Sometimes the closed-question box shows one reason even if someone (but maybe just one user, cough, that would be me--how would I know this can happen otherwise?) has voted differently. So in 4-1 votes cases I suspect only one reason is shown in the box.

But there definitely are Qs that show two close reasons. Does anyone know when that happens? I'm guessing it's a 3-2 or maybe just a 2-2-1 vote?

  • I’d imagine it has something to do with both of those being custom close reasons, but i’m not sure Mar 5 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


I've wondered this too, and your guess seems to be right: a close reason will be listed if it gets at least 2 votes (i.e., 3-2 or 2-2-1). It will still list the 5 people who closed it, but not which reason each of them chose.

I wasn't able to find any official Stack Exchange explanation about this behavior, but people on the main meta site have asked about it too:

Two reasons are shown in the close notice if two voters (or a moderator) chose one community-specific canned reason, and 2-3 other voters chose a different one.

The behavior hasn't changed from the implementation prior to the rollout of the new notices, with the exception that the specific users who voted for specific canned reasons aren't shown anymore.

If there is no majority of voters picking the same top-level reason:

  • if two voters picked the same reason while the others picked all different reasons, that same top-level reason chosen by two voters will be the outcome.
  • if two voters picked the same reason while two more also picked a different, same reason (e.g., two voted as "opinion-based", two voted as "off-topic", and one voted as "duplicate"), then of the four voters who picked the same reason as another, the reason corresponding to the last one to vote of these four voters will be the outcome.
  • if all voters picked different reasons, the close reason selected by the first voter will be the outcome. (This is the only possible case of these three sub-bullets on sites which only require three votes to close a question; on such sites, two votes for the same reason constitute a majority and so will be caught under that above main bullet.)

Those answers were written by a user who doesn't seem to be actual SE staff but does a lot of work on the main meta site, so these answers should be pretty trustworthy.

  • The last quote is ultimately confusing though. It seems to implicitly claim that two reasons are never displayed. (Or at least doesn't give any scenarios when they are or could be two reasons displayed.) IIRC showing two reasons sometimes is a change that happened a few years ago, possibly after 2019 when that answer was written. Mar 10 at 10:04

For the record/experiment, I was the 5th vote on this Q and I chose 'opinion based'. The other votes were all in the custom categories. The close reason shows two of those custom ('speculation' and 'promotes/discredits') but not 'opinion based'. So I think 2-2-1 close votes (at least) shows two close reasons.


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