I have been looking at the Closed sign several time recently. Once I posed a firstly erroneous, later edited, but in any case relatively vague question, that I believe was close probably for being broad.

The other time I was i) able to answer a closed question, ii) and I seem to have received quite a few reputations nevertheless.

This forum seems to be very rule-laden. My reflections is that there might be a possibility to discuss issues rather than just asking questions and receiving answers, although I don't dispute the value of the latter.

  • $\begingroup$ If you click on the help icon at the top of the main page, you can click on the What does closed mean. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 20:32
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I should also mention that the line between a valid question and a closed question is largely decided by the community, and is not always constant (as is perhaps best reflected by the SE sites' differing interpretations of what we call soft questions or big list questions). $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 20:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For discussing issues, you can use chat rooms (also the "chat" link at the top of every page). I understand your desire for discussion, but it's not what this particular site (or at least its QA part) was designed for. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ @mix, it clearly says there, "Closed questions cannot be answered," but OP claims to have done so. What do we make of that? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson It depends on the order of operations... Mikael answered this question at 20:57 of 2013-06-15. It was closed shortly after that, at 21:11. But a question being closed does not prevent voting on the question and answers, and some reputation was earned for the answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


"Discussing issues" is explicitly discouraged in our FAQ. This is a Q&A forum, where questions are asked and answers are given. As Lord_Farin wrote, use the chat room if you want to get into a discussion.

As to the question you asked in the title: there's an FAQ item for that, but the system is undergoing an overhaul and so the current description will be obsolete in a week or so. (A more updated version of the page will hopefully replace the current version by then.)

  • $\begingroup$ I do not understand why the chat room is where we should be discussing whether a question should be closed or not. The response you would get there is very much dependent on who is in the chat room when the discussion is happening. This is okay if it is a clear-cut case, but surely for borderline cases meta is better? This is independent of a precise moment in time, and besides the front page of meta isn't what you'd call busy, and there is a thread for proposing to re-open questions here. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ @user1729 You seem to be reading things differently; in my (and Willie's) reading, OP asks about "[discussing] issues rather than just asking questions and receiving answers" on the main site, where "issues" can be interpreted as "problems with/thoughts about (specific) mathematics". Of course, on meta there's the discussion tag. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin Ah, sorry, I thought the OP was lamenting his questions being closed and was struggling to find somewhere to question this situation. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ @user1729: Lord Farin explained my reading. It may help if you look at the two closed questions alluded to in the OP: Question 1, and Question 2. My understanding of the "discussing issues" is based in part on the phrasing of those two questions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 10:33

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