Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

In a recent closing of a question on "haskell" tag, all the users except one who voted to close this question have no "haskell" tag participation at all.

This is clearly wrong. I think only those qualified should (be able to) vote. Perhaps only the relevant reputation points should be taken into account.

The question was closed as an exact duplicate, but the one given as evidence was not a duplicate at all - though close.

(and BTW the closed question has solicited some very interesting, quality answers).

share|improve this question
Why the downvotes? If the closing as dupe was indeed in error (which I can't judge) then the OP certainly has a point. (I'm guessing this happened because of /review) – Pëkka Jan 19 '13 at 20:10
It's a bad question. Even I without any experience can judge that. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:10
@Bart which one is a bad Q? mine, or the one I refer to? – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:11
@Bart true, it is dangerously close to being a plz-send-teh-codez question, but then it should have been closed as such and not as a dupe. – Pëkka Jan 19 '13 at 20:11
The one you refer to. No experience in the tag is needed to participate in the closure of it. It has flaws obvious even to those with no knowledge in the topic. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:11
@dmckee the Q I refer to is not mine. It is not underspecified at all. As stated, it asks for ascending subsequences of a sequence. – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:12
@Pekka The premise of the OP is that some form of expert knowledge is needed. Closure reason notwithstanding, that's simply not the case. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:12
While it's easy to tell if a question is good or bad without knowing the topic, I do agree that people should refrain from closing as duplicate unless they are somewhat familiar with the topic. – Mysticial Jan 19 '13 at 20:12
@JeremyBanks I don't know how many voted for a duplicate. That would not have been my vote in any case. I don't think we should enforce proof of knowledge within a tag to be able to vote for a duplicate closure however. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:14
Are the down/votes supposed to show dis/approval of my Q? If so, why it says something different when I hover over the voting buttons? – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:18
@WillNess Yeah, your question is fair enough, don't worry about that. But especially feature request tend to attract the Meta specific "disagree" votes. (Or "agree" if one agrees ;) ) – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:21
Downvotes on Meta are different. But the site engine is not. – ЯegDwight Jan 19 '13 at 20:21
@Bart it wasn't closed for "its flaws". It was wrongly closed for being an "exact duplicate". Without any knowledge in the subject matter, it is simply irresponsible to cast any vote. I thought it was axiomatic. – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:21
@WillNess I have voted to close as a duplicate plenty of times on questions I knew barely anything about. Carefully, I might add. But justifiably. If the "duplicate" was wrong in this case, that's unfortunate. Vote to reopen. (As I said, I see other flaws and would have selected a different closure reason). But all that is no reason to enforce some form of proof of knowledge within the tag, to be able to vote to close. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:23
@Bart you see, you said here "your question is fair enough, don't worry about that." :) and, just one more unpopular suggestion got me auto-banned from posting questions on meta (as you know). See? :) Something's gotta give... I have a bug to report, and I can't. I don't even want to, anymore. Now you see what I meant by "tired of all the lawyering"? – Will Ness Sep 15 '13 at 16:24

I can't say anything on that question as I don't participate in the site, so please take my answer as a general response to the issue.

I see what you mean but I am not sure I agree. Even if I didn't know anything about the subject (N.B. the lack of tag participation doesn't prove that either), I can still see as an established user what questions deserve or might deserve to be closed.

Expertise on a subject is different from understanding if a question deserves closure. I don't think we should mix these two things. It might overlap, but it's not a total match.

But let's say I'm one of those voting and I'm wrong: I'm still one user. I count as one against five votes and this makes closure more democratic. And even if it gets wrongly closed, who denies the OP from "filing an appeal" on Meta and getting the reopening votes? I think most user underestimate this way.

Since it's an important change you're requesting, I think more compelling arguments should be provided, and why you think this would/should be the way to go.

If this was true, moderators should be (qualified) experts on the subject of the site they moderate.

share|improve this answer
some people don't like lawyering (re: filing appeals) and despair quite easily. – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:27

Voting to close as a duplicate is a tricky vote. Tricky because there are various levels of "duplicate". There are duplicates which are just that, exact duplicates asked before by the author who for some reason asks them again.

Then there are those possibly less obvious cases where a question is, though differently phrased, essentially asking the same question. Or even trickier, seemingly asking a different question, but which would ultimately result in the same answer.

When I vote to close as a duplicate, if the question does not fall in the former category, I do tend to be more careful. And if I have a hunch, but am not 100% sure, I tend to stay away from them, maybe commenting that it might be a duplicate.

That said, I don't want that privilege taken away from me when I'm not an active participant in the tag. Because it would mean I could often not vote on the former case, and even in the latter case I feel from experience that I tend to be correct.

In the end, questions need 5 votes to close. Not just my single one. And once a question is closed, and has been unfairly so, it can still be reopened. One example of what might be an unfortunate case is to me no reason to enforce proof of knowledge (well, proof of participation really) within a tag to be able to vote for a duplicate.

And I've narrowed it down to dupe votes, because that's what seems to be under discussion. If you mean this to be a request for all close-vote types, then my point of view on that would be a somewhat sassy "H*ll no"....yeah, I don't really pull those off, do I?

share|improve this answer
total votes in a tag are proof of more than just participation. Some minimal level could be set to serve as proof of qualification. – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:38
There are various tags where I would, based on past experience, be fully qualified, but where I tend not to participate. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:39
"would be fully qualified" not for the purposes of/as far as is known to/ SO ecosystem. – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:41
@WillNess if we were to apply your specific feature request, yes. Under the current system and the privileges earned and assigned to me, that would be no problem whatsoever. – Bart Jan 19 '13 at 20:42
right. Obviously I'm in a minority on this one. – Will Ness Jan 19 '13 at 20:42
We have a problem defining "qualified on SO". For example, should the chairman of the C++ committee be qualified to vote on C++ questions, despite the fact that he has only made 3 posts on Stack Overflow? – Bo Persson Jan 19 '13 at 21:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .