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I would like to propose lower threshold for votes.
I motivate this with high threshold for votes, rather small community (compared to SO for example), which in turn yields poor users' moderation.

To make this effective (a proof of community involvement and general agreement), please cast your vote in the answers.
If you feel like some additional comment is needed, please write it below answer it belongs to.

For simplicity, I propose that we use only upvotes on given answer to avoid counting twice (say downvote to “no” and upvote to “yes” may be inconsistent, some users may cast one, some two votes).

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you have a deadline for this vote in mind? Do need help finishing up this thread and/or pushing the matter upstairs? $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Dec 19, 2019 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael yes, pushing it upstairs would be nice - it was the goal from the beginning. Deadline is standard, one week, so it ends today. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Dec 19, 2019 at 12:58
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    $\begingroup$ I flagged this post, which I think is visible for community management. If we don't get a response until, say Jan 10th, please ping me (or any of the mods) so we can ping CM in chat. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Dec 27, 2019 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael, I think, it is the time to check with CM (I can't ping D.W. and Discrete Lizard at once). $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Jan 11, 2020 at 2:38
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    $\begingroup$ It's my understanding that we're in the queue, but implementing this policy has been delayed (not just our site but everyone, I think). $\endgroup$
    – D.W. Mod
    Feb 5, 2020 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ I see. There is much going on recently. Thank you for update. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Feb 6, 2020 at 0:55

5 Answers 5

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It's been quite a while since you escalated this request to the Community Team — sorry for the long wait!

You now officially only need 3 close votes to close a question on Computer Science SE!

After looking at the data, I think it's clear that there's no reason for y'all to have this threshold set at 5. Thank you so much for bearing with us while we got to this request.

We'll check back in with you all in a few months to see how things are going in this regard — if things are going great, we may not post an update, but please feel free to leave a comment here if you want us to post something.


Here are some basic stats on how things looked before this change:

Over the last two years, you've had somewhat concerning numbers when looking into what percentage of questions that received at least one flag or vote to close actually ended up getting closed. While there are some dips here and there (the one in the last few months is particularly noticeable), things have been generally in the 60-70% range.

Graph showing the percentage of handled tasks, as described in the paragraph above

In addition, the graph below shows that the site moderators, rather than the community, are doing the bulk of the closing:

Graph showing all closed posts, posts closed by the community, and posts closed by the moderation team, as described in the paragraph below

For the most part, the Moderators_Closed line is almost as high as the All_Closed line. This is because most of the questions that have been closed were closed by mods. There are peaks in April and November 2021 when more posts were closed by community members, corresponding to an increase in the total number of closed questions for those months as well. (The lines for reopened questions are all near the bottom – not very many closed questions get reopened on this site, which is not particularly uncommon.)

When working on this project, Catija (another CM) had found two primary use cases for this change:

  1. When too many items are going unhandled (not unclosed, just unhandled)
  2. When the moderators are doing the bulk of the closing/reopening

Both of these are valid concerns here. The first graph still shows that there are around ~30-40% of tasks aging out of the review queue on any given month.

Likewise, the second graph shows that the site mods here are casting the bulk of the final close votes. However, the mods shouldn't be having to make the vast majority of these decisions – even with other users weighing in. This creates an imbalance between closing and reopening, as the mods have to be really thoughtful about reviewing for reopening.

Basically, there’s no reason not to lower the close vote threshold on this site, which is why we've done so. Our hope is that lowering the close vote threshold to 3 for Computer Science SE can ease the load on the mods, but more regular users with the privilege need to participate in closures for that to happen.

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Yes, please change the threshold on close/reopen votes.

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  • $\begingroup$ I can't cast my vote, but it is +1 here. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Dec 12, 2019 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ This will be an evil change. I wish I could downvote it infintely times $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Dec 24, 2019 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Tim why? We do not have that much high rep users to vote. Change with reopen threshold is something that you should like. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Dec 24, 2019 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ Why? How about facing the abusive problem at root: why questions are closed mistakenly? Where there are humans, there is inhumanity $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Dec 24, 2019 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ Because these are duplicates, unclear (so there are many answers with different parsing of the question), problem dumps with no effort, several questions per post requiring a book instead of answer or discussion openers. In my opinion, these are not closed prematurely. Moreover, reducing reopen threshold gives you opportunity to revert, when you disagree. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Dec 24, 2019 at 14:08
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I suggest keeping the close vote requirement (stuff gets closed quickly anyway) but lowering the open vote requirement since there is usually less interest in questions that have been closed, and this makes it hard to reopen prematurely closed questions.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with you. Moreover, we should tackle the abusive problem at root: why questions are closed prematurely? $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Dec 24, 2019 at 12:28
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No, please do not change the threshold on close/reopen votes.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm mostly around at cstheory.SE. There I sometimes experienced that low quality questions received very informed and thorough answers that turned the question into something really valuable. $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2019 at 21:52
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I do not really care what is the threshold.

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    $\begingroup$ Is this answer necessary? Someone that doesn't care the threshold just doesn't vote. $\endgroup$
    – xskxzr
    Dec 12, 2019 at 6:02
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    $\begingroup$ @xskxzr Yes, it is needed, for other reasons. If there are more “lost votes”, the poll is deemed ineffective. There is also a difference in participation between no vote and no answer. If nobody uses it, well it was not needed, but there is no harm in giving option. $\endgroup$
    – Evil
    Dec 12, 2019 at 12:51

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