I agree that this question is General Reference --and it was closed by simchona as such--, but in a Kit's previous comment she said:

"Thank you for your diligence. For the purposes for closing, you should flag only for possible duplicate, migration, or off-topic (as well as the usual spam/offensive). It is for the community to decide if it is general reference, not the mods."

So, I'm wondering what the 'rules' are in these cases.

Please, do not intend that I'm against the fact that moderators can close questions as general reference, too; on the contrary I agree on this. I'm asking only for clarity reasons.

  • What are you actually asking, Carlo? Mods clearly can close without 4 extra votes, but Kit's answer indicates they are reluctant (though not self-denyingly) to do so for GR. Anyone with 3000 rep can vote to close, which automatically puts it in the queue for consideration by others. None of this is new; are you suggesting a change? Apr 16, 2013 at 21:19
  • @Tim, I understand the reason why you have doubts, but in plain Italian "It is for the community to decide if it is general reference, not the mods." does not mean that "they are reluctant (though not self-denyingly)". Rather it means that they cannot close as GR because some 'rules' they have received, or they stated, after, I suppose, the ELU policy changed.
    – user19148
    Apr 16, 2013 at 21:31
  • 1
    Unless I missed something, there's no actual policy.
    – user10893
    Apr 16, 2013 at 21:32

2 Answers 2


It is not a matter of policy, but rather a means of me reducing my flag queue. I feel that duplicates, off-topic questions, offensive/spam, and possible migration are appropriate for me to act on according to my judgement, so these are the kinds of things I want in my flag queue. I do not personally like general reference as a close reason and therefore I do not like to make that call. The other mods may feel differently.

  • 2
    +1 from me. I like it when moderators show self-restraint. Of course you do what you need to do with the most urgent cases, and leave the borderline cases to the community.
    – Tom Au
    Apr 17, 2013 at 21:35

Moderators can vote to close questions that are utterly not a good question for the site (e.g. off-topic, not a real question, not constructive). If somebody asks on Drupal Answers a question about WordPress, as moderator I can surely close it; if then I see somebody answers it instead of flagging it, or vote to close it, then it is probable I would quickly vote to close it.

I imagine there are cases where a question is utterly a general reference question, and in this case a moderator can close the question. If then question is also too basic for the site, that is a reason more to close it.

There aren't rules about this. The only suggestion I was given from Community Coordinators is that as moderator I should not close a question because other users voted to close it, but because I think the question should be closed. I should also be ready to take the necessary action if the community thinks closing the question was wrong.

You must log in to answer this question.