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I wanted to ask if the community was interested to have the vote threshold lowered, as they did on StackOverflow (We’re lowering the close/reopen vote threshold from 5 to 3 for good)

I ask as often post stay longer in the close and the re-open queue.

I personally think it would be a great idea.

If the community think it's, I would do a formal request to the CM/MSE's team.

Edit (2020-08-12)

I wanted to give a status update, as per the delay of that request;

Event Timeline;

  • In End-December 2019 before shog9 layoff, there was possibility to have such request done and reverting if the test was not ok.

  • I did that meta post.

  • I asked our CM for status update 3 times in TL over 4 months periods. shog9 had access to easilly change that, now it's harder to implement.

  • I escaladed the issue to Sarah Chipp there. I did so as their Q3 map was published but I don't see anything related that request. I did so too as it's clearly apparent to me that our CM need allocated dev time by their boss to do the request.

  • I escaladed the issue to Prashanth Chandrasekar there. I did so as it's a post following their Q3 map.

I will update when I will have some news, but at that speed and priority from SE's boss, I'm far to be optimist to have something done.

Edit (2020-10-22)

The change now seem planned in their todo list, following that new MSE post; MSE Feedback post: Feedback on Q4 2020 Community and Public Platform Roadmap. The change seem tagged for November (2020).

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Some of you may have noticed the Meta Stack Exchange post - Testing three-vote close and reopen on 13 network sites (it's linked in the featured on meta sidebar) - we've finally got this project under way and Server Fault is one of the sites we'll be running the test on.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be changing the site setting and closing and reopening will require only three votes. This test will run for 45 days and will be turned back to five votes to close and reopen while I review the data from the 13 sites. After we've seen the impact, I'll be posting results and, if there aren't negative impacts, we will change the setting to three permanently.

A few weeks into this, I'll be posting a question here on meta to ask for your thoughts about this change, so you will have an opportunity to discuss the impact.

Thank you so much for your patience while we got this prioritized and scheduled. There's a lot more information in the MSE post, so please review it.


I would like to respond to some of the things I've seen in the answers here. First, I do apologise that it's taken this long for us to get to this project. I've had this on my desk for over a year now and I've failed to bring it to this point for a variety of reasons that leave y'all in the lurch.

yagmoth555 and Ward both make it clear that the mods have been doing a lot of this work historically, though not currently - and that's a problem we've identified and want to address. I stated it in the question on MSE, specifically - mods should not be carrying the weight of closing questions. I sincerely hope that this change is beneficial to remove some of the load from the moderators' plates. I also don't think that this can be a panacea.

It still relies on there being a community interested in participating in voting and reviewing - which ties into Womble's point. If people with the privilege to review aren't reviewing, this isn't going to help. This change will make it so that fewer people can have bigger impact but it still requires at least three people - preferably more.

We've been making major changes over the last few months to how review generally works and we are looking into changes for close/reopen specifically in the future. We have struggled to focus on the platform for a long time but we have recognized that there are priority issues related to content quality and that making sure that we make it easy for y'all to identify and remove low-quality content is important.

I hope that some of this more recent work has shown that we are interested in this issue and we recognize that reviewing can be difficult and often thankless. Throughout that process we've been soliciting feedback on MSE, so if any of you have ideas for how we could improve review - whether for closing or any of the other queues - we're open to hearing your experience so that we can find ways to make it easier.

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I pretty much gave up closing and close-vote reviewing during the recent Monica fiasco.

Although I totally agree that closing bad questions is the right thing to do, and although I think I can safely say I've done my share of closing and reviewing, I gave up reviewing for two main reasons:

  • It shouldn't be the moderators job to do the bulk of the closing and reviewing, it's supposed to be something the community does.
  • I think SE Inc. doesn't really care if sites are overflowing with bad questions, so why should I?

So, like Womble, I'm not against the idea, but I don't think it'll make much difference. On SO, with a zillion-question backlog in the review queue, lowering the vote threshold will make a difference. Here, with only a handful of people reviewing (other than moderators), I don't think a lot more questions will be closed.

