This happens to me far too often:


I ask people to clarify something crucial about their question, and I already add the edit link in bold in the comment, and they still just comment.

This is still a relatively positive case, the exchange was short and they edited the question shortly after, but I've had exchanges over 20 and more comments with OP actively refusing to edit the question. Even here, in the end, OP refused to share info on their application.

What do I do there?

  • I can just ignore. But that's often a disappointing choice, because the questions where I ask for clarification are typically those where I have more than a glimpse of an idea. (Which happens rarely enough)
  • I can edit myself, which is even more disappointing, because it
    • is something that OP should do themselves
    • will inevitably change the way of asking and might make answers less useful for OP
    • deprives OP of the, in my opinion, very useful obligation to write stuff down properly. Because that solves a lot of problems right away, or if OP can't write stuff down properly, it often reveals the actual problem, which is quite frequently very different from what OP is asking (XY prob).
  • I can just say: "I'll downvote you. As soon as 5 minutes have passed, I technically can't take that downvote back unless you edit your question." which is
    1. true, and
    2. blackmail, and hence not my style.

How do you approach these cases?


1 Answer 1


My approach is to actively close the question as "Unclear what you're asking" so they can't get any answers unless they fix their question. Unless it's a moderator, the question cannot be re-opened unless there is an edit made to it.

Some people see this as being overly assertive. I admit it has made me a little trigger happy on some sorts of questions. But then I don't see closing a question as the end of the matter. If the OP or a member with sufficient privileges can edit the question to address the closure reason, I'm perfectly happy to re-open it.


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