Just now, I just wanted to express that a question seemed to be in need to be put on hold, now. Like four voters expressed so before. For that I saw just a few edges to come off to make it a viable question.

There were four close votes already. None of them addressed (in a way visible to me) what I thought was wrong with the question.

So I really thought of how to balance VtC with helping the OP to improve on the question.

Unfortunately, after casting the vote, the majority opinion (I guess) is all there is displayed for the OP to get a clue on what happened and how to proceed, how to improve.

Is this description correct?

Strike that and nevermind:

Is there a generally proven way to make sure how thoughtful reasons explaining VtC gets through to the OP? – Or should I stop bothering?

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    Don't stop bothering! If you think a question can be salvaged with a little editing, we all benefit. As for a 'proven way', perhaps best if a moderator answers that. Feb 6, 2018 at 2:29
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    @LarsBosteen Captured between robo-reviews an caring: prime editor has to be the OP. nudging them, esp. if newbie has to be the default. SE is way too often a nasty experience, often non-neophytes struggle. Currently I feel to have just learned that elaborate VtC-reasons/comment are just in vain and down the drain. If so: that needs to be addressed somewhere. If not: somebody please clarify that for me. Feb 6, 2018 at 2:36
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    I agree with the point you make (prime editor has to be the OP) and, yes, often it can be unpleasant. I think some people don't realise that asking good questions isn't easy and often requires as much research as answering does. Hopefully, other users will share their views here. Feb 6, 2018 at 4:50
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    I think I'm missing something. What's wrong with putting your exact issue with the question into a comment?
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Feb 6, 2018 at 15:07
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    @T.E.D. I thought my VtC reason would be something like a comment that gets displayed. I now figured that the first custom VtC reason would also be displayed under the post. In hindsight it seems to me that I should have written a proper comment and then just check an arbitrary button in the VtC dialogue even if the reason there would be not fitting mine. Same difference then. VtC with 3 boilerplate reasons seems to make a new custom argument in the dialogue essentially wasteful, since it then cannot be "the most common"? Feb 6, 2018 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Boilerplate close reasons are generic and comes in limited options. There's just no real way to depend on it being very meaningful. Hence the only way to really explain issues with a question in any detail is to leave a comment.

As someone who frequently leaves comments on problematic questions, I know it can seem like a thankless, largely futile effort. The only I suggestion I can make is to avoid getting entangled. Leave a clear, polite, and specific comment addressing issues in the question; if the asker is unreceptive, just move on. You simply can't always help every user, and trying to force it would only cause yourself to burn out. But every once in a while you would've helped salvaged a question.

I have found that being specific is particularly helpful, since it tells the user concrete ways for improvement. For example, instead of saying "what preliminary research have you done", which in my observation has literally never gone over well, you could try asking them to explain what have found on a common reference like Wikipedia (better yet, link them to the right article) and why it didn't answer their question.

  • OK. But doI understand the process correctly that the comment has to go directly under the post to be of any help and that custom text in VtC other than the first vote on that is useless? Feb 6, 2018 at 12:15
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    @LangLangC I believe the most common close reason gets displayed, not the first one. If you select the other option and type in a custom text, it appears as a comment. If you do not want to be associated with the comment yourself, you can flag the post for moderator attention and ask a mod to relay your concerns.
    – Semaphore
    Feb 6, 2018 at 12:44

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