Recently I’ve noticed a lot of questions being closed and then being subsequently reopened without major revisions to the question. This appears to happen more often with popular questions. Here are many examples from the past month identified by looking at the top questions from this month and checking the revision history.
An incomplete list of top questions from the last month closed and reopened without major edits:
Sits at 4 close votes, one more close vote and it likely would have been subsequently reopened as well: How can Santa keep his lists when GDPR is around?
Obviously this is a product of the current vote-to-close and reopen system in which any 5 high-rep users of a potentially much larger group can close or reopen a question. That means for any question for which there is some disagreement over its status the question is likely be to closed and subsequently reopened. This is irrespective of the total community opinion. Even if a large majority of users feel a question deserves a certain status it is likely to be closed and reopened as long as there is a minimum of 5 votes on each side. This also means that the more popular a question is the more likely it is to receive those 5 close votes and subsequent 5 reopen votes.
What do we all think about this? Is this how the site is intended to work? I think the closure of popular questions for several hours before their eventual reopenings is probably harming engagement by newcomers looking to answer a question and is certainly confusing and off putting to those who ask the questions.
Obviously the rationale for the opening and closing of each of these questions is unique to each case so I’d like to steer the discussion away from the specific questions and more generally to the current system and the way users are using it.
Is the frequent closure and reopening of popular questions a problem and if so what should we do about it?
P.S. For anyone who is familiar with SQL queries and is interested it would be very intriguing to get statistics on this closures and subsequent reopenings over time and with respect to the popularity of the question.