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Today I decided to go through the Close Votes reviews.

There seemed to be nothing wrong with the reasons for closing the flagged questions at first, but then I noticed the dates of asking the questions. There were some really old questions in there.

The two linked questions are voted to be closed because it's technical support for modded Minecraft. First of all, since the questions have good answers, why would you close it?? The answers could help someone with a frustrating problem! Furthermore, the questions were asked before modded Minecraft technical support was banned. So at the time, these questions were allowed.

There were quite a few more close votes that didn't make sense to me, for example on this question. Voted to close as a duplicate. This "duplicate" question literally has an answer that says "While not a direct duplicate of this Arqade question" and someone votes to close it as a duplicate of THE VERY QUESTION THE ANSWER ADDRESSED AS A NON-DUPLICATE. Seriously?

Third and last example of an incorrect close vote: on this question, as a duplicate. This question has a score of 5, while the "original" question had a score of -4, and no upvotes. Imagine you're someone with this specific problem, and you find 2 questions on the same problem. Obviously, you are not going to chose the question with very negative score, because it's probably a bad question with bad answers. But, someone decides to close the good question with more score and views as a duplicate, but doesn't even bother upvoting the original question so that it would get more attention. What?! If you think the original question doesn't deserve good score, don't base duplicates off of it.

It feels like if a robot was flagging these questions, following the rules, but not using any brain do do stuff. While these flags are helpful according to the rules of this site, it might be harmful to people trying to solve a frustrating problem, because the only solution on the internet gets deleted.

Also, I have a feeling many of these questions were flagged by one user who brought the close votes on them. I hope you read this post.

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Let me preface all this by pointing out none of these questions have actually been closed. Questions get random close votes all the time, sometimes for seemingly no reason. It's honestly not something to get concerned over unless those questions are actually closed incorrectly. Although you're certainly always welcome to leave a comment explaining why you think a question should remain to help dissuade any further close votes. If it does get closed, though, it's something that can be easily reversed by the community or a mod.

Something else to keep in mind is that just because a question is closed doesn't mean the information is gone. The question and answers are still viewable by everyone, and so the information is still there. That information is really only "lost" when the question is deleted. All closed question are a candidate for eventual deletion, but the community tends to avoid deleting older questions which are off-topic under todays rules, but still contain helpful information. Honestly the only thing closing really does is prevent new answers, and act as a sign post to other users saying "These kind of questions aren't a good fit for the site."

The two linked questions are voted to be closed because it's technical support for modded Minecraft. First of all, since the questions have good answers, why would you close it?? The answers could help someone with a frustrating problem! Furthermore, the questions were asked before modded Minecraft technical support was banned. So at the time, these questions were allowed.

When we make changes to our rules, then those rules apply to all questions, new or old. Keeping those question open will lead newer users to believe that support for modded Minecraft is on-topic, and if they then proceed to ask their own support question for modded minecraft, it'll be all the more confusing and frustrating when it's closed. It can be frustrating for other users too, since those off-topic questions need to be closed and can potentially clog up the front page.

If those old questions were closed, then that makes it clear to any user coming across those older questions that support for modded minecraft is off-topic. This reduces the number of off-topic question asked, reducing the frustration for everyone, including any potential askers.

There were quite a few more close votes that didn't make sense to me, for example on this question. Voted to close as a duplicate. This "duplicate" question literally has an answer that says "While not a direct duplicate of this Arqade question" and someone votes to close it as a duplicate of THE VERY QUESTION THE ANSWER ADDRESSED AS A NON-DUPLICATE. Seriously?

I'm by no means a Minecraft expert, but these appear to be duplicates to me. I know the questions answer says "these aren't exact duplicates", but that doesn't mean they're right If you disagree, I'd encourage you to leave a comment on the question explaining why you don't think they're duplicates. Such a comment can help the community decide whether or not it's actually a duplicate, and may result in the question remaining open.

Third and last example of an incorrect close vote: on this question, as a duplicate.

These close votes are just plain wrong, so really good catch on this one. The "original" question was asked in June 2019, whereas the "duplicate" was asked in April 2019. With the rarest of exceptions, we don't close older questions as duplicates of newer ones. It's normally the reverse: new questions are closed as duplicates of older ones. There are exceptions to this, but they're rare, and an exception doesn't apply in this case just due to the sheer downvotes on that newer question (since question quality matters for these exceptions).

The closers may think an exception is warranted since the newer question seems to have a better answer, but that would make a candidate for a merge, not a reverse closure (a merge would result in all answers being combined into one questions).

I've gone ahead and added a comment to this question, explaining why it shouldn't be closed, and to either cast reverse votes or flag for a merge instead.

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    Ok, thanks for addressing my incorrect arguments, I see I misunderstood some things about close votes and closing questions. – Quijibo May 20 at 12:56
  • Didn't we decide last year that which question to close is not solely based on age? I raised the flag that you said was "just plain wrong" because I considered the answer to How to combine NBT tags in two different commands to be better than either of the answers to the older question, and it appears the close vote review queue agrees with me, because that question already has 4 duplicates that are older than it. – pppery May 20 at 16:25
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    @pppery But we also want the dupe target to be a good question. Nobody is helped by duping to a bad question, which gaming.stackexchange.com/q/353511 is. IMHO, you have been over-zealous in proposing duplicate targets (and flagging for closure in general) recently. – MBraedley May 20 at 16:41
  • This is especially true of the minecraft-commands NBT questions. They in general are not dupes. – MBraedley May 20 at 16:44
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    @pppery What MBraedley said about question quality with regards to duplicate closures is correct. If your main reason for wanting to reverse a duplicate closure direction is due to the answer quality, then a merge is normally the best action. Essentially we shouldn't close good questions as dups of bad questions. – Wipqozn May 20 at 18:39
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They're not yet closed, so I don't see a reason to intervene in any way.

Your best bet here is pretty simple: The Leave Open button.

While anyone can raise flags it's not for them to decide over the fate of questions. It's you. If two more people agree with you to keep the question open it stays open. The flag gets overturned and no harm done.

If you see a single person incorrectly mass-flagging posts you could probably raise a custom flag yourself to ask the mods to have a look. Usually the system catches and "flag-bans" people raising too many bad flags, though.

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    Yes, I did chose to leave the question open, and I also saw quite a few people voting to close the question in the reviews. My point was to encourage people to think more about the question they are voting for. Guess I shoud've clarified that in my post :( – Quijibo May 20 at 12:13

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