In recent discussions on this site about question closures, I took away a few values which would appear to motivate some of the pronouncements:
The point of answering a question is to satisfy the OP's immediate needs, and a question can be closed (and eventually become inaccessible to non-superuser/moderators) once the OP has been given reasonable time to read the response without any negative effects for the site.
If a question does not seem clear, the OP is the primary source of guidance in interpreting it.
Because closure votes are of the same kind as upvotes or answers, a user who upvotes and answers more than they downvote or vote to close cannot be fairly accused of any kind of rash behavior.
The site is harmed by a "bad" question remaining open. The site is also harmed by a "good" question being closed. If avoiding the first evil means that the second evil frequently befalls us, so be it. (i.e., better an innocent man condemned than a guilty man acquitted)
Contrast these with the following values:
- Questions and their answers form durable content that is the community's asset, and they should not be casually discarded.
- A question can be given an interpretation which goes beyond its original intent (much as certain court decisions concern more general affairs than the specific plaintiffs and defendant which aroused them), and the OP's immediate interests can be subverted to a general issue of broader interest.
Because closure votes should not be made lightly, a user's high number of upvotes or answers does not immunize them from criticism of rash behavior in close-voting.
The site is harmed by a "bad" question remaining open. The site is also harmed by a "good" question being closed. If avoiding the second evil means that the first evil frequently befalls us, so be it. (i.e., better a guilty man be acquitted and an innocent man condemned)
Which combination of value statements do you think should be driving the site's policy, and why?