10

I'd like us to switch to three (instead of five) votes to close/reopen questions. This should allow for easier action by non-moderators; reaching five votes can be a tall order, especially in the reopen queue. I don't anticipate this will entirely eliminate the need for moderators to act, but hopefully it'll spread the load more evenly and allow for effectively more community participation.

I'll leave this question for about a week, and then as long as overall sentiments are neutral to positive here, I can pass this along to the CMs to make the actual change.

So, what do y'all think?

1
  • I have wanted this since before I became a moderator. +1
    – Jolenealaska Mod
    Jul 9 at 5:18

4 Answers 4

6

I think it is a good option and I think this site fits the size requirements/limits.

4

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.

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

However, 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. The line for moderators closed is just under the line for all closed posts, while the line for community closed is near the bottom, especially for the last several months).

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:

  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, 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.

2
  • 1
    Thanks so much!
    – Cascabel Mod
    Aug 16 at 20:21
  • Thanks for doing this! We just closed our first bad question with three votes. This is great.
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 19 at 22:46
3

Yes, please! It currently takes forever to get 5 votes either way.

1

Getting 5 votes never seemed to be a problem before, some people now seem to prefer to downvote rather than vote to close so it takes longer to get the votes. 3 works for me.

1
  • 1
    The last time I checked (which was a good while back), there were also just far fewer active users with the ability to vote to close/reopen, and if anything, activity has declined since then. I don't think this is just about people doing a wrong/different thing.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Jul 13 at 17:01

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