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Questions that are apparently closed by only one mod seem to generate some tense discussions, mostly in comments and some more appropriately on meta questions. Several mods have been accused of closing questions on a whim, and / or going against the communal philosophy of SE.

I'm intentionally not including the questions / discussions that caught my eye as to not point fingers and as I think everyone has come across something similar at least one.

I guess its quite understandable that seeing a "Closed as whatever by SomeMod ♦" note is not as welcomed as a "by User1, User2, User3, User4, SomeMod ♦" note. So how about adding the number of flags to the note? Something like:

Closed as whatever by SomeMod ♦ (flagged by 3)

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migrated from meta.programmers.stackexchange.com Oct 21 '11 at 4:15

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

1 Answer 1

As one of the moderators who is subject to the repeated accusation that we're unilaterally closing questions based on personal whims I would love to see this, so +1 from me on that.

But looking around on Meta Stack Overflow, it seems that a similar feature was around but it was removed:

We used to show offensive / spam flag counts and it resulted in a lot of angst and complaints.

We have concluded that there is zero positive value in showing these counts to anyone but moderators.

I can see that: rather than complaints about moderators doing things against the community, I can picture the complaints about anonymous people going against the community by having moderators in their pockets or what-have-you.

Something else to think about: if we didn't agree with the flags raised, we decline them. In that case should the flag counts still be added? Is the implication that when a few people flag a question but we don't close the question that we're just as much going against the community?

As much as it's personally frustrating, it's part of our job description to be accountable for the binding votes we do. We've been tasked with intervening when we think it's necessary, whether there are 10 flags, 3 close votes, or none at all. While it'd be nice to have more visible numbers, I don't think it'd provide much more comfort to those who believe moderators are dictators.

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Same rules (and features) don't necessarily apply and Jeff's answer is over 2 years old and not on exactly the same thing. If I remember correctly and from what I'm extracting from their discussion they showed flag count on questions themselves regardless if they were closed or not. I may be wrong or it may not make a big difference to what they experienced (a lot of angst and complaints), but for the PSE community it may relieve a lot of unnecessary tension. And yes, Mark, you are the main inspiration behind this :) –  Yannis Oct 21 '11 at 3:34
    
@YannisRizos Fair enough. I think this question is something that the entire SE community should weigh in on: I don't think it's going to get the love it needs here. Going to migrate it to MSO. –  user149432 Oct 21 '11 at 4:13
    
You could make flag count visibility a privilege. Sort of like how you get to see a process in action before being allowed to take part (e.g. vote close viewing/vote close) –  Flexo Oct 21 '11 at 9:38
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An important distinction between this proposal and the linked feature is that the flags were previously shown on questions where mods hadn't acted yet. This proposal suggests that the flag count be shown only after the question is closed. –  Kevin Vermeer Oct 21 '11 at 11:29
    
Back when I wrote the request I never imagined that 10 months later I'd also be one of the moderators who is subject to the repeated accusation that we're unilaterally closing questions based on personal whims... –  Yannis Jun 20 '12 at 21:59

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