This question How can I convince my roommate to switch from a wired connection to wifi? was closed, the reason being "unclear what you are asking". However, the question is very explicitly "how can I convince someone do something". It has a lengthy description, but the question itself is very clear, and I have seen tons of questions here in this same exact format, and there's usually no argue what they're asking.

Also, meta question Are questions about 'how to convince another person to change their behavior?' on topic asks if questions in this format should be off topic and it has seven downvotes.

I can't see from the comments, if it was first closed and then the author modified the question. In any case the close voters didn't undo the flags. Is there a way for me to do something about it?

  • 1
    In general "How can I convince someone of X?" questions are a poor fit for this site.
    – sphennings
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 15:07
  • You can see when the question was opened and closed by reading the edit history. That will also show you how the question was edited by whom and when.
    – sphennings
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 15:17

2 Answers 2


As long as you don't have the privilege to vote to reopen things yourself, you can only do what you did, which is take it to meta.

Now, I'm seeing a few problems with this question:

  • The body provides a very long description of what is happening, what was already tried, and how that worked out. The only question there is, is in the title however. This is one of the things that can be fixed with a quick edit, so it's not really a problem but does contribute to it being a little unclear.
  • There's already a lot of chatter going on in the comment thread, note that all of these are discussing solutions focusing not on improving the OP's interpersonal skills, but on the wireless connection pro's and con's. This to me drowns out what kind of Interpersonal Skill the OP is actually having trouble with.
  • As sphennings said, 'How can I convince someone to do X' is a bit problematic/poor fit for this site, in that it's often not clear whether they want arguments to use or want to improve their skills. To me, right now, it isn't clear to me if the OP is actually looking for help improving their Interpersonal skills, or for arguments to use to convince their brother. The first one is on-topic here, the second one not.
  • I think it might also be good if the OP included extra details about their family and cultural background in the question. Why is this something they need to fix between themselves, why can't they just ask their parents to do their job for example? Have they asked their parents? What was their response?

I don't think this question was unfairly closed, but I agree that right now there's no information for the OP that points out how to improve. I'll drop a link to this meta on it.

(Note that you also can give posts an edit, that will put them in the reopen queue. This is a bit discouraged, since this will only happen upon the first edit. If you go editing it now, it might still not be good enough, and when the OP returns to their question and edits it, it won't be visible to us)


If you feel that a question is closed incorrectly it helps to first understand where the close voters were coming from in their reasoning to VTC the question. This way you can make better decisions about exactly what to do when working to get the question reopened.

Ultimately the only way to get a question reopened is to get 5 to vote or a mod to reopen it.

The easiest way is to edit the question to address the close voter's concerns. The first time a closed question is edited it automatically enters the reopen vote queue. This is where understanding their concerns becomes beneficial. Perhaps you feel the question is clear but enough voters didn't. If you can improve the clarity of the question through edits then there will be fewer objections to reopening the question.

You can also draw attention to the question by posting a question in meta about why it was closed, or if it should be reopened. We have a relatively active meta and if you present your case well you may be able to convince enough people to vote on the question. This will also give people to explain what their close reasoning is which may sway you that the question should remain closed or indicate how to fix the question so more people will vote to reopen it.

If you have the rep you could also just vote to reopen the question yourself which will then place the question in the reopen queue. I wouldn't suggest only doing this since the edit history of the question is on display in the queue and if I don't see any changes to the question I'm much less likely to vote on it.

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