Many sites in the network are currently considering whether they would like reduced close/reopen vote requirements, from 5 down to 3, for a one month trial.

As the close vote queue almost always has at least 100-200 questions, I thought this could be a site that could benefit from that. This would allow those who do use the review queues to get more done.

Note that both vote requirements would be changed together, so while it will be easier to close questions, it will also be easier to reopen them if the community thinks the closures were not warranted.

What does the community think?

UPDATE: Community Managers are working to implement this now.

UPDATE: The trial is now active

  • 1
    Would this apply retrospectively? That is, if a question is waiting for the final two votes, would it be closed immediately when the threshold is changed?
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 7:33
  • 9
    Note to close-voters: A question marked [discussion] is inherently soliciting opinion, and if this question is closed as opinion-based that only means it should actually remain open, so that's what will happen.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 18:18
  • 5
    I think close-voters are actually saying “no, don’t do this”. Maybe they worry they can’t carry the vote if they post an answer? In any case, is you don’t like this idea, posting an answering saying “I don’t like this idea” is the appropriate course of action. Closevoting (a) is wrong and (b) won’t work.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 20:29
  • 6
    @DanBron: I didn't vote to close this question, but I can't help noticing that if the proposed three-vote closure rule had applied here, the question would have been closed by the three votes currently registered against it, and the tug-of-war to reopen/reclose/re-reopen, etc. would have commenced. I, for one, don't think that what the site really needs is a more sensitive hair-trigger for commencing disputes of this type.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 6:22
  • 4
    @SvenYargs I hear you (and the irony), but I think closure as it currently stands is not effective for its designed purpose. It has to be faster, or it’s all but toothless. Making it easier to reopen also allows mistakes to be fixed sooner; it may be that the regular Meta request to reopen some W or other will no longer be needed. It can be done without the petition.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 15:10
  • 4
    The community (or at least those few who bothered to vote) seem to be in favor of a trial period. How does such a trial get invoked? That is, voting is fine but that doesn't actually make things happen.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 21:04
  • 1
    @mitch The mods ask the CMs. Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 22:04
  • 3
    Does anyone have stats on how many questions have sat at 3 votes to close, where those votes subsequently timed out? Just trying to gauge the practical effect of this suggestion.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 13:38
  • 2
    Just to add more thought... just because the review queue is long doesn't mean that all posts on the queue should be closed. If that were the case, then a single vote would close a question and that's not what anybody wants. Shouldn't it be that there enough ''keep open votes" on the review queue should -remove- the post from the queue.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 17:19
  • 1
    @curiousdannii Does it really? I'd like to imagine that that is the case, but !) i've never been able to find any documentation that confirms that 2) I've never been able to confirm that that happens by actually voting to 'keep open' and 3) if you can do it in the queue tool, why isn't there also a 'vote to keep open' button next to 'vote to close'? (rather than having to wait for it to be closed)
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:38
  • 1
    @Mitch Yep, 3 keep open votes (or keep closed for the reopen queue) "finish" the review. Of course it can always come back later. As to why there's no keep open button on the questions themselves, I think it's because it's an action that really only makes sense in the context of a review. Reviews need to be completely, but no action is required if you're just viewing a question. It would be possible to overhaul how closing questions work, where you'd need a quorum of voters and a minimum close rate in which case a keep open button would be needed, but that's not what this proposal is asking. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:42
  • 4
    I'd like to know how many of the questions in the close-vote queue are very old questions before I become horrified at having 100 to 200 questions up for closure. I see no point in closing a question from the early days -- maybe there should be a statute of limitations on a question. If not closed within, say three years (or some such time), the question is home free.
    – ab2
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 0:49
  • 2
    @Mitch Decent question. You might want to ask the CM and author of MSE announcement: Closing posts with 3 votes will roll into action this Thursday, 6 May
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 11:23
  • 2
    Most people were happy to have the trial when it was proposed ~18 months ago. Featuring the post didn't bring any noticeable dissension, except for Cerberus, in fact it led to more up votes on the post. I didn't think it would be controversial to give people what they wanted. Commented May 4, 2021 at 13:33
  • 4
    It seems to be in effect now. I just cast a close vote, and immediately the question was closed with just 3 votes showing.
    – GEdgar
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 11:11

10 Answers 10


I think it is broke, and this would be worth at least trialling.

Currently there are over 160 questions in the review queue. I confess I don't use the queue much; I simply don't have the time and since my vote is a binding vote and designed for exception-handling, I would far rather that the community policed itself.

If there aren't sufficient members who are prepared to do that then reducing the threshold seems a good thing to do, or at least to try out. There are certainly a huge number of questions which are borderline in terms of closeworthyness, and if they are closed and then roomba'd that is probably a good thing.

It's worth adding here thanks to those who do use the queues and work on them. While the top close-vote reviewer is [now] a moderator, there are many who aren't, and we do now have nearly 150 Steward badges. Please keep up the good work. In the meantime, let's reduce the burden a little.

  • The review queue is not the only place where users can vote to close or reopen posts, it can also be done manually, courtesy of the close tab which is visible to users when they reach 3,000 rep. I've never really understood why stats only reflect activity in the RQ
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 9:56
  • 1
    Possibly because the review queues collect all the applicable posts together and thus include posts which could easily be missed in any other approach. I've never found the queues easy to use -- I prefer to have more information than they present [quite apart from my current unilateral vote].
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 20:40
  • 1
    It's fascinating that we have well over 25k Informed badges, and well over 25k Editor badges, but not even 150 Steward badges - and many of us have more than one, so that's under 100 people actually working the queues.
    – Davo
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 21:15
  • @Cascabel It was right at the dates shown.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 20:17
  • @AndrewLeach As Disraeli once said. "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics". Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 20:19
  • I mis-spoke myself earlier. I meant to say : I agree with Andrew, and this is why: there are far too few of us here participating in the queue. I think the stat is questionable. I see 316 owners, but many were awarded after the latest updates which retro-actively awarded new 1K badges. Some users here have up to 12 badges...for the last year I only see like 20 users participating regularly on the VTC queue. Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 20:43
  • We now (#2022) have 341 Steward badges :)
    – Justin
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 19:11

Would ELU like to start a trial of only need 3 votes to close/reopen a question?

Update April 30, 2021

Community Managers are working to implement this now.

No, thank you.

To close a question all that is needed are five users with at least 3,000 rep. Just five people out of hundreds or maybe thousands of regular users. Users can cast up to 24 votes per day.

I agree with Andrew Leech, the system is broken not because on January 14, 2020, there are 148 questions in the review queue, which is a TINY drop in the ocean compared to Stack Overflow's +3K, but because the site struggles to find twenty 3k users who feel invested enough to help moderate and keep the site clean.

Maybe the community should invest time in encouraging newcomers to stay, and start upvoting their efforts more often?

There are some EL&U users who only close posts in the review queues, it's very rare that they care enough to edit and keep a question open. I suspect these users will support the initiative wholeheartedly.

I do not.

The Practicalities

  1. Banner

What if three close voters close a post for three different reasons, e.g. "opinion based", "off-topic": lack of research, and "needs more focus"? Which of the three reasons is shown to the author? Will all three reasons be displayed on the post notice?

Dan Bron, in the comments below, pointed out that the first vote is selected as the reason for closure when there is no clear majority. Here is the relevant excerpt, please note the significant drawback to this feature.

questions closed without a consensus

… And it’s even more problematic because of how we determine the displayed reason: we pick the oldest vote. So if someone picks a bogus reason, that gets discussed a bit and then two other people pick two better reasons… We show the bogus one. @Shog9 (source)

  1. Reopen Queue

Lest we forget, the author of a question that has been closed by the community can cast a vote to reopen it. Currently when a question enters the review queue it drops out when three users have agreed to keep it open. Will that same number remain or will it be reduced to two?

  1. Migration

In order to migrate a post to ELL there must be at least 3 votes in favour, by reducing the number of close votes to three you effectively reducing the number of posts that are eligible or suitable for migration.

A little history and an update

As of January 22, 2020, the number of questions that need to be reviewed on Stack Overflow is a staggering 4.8k, little wonder, then, the one-month long experiment promoted by Shog9 to reduce the backlog was greeted with overwhelming consensus and success in August of last year and then finally adopted on December 3, 2019 by Stack Overflow.

enter image description here

The Review Queue on English Language & Usage does not have anything comparable to the above. In the ten days following the OP's proposal, the backlog has been reduced to 126 questions. This site needs more users willing to muck in that's all.

