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Closing Articles

+12
−0

I noticed that there isn't a way to close Article type posts.

While some of the close reasons might not be very applicable to Articles, I think that at least the off-topic, outdated, and duplicate closures would be useful.

Could the ability to close Articles be added?

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Why should this post be closed?

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3 answers

+5
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Closing of a question typically does not only prohibit the addition of further answers but also signals to the content creator and future visitors that something is seriously wrong with the content and needs to be improved (see also comments by Moshi and Olin). This signal is conveyed with a custom message that is displayed next to the post.

In case of articles almost all the typical close reasons apply. Articles can be off-topic, duplicates of other articles or Q&A, too short and maybe there are a couple of other things that can make them problematic.

The difficulty here is mostly wording. Question can be closed. Articles cannot. They can rather be marked or flagged as something. Close voting isn't (technically) much different from flagging.

We mostly need a new word for the action on articles and a discussion of which of these actions are reasonable. It's like gluing small post-it notes on content (Wikipedia does that too sometimes) with some kind of meta information, additionally to disallowing certain actions like answering questions.

So maybe we should rename "Close" to "Mark" or something else on articles.

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+2
−0

Articles can be made closable in configuration (does not require a code change), but it's a global, network-wide change, so we'd need to make sure that doesn't have negative consequences for any of our communities.

The down-side is that currently there is one set of close reasons per community (not even per category -- per community). Some of the close reasons, which assume questions, don't make sense for articles. Some do. There'd be some user confusion unless we can rewrite the set of (default) close reasons so that the set makes sense in all places where one sees the list.

It seems like it would (eventually) be possible to configure close reasons per community per post type, and that would solve this problem. I have an idea for how that would work in the user interface, and if I understand the code correctly (I might not!) this seems possible to implement. But I don't know if it's that straightforward or how long it would take for somebody to make that change.

To summarize: we could make articles closable on the network today, and they'd have the same set of close reasons as questions do. Some day in the vague unspecified future, we might be able to have close reasons that apply to only one post type (question or article). Making articles closable affects all articles on all communities. Should we throw that switch now and hope to clean up the reasons later, or should we wait?

I am aware of one case where being able to close articles specifically as duplicates would be very helpful (the Code Golf sandbox).

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1 comment thread

Personally I'd like to see the ability to close articles now (9 comments)
+1
−5

While I can see the point here, I also don't see much benefit in allowing articles to be closed.

The only function closing has is to prevent a post being answered. That's all it does; it doesn't de-list the post or change it in any other way. Given that articles don't have answers, that makes it a no-op.

Let's explore this in more detail. We have deletion, which allows for completely off-topic or unsalvageable posts to be removed. What extra function would closure serve that you're looking for on articles? Maybe there's other functionality that would be useful that we could look at instead.

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3 comment threads

With filters (forthcoming), there's another benefit. (1 comment)
There is more to closing. (3 comments)
Duplicates and Superceded do more (3 comments)

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