There are a lot of questions on this site (even more than MO!) that could do with a brush up- some extra motivation, a more specific request or even just the full question in some cases. I applaud and concur with the community's liberal stance in keeping as many questions as possible open but I feel, to keep the standard up in this case we might need something more.

Now this is probably something that has been asked over at SO a squillion times but:

Could we have a way of closing questions, pending the querrant's editing his question in accordance with moderator suggestions? Perhaps just reopening after one edit, regardless of improvements (the appearance sanction here would probably be enough to stimulate action).

Perhaps there is even a way to jimmy rig it with what we've already got...

What think you? Good idea? Possible idea? Old idea?

Edit: In a fit of ground-breaking irony it appears this question was not properly motivated.

I put forward the following argument:

  1. We want a site with as many users as possible, asking and answering good questions (good here includes motivated as a superset)
  2. There are a lot of poorly motivated questions
  3. Comments and downvotes seem at best to do nothing, at worst they make the querrant feel unwelcome and crucially stop them engaging with possibly the most addictive feature of the site by keeping their rep low. Many subject to this do not return and those that do, continue to ask poor questions
  4. We want to be liberal (or more liberal than MO) and so are being gentle with our closure policy
  5. Therefore we either want to rethink our policy on closures or we require a 'soft closure' feature like the one above.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, I don't quite understand. You mean you want a new close option "Close for editing", after it is closed the OP must edit the question, and then the question will be reopened? $\endgroup$
    – kennytm
    Aug 10, 2010 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe just posting comment asking for edit and closing the question if the comment is ignored can more or less solve this problem? $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Aug 10, 2010 at 11:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Grigory- But !noone ever edits after just a comment! $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Kenny- pretty much that's it in a nutshell, although perhaps it could only reopen with the moderator's say so. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ In response to your comments about nobody revising their questions. Just speculation but I would guess that those too lazy/unwilling to put the effort in to make a question good the first time, will likely read downvotes and comments as irrelevant and not worth their time. Again it is an opinion but I guess many of these questions come from people who don't care much about thier questions. $\endgroup$
    – BBischof
    Aug 10, 2010 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Downvotes and comments are the standard way to deal with this, and yes, they don't always work, but they have improved plenty of questions on this site. High-rep users and moderators can also edit other people's posts. $\endgroup$
    – Larry Wang
    Aug 10, 2010 at 19:31

3 Answers 3


We could just close it as "Not a real question", and leave a comment to the OP to clarify it.

Not a real question

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.

If it's good, the community could just vote to reopen it (5 normal votes or 1 moderator vote), same as your proposed mechanism.

  • $\begingroup$ My reasoning was that full closure in such circumstances, as has been discussed elsewhere on meta, seems at odds with the liberal policy mentioned in the question body. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ I mean, if we did plump for closure in these circumstances, I suspect a good thoird of questions on the site as they stand would be meritous of closure. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ my point being: either we need a feature like this or a much harsher closure policy. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, thoird was a typo: *third. Meritous is a word. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Grigory- noone wants to and in most circumstances are unable to go through the hassle of explaining what is motivating another person's question. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ en.wiktionary.org/wiki/meritorious and en.wiktionary.org/w/… $\endgroup$
    – 97832123
    Aug 10, 2010 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Touche Mr. Gindi... :p $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ Anyway, my speling and or wordinventification is not the issue, we woant this feature or a newifacted closeratory policy! $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Tom: It is an issue because it prevents people not native in English like me from understanding the exact issue :). $\endgroup$
    – kennytm
    Aug 10, 2010 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom: Having additional feature like "soft close" (I don't see how much softer it is than a real close) requires changing the SO engine, which means all other sites will be affected as well. And I don't see there's a close policy yet — heck, even the FAQ isn't completed right? $\endgroup$
    – kennytm
    Aug 10, 2010 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Kenny, my apologies: I shall endeavour to be better at spelling in future. And yes, I know it would take a change to the SO engine (and that that is a big thing indeed) but this question is here to 'test the water' only- for all I knew, there could already be an SO meta thread on this exact feature, or a way to jimmy rig it on the current engine as we know it. $\endgroup$ Aug 10, 2010 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom you're right. I was thinking about something like meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/519/… and answered here, sorry $\endgroup$
    – Grigory M
    Aug 10, 2010 at 16:05

To what extent would you be satisfied with a new close reason that works identically to the others, but with a different name?

Moderators and high rep users could monitor questions closed this way to watch for edits manually. A suboptimal solution (although I think the original proposal is as well), but easier to implement than a close reason that automatically reopens after any edit.

  • $\begingroup$ Can an OP edit their question when it is closed? $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2010 at 9:18

What about comments to the OP along with down votes?


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