I recently earned the privilege to close and reopen votes. I am ecstatic that I earned this privilege. It is of course, my intention to do all I can to improve AU website. There are some legitimate questions that get voted to be closed within a 24 hour period because the OP did not provide enough information. Am I wrong to vote to leave the question open to give the OP some more time to revise their question?

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    Congrats on reaching 3k! Remember, with more power, comes more responsibility. In my opinion, you should close questions that require closure, regardless of their age, as Off-Topic or Unclear questions harm the site. When I find a confusing question, I VTC (vote to close) and drop a brief comment on how to improve it. Closed questions can be reopened once the initial issue is addressed. So, if you see a question that needs closure, vote; it can be reopened later. Also, leaving a question open and planning to return often means forgetting about it.
    – Error404
    Oct 22, 2023 at 4:06
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    I think there is room for many different workflows. "Forgotten" questions are routinely rediscovered and handled. My own flow is to give most querents 24 hours to add detail before voting to close.
    – user535733
    Nov 5, 2023 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


Good question, and I'll preface this by saying it's excellent that you care about responsibly casting close votes.

While we do have objective(ish) guidelines for close votes, it can be a judgement call at times. Additionally, there's the Raiders of the Lost Downboat chatroom where you can get input on specific questions. Sometimes it's requested there that a question is closed, or perhaps that one is reopened. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using Meta, but it's worth being aware of.

In terms of lacking sufficient information... it depends. If I see a question that is unambiguously unanswerable and would need a lot of work to make answerable, it should probably be closed as Needs Details or Clarity. Depending on the question, it might be better to close it as a duplicate of a Canonical Question (if there's an applicable one), as that can provide some information for the OP.

On the other hand, if there's a question that's very close to having enough information, I'll probably refrain from casting a close vote. At the same time, I don't know if I'd vote to keep open, though. A good way to think about it is by considering if a question is answerable. To quote this answer by Sam I am says Reinstate Monica on MSE:

If you can imagine a potential answer

  • That is unambiguously correct (I.E. the OP gave you all the information you need, and the answer is not an opinion.)
  • That doesn't leave loose ends. (This covers the problematic list questions where there can always be more items to put on the list)
  • That can be written without an unreasonable amount of effort

Than the question is probably answerable.

If it's close to having enough details and you think OP will add them (i.e., because you're in a comment thread with them), I'd be hesitant to VTC. IDK if I'd vote to keep open, though.

We have a reopen queue, too. If you see something closed, and the OP edits it to have enough details, you can vote to reopen. But... while this works in theory... new users can get discouraged when their questions get closed. This isn't intended to blame those casting close votes. OT questions should be closed. But... if it's close to being answerable... consider if it's better to close or try to get the OP to add details. To be clear, there's absolutely cases where the right answer is to close it, of course.

Also... if you're not sure, there's absoultely nothing wrong with doing Skip. If you disagree, it's also fine to ask here on Meta or in Raiders of the Lost Downboat (although please include reasoning - simply stating that something was closed and it should be re-opened with no reasoning is... not great).

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