People sometimes ask questions that are unclear. Sometimes this can even be pretty bad. Still - today I saw a question flagged for close as "Unclear what you are asking". The question had only been asked yesterday. Personally I'd think you'd want to wait a few days at least to see if we can help to improve the question. Sure - if it's still fatally flawed after that, start loading on the close votes and get rid of it, but I really think the same day or the next day is too soon.


3 Answers 3


I think it's important to understand that a closed question is not necessarily in a final state, the question can be reopened after an edit which is adding more clarity to it. A question getting close votes is not a bad thing, it is an indication something needs to happen...

Just see the help center on this topic:

When should I vote to close a question?

Questions should be closed by casting close votes if:

  • they are sufficiently similar to existing questions and would be answered identically to them.
  • they are unclear, too broad, or otherwise problematic to identifying the problem in a way that can be properly addressed by answerers
  • they are sufficiently off-topic, as outlined in the help center.

Once a question has been closed, it will no longer accept new answers and the words [on hold] will be appended to the title. After 5 days, if the question remains closed, the word [closed] will instead be appended to the title.

Closed questions can be reopened through a similar voting process that closed it. Which is the thing we should be aiming for.

If an unclear question was asked and it was voted closed in a matter of hours, the OP gets a clear message that his question is unclear. That is why it is also very much wanted to next to the close vote, we leave a comment indicating what the problem is, so the OP can react on that.

I wouldn't want us to hold off on the close votes, they are there to send a clear message, so lets accept them just as that. But don't just add a close vote, make sure that there is a comment too, indicating what needs to be changed.


Interesting how for a question flagged for closing as 'Unclear what you are asking' there is an accepted answer with 6 upvotes.

I agree with you that, in almost all cases, there is no reason to be that quick on the draw when it comes to closing questions like this. A comment to prod the OP for some more information is appropriate as is giving the OP time to provide that information.

In this specific case there was enough information in the question for someone to provide a meaningful answer and the OP did more information but unfortunately did so in the comments to the answer instead of by editing the original question.


It is a difficult one. As the answerers are giving up time to answer, so it is understandable that an unclear question can be frustrating.

I think a comment is definitely a better approach than a flag in the first instance. Ultimately it's about training people and providing feedback so they can ask better questions next time.

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