I've posted a riddle which is the following : Father of us all?

My post has been closed as too broad, which I don't understand why. There is one and only answer and the two attempts that have been done don't fit every line...

People just closed it without trying answers or so? So the only questions on Puzzling should be math problems or cryptology? For instance the What am I limerick has like 10+ answers and isn't broad...

If you just close questions of people that don't have 15k rep just tell it so I don't make efforts making something original...

the thing is that I don't mind it beeing closed if there is a real reason behind, not a closed post withou any comments or answer tries...

Edit : It is not on hold anymore for X or Y reason, but if I could have explanations I would still be glad


1 Answer 1


I agree that this riddle is no more broad than most of the legitimate riddles posted on this site. I don't know why it was closed, but my guess is that one person (maybe someone who answered; I don't know) figured the puzzle was too broad.

Once a question has a close vote, I've often noticed a sort of "bandwagon" mentality -- others assume the first voter had a good reason to vote to close, and imitate the vote, without really having a good reason themselves. Pretty soon, the threshold of votes required to close the question is reached, and it gets closed.

The good news is, the close can be reversed (as it was in this case). If you feel like a question has been closed unfairly, you can always request that it be reopened.

The TL;DR is that the site is community-moderated for the most part, and while that works well most of the time, it means that occasionally things happen when they shouldn't. Fortunately we have ways of rectifying that.

  • $\begingroup$ Well thanks, I find it weird a close vote is only opinion based and does not require moderation from somewhere, but I'm glad some people voted to reopen it, now I won't be surprised if my question's state is changing since it is moderated by community... Just gonna wait someone that comes with the good answer :) thanks for the explanation $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, usually a question needs 5 close votes from people who have that privilege (based on reputation) to be closed. The problem is that once it has had a single close vote, it keeps showing up in the queue of things to be reviewed, so basically everyone with sufficient rep (who is paying attention) eventually has to vote on whether it should be closed. The chances of that amounting to 5 eventually are pretty good. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ (Questions can also be closed by a moderator indiscriminately, but that usually only happens if they are unarguably bad (i.e. spam or completely off-topic).) $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ I'm actually really glad that a) the answer here was "well, it's not actually 'too broad' imho", and b) someone is acknowledging the fact that editorial decisions aren't always independently arrived at, and that they in fact may influence overeager VTCers $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain Hopefully not indiscriminately... ;) $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 21:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Emrakul Of course. Poor choice of words. I meant unilaterally. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 21:41

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