Yesterday, I asked Definition of a bunny hop and is was

put on hold as primarily opinion-based by Gary.Ray♦ yesterday

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit your question or leave a comment.

The feeling I got was that this was somewhat arbitrary. If I saw a bunch of regular users voting it down and/or voting to close, then I'd just go Ok. Poor question. Learn. Move on.

But the question had been voted up twice, and received a pretty good answer when it was put on hold. I thought moderators should only get involved when there was a clear problem.

The commentary says please edit your question or leave a comment. So I left a comment, No response. I flagged it. No response.

The commentary also says [m]any good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience. I certainly agree. 90% (not that I've counted) of this site's questions rely on experience-based answers.

... but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions. Now, how is this question more opinion-based than

Some of them are fun questions. Most require ESP to know what is best for the OP. But if there are rules, why were they applied to Definition of a bunny hop, and not to these? This about consistency.

So, in summary I'm asking

  • Why was it closed? Since the stated reason doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

  • Why hasn't it been re-opened? I have requested this but the response was to discuss it here.

  • I don't agree with the opinion based assessment for at least the first two.
    – Batman
    Aug 1, 2014 at 2:58
  • The way I read them, most answers are of the form my experience is this. Since our opinions are formed from experience (or reading / training; just different kinds of experience) these answers are saying in my opinion .... Apart from Robokaren's none of the answers are definitively the best.
    – andy256
    Aug 1, 2014 at 6:49

2 Answers 2


I was the moderator who put the question on hold. I made my decision that it was 'opinion based' for several reasons, not the least of which was that the topic was already generating a significant amount of back and forth comment traffic on this question; including the 13 comments on your answer.

You are right that sometimes the decision to close as 'opinion based' or 'too broad' can be opinion based as well. As a moderator since shortly after the site was proposed, I try not to take that responsibility lightly. Often when I am in doubt, I will ask the other mods in the private moderator chat room if they think an action is appropriate. I wasn't the only moderator to review the question, or comment on it directly.

That said, there have been a number of reopen votes. That's the way the site is supposed to work. While I and the other mods will keep an eye on the question - I'll add my vote and reopen it.

  • Thank you. I'll delete my side of the comments on the question.
    – andy256
    Aug 1, 2014 at 2:42
  • Ah I see you've already cleaned then up.
    – andy256
    Aug 1, 2014 at 2:46

I also reviewed the question and, as such, wanted to add my two cents about why I left it closed since my take on it was a bit different than Gary.Ray's.

I think "too broad" would have been a better closure reason for this particular question.

too broad - if your question could be answered by an entire book, or has many valid answers, it's probably too broad for our format

I've added emphasis to the "has many valid answers" bit because that is the relevant part.

The problem with the question, as I saw it, is that it's basically a poll and polls aren't a good fit for the site. Everyone's answer would be equally valid. ("Equally valid" used to be the actual phrasing of the too broad closure.) It's kind of like asking what the name for a dark brown, sweet, carbonated beverage is. Some people call it "soda," others "pop," in the US South it's often referred to as a "Coke" regardless of the actual brand, and still other people might refer to it as a "sodie pop." None of these is wrong and if each were a separate answer it would be impossible to upvote and accept one of them as correct, which is the ultimate goal of the site.

I never changed it from "primarily opinion-based" to "too broad" for a couple of reasons:

  1. I didn't want to step on Gary.Ray's toes. And, more importantly,
  2. By the time I would have done so, it already had a reopen vote. If I had changed it, I would have had to reopen it and then close it again, thus invalidating the reopen vote.

As it stands right now, it seems that the community has opted to reopen it. However, As noted in the blog post that I mentioned earlier, whether or not a question becomes a poll is often a function of the answers more than the question itself. If the question does end up becoming a poll, I would feel inclined to revisit the issue of closing it.

I would also like to mention that moderators are volunteers. We review questions that come to our attention and often learn as we go. Some of those questions you mention are older questions, when Stack Exchange was young, Bicycles SE was even younger, and all the moderators were fresh-faced recruits. Some of them should probably be looked at again and possibly closed or locked. Others were borderline and the answers never pushed it over the line. Sometimes we're in a hurry and might not give a question its due regard. Sometimes we're having a bad day and that might lend itself to a sterner hand. In short, we're only human. We do what we can and sometimes that results in inconsistencies.

However, you can always help us with inconsistencies by flagging any questions that you think don't fit the site. We look at flagged questions much more closely than random questions that pop up on the site throughout any given day. And once you hit 3000 rep, you can vote to close those questions. Ultimately, we would all prefer that questions get closed by community vote rather than by moderator intervention. We just don't have enough high rep users yet for that to always work well.

  • Thanks. Yes, now that you say it, the question can be seen as a poll. Still learning :-)
    – andy256
    Aug 1, 2014 at 23:43
  • To continue the learning, when I look at questions as a poll, can't each of the 6 questions I mentioned above be also a poll? Moderation is certainly not easy!
    – andy256
    Aug 2, 2014 at 0:30
  • A comment doesn't give enough room to discuss each of those questions. I will say this though: Some of those I see as borderline, others I think are fine. One of them I think is definitely opinion-based, but the community seems to disagree so it's still open. Sometimes it just comes down to the way that the question is read and the types of answers it receives.
    – jimchristie Mod
    Aug 4, 2014 at 13:49
  • Acknowledged . .
    – andy256
    Aug 4, 2014 at 14:07

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