In order to increase the efficiency with which poor quality questions are closed, it could make sense to have weighted close votes for a small subset of qualified users.

A very good way to measure the qualified users would be to leverage the tag badges. However, it needs to be rationally limited to a set of users that are knowledgeable with the subject. A very good way to measure the top users in a tag would be to look at those who have a gold badge in the tag.

If two users who have a gold tag badge pertinent to a question issue a close vote, the question should probably be closed (or probably will be very soon under the current system). I think it would make sense to allow users with a gold tag badge to have a 3x weight for close votes in those tags.

Please keep in mind, this isn't suggesting full moderator one click closure. It only adds weight to the vote. A single user could not do it on their own. These singular users cast close votes all the time, so that aspect would not change. Some will vote to close, some wont, but the ones who do should have a stronger weight to their vote. Even with 3x it will require 2 of said votes to accomplish, or still 2 other users (meaning 3 agreed it should be closed - which is the same amount of high rep users it takes to delete a question and that has a much greater impact than closure).


Allow gold tag badge users to have a weighted close vote in their tag

  • 7
    It makes sense probably only for SO, not network-wide. Commented May 1, 2014 at 21:30
  • 45
    Actually, I'm not sure this isn't more useful network-wide, @Łukasz웃Lツ... On SO, it would be a great help in improving moderation - on many SE sites, it would offer an incentive to the community to start encouraging consistent tagging.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 21:42
  • 8
    Would they also have greater weight for reopening?
    – Troyen
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 22:55
  • 2
    @Troyen - That is an interesting point, I am not sure that is as much of a problem. That would probably be a separate issue.
    – Travis J
    Commented May 1, 2014 at 23:00
  • 13
    How are tag edits going to be handled? Before the question is closed, if a close vote is made that counts for 3x but then the tag that made the vote 3x is edited out, is the vote still counting as 3x? What if it is the other way around, and adding a tag would make a vote that was 1x, count for 3x? After the question is closed, do tags edits cause a recomputation that could reopen the question? I'd suggest that the answer should be "no". But before closure, it's not as clear to me how edits should be handled.
    – Louis
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 0:17
  • 13
    I may be biased, but this would be a problem on Programming Puzzles and Code Golf, where over half the posts are tagged [code-golf]...
    – Doorknob
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 0:45
  • 3
    IMHO, this only makes sense to apply to the initial tags on a post, @Louis - anything else is ripe for abuse and/or a headache to actually calculate. The "what if" numbers in my answer all reflect this assumption.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 4:24
  • 1
    Is this really a problem right now? How many questions are hanging around that should be closed, but aren't? Hopefully that can be answered with some form of evidence rather than anecdotally.
    – Yuck
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 11:00
  • 1
    @Yuck stackoverflow.com/review and to a lesser extent, superuser.com/review and askubuntu.com/review
    – strugee
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 0:34
  • @Łukasz웃Lツ I'd even suggest this on Super User Commented May 9, 2014 at 17:25

5 Answers 5


Update: this is now enabled everywhere!

The rules are:

  • You can instantly close as a duplicate any question that was originally asked with a tag you have a gold badge for.
  • You can instantly reopen any question closed as a duplicate that was originally asked with a tag you have a gold badge for.
  • You can only close or reopen a given question once (this hasn't changed).
  • If you get in a fight with someone over whether a question should be closed, moderators will be notified and they'll hit everyone with hammers lock everything down and tell you to go home.

Remember: duplicates are questions that ask for a solution to fundamentally identical problems - many questions have similar or identical answers but are not duplicates. By the same token, many questions are asked using very different wordings but seek to solve identical questions - closing these helps folks find their way to a solution even when they don't know what terms to search for.

Enjoy your mighty hammer responsibly!

We're doing this for duplicates only to start, because it's incredibly silly not to do this. Not giving people with gold tag badges more abilities in their tags is just wasting some very valuable signal - here's why:

  • If you have a gold badge in your tag, you know what's been asked before, in several iterations, and where to find it.

  • If you have a gold badge in your tag, you usually have a great deal of knowledge about the topic and can consider technical accuracy along with perceived quality.1

Therefore, we're going to be rolling out a change that gives you more power when it comes to handling duplicates, a chronic source of pain. If a question has a tag where you have a gold badge, and it was part of the original set of tags applied to the question, you can mark it as a duplicate with a single vote.

