You now officially only need 3 close votes to close a question on Seasoned Advice!
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 generally had decent 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 April 2022 is particularly noticeable), things have been generally in the 65-95% range, and the numbers of posts this represents are relatively small.
However, the graph below shows that the site moderators, rather than the community, are doing the bulk of the closing:
For the most part, the Moderators_Closed line in the graph above 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 here and there when more posts were closed by community members, but it is not very consistent. (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.)
The CM team has generally found two primary use cases for this change:
- When too many items are going unhandled (not unclosed, just unhandled)
- When the moderators are doing the bulk of the closing/reopening
Both of these are valid concerns here, to a degree. The first graph still shows that there are around ~20-40% of tasks aging out of the review queue on any given month (over the last several months, at least).
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 Seasoned Advice can ease the load on the mods, but more regular users with the privilege need to participate in closures for that to happen.