We have, as everyone I am sure agrees, a great surplus of questions which beg closure. Perhaps the criteria becoming more well-defined is the cause of this. Or, perhaps it is that our influx of off-topic questions is greater than our intake of on-topic users with enough rep and motivation to go through content which is pretty much by definition uninteresting (if not eye-burning).

Personally, I've been burning through my quota of close votes every day lately, between the review queue and the sheer influx of questions like:

This isn't exhaustive.

Also, as our library of answers grows, we have more and more questions that are duplicates to further exacerbate the problem.

Reopen votes seem rather rare (anecdotally, in the review queue I only see one that isn't the result of a spurious edit every few days, where I can easily hit the review cap on a day that all the spiky blue hedgehog-like moderation monsters are sleeping).

The goal, in my mind, of closing so many questions is to filter things down to topics that are actually interesting to the kinds of people who provide value to this community: people who are able to answer higher-level conceptual questions, make strong recommendations on the basis of experience, and fully analyze the causes of a problem. The kinds of questions in the bullet list above aren't engaging to these kinds of people, and endless duplicates (tautologically) get repetitive for people who have been here a while. It isn't a question of being hostile or forcing people to go away (and the new default close reasons should reflect this), but of keeping things on-topic and interesting.

I really wonder, given this, why the quota of review votes on this site remains at 24. I understand that at Stack Overflow it's set at 50.

It would be cool if we could try something a little bit different here. For instance, perhaps at reputation levels at 5000, 10000, 15000, and 20000, we could increase the quota a little (perhaps to 36, 42, 50, and unlimited, respectively). This would help protect against an excessive torrent of close votes while also not frustrating people who know what needs to be closed but hit their cap within a couple hours of signing in. Thoughts? Alternatives?

  • I hardly ever see anything in the reopen queue either. It's not barren because some moderator is clearing it out. Jul 14, 2013 at 21:29

3 Answers 3


Right now ServerFault is rocking a question close rate of 28.8%. This is a bit up from when I last checked it a few months ago (26.6% for Feb-Mar), when it was a few percentage points lower. In fact, our question rate is beginning to drift down a bit, but our closure rate is remaining the same. If we had more active close-voters out there, or active voters with more votes, I'm sure we could break 30%.

One option is to have us mods wade into the close queues and swing about with the hammer. We can close all the live long day, but that's something we're not supposed to do. We're supposed to let the community (all y'all) do most of it and only step in for clear cases of y'all going wrong, or something egregious enough for there to be no question.

This is a major problem, and is one of the big reasons we're losing more high-rep users than the up-and-comers can replace them. More close-votes (or a system where you get your vote back once a question closes) will make things neater, but it'll also make us look like a barren wasteland of topicality.

The need for more close votes is a symptom of a much larger problem, and adding more votes won't fix the larger problem.

  • 1
    What we're (moderators) supposed to do obviously needs to be something completely different, at least in the short term. Jun 28, 2013 at 14:52
  • Is a close rate of %28 considered good/bad, high or low? Oct 16, 2013 at 15:37
  • @samsmith Very high, it means that a large percentage of incoming questions do not fit for one reason or another.
    – sysadmin1138 Mod
    Oct 16, 2013 at 15:51
  • @sysadmin1138 Agreed. Sounds high to me also. I am concerned that a chunk of the questions closed are quality questions that are being closed for subjective reasons. To me a quality question is something that is topical for many admins. Example: I recently noticed a lot of posts related to comparing cloud servers are closed because they are "comparison shopping" or such. But such topics are central to the work of many admins today. Disallowing them forces those conversations off the site. Oct 16, 2013 at 16:07
  • @sysadmin1138 another thought: If the % is considered high, perhaps reducing the close quota would force more eyeballs on the process and slow the close process down. There is nothing wrong with slowing it down, allowing the OP to improve the post, that kind of thing. Oct 16, 2013 at 16:08

I believe the answer is because it stops you getting burnt out, when you've closed a bucketload of crap questions, it's easy to close the wrong ones.

It's also a bit bleh to login to SF, and see a sea of [closed] tagged questions.


I don't see this as a big problem right now, most days the number of questions in the close vote review queue goes to zero. Today, at 30+ questions, it's the highest I've seen it in a long time.

On SO, the situation is much worse, with >50,000 questions in the close vote review queue and based on comments there, it's not going down. People ask every now and then if the the number of close votes and/or number of reviews per day can be increased, but the answer is generally no. As Tom said, one reason is that they don't want anyone dedicating their life to voting (hmm.....), another is that they don't want the robo-reviewers to come in (although the audits lessen the risk of that).

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