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I've seen the case where people vote to close based on the format of the question, and suggest improvements. Then the person edits- but perhaps one more vote is needed to close, and someone votes after the edit closing it.

If there is an edit, can we notify the close voters, and remove their close votes? So that they have to review again and either vote to close again, or not? (Or someone can just chime in why this is a bad idea...)

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This sounds like a good idea. We already put questions up for reopen review automatically after an edit. We should do something similar for questions edited before the last close vote.

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Notifying us of updates sounds alright; I'd be willing to be a guinea pig in an experiment of how that'd work out.

However... Absolutely do not remove our close votes!

A question being edited is not in itself reason enough to suspect it no longer warrants closure. (It certainly doesn't warrant removing all efforts to close it so far.) The issue here might be to ensure questions worth keeping open don't get closed, but we already have mechanisms in place to prevent that.

Bear in mind that close votes rely on a steady stream of people visiting the question, reading it, and voting to close it, and this process often takes a few hours, except during very active times. But the close process needs to be fast to avoid messy situations. Quoting C.Ross (emphasis added):

I don't have a great answer, but this is why it's important to quickly place questions in need of editing on hold. – C. Ross♦ Jun 27 '13 at 12:47

Let's assume a question receives three close votes, then gets edited. After that edit, there's it's either worth keeping open, or not (in the eyes of readers). New visitors will come along, and will either...

  1. think it's worth keeping open, and do nothing, or
  2. think it needs closing, and vote to close it.

If everyone new visiting the question thinks it's good enough, a Good Enough question is protected from closure simply by virtue of nobody else trying to close it. Otherwise, if enough people think it needs closing, it'll be closed.

If everyone who voted prior thinks it's actually good enough now, they can vote to reopen.

But if close votes get removed with edits, the process slows down.

Let's consider the scenarios again:

Scenario A: For a question that becomes good...

This is fantastic at protecting those questions from closure. They're good, the old close voters think so too, new visitors think so too, everything's fine and the question stays open.

Scenario B: For a question that remains needing closure...

If a question accumulates three close votes, then gets edited, then three new people vote to close, ordinarily it would already be closed by this point.

At this point, though, it isn't: it has to wait for a further two new visitors, or for the three people originally to come back. We are not universally available people; that might be a few hours. Then the asker might edit again.

Each edit stretches the closing process out longer, but the question still needs closure. Remember, this is a scenario where the question still needs closure: at any point it can revert to scenario A, but for now we're sticking with Scenario B. Maybe it's an inherently opinion-based question, and no amount of editing will save it.

Furthermore, speaking for myself: I'd find it frustrating to have to revisit the question, and voting to close something for the second or third time that still needs closure. This is much different from coming back to review it, and only revoking my close vote when I actually think it's good enough.

The end results are:

  • Questions that shouldn't be closed don't get closed. This will be the case almost always in the current system. Questions that get closed but wind up good enough get reopened.
  • Questions that should get closed do get closed... but after a lot more time, and after making at least a few reviewers repeat their votes fairly often.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ The reason that I say remove close votes, is so that people are forced to look at it again if they are insistent that it be closed. In many cases, people don't go back and review, so what do we do with the votes? Either we get into keeping track of the fact that this has been edited so shouldn't be closed even though it has enough votes... or something else. If you're notified, it would seem that if the notification meant anything, that the removal of the vote wouldn't matter. Otherwise, why notify you? It's serving no purpose at that point. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Mar 7 '14 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @wraith808 They don't need to be forced to look at it again. If new viewers (seeing the edited question) don't cast close votes, the question won't get closed. What do we do with the votes? Leave them there. After a few weeks, the system discards them and the question goes back to 0 close votes. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 7 '14 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ "If you're notified, it would seem that if the notification meant anything" That's not the issue. If I am there to read the notification... which I won't be, most of the time. So notify me, and when I see it, if it's good, I'll revoke my close vote if it actually stayed open long enough for that. If it's not good, I'll be frustrated for having to re-VTC several times on every question I want closed. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 7 '14 at 23:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Scenario: I and two others cast close votes and leave comments. I go to work, they go to sleep. The asker edits their question, we can't act on our notification, our votes disappear. Three others do the same thing (VTC+comment), then the asker edits before I get home and the other people wake up. A question which six people think should be closed isn't, and we have to come back and vote again. This is how to make the community moderation system annoying, and drags out the process. If it did become good, the next three people wouldn't have VTC'd and it wouldn't get closed. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 7 '14 at 23:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ ... contrast that to just letting us come back and see if we should revoke our close votes, and either finding it in good shape and open (and we do so), or finding it closed already (swiftly). \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 7 '14 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't think it would be an endless circle just because someone edited. Perhaps the first edit only or something like that. The reason I asked about this was I saw a question get closed right after someone edited it to be a decent question because it was on the threshold. Just notifying wouldn't have changed that. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Mar 8 '14 at 0:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wraith808 That circumstance is resolved via people reopening it, not by casting off close votes and slowing down a close process that needs to be fast \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 8 '14 at 0:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ why does that slow it down? We close because of bad content. If someone is editing the process of closing is sometimes not understood and offputting. And if you're editing and then it's closed? That's not friendly to the newcomer. If it needs to be closed really fast, then it can be mod-closed easily. I also don't see where someone edits before closing that often to make this an issue. So personally I'd rather edit on the side of being friendly to the asker. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Mar 8 '14 at 0:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've already described why. Votes often trickle in over the process of hours. If you cast off close votes, their casters may not be around to re-cast them. A question will take much longer to reach the 5th close vote. And, repeating myself, if it is a good question it will stay open. People won't VTC a good question. In the rare cases that they do, that is what reopening exists for. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 8 '14 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think we have a different view of the importance of this, and have said our piece. I will let others decide. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Mar 8 '14 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Probably, and ok. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 8 '14 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wraith808 "The reason I asked about this was I saw a question get closed right after someone edited it to be a decent question because it was on the threshold. Just notifying wouldn't have changed that." If you think this particular situation strongly exemplifies why this feature change should happen, it'd be worth linking to it and/or explaining what happened - unless it is simply the case it got closed and shouldn't have (in your opinion; not necessarily that of the 5th voter). \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 8 '14 at 1:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wraith808 I believe that a middle ground can be achieved if there was a warning upon closure that users that VTC did not visited the question after the edit. This way we would not simply remove the votes, but we will know if the aforementioned voters cared to review the post after the edit (and kept their VTC) or if they didn't/coudn't do it so far. \$\endgroup\$ – Gunar Bastos Mar 12 '14 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GunarBastos - I'm not really as concerned about the voters. In all reality, I've started approaching the site a bit differently. We try to be welcoming and inclusive, and to a large extent first impressions are very important in that. And our VTC system is very exclusive, and very offputting, truth be told. That's what really informs this question- not a particular instance, but how it affects people that stumble across the site, and how it can be better. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Apr 12 '14 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wraith808 From my experience, little a system can do to be socially friendly, that is in the realm of people mostly. Maybe we could argue for a change in whatever actions needs to be done together with voting to close a topic to ensure that the author does not feel excluded, but directed towards a more clear direction then. \$\endgroup\$ – Gunar Bastos Apr 13 '14 at 18:51

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