I am puzzled by an apparent possibility of incoherence of the site behavior.

Let me use a specific case as an example.

As a comment to a recent question on SE.physics, @dmckee cited a link as a possible duplicate. Going to the linked page, one finds that it corresponds to a closed question and, at the bottom of the paragraph explaining why the question was closed, I read:

(Viewable by the post author and users with the close/reopen votes privilege)

So, I am puzzled. Are users without close/reopen votes privileges able to see that comment? But, if they can, if I am not wrong, they could not see the link. Should it be considered a normal behavior? Or am I missing something?


Edit: I am fully aware of the new policy about closed questions and I am not complaining about that. What I do find odd is that there could be a reference to something which is supposed to be not visible to part of the community. So, either the cited link works for people without the appropriate privileges, then citation becomes a way to break the decision of making invisible a closed question, or the cited link does not work for unprivileged users, maybe including the user the comment was addressed to, making the citation unusable and useless.

  • $\begingroup$ Point of fact: I'm pretty sure my comment describes that link as "related". The two I offered as possible duplicates are still open. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Dec 13 '19 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ Mother-meta link to get started. Looks like the appearance of the notice depends on the status of the viewer. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Dec 13 '19 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ @dmckee Yeah it's not like I thought. I just tested it in a private window and it didn't provide details for why it was closed. Seems a bit unhelpful... When I was new I learned a lot about the site from those notices when I saw them. $\endgroup$ – JMac Dec 13 '19 at 16:46
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    $\begingroup$ A related question about the new closed post notices: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/12559/123208 $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring Dec 13 '19 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ Confusing. What is not visible? Question, comment(s), or notice? The title suggests question (possibly ambiguous). $\endgroup$ – Peter Mortensen Dec 13 '19 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterMortensen Having the close/reopen vote privilege, I am not able to see what people without it can see. However, staying at what has been written, people without that privilege shouldn't be able to view it (the page with the question). $\endgroup$ – GiorgioP Dec 13 '19 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ I am not able to see what people without it can see. As hinted by @JMac, you can be a "privilegeless user" by either opening the site in a private (incognito) window, or by just logging out of the site and then going to the link. $\endgroup$ – BioPhysicist Dec 13 '19 at 22:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for voting to reopen my question about using "Loedel perspective" to describe a perspective from the middle velocity between two observers. The question and answer couldn't be any clearer as you recognized. $\endgroup$ – ralfcis Jan 24 '20 at 19:38

The Mother-meta question linked in the comment by dmckee shows an example of the 3 variations of a closed post notice (author view, privileged view, general view). Here's the privileged view example:

closed notice

The material that is not visible to general readers is beneath a horizontal rule, and in the left margin there's an icon of an eye with a diagonal line through it to indicate that it's not generally visible.

Bear in mind that these new closed post notices are still being tweaked. There have been numerous changes since the first announcement, New Post Notices rollout on Stack Overflow, and many of the answers on the page dmckee linked are marked status-review. Also, the new closed notice system is easier for the devs to modify, so changes are now easier to implement. If you have feedback about these notices, please vote on the existing answers to the Mother-meta question (or post your own answer if an existing one doesn't cover your concerns).

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    $\begingroup$ On the base of @AaronStevens 's suggestion and of your answer, now I see that I was mislead by the final line of the closed post notice, not realizing that 'not viewable' was referring to the final part of the notice and not to the whole question and answers. Sorry for my misunderstanding. $\endgroup$ – GiorgioP Dec 14 '19 at 6:24

As I understand it, the comment about visibility in the news close notices refers to the content of the notice, i.e. the reason that a question is off-topic. The content of the question, and its answers, is visible to everyone, unless the question is deleted. (And since deleted questions and answers can be seen by high-rep users and restored from the database, some of the notices call them "hidden" instead.)

If you are curious whether something you can see is due to a special privilege you've earned, you can log out or visit the site from a "private browsing" or "incognito" window; all modern browsers support this.


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