I just got enough points to review some basic lists. I noticed that the Close Votes queue is 83.6K while the rest of the queues are very close to 0 at all times.

I see that this has been asked before here:

What can be done about the amount of close votes on SO?

Why is the close vote review queue so full?

These posts point to the answer The queue is full of items that have close votes but not yet have 100 views. Close votes only expire if the post has had enough views;

Since those were asked about 4 months ago the queue has risen about 30K. So at least from appearances it looks like the issue is still getting worse.

I'm not sure I understand the details of the implementation, but would it stand to reason that to lower the queue you should.

  1. lower the number of views required before the close votes expire.
  2. lower the number of close votes that can be cast in a day.
  • 1
    I thought it was appropriate to leave a comment when you -1?
    – Harrison
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:13
  • 8
    Comments are not required when downvoting. Downvotes on Meta often just mean that the downvoter disagrees with your proposal, not necessarily that it was poorly researched or unhelpful. Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:15
  • Meta questions are a little different, -1 can just mean "I do not agree with your idea", it takes a little getting used to Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:15
  • You currently need 3k rep to Vote To Close, what are you suggesting the rep should be instead? Do you have a number in mind?
    – Taryn
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:15
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    Also; I think peoples view may be "It it better to have a large queue than to have reviews done poorly" Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:16
  • @BilltheLizard You are right, it is hard to get used to. So am I supposed to remove this question. This certainly doesn't make me want to use this site in the future or even try to help with the process.
    – Harrison
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:22
  • 2
    No, you don't have to remove the question. Other people might have the same idea, and it will be useful for them to see the existing proposal and responses. Downvotes here don't effect your reputation on the main site at all, so most of us just don't worry about them. A downvote here really isn't much different than a comment expressing disagreement. They're both just a form of feedback. Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:30
  • 2
    Its worth noting question bans are (almost) impossible here for that reason. Think of it like an election; you didn't win this time, maybe next year Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


The solution is a lot simpler than any system wide changes.

  • There are 17,688 (as of this writing) users with Vote-to-Close privileges (rounding down for simpler math, so 17,000 close voters
  • Let's just assume that only half of them are active on the site in any given week, so that number is 8,500 close voters on the site in any 1 week period.
  • If the close queue is 85,000 (it is actually a little less now, but I want to keep the math simple.
  • 85,000 * 4 votes per post needed1 / 8,500 = 40

1 - average voted needed per post is probably lower, but I wanted to assume worst case

That works out to 40 extra close votes from 50% of the close voters in 1 week and the close vote queue would disappear, or about 6 per day.

So the answer to the problem is not changing the rules or adding more people. The solution is encouraging people to get into the queue to close questions more frequently, because if we get everyone on board, we could solve the problem within just a few days.

Given the insane reaction to May we have some more SO stickers, please?, maybe the solution is as simple as bribing people with stickers.

  • 3
    I'd do 80 a day if you gave me stickers for it!
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 18:19
  • I guess you're half joking but... Some (many?) of us close-voters won't/can't review C#, jquery and php (or whatever is clogging the queue) because we know nothing about them. When I got cv rights a few weeks ago, I found a pretty short queue in the R tag (where all my posts are).
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 18:55
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    @Frank not really joking per say, but more pointing out that the queue is small when compared to the number of potential voters so we really don't need to change things as much as encourage more participation. But, that's a fair point that there is an imbalance in the queue in terms of languages, but surely there is enough complete crap that you don't need to know the language to close in addition to the languages you are familiar with. Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 21:12
  • @psubsee2003 For me personally, I might actually value SO enough to help with its "complete crap", but I'm sure there are plenty who are satisfied with keeping their own backyards tidy. I think increasing participation may be a good solution, but some more analysis of SO users would need to be done for a real chance of success in this behavioral-modification crusade. For example, it might be good to find out how broadly folks review; and what events predict a lapsed reviewer's starting up again. (cont...)
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 21:34
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    (cont...) Then again, I don't know that the queue is that big of a deal. Behavioral-modification crusades can be costly (in terms of the attention of the team and community, for starters). Are meta folks just getting agitated because they see a number going up? Or is there a real, growing broken-windows problem? I don't know -- like I said, my backyard is in good enough condition. Anyway, those are my thoughts after seeing this show up on meta repeatedly.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 21:37
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    @Frank the off topic queue of things you are slightly familiar with (you may be qualified to judge the recommend a tool, or general computing, minimal understanding, and migrations) as these reasons tend to be fairly universal. I know some people review a broad set of duplicates (read the original, read the duplicate - are they the same question?) - granted it takes a bit more (reading and comprehending two questions). There is nothing wrong with hitting 'skip' if you don't know. That said, you likely know more than you realize when looking at the quality of questions in the review queue.
    – user213963
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 0:08
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    @MichaelT You were right. I tried dupe, opinion-based and off-topic just now, and did find that I could resolve a lot of those. I also got some more perspective on the problem. For example, I can see how old, bad questions that attract a lot of hits/views from Google are quite resistant to deletion. Anyway, I'll think about it more and stop using the comment system as a chat channel. :)
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 0:42
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    Ever since I found out that there is actually a filter in the review queue, I've been reviewing 40 questions per day for several days now. The filter really speeds everything up as I don't have to skip any Python questions and other obscure languages. Once I'm done with my current filter I will expand it to include more questions. Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 15:49

You can't review a close vote when you don't have the privilege to vote to close something... You get that privilege at 3,000 reputation, which is what is required to get into that queue. It's already at its minimum reputation threshold.

  • Maybe I don't understand this site. What do you mean by minimum reputation threshold? I thought this is where changes could be discussed to how StackOverflow operates. If we can't change the parameters of how SO works, what is the purpose of this site?
    – Harrison
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:12
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    @Harrison You get the privilege to vote to close things at 3,000 reputation, and the Close Votes review queue requires you to have that privilege or you can't really do anything in the queue, so it also requires at least 3,000 reputation (inherently). In order to reduce that, you'd have to lower the vote to close privilege, which is certainly not going to happen.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:15
  • @Harrison I think the confusion is because the close queue and close votes used to be at different levels (I believe 10k for a similar queue and 3K for close votes, the queue went down to 3K, making it effectively the lowest it can be, unless you are proposing lowering the rep for close votes) Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:19
  • @RichardTingle I guess that's what I'm suggesting is to lower both in order to get things under control.
    – Harrison
    Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:20
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    @Harrison If you lower the initial threshold to cast close votes, more close votes will enter the queue to begin with. Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 16:32
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    @Bill although <3Kers can already add to the queue vua flags Commented Oct 13, 2013 at 18:11
  • To me it doesn't seem like this is what he is asking about. He's asking about the 100 views for close votes to expire, you're answering about 3k rep required to review two veeeery different things. Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 15:41
  • @SimonAndréForsberg My answer refers to a previous revision of the question. It has since changed.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 15:42
  • 1
    Then I will just simply downvote your current answer. Commented Oct 15, 2013 at 15:45
  • @SimonAndréForsberg A question should never be changed to invalidate answers which were previously correct; in such a case it is the question which is wrong. While you can vote as you see fit I can't understand your choice here Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 16:57
  • @RichardTingle While I do understand the point in that, the way I thought about it then was that "If the question changes, then the answers should also change". I don't understand though why this question hasn't been rolled back if it shouldn't change like that? (Looking at other meta questions, rolling back seems normal in these situations). Also, I actually think I did the downvote itself before I knew about the change. Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 17:58

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