There's one thing that's hooked me to CR more than on other sites and it's the fact that the community is really great. But recently I've noticed (I don't have any data to back it up) that we have more fixable posts that are closed without any explanations.

I understand that sometimes reviewers might not feel like leaving comments because it's pretty much always the same problems, but out of 4 reviewers at least one of us should make the effort to leave a comment explaining why the question has close votes (I know we're not mind readers, but most of the time close voters will VTC for pretty much the same reasons).

I think this is especially important when it comes to new contributors, because if we can get them to fix their post, we might have one more helpful member to our community.

(I couldn't find the post, maybe it doesn't exist after all)I know there's already been meta posts about this, but I'm writing this one more as a reminder than a new announcement, because I know we can do a little better than this.

(Also, there's a possibility I'm the only one who seems to have noticed this, which might make this whole post wrong)

  • \$\begingroup\$ "I know there's already been meta posts about this", do you have any links, so we can possibly explore old solutions - if there were any - and focus on how to fix this issue. However I wouldn't count on much, I don't think I've solved anything generic by ever coming to meta. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Aug 15, 2019 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peilonrayz Ehm that's embarrassing, I searched for the post in question because I remembered something about a post like this some day, but it seems like that that post might not exist.. I "hope" that the meta post will at least drag attention of some of the close voters, but indeed it's not like meta is read by that many people \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Aug 15, 2019 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly related: one, two - should help us find similar questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Aug 15, 2019 at 14:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ "but out of 4 reviewers at least one of us should make the effort" actually the one who gets it into the review queue (first one to vote/flag) should leave the comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Aug 15, 2019 at 15:47
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ And no, you're not the only one who has noticed. And when comments are left, some of them are next-to-useless. It could all be better. Although, honestly, with the blatantly off-topic ones I often don't even bother either. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Aug 15, 2019 at 15:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mast I agree it should be the first reviewer, but if that person doesn't do it, the responsibility falls on the next reviewer IMO \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Aug 15, 2019 at 16:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Just mentioning that there is a list of Frequently Posted Comments on Meta, and Code Review Copy-Paste (compiled by Phrancis). They contain a list of canned comments which can be used for many off-topic questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Martin R
    Aug 16, 2019 at 5:33
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ In your assessment, what does fixable mean? I agree that posts with easily fixable issues may need a comment, but in general, the close reason itself should be good enough, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Aug 16, 2019 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are not the only one who has noticed this. It's been an increasing problem recently, I feel, and I'm glad that someone else brings up the topic on meta. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2019 at 11:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rolfl I meant questions that aren't a total mess that show no effort. I also disagree regarding the close reasons, the messages are very generic (so much that there is frequent confusion between "Unclear what you're asking" and "Lacks concrete context") and the comments user can add to explain why they VTC are usually much clearer in what needs to be fixed so that the post can be reopened. Also, especially for new users, I think it's better if they can fix their post before it is closed, because afterwards they may not bother doing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – IEatBagels
    Aug 21, 2019 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


I made a query questions-in-need-of-a-friendly-helpful-comment to try to find questions where moderating comments are invited. Feel free to tweek this query at own will. Note that the database this query runs on a database that gets refreshed with realtime data periodically.

Your concerns are justified; we recently had an influx of such questions.

enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure the query works as intended. The first result has a comment posted on Aug 12 (three days before you created the query), even though those posts are explicitly excluded in your query o.O \$\endgroup\$
    – Graipher
    Aug 16, 2019 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Graipher There is a delay (of some days) to which that archived database gets updated with latest activity here at Code Review :( In a way, that's a good thing. Since the query found all these posts from around 2019-08-10, of which most have already been resolved. \$\endgroup\$
    – dfhwze
    Aug 16, 2019 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I think I did not take into account that the delay might be different for posts, votes and comments... \$\endgroup\$
    – Graipher
    Aug 16, 2019 at 14:47
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ the "delay" is the weekly job that updates the SEDE data. The data is not so much lagging, as it is only updated once a week. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vogel612
    Aug 16, 2019 at 21:44

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