11

As you may have seen in the sidebar, Stack Exchange is apparently overhauling what's posted when questions are closed. I'm not certain how any of this will impact us, but this answer does point out that one of the changes is that gold-badge dupe-closing will automatically result in a comment asking the querent if we were right.

Apparently, once I, as a gold badge holder, close a question as a duplicate of another one, an automatic comment is left on my behalf below the question, reading

Does this answer your question? Link to duplicate

I agree with their reasoning that this might be a bad idea.

5

This was a bug and has apparently since been fixed so we should never see it when the changes come to SFF. See the comments by Yaakov on this main meta answer:

Duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/a/337031/51. We changed the auto-comment language, but bug in the auto-delete when closed – Yaakov Ellis♦

Update: the auto-delete logic is fixed for this, so the comment will be deleted when the post is closed. I am not marking this fixed yet, as I need to go back and clean up the comments that should have been deleted but were not while this bug was live over a few days. – Yaakov Ellis♦

The linked main meta post and its comments give some good reasons for not wanting to keep the comment around and I agree with them.

3

Voting to close something as a duplicate already does leave an automatic comment, attributed to you, saying:

Possible duplicate of [link to dupe target].

The only difference is that, under the current system, such comments are auto-deleted when the question is actually closed. If you're a gold tag badge holder, that means right away. For example:

screenshot of example deleted comment

If this information about the new system is correct, then the change will be essentially that the "possible duplicate" comment stays even after the question is closed. (OK, the automatic text is different, but you can still edit your own comment within the usual 5-minute window.)

To me, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It makes sense to inform askers that their question may have been asked previously - both before and after their question is actually closed! In fact, if anything the comment is going to be more useful after the question is closed. Before closure, the question may not actually be a duplicate, and it's still able to attract answers. After closure, no more answers can come in, and it's really helpful to give the OP a notification so that they can either (a) see their answer on the dupe target or (b) clarify that their question isn't a dupe.

The only thing I'd really want to change is the wording. "Does this answer your question?" sounds a bit too ... uncertain, especially for someone who's wielding a hammer to close the question unilaterally. Maybe "This question has already been asked at ..."

  • I believe it’s a bug that the comment isn’t deleted on closure. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 4 '19 at 20:29
  • @TheLethalCarrot Why would you want to remove that visible notification to the OP when the question is closed? – Rand al'Thor Nov 4 '19 at 20:39
  • The auto-delete bug has apparently been fixed: Update: the auto-delete logic is fixed for this, so the comment will be deleted when the post is closed. I am not marking this fixed yet, as I need to go back and clean up the comments that should have been deleted but were not while this bug was live over a few days. – Yaakov Ellis♦ yesterday – Alex Nov 4 '19 at 20:50
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    @Randal'Thor the same reason it’s always been deleted I suppose. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 4 '19 at 21:25
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    @TheLethalCarrot So you can't think of any reason apart from "that's how it's always been done"? Sounds like it should be changed then :-) – Rand al'Thor Nov 4 '19 at 21:28
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    I can think of other proper reasons just didn’t write them. There’s some nicely worded ones on main meta about it on the answer that mentioned it. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 4 '19 at 21:30
  • I think having the initial close voter leave a comment gives them an unnecessary target on their heads. A better way to notify someone their question has been closed is to actually make a inbox notification for this in the system. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 5 '19 at 9:20
  • @TheLethalCarrot There is an inbox notification from the comment, but that can easily get lost. The advantage of a comment is that it's visible whenever the OP looks at their post, even if they don't check their inbox or the notification gets lost among others. Attributing the comment to the Community bot might be a good feature-request though ... – Rand al'Thor Nov 5 '19 at 9:22
  • @Randal'Thor Is there? I don't ask enough questions! Yeah I agree attributing to the Community user especially when it wasn't a single handed close. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 5 '19 at 9:24
  • @TheLethalCarrot Worth noting also that this isn't specific to dupe closures. If you use a custom off-topic close reason, that also leaves a comment attributed to the first person to VTC with that reason. – Rand al'Thor Nov 5 '19 at 9:25
  • @Randal'Thor Well yeah but that's a different case. I agree more with leaving a comment in that case than on dupe closure. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 5 '19 at 9:26

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