It seems like this only supports mob mentality, where many other users will simply follow one because the first one said so. If a question was truly bad, users would flag it without the 'reminder comment'.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm really tempted to vote to close this question just so I can leave a comment explaining why. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 18 '16 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop You can leave a comment why you are tempted to do it without actually doing it. The gain in information will be nearly the same here. \$\endgroup\$ – Ariser Jul 18 '16 at 21:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop I admit it was half as funny if you did instead of your comment. YMMD \$\endgroup\$ – Ariser Jul 18 '16 at 21:41

The comment is primarily there to provide feedback to the OP. Whether other agree with it or not is secondary.

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    \$\begingroup\$ it's not exactly secondary, it's highly influenced by others. for examples of this, check out the Asch experiments: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments \$\endgroup\$ – user86234 Jul 18 '16 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's still secondary to why Stack Exchange allows these comments to exist. Indeed, when a question is closed by votes only, the system inserts a canned comment explaining why. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Jul 18 '16 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ But I ask, if this is truly the reason that comments exist (conformity), then is conformity in these comments so important that we must use these queues to tell us weather or not a question is good or bad? \$\endgroup\$ – user86234 Jul 18 '16 at 20:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ You've lost me. The review queues (if that's what you're talking about) exist because if one user found a problem with a post, we want other users to evaluate it sooner rather than later. We expect them all to use their own judgement, but reading the comments of others can help speed up the process. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Jul 18 '16 at 20:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ You said that weather or not others agree to the comments (conformity) is secondary to why stack exchange allows comments. hence the 3rd comment. \$\endgroup\$ – user86234 Jul 18 '16 at 20:45

Think of it from the OP's point of view. What would you rather see, a question closed with only one of the canned text to explain why, or a more detailed explanation from someone that voted to close?

Occasionally someone on the fence about whether a question should be closed may be swayed by someone else explaining their reasoning for closing it. There is nothing wrong with that. If that's happening, then the question is borderline at best. I'm just not going to get worked up about what happens to mediocre questions.

We also sometimes see the reverse happening. A close vote or two accumulates, and someone argues that the question shouldn't be closed for a particular reason. These arguments can sometimes be effective.

If you don't like that, don't post mediocre questions. Clearly that's possible, since most questions don't get any close votes. If we lose a few questions that are at the 21st percentile instead of the 20th percentile, it's no real loss. We get plenty of good questions. Doing anything but dispensing with borderline questions in the most expedient way is a waste of time and noises up the site. If the mob helps with that, OK.


If somebody voted to close a question, the system automatically generates indicators. The questions is added to the the close review queue. "close (n)", where n is the current number of close votes, appears on the questions itself. This is visible to those with close-voting privileges.

Why, one may wonder?

  1. Because everyone like a clean stack.
  2. Because a closed mediocre question is not a big loss.
    Not for an O.P.
    Not for the rest of us.

See also this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ No, I'm talking about actual comments that say "Voted to close this because X, Y, and Z" here is an example: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/246634/… \$\endgroup\$ – user86234 Jul 18 '16 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tuskiomi That's what I'm talking about. The information is there already. It's visible to people with close-voting privilege (that's why you don't see it). "Voting to close" doesn't actually add more information. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Jul 18 '16 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ voting isn't the problem. it's others saying out loud "I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about EE but economics" Sure it's obvious, but it is very easy to sway a group with this.the question was closed in no more than 20 minures after that comment, with the question being asked 2 hours ago. \$\endgroup\$ – user86234 Jul 18 '16 at 20:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @tuskiomi After the first close vote, the question ended up in the close-review queue. That's where the rest of the close-voters have found it. Not to mention that the question had problems. The "Voting to close..." comment didn't play that big of a role. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Jul 18 '16 at 21:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ It played no role at all. We can see the to-be-closed question in the queue, and, at least from my end, any question has the same chances on my plate. This was a very bad one. I joined the custom reason, because it fit. The comment is there ONLY, and absolutely ONLY to show the OP the reason. We, internally, can already ALWAYS see the reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Asmyldof Jul 18 '16 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tusk: "but it is very easy to sway a group with this". There is no problem with one user advocating for or reminding others to take a particular action. If that gets borderline questions closed faster, it's a Good Thing. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 19 '16 at 10:43

It's not that its allowed -- its that when prompted for certain "other" close reasons in the close menus, you're forced to type something, and that something is automatically added to the comments. A person who is closing something that wants to provide an accurate reason has no choice as to whether to provide a comment or not.

In short, the close system, in certain cases, reeks. Often, I'll just check "unclear" because its faster. If SE wants me to provide real reasons, they'll take a close look at their close system and figure out how to change it to make it work better.


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