Today I Just asked a question and in few minutes I got 3 close votes (now 4) and zero comments and questions.

Why I ask if this is a serious site? Easy: how is possible that I put all my efforts to ask a question and people just downvote/vote for the closure without comments and explanation?

Long ago I tried an experiment, I voted for the closure of an old question that I made on purpose without any real reasons because I was curious, after few hours other 3 people voted for the closure!

Is this place serious? Seems to me that some users (only a small percentage) downvotes and and votes closure of question only for fun, and if is not they do it very easily.

How is Possible that after describing a Mathematical Construction and asking for references and Terminology I get 4 Closure votes because the question is too "Broad" without any comment!?

The question is this

Collections of Homomorphic (defined) structures via $f$


2 Answers 2


Yes, this is a serious site. Moving on.

I was not among those who voted for closure, but I agree with the early voters; I mean, I believe your question was closed for being too broad because (in its original form) it was too broad. I don't really want to talk too much about it because there's nothing I could say without it sounding overly sarcastic: There is an official description for what "too broad" means on MSE, and I agree that those things applied to your question.

As for the lack of comments, I'm not sure what you mean by "zero comments and questions": Berci commented at least once with at least two questions, several hours before you made this post. It is reasonable to expect that others did not comment because they had the same concerns (nobody wants to see five people in the comments asking the same two questions) I think that after you added the example, it stopped being too broad, and I see that somebody disagreed with me.

However, even if they voted before Berci's comment, I sympathize with the closers in the case of this specific question. It's clear now that you had a particular sort of object in mind, but from the original post, it's not clear that you had anything in mind at all. It's not clear that you had a shape that you wanted an answer to look like. It's not clear that, if I asked a question to to understand better, that that conversation wouldn't have ended three hours later with no information conveyed and both parties frustrated. All of these are, in my opinion, understandable (if not unassailable) reasons for voting to close without comment.

So from my perspective, only one person acted unreasonably (if I understand the timeline correctly). Okay, that's bound to happen sometimes, no matter what community you're in. Your question was simply in the unfortunate position where that one person had a lot of power.

As far as people voting down questions for specious reasons, this happens. If somebody misinterprets a question, then it can seem like a poor fit for the site, which is a respectable reason to downvote. Multiple downvotes indicate that even if the reason is just a misunderstanding, the question still needs to be reworded to make people less likely to have that misunderstanding.

As far as people closing questions for specious reasons… this happens either a lot more or a lot less. It depends who you ask. Look around meta and you'll find the large discussions on "no effort questions" and PSQs, or whatever they're called nowadays. Obviously this is not the situation your question is currently in, and it probably is not the situation it was in when you posted either. I only bring it up to say: there is wide disagreement even among established users about what "closure" is supposed to mean.

And this is what you have to remember: it's easy to come to MSE with the impression that it's sort of a black box where you put a question in and hopefully get an answer out. But at all stage, there are real people involved, with different ideas about the community and their role in it. I'm looking through your question history, and I think 29 of your 31 questions you asked have been extremely well-received. Glitches happen, from both questioners and answerers. It's hard to step back and see the big picture when you're in the middle of one, but try not to take it too personally.

  • $\begingroup$ I may have been overly provocative. I agree with your answer, is an enough balanced view of the "incident". Anyways the fact stays. Now the question is on hold but I have not more suggestion than before to improve it...whenever is possible to improve it more! Adding tons of examples wont make the question easier to understand. $\endgroup$
    – MphLee
    Feb 28, 2014 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ + 1 by the way. $\endgroup$
    – MphLee
    Feb 28, 2014 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @MphLee The question is now reopened. I recommend that, if possible, you provide more examples to help clarify your thoughts. $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2014 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ I will try. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – MphLee
    Feb 28, 2014 at 22:04

Long speech made short, You ask for some philosophical discussion.

This site is about answering direct and clear questions from users to avoid them being stuck with technical problems. This is no forum or classroom.

Do not take it badly, this is intended for you to reformulate the way you ask questions so as to being more efficient.


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