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I just came across this question in the review queue. It was originally both too broad and lacking an objective primary winning criterion. It got closed with the latter reason, but then the owner edited it to . It is now too broad but not lacking an objective primary winning criterion; however, it is still closed with "lacking an objective primary winning criterion."

Should it be reopened, and then closed as "too broad," or should it be left closed?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've fixed the close reason for that specific question. (It had no reopen votes, so that wasn't an issue in this case.) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Jun 7 '14 at 17:11
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Please see this answer of ChrisF on Meta Stack Exchange, especially this part:

If you think that it's really important that the close reason gets changed then the simple solution is to flag it for moderator attention. However, most of the time a comment should be sufficient.

In this case, it is not really important that the close reason gets changed, because Doorknob posted a comment in which he says that the question is very broad. So it is not really necessary to change the reason.

Also, everyone has just one close and reopen vote per question, so if you would vote to reopen and then to close as "too broad", you have no close/reopen votes left on that question and you can't vote to reopen it anymore if it would be made less broad.

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To give some context for necroing this topic: I occasionally see this happen with the review queues, but we've had two cases this week of mods reopening a question which they appear to think should be closed, but for a different reason to the one given.

Alex reopened Interrupt handler call serializator but commented in chat:

Personally I find the challenge very unclear and as a normal user I would have voted to close as unclear rather than no win condition.

Dennis reopened https://codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/57784/194 but commented on the question

I have reopened the question since it no longer lacks a winning criterion. However, you should still clarify what counts as approximately the same. This has to be quantified somehow to decide whether a given submission is valid or not.


Where there is a question which should be closed, it is obviously preferable that it be closed for the right reason. However, given the choice between it being closed for the wrong reason with a comment explaining that it still has major problems; or it being open and able to attract answers which make it impossible to fix those problems, I think the former is clearly preferable.

The previous answer to this question suggests that mods have the ability to change the close reason: maybe that's just something which isn't clear enough in the UI for the new members of the team. But if that's not the case, and if the mods think it's worth their time to clear up close reasons, could you coordinate with each other to reopen and then close for the correct reason without leaving a big window in between?

And for those of us who handle review queues, I encourage all of us to read the comments for other problems which might have been pointed out but not yet fixed, and to point out problems which haven't been mentioned.

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