I recently voted to close this question and was surprised to see my name listed as one of the voters who had given the reason, "Not a real question." (Now I realise, of course, that all the categories are lumped together for the purposes of counting.)

I actually think it's perfectly fine as a question, it's just not in the right place, so I voted to close as "off-topic." I would have preferred that this reason was displayed against my name.

Anyway, should the actual reason given by closing voters be displayed against the voter's name? Obviously, I would prefer this to be the case but what do you think?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ In general, if you vote to close, please, as KennyTM suggests, leave a comment saying why, or upvote an existing comment you agree with. @Derek: In this case, reading your comment, I think it's most likely that you voted to close as off-topic, but it probably wouldn't hurt to add that to the end of your comment in future, i.e., "Sorry, but I'm voting to close as off-topic" if you want to be super-clear. $\endgroup$
    – Larry Wang
    Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


This has been requested multiple times on meta-SO. See:

The current resolution is declined. The most likely reason is (@dbr)

I think this would both clutter up the close-message, and lead to annoyed people wondering why Rob thought their question was not a "real question", when everyone else though it wasn't programming related..

Of course not everyone is happy with this, and therefore it is feature-request'ed multiple times.

If you find that it is important to voice out your close reason, you could always add a comment stating that "I think it's off-topic, not that it isn't a real question." (you can still comment even the question is closed).

(Please raise back-end issues on https://meta.stackoverflow.com/ in the future.)

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    $\begingroup$ It is also possible to disclose the set of voters and the multi-set of vote types (e.g., 4 off-topic and 1 exact-duplicate) without individually attributing the votes. This would avoid a discussion of who voted for what, while providing slightly more information for any meta threads that might develop. Of course, most of those closure threads would be avoided if there were a bidirectional vote-to-close-or-keep-open. $\endgroup$
    – T..
    Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 15:54

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