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There are three votes to close this question.

My questions regarding this are:

  1. Is there some way of stating a reason to vote to close, or of finding out what someone's reason was, or of finding out who voted to close so that one can ask why they did so?
  2. And, is there some way of voting against a proposed closure?

It's being suggested in comments that someone other than the original poster edited the question in a way that made it appear impolite. If so, apparently that can be done without anyone even having any way for others to contact the person responsible to tell them they shouldn't do that.

LATER EDIT: I'm adding this in the interests of clarity.

The original post read as follows:

BEGIN QUOTE

tan(x)=-(2/3), (5pi)/2

This much I understand but now I'm supposed to count the two none written functionvalues in cos(x), sin(x) and tan(x) and I don't get anything.

END QUOTE

I don't think a reasonable reader could conclude based on that, that's it's not a real question. "Cardinal" considers it obvious that a reasonable reader could conclude that.

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    $\begingroup$ I voted to close this question as not constructive, because calling users preemptively "imbecilic" is no way to start a constructive discussion. But no, you can't find out who voted unless they tell you or the question gets actually closed. You can vote to reopen afterwards, but do nothing in the meantime. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Mar 2 '13 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker : I did not preemptively call anyone imbecilic. I did so after observing their behavior. How can someone who acts anonymously without stating reasons object to having their actions called imbecilic, dishonest, irresponsible, evil, or anything else, or feel that there's any incivility in that? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Mar 2 '13 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy: How can someone who acts anonymously without stating reasons object to having their actions called imbecilic, dishonest, irresponsible, evil, or anything else, or feel that there's any incivility in that? With all due respect, most actions on this website are, by design, taken "anonymously without stating reasons"! $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal: Up- and down-votes are quite different from votes to close. $\endgroup$ – Tara B Mar 2 '13 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ Dear @MichaelHardy: I find the tone you are using in this entire discussion, including your word choice, unnecessarily combative. As I have pointed out to you below robjohn's answer, the "seeming irrationality" you are asserting seems quite dubious to me in light of the first few revisions to the question you have linked to. Perhaps instead of excoriating other users, you should consider looking carefully at the revision history and considering all of the possibilities. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal You changed the title to significantly alter its tone, and you completely deleted a paragraph whose text you deemed combative. These actions (even though probably well intended), go against the recommended edit policy, which includes "clarifying meaning without changing it; always respect the original author". $\endgroup$ – Math Gems Mar 2 '13 at 21:30
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    $\begingroup$ Dear Bill (@MathGems): Yes, I did take that liberty with a very particular purpose in mind. As explained in my comments(!) and alluded to in the revision comments, I intended it as a hopefully useful example to the OP of a way they could reformulate the question in a tone more conducive to dialog. I have no issue with it being rolled back if the OP feels somehow slighted or prefers the original. Please recall that you have taken similar actions on less provocative wording of this same user's posts in the past. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 21:56
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy: I have tried to make a general statement about the general tone that I perceive to be coming through in your question and subsequent comments. It is difficult for me to see how my comment could be misconstrued as somehow possibly intimating that you are "dumb". Furthermore, it is my opinion that the inflammatory rhetoric (imbecilic, irresponsible, dishonest, evil, irrational, dumb) being used strongly detracts from your question and the issue at hand. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 3 '13 at 3:40
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: I find it hard to see how cardinal's most recent comment is intimidation, if Math Gems is Bill. So far, no moderators have made a publicly stated opinion about whether or not Math Gems is Bill (in their capacity as moderators; Eric Naslund's comment here was made before he became a moderator), so please don't interpret this comment as being one - but I am just saying I don't see how it would be intimidation. $\endgroup$ – Zev Chonoles Mar 3 '13 at 6:09
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: To call this particular post 'intimidation' is treating this incident like a legal courtcase, in the worst way. On the contrary, I found nothing objectionable in that particular post, as it struck me as one old-timer acknowledging another. On the contrary, to me your claim that it was, in fact, intimiation came across as an attempt to shut cardinal up; and if that is not the case, then here is one voice that it sounded to some that way. As well, terms such as "extremely or deliberately naive" and "ugliness" are not helping and hostile. $\endgroup$ – gnometorule Mar 3 '13 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: If you insist on treating this like a laywer, then let me point out that you have just stated that everyone not agreeing with your opinion in this matter (a) is wrong ("extremely naive" expressing that only a fool could not see the truth you stated), and (b) is not acting in good faith ("deliberately naive" expressing he or she is aware of such truth, and chose to ignore it). Stated that way, I find it just a tad strong. $\endgroup$ – gnometorule Mar 3 '13 at 7:17
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    $\begingroup$ Adverse comments that try to reach "behind the user profile" to identifiable, real, offline persons are the worst possible category of material on a mostly anonymous online web site, and I see no censorship (or legalistic) implication in highlighting and discouraging such attacks whenever they occur. This is one of many categories of material that are patently off-topic, but is much more noxious than most of the others. $\endgroup$ – zyx Mar 3 '13 at 7:35
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: There's a difference between exposing an anonymous user, and exposing a suspended user (who claimed to be leaving the site anyway which is circumventing the suspension. One is indeed a breach of privacy and the other is a breach in the confidence the community gives to the users. If you have several accounts, one is suspended, and you are using the others actively it is a ground for their deletion, suspension, or otherwise. As indicated in a recent answer. If we do that to other users (e.g. WM), I don't see why this case is different. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 3 '13 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Asaf: If I had more unsuspended accounts I'd upvote that comment again and again! ;-) (Especially the last sentence.) $\endgroup$ – user642796 Mar 3 '13 at 9:36
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: I disagree with your last comment. I think there is a lot in the public space to equate these two particular users. I do agree that Bill's mathematical contribution has a lot of merits, it's his social skills and moderation which I saw problematic. If Math Gems and Bill are the same person, then the fact revealing himself will have devastating repercussions (deletions, extended suspensions, etc.) is making Bill behave much nicer to people and that's just fine. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 4 '13 at 18:18
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In cases like this, you can ask in comments why people voted to close. Otherwise, you need to wait and vote to reopen if it should become closed. As with all other voting, it often seems random and capricious. Serial downvoting can be detected and dealt with, but it is hard to catch and deal with all types of illogical voting.

