For a question (now deleted), which was put on hold for improvement (too broad), I didn't receive an inbox message. So I discovered the "on hold" very late.

Is there a chance to get also 'on hold' messages? It could be a help for them asking the question to improve or delete on a timely manner.

I've seen this meta post discussing the notifications of on hold-and closed questions. So the feature I'm searching for in StackExchange-sites is not implemented since 2011.


2 Answers 2


The meta.SE Q & A Send authors an inbox message if their question gets closed has a good deal of support for this idea, but not much in the way of counter-argument.

For balance, I'm going to add a contrary view based on the thinking in Jeff Atwood's blog post Optimizing For Pearls, Not Sand (where questions are grains of sand that may occasionally lead to the answer 'pearls' we actually want).

Generating a notification would fall on the optimizing for sand side of the ledger.

A question that gets placed on hold is almost certainly not a great question. Maybe it could be improved to be a great question, but more likely it will consume community time (in close/reopen reviews, votes , comments, edits and so on) before ultimately becoming an OK question (or not).

That time could be better spent writing answers to other (better) questions.

Without the proposed notification, a poor question is quite likely to be automatically deleted (i.e. without consuming any community time). From the site's point of view, this is probably a good outcome.

If a notification makes any sense, it would be for relatively new questions (say less than a month old) that have been placed on hold (a state which lasts a maximum of five days). But these are exactly the sort of 'current' questions that the question author should be actively checking in on.

If the author doesn't care enough to do that, why should the system and/or community make extra effort to try to bring that sand up to some kind of minimum standard?

Now of course the people here are generally Nice: we care about people getting answers to genuine questions, even if they're not as well-written or on-topic as we would like. We like to help. But there are limits, and rightly so.

  • 1
    Well "doesn't care" was not my issue, it was a kind of "keeping overview over multiple Stackexchange Sites", but I do understand the counter part, so I have changed my approach. Is there an overview over "my questions on all sites"?
    – Myonara
    Aug 25, 2017 at 7:25
  • 1
    @Myonara There is your network profile page, maybe that will help?
    – Paul White Mod
    Aug 26, 2017 at 2:09
  • 1
    The sub page posts is that, what I was searching for, Thank you.
    – Myonara
    Aug 26, 2017 at 5:50

That's a great question.

It would be nice to get close notifications, but there's a flip-side to that. Sometimes reaching out to users doesn't actively help them ask a better question, it just reinforces the idea that the network is against them in some way.

There has been a lot of talk on Send authors an inbox message if their question gets closed in the past and the conversation is still relatively valid today.

Here's the direct link to the answer from Jon Ericson (one of the Community Managers) at StackExchange https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/291184/146986 and that's basically the current final word on the situation. You'll notice that that answer is from this year, so people are paying attention to the situation, and it's a pretty common discussion and talking point (tons of questions on that meta network site about this very topic).

I'm glad you're participating and getting to know the system, and we're very glad you're here!

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