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Before I get into my question, I want to make it clear that this is not specifically about Area 51, and it should not be closed/moved as such. It is about the whole network of sites, and just uses Area 51 as an example.

I was browsing through Area 51 and saw this proposal. I noticed that it probably isn't a good idea for a proposal--15 out of 16 questions are closed. Then, I saw that they were all closed by the same 10ish people. This may be an extreme case (the proposal actually is bad), but are there any systems in place in case 5-10 people decide that they don't like a proposal and just close all of the questions? Say, for example, a group of one religion/race closed the questions for a proposal about another religion/race. I know there are systems to catch serial voting, but what about closing?

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That is a hilariously bad proposal. +1 for the entertainment! – AakashM Apr 24 '12 at 15:45
Do you think my girlfriend will find it weird that I play an attractive, scantily-clad female character in [video game]? [closed] -- I don't want to live in a world where that's not an on-topic question! – Adam Rackis Apr 24 '12 at 16:46
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Then, I saw that they were all closed by the same 10ish people.

There are extremely few people active on Area 51 in general (as in, actually curating the proposals). Those 10ish people are pretty much all we have on Area 51.

The proposal itself is one that will invite questions that don't really follow our guidelines, especially the subjectivity part.

So the closes are legitimate.

"Serial closing" has the same issues. I'd have been banned from Meta Stack Overflow long ago if that was in place. A similar thing with Physics.SE -- we only have a few CV-ers. Bad idea.

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There are 69 people on A51 with 3k (close votes), and a quick random sample showed more than half of them hadn't been active in the last week or so. – Kevin Apr 24 '12 at 15:10
@Kevin hmmm, maybe. My general opinion of Area51 is that its a great place, but has a bare-bones community. – Manishearth Apr 24 '12 at 15:17

A single close vote, alone, has no effect. Likewise, a single person's close votes have no effect, by themselves. If I voted to close every one of someone's posts, for example, nothing would happen at all if my votes were not valid.., because no one else would vote the same.

Contrast this with up/down votes; they have real, immediate effects.

So, I don't think there needs to be any automated system for detecting such things, overall.

Also, many sites have a hard time getting the 5 votes necessary to close posts as it is.

Please note this answer was originally posted before I was a moderator. That slightly changes the notes where I refer to what would happen if I did something. Moderators' can close questions unilaterally. However, we would fall under considerable scrutiny by the community, other mods, and the community managers, if we were to target anyone as described here.

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+1(to be awarded tomorrow, reached limit) for "Also, many sites have a hard time getting the 5 votes necessary to close posts as it is.". Nearly all our CVs on Phy.SE need a mod-binding-CV – Manishearth Apr 24 '12 at 15:09
I found a specific user on SO with nearly 700 questions, the majority of which appear to off-topic and/or unclear. Should I just vote to close till I run out of CVs? – apaul34208 Nov 11 '13 at 2:51
@apaul34208 if you see a really big problem with one user, you might consider an 'other' flag where you explain that they have a very large number of off-topic posts and you'd rather not spend days/weeks/months worth of votes on just one person. – Andrew Barber Nov 11 '13 at 2:54
The ball is in your court, thanks. – apaul34208 Nov 11 '13 at 2:58
Flag Declined "We're not going to go through this user's entire posting history just to find questions to close. You need to at least give us a place to start." I would have guessed the first 10 or so posts would have been a good indicator of the issue, should I have given a list or something? – apaul34208 Nov 11 '13 at 20:23
@apaul34208 I'm very sorry about that. I really should have considered that. :( I'm going to bookmark your flag and work on those on and off. – Andrew Barber Nov 12 '13 at 15:00
Thanks, but for future reference should I flag or flag and give a list or just close vote till I run out? Whats the appropriate procedure? Should I ask a new Meta question on the topic? – apaul34208 Nov 12 '13 at 15:09
@apaul34208 I think it could be better to let it be handled more organically. A good Meta post for an egregious situation might not be bad. If you wish, you may certainly spend your close votes on them, too, which will draw some close vote attention (eventually). – Andrew Barber Nov 12 '13 at 15:11
I'll think it over a bit. Going through hundreds of a single users posts feels a little stalker-y... Perhaps I should just let it go and let the community do its thing. – apaul34208 Nov 12 '13 at 15:18
@apaul34208 Yeah, I know what you mean. I guess that was kinda the point of this question to begin with! hehe. Again; I am sorry I sort of guided you wrong on flagging that. – Andrew Barber Nov 12 '13 at 15:20
Just for my own sanity, was I being too harsh or is there really CV worthy issues with many of that user's posts. – apaul34208 Nov 12 '13 at 15:27
@apaul34208 Alot of them are borderline, but a lot of them are pretty darn bad. – Andrew Barber Nov 12 '13 at 15:30
Thanks, my sanity feels much better now haha – apaul34208 Nov 12 '13 at 15:31

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