# Cavalier insta-closing of a new user's first question without even giving them a chance to respond?

A new user, just joined today, asked their first question.

When this happens I think of "be welcoming" before I think of "what can I close today?"

After only a few hours close as duplicate votes started on Can the earth move in front of the sun in a helical model? because the word "spiral" reminded someone of "vortex".

The question asks about the VSauce YouTube video How Earth Moves where around 17:00 the spiral motion of the Earth around the Sun as they move together through the galaxy is shown:

1. Is the helical or spiral model shown in the video real or just a theory.
2. In the model described (even if it is disproved), does the earth go in front of the sun and then back, then forth and back like it is shown on the video? I see both the sun and earth racing with each overtaking the other over and over. Am I seeing an illusion?

Of course the spiral motion (part 1) is real, and not just a theory, and explaining that will answer part 1.

Part 2 is more complex and involves the apparent motion of the two, and there is dissonance between the Static Sun with Earth circling image that we usually get, and this "racing spiral" motion that is shown there.

I've added one answer so far but I think the OP deserves better.

update: This comment confirms what I think was already obvious, the 10 hour "vortex" insta-close was premature, now we need to wait for perhaps days to reopen. Was this welcoming?

Is the insistence (see several comments) that the question is about "Vortex theory" being used to insta-close the question (it's only 7 hours old!) really necessary? How does the site benefit from such a quick close without even giving the OP an opportunity to respond? Are these close votes in fact cavalier because one simply presumes the OP must be mean something that they haven't even described?

• I’m concerned that your use of labels like “cavalier” and “insta-closing” undermines your attempt to ask a reasonable question. It’s not quite serious enough to flag, and perhaps you’re unaware of the insult implicit in these two labels, but it’s certainly not consistent with our site’s “be nice” policy. Could I suggest you might consider editing your post to use more a neutral tone, so that the reader can focus on the issue you’re raising rather than being distracted by the language used? :-) – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jan 5 at 13:56
• @ChappoHasn'tForgottenMonica insta-closing is closing a question so fast after it's posted that the OP does not even have time to respond to a hypothetical concern; in this case that the OP must be thinking of some vortex theory that's not even mentioned in the question. It's too fast, especially in a site that gets less than six questions per day. Here cavalier means "having or showing no concern for something that is important" and what's most important is being welcoming to new users. – uhoh Jan 5 at 14:06
• @ChappoHasn'tForgottenMonica So closing a brand new user's first question on their first day because they might be thinking of some vortex theory that wasn't even mentioned in the question, and not the spiral pattern which they did mention and DOES feature prominently in the video without them having any chance to respond to a question; I would like to ask if that kind of disregard is cavalier. That's the question to which I'd like an answer. – uhoh Jan 5 at 14:08
• @ChappoHasn'tForgottenMonica sorry for three response comments but your question and concern are good and deserve thoughtful attention. Most metas have some "Is X rude?" questions. I think that cavalier is a lot tamer than rude. It gets to the heart of the matter; when deciding between leaving a comment asking for clarification, and voting to close a new user's first question with all the repercussions, as long as the question isn't seriously problematic shouldn't our primary concern be with helping the new user, and wouldn't the quick closing without OP's chance to respond be unconcerned? – uhoh Jan 5 at 14:41
• Speaking as someone who you have personally accused of being "cavalier" in past close votes which you have disagreed with, yes I do take it as insulting. Please stop. – user24157 Jan 5 at 16:56
• @antispinwards I'd like to see more concern about a new user trying to ask their first question being shut down because of a misplaced duplicate theory. This action was cavalier. It was dismissive and inconsiderate of the OP to do this to them. Let's keep the focus on what's important here, being welcoming to new users. "ere cavalier means 'having or showing no concern for something that is important'" When something is rude we call it rude. When something is wrong we call it wrong. If you don't think the instaclose to the vortex question was cavalier, consider writing that as an answer? – uhoh Jan 5 at 19:17
• @uhoh As long as we're calling a spade a spade, in this case I think you're trying so hard that it deters engagement. – Mike G Jan 5 at 22:46
• @MikeG that may be so, and this may not be the first time that something like that has been said, but I am what I am – uhoh Jan 6 at 0:21
• @antispinwards I'm sorry but I think this characterization is a dramatization and an exaggeration. Saying that the act of closing of a new user's first question based on the idea that they might be thinking of a vortex even though it wasn't mentioned, without even giving them a half-day to respond is cavalier, and so I've explained why I think that action was so and then asked for others to post as many answers as they like explaining why they do or don't think so. Your comment is inventing a fiction by calling this a "doubling down" on "insulting language" That simply didn't happen. – uhoh Jan 6 at 7:46

I don't agree with the close vote on knowledgeseeker's question. I also don't think the duplicate marked is the same question as the original. The accepted answer to the 'duplicate' is a great answer to that question, but doesn't answer knowledgeseeker's question at all. I think this nuance is very important.

