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I have stumbled across this question which received 3 close votes from which 2 are "The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes (...)".

The question uses two references and it seems a fairly good post. Its quality is emphasized by the high quality answers it received.

I can understand that it can be interpreted to make Israel look bad, but this is only implied and there is no explicit part to make this connection. Using such interpretation might lead to mass closure of posts, since any question dealing with a state action might be interpreted as making that state look bad.

Some morality norms normally applied to individuals cannot be applied to states (states have interests, not feelings). So, states doing stuff and looking bad is part of their regular business.

So, my proposal is to adjust close reason text to ask for an explicit comment stating what is the part of the question that is not a "good-faith effort". Otherwise, I am afraid this close reason can be easily used to abuse VTC.

  • Frankly, I saw a couple of cases where "good faith" VTC wasn't - apologies for the pun - being used in good faith. Or at least, anywhere nearly correctly. Anything that can be abused in the name of political winning, will be (I want that law named after me :) – user4012 Apr 5 '18 at 14:54
  • For the sake of completeness, one of the closevoters (me) provided a comment when asked. – Andrew Grimm Apr 6 '18 at 9:59
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I think this doesn't just apply to this particular close reason but to all close reasons.

Never assume malice when incompetence is a proper explanation. When a user makes unconstructive contributions, then our goal should not be to drive them off the site. Our goal should be to teach them how to use the website in a more constructive manner.

The description texts of the close reasons are all very broad catch-all descriptions. They are rarely a completely obvious explanation of what exactly is wrong about the question. Especially for people who are not yet familiar with the website. So when you vote to close and nobody has posted a comment yet, you should always consider to leave a comment yourself explaining why exactly you think the question is off-topic and even more importantly how a proper on-topic question about this topic would look like.

There is in fact an automatic flag which informs us moderators when a question gets closed without a comment. We are then encouraged to give the author an explanation. But please don't rely on us moderators to do that. First, we are only slightly more able to read your mind than the question author. The reason might be obvious to you but not necessarily obvious to us. Second, keep in mind that the question author does not see the close-reason until the question is closed. Posting a comment allows the user to learn what's wrong and fix their question before it gets closed.

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