This question was well received (up to now: 11 upvotes) and put "on hold" a few days ago. (Without an explanation at that) Right now it looks like that put an end to the discussion. That makes me wonder: Is there any reason at all to put well received questions "on hold"?

Most people won't upvote unless they understand the question well enough to answer it. (Though they might not know an answer.) Meaning it is probably possible to give a good answer. That means closing might prevent users from answering.


2 Answers 2


The question wasn't closed because it was unclear what was being asked. The question was closed because it was too opinion based.

Personally I think that is an excellent question to discuss with friends over coffee or alcohol. The thing is that discussion questions are a bad format for this site. Discussion prompts are great for talking over for hours. They are not good for clearly identifying whether an answer is good or not.

It's also very broad. Science is an umbrella that covers everything from the smallest of the largest of the large. You could say that it's an attempt at the systematic understanding of everything. That question is asking Where in our attempt to understand everything would we stop if we lived in a cave?. There's a different answer for every discipline. Each sub-discipline will need to be covered. There is no way for anyone to provide a complete answer to this question in the character limit for answers on this site.

While we have guidelines about when you should upvote and downvote questions the voting process is intentionally anonymous. We have no way of controlling when people vote on questions. It is for this reason that we don't take into account upvotes and downvotes when voting to close questions.

  • $\begingroup$ While I'm not saying that is wrong, you sort of avoided my question. The linked question was just an example. I wasn't asking about why that specific question was halted but whether it is reasonable that how many people like a question has no influence on how difficult it is to halt. $\endgroup$
    – lurch
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 17:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @lurch It is reasonable to close that question for the reasons listed above. In fact as close reasons have changed over time, well received questions that were on topic when they were asked, should be closed as well. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 17:24
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @lurch read the last part. If it is well received, but not suitable for Q&A format, it should still be closed. $\endgroup$
    – Vylix
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 18:12

Some of our highest voted questions are closed

The problem is that story-based and opinion-based questions can really catch the imagination of a reader and attract a lot of votes. Added to a lot of borderline clickbait titles (compare ours to a lot of what shows up in HNQ) and you get very highly voted questions and answers that are entirely unsuitable for the format.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah pretty sure my best/second best question is closed, I got a lot of great material most of it I felt was solid but people felt the question was too open to purely opinion answers so it was shutdown within about 48 hours. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 12:11

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