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Close votes age away harmlessly after 4 days if the threshold is not reached. Each new close vote resets the timer, and close votes only start expiring if the question has had 100 views.

So say that a question has 99 views, two close votes and is then dormant for 6 months. It's then edited and gets view #100. Assuming there were no further votes cast, what then happens to those close votes exactly?

Do they:

  • All expire immediately as they're way more than 4 days old but now there are 100+ views
  • All expire simultaneously 4 days after the 100th view was reached
  • Start to age away at one per day immediately after there are 100 views*
  • Start to age away at one per day on the fifth day (so after four days since 100+ views)*
  • Do something else entirely

*Suggested by Jeff here. Has the policy changed since then or is it still the same?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Start to age away at one per day immediately after there are 100 views*

This. There's no "view history" that'd tell us when a post crosses 100 views, so when the aging task fires it just looks at every post that has at least 100 views where all outstanding close votes are older than 4 days.

Then it deletes a close vote. A day later, it runs again and does the same thing, until either another close vote shows up, or all the close votes are deleted.

This works the same for reopen votes.

The addition of the Close and Reopen /review queues adds another wrinkle to this though: if you get enough "Leave Open" or "Leave Closed" votes to complete the review, that also starts the aging process immediately - so four days after the last close or reopen vote was cast, they'll start getting deleted at the rate of one per day until they're all gone or a new one is added.

So, right now on Stack Overflow, there are thousands of questions with < 100 views and a few close votes that were cast weeks or months ago. Eventually, they'll either be viewed enough, or be reviewed enough to cross the corresponding threshold, and those votes will start to drop off... One each day, until they're gone.

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Are you saying the close review queue is about to start to get smaller? –  Ian Ringrose Feb 4 '14 at 22:39
Keep in mind, @Ian: SO has an insanely long tail (so, lots of low-view questions) AND roughly 1800 new questions go into the close queue every day - so in a sense, it's shrinking on one end every day, but growing on the other (with slightly more growth than shrinkage). –  Shog9 Feb 4 '14 at 22:53

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