I have used this website for years and this is the first time I have this issue:

  1. One moderator is either closing or downvoting my most recent questions.
  2. The reason given for the closings is "needs details or clarity"
  3. No comment is left. I try not to ping the mod in the comment section of each question but no response.

What can I do if my questions are getting close by 1 mod as "needs details or clarity" but no comments are given as to what is unclear / which detail is missing?

The questions are crystal clear as far as I can see, and lack of brief description of prior research isn't a reason to close a question, so I have no idea why the questions on getting closed.

Here are the closed questions:

  1. How can I create an event in Microsoft Outlook web interface so that attendees may edit the event? [closed]
  2. How can I forward a MMS in Google Voice? [closed]
  3. How can I view how many texts I received from a given phone number on Google voice? [closed]

1 Answer 1


I wasn't involved with this, but since you asked for feedback, I'll share some personal opinions:

If you're asking how to improve the questions, one way would be to flesh them out.

It might be helpful if the questions stated the requirements more explicitly. When I see a very short question, I often start to wonder if maybe there are some requirements that haven't been stated explicitly. Ideally, a question should be specific enough that an answerer will know in advance whether their answer meets the requirements, and that voters have criteria they can use to cast their vote.

To be more specific: Would you accept any solution that achieves the desired functionality? Or only a solution that can be accessed through the specific website you are using? For example, are you OK with solutions that use an extension or add-on, use a userscript, use software installed on your machine to interact with the website, etc.? I don't think I would have characterized the questions you listed as crystal clear; not everyone starts from the same place you start from, so it might help to articulate your assumptions.

How can I forward a MMS in Google Voice? asks about forwarding a MMS. It might help to tell us what the specific requirements are, and approaches you've considered and why you've rejected them. For instance, have you considered taking a screenshot of the MMS and sending it in a new message? Have you considered copying the contents of the MMS and pasting it into a new message? I find it hard to tell from the question whether you'd consider those to be acceptable solutions, which makes me think that the question might be stronger if it stated the requirements explicitly. When there are obvious candidate answers, it's often helpful to address them directly in the question. This shows that you've done your research, clarifies what are the contours of an acceptable answer, and spares others from spending their time to suggest ideas you've already considered and rejected.

How can I view how many texts I received from a given phone number on Google voice? asks about counting texts. What approaches have you already considered? Have you considered searching for that phone number, opening the screen with the conversation with that phone number, and manually counting the texts? Is that an acceptable solution? I can't tell. If it's not, that suggests that you have a requirement that you haven't stated. It would be helpful to explain that you considered it and rejected it and state explicitly the requirement that it violates. Do you have Google Voice set up to email you when you receive a text? Do you have archives of those emails?

I anticipate it's possible that there might be mixed opinions about questions of the form "How can I do X in website Y?" if Y doesn't have feature X and you're not willing to accept other ways of achieving your goals.

These are just my personal opinions, shared since you requested feedback. I hope you'll take them in the spirit intended -- namely, suggesting some possible options that you could consider. I do not intend to criticize you or call out these questions.

  • 4
    I agree: If there is something that is left implicit in a question, the question isn't clear. Without much details, the answers could be too generic; without showing any tentative to achieve what described in the question, the answers could suggest something the OP already tried.
    – apaderno
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 8:55
  • 4
    Questions without details would be also not help future users, who would not understand if what described in the question applies to them too. Helping future users is what Stack Exchange aims to. That is why in the past we had the closing reason that applied to questions too specific that interessed a single user.
    – apaderno
    Commented Dec 10, 2020 at 8:56
  • 3
    Great feedback, thanks! I wish the moderator would comment to ask for such classifications, instead of closing the questions and ignoring my requests to understand the closure. Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 0:36
  • 1
    @kiamlaluno Plenty of questions without details can help future users, as demonstrated by all the upvotes I've received on such questions. In many cases details add nothing, e.g. see examples on meta.stackexchange.com/a/357469/178179 or meta.stackexchange.com/a/357598/178179 Anyway the core of my question here was: What can I do if my questions are getting closed by 1 mod as “needs details or clarity” but no comments are given as to what is unclear? Typically people use the comment section if they want some clarifications. Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 0:40

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