentence: "It is ok. She is just trying to provoke me."

Suggestion_1: "Don't worry. She is just trying to provoke me."

Suggestion_2: "Calm down. She is just trying to provoke me." ...etc

They don't fit because of the pronoun me when all the phrases have you implicitly. Also, if the voters had so many answers for it, why didn't they post some.

Now back to my question "Is the Close System really fair?", since I think that people tend to follow the crowd is applied here. When a user reads a reason for closing a question, they may find it "reasonable" when they weren't thinking that when they first came to it.

I suggest the close votings be invisible until the question gets the required amount of the votings to close.


1 Answer 1


I see a few things in your post that need to be addressed in general, since that's how you phrased your question. I do disagree with some of the things you say as to why the posts themselves shouldn't receive close votes.

This has two votes to get closed because . . .

Wait, so only two? Closing is a democratic process. When someone votes to close a question, it enters the 'Close Vote' review queue, where others can agree or disagree with the decision to close it1. The question will either receive 5 close votes and get closed, or it won't. When it hasn't gained enough votes, it is as open as every other post and there are no restrictions on answering.

This one has been marked as duplicated . . .

There are two types of duplicate questions, and being a duplicate doesn't necessarily indicate poor quality (just like how the high votes don't always indicate high quality). The first type is often very useful; it suggests an alternative wording to a question already asked, so it is going to help people searching for the problem. The second offers no new alternatives to the wording or the approach to the problem, and it usually indicates a lack of research on the asker's part. On more extreme cases, usually seen on bigger sites like Stack Overflow, the asker could have simply typed the title of their question into a Google search box.

See Dr. Strangedupe, as its first paragraphs are still relevant today. It is unfortunate that the system treats duplicates like closed questions2 (as far as I know at least) and, as the site grows, duplicate questions that do show lack of research or regard for quality content increase in number, but what you should be concerned about is the feedback your question receives, not whether a highly similar question appears in a banner above your post or not.

Is the Close System really fair?

Fair to whom?

Simply put, Stack Exchange sites' mission was to create a high-quality repository of knowledge on the topic the site covers. This means that there was going to be a trade-off: It had to be unlike your normal forum where your response to a post could be "I have this problem too!" or as long as it doesn't look like your cat typed the question, you could expect an answer, or heck, it means that you shouldn't include anything redundant like "Hi!" or "Thank you in advance!"3.

This required tools to moderate content, remove the undesirable parts and keep what was deemed to be helpful to someone landing on the site from Google, looking for an answer (and close votes are one of those). A side effect of this approach would be that we're not necessarily here to help the individual get an answer to every question they have, but only ones that help the site on its primary mission. Is it fair to hurt future individuals' chances of finding an answer to their problem just to help one individual with their poor question, no matter what?

. . . I think that people tend to follow the crowd is applied here.
emphasis not mine

Groupthink is a pretty common accusation being thrown around with regards to close votes. It might or might not be present to varying degrees in different sites, but the only thing common in all the accusations I've seen, to be frank, is they've never been supported by evidence, just a 'feeling' for most people.

But even that entirely misses the point. It would be similar to the current climate change debate where some people are only trying to figure out where to focus the blame, even though it's ultimately useless. Your recourse for when you disagree a question should have been closed is bring it up on meta, which you almost did. If people agree with the premises you make in challenging the decision, they would vote to reopen, and in fact this does happen in a decent number of cases.

I suggest the close votings be invisible until the question gets the required amount of the votings to close.

This is more or less already implemented, and the user needs a minimum amount of participation to see close votes. As I said, any question is either closed or open, and there are no intermediate states. You can instead ask for a way to improve your question if you have gained the privilege to see your question garnering close votes.


1: Also do note that not every guy from around the corner can vote to close; it requires 3,000 reputation so that we can more or less trust the close voter to know how to use the site, and more specifically, their votes.

2: This could have some influence on getting someone closer to a question ban, but practically, people get banned for asking very poor questions that have much bigger problems than being useless duplicates.

3: See Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?

  • Okay, I can see your points, so thanks for clarifying and solving my matter here. The only thing I can't get is the last reference since: First, It is not related to my question in any aspect. And second, I don't do what was mentioned in the question('s) answers, as to add greetings, appreciations, side unrelated comments, and humor in my posts. By the way, I'm not going to point out for Question #3 although I didn't receive anything about it. Feb 13, 2019 at 16:41
  • 1
    No, that was only an example of the "stricter" quality standards, hence why it went into the addendum, not the main crux of my answer.
    – M.A.R.
    Feb 14, 2019 at 12:26

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