As I was doing my daily browsing today, I noticed that one of our questions had been reopened. Normally, this would be a cause for celebration, for we have improved a question to be acceptable to our standards.
Unfortunately, in this case, the question is still completely unacceptable. It was closed, and on the brink of deletion. I even waited until the question had gotten the closed text before casting my delete vote. When the question was originally closed, a comment was left to inform the user of his options to get it reopened.
The resulting Meta was created, and I took responsibility for expressing my view on why the question was not acceptable. I even spent a good chunk of time trying to help the user reword it into something we could keep. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
I couldn't help but notice that there's no dissenting viewpoint on that Meta question. None at all. That doesn't strike me as good form. A question got closed, gets a Meta, an answer justifying the close and enough support to merit at least minor community consensus. And yet, we have users casting votes against that consensus, without providing a viewpoint.
This isn't right. If a Meta's been made, and you disagree with the actions taken, there needs to be a dissenting viewpoint on it before you go casting that reopen vote. Tell us your reasons, and let the community judge its merits. Once the dust settles, we can take action on whatever viewpoint the community deemed most worthy. But casting a vote without providing your input just makes more work for those of us trying to keep the site neat and tidy. You're actively working against site policy when you do that.
In the end, five more people are needed to close the question again, and now those votes will be nullified. All it could have taken was a single dissenting point of view on the existing Meta. Would your post have gotten downvoted? I don't know; it would depend on how people agree with your points. Who knows? Making a case for a question you feel should be reopened can maybe garner enough support to ensure it does. But that case needs to be made, first.
Yeah, Meta's a bit of a bloodbath sometimes. Downvotes don't matter, though; no rep is lost, and all that will happen is a spirited exchange of ideas and opinions. But we need those dissenting opinions. Not only does it give us an idea of how parts of the community feel about things, but it's a hell of a lot more productive than requesting a meta and then being conspicuously absent once it DOES get made. And it's also needed if you feel the site is moving in a direction you don't like.
Give us your input. We might not agree with it, but we can certainly listen, at least.
So, in essence:
- Closed question gets Meta, no dissenting viewpoint, no support for reopening, cast vote for reopen anyways = bad.
- Closed question gets Meta, dissenting viewpoint, consensus does not agree with reopen, cast vote for reopen anyways = ehh. Respect from me for providing your side, at least.
- Closed question gets Meta, dissenting viewpoint, no support for reopening, no vote cast = good.