Proposal: Closure is about "select all that apply" instead of "select one reason"

Not sure, whether this should be MVP, but I wanted to make a proposal from the Discord server again here:


In the current closure system on SE there is a list of five top level closure reasons (duplicate, off topic, too broad, unclear what you’re asking, primarily opinion based) of which only one can be shown on the post.

This leads to two problems:

  1. A lot of close-worthy posts have multiple problems which are not all shown.
  2. Some sites need custom close reasons. This is currently solved by allowing mods to define up to 3 custom reasons (more on some sites) under the off topic category, although that is not always the best label for them.


Instead of having a list of predefined close reasons, there is a list of possible “problems with this post” that can be customized in the site settings. When closing a post, one can choose either as many as needed or up to a specific number (e.g. 3) of these items. All of them are shown in the closure notice. It should probably be possible to provide up to one custom reason.

This would probably require duplicate closure to be a bit different, maybe even independent system (so a post can be closed and marked as duplicate), as duplicates are often not “posts with problem” only because they are duplicates (aka duplicates are good to redirect to the proper post).

What’s your opinion? Should this be MVP? If you like this idea, what default reasons should we provide?

1 Like

I agree that we can do better about closure reasons than SE. But it’s not MVP. For MVP, we do need a way to close questions, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t even think voting is part of MVP, but it’s part of MVP+1.

From what I’ve seen of free-form close reasons, people do type extremely bad ones sometimes, but it’s not all that common. Bad examples include saying “this question is off-topic because it’s off-topic”, “we don’t accept questions about X” even though the [scope] FAQ on meta says that X is on-topic, and many many variations on close reasons that are comprehensible to site regulars but not to the asker.

I think all close reasons should have an associated meta thread explaining why questions of this type are off-topic.

Allowing the same voter to give multiple reasons is useless complication. It’s only useful in very few cases, and that can be solved with a comment.

Marking a question as duplicate, with a link to the duplicate, is part of MVP. Closing duplicates is what makes questions useful to more than the original asker.