If Stack manually appoint 120 users a month (that's only 4 staff/mods doing one each a day) and lower the total required votes to complete a flag to 3, then close vote queue would be 0 in about 8 months.
Which isn't a bad idea considering it's currently increasing at 10K a month, so that's a total swing of 180K!
If you dislike the idea 3 votes to complete a flag, or 120 users being appointed manually each month, these could be changed if I knew how many votes in total are currently on all active flags.
Also, if you think this is too much, think about other ideas, ponder a bit. We're at 105K now, and in 4 more weeks, 115K, into Feb, it will be 125K...
So while it may not be the best idea in the world, it's one that would work, and something needs to be done sooner rather than later.
What this idea is not!
The proposed idea here is a quick fix to sort the close review queue, not a permanent change moving forward for users with <3K rep to manually be appointed access to close votes on SO.
>3k rep users versus <3k rep users
Users with 3k earned their rep for reasons other than close reviews.
Gaining rep from answering and asking questions, editing, etc, is not an indication they're any good at judging close reviews.
However >3K rep means you are automatically given access to the close votes.
Of course they have likely gained a lot of knowledge of Stack by the time they reach 3k rep, possibly enough to understand close vote requirements, but not necessarily, not every user.
As such, I think there will be plenty of users out there who are <3k rep, who would be just as good at close reviews as those with >3K.
Take me as an example
Here on MSO this week I've just got >3k rep, and so suddenly access to the close and reopen votes.
I've never had any access to these before, so have no experience with them or knowledge of best practice. There's no initiation or training provided, nor is there any decent info on how to action them (other than trailing through search results of people asking and having problems etc).
I can just "have at it" (within reason of course).
How does 3K rep prove I'm worthy to vote on closing and re-opening people's questions?
Ok I've "been around a bit" and so do know a fair bit of the Stack ways, but does my answering a few questions (relating to general ideas and proposals) signify I am able, capable and trustworthy to vote on opening or closing other's questions?
What's to say I'm brilliant at answering questions, but terrible at thinking about requirements for close and open votes?
I believe that a manual evaluation will be better than algorithms.
There are things which a script cannot pick up on, as the script has to be coded by a programmer, whereby parameters and potential scenarios have to be pre-empted.
Also, a script doesn't take into account many things a manual evaluation would, such as:
If your investigations reveal they have:
- Good accept to deny flag stats
- Have a good post edit approval to deny rate
- Decent audit pass percentage
- Show general diligence and effort to be helpful in
questions/comments/answers (just a few looked at, not all)
Then surely they are as worthy to attack the close vote queue than someone who has none of the above checked by a script and automatically approved at 3K?
(sure they can be banned from reviewing, but not the point. So could a manually approved user)
When I suggested this a few months back, I think the close vote queue was 80K..? It's now nearly 107K. So while it could be said my idea is long winded and time consuming, while we're sat thinking / waiting of a better solution, the queue is increasing at around 10K a month.
A few hours here and there for staff to appoint some new users to access close votes and they can start helping.
The fact others with > 3K see something is being done they might start helping out more again too.
Staff/mods appoint users with >1.5k & <3k rep to have access to close votes.
Maybe put a notice on the community bulletin in the side bar and a link to a question in MSO (and/or blog post etc) telling people who are between 1.5K and 3K to put their name down to save mods having to search.
Although a better approach would be to write a script which gathered some data from the DB's so no-one had to go looking for potential users.
The script returns the data and someone could look at the users and decide if they're worthy etc.
If rep >1500 && <3000 && audit stats = something
So a proposal and some calculations (please bear in mind maths is not my strong point. If I made a mistake, or monumental c0q up, just say..)
If a new manually appointed user actions say 5 close votes a day average, that's about 150 a month per user.
Parameters & calculations used
- Total additional votes per month per user = 150 (average 5 per day)
- Total additional votes per month - Multiply (150) by total users per month
- Total additional flags completed = Divide by 5 (total votes required to complete flag)
- Current queue growth = 10K per month
- Stop appointing new users after month 5 (cannot go on forever)
20 users per month per month & 5 votes to complete flag
Month 1 = 3k additional votes = 600 additional flags completed
Month 2 = 6k = 1,200
Month 3 = 9k = 1,800
Month 4 = 12 = 2,400
Month 5 = 15k = 3,000
After 5 months total queue increase = 40K
So the above model is not adequate enough! We need 4 times that just to break even.
So would be unreasonable to find 120 new users a month?
It may sound unlikely, but that's only 4 staff members/mods finding one new user each, every day.
Or using a script to grab data from the DBs then it would be a case of one person checking through the data returned by the script and finding 4 valid users.
Surely can't take more than an hour a day once they've done it a few times?
120 users per month per month & 5 votes to complete flag
Month 1 = 18k additional votes = 3,600 additional closed
Month 2 = 36k = 7,200
Month 3 = 54k = 10,800
Month 4 = 72k = 14,400
Month 5 = 90k = 18,000
Month 4 queue is decreasing around 4K per month
Month 5 queue is decreasing by around 8K a month
Queue total by month 5 = about 100K.
17 months in total for the queue to reach around 0.
If you think this is all too much so far, consider that:
You think it's too much yet the queue after 5 months of doing all this is still at 100K, so it simply signifies the requirement of doing something drastic, and the importance of it being now.
So perhaps consider an additional aid to this:
- Lower the total users required to complete a flag
If this was dropped to 4, the additional benefit on the model of 120 manually appointed users per month actioning 150 per month each average would be:
120 users per month per month & 4 votes to complete flag
Month 1 = 18k additional votes = 4,500 additional closed
Month 2 = 36k = 9,000
Month 3 = 54k = 13,500
Month 4 = 72k = 18,000
Month 5 = 90k = 22,500
Month 3 queue is decreasing around 3.5K per month
Month 4 queue is decreasing by around 8K a month
Month 5 queue is decreasing by around 12.5K a month
Queue total by month 5 = about 83K.
12 months in total for the queue to reach around 0.
Still not a great model, we're just hitting advantages a month earlier, which stops at 5th month anyway.
If the total users required to complete a flag was dropped to 3:
120 users per month per month & 3 votes to complete flag
Month 1 = 18k additional votes = 6,000 additional closed
Month 2 = 36k = 12,000
Month 3 = 54k = 18,000
Month 4 = 72k = 24,000
Month 5 = 90k = 30,000
Month 2 queue is decreasing around 2K per month
Month 3 queue is decreasing around 8K per month
Month 4 queue is decreasing by around 14K a month
Month 5 queue is decreasing by around 20K a month
Queue total by month 5 = about 65K.
8 to 9 months in total for the queue to reach around 0.
So, they only way this would work is if you appointed 120 new users a month, and lowered the total votes required to complete a flag to 3.
Could be even easier
How many votes are there already on the incomplete flags? If this is substantial then this idea could become much more viable.
Either with less users appointed per month, or total votes for flag completion could remain at 4, or a combination.
I'm sure you have thrashed out many ideas around the meeting table, and obviously none of this takes into account numerous potential parameters.
Such as additional users reaching the 3K rep and helping out, or the fluctuation in other users helping out or not, or the affect of Stack doing this and so the other >3K users see progress and so jump back on to help out, etc.
I don't have access to all necessary data to give an accurate model. This is just an idea.