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While going through the review queue, I just noticed two questions back-to-back that were flagged as "unclear". These questions seem well-articulated on their face, and have answers that align with my expectations, but in both the questioner is expressing vehement dislike of the answers in the comments.

How much weight should authorial intent of the questioner be given in these cases? Does the questioner wanting a different answer mean that they necessarily asked the wrong question? Or are there other reasons to close these questions?

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    If I read the question (implying an interpretation of what is being asked), and there is what I consider an answer addressing how I interpret the question and the OP rejects it as an answer, well, there clearly is some lack of clarity in the thinking of multiple people about what the question means. – Jon Custer Jan 30 '18 at 14:50
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    Did the OP of the first question vote to close their own question as unclear? Bold move – Bryan Krause Jan 30 '18 at 17:50
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    I think your second example is a good indication of why this close reason is appropriate in these cases: it compels the OP to revise their question or have it closed, and hopefully helps avoid clarifications that get lost in the comments. I don't happen to think that the clarification actually helped much in that case (because the answerers would still answer the same way), but at least it seems like the system of close-voting was applied correctly. – Bryan Krause Jan 30 '18 at 17:53
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    No one was flagging the first question as unclear. All four votes to close are for "Shopping". Although I answered the question, I do see why people are voting to close it. I'm not particularly active on this site and sometimes forget how broadly "shopping" is defined here. I do think it's shopping, but feel weird about closing a question I've already answered and so have refrained from voting so. – Stella Biderman Jan 30 '18 at 18:58
  • @StellaBiderman, oops, I must have gotten confused somewhere, I could've sworn I saw an unclear vote there. But in general I'm still interested in thoughts on how to deal with these situations, as I do think the answers have value that ought to be preserved, and there is less value in prodding the OP to reformulate their question until it gets them the answer they want to hear... – nengel Jan 31 '18 at 6:13
  • @BryanKrause Questions that have already been answered shouldn’t be revised in ways that invalidate those answers. – David Richerby Feb 4 '18 at 8:39
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Do questions become unclear if the asker rejects the answers given?

No, they do not. If a question is posted that is reasonably interpreted to mean X and answers to X are posted, but the author insists the question means Y, then the only unclarity is in the author's mind. We vote on questions, not authors.

If Y is also a reasonable interpretation of the question, we don't need to do anything. The author should edit their question to clarify, as long as they don't invalidate the existing answers. (Within reason; if there's just one short answer, it's probably not a big deal if that gets broken; if there are thoughtful answers that have taken time to write, they shouldn't be invalidated.)

If Y isn't a particularly reasonable interpretation, then the asker should be encouraged to post a new question that clearly articulates Y. The existing question isn't unclear; it's just not the question the asker wanted. However, questions dont belong to the asker. If the "wrong" question is still on-topic and useful, we should keep it. The fact that it is not useful to the asker doesn't mean that it's not useful to our community as a whole.

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    +1 "That's not what I asked!" // "It may not be what you wanted to ask, but it is what you actually did ask." // "So I should change the text then!" // "No, you should not. Next time, post on meta to get help or think about the text first." – Nij Feb 4 '18 at 2:09
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Do questions become unclear if the asker rejects the answers given?

By definition, no; rather, they lose some false clarity. Without the rejection people have apparently mistaken the question to mean something it didn't. The question as-is may or may not be unclear.

How much weight should authorial intent of the questioner be given in these cases?

It means the world, and at the same time nothing at all.

That is, a question author is entitled to an answer regarding the issue s/he is facing (to the extent they are entitled to anything). At the same time, if a question, as asked, has an answer according to some interpretation which people feel is useful, then regardless of what the original question' author wants - that question + answer combination should exist for the benefit of readers overall.

So essentially I'm saying the question should probably be split off in some way or another.

Does the questioner wanting a different answer mean that they necessarily asked the wrong question?

Let's say they failed to make a clear enough distinction between their own question and another pertinent question for which they got an answer. (Albeit not necessarily pertinent to them).

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