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    $\begingroup$ Dear robjohn (and Michael Hardy): I invite you to look through the edit history of that question, particularly the first few. It does not seem at all implausible (much less imbecilic) to me that it might attract close votes. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal: I did not mean to imply that I thought the votes on that post were illogical. I was saying that the only way to deal with the close votes was to vote to open if it should become closed. My comment about illogical voting was directed at general cases of random and capricious voting. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Mar 2 '13 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal : Can you explain why such a question would attract votes to close? Then your comment might be of some value. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Mar 2 '13 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ Dear @MichaelHardy: Look at revision one. The close votes were as not a real question. It should be self-evident that a reasonable reader might arrive at such a conclusion. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:10
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal : Returning to my question: How do you know that the close votes were as "not a real question"? As you can see, that's a big part of what I asked in this present posting. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Mar 2 '13 at 16:14
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy: Because I clicked on the close link and the red box with the number 3 in it next to not a real question shows precisely that! :-) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:15
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    $\begingroup$ @cardinal : You've lost me. As far as I know, one can't click on the "close" link without voting to close, and I don't see any red box. Is it possible for someone who does not vote to close the question to find out somehow that they were as "not a real question", if that's what they were? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Mar 2 '13 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael: Go to the question, click on the close(3) link. This will pop up a window with five options on it, the fourth of which is not a real question. White numbers on red background next to each option will tell you how many votes to close of each type were made. For example, I have not voted to close this particular question, but I can see this information. You can close the window without voting to close by clicking on the X at top right. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal : The original post was as follows: BEGIN QUOTE: tan(x)=-(2/3), (5pi)/2 This much I understand but now I'm supposed to count the two none written functionvalues in cos(x), sin(x) and tan(x) and I don't get anything. END QUOTE You're claiming that it's "self-evident" that a reader would consider this "not a real question". I don't think a reasonable reader could conclude based on that, that it's not a real question. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hardy Mar 2 '13 at 23:09
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHardy: I try to take reasonable care with my words; please consider them carefully. I said that it should be self-evident that a reasonable reader might arrive at such a conclusion. Regarding the snippet: No question is stated there, and, honestly, I can completely see how another user might conclude from it that: It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form.. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 3 '13 at 3:45
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Is there some way of stating a reason to vote to close?

