there is something wrong with closed questions, here is a popular one why are so many programmers arrogant it has a lot answers and a lot views and it seems a valid question and was closed just for a few peoples. shouldn't the system of close votes be reformulated?

here is a question that got a close vote Mark Trapp user what-s-the-minimal-requeriment-for-a-code-be-considerated-an-ai-implementation

he says: by possible duplicate of (Covers same ground) Will we ever develop artificial intelligence?– Mark Trapp 2

insane.. there is nothing duplicated. So, it would be nice to lock valid questions for don't get close votes.

shouldn't you agree that valid questions would be locked for don't get close votes? I know it depends of the moderation and has no efficient way to moderators analyze question by question

but anyway what do you think should be done?


4 Answers 4


Why why are so many programmers arrogant was closed by accident:

People saw this as a fun question and didn't really like it, the large thread of comments to the question lead into confusion (I was between the people who voted) and were enough to hide the first serious answer, and it seems that after some initial down-votes people decide more quickly based on negative comments...

Yes, 5 people were wrong... But it is reasonable with the amount of people that can vote.

Seems it triggered some kind of near-the-edge case because of the "this is a fun question".

Ignore what 's the minimal requeriment for a code be considerated an AI implementation?

It's a single vote and nobody else has agreed with it, if a question is really related but not duplicate, such an accidental close vote can happen and you shouldn't worry about it... Just ignore it.

Our site is community driven, it is thus impossible for one to lock a question against downvotes.

What should be done?

Nothing, in most cases problems resolve itself... In this case it has.
Your question is back open again, the other question is open, the edit war has stopped.

If it wasn't the case, attention from a diamond user or valued associated might have been appropriate.

  • 12
    To say Why are so many programmers arrogant? was closed by accident is absurd: 5 people didn't accidentally click the close button and provide a reason as to why they think it should be closed. 5 people thought it was a question that should be closed, and 5 more thought it was a question that should be re-opened. If 5 more people disagree with the re-open, it'll be closed again. It's a disagreement based on an interpretation of the rules for the site, not 5 people screwing up.
    – user8
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 1:44
  • And by suggesting that all close votes that either get overridden or do not gain support are "accidental" and if the question wasn't re-opened a diamond moderator would be needed, you only support the idea that we need arbitrators to come in and really manage the site rather than letting the community decide.
    – user8
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 1:46
  • 1
    @TomWj thanks for understand me
    – killown
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 2:40
  • 2
    @Mark Trapp: No. I was one of those that has done that by accident and I'm pretty sure there were others. From a community perspective it has happened by accident, that's why the community has chosen to re-open it. The "fun" comment of a third-party user triggered the accident to mis-interpret the rules for the question and answers itself... The diamond user would solely be needed for the edit war, as that's something we can't stop as we don't have the ability to lock a question from further edits. I'm not at all supporting the bad idea you mentioned... Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 2:54
  • 1
    I think the downvotes was a disagreement since your answer is correct.
    – killown
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 3:58
  • y is the color if this answer different from the rest? Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 10:42
  • @PresleyDias Heavily downvoted answers are styled such that they're less notable
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 4, 2012 at 11:59
  • @gnat ok, but even accepted answers? Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 4:22
  • @PresleyDias as you can see - yes, even accepted answers
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 4:35

but anyway what do you think should be done?

Nothing. Anything that has been closed can be re-opened... Unless it's locked or deleted. So steer clear of locking and deletion, and closing is at most a temporary inconvenience.

The important thing is that you voice your opinions. If you see a question being closed that you think is on-topic, then argue for it - provide justification, skewer arguments against it, and so on. This is how the site grows and becomes a community that recognizes its own.

Trying to "protect" questions from closing just sweeps the problem under the rug. The community must know what questions are on-topic, that they may keep them open. And the community most know what questions are off-topic, in order to remove them. Without discussion, voting, controversy... This awareness will never form.

  • 2
    what about peoples closing questions because they just don't like the question? I think it need keeps the logical thing of how you should avaliate the question, it's a valid question or not? closing a valid question will impede to get better answers.
    – killown
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 3:03
  • @killown: what do you mean by "like / dislike"? If you go out of your way to insult some sub-group of programmers, then you'd better hope there's another, equally-large subgroup who have your back... It takes about 5-6 votes to offensive-delete a post, and unlike closing, this costs the author rep and is rather difficult to reverse...
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 6:34

I voted to close the question because I believe the question covers the same ground. My vote is one of five needed to close: people can disagree with me, and that's fine.

Obviously, you disagree that your question is a duplicate of an earlier question; that's fine too. It would be helpful and constructive to myself and others if you explained why it wasn't a duplicate, but that's your prerogative to do so.

The question then becomes when two people disagree, who gets to decide which questions are locked and prevented from being closed by 5 independent people? Obviously, you have a conflict of interest in preserving your own questions, so it shouldn't be you. As I voted to close the question, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with me being that arbiter.

Let's say there is someone independent arbitrating the question. If someone else decided that your question shouldn't be locked, what then? Would you create a new topic declaring that there should be a new level to prevent people from not locking your question from close votes?

The system works: people are going to disagree, that's why we vote.

  • 2
    it slight sounds like the "why are so many programmers arrogant" question was closed because some people take it as offense, maybe? I think a question shouldn't be judged by your feelings, it's a valid question or not? that's the point. about the AI question, I really think there is nothing duplicated and the close vote was insane
    – killown
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 2:57
  • 3
    please, try not put your feelings in your decisions to be about to close a valid question, it is like a censorship of the truth. if you really think it's not a valid question so you're right but if you don't like the question you can just downvote it
    – killown
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 4:06

The requirements to close a question should be much more strict. This is because it does not really do much harm to leave a bad question open, but it does do harm to close a question that should not be closed. If votes to close a question can build up before it is closed, then votes to keep a question open should also build up before it is closed. That is not meant to be taken literally but is meant to point out an impbalance in the system. Obvously voting to keep a question open would not make much sense if it is currently open. But things like favoriting a question or people posting answers to it should count against the votes to close it even if it is currently open. The act of posting an answer to a question is expressing the oposite of voting to close a question since after a question is closed you cannot post answers to it.

The idea that it is no big deal to close questions because they can be opened again is kind of a non-argument. That fact that you can reopen a question that was wrongfully closed does not mean that there is no reason to try to improve the question closing process. A simple way to recognize that that argument does not make sense is to realize that you could still use it even if the question closing process was horrible which I am not claiming is the case. Since you can probably never perfect the question closing process there should always be a way to reopen questions, but this should not stop you from trying to improve the question closing process.

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