Why are people so quick to jump on the close vote when the reason is "not enough detail"? Give them a chance to update/edit! Leave them a comment about why there's too little detail and then give them a little time to update their question!

Am I asking too much? I mean I think it's kind of mean to just close someone's question without even giving them a chance to elaborate/let them know they need to elaborate.....

This seems to exist across much of StackExchange, not just the Movies & TV section...

  • 2
    For this close reason an added factor is that the community is quite split when it's about ID questions. Many users are averted to identification questions, especially the exceptionally awful ones, and might thus jump a bit faster to this close-reason. I'm not saying that is proper behaviour, just that for this question category and close-reason the problem is sitting waaaay deeper. And such one liners as the question that triggered this meta discussion are what this close reason was made for. If it ever becomes more than a crappy one liner, it can get reopened by all the ID fans anyway. – Napoleon Wilson Dec 10 '14 at 10:45
  • @NapoleonWilson: This is definitely the case – Andrew Martin Dec 10 '14 at 12:20

When questions are open, they are subject to receiving new answers. But when there is "not enough detail", users are only guessing how to help that user specifically. If the author later returns to clarify what they wanted, it becomes very difficult to round everyone up and fix the prior answers which may now be wrong or irrelevant. That's not good.

When a question is not answerable as posted, the correct course of action is to close it. Closed questions are not done forever. They're "on hold" until the problems can be corrected or the author chooses not to return.

The way you make this experience more user-friendly is by leaving thoughtful comments asking for clarification or additional information. Part of those comments should be to instruct the author to 'flag' the post for re-opening if the can fix the post. With a well-written comment, the whole experience becomes much friendlier to those users seeking help from this site.

Welcome to the site. The folks here would be happy to answer your question, but first we need to know {x}. If you can 'edit' your post to include that information, please 'flag' your post to be re-opened so we can answer it. Thanks.


I answered this under the question, but to give an official answer on Meta:

See this page for information on Closed Questions. To quote the relevant section:

Questions that need additional work or that are not a good fit for this site may be put on hold by experienced community members. While questions are on hold, they cannot be answered, but can be edited to make them eligible for reopening.

Questions that are edited within five days of being put on hold are automatically added to a reopening queue for community review. Questions that are not reopened within five days will change from [on hold] to [closed].

In other words, if the OP disappears from the site (as many, many identify-this OPs do), their question is closed after five days. If not, they can edit it and add details. Then, experienced members of the site are notified about this (I think experienced = 500 rep and above. See here.) If these members feel enough detail has been added to the question, it is reopened.

Many of the questions put on hold are either off topic for the site or, in the case of this question which I think led to your post, are far too broad and generic. Remember, we're not just trying to get an answer for the OP, but one that would be useful to future users as well. When so little information is given, it's hard to imagine how the question is useful to people in future. Additionally, it's likely a large number of correct answers could be left, which only the OP and no one else could deem as incorrect. This is the same reason why list questions are off topic. If a more concise question were given, it could be useful to future users and would produce a much smaller amount of potentially correct answers.

I do however agree leaving comments is the best thing to do. It's helpful and particularly for new users is a nice introduction to the site.

So in summary. To answer your question:

Why are people so quick to jump on the close vote when the reason is "not enough detail"? Give them a chance to update/edit

That's exactly what voting to close a question does. It gives them a chance to update/edit it.

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