There is quite a high close rate here on Programmers.SE. I think it's fair to say that not everyone agrees with some of the decisions to close. As a result there's also a fairly high re-open rate. That's got me wondering why I have to wait until something is closed to say "hey guys, I don't want this closed." Or alternatively why I have to wait until something is re-opened to say "no way, it was closed for good reason." As it stands, when you see people are voting to close something you think should stay open, you have no options other than silence, and the same when people are voting to re-open something you think should stay closed.

Could it hurt, once one close vote has been cast, to have a "don't close" vote option, and in order to close it you need 5 more close than don't close? Ditto for the re-open process? I think there would be less ping-pong this way.

Edit: I don't expect this to change the overall close rate at all. Imagine a question where 100 people with close power have an opinion. 60 want it closed and 40 want it open. Today, we could have 9 cycles of open/close (5 vote to close, 5 vote to re-open, 5 vote to close...) before it's finally closed. Under this setup, everyone would vote the first time and it would close 45-40. Only when there was a timing issue, with the voting happening while mostly closers were online, would stuff re-open. And it would take an even weirder timing issue to create close-reopen-close.

But yes, if 5 people want it closed and 95 want it open, it would never close. And I consider that a good thing, too.

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    The high close rate is for a reason.
    – user8
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 5:13
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    @Mark I don't disagree - this is as much about the closers being frustrated by re-opening as it is about people being frustrated by closing. I object to the ping pong myself. Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 10:33
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    The reason for this is that resistance is always lower in parallel than in series. I couldn't resist!
    – Mark C
    Commented Nov 6, 2010 at 3:39
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    This is now [status-completed], for more details see: How about a “Vote not to close” option to counter the “Vote to close”?
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 16:14
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    @YannisRizos well, yes, although "Only accessible from the review queue (so rather difficult to target a specific question). Yes, this is very much by-design." is something of a status-declined as far as this feature request goes (and indeed the one on meta)
    – AakashM
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 9:07
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    Yeah, I agree with @AakashM. It's very misleading to label this as [status-completed], since the feature being requested is not even remotely implemented. The very behavior asking to be addressed (ping-ponging the open/closed status) still exists just as before, doesn't it?
    – Eric King
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 21:57
  • @AakashM You have a point, changed it back to [status-declined] and will write an answer detailing the current /review only option.
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 15:21

4 Answers 4


It's one of the highest requested ideas on Meta Stack Overflow, but has been declined by management. It would be great if they implemented this since it really sucks to try and keep track of posts so that when they get re-opened, I can go back and cast my one close vote.


A feature similar to this one has been implement, you can counter-act close votes by voting to "leave open" in the close vote review queue. It's not exactly what you've asked for, and it's only accessible through the review queue, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

For more details, read this answer on MSO.


To be clear, this really isn't status-completed. I just answered a question on SO with 4 close votes. I guess people thought it was vague and unanswerable, but I happened to know of a single resource that was designed exactly for what was being asked. I went to /review and then to history and found the question there, but I can't vote to Leave Open from that view, and nor can I Edit, which would bounce it from the queue. With 47 THOUSAND questions in the SO Close queue, I'm not going to find it the regular way. I have in fact done that on smaller sites like Travel and it worked.

I edited the question to improve it a little. I'll go back later today and if it's closed, I'll vote to reopen. Ping pong.


This might break the system... We should think about it before applying it.

Let's say we've got 10 votes to close and 5 votes to open it would be closed.
But then it would require the people that want it open 10 votes to get it back open, unfair...

Two problems:

  • Why would someone vote to keep it open if it is already open?

  • More votes are required to close and open a question.

But I agree, the ping-pong is another user frustration due to closed questions and needs improvement.

Perhaps it could work with some fine tuning, but still it is something which has to be thought about...

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    Yes, perhaps the numbers need changing from a 5 delta. As to why you would vote to keep it open if it's already open, because you see close(3) there and think "no, keep it open" or the other way around you see reopen(2) and think "no, keep it closed". Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 11:31
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    Oh and once the delta was achieved I think you would need to reset the counters. So you close it 10-5 and those 15 people can't vote again. It is now 0-0. If someone clicks re-open, a new tally starts. If popular opinion (amongst those with close power) really is running 2-1 against the question, it will stay closed. Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 11:33
  • The delta is a nice idea, that might indeed work. Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 14:57

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