This question is about posts on askubuntu in general, but I'll use my post as an example:

How do I backup the pre-installed Windows before installing Ubuntu?

Only recently I've found out that the post has been closed for being off-topic and then later reopened.


It seems there has been some consensus between 5 moderators who decided to close it. My question is, how does a post becomes off-topic. Is there a debate I can see and maybe defend the post? Or do moderators just independently label it and if enough moderators do so it becomes off-topic?

1 Answer 1


It is unlikely there was much debate about closing the question, and if there was it may still be in the comments. Users here are free to delete their own comments, and moderators can remove any comments as well, so there is no guarantee all comments are still visible.

Anyone with 3000 reputation here can cast close (or re-open) votes, you don't need to be a moderator. The legitimate reasons for closing questions are spelled out in the FAQ of course, but there is some 'grey area'.

Understand that when people vote to close here it is just an expression of opinion. Our threshold here is five concurring opinions = question gets closed. I wouldn't take it as a bad thing, especially if your question was closed and then re-opened as this is rare.

Please don't read too much in to the closing of your post. It's easy to take it the wrong way but it is a community moderated site so you will often see differences of opinion. If it's any consolation I have voted to close this question asked by Jorge Castro, who has much more reputation and experience than I do. It has two other close votes pending as I type this. Nothing personal, I just feel differently about the question than Jorge does.

One last note, questions involving Windows or Linux Mint frequently attract negative attention here and are far more likely to be closed as off-topic. It's not always fair but it is the reality. If your question gets closed and you think it was unfair, log in to the chat and ask, that's usually the best way to get feedback.

  • I consider, closing Linux Mint questions always fair. As this was said in the Faq very clearly.
    – Anwar
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 14:06
  • 4
    @Anwar Questions about Linux Mint are off-topic. Questions involving Linux Mint are not always off-topic. For example, a question about how to install Ubuntu on a machine that already has Linux Mint would not be off-topic (though it might be possible to close it as a duplicate of some more general question). Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 3:37

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