Yes. The person voting to close can choose to place a comment below the question indicating their reason.


(...) or of finding out what someone's reason was?

(Partial) Yes. You may ask in comments for the rationale behind votes to close. However, the voter to close may not see this comment or may choose not to respond and even if they do respond, it may be suggested that the discussion be moved to meta or chat if it becomes even moderately protracted.


(...) or of finding out who voted to close so that one can ask why they did so?

(Partial) Yes. As indicated in the comments to this question, since you have (well) over 10K reputation, you may click on the review tab, then click on Close Votes then click on the history subtab at right. This will show recent close votes submitted through the review panel. I am not sure, but I do not believe it shows close votes submitted directly on the question page.


And, is there some way of voting against a proposed closure?

Yes. If the question ends up collecting the votes needed for closure, you may then vote to reopen the question. This will also create an entry in the review panel to alert other users that they should revisit the post. Editing a closed post will have a similar effect.


(...) someone other than the original poster edited the question in a way that made it appear impolite. If so, apparently that can be done without anyone even having any way for others to contact the person responsible to tell them they shouldn't do that.

No. Any of the editors can be notified with the @username mechanism at any time. So, it is (almost) always possible to contact a post editor. Whether or not you should tell them "not to do that" is a matter of judgment. (Minor caveat: If two editors have the same user name or have the same user name as a commenter who commented after the edit, the editor may not be able to be notified.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I did leave an @username comment to one of the editors, but I didn't feel confident that the user really would be notified, because their name didn't come up as a suggestion when I started typing, and it was a multiword name. $\endgroup$ – Tara B Mar 2 '13 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ @TaraB: Yes, they'll be notified; but, no their name won't come up as a pop-up suggestion. :-) I think that's mentioned in the last link of my answer. The details and minutiae of commenting are convoluted and a bit murky. Cheers. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I just looked at the link now and it turns out I should have removed all the spaces in the username. I think it may not work without the spaces removed. $\endgroup$ – Tara B Mar 2 '13 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ Dear @TaraB: I think they probably were notified. As long as there is a match of at least the first three letters of a user name (unless something has changed since I last looked), the person will get notified. (See item (3) in that answer.) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ You mean provided that person was somehow involved in the question or answer being commented on? $\endgroup$ – Tara B Mar 2 '13 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ @TaraB: Correct. This includes editing as well. However, the names of editors don't show up in the suggestions tab when you're trying to notify them with a comment. They'll still be notified, though, provided your comment meets the specifications given at that answer I linked to detailing this. Like I alluded to before: convoluted and a bit murky. ;-) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. Okay, well thanks for the clarification. It now turns out that I was attributing the edit to the wrong person, anyway! $\endgroup$ – Tara B Mar 2 '13 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal: at least on chat, it has been my experience that if two users have the same name, or the name of the one you want to contact is a prefix of another, then both get contacted. I don't know if the same applies to comments on posts. (This is assuming you type the whole name of the user you want to contact. If you type a common prefix, then all users associated with that post with a name that matches will be contacted) $\endgroup$ – robjohn Mar 2 '13 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ @robjohn: Thanks! That's interesting. I have only very limited experience with chat. I suppose if Michael G posts a comment under your answer, we could test that by notifying "Michael". Previously, my understanding was that only the first match of a prefix in reverse chronological order was taken. See, for example, item (4) at the last link I gave. :-) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ @robjohn: Wow! Thanks for that edit. I'm glad you caught that (and not sure how I missed it). That was a terrible copy-paste attempt on my part! :-) $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 2 '13 at 16:51

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