Can somebody please direct me to a resource that explains when people are actually allowed to put a question on hold? Thanks. Trying to help another user. This user has edited their question multiple times and all they get are down votes.


1 Answer 1


Anyone with 3000 reputation on Server Fault can vote to close a question. 5 such votes are required to close a question.

Anyone with a gold tag badge in one of the question's tags can cast a binding close vote for the duplicate reason. (Only one vote required to close.)

Moderators (like me, with the diamond after their names) can cast binding close votes on any questions for any reason.

That's basically it. You can and should read the help on closed-questions in particular, as well as the on-topic help page, the off-topic help page, and the help page on how to ask a good question, but that might not matter.

At the end of the day, it's based on the votes of community members, so if the community just plain doesn't like a question, it can technically be on-topic according to the rules and still get closed and downvoted into oblivion. As I said in response to my election as moderator (also by popular vote), democracy doesn't work... so there's that to keep in mind too.

It might be helpful to point out which question you're talking about, so you can get advice on whether you and your friend are wasting your time on something that's fundamentally unsalvageable.

  • 5
    OK, have it your way. You're right. Democracy is a total failure. Meanwhile, the small army of us who voted for you in the clear knowledge of your platform will keep on watching the immense amount of mod work you're putting in on things like improving the tag system and tidying up hundreds - if not thousands, by now - of old questions, whilst still keeping a diligent eye on the front page for ordinarily bad questions. A total failure of democracy if ever I saw one, that.
    – MadHatter
    Feb 24, 2015 at 7:14
  • @MadHatter Exception that proves the rule, then. :) Feb 24, 2015 at 7:16
  • But isn't that unfair to close a question because you don't like it? Someone out there needs and answer and this is where they get their help. @HopelessN00b
    – Jeff
    Feb 24, 2015 at 16:31
  • 3
    @Jeff you asked for an explanation of when people are allowed to close (on hold) a question, so that's what I answered. When it's "fair" to close a question is an entirely different, and largely irrelevant question. Like everything else in life, people are rarely fair, so it's a theoretical discussion at best. Feb 24, 2015 at 17:07

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