I would like the chance to put up an answer of my own to knowledgeseeker's closed question and I've voted to reopen.

I think the close vote was wrong, but I won't call the voters 'cavalier' since I think that goes too far to motive. If they present a good argument, I am open to changing my mind. I also wouldn't suggest uhoh is engaged in 'pedantry' (hairsplitting, quibbling, pomposity, sophistry, punctiliousness) as I agree with uhoh's arguments, and I think that also goes to motive.

As far as 'speed of closing' I am a bit too new to have a solid opinion, and I don't really feel like I've earned a place in this community yet. Perhaps a vote to close isn't either mean nor nice, but a nice comment and some patience are definitely nice.

• Thank you for addressing my question directly! – uhoh Jan 6 at 0:15

When a question is off topic, a duplicate, or is of very poor quality (for example, needing clarification) the BEST thing to do is put it on hold quickly, so people do not waste effort answering a question that may need to be significantly revised, or will be closed.

Putting on hold is a very good thing.

Especially when we have new folks who don't yet know how the site works.

I agree with you that commenting to let them know why there post is on hold and what they need to do to improve it is a good thing, but please don't ever think closing quickly is a bad thing. It is an essential tool in our quality control arsenal.

• The problem here is that none of those have been established. The "vortexness" of the question seems to be an unfounded hypothesis. It's a spiral. There's an astronomical difference! Answers are voluntary; there's always a risk. Blocking all users from the opportunity to answer because someone suspects a spiral is a vortex inconveniences everybody. Note the specific-question tag. – uhoh Jan 5 at 13:27
• You keep coming up with this "blocking answers" stuff. Until the poster has clarity in the question, putting it onhold should be used. This helps avoid answers being posted to different interpretations. Get clarity first, then see if the question should be taken off hold. And in this instance - the description and videos seem clear: it's a dupe - the OP was just confused with terminology. – Rory Alsop Jan 5 at 15:06
• The question is clear. Until it can be shown not to be, we should just give the OP time to respond to this confusing "vortex" theory. We should't use language it's already been shown to be unclear. That's not even the close reason. – uhoh Jan 5 at 15:46
• See this comment. Had we just given the OP ten hours, we wouldn't need five more users and another few days to reopen. Insta-closing is counterproductive. It is a demonstrated literal waste of time. – uhoh Jan 5 at 15:49
• @uhoh Sure . . . but in those ten hours, had the post not been closed, it's quite possible that it would have garnered answers that perhaps misunderstood the question because it required edits. After all, that's why questions are closed. I agree that perhaps a comment should have been left, but that's no reason to not vote to close the question so such edits can be made without risking having poor answers in the meantime. – HDE 226868 Jan 5 at 16:02
• @HDE226868 see the part in my answer that starts with "protect potential answer writers..." We don't have a close reason for "I think there is a danger that someone will think this question asks something that isn't actually written here, so let's prevent anyone from an opportunity to answering just in case." There's no vortex in the question. – uhoh Jan 5 at 16:06
• @HDE226868 the OP has reposted the question as a new question, can you help there somehow? I left a short message that they should update their original question rather than re-ask.It's confusing to new users, that 's why we give them more time to respond and more guidance. – uhoh Jan 5 at 16:07
• @uhoh The reason you cite is the unclear close reason, which is actually what I'd argue perhaps could have been used even if the question hadn't arguably been a duplicate. Also, sure, I'll take a look and see what I can do. A merge might be in order; I'll figure something out to help them get the relevant info into the first post. – HDE 226868 Jan 5 at 16:08
• @HDE226868 ya I think vtclose as duplicate based on interpretation of what they might be thinking in this case was cavalier. What's important is helping a new user enjoy their first experience, learn to use the site correctly, and get some answers. – uhoh Jan 5 at 16:10

As Rory Alsop states, there were valid reasons to close here, and this is part of the process. The vast majority of users here cannot singlehandedly close questions (not sure what the situation is for mods/admins).

