According to the What does it mean if a question is closed or on-hold? page in our Help Center, it takes five close votes from users with at least 500 reputation to put a question on hold, which can eventually lead to closure. (Any five users with that same reputation can also vote to re-open a question. It does not have to be the same users doing both operations.)

Once there's a close vote on the question, it enters the review queue where all eligible people can see it. There are 5 reasons which can be chosen for closure, and anyone who adds a close vote can choose their own reason. The review queue shows the reason(s) which have been chosen by the other voter(s), though not the names of the people who have cast those votes.

Once the question is put on hold, all the names of the voters appear, along with one reason. This would obviously lead people to believe that all the voters chose the same reason when casting their vote. However, the reason shown does not necessarily mean that everyone voted the same way.

My question is, if there is more than one close reason chosen by the voters, once the 5 close-vote threshold has been met, which close reason is used?

I'm asking because sometimes when a post is put on-hold for a reason, such as "unclear what you're asking," but I actually voted it as "too broad," there's no way for people to know that my vote was different than "unclear what you're asking."

1 Answer 1


If one of close-voters is a moderator, their choice of close reason is used.

Otherwise, the reason chosen by the majority of voters is used. In case of a tie (say, two reasons got two votes each), the tie-breaker is: who got the most recent vote. The rationale, I suppose, is that later votes are generally better informed in case of comments being added, and are more likely to reflect the current state of the question in case it was edited meanwhile.

Related on Meta.SE: Close Vote Reason Logic When There Isn't a Majority

  • Wow if...! That was quick and very kind of you. It isn't as simple as it seems, and this is extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to help! Feb 7, 2018 at 0:54
  • Sometimes I see two close reasons listed and signed by the respective close voters - usually two on one, and three on the other.
    – NVZ
    Feb 7, 2018 at 19:42

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