Likewise, if you have a gold tag badge in one of the original tags of something marked as a duplicate and feel a mistake was made, you can re-open it with a single vote and (optionally) mark it as a duplicate of another (theoretically better) question.

Same rules apply, you get only one close / re-open vote per question. Additionally, if a question goes through two iterations of being opened and closed where this new 'Thor's Hammer' was used, moderators will get a flag alerting them to a contested duplicate.

This is being deployed initially as an experiment, I think there's enough sanity here to prevent most abuse cases, and we don't really have a very large rate of incorrect duplicates. If this pans out well, we might consider giving gold tag badge holders more weight in other areas, and possibly considering silver tag badge holders.

Smaller sites aren't going to care about this, and that's as it should be - they generally don't have the problem of being overrun with duplicates. I like this because it's a feature that becomes available as you begin seeing the problem it's designed to solve.

Jarrod is working on it now.


To show my commitment to this, here's my version of the now famous PHP 'hammer':


1There are those that get them by providing a lot of crappy answers to duplicate questions. Closing these faster will become a sort of self-fulfilling fix for that.

  • 12
    As an aside, a lot of work is going into the whole duplicate process, but that's a topic for a separate post.
    – user50049
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 5:11
  • 11
    This is good stuff. I propose duplicates all the time, and I get frustrated when the question gets only two more dupe votes and three answers, all of which repeat information from the original. It will also make me more cautious about my proposals; but I like that too, because the Hammer means I can take my time finding the right link and still be effective. (That said, I'm still thinking that gold badge = 3 close votes would be best from a "checks and balances" point of view. But we'll see how it plays out.)
    – jscs
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 5:48
  • 53
    +1 for closing a dupe before a dozen half-assed answers can snatch the low hanging fruit
    – mhlester
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 5:54
  • 12
    @JoshCaswell People naturally want to answer, heck - often with just a link to the duplicate. We're actually going to embrace that a tiny bit by making it incredibly easy to not half-ass it by loading in pre-quoted / pre-attributed copy of the top voted answer, and letting you add a bit of context around it to make it better suit the OP's needs. Additionally, we're looking at ways for folks to convert up-votes on those answers to close votes on the question, without deducting from your daily close vote limit. All whiteboard now, but will have more details next week.
    – user50049
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 7:06
  • 2
    @AaronBertrand It has to be part of the original set - because that's the only way to prevent someone from just adding a tag so they can close a question. I know that's going to be a problem, but the potential to abuse this privilege would be so amazingly high if I didn't have that guard in place that I doubt it would reach implementation. Can look at refining it later, let's see what folks do with this for a little while, then talk possible tweaks.
    – user50049
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 17:02
  • 2
    This is amazing. There's celebration in the PHP room and you're invited, @TimPost. Commented May 9, 2014 at 17:13
  • 5
    Should "original" include tags that were added by the author after the question was initially created? For example maybe I forgot to add a tag.
    – MxLDevs
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 16:47
  • 5
    Holy crap I just closed a question all by myself! I feel simultaneously dirty and almighty. Like if Superman took out the trash or something.
    – mhlester
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 19:11
  • 2
    I would only suggest that if things do seem to work out badly, consider dialing back only partially, like 2 votes from gold badge owners or something. Also, I haven't used it yet, but from others I seem to gather that there's no UI warning that your vote will be binding. Is that the case?
    – joran
    Commented May 12, 2014 at 22:01
  • 1
    Please make this a feature that individual sites can turn on or off. Music.SE, which I'm somewhat active in, is suffering from too many closed questions, and I suspect having this feature wouldn't help the situation.
    – Kevin
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 1:58
  • 3
    "...many questions are asked using very different wordings but seek to solve identical questions - closing these helps folks find their way to a solution even when they don't know what terms to search for." I do not agree with this. I had a question a few weeks ago for I could not find a single piece of information on because the ways I did word it returned nothing useful. When I did get an answer I was looking for, I searched using keywords from that answer and found heaps of information, so much so that I never really had to ask the question in the first place, had I known those keywords.
    – gamewin1
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 1:12
  • 4
    @gamewin1 If we closed that question as a duplicate, people who searched using terms like yours would also find their way to the keyword-laden answers. Duplicates are signposts, not roadblocks.
    – AndrewC
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 1:17
  • 8
    Will this be extended to giving sliver tag badge holders slightly more power - maybe 2 votes out of five?
    – Pollyanna
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 18:41
  • 2
    This is now 2 months old - do you have any update on how successful it's been and whether it's going to stay (you tagged the question review 'cause you were going to review it). Thanks! Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 10:00
  • 2
    @TimPost It's been about 4 years since this was implemented. You mentioned the possibility of extending this to silver badge holders. Has there ever been any progress on making this a reality? Alternatively (For silver badges), how about instead of making it a full swing of a hammer (5 votes), make it 3 or 4 votes, so it at least requires one other to agree?
    – Blue
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 21:12

I have a few thoughts on this...

