There are currently 95.3k items in the Close Vote queue, and 2 items in the Reopen Votes queue.

The number of reviews needed to close a question from the CV queue is 5, which is ridiculously high. Here's a stat:

In the past 90 days, 46,506 close flags have been processed; 45,707 were marked as "helpful" (resulted in at least one close vote) and 34,000 have resulted in questions being closed.

That's 73% accuracy from <3k users flagging; i.e. the people we believe to be least-able to recognise a close-worthly question are already getting 3/4 of them right... do we really need a further 5 >3k users to back them up?

Here's my actual :

Let's find a number n, such that requiring only n reviews to end a review results in the same action being taken as requiring 5 reviews, y% of the time.

If we require only 3 reviews instead of 5, and we end up with the same outcome 95/90% of the time as we would do using 5 reviewers, why aren't we doing that already? Yes, I just made those numbers up. Shog help me..

For those that are dubious as to whether this would open the floor for questions wrongly getting closed, let me calm you down with this;

  • Firstly, don't forget that we have the ability to "Vote not to Close" in the review queue. In the normal question view we don't have this. This is why the bar to close can be lower inside the queue than it is out of it, because people can vote for both sides.

  • Secondly, my feature-request is not too different to how we already handle the Suggested Edits queue, and a wrong suggested edit is just as reversible as a incorrectly closed question. Hell, we even have a re-open queue; and it's empty. Let's use it.

If you're still struggling, then how about I knock you clean out by suggesting we add the ability to flag a question for reopening. This would force the question into the reopen queue, and handle the small percentage of questions that incorrectly get closed. It would also allieviate a proportion of the flags moderators have to deal with at the moment. If we're worried about the question-owner spamming the flagging option, only enable it for non-owners.

  • 2
    I suggest 3 more close votes than leave open votes and 3 votes (no matter what) in the queue (so you can't vote to close an item that got 2 direct close votes. Nov 22, 2013 at 13:24
  • 3
    Downvoted questions should always be closable with 3 votes IMO.
    – juergen d
    Nov 22, 2013 at 13:28
  • @juergend Downvote + Close. I suggest that we downvote each question that we choose to close in the queue. Wait, we can't do that? Good. Nov 22, 2013 at 13:34
  • @JohannesKuhn: Can't argue with you there. I was aiming for baby-steps to stop people being less opposed to the change, but I'd be more than happy to go all out with that!
    – Matt
    Nov 22, 2013 at 14:15
  • slippery dupe closures of The Queue questions are likely means to maintain folksonomy in the absence of a dedicated tag -- "Tags are keywords or labels that categorize and group your question with other, similar questions..."
    – gnat
    Nov 22, 2013 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


Like Matt already said for the suggested edits queue closing a question with 3 "close" votes and 2 "keep open" votes would not the best idea.

So I propose the following:

A question is closed if it matches one of the following criterias:

  • 5 more close votes (from queue or direct) than "leave open" votes.
  • 3 more close votes from the queue than "leave open" votes.

So basically, 1 "leave open" vote invalidates 1 close vote. And I prefer the +/- weight.

Additionally, I propose that a question is removed from the close queue if it has 3 more "leave open" votes than close votes.


Flagging to reopen should probably be gained at a somewhat higher rep threshold than closing, say 150, to avoid relatively newbie askers spamming the queue. It should still be significantly lower than the privilege to cast close/reopen votes on one's own question (250 rep) so the latter isn't trivialized.

Manually checking ELL's close vote history indicates that, of the last 20 reviews I can easily verify, 3 of them would have turned out differently with a 3-vote threshold — ~85% accuracy, which is a bit dubious. Only 1 of them would have turned out differently with a 4-vote threshold — ~95% accuracy, which is quite respectable.

When I get a chance I'll add a SEDE query to look at this in considerably more detail, probably focusing on SO.

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