  • 1
    Re the banner: the banner shows the reason selected by the first close voter. Not sure about the reopen queue, but even if it stays in the queue til 3 votes, so much the better for the author, and no change for reviewers. Re ELL: I’ve dramatically reduced my “migrate” votes as we seem to get flak every few months for using this feature. Not a big loss here.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 12:55
  • @DanBron so much the better, I don't think so. Whereas five votes were needed to close a post now only three, yet the number of votes needed to lift a post from the review queue remains the same... is that fair? Re. banner, the link to the SO post is impossible to wade through, so I couldn't find the line (despite ctrl+f "first" and "first close") where this information was mentioned.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 13:07
  • 3
    Re “so much the better [for the author]”: the author/OP wants his Q reopened. He wants it in the queue for as long as possible. Before, it was 3 votes and then the Q had to fend for itself, no queue to draw eyeballs and votes. Now the same 3 votes dispositively reopen his question. Same votes, better outcome. Re banner, the text is “how we determine the displayed reason: we pick the oldest vote”.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 13:12
  • 1
    I agree. I hate the number of rubbish questions we get here, but I don't think reducing the strikes from five to three is the answer.
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 22:38
  • @Mari-LouA, are you sure that the number of votes for migrating to ELL would remain three if this proposal is accepted? My impression is that the number happens to be three now because that is the majority out of the five, and that if the threshold for closing is reduced to three, then two votes for migration would be enough for the question to be moved.
    – jsw29
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 21:30
  • @jsw29 if the first two users close a question for lack of research/opinion-based/in need of detail, i.e. typical features of a ELL-type Q then it's very unlikely with only one vote it will be migrated. The chances of the first two users agreeing with each other is greater than a 3rd user selecting the migration option. It can also go the other way, ELL could become the landfill of EL&U where inexperienced users believe any LOW quality question is a good fit for ELL.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented May 1, 2021 at 11:28
  • 1
    So the number of votes to migrate was reduced to two. It kind of sucks that ELL didn’t get a chance to weigh in on whether or not we wanted to be a part of this experiment. It now only takes two people to migrate crap to ELL, but it will still take us 5 votes or moderator intervention to kick it back. The migrations lately have been OK for the most part, I’m just hoping this doesn’t cause them to deteriorate.
    – ColleenV
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 19:47

Although implementing this proposal carries obvious risks, it is worth trying because it promises to reduce the number of questions that are closed after being answered.

The purpose of closing seems to be to prevent the questions that do not belong to this site from being answered on it. When the concept of closing was built into the framework of the Stack Exchange, it was probably expected that closing would, in most cases, take place before anybody attempts to answer the question. On ELU, however, closing accomplishes that purpose only very poorly, because voting to close takes time, while answering doesn't. Many questions that eventually get closed thus get answers, sometimes several answers; quite a few of these answers even get upvoted, and some get accepted.

The presence of a large number of such questions is awkward. While the regular, core contributors to this site attach great importance to closing, that importance is not obvious to casual visitors. Such a person may come to a particular page on this site from a general-purpose search engine, read the question and the answers to it, note which answer is accepted and which ones are upvoted, and not pay any attention to the annotation that the question is closed (which may strike them as some piece of bureaucratic boilerplate). In other words, a casual visitor's experience of reading the answers to a closed questions is not significantly different from the experience of reading the answers to other questions; from their viewpoint, these answers are all equally parts of what this site offers. The point that the core users are trying to make by closing a question is lost on the casual visitors, as long as some answers to it have been posted.

It gets worse, though. It sometimes happens that the answers that are posted to a question before its closing are all problematic. Closing then effectively protects these bad answers by preventing better answers from competing with them. Casual visitors who do not understand how closing works may be left with the impression that the problematic answers that somebody managed to post before closing are the best answers that can be made to the question.

So, if some question really deserves to be closed (and when that is the case is a separate topic), it is far better that it be closed before anybody posts an answer to it. Reducing the number of votes required for closing will probably significantly reduce the time that it takes for a question to be closed, and thus the awkwardness created by the questions that are answered before being closed (although it, of course, won't eliminate them completely).

  • I strongly endorse these observations. There are so many closed questions with answers languishing in our EL&U library, the vast majority worthy of deletion. I think we need two mechanisms: firstly, something that allows closure of an obviously bad new question to occur before anyone can answer it (maybe a 24-hour timer?), and secondly, a way to clean up really poor historic questions that have been answered. PS I'd been cleaning up unanswered bad questions, from 2010 up to about 3 years ago – many hundreds of them! – but stopped when SE attacked Monica. Commented May 11, 2021 at 21:51

I can't deny I've been remiss in not going through the review queue so often lately.

But when I do tackle the "Closevote" queue, I invariably hit my daily limit (20 VTC), because the queue is so long. And that really irritates me, because it means I can't VTC against current questions, as they arise.

