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I see the "on hold" state on some questions that would have been closed in the past.

What is this (new?) state, why was it introduced?

Can I vote to close in that state?

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There have been some changes to the close process. It's explained in this blog post and this post on the main meta site. And specifically, the "on hold" state is discussed at Every "close" has its thorn: replace "close" with "on hold" for the first five days.

Basically, on-hold is a temporary state for closed questions, meant to not feel as nasty and to encourage actual improvement.

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    To clarify, since I'm not sure if "temporary state" is misleading, "on hold" is the new name for "closed". The point is to try and convey to people that closing isn't necessarily permanent if they can fix whatever is wrong with the question. There's no method to vote to close because the question is closed, we're just calling it something less severe – Michael Mrozek Jul 24 '13 at 21:46
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    "On-hold" actually does become "closed" after a period, so it's not just a new name. – mattdm Jul 25 '13 at 20:10
  • Oh, I never noticed that – Michael Mrozek Jul 25 '13 at 21:09
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    More precisely (Cc @MichaelMrozek), “on hold” means “closed less than 5 days ago” and “closed” means “on hold since more than 5 days”. Other than the name change, one thing happens at the 5-day mark: before that point, edits by the asker push the question to the reopen queue; after that point, only reopen votes do. Yes, it's obscure. No, I don't know why. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 25 '13 at 23:54

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