Nevertheless, your constant insults and attacks on people who vote to close in discussions (and your pedantry over how people phrase close reasons) is really getting tiresome. I get the impression that you believe in maximising the quantity of questions on the site should be the primary focus, rather than ensuring the quality of those questions but you should be able to make the case for this without insulting other members of the community.

• Just saying a reason to close as duplicate is "valid" doesn't make it valid. I think I've argued pretty convincingly that there was no vortex in the question, nor any implied vortex. It was not a duplicate. Likewise just saying that I've attacked a user doesn't make it so. As already explained in several places here and on the other page, in responses to previous comments, the vote to close rather than wait for the OP's response cavalier. The action was. "Your constant insults and attacks" is fiction. – uhoh Jan 5 at 20:06
• This is what the creation of a mythology looks like; talking about something as though it's true without ever showing that it's true. I've simply asked if an action was cavalier. Asked then explained why I feel that it is. In Stack Exchange the purpose of asking a question is to provide space for answers. Notice that nobody here has suggested that there is any basis for the close as duplicate vote. – uhoh Jan 5 at 20:10
• Nobody addresses this besides me in my answer, because the close vote is indefensible. Instead this answer say that it's already been stated elsewhere that the close as duplicate was valid, and yet go look where it refers, and it's not there! There is no argument that the question as written is, or is likely to be a duplicate. – uhoh Jan 5 at 20:16
• @uhoh - you're entitled to disagree with me. And for the record "constant insults and attacks" refers to a pattern of your behaviour I've observed beyond this meta question and the question you linked to. Quite frankly I'm tired of it. Nevertheless I am sure based on the past that you will continue to double down on this behaviour anyway. – user24157 Jan 6 at 7:38
• Quite frankly anyone can invent a "pattern of behavior" for someone else at any time. I've used the term once or twice over the years in Stack Exchange but only when accompanied by links to specific examples. I can say that "I'm tired of your pattern of rounding down when the last digit is a 5 instead of rounding up like us good folks, and it frankly (and sadly) destroys the credibility of the site" and some people may then believe you do and it's a serious problem. But without citiing examples, what is it? see also – uhoh Jan 6 at 7:53
• -1 for making unsupported comments about me and simultaneously not even beginning to address the question about the new user's first question being quickly closed based on a fear that they might have been thinking of a vortex and not even giving them a half day to respond. If the answer is modified and my question addressed in some way and support the currently unsupported statements about me to some verifiable degree are added, I can remove the down vote. I don't mind actionable criticism based on data, but one can not parse unsupported vagaries in a meaningful way. – uhoh Jan 6 at 7:58
• @uhoh - I can't be bothered to go trawling back to find (possibly deleted) comments, but I'm only saying what I have observed as a general pattern. But as I said "Nevertheless I am sure based on the past that you will continue to double down on this behaviour anyway." - thanks for proving me right. – user24157 Jan 6 at 8:14
• I'll stop at "I can't be bothered..." bluster turns to indifference when specifics are requested. Moderators have tools to keep track of things because it's tasked to them to decide when patterns emerge. If one finds themselves without such tools, what does that mean? Flagging is your best bet here. It takes but a small moment and may offer a small degree of satisfaction in return. – uhoh Jan 6 at 9:31

Cavalier insta-closing of a new user's first question without even giving them a chance to respond?

I think so.

It's only been seven hours, there is certainly animated spiral motion in the video, and that's all that the question is asking about as written.

I think that closing a brand new user's first question on their first day because they might be thinking of some vortex theory that wasn't even mentioned in the question and not the spiral pattern which they did mention and DOES feature prominently in the video, without them having any chance to respond to a question is probably cavalier.

I think this because that would be "having or showing no concern for something that is important" and what's most important here is being welcoming to new users.

That above all we must protect potential answer writers from wasting their time because they can't be trusted to have enough sense to decide for themselves if they'd like to answer seems to be a false narrative, or perhaps even a bit of Stack Exchange lore or mythology.

It's certainly outdated SE thinking.

Answer writing is purely voluntary. We should not block all users from answering because we fear that someone might answer without fully understanding the question.