First, if we're gonna do this then let's make it worthwhile: 1 vote == closed, regardless of how many other votes or flags are in play. My biggest beef with close voting is the execution-squad attitude it seems to inspire among folks: "oh, I don't want to take responsibility for closing a question, I just want to be one of the mob throwing stones". If we're gonna give more weight to votes from folks who according to their past participation we should be able to trust with them, I want them to be taking that extra responsibility seriously.

Second, this power should be based on the tags in the first revision of the question. I know, that cuts out a lot of potentially-useful effects when it comes to niche tags - but it also cuts out a ton of potential for abuse, without also making it a major headache to figure out what a given vote is actually worth. For the tags where this actually matters, it matters because they happen to also be the most obvious tags for a whole bunch of questions - if you want an answer, that is.

Third, this has to apply to re-open votes as well. Philosophically, it's just the right thing to do - but it also makes sense from a practical perspective, since you can't undo a binding vote if you make a mistake or the asker fixes their post.

Fourth, normal limits apply: you get a finite number of votes, and you can't vote twice, even if the post gets re-opened, even if you re-open the post. No gold member close-wars!

Lastly, there are not that many folks with gold badges floating around right now. Here's the breakdown by site:

Users   Site
1845    Stack Overflow
34  Mathematics
17  TeX - LaTeX
10  Server Fault
8   Super User
8   Database Administrators
5   English Language and Usage
5   Code Review
5   MathOverflow
4   Role-playing Games
3   Unix and Linux
3   Drupal Answers
3   Jewish Life and Learning
2   Gaming
2   GIS
2   Apple
2   Personal Finance and Money
2   Science Fiction
2   Mathematica
1   Home Improvement
1   Game Developers
1   Webmasters
1   Physics
1   IT Security
1   Graphic Design
1   Code Golf
1   User Experience
1   English Language Learners

Yes, that means the gold tag badge users on Stack Overflow could, in theory, close 92 thousand questions every day just by using all their votes. That's 10 times the number of questions SO actually gets every day. Think about that a little bit.

So... What if we had silently implemented this on Stack Overflow a year ago, and no one had altered their behavior...

  • 22,102 questions currently open with pending close votes would instead be closed.
  • 145,843 questions currently closed would have been closed faster and with less effort needed from other voters. 90,722 of these would have been closed with a single vote.
  • 34,837 questions currently open would have been closed instead of the vote aging away. Note that 11,677 of these went through review and were marked "Leave Open".
  • 2,677 questions would have been closed faster, but then reopened anyway.
  • 1,328 questions would have been reopened faster
  • 1,837 questions would have been reopened instead of the vote aging away. Note that 1,829 of these went through review and were marked "Leave Closed".
  • 1,071 questions would have been re-opened faster, but then closed again.

Note that during the past year on Stack Overflow, 362,220 questions were closed and 8,108 questions were reopened.