Perhaps I should post my thoughts as a "Feature Request" here on Meta, rather than an "Answer" to this specific question. Whatever - my suggested solution is...

If a user runs out of closevotes while working on the review queue, award them extra votes.

As to the detail, perhaps they could be "special" VTCs that aren't valid for continued queue review (only to be cast against questions in other contexts). And maybe the number of such additional votes could be limited to the number of queue VTCs cast in the most recent session.

Just an idea.

  • 1
    Indeed, the main reason I don't use the queue much is because I want to use my votes on questions on the front page. Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:59
  • As to feature request, in addition maybe allow sorting of the items to review? So one can choose to do recent ones first?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:59
  • 1
    I have a feeling I've read somewhere that the number of votes is limited rather like the rep cap: voting is good, but there are other things to do as well. One way to help with that might be to have the "queue" reorganised into a "crowd" (a full list on screen) so you could dive into the crowd and eliminate the most egregious first.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 9:15
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach: As a mod, I'm guessing you have access to more background info than me (and have more incentive to study it, perhaps discussing "implications" with other mods in private chat rooms). Might it not be that periodically (whenever the ELL review queue grows larger than a few dozen?) the mods should promote a "chivying" Meta post to encourage just a few high-rep users to go through and clear it? But I've no idea what the long-term trend is here - maybe it's just that "post-Monica", the number of high-rep users who can be bothered to do this has dropped catastrophically! :( Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 15:07
  • One thing you can do is start using the “skip” button. The number of reviews you can do does not necessarily match the number of close votes you have if you sometimes choose “Leave Open” or “Edit”.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Apr 28, 2021 at 17:51
  • Using the skip button doesn't really help. I run out of votes usually far before I ever hit the end of the close vote queue. Commented May 21, 2021 at 17:21


After reviewing the stats, it looks like this change has been very much beneficial for you all. While you had been doing in the 40-80% completion range for questions gaining at least one flag or vote to close, you're now consistently in the 80-100% range, though it's been dipping a bit recently.

Graph showing the percentage of questions that receive one flag or vote to close that are handled. From September 2019 until April 2021 the averages bounced around unpredictably between 40% and 80%. Since this feature was enabled in May 2021, it's been consistently above 90% handled.

On top of that, while the mods were never doing a significant portion of the work, they're needing to participate less than they were, with the community doing most of the work themselves. Note, the numbers in the graph below are more volatile because they're quantity, not percentages - this means that they vary greatly based on the quantity of questions that are closed and reopened - it's also nice to see a slightly higher number of questions reopened after closure.

Graph showing the questions closed and reopened per month over the last two years and indicating whether the closures were done by moderators or community members. Prior to this change in May 2021, the moderators would close 100-300 posts on average - since then, the most they've closed is around 150 in a month, with most months under 100.

I'm going to call this a success.

Some of you may have noticed the Meta Stack Exchange post - Testing three-vote close and reopen on 13 network sites (it's linked in the featured on meta sidebar) - we've finally got this project under way and English Language & Usage is one of the sites we'll be running the test on.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be changing the site setting and closing and reopening will require only three votes. This test will run for 45 days and will be turned back to five votes to close and reopen while I review the data from the 13 sites. After we've seen the impact, I'll be posting results and, if there aren't negative impacts, we will change the setting to three permanently.

A few weeks into this, I'll be posting a question here on meta to ask for your thoughts about this change, so you will have an opportunity to discuss the impact.

Thank you so much for your patience while we got this prioritized and scheduled. There's a lot more information in the MSE post, so please review it.

  • Excellent...this is the way to do it.
    – Mitch
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 19:34
  • Catija, should the status be changed to "Status-completed" (as it has been done) and then perhaps to "status-review" while the results are reviewed? Using "completed" might head off misunderstanding about the purpose of the question. I'd do it but I don't want to mess up your use of these tags internally.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 9:54
  • @AndrewLeach this is only a test, so I wasn't planning to switch to completed until we'd completed the test and confirmed that we're making it permanent.
    – Catija
    Commented May 10, 2021 at 12:49
  • Thanks for the comprehensive post on MSE. And many of the comments and answers (and your own responses @Catija) are very instructive. :-) Commented May 12, 2021 at 0:41

I'm a frequent close voter, and I think it's worth a try.

There's a double-layered effect where misdirected questions often get answers that are of poor quality, which further increases the queue length. This will prevent some of those from ever getting in the queue.

