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- Why do close votes expire? 2 answers
On our food beta, for instance, there are currently less than 20 users with sufficient reputation to close questions. Since the beta went public, there have been several new users and questions - which is of course mostly a good thing! - but some of them don't appear to have paid much attention to any of the Area 51 definition questions, the meta chatter, or the proposed FAQ thread, and are asking questions that have almost unanimously been declared off-topic.
Unfortunately, with so few people able to "moderate", compared to the shortened duration for questions staying on the front page, it's almost impossible to get a question closed because too few people actually see it. And obviously none of us have the "closed questions" link because that requires a much higher rep, even in beta.
I propose that close votes take a full 5 days to age away during public betas until there are no fewer than 50 users with close privileges.
It's unreasonable to expect just 15 people to all visit the site and open the same questions within a 48-hour period when questions no longer stay on the front page that long. However, these questions do get bumped, so if the aging period were temporarily extended, then I think it would help a great deal in letting the community work its magic.
Alternatively, you could provide access to the close votes link in the 10k tools. With such a small number of community "moderators", I don't see how it could hurt, and it would make it easier for people who visit fewer than 10 times a day to find close candidates.
P.S. I'm hearing that the aging period is actually 4 days, and that's what it says in the FAQ, but I'm almost positive I've seen one or two votes age on questions that are only 2 days old. If it turns out I'm hallucinating, I'll just delete the question, but regardless, we need to do something to make it easier to close questions during the betas.