Also, although it doesn't help with the fact that visible bad questions can lead to more bad questions, the automatic cleanup of bad posts will get rid of negatively voted posts after 30 days whether they've been closed or not.

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  • This is probably irrational, but I'm more likely to review close votes when I know it's more likely to help since it takes fewer votes to close a question. – Andrew Schulman May 8 at 10:58
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I'm not against this change, but I don't know whether it'll do very much. I keep on top of the close votes review queue, to keep it under control, and it's pretty rare that I hit a question that has 3 or 4 close votes already; typically I'm diamond-smashing things that only have one, or maybe two, close votes (or often even just a flag). I obviously can't speak to things so bad they attract five votes before I get to them -- whether requiring only three close votes would tidy things up significantly more quickly -- but I usually go through the queue at least once a day.

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  • I'm not terribly active on SF, but I would argue that's not necessarily good for the queue. As I noted elsewhere, you really want a healthy pool of reviewers knocking bad questions down. The converse view here is that it makes reopening things harder (the same level for CVs applies to reopen). I'm not saying you're wrong (maybe SF is fine with 5 and an active mod cleaning the queue), but it is some food for thought. – Machavity Jan 8 '20 at 23:48
  • I would love to not have to diamond-smash as many terribad questions closed, but there doesn't appear to be the reviewer volume. I "Skip" about 20% of questions (ones that are borderline one way or another) so there's no shortage of questions for others to review. On the "reopen vote threshold goes to three as well", it would be interesting to see if there are many closed questions that get to three but not five reopen votes. I have no data explorer fu, though, so I doubt I'll be the person to answer that question. – womble Mod Jan 9 '20 at 0:07
  • I will say, though, that if you're arguing that we should let questions slowly accumulate close votes over a period of days/weeks (not sure if you are or aren't), my response to that is that bad questions beget bad questions, and there's no "questions that have had close votes for more than two weeks" review queue for me to chew on, so smashing things closed early and often is the only practical approach. – womble Mod Jan 9 '20 at 0:10
  • Oh, quite the opposite (closing things quickly is kinda a thing I do). I want things closed quickly. I also recognize that the queue needs an active pool of reviewers to stay healthy (the new review icon didn't help things). A 100% moderator reviewed queue isn't a good thing in most cases. That's all I'm saying. – Machavity Jan 9 '20 at 0:17
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Thanks everyone for the feedback !

As the feedback is nuanced in the answers provided; not a No, but more like a shy Yes, but the suggestion is kinda up-voted much. I asked a CM and it's a change that can be reverted easily if it's not positive, to quote Catija on my question;

We start every site with a test for 30 days. After that, we assess the changes and whether it seemed to be a benefit.

After that if the community want to come back, we can too.

As stated, the close queue is really more lower these days as like womble told, I seen is impact on it (and I thanks him for that effort!), but if some vacation happen, where less moderator are online, I would feel more confident that the community got more power to close or to re-open. I agree with Greg that with the EOL of Windows 7/2008R2, we might see an increase of off-topic posts too.

I will go ahead and ask for the change, but to let everyone know, the change is not for right now, as with the event that happened to shog9, Catija took the lead on that matter but she need more time to accomplish the task. From memory 3 other sites are enlisted for that change.

I will, or the CM will let everyone know when the change will be in effect.

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I agree with Ward, the community should be doing more of this but the fundamental problem has always been there aren't enough people voting to close.

I could be wrong about this but there seems to be more off-topic questions lately. For example this person:

https://serverfault.com/users/469795/bliako

Asked three off-topic questions for essentially the same thing with multiple off-topic/EOL technologies (MS-DOS 6.2, SMB1, Windows 10 1803), two of which are still open.

msdos 6.22: troubleshoot net share (closed)
Sending files from win10 to SMBv1 server?
Install SMBv1 client on win10 without admin or compromising security?

Then they complained that one of the questions was censored because a rant was removed from it.

Windows 7/2008 R2 is EOL in two days, I'm predicting a further increase.

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