It's very easy for a user with a high enough reputation to flag as "on hold". All it takes is 5 users to make it official.

I've had several of my (Stack Exchange) questions get put on hold then closed with only one and often zero of the flaggers indicating why they did so.

Should flagging require a comment be made?

  • 3
    See: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/29531/…
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Sep 15, 2013 at 1:43
  • 5
    A comment is already required, people can't vote to close without first choosing a specific close reason. Forcing people to write an additional comment would make the whole process very tiring, and we really don't want that. If your questions get closed often, perhaps you should consider spending a little more time familiarizing yourself with the site and improving your questions, instead of expecting others to invest their time explaining why your questions don't belong.
    – yannis
    Sep 15, 2013 at 2:09
  • 1
    I wrote this comment only to demonstrate what can happen if someone is forced to leave a comment. It can be actually worse than that; comment may look like: "asdsfsdgdfafdrgdasf". Note by the way that user who posted a comment, may also remove it after getting their CV through
    – gnat
    Sep 15, 2013 at 10:47
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it has already been answered on meta.stackoverflow.com: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/29531/…
    – Jim G.
    Nov 2, 2013 at 1:41

2 Answers 2


If a question does not fit one of the pre-defined close reasons

  • unclear
  • too broad
  • opinion based

or off topic reasons

  • what language next
  • recommend a tool, library or off site resource
  • career or education advice

the 'other' option requires a comment be made.

The first set of three are network wide (though different communities allow different degrees of flex within them).

The off topic reasons are a distillation of the 'and its not about...' section in the help on topic section.

Whatever reason something is closed as (be it a network wide close reason, or a pre-defined off topic) there is a explanation of the reason as part of the on hold message. One could consider this as a "I left this comment" once it is closed.

standard close reason

Consider the redundancy of writing "This is unclear" as a comment and also voting to close as an unclear question.

When someone uses the 'other' close reason, that information is changed into a comment written by the first person to close with that custom reason:

custom close reason

Being aware of the network wide close reasons and the site specific off topic reasons should help one avoid asking questions that would otherwise get closed.


Specifcally to a recently closed question for yours, I voted to close it as unclear when the question was at revision 1.

In Python, should subpackages have 'test' packages or 'test' packages have subpackages? Which is the preferred test package structure for packages containing subpackages:

Tests in Subpackages?

Subpackages in Tests?

Something else?

To which you commented:

@MichaelT mattnz BЈовић: you all voted to close this question, but didn't provide a comment as to why. Please let me know what improvements I could make to help you answer the question. – Jace Browning yesterday

The close message to the question is the comment:

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking.

Personally, I don't feel that an additional comment is needed.

The only answer to the question at this time starts out with:

I am probably misunderstanding the question. Nevertheless, here is a go. Please, guide me to the precise question of interest by the means of comments.

The close reason still stands.

What is the problem that you are having that can be solved (potentially) with a single answer? If you are able to clarify it, please note that asking for a range of opinions from people as to which ones they prefer is a poor fit for the Q&A format.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .