Perhaps it would help reduce the review queue effort if posting an answer to a question on the review queue acted as an implicit "leave open" vote? (Always assuming the answerer has sufficient rep to post such votes.)

(I believe I'm right in thinking that there is no way to explicitly cast a "leave open" vote on a particular question? You can only do this via the review queue, which presents questions to you at random?)

If the statistics show that this wouldn't have a significant impact, then obviously it wouldn't be worth the effort. But I've seen a number of questions in the review queue with answers from high-rep users, and this would make them leave the queue quicker.

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    One of the reasons we close questions is to stop people answering. If answering then casts a leave open vote that is rather defeating the purpose. Mar 13, 2014 at 21:31
  • @MartijnPieters: but if a high-rep user is answering, the close votes were probably mistaken. Certainly that's true in several cases I've seen; typically, "unclear what you're asking" votes from people who don't understand the specific technology involved. Mar 13, 2014 at 21:38
  • And sometimes questions are controversial; not everyone agrees if a question should be closed or not. But that's how the community works, we vote on it. A high-rep user can always vote to re-open the question later, but merely posting an answer is not such a vote. Mar 13, 2014 at 21:41
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    Case study I reopened today: Change all hex colors values to rgb. It was closed as a 'resource request' question. I left a comment for voters to see, then when it was closed anyway, I voted to reopen. It worked. I see no need to change that system. Mar 13, 2014 at 21:42
  • @MartijnPieters: you may have gotten there in the end, but it seems to me that a lot of unnecessary effort was involved! Mar 13, 2014 at 21:44
  • How often does a high-rep user answer a question that should be closed? Is that really a problem? Mar 13, 2014 at 21:45
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    If there weren't so many users who'd answer any old drivel, you might perhaps have a point. But unfortunately there are plenty. Heck, I know of several users who say they will answer a question even if they think it should be closed.
    – Bart
    Mar 13, 2014 at 21:45
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    @HarryJohnston: it does happen. I answered this underspecified question the other day and received a lot of flak for doing so. I also voted to close that question as a duplicate. I would not have wanted my answer to be a vote to keep it open. Mar 13, 2014 at 21:49
  • @HarryJohnston: I have also posted answers to less controversial questions, to then find that they were duplicates. I've helped close those as well. An answer should not prevent the normal course of such closures. Mar 13, 2014 at 21:50
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    We looked at using other triggers (votes/answers/edits by users with enough rep to potentially vote to close) as signals to age close votes or drop posts from the review queue entirely. The impact of doing that wasn't what we expected. If I recall, it either was going to not change much about the Close Votes queue or actually increase it in some cases. I don't have the numbers on hand at the moment, but I'll see if Shog9 still does.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Mar 13, 2014 at 21:50
  • @MartijnPieters: the duplicate case wouldn't normally matter, because it's the wrong way around: at the time you posted the answer the question wouldn't be in the review queue, so my proposed logic wouldn't kick in anyway. The question you reference was OK in my opinion apart from being a duplicate; the "flak" seems unjustified. (If it had been, you could always have deleted your answer and then voted to close.) ... but see Anna's comment, that's all the justification I need to drop the idea. Mar 13, 2014 at 22:00
  • @HarryJohnston: I've had it happen often enough that by the time I submit an answer I find that someone voted to close it in the meantime, so that case does apply. Mar 13, 2014 at 22:01
  • @HarryJohnston: It's nice to see that the stats also say no to the idea; I am also opposed to it for the reasons I outlined. Mar 13, 2014 at 22:02
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    @HarryJohnston: Why should I? If the answer helped the OP, why then remove that assistance again? With a duplicate vote in place, both the OP and the community can win. The OP has their problem solved, and the question can serve as a sign-post to a dupe. Often applying the principles found in the dupe to the specific situation of the OP can be a little tricky too, the answer could be helpful there. Deleting the post serves little purpose there. Mar 13, 2014 at 22:06
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    Related (and shameless self plug): Notify answerers that a question they've answered is in trouble
    – yannis
    Mar 14, 2014 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


This is actually a really good idea, in the sense that it's a more accurate way of gauging oversight than the current vote aging criteria (100 views from anyone). There are a few caveats though:

  • it shouldn't count unless you could have voted to close instead of answering. If you have 101 rep and post an answer, that's essentially meaningless when it comes to determining whether or not you know anything about the site's scope and purpose.

  • obviously, if you answer and vote to close, the close vote takes precedence. I'm not wild about folks doing this in the first place, but there are occasionally good reasons for it.

  • there are other actions that should probably be taken into consideration as well. For starters, editing the post. Possibly up-voting the post as well, or perhaps even up-voting an answer.

That said, we researched this idea extensively a few months back (Anna was a big proponent) and there was one big problem with it: most of the questions that get "stuck" in the queue right now don't have answers, edits or even votes from high-rep users. In other words, it would have the biggest effect on questions that are already getting a lot of attention.

Philosophically, it's a sound idea - I think we should revisit it at some point. But for the time being, it is a tremendous amount of additional complexity for relatively little gain.

Update 9/8/2015:

As philosophically appealing as this idea was, we never found a way to make it work effectively; the number of questions affected was simply too small to justify the complexity involved. Instead, we went with simpler solutions:

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    Does the second point refers to the magical "I vote to close as a dupe but in the meantime let me copy the answer from the original question and post here so that I may ---get some free rep--- save you a click on a link"? ^_^
    – SPArcheon
    Mar 14, 2014 at 8:26

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