This is the dual form of a question posted by quid: What makes you vote to close a question?

As the entire description in that question is applicable here I avoid adding extra points about why this question is not board and how an acceptable answer may look like. Instead I would like to focus on the subtle aspects of this question that makes it possibly harder to answer in comparison with quid's question.

Voting to close a question may have many trivial reasons like being blatantly off-topic, spam, undergraduate level, homework, etc. But voting to open a question that is already voted to close by deemed rightful voters (who have high enough reputation to be counted as trusted users) possibly needs more strong reasons. I'm really curious to know what such reasons are and what are those parameters that convince a typical person to neutralize others' close-votes by his vote to reopen.

In order to avoid trivial answers like "I vote to reopen because the OP improved the question during an edit after being closed", assume that the original question didn't change that much during the discussion between those who believe it should remain close and those who want it open.

  • $\begingroup$ 'The focus above is on votes to close as those come up most frequently and were the subject of the referenced discussions. However, votes to reopen could also be discussed, as well as the review actions "leave open" and "leave closed."' (From the referenced question with emphasis.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Do you possibly mean that I should add a motivation part to my post as well? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ No I meant it is basically a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:28
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @quid Don't you think that overextending the domain of that question to "almost every type of votes" makes it too broad? Possibly it is better if you delete that part about reopen votes and let us develop a nice and concentrated discussion on this topic here. By the way none of the answers in your post are discussing "votes to open" matter. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ It is specifically about open/close voting and possibly the intimately related review tasks leave open/leave close. Yet, not about vote to deleted or to undelete, not votes up or votes down. Thus "almost every type of votes" seems a bit false, even under scare-quotes. Anyway, I did not cast a vote to close as duplicate on this question. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Thus I ask you, your question. If you believe that this question is a duplicate and can't cause a concentrated productive discussion about open-votes, why don't you vote to close it? Is there kind of open/close voting etiquette here that prevents you from voting to close my question? If yes, what are its rules? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:40
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It could be seen as a conflict of interest that I vote something as a duplicate of my own question. Ali the effort with the new question might also be wasted, given that no-one commented there. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


An obvious motivation is "the severe disagreement with the reason to close". As far as I can tell, the most abused premise for closing is "not a research level question", which often really translates as "I do not have the slightest idea of how to approach the problem but the question text contains none of the buzzwords I'm used to and the OP is not someone I know". In this case I usually spend 10-15 minutes trying to find a way to solve the problem, and if I see none, cast the vote to reopen without hesitation.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I am a bit torn on this one. On the one hand, I agree that some closures seem based (too much) on heuristics of the form you describe. On the other hand, I am of the opinion that in general it is the author's job to make clear why the question is relevant. (In addition there are plenty of "hard" questions that are not suitable for that site. Prototype: Does $f(n)$ take prime values infinitely often. Where $f$ is such that "everybody knows" it does while no-one has a clue how to show it.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 23:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am in agreement with the notion that if you close because you think it's HW, you are in a much stronger position if you know how to do the HW yourself. I try to apply this precept to my own close votes. And I admire fedja's courage of his convictions in requesting re-openings. But I do object to the language of this post, which accuses others who vote to close of not having the slightest idea; this seems entirely presumptuous (it may be right half the time, but who's to say). $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 2:22

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