Does anyone else find it more than a little irritating, when one spends 10 minutes or more, typing an answer, only to discover it has been closed or put on hold, during that time?

The 'closer' gets to chip in their opinion, then closes it (or holds it) without giving a damn what others may be writing; or the time spent in doing so. Moreover, in holding the question, more information is frequently requested. In such cases, such additional information may not be relevant or required, by my answer; yet I will have to return to re-write everything I have just written, or save it as a word file, for later posting, if I bother - which, I probably will not.

Were these questions left open for at least some time - more than the 15 minutes as was just the case - I may be less inclined to complain. However, I have absolutely no idea what purpose is served, by holding a question. I can see further data has been requested, and I am more than capable of discerning, for myself, whether I am of the same opinion. If I am not, I see no reason why I should be encumbered by the requirements of another, which I may believe to be petty or unnecessary.

  • 4
    Questions are closed for many reasons - see meta questions passim. When voting to close, it is not possible to see if someone else is in the process of answering. Nobody is trying to block answers, just remove bad questions.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 13:46
  • I was not, for one second, of the opinion that anyone was trying to block answers; the thought would never have occurred to me. This is not a political debate. I merely believe that some latitude should be given, so that people who have taken the time to respond - who by definition must feel the question has some merit - be given some chance to do so. Is there any detriment to the site, in questions being allowed to stand, for 24 hours? Currently, I'm moved to wait at least that long, since a prompt response risks being a waste of time. It has happened three times, today. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 14:02
  • Three times must be something of a record. Now I better understand your irritation. Be aware that questions are closed in less than a minute on some sites with a large number of active users. I can't see the placing of a minimum open time being accepted but the place to suggest it is meta.stackexchange.com rather than here.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 14:11
  • One tip which I recommend, is post something, a draft, anything, and then delete your answer. A warning: users with high rep can see your "deleted" post. You can then undelete your answer when you have finished typing in your answer. I've done this a few times when I think the question risks being closed, and I simply don't have the time to read up on anything.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 14:38
  • 1
    There is a grace period for allowing answers to be posted a little after a question has closed.
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 13:29

3 Answers 3


The 'closer' gets to chip in their opinion, then closes it (or holds it) without giving a damn what others may be writing...

Your anger might be misplaced a bit here. As @Chenmunka stated, the person or persons closing the question don't know that you're in the process of answering the question. There's no way to tell. it's not personal; it's not intentional.

I have absolutely no idea what purpose is served, by holding a question.

You can read the close reason; that's one. There are several more. Before you read into someone's motives and actions, read the help section on why questions get closed.

Closing questions takes either 5 users or a moderator (or a combination.) The moderator knows (as do regular users) which questions should be closed, and it's their job to close them (unless they wait for the community to do so. Personally, I think that leaves a lot of bad questions open, but that's me.)

The 'closer' gets to chip in their opinion...

It is considered prudent for a moderator to explain why they're closing a question. They don't get points for it, and they are not thanked by anyone for it. In fact, it annoys people and gets meta questions complaining about it.

Just so you know, it's happened to me a number of times, and it is annoying. I may have not known it was a duplicate. I may not have wanted to see it as off-topic because I was interested in it. But really, it's usually an appropriate closure, and it's not malicious.

Is there any detriment to the site, in questions being allowed to stand, for 24 hours?

Believe it or not, yes, there is. The detriment is that it will be viewed as an acceptable question by a number of new users (which can be considerable on a busy site), who will then go on to post their own bad, close-worthy questions, which will get closed, which will result in more ill-feelings. It just doesn't end until the community defines its goals and values, then moderates the site accordingly.

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    I was irritated; anger is far too strong. I don't know why you assume I believe there is "intent" or malice, on behalf of moderators. Claiming a lack of consideration (for others, who may have spent half an hour researching), if anything, implies almost the opposite. However, since they are acting in a widely acceptable fashion - according to the rules - it appears they are blameless; and the procedure is at fault. The other responses - detailing ways of circumventing the issue - are testament to this fact. If it were not an issue, why are such remedies devised? Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 16:15
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    I based "anger" on "more than a little irritated" followed by swearing. Sorry if it's a misreading. As to the rest, it doesn't make much sense to me, but that's ok. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 18:19
  • Swearing?? Do you mean my use of "damn"? If so, I hope you never encounter me, when I am angry Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 18:42

I've been in this situation myself, and once or twice I've kept open the browser window with my answer that I can't post, then posted approximately the same question myself in another window (modified as appropriate to prevent it too from being closed).

Then I've cut & pasted my own answer to my own question. There's nothing in either the site guidelines or "established practice" to stop you doing this, and if the answer genuinely shows how the question can be On Topic, you might well gain extra Brownie points from upvotes to both.


I just experienced this 5 minutes ago. I was answering this question: What nouns can be used to mean someone who is angrily inciting hatred in a public area against innocent people?

I then saw that the question had been closed because it was a duplicate. The OP, who was indeed a new user, specifically wanted a term for someone who was trying to arouse hatred in a crowd.

The earlier questions that this one was considered to be duplicating did not specify this. Here are their titles: - Word for someone who loves to create and organise (sic) noisy, lively, chaotic events - Word for someone quick to blame others

Nowhere did either OP for these questions specify that the people in question needed to have a nefarious motive or an intent to manipulate the sentiments of the public, or even that they needed to be angry.

As background on what I was planning to write today, one person had suggested words including rabble-rouser, provocateur, and demagogue, and my answer would have focused on a nuance differentiating demagogue from the other terms that might have made it the best choice for responding to the OP's question.

Is there a process for disputing a decision to close a question? I suppose I could do something similar to what @FumbleFingers has suggested here, but is that the only alternative?

After writing this message here, I went back and flagged the question, asking if it was appropriate to question a decision to close a question and explaining my reasons for wanting to do so in this case. I hope it is possible.

  • The process for disputes is to:vote to reopen, bring up on chat to others, post a question on meta asking to reopen. I don't know if flagging is the right way to go (that is a questino for mods).
    – Mitch
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 16:01
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    Thank you, @Mitch. I don't know if flagging is the right way to go either, so in my flag explanation, I asked deferentially if it was appropriate and explained my reasons. I don't have enough points yet to vote to reopen. I somehow have the impression that meta is for broad, general questions (question-closing process) as opposed to discussions about one particular question. Is that accurate? Commented May 23, 2020 at 16:06
  • Yeah it seems like meta is only for broad generic site questions but that's just what a lot of it's questions look like. It's totally appropriate to do 'why was this question closed?' meta questions.
    – Mitch
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 17:58
  • Wouldn't it be more apt to post this as a separate question, rather than an answer to this one? The question was specifically about the timing of closings, while this 'answer' is about how to challenge closings (particularly when one doesn't have the privilege to vote to reopen), which is something that one might wish to do regardless of whether one was in the process of writing an answer at the precise time when the closing took effect. Posting this as a question is also more likely to elicit responses to it from the community.
    – jsw29
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 21:15

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