Today I've voted for closing this question for missing any context and for the OP has shown no effort. Another 4 users thought the same (I suppose) and voted accordingly. (Furthermore, one of them left a comment explaining the OP what's wrong with his question and how to improve it.)

But our votes have been annihilated by Jyrki Lahtonen who reopened it without leaving a reason.

If I was wrong I'd like to know why, and eventually to apologize the OP for my closing vote.

Edit. Meanwhile the question has been edited by Jyrki Lahtonen, so I'm referring to the question as it was before.


2 Answers 2


The question as it was asked did not provide any context whatsoever, and as such can be considered as legitimate target for a vote to close. I also feel that some of the actual context would be valuable for the question.

There is however a school of thought (that makes some sense in my opinion) that a question being interesting, and other positive aspects, can be weighed against a lack of context or other negatives. This is what happened here.

Personally, I think it would have been more elegant to edit the question first and to reopen it then (or to wait if it is reopened by others), rather than to "slam it open." But, by now the question got edited, so this is already "yesterday's news".

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Agreed. It was bad form to just reopen it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 18:09
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Actually it wasn't edited by the OP, it was edited by Jyrki which in my opinion doesn't count. $\endgroup$
    – user26857
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 20:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @user26857 yes, I was aware of this. I see your point, though I do not share it. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 21:57

Indeed, I unilaterally reopened the question. I do this very sparingly. In fact I cannot point you at the previous occasion. I was summoned to the scene in response to flags related to comments under the question. I noticed that I very much disagreed with the decision to close the question.

Why did I make this exception?

  • The question is favorited by 7 users, and has 7 upvotes (together with a single downvote). This is highly unusual for a question marked as off-topic for lack of context. Anyway, it does prove that I am not the only user who likes this question a lot.
  • The question also has a well upvoted answer. We have discussed many times how much protection (if any) that gives to a question. AFAICT we have judged those case-by-case. Admittedly I should have first edited the question to shape. I may still do so. I just did that.
  • The question is just too cool.
  • You (=the OP and other users with the privilege) still have the option to reclose it, if you feel that I have erred.
  • (Added later, but it was obvious from the beginning). Judging from their profile the OP is not one of those askers the no-context -policy is IMO targeting.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "The question is just too cool." Seems like a standard exercise to me. (I'll give you that the answer is on the elegant side.) "You still have the option to reclose it, if you feel that I have erred." If "you" should refer to OP this is false. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: Your comment is appreciated. I have trouble keeping my head as cool as the answer, when dealing with certain types of actions. Hopefully my edit has improved the question enough so that there is no urgent need to delete it. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the edit; I retracted my votes now. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 17:06
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ There it is again, "unilaterally". Didn't we agree already that pretty much every action on this website is unilateral? Mostly because most moderation is a turn-based game, so every move is made by a single side (and thus unilateral by definition)? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 18:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Where was this agreement? At meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/18939/… there are two answers, one of which says that you misunderstood the word unilateral, and the other that there is not likely to be any agreement. I saw no big support there for the idea that "every action is unilateral", which was only a hypothesis of yours in the question (and your comments got 0-2 votes). I think it is a clear and correct usage of the word to describe a binding mod-vote as "unilateral" when it is equivalent in effect to several ordinary users' votes. @AsafKaragila $\endgroup$
    – zyx
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 17:26

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