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As the sites grow the user hierarchy will inevitably take on more of a pyramid shape with less users with "moderator" and "close" privileges as a ratio to noobs.

Therefore it may be necessary to "lower the bar" to allow more users to help moderate the site, close bad questions etc. I think we can all agree this would be a bad idea.


A slight tweek to the close and move question algorithms that allow question to be closed (or moved) if the total amount of reputation of all those users requesting the action is greater (or equal to) 15k.

This would allow 15, 1k users (not a trivial rep.) to close or move a question, thus relieving some of the workload from the increasingly diluted number of 3k-ers.

The total of 5 votes should still be kept in place so not to give the 3k-ers too much power.


(votes ≥ 5) && (sum_voters_rep ≥ 15000)

NB: I have been reliably informed that only 3k rep is required to close questions. Maths updates appropriately.

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I like the use of both >= and =>, just so that you know you have at least one of them right. Cover your bases; good plan. – JSONBog Oct 14 '09 at 12:33

3000 rep is the level at which you can vote to close and move. This is fine and as the site goes on longer, the more people will have 3000 rep to vote to close.

What you need probably more than an increased population of people allowed to vote to close is giving those people who already are allowed to vote more votes over the course of a day.

Note: You also lowered the accumulated rep from 15,000 (5x 3000 rep) to 10,000 so that is even more reason to vote you down.

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Regardless of how much rep is required to move or close, the base of that pyramid will widen faster that the height increases. This will increase the noise to signal ratio, making for a poor experience for all. – rjstelling Oct 14 '09 at 12:31
It hasn't happened so far in a full year's worth of uptime, and that is also considering that probably the vast majority of users with 3,000 rep don't use their close votes to their full extent every day. The 3,000 rep mark is set as a level of trust with the system. If you lower that bar, you invite the risk of people who aren't as familiar with the system casting votes, which is something the entire graduated system of privileges based on rep was set up to combat to begin with. As I said in my answer, increase the number of close votes per user and the issue (if there is one) goes away. – TheTXI Oct 14 '09 at 12:35
@rjstelling: You need to back up claims like that. Don't just say that the noise will increase and then present a solution to it. Please prove that it is a problem before attempting to solve it. Are you one of those terrifying programmers who tries solving problems before knowing what the problem is in the first place? If you wouldn't do it in code, why would you do it here? Make an actual case and support your claims with evidence if you want people to listen you. – JSONBog Oct 14 '09 at 12:36
You have to use the site quite a lot to get even 1k - 15 of these people are surly worth more than 5 3k-ers??? :) – rjstelling Oct 14 '09 at 12:40
@rjstelling: That depends. Are we factoring in the cost to feed, clothe, educate and shelter those 15 users? – JSONBog Oct 14 '09 at 12:41
That's the entire point that you seem to be missing. We don't want everyone to be voting, only those that actually have invested the time and effort into the site they are using to know what they are doing. – TheTXI Oct 14 '09 at 12:42
@TheTXI: Now if only the sites had some method of measuring time and effort invested into the site... – JSONBog Oct 14 '09 at 12:43
@biglaser thanks for the compliment :\ I did mark it as discussion. But look at any large site; Wikipedia, Yahoo answers - at a certain point the new(er) users overwhelm the moderators and you end up with locked pages or crappy questions going unmoderated for months. – rjstelling Oct 14 '09 at 12:44
@TheTXI:Did you read my question? This 'privilege' is obviously not for everyone, not brand-new users, not users with < 100 rep but it a way of "lowering the bar" with out losing the ethos your so desperate to protect. (This is dangerously close to a flame war). Please remember I love you all, even after your insults and down votes. – rjstelling Oct 14 '09 at 12:49
@rjstelling: The bar was put at 3000 for a reason and has worked remarkably well for all of this time. I am not going to agree with any proposal that effectively lowers that bar. – TheTXI Oct 14 '09 at 12:51
@rjstelling: See, that's the spirit. Make a case to support what you're saying. Edit your question with evidence that Wikipedia and Yahoo have been degrading and how the same situations can apply to Stack Overflow. Most importantly, don't just say, "It happened there so it will happen here." Cite evidence that Wikipedia is actually in disarray, and what parallels with Stack Overflow will cause the same things to happen here. To me it looks like you've never even debated anything before. – JSONBog Oct 14 '09 at 12:51
@rjstelling: (re: You have to use the site quite a lot to get even 1k - 15 of these people are surly worth more than 5 3k-ers???) No. Move along now. – belgariontheking Oct 14 '09 at 13:00

The system seems to be working. Take SuperUser, where the number of users with more than 3000 points is rather low (34). Even with such a small number of people with close and move privileges, the site functions well.

There's no need to complicate things just because it might get easier; there's no way of knowing that. Let the community police itself organically for the time being.

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Move is actually an automatic process. If five 3K rep users vote to close by moving to a sister site it "just happens".

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