In SO's FAQ, you declared

A question that gets opened and closed repeatedly many times without achieving community consensus on whether it should stay open or closed.

in the section "When should a post be locked?".

However, I'm wondering about the following situation: Only specific users that have the necessary privileges can open or close a question, and a question should be voted on to decide about its status, not in a personal dictatorship way.

Why is there such a description in the FAQ?

  • 1
    Do you have a specific complaint here?
    – waffles
    Oct 9 '11 at 3:06
  • @waffles I'm puzzling about this, hope it can be explained...
    – f1098
    Oct 9 '11 at 3:26

Most of the time, voting will determine whether a question should be closed or not. But SO is a large community, and occasionally there will be a disagreement on whether a question should be closed. When this happens, it will be repeatedly opened and closed as the two sides argue over who is right. To prevent the fight from escalating, a moderator has the ability to determine whether a post should be open or closed and lock it, so that normal users can no longer vote to open or close it.

If someone feels strongly that the moderator chose wrong, they can come here to meta and start a discussion. This will allow the community to decide whether it should be opened or closed in a better system than the comments, and without fighting for control of the actual question. If a consensus is reached using this discussion, then a moderator can unlock the question and change the state as necessary.

  • Understood, thank you!
    – f1098
    Oct 9 '11 at 3:46

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