I was going through meta questions and there are a lot of questions that just look selfish that get heavily voted, instead of asking how the site works or how to improve things they just ask people to explain every action on every post.

A lot of these questions just look to be asking the same thing over and over "Why was question ##### closed?" which is almost always the same answer since all closed questions have a banner which explains why they're closed and this is also explained in the help centre which is also in the banner. And also about things that are deleted which is also explained in the help centre but these questions don't seem to show that they ever read it.

Instead of needing to answer every one of these questions with a post telling people to read the help centre and if that doesn't answer their question they should improve their question to explain why they still don't know the answer should we just create a post which explains why posts get closed so we can close all these other questions as duplicate and don't have to worry about the meta getting cluttered by them? Otherwise they just look to be all over the place and it doesn't look like anyone actually wants to make the site better which probably discourages people who want to improve the site from contributing.

2 Answers 2



Obviously, not every close decision needs to be discussed on meta, but many do. Meta is where communities are built so I find it healthy that people are taking their concerns to meta rather than duking it out in the comments. (Though that happens too, obviously.) I think many of the recent meta questions are exploring the boundaries of: Islam—Stack Exchange is not for debates or apologetics. And I welcome that.

but meta posts need to present persuasive arguments.

A recent example originally just said:

Moderators Sayyid, Sohaeb and Mujahid have the responsibility to clarify the reasons why they have put this question on hold.

That's not actually a question, but a declaration. It's not very persuasive because one of the users called out did clarify their reason:

It doesn't say "caught hold of arrahman's loincloth" in the Arabic.—Sayyid

What I wish the meta question had done was engage with the comment rather than imply some sort of injustice had been done. There exists a mountain of conversations surrounding closed questions on meta, but this meta question showed no sign that they exist. There is no persuasive reason for the community to listen to such meta questions.

Feel free to improve bad meta questions.

Yesterday, however, a moderator helpfully updated the meta question to add:

Or, if this question as written does necessitate closure, what if anything can be done to make it clear and constructive?

Then he provided very detailed explanation as an answer. That's a perfect way to handle such meta questions. We might not all agree with the decisions other people make, but we can have a civilized discourse about them, if we chose.

Feel free to close duplicates.

Not every meta question needs to be answered. If you see the same question repeated over and over ("Why was question ##### closed?") it doesn't hurt to just close them. Point folks to this meta post to explain why meta questions need to articulate a rational argument and not just assert that questions should be reopened. Life's too short.


These questions are completely normal for meta. There is nothing selfish about asking them. People spend time and effort to write questions and answers and naturally care about them when they feel they are closed inappropriately or when they don't understand the closure reason. When a user does not understand the reason for the closure (which unfortunately the case too often on this site) it is natural to bring it up on meta. It is even more normal when a site in beta.

There is a tag for meta discussion about particular questions (), you can ignore them if you want to avoid seeing these meta questions, but talking about closure is a major part of the usage of meta.

  • So are you saying we don't need a FAQ and that we should be explaining every single closed post individually? Because that seems like a waste of time to me. Aug 7, 2014 at 21:10
  • They are not exclusive. The end goal is helping people understand the closing reason. If we follow what you suggest then questions are off-topic unless they are shown not to be. I don't think that is the right approach. Questions are on-topic unless shown otherwise. If it is not clear why a question is off-topic, it should be explained.
    – Kaveh
    Aug 7, 2014 at 22:09
  • I did not say they should be off topic I said they should be duplicates as in we create a post explaining all the common reasons and if it wasn't closed for any of those reasons then it can be asked explaining why the common reasons don't apply. Aug 29, 2014 at 18:09

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