So, your question has been closed. Seems a bit harsh? Ok, well, this guide is here to help explain why your question has been closed. This has been covered briefly in the FAQ too.
Is closure permanent?
Absolutely not. Closed questions are only prevented from receiving additional answers; they're even still visible to all members of the site.
This might sound like a bad thing - it isn't. The concept of closure is that we prevent answers coming in that make guesses or assumptions based on an incomplete question, or are just plain bad, until the question has been improved. We are all about quality and question closure is out way to ensure users spend their time generating quality answers.
Does a closed question count against me?
Not in a reputation sense (unless you have also been downvoted). However, if a sufficient number of your questions are closed, the system may automatically ban you from asking additional questions. Similarly, a moderator may take action before then.
If a moderator takes action, they will likely contact you, explain the problem and what you need to do to improve. Take note and all should be fine.
If the system takes action, you will receive an orange bar notification. Moderators have no way to tell if you have been banned from asking questions via this mechanism and we cannot lift it, either. You will have to have had a sufficient quantity of questions closed to trigger this, however.
Ok, so why was my question closed?
Underneath each question, there is a banner which explains why your question was closed, giving a few short reasons. Here, I will expand on these:
- Exact duplicate - this type of closure is exactly what it sounds. We already have a question covering that material and it would be better if the material is to be revisited for those answers to be edited and improved on, rather than creating a whole set of duplicate answers.
- Not constructive - some questions are just not suited to the format we use here. These include lists, polling or opinion questions that eat up the time of our members, who are here to help people with their problems and learn about security in a constructive, problem-by-problem manner.
- Not a real question - questions closed as NARQ fit into two categories; the first is that your question simply doesn't make sense or is so poorly worded it's almost a crime people are reading it. The second is that your question, whilst valid, is just too broad to be covered over the internet and really needs to be broken into manageable chunks.
- Too localized - questions closed with this reason refer to a very narrow scenario, or are, for example, only useful to you and in no way would be useful to other people with the same problem.
What about off topic questions?
Sometimes, a question is good, but just doesn't fit here on security. In this case two things will happen:
- The question will be migrated to another Stack Exchange site.
- The question will be closed as purely off topic.
Migration is a privilege, not a right. If your question has been migrated, a moderator has gone to the effort to get it moved; however, there is no onus on us to migrate questions anywhere. If your question is poorly formatted, we are unlikely to move it.
How do I get my question re-opened?
Occasionally, questions are closed by mistake. This is a rare occurrence and will usually be rectified pretty quickly when we realise this has happened.
Here is a list of steps you can take to get your question improved and increase your chances of re-opening:
- Read about what questions are on topic and off topic in the FAQ.
- Decide if your question was really a fit for SE in the first place. Not all questions are. However, you may well be able to re-word it into such a way that it does fit. Do have a ready of point 3:
- Work through each of the articles on the how to ask page. Specifically, I would highlight the following:
- Is your question properly formatted?
- Have you checked your spelling and punctuation?
- Have you explained your problem sufficiently?
Underneath your question there is an edit link:
Use this to improve your question. Take your time and ensure you put sufficient effort in.
When you are sure you have edited the question and framed it in the best possible way, you may do one of the following:
- Contact us in the DMZ (security chat room) or the assembly. Users capable of re-opening are not always around, but it may help to ask for feedback and get other user's opinions.
A moderator should have commented on your answer. You can reply to them using the following format:
@moderator_name Hello, I've edited my question, can
you please let me know if it is suitable for re-opening?
Alternatively, you can flag for moderator attention using the flag link underneath your question and filling out the custom reason box: