Sometimes we get questions like Why my ac don't cool down my house?, and switch wiring for garbage disposal above sink. There just isn't enough information in the question to provide an answer, but maybe that's just because the user is inexperienced and doesn't know what to ask. When questions like this come in, we have two options...

  • Ding the question with a down vote, and leave a comment.
  • Vote to close, and maybe leave a comment.

The old days

Since moderator votes are binding, it's common practice for a moderator to choose the first option (unless the question is spam or absolutely off topic). Unfortunately, users tend to follow suit. Which means that a users first interaction with the site, is a bunch of down votes.

A new way

Since the implementation of the "On Hold" status, there is a new way to handle this situation. Voting to close a question; even by a moderator, puts the question into this new "On Hold" status. At this point, comments should be left suggesting ways to modify the question to make it acceptable. By doing this, we give the user a second chance. If they take it, the question can be edited and reopened. If they don't, the question eventually moves to the "Closed" status.

So I guess what I'm asking is... Should we be voting to close more often?

  • Note that there is no functional change in the wording, it's just been modified to be friendlier. That said, yes, everyone should vote to close more often.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 11:47
  • I've got the same question. I'm often holding back a VTC on a poorly worded question with insufficient detail. I've been told that I'm too fast to close/hold a question before and I should give the OP at least a day to clarify their question. The problem with that is I often forget to revisit an old question. The downside of closing early is that it may not be reopened for many hours after the question is fixed. I'd like to hear from the community which of these bad's is better.
    – BMitch Mod
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 12:07
  • 1
    @BMitch My thought process is always close it ASAP so that you don't get a crummy answer.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 12:51
  • Perhaps you should discuss this with some mods on other sites. Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 15:21
  • 1
    The question title, and the question asked at the bottom of the text have opposite meaning. Commented Oct 31, 2013 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


To the question:

So I guess what I'm asking is... Should we be voting to close more often


tl;dr: YES.

Questions that can't be answered due to missing information (Pics, geography, voltage, etc) should be close-held immediately with a comment:

It's impossible to answer this question without the following information... ... It has been put on hold to prevent erroneous or misleading answers until such information is provided.


I'm relatively new here, so maybe I'm missing something, but why do you need to do anything other than just telling the asker that clarification of the question is needed before you can provide an answer, and maybe giving them some suggestions to help.? Seems a little too bureaucratic to me to have rules for something like this. What's the benefit?

And, until just now I didn't know what (on hold) meant. I just found it annoying.

  • Putting off topic questions on hold, allows us to keep the site focused and on topic. Otherwise, we'd end up like yahoo answers, and other such sites.
    – Tester101
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 14:52

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