Lets take this question for example: https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/43969/i-have-created-a-wp-plugin-for-my-local-server-and-downloaded-it-as-a-zip-file-t

There are many more like this where the question is really not clear what the user is getting at. In the comments many people have asked for the user to update their question to better explain their problem.

How long should moderators and users hold off voting to close in this situation? How long should we allow the user to put right their question before voting to close the question as not a real question?

3 Answers 3


There is no specific guideline. If user is obviously willing to work on it that justifies keeping it open. Most of the time there is no such indication and it's fine to just close it.

Note that closing question doesn't prevent user from improving it and asking for it to be reopened later (most don't bother of course).

This is kind of a workflow hiccup my delayed close feature request is about.


A week. That’s enough time even for non-regulars.

How I manage it: I subscribed to my comments and question per newsreader. For all unresolved comments I set a unresolved icon. After a week I visit the page again and either remove the icon from my local feed reader because it was resolved or I flag the question/answer. I did that already when I wasn’t a moderator.

  • A week is far too much time, plenty of time to allow answers to accumulate, answers that may be made irrelevant by the question's edit. Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 18:34
  • @neilfein New users may need some time to understand that they don’t get emails when a new answer or a comment is written. Some patience doesn’t hurt.
    – fuxia Mod
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 21:10
  • I recommend closing the question and re-opening after they edit. Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 21:27
  • @neilfein Why? This would be very annoying for new users.
    – fuxia Mod
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 21:46
  • I already said: If you leave a question open, it accumulates answers. Answers that can be made incorrect by question edits. The point of Stack Exchange sites is to generate good, reliable content, and mismatched answers don't line up with that goal. Annoying users is a risk, but it can be mitigated by clear communication. (If you want to talk more about this, feel free to ping me in the TL.) Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 23:13
  • @neilfein You are free to set you close votes earlier. I have never seen the effect you describe, so I’ll wait a week.
    – fuxia Mod
    Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 23:32

A close vote doesn't mean the question is dead. Even closing the question (when it reaches a threshold or when a mod steps in) doesn't mean it's dead. The OP can always go back and edit their question to make it make more sense or fit within the guidelines of the site.

If you can, though, leave a comment explaining why you're close-voting so the OP can address your concerns. If the question gets closed anyway, they can edit the question and ask for it to be re-opened.

There's no shame in reopening a previously closed question.

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