I began focusing more on cleaning that answering when I noticed that google hits on nonsense material began overwhelming the useful content. I don't agree with all close votes. There are some legitimate differences of opinion on what constitutes an opinion question, whether single-word-/phrase-requests are valid in general or require more research, and what type of questions should be moved to ELL. However, there is a deeper issue on stackexchange that closing doesn't always mean a bad question. Duplicates are intended to push answers to the same question into the same pile. You don't have your question deleted, it's another possible entry point to finding an answer. The you-didn't-include-an-example-sentence is a call to clean or clarify a post, not eliminate it (and not something that I always feel is entirely necessary). I think welcoming new users would be easier if there were some clarity around the phrasing of "close"--even calling it "closed for new answers" would help, or having different "fix", "close" and "deleted" categories. I realize this isn't the question on the table, but any calls to reduce the number of close votes can be met with calls to give reviewers a sharper instrument to work with. There is a broken window syndrome that can be hard to recover from.

FWIW, stackoverflow has a similar issue I've noticed growing over time. Duplicate questions often rank higher on google search results than the original, and often contain more updated information (tech is evolving much more rapidly than language). They are closed, but not until people give fairly substantial answers. This has the negative effect of spreading the knowledge over multiple pages. Hopefully a 3-vote-close rule will reduce that.

PS--Two clarifications. The queue counts you're seeing do not include items you've already voted on, but haven't yet reached the close limit. Also, you can cast up to 20 close votes per day on any given queue.


The evident purpose of this proposal is to make it easier to close bad questions quickly. To the extent that it would promote that goal without producing undesirable side effects, I have no objection to it—and I can't imagine that any other EL&U participant would object to it either.

The problem is that EL&U's built-in options for voting to close a question do a very poor job of distinguishing bad questions from good ones. The primary culprit here is the "show research" close reason, which was instituted several years ago to make it easier to close bad questions quickly (sound familiar?) but which in practice makes no distinction between a cruddy question of no interest to anyone but its poster and a question of potentially widespread and enduring interest whose only supposed flaw is its failure to provide background research. Now we have another attempt to make closure easier. If adopted, it will surely increase the number of interesting questions that get kneecapped for a reason unrelated to their quality as questions.

Responses to "show research" closure vary. In some instances, the original poster tries to satisfy the "show research" requirement; in other instances, other site participants attempt to do so (and thereby incur the wrath of certain close voters who consider such efforts to be an exercise in shamelessly presumptuous audacity); in still other instances, reopen voters simply decide that the "show research" close reason shouldn't prevail against a question that they approve of; and in many cases, the question is simply abandoned to its fate. But whatever the outcome, the closure experience is likely to have a discouraging effect on the poster. The natural result of having a fundamentally interesting question closed for a reason unrelated to its inherent quality is to be less inclined to post another question on the site—a point worth considering the next time you wonder why EL&U has so much trouble attracting good questions.

EL&U has an earnest and vocal contingent of site participants whose main interest in the site is in maintaining or raising its standards for acceptable questions and answers. In pursuit of this interest, they seek to disqualify as many bad questions as possible as quickly as possible. But their desire for quick disqualification of bad questions has led them to adopt standards that don't distinguish truly bad questions from good ones. The current proposal accelerates this process without improving the qualitative discernment of the site's approved close vote reasons.

My interest in this site does not primarily involve keeping out the barbarian hordes. Rather, it involves trying to answer good questions. For that reason, I am more concerned about protecting good questions from closure than about closing bad questions quickly.

If (as seems likely) EL&U is poised to make question closure easier, without simultaneously replacing the "show research" close reason with a close reason (such as "too localized") that actually goes to the fundamental badness of the suspect question, I would like to see it also take a significant step to protect good questions from quick closure.

I can think of two simple ways to accomplish this. One would be to link the close voting privilege to demonstrated interest in the area(s) that a question asks about. That is, we could adopt a requirement that, to be entitled to vote to close a question, a site participant must have some baseline score—say, 50 upvotes—on at least one of the tags associated with that question.

A second option would be to give site participants who do have a substantial interest in the area that a question asks about the power to protect it from closure. That is, we could permit site participants who have accumulated some baseline score—say, 100 or 200 or 400 upvotes—on at least one of the tags associated with a closed question the power to reopen the question with a single vote.

Either of these changes would give site participants who have demonstrated an interest in a particular category of EL&U questions a greater ability to weigh in on the merits of posted questions related to that area and to preserve good questions that are at risk of being caught up in the crude dragnet of "show research" closure.

