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It's no secret that the user base and active user base as declined over the past years. At all times, we had significanly less users to help manage the site than we get on Stack Overflow.

Yet, the amount of votes required to close a question is still five, just like it was on SO. To push it further, SO lowered the threshold from five to three at the end of last year.

WebApps got through a similar process.

In order to help improve the quality on the site, if StackExchange ever gives us the possibility, do we want to try and lower the threshold to three votes needed to close/reopen a question?


There is no guarantee that SE will do this for us, as far as I'm aware, but it's worth to try and let the CM team know we are interested.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Marking this with "status-review" to let the CM team know that we'd be interested in this. Meanwhile, I'll see if I can try and manually close/reopen the questions that have 3 close/reopen votes or more. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt Mod
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since it is nearly 1 month ago, do you get any feedback from SE if the possibility exists? \$\endgroup\$
    – wychmaster
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 9:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wychmaster Nope, I think it's on their todo list, but they did not get to it yet. I suspect it's not on their high priority list, though, so I dont expect any news anytime soon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the response. I think this "feature" would be interesting for other sites too. For example, the Computer Graphics SE where we currently have no active moderator and the active user count with enough reputation to cast votes is too small to effectively handle anything else than spam due to the high threshold. Do you think the lowering would be available to other communities too once it is "done" or do we need to create our own site-specific special treatment request? \$\endgroup\$
    – wychmaster
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 7:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may have seen that we conducted a test on 13 network sites — please stay tuned for the results of that step and next steps on this. \$\endgroup\$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 10:22

2 Answers 2

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Yes.

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Almost 2 years since y'all escalated this to the Community Team — apologies for the delay there! But the good news is you now officially only need 3 close votes to close a question on Game Development SE!

After looking at the data, I think it's clear that there's no reason for y'all to have this 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 — if things are going great, we may not post an update but please feel free to leave a comment if you want us to post something.

Here's some basic stats of how things look:

Over the last two years, you've 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, things have been generally in the 70-80% range and the numbers of posts this represents are relatively small (around 50~60 in average in the past year).

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

The graph below, however, does show something that is a bit more concerning:

Graph showing all closed posts, posts closed by the community, and posts closed by the moderation team. The proportion of the latter two varies, with the community never closing over 5 posts a month, and the moderation ream closing an average of 50+ posts per month

When working on this project, Catija had 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.

Because the mods here are casting the bulk of the final close votes (which are, actually, mostly the first close votes), the first graph looks good — however, the mods shouldn't be making these decisions on their own, even with other users weighing in. This creates an imbalance between closing and reopening as the mods now have to be really thoughtful about reviewing for reopening.

So, my hope is that changing this to three votes to close/reopen will take some of the workload off the mods and also increase the number of posts that find their way to be reopened - assuming it's worth reopening them!

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