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Moderators should not close crap, flamebait questions, let the community

The question "Query LDAP for all computer objects created in the last 24 hours" was closed by a single moderator after only four minutes. Surely we could have given the OP a little longer to get his question together?

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    Reaction times must be getting slower – random Apr 30 '12 at 22:11
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    He has plenty of time. He can still edit it and flag for reopening. No big deal. – animuson Apr 30 '12 at 22:13
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    @animuson: new users don't always get that they can edit the question. Give a newbie a chance here. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:14
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    @JohnSaunders: So post a comment? – animuson Apr 30 '12 at 22:14
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    @JohnSaunders " member for 1 year, 3 months". Not really a newbie. – Daniel Fischer Apr 30 '12 at 22:16
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    @animuson: how about instead, we give the new guy a chance to read the comment that was already posted there, and to fix his question, before a moderator-close. If it had been a community close (five votes), then I wouldn't have raised this issue. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:16
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    @DanielFischer: in terms of his participation in the community, he's a newbie: this is only his fourth question. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:18
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    @JohnSaunders: The problem is then you open the potential for other "newbies" to go ahead and post crap answers that don't help anyone because the question is too vague or incomplete. I'd rather it be closed until it's fixed, then users are restricted to the comments, where they should be. – animuson Apr 30 '12 at 22:18
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    @animuson: I didn't say the question should not have been closed. I said it should not have been closed by a single moderator vote after two minutes. It gives the OP no time to correct the question before it's closed. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:19
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    @animuson: anybody who thinks I'm in favor of keeping crap questions around "doesn't know me very well". – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:19
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    If he's a newbie how does he know that diamond equates to moderator? Most newbies assume that anyone who can vote is a moderator in my experience. – Flexo Apr 30 '12 at 22:21
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    @awoodland: I have made no statement about whether or not the OP knows what the diamond means. I am the one who knows that it was a single moderator vote. My problem is that a single vote within two minutes closed the question. If five votes within two minutes had closed the question, then I would have had little problem with it. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:25
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    If there's no disputing the question closure was valid what difference does it make who closed it, especially when a subtlety like that is going to be lost on the poster? – Flexo Apr 30 '12 at 22:28
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    The difference is that, if five people had needed to vote on the closure, it would probably have taken much longer to close. The question isn't bad enough that five people would have voted to close that quickly. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:30
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    I also deny that this is a duplicate. The linked duplicate refers a question that's far worse than this one. The question I posted about needs little more than to have the OP state what the specific problem is. In fact, the OP has been able to solve the problem, and has presented a solution. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:37

I really don't understand why it matters how long it took. The community votes to close similar questions that quickly all the time. The vast majority of which either get solved in the comments and become too localized or the OP pulls the disappearing act and never actually replies to those comments to improve the question.

If Robert had closed the question after 15 minutes instead of 2, nothing would have been different. It took the OP near 20 minutes to reply to the comment. Sometimes it can take the OP hours or even days to get back and actually check the question again. I don't support bad questions sitting around open for any period of time, even if it's just a few seconds. Single vote or not, if it deserves to be closed it should be closed.

As for giving him a chance, the OP already had a chance. They can take as long as they want when writing the question, and this person chose to wing it and throw something out there that wasn't complete. Now it appears he's edited an answer directly into the question.

I agree that newbies can sometimes become confused when their question gets closed, but the comments are listed before the close box, so if they didn't bother reading them to find out what they need to do to fix their question (because in most cases there are comments), then they obviously don't care.

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    +1 for "They can take as long as they want when writing the question" alone – Flexo Apr 30 '12 at 22:32
  • I have not seen a question like that closed that quickly by five votes. I've seen horrendous questions closed that quickly, but this one isn't as bad as that. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:32
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    Also, the comment did not tell the OP what to do. It began the process of engaging the OP in improving the question. However, the question was closed before the author, even with the best intentions in the world, could have taken action to correct the question. – John Saunders Apr 30 '12 at 22:33

Surely we could have given the OP a little longer to get his question together?

This is precisely what closure is for.

It gives the asker all the time in the world to get his question together, while preventing the influx of a bunch of answers that will be rendered incorrect or irrelevant as soon as the question is edited. It also allows people to make suggestions in the comments about how the question might be improved, or even for the asker to take the discussion to Meta if he needs additional help.

Once he's gotten the question together, he can flag it for moderator attention to get it re-opened.

Closing a question is not the same thing as deleting it. Closure doesn't block edits. It's like placing the question temporarily on "hold", pending revisions. If it doesn't get revised within a reasonable amount of time, then yes, it's subject to being removed altogether.

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