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The rate of closed questions seems much higher than when I last looked at Workplace. Should we be putting more effort into helping people write the question they should have asked, rather than just down voting and killing?

Seriously if I was looking at this group for the first time, the percentage of closures would not look like a friendly community.

And yes, I know this question comes up periodically. We may need the periodic reminder.

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    It's quite known/recurring that some folks are trigger-happy and tend to VTC only, instead of editing or fixing... regardless, a post that is not fit should be closed, as that is the purpose of closing posts, and reopen when it is edited into shape...
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Nov 11, 2022 at 15:57
  • The question is one of what is "not fit". If there's a valid question in there which others can benefit from the answer to, and that isn't a dupe, I'd rather see it left open to gather those answers while being edited rather than shut down quite so quickly. Among other things, closing a question is often taken as "go away" rather than as "this can be improved."
    – keshlam
    Nov 11, 2022 at 18:21
  • I agree with @DarkCygnus that we always have this problem with the close-happy crew. I don't see any uptick. Of the 6 current closed questions on the front page, a couple deserve to stay closed. That said, you can always edit a question and vote to Reopen it. If you mention it here, I'll almost always join in an vote to Reopen. Nov 11, 2022 at 19:41
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    My main problem was with people getting triggered by single words and closing as opinion based, just because a perfectly good question ended with "I would like to hear your opinion". That seems to be less. I looked at the closed questions and I can see why they are closed. I do not always see why they get downvotes. Just because something is off-topic here, is no reason to downvote it if it's otherwise clear. There is a big difference in messaging between closing ("very sorry, but we cannot help") and downvoting and closing ("get lost sucker"). I'd be happier if we did the first more often.
    – nvoigt Mod
    Nov 13, 2022 at 6:49

3 Answers 3

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I haven't noticed much change on the ground. But the periodic reminder is always a good idea.

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I'm probably as guilty as the next person of this.

There's a couple of reasons why:

1: Checked SE on my phone - I'll be honest, if I'm on my phone, the chance that I'm going to edit a post is practically 0, whereas hitting the vote button and hitting submit is simply easier.

2: Very often, with questions that are being voted on to close, there isn't a good question underneath the layers of crud that make it a currently bad question. If there's something of merit that could be helpful - then I'm more inclined to edit the post, which leads to the last point

3: I generally only feel comfortable editing posts where there is extremely poor word choice, grammar or I feel extremely confident in what is the actual question being asked - mainly because I know I'm quite strident and distinct in my writing style and don't want to insert myself into other people's questions.

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Should we be putting more effort into helping people write the question they should have asked, rather than just down voting and killing?

Yes.

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