I just wanted to vote to close a question, and it looks like the list of options has changed

Screenshot of close reasons 12 Dec 2019

The options are now:

  • Duplicate of...
  • Off-topic because...
  • Needs details or clarify
  • Needs more focus
  • Opinion-based

In particular, the bottom three seem to been altered to sound more conciliatory, and the 'other reason' option (I think there was one!) is gone. (Edit hmm, the 'other' reason is still under 'off-topic', I might have mis-remembered where it was)

When did this happen?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ This is part of the “new post notices” thing: New Post Notices are live network-wide. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, @Emil I saw also Martin's explanation in the chat. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 10:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Since the conversation in chat have been mentioned in the previous comment, I will also add a link to that conversation. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 11:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Also, it seems that the "on hold" designation no longer exists. It is called "closed" as in the (remote) past. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 12:04
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ I think “unclear what you are asking” was much clearer(!) and actually no less conciliatory. More important: who closed the question apparently stopped being public information (before|after). That’s bad. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilJeřábek Could you please write it as an answer rather than a comment? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 18:49
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @FrancoisZiegler: The people who voted to close are visible if it's your question or if you have over 3K rep (i.e. have the power to vote to reopen). In particular, I can see who voted to close on the question you linked. Were you logged in? It's not obvious to me why it's terrible for that information to be restricted to those groups. (And I can see a small advantage: those of us who use our real names are less likely to be harassed, threatened, or killed by trolls who don't like that we closed a question.) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 17:52
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @NoahSnyder Understood; I can see everything fine, but suspected the change and linked the “non logged-in” google cache because that phrase appeared: “(Viewable by the post author and users with the close/reopen votes privilege)”. To me that’s bad because those in power (any kind of power) should be accountable. (In the case at hand, I also find “This question is off-topic” way less conciliatory than “put on-hold as off-topic by a,b,c,x,y”.) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ @FrancoisZiegler I agree with you, but unfortunately the general idea behind SE is that the moderators' power is not accountable. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ @FedericoPoloni MO $\ne$ SE ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ @FrancoisZiegler What do you mean by that? We must use the same platform, so if (for instance) recently deleted questions are very well hidden on SE, then the same must hold for MO. Unless we decide to leave the platform. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


This change happened as part of the new post notices roll-out, on 5 Dec 2019. Apart from visual appearances, the texts of many of these notices were rewritten as well, the list of close reasons being among them. However, the functionality stays the same, only the names and accompanying explanations changed.

  • $\begingroup$ The list of options is too restrictive. There must be an option "other reasons", and I think we used to have it in the past. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 1:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AlexandreEremenko It’s still there (Off-topic -> Other). $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 7:34

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