Should there be some kind of delay between a new question being asked and it being closed for certain reasons - such as not enough clarity? It seems a bit harsh and unfriendly to me for a new user to join a community and ask a question, for it to be flagged as, for example, "too vague" and then to be closed within the space of an hour or two. This seems like insufficient time for them to have been expected to spot the flag and to be able to provide the information.

As a recent example, see Compositor nodes - holdout and combined at once. The question was raised and is, admittedly, quite vague - I didn't understand what was being asked and requested more information. Two hours later it was flagged as 'closed' as needing more clarity.

Now, I completely accept that the question needed more information and as it stands should be (eventually) closed - but to that new user it seems a bit harse to close the question so quickly. I know it can be updated and made active again (and the users have just followed the proper site procedure by flagging the question as it is) but it seems to me to come across are rather unfriendly and unwelcoming.

It would be better IMO to leave the question outstanding - but with the 'close' votes still present for a certain amount of time and only actually 'close' the question when that time has expired - at least 24 hours and preferably more. If the user hasn't responded to update the question in a couple of days I think it would be fair enough - but I think two hours turnaround would come across as unwelcoming to new users.


1 Answer 1


I agree in part with what was said, and some times refrain from close voting on certain questions for this same reason, since a mod vote is binding and the question gets closed immediately which can scare off inexperienced people.

I understand this may seem harsh or hostile to new users who expect to get an answer, but closed question is not an irrevocable state.

In fact that is exactly what closing is for, the message box on top clearly states what procedures to take to get the question reopened, and saves both time and energy of writing the same comments repeatedly.

It also gives us access to convenient tools like queuing it up for review automatically if the question does get edited with more details, both increasing visibility, and the chance of getting an actual answer, while ensuring it does actually get new eyes on it again. Unlike a comments asking for clarification, which may get buried on the avalanche of new questions.

I think the issue stems mainly from the wording and terms used in the automatic messages. Closed sounds too "final" and irrevocable and may seem harsh for new users. Something like On hold or Awaiting Edit would be more adequate.

The issue isn't new and has been raised before, and the broader issue with close messages has been brought up on several occasions on meta like:

So the staff is aware of it, maybe something will be done about it in the not-too-distant future.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks Duarte. I think you’re right about the process and that it’s more down to the wording. “Awaiting edit” would be a good state IMO - gets the message across and seems far less “final”. $\endgroup$ Sep 15, 2020 at 17:42

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