  • 1
    Excellent writing as always. A couple of points: the close-vote contingent, including yours truly, all have sufficient reputation in nearly every tag for the 50-rep tag barrier for closure a no-op. The same people would close the same questions. But there’s a larger issue with both the 50-rep barrier and the 400-rep reopen hammer: they both require development effort from SE which is unlikely forthcoming, in contrast to the 3-voter closures which are already live on SO. So I don’t think we have alternatives here but voting “implement this” or “don’t implement this”.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 21:32
  • @DanBron: Even though I disagree with some of your close votes, I don't consider you a push-button or auto-pilot close voter. Rather, you seem to put considerable thought into your close votes when they don't involve obviously wretched questions. In short, I have no beef with you or anyone else who pursues close voting as you do. With regard to the "demonstrated interest" issue, I may not have made clear in my original wording that the threshold numbers I have in mind are numbers of upvotes, not reputation points (that is, numbers of upvotes times 10). ...
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:55
  • ... If the threshold qualification for voting to close a question tagged as etymology (for example) were 50 upvotes on etymology-tagged questions, a lot of current close voters would not meet the threshold, although you certainly would.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 22:55
  • I am pleased to hear that those are your feelings about my voting patterns. Yes, your proposal makes more sense with upvotes substituted for rep, thanks for that clarification. BTW, your answer has a downvote but it’s not mine. I didn’t upvote because I’m in the pro- camp for 3-vote closes, but I definitely didn’t downvote.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 23:18
  • 2
    Although I don't disagree with tag-based privileges like these (we already have a gold-badge close-hammer), a potential problem is that questions tend to be badly tagged. Even the gold-badge privilege doesn't allow you to retag a question into your gold-badge tag and then close it, even if that's entirely the correct thing to do.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 8:55
  • 1
    The issues raised in this answer about the show research reason for closing deserve separate discussion. That reason does not distinguish (1) the relatively rare questions that are on the right track, but need to be made more focused by some preliminary research on part of the OP, i.e. the cases where show research is meant to be taken literally, and (2) the more frequent cases where it is expected that, after doing some obvious research, the OP would discover that there is nothing left to ask, i.e. the cases where show research functions as a euphemism for too basic.
    – jsw29
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 17:46
  • @SvenYargs: Some good points, thanks, but, please! Don't rely on tags for anything. If you think the quantity of questions is bad, you haven't looked at the morass of the tag system. It is best ignored because it can't be used. Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 0:21
  • 1
    I agree that the close reasons are crap. I often want to register a close vote, then give up because I can't figure out the reason beyond "this is just wrong for EL&U."
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 1:03
  • If one is looking for a way to accept the 3-vote proposal and still protect good questions from excessive enthusiasm for quick closing, a simpler compromise than the ones proposed in this answer might be to just subtract the 'leave open' votes from the 'close' votes (at the moment the 'leave open' votes do not really count as the votes to leave the question open, but merely to remove it from the review queue). I am, however, pessimistic about the chances that any such proposal would be accepted, as it would require a change in the overall organisation of the Stack Exchange system.
    – jsw29
    Commented Apr 26, 2021 at 20:12

The requirements for close-voting have only been reduced recently, but already I have experienced expedited closure for off-topic questions, and I can say it's already an improvement. Much better user experience from a moderation perspective.


I for one will be very ready on shortened reopen tools.

Note that that tool page looks at all possible reopens, not just those that are on the most recent queue (notice the different UI). Also, it allows you to look at the delete queue (and undelete queue).

Use the tools that are available! (but also don't abuse the tools) Just because there is a button to press doesn't mean you should press it (and thankfully there's an 'unpress' button).


I'd like the close threshold to stay at five for any question that gets more than 100 views (an arbitrary threshold, pick one). My concern is that there are some subjects that just attract close votes like magnets, often as a result of a quote that has a political angle, religious angle, or deals with some other sensitive subject. There was a time when no question that mentioned the military, no matter how tangentially, stood a chance, but that seems to have relaxed a bit.

Another option would be to close after three close votes from the review cue or five total (review cue + close button). This might just encourage a few more to use the cue and ought to be fairly simple to implement.

  • Those could be good options, but would require the devs the spend time implementing them, whereas the trial only requires one variable to be changed from 5 to 3. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 13:21
  • Hi Phil. You raise a good point. However, I'm not sure if the attitude towards military has actually changed: you and I both know we have been treated with disdain on this site over posts based on military terminology and etymology. Commented May 8, 2021 at 21:12

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