Just a reminder: remember to leave comments when voting down or voting to close (or vote up a comment that's already there if you agree with it). If you don't think much of a question or answer, it's helpful to the community (and the original poster) to know why. It also lessens the sting a little for those not so au fait with the SO way of life.

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    I agree, down-voting and closing requests deserve an explanation. – Stefan Kottwitz Aug 14 '10 at 19:05
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    Doesn't the "why should this question be closed?" box that comes up when you vote to close a question already give you a standardised format for communicating the reason for the vote? Are you saying one should repeat that information a second time in a comment? If so, shouldn't the wording of the box contain a request that the closer adds such a comment? – Lev Bishop Aug 14 '10 at 21:50
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    @Lev Bishop: The reason why you voted to close doesn't become apparent until the question is actually closed (and then it's a majority view). I guess that I can see the reason by voting-to-close myself (and then not confirming it) but the original questioner probably can't do that. I don't know whether or not it's possible to change the wording of the box. – Andrew Stacey Aug 16 '10 at 9:30
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    If the original questioner cannot see the reason for the vote to close, then he also cannot see that there has been a vote to close, right? So is there actually any risk that the questioner feels any sting up until the point that there are 5 votes all agreeing that the question should close, at which point, and not before, the questioner learns the reason. It seems to me that if the first person to vote leaves a comment then it is actually more of a sting, because at this point it is not even certain the question will close, but they will feel criticized... – Lev Bishop Aug 16 '10 at 20:05
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    @Lev: Whether the original questioner feels the sting or not, feedback is valuable. Maybe after the first close vote, the questioner can change the question so that it doesn't get closed, instead of only finding it closed a while later. – ShreevatsaR Aug 16 '10 at 21:27

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