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Should a question closed by a moderator be allowed to be answered until there are multiple close votes by other moderators?

I believe it should be this way because sometimes a 'close' can be subjective and should require a consensus before stopping the answers from flowing in. Excepting the case where the question is closed as a duplicate.

The current process may stop a question from being answered due to one person's narrow opinion when clearly the community believes otherwise. Even moderators can make mistakes, or have views not aligned with the community it serves.

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-1 it already works this way. –  user27414 Jan 7 '10 at 23:35
    
I also wish to include the way a moderator closes a question. –  Seth Jan 7 '10 at 23:43
    
In that case, -1 because it waters down the moderators. –  user27414 Jan 7 '10 at 23:51
    
why -1? it was a question on process open for discussion - I'm not stating whether it is right or wrong.. –  Seth Jan 8 '10 at 0:04
    
Seth: don't take downvotes too personally on meta, they're useful as rough opinion. You'll get plenty of rep if you continue here. (I reacted the same way posting an opinion as an answer, then realized even 4 downvotes is only -8 rep---just one upvote elsewhere more than compensates.) –  Gnome Jan 8 '10 at 0:08
    
yeah not taken personally - just confused on how it is being used. Is it given because a) the question shouldn't have been asked, b) the question was worded poorly c) I added my opinion with the question d) other. –  Seth Jan 8 '10 at 0:20
    
just an example - there was clearly community support for this question: superuser.com/questions/92411/… –  Seth Jan 8 '10 at 0:34
    
@Seth - you can flag that question for moderator attention and ask for it to be reopened. –  user27414 Jan 8 '10 at 3:54
    
Though as a moderator closed and locked it, I doubt another moderator will reopen it.. :P Seth: Diago's comments there explain his position quite clearly, and I suppose you can ask on meta if you don't understand what he means. –  Gnome Jan 8 '10 at 4:15

6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I believe it should be this way because sometimes a 'close' can be subjective and should require a consensus before stopping the answers from flowing in ... Even moderators can make mistakes, or have views not aligned with the community it serves.

I, and most ♦'s I expect, explictly do not vote or flag on questions where a close vote is subjective, precisely because it is binding and the community should drive the outcome.

If you feel a ♦moderator is doing bad things with his powers, your recourse is to discuss it with the team@stackoverflow.com and/or the other moderators for that site.

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+1. 100% Agreed. I am pretty certain Jeff and Co receive more complaints then what we are aware of, and if another diamond moderator overrules my decision, I will never disagree with their decision, and accept it. –  Diago Jan 8 '10 at 9:46

Diamond moderator close votes are binding, so the instant a moderator close vote is cast, the question is closed.

(moderator votes are in general binding -- wherever there is a threshold of votes, a moderator voting causes that threshold to be reached immediately.)

Other than the binding vote, there is nothing special about a moderator closing a question. The question can still be opened by users who have 3k rep casting open votes.

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This doesn't answer the question. Your answer just states how moderators currently work. –  Seth Jan 8 '10 at 1:19
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won't be allowed. the current behavior is by design. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 8 '10 at 1:38

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. A single person voting to close doesn't prevent anyone from posting an answer. It requires 5 people to actually close a question, unless a moderator casts a vote to close. Then the question will be closed immediately.

You can take a look at this question for more details on how the voting process actually works.

Edit: No, I don't think it should take multiple moderators to close a question. They were chosen as moderators for a reason, and they probably have a decent understanding of what does and doesn't belong on the site.

Plus, a moderator closing a post does not prevent it from being reopened by 5 regular users, or even another moderator. This happens regularly, and it seems to work out.

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I think that this is a case of "Who watches the watchman?" -- in the end, the system depends on trust of some one or some group.

In Stack Overflow's case, that group are the moderators.

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agree - I also believe the community should decide on scope when scope goes into the grey area –  Seth Jan 8 '10 at 5:46

No, Moderators (the guys with Diamonds) are supposed to know how to do the right thing - that's why theres only 2-3 on each site and that's why they are very rarely doing something like closing a question.

The normal Close mechanism requires 5 Votes, but every user with more than 3000(?) Rep can vote, so those people are not moderators.

Of course, Moderators MAY be wrong, but it's always possible to flag the posting for moderator attention with a short explanation to have it looked at again.

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I agree with your first statement however, on superuser they are quite frequently closing questions. –  Seth Jan 8 '10 at 5:45
    
Then maybe it would be better to start a discussion about Moderation on SU? I do not know them and I can't judge their work as I rarely use SU, but instead of changing their powers I'd first bring up some concerns. –  Michael Stum Jan 8 '10 at 6:27

This will make the need for diamond moderators obsolete. There is very often cases where the community can't come to an agreement. We also do more then just close questions, and as already indicated by Jeff, our decisions are binding. However, as a group we have no problem with other diamond moderators re-opening questions we have closed.

To clarify. I close questions on SU based on 3 criteria.

  • Question is moderator flagged.
  • Question appears in the close list available to 10K+ moderators.
  • The question violates or does not meet minimum site requirements as per the FAQ

Since there is currently only about 40+ users on SU who can cast close votes, I do happen to intervene more often.

This particular question caught my attention NOT because it was about a smartphone, but rather because the question is related to whether a Phone will work on a cellular network in another country. The FAQ clearly states that SU is for computer hardware and software problems. I completely and utterly fail to see how whether a phone working on a cellular network has anything to do with a computer problem.

Everyone commenting was debating whether smartphone questions are legitimate or not, however your questions has nothing to do with a problem on the smartphone.

At the moment however there are 4 other SU moderators, including Jeff that have the power to overrule my decision, and at the time of replying here they haven't.

To expand, I commented on this specific question as follows:

Original Close:

Actually how has the phone working in a particular country have anything to do with a computer problem?

The reason for locking the question:

I am locking this question as it is going in circles, it has been discussed at length before on Meta and I stand by the fact that this is not a computer problem. This is a network issue with a SP and not an issue to fix a problem on a smartphone. If this is allowed then every localized question will have to be re-opened because of the same argument. The FAQ is quite clear on this.

As for your comment regarding clear community support for the question. There was a lot of discussion around the question, but only 1 re-open vote was cast in 2 days.

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No worries Diago, I understand your position. I will no longer push to have questions regarding network issues with smartphones on the superuser forum. –  Seth Jan 9 '10 at 10:16

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