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Ok, I understand, repairing means work. Clicking only for "close" is much simpler.

The situation is worsened by that people over 2k don't get +2 reputation for an edit.

The current system actively encourages high-reputated reviewers to destroy things, instead of making them better. It is the problem of the rewarding system, which don't seems to change in the near future. The only option if you, highly reputated reviewer, try to make your job more cooperatively.

Of course, a big part of such questions have very low quality. But it is not always so. They are often fixable, because they contain good content, but with bad grammar/spelling.

Yes, now you will probably close this "question" as "it is not a question". Yes, it isn't. It is an... ask. I ask you to click more on "edit" as to "close".

Thank you!

(And now you can click to the "close" link - on this question.)

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think questions where the only problem is poor grammar actually get closed as "unclear what you're asking". The actual question itself has to be unclear and not just that it was asked poorly. $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Jul 3 '14 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ Could you give specific examples, otherwise the debate will be useless and pure speculation. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jul 3 '14 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ "The current system actively encourages high-reputated reviewers to destroy things, instead of making them better." Have you considered that, in the judgement of the high-rep users, their actions aren't destructive? This is a subjective matter and you seem to be assuming bad faith actions on the part of high-rep users. That may not be, and likely isn't, a valid assumption. $\endgroup$ – Alfred Centauri Jul 3 '14 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ @jinawee I'll point out that the coin mass question of recent fame was in broken english before I edited it and had received a downvote, presumably because of the broken english. $\endgroup$ – alemi Jul 3 '14 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ @alemi 1) The question has 3 downvotes, two were given after you edited the question (physics.stackexchange.com/posts/121879/timeline) 2) Downvoting has no relation to closing, that's why you only require 125 points for the former. So that's not a relevant question. 3) -1 for the arrogant punchline in the question (no VTC because it's on-topic) ;-). Now I notice you're not the OP... $\endgroup$ – jinawee Jul 4 '14 at 8:03
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Actually closure (as unclear) is meant as a temporary status. This is why it's called "on hold" for the first five days. The question gets put on hold, edited, and then reopened once it's been clarified.

In cases where it's obvious how to edit the question to improve it, such as spelling mistakes, then sure, just editing is the best thing to do. But in those cases, the question isn't really unclear in the sense of the close reason. When a question is actually unclear, in a way that can't be clarified without the OP's input, then voting to put it on hold is the thing to do. That prompts the asker to come back and edit it.

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but it is a so clearly misleading answer, that I am really suprised, what really motivates a moderator here. Most of the closed/held questions is never coming back, because actually nothing is possible to remove a lock, even if it was created admittedly unfairly. Welcome in reality! $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterHorvath that's objectively not true. You're probably not aware of all the questions that get edited and reopened. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 3 '14 at 13:12
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    $\begingroup$ You are writing about the rules, I am writing about the practical behavior of the system. You WON'T EVER write about the hard reality: nearly all of the once closed/held questions will be closed forever, even if their opener is working on them hardly. I know this, it happened to me a lot times. That is my experience. Your explanation of the known rules are totally indifferent and don't have anything with the actual post to do. The goal of this post was to try to change the behavior of some high-reputated users who seem to closing, holding questions with insufficient examination. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterHorvath no, I am writing about reality, including questions I have personally reopened after they were edited by their original posters. Just because you haven't experienced something on this site, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 3 '14 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, I practically never experienced, that an admittedly unfairly closed question were reopened, thus the reopening mechanism actually weren't unfair. "But it doesn't mean that it doesn't happen" :-) $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:32
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There's a post on the mother meta which already addresses this: Too quick with the Close button for "Unclear what you're asking"

One of the problems with questions with bad English is that they are unclear, even when you get past the grammar issues. Because bad grammar usually leads to loss of clarity, and you're left wondering what the person is asking about. We usually don't make edits that decide what the question means, we let the OP fix it. Crystal balling the question is not or job, and more often than not we get the wrong interpretation.

Also, closing/on-holding is a temporary state. It means that the question needs improvement, and will be opened when it gets improved. People who close questions also patrol the reopen queues and often reopen such questions.

I don't think a +2 rep for editing for everyone would really help here. If the user is still motivated by rep, then they probably will go for the easier edits. If not (which is pretty likely), then stuff will continue as usual. Fixing an unclear post is one of the harder things to do, especially because you have to try and figure out the poster's intentions. People here have better things to do with their time, usually.

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    $\begingroup$ Nobody will actually repair an once closed question. If the OP can, and does, he hasn't any possibility to ask the closing people to change their votes. If he somehow does this, these people won't change their vote (I also don't know, why, but a downvote can be removed, but an closing vote never.) And the biggest problem is, that the reopening queue is voted by practically the same robo-closers, and the few fair reviewer are mostly voted down. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ The truth is, that an once closed/held question will be never made living again, even if you are working hardly on it. Never. I know this, you know this. The only option to try to reach the robo-closers to a little bit of thinking before their close-close-leave closed-close clicks. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterHorvath in most cases it is the OP who can, and nobody else. People leave comments in this case. When a closed question is edited, it automatically goes to the reopen queue, and if the edit is good enough (which is often the case for non-homework closed questions), it gets reopened. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 3 '14 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you didn't read my previous comments enough carefully. I suggest to do that. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ I've spent a fair amount of time watching the reopen queue do its job (I can see reopen history) when it first came into existence, and multiple times after that just to check if it was working. Even I've had concerns that it might be robo reviewed -- but it isn't. You haven't seen the history, don't you dare tell me "you know this, I know this" -- you don't know what I know. I know the state of the reopen queue very well, and it's not what you say it is. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 3 '14 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ I checked your reopening vote log, and the proprotion of your "leave closed" / "reopen" votes are around 1:1. That means, that you aren't a robo-closer. Other reviewers are. Believe me - I tried this a lot times already. I edited the question as it was wished, I tried to contact the close-voters, but I never reached anything. Never. $\endgroup$ – peterh says reinstate Monica Jul 3 '14 at 13:57
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterHorvath Again, I have access to the reopen queue history. The full history, not just the stats. I know what I'm talking about. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 3 '14 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ And the reason that ratio is there is because as a mod I avoid unilaterally closing, but I will reopen more often. Most of our closed questions are homework, and they never get improved enough to get anywhere. A non-1:1 ratio is normal for a non-mod, I would say. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 3 '14 at 14:00
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    $\begingroup$ (The discussion is about questions written in imperfect English. These are a minority, using the overall closed stats doesn't prove anything) $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Jul 3 '14 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterHorvath Unclear questions do get reopened when they are made clear. And close votes can be reversed. When a question is edited before closed, I revoke my close vote if I had one. I have also often voted to reopen an edited unclear question and I see many of them get fully reopened. But we usually cannot edit the question ourselves because as Manishearth said, we often cannot begin to guess at the OP's intentions. $\endgroup$ – Jim Jul 4 '14 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ @PeterHorvath Nobody here would disagree that if you do understand what the OP is asking, you should edit the question and not close. We generally only use "unclear" as a reason when it truly is unclear what they are asking. But in the end, you cannot force someone to better understand something they find unclear or confusing. The only thing you personally can do is wait until you get 3k+ rep and try to edit more than you close yourself. $\endgroup$ – Jim Jul 4 '14 at 15:08
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Personally I have no qualms about voting to re-open a question that I either perceive was closed unfairly (this is usually obvious from reading comments if I can't judge it for myself), or has undergone a substantial edit to address the close reason.

But the majority of things I see in the re-open queue are either edits of a few characters, a bit of cleaning up of language or a restatement of the question (often awkwardly pasted in with the original formulation) that doesn't address the close reason. Minor edit -> no change to reasoning for closing in the first place -> leave closed.

Also keep in mind that a substantial edit doesn't entitle a question to be re-opened. If the question is still fraught with problems (I've noticed that substantial edits occasionally make things worse by adding many more poorly framed sub-questions to a question) -> leave closed.

I think there's probably a bit of a difference between writing an adequate question that doesn't get closed in the first place (a bit easier), and writing a question good enough to get re-opened (a bit harder). But I think this is fine. If anything I think we should be closing more questions that are merely adequate and demanding that they be edited to be 'good questions' to be re-opened. Writing good questions takes effort and time, just like writing a good answer. Many OPs forget this, which we get away with thanks to answerers that fill in all the missing detail from the question in their answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is more of an extended comment than an answer I suppose, but oh well :/ $\endgroup$ – Kyle Oman Jul 3 '14 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ Paragraph 3 is key, IMO. +1 $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Jul 4 '14 at 0:34
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There's a mechanism in place that you're probably not aware of, but which you should research well and think about. Any time that a closed question is edited, it is put into a review queue called Reopen Votes, for which the options are Leave Closed, Edit and Reopen, and Reopen. If a question gets three 'Leave closed' votes, then it gets taken out of the queue - which means that three independent people think that the edits are not enough to warrant reopening. It also means that they get to see and comment on the post, if there is evidence that the OP is on the track to clarify their ideas but still needs some help - and this does happen very often.

For more information, see this Mother Meta post:

Add a "Review posts with reopen votes" review task?

Your assertion that 'a closing vote can never be removed' is incorrect - it takes equal amounts of people to reopen as it does to close.

Now, I cannot account for the actions of other reviewers on that queue, but I can assure you that each question I see there receives a good look at both the changes and how they address the closure reason, as well as whether the new version by itself is a closable question or not. Unfortunately, I agree completely with Kyle in that the content of this queue is very often minor edits which do not address the closure reason at all.

To browse through the last few questions on the queue:

Against this background, a substantial edit which has clearer language or a longer posts immediately demands attention, and it is easy to detect when the OP has put in a good bit of work to clarify their post. If they have clarified it to the point that the core of the question is now clear, I will usually edit it into shape and vote to reopen.

However, this is very seldom the case. Most often, the lack of clarity in the language leads to ambiguities in what the question actually is (if not a complete puzzle as to what was going on inside the OP's head). In the (relatively frequent) cases where one can identify two or three candidate questions that the OP may be thinking of, it is still a disservice to the OP to directly edit that in, because we do not know what they wanted to ask.

Finally, beware of making generalizations based on your own personal experience of the site, as I can tell you - from experience - that it is very easy to not see stuff that does go on. Unless you have followed up on every post that was closed as unclear, and seen that all of them get worked on by their OPs and still get 'robo-voted' down, how can you be sure that you've not simply been seeing the closure part of the process, without being around for the reopening?

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