What to do about widely disliked questions that don't technically break any rules?

Unspoken challenge rules

What does "unclear" mean?

We have a lot of widely-disliked challenges. Some of them are wrongly closed (in my opinion), or just never reopened after issues have been fixed.

What should be done with those challenges?

  1. Leave them closed.

    Not a good idea, because not everyone dislikes those questions.

  2. Just vote to reopen.

    I tried it, and didn't success. Either because people disagree (they didn't leave a comment, I don't know why is that unclear) or just they're hesistant to vote to reopen a challenge they don't like. Again, reopen votes are not super-upvotes.

  3. Moderator flag.

    How is that?

  4. Other.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Why shouldn't a close vote be a Super Downvote? \$\endgroup\$
    – feersum
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 4:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @feersum Because that's the meta consensus. See the (first) linked meta post. \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 4:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ -1, linking to gaming meta doesn't really help your point. Either find a meta.se one, or explain how that post is relevant to our situation here. (see: we are not a Q&A site) \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Picard The first link is on PPCG.meta.se, and it does support my point. \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user202729 well, the last link isn't. IMO, you should explain all of the links (if briefly), especially the last one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Close votes are quite different to downvote that five is enough, and it seems some users have more than one account. Therefore some topics with high vote also closed with unknown reason to me. I don't know if someone have five account to close though. \$\endgroup\$
    – l4m2
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @l4m2 1 If the moderators found any user having more than one account, they would be merged and potentially suspended. Just inform the moderators. 2 They used to be on-topic, but no longer on-topic now. For example Code Golf: Fractran on Stack Overflow (where code golf is no longer on topic), or Write a program that makes 2+2=5, where underhanded is no longer on-topic. \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 0:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh holy coow, how does this question have -35 downvotes: codegolf.stackexchange.com/questions/145222/… (I mean, yes, it's bad; but we basically committed murder). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MagicOctopusUrn check the history. it was a language-restricted pop-con originally.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Picard still -37 O_O... Tad overkill... there should be a meta-concensus about rep bombing someone. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MagicOctopusUrn Votes are always absolute, not relative. Current vote count should not affect the vote. | That's not one user downvote 37 times (<-- if this is possible it's indeed "rep bombing" :P), that is 37 users downvote 1 time each. \$\endgroup\$
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


Vote to reopen, and escalate if that doesn't work.

Add a reopen vote, and comment why you believe it shouldn't be closed. Ask for open votes in chat.

If that doesn't work, then you can escalate it to a mod, or post about it on meta.

If all of that doesn't work, then perhaps you should reevaluate what you think should be open/closed.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I largely agree, but I don't think this is something that should ever be escalated to a mod via flags as it is not causing direct harm to the site. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 5:44
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Inappropriate close votes absolutely harm the site: they disincentive posting good questions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 15:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In general that would be true, but are we not only considering questions which the community has judged to be poor? Reopening a bad but technically valid challenge isn't something I want to bother the mods with, when they are so busy with other things. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 15:18
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I think people need to use their own judgement on when to flag and when to raise on meta. If there was an objective way of drawing a line through that grey area then we probably wouldn't need mods or meta. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 23:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Better either than just ignoring a problem) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 23:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill I still disagree that it warrants a modflag. Modflags are meant for things that require action by a moderator, specifically; reopening an on-topic question is entirely possible by the community alone, so it should be handled by the community. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nic
    Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 22:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Even though moderators have special abilities (like deleting comments), that's not the full scope of their responsibilities. Moderators are given abilities (like the close hammer) with the intent that they are to be used. If the moderator feels like it deserves the input of the community, then they should redirect the user to post on meta. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2018 at 22:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .