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I've noticed that closed proposals in Area 51 are closed by a small set of people who repeatedly appear in the closed by lists. Has anyone looked into this?

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/28158/stocks-discussion

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/29624/learn-whatever

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/29580/spirituality-and-scientology

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/29528/french-language-usage

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/29397/pick-up-artist

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/29379/android

Some of them appear in only most of the lists, but a couple of those names appear in each and every closed proposal. Seems questionable.

That's just the first 6 (minus my own, which also has many of the same people) closed proposals.

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Hmm, maybe that's because those are the only 7 people who hang out on Area51 enough to have rep to close? :P –  John Feb 23 '11 at 3:32
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Wow, seems like the ones that were closed should have been and the one dup was a dup. This does not see like abuse at all. –  Hogan Feb 23 '11 at 3:35
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@John - possibly. Maybe the rep barrier should be lowered a touch over there. It's kind of a funky place. Not many ways to actually MAKE rep unless you just run around trolling everything. –  anon Feb 23 '11 at 4:53
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@Crazy: I think most everyone knows that something is wrong with Area51, just everyone has different ideas on how to fix it. –  John Feb 23 '11 at 14:43

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

With the new Area 51 Discussion Zone, users have their first opportunity to organize and start cleaning up Area 51. There's certainly no shortage of proposals that need to be closed and combined.

But the role of the discussion forums (or even Area 51, in general) is not to have a handful of Meta Area 51 users police the place and pass judgment on every proposal. Discussions are meant for stake holders to have a forum to communicate important issues about their proposals.

When I was sole proprietor of Area 51, my philosophy was to NOT close down people's (poor) ideas. If there's no "market" for a Q&A idea, nobody would support it. I preferred to let that lack of support be the primary means of culling unpopular ideas.

Having said that, I'm hesitant to say what they are doing is wrong or unwelcomed. Most of the proposals closed probably should have been closed. It's mostly low-hanging fruit activities and, to date, the ends have justified the means.

Truth be told, I'd rather see people spending more of their time fixing up the proposals on the commitment end of the process. That's where it counts. The rest is largely inconsequential.

There is still a strong editorial layer in Area 51. We're still getting used to the new discussion process. If I see the process being abused and legitimate proposals closed for the wrong reasons, I have no qualms about stepping in an saying, "If you don't like it, don't support it."

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Yeah, I've seen you come in and say maybe it's time to close this. I thought it was well reasoned. It also happens to be in my list. Just seemed weird to see the same people over and over again. –  anon Feb 23 '11 at 4:55
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What we need is more participation in Area 51 so the democracy is more effective. The process is new. It will happen in time. –  Robert Cartaino Feb 23 '11 at 5:05

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