  • 12
    I'm still thinking about it. This would be a huge, huge change - I'm not averse to it, but I've no desire to support it without thinking through the implications first. This is just my initial thoughts... and some data I happen to have access to that most of you don't.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 4:31
  • 20
    +1 Just for considering this idea along with all the risks. Though it has me wondering how much it would get abused for a gold member to cast a binding reopen vote just to post an answer.
    – Mysticial
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 4:45
  • 12
    If it is only based on the tags in the first revision, people can escape from this by simply mis-tagging them, which is something new users typically do. If it is based on the last revision, it will be open to a lot of abuse. I don't really think changing the closing mechanism based on tags is a good solution.
    – Antony
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 5:03
  • 5
    Keep in mind, @Antony, that this "escape" just puts them in the same situation they would be in now.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 5:17
  • 6
    Let's assume: a) most gold tag badge users to be Types 1 or 3. b) 3s don't close much because answers are rep. c) 3s won't abuse answer-then-close (for very long). d) 1s already consider themselves caretakers, so they'd try to avoid abuse. Do we have many gold tag badge users that aren't 1/3s? I'm not sure we really need to wring hands over abuse possibilities. However, knowing my closevote would be immediate and binding, I would likely use it way less than I am now because I'd need to be absolutely sure that the question is really closeable.
    – Charles
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 8:17
  • 4
    @Shog9, would it be possible to re-run those numbers with gold tag badge users having the power of three closevotes instead of a binding vote? With three votes, there'd still need to be at least one other gold tag badge user or two normal users agreeing with the close. This reduces some of the hypothetical abuse, leaves room for error, and leaves room for consensus.
    – Charles
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 8:23
  • 2
    @MadScientist: I'd say abuse of this right is well worthy of suspension, as these users are likely to have been on this site for long and should know what's acceptable and what's not. That's some large power that they have by being able to single-handedly close or reopen questions, and there needs to be severe consequences for misuing that power. Commented May 2, 2014 at 9:43
  • 4
    @BartvanIngenSchenau I don't agree with revoking gold badges. Those are well-earned from writing good answers.
    – user163250
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 10:22
  • 4
    @Cupcake In theory, yes. In practice, meh. People can earn quite a lot of rep from posting a lot of mediocre content. SO is certainly way more about quantity than quality when it comes to rewarding contributions.
    – Servy
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 16:51
  • 8
    "1,837 questions would have been reopened instead of the vote aging away. Note that 1,829 of these went through review and were marked "Leave Closed"." - so (1) the reviewers are messing up big time, (2) the difference in opinions regarding what should and shouldn't be closed is disturbing, (3) binding reopen votes would be a bad idea, or (4) I'm reading the stats wrong. Commented May 2, 2014 at 17:49
  • 7
    I am very unhappy with the performance of the reopen queue, @Dukeling - this is a pretty good example of how it consistently overrides the opinions of subject matter experts. There are ways to improve that a little bit, but I haven't had the time to actually put them into action.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 19:31
  • 9
    @bjb568 having your question closed is not The End of the World. Anyone can edit their question and/or take the issue to Meta Stack Overflow. Closed questions can be re-opened, but only if they're fit to be not-Closed. I am frequently disappointed by how infrequently people bother to edit their closed question to improve it and have it be re-opened :P
    – user163250
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 5:46
  • 4
    @Cupcake I love your use of formatting. Anyway, closing and reopening seems like unnecessary work - we should optimize for least amount of average review-work (and time) to get to the "correct" state. I don't know exactly what's the best, I'm just concerned that a bunch of reopening after just one closevote might be counterproductive.
    – bjb568
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 7:00
  • 3
    @bjb568 that's a fair argument. *** +1 *** !!! :D <3 <3 <3
    – user163250
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 7:03
  • 2
    @Shog9 I just encountered a case where the OP added the golden tag in a second edit. Because of this, the dupehammer did not work. Because it is the OP themself who added the tag in a revision, the arguments about abuse prevention do not apply. Is this a known bug, and if so, will it be fixed?
    – Rob W
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 23:16

I think this ends up placing a slightly arcane restriction on how sites can use tags, and gives an inordinate amount of influence to a small group of users who may not necessarily be reliably trusted with moderation.

It changes the balance of a site significantly by linking two previously entirely unlinked systems.

Consider Meta for a moment. (I know it's not completely analogous, but bear with me.) I'm pretty dern close to a gold discussion badge. I know a lot of other people have them as well. The problem is, the tag is one of several tags which are most frequently used on Meta.

Consider, for a moment, a site in which there are a few tags which are very frequently used. Users who attain a gold badge in those tags would, logically, be able to cast heavy weight on a significant portion of questions. That gives these users an inordinate amount of power in this circumstance. In this way, it limits what sites can and can't do with tags. It creates a multidimensional matrix of power balance - a question for each site becomes, "how can we balance tag usage with the power we give users?"

This, I think, is a problematic question. You've taken two systems which are normally entirely dissociated from each other and linked the balance of power directly to them. While this isn't normally a huge issue, it has potentially unforeseeable consequences on a site for which tag usage differs, by consensus, from what we would expect in other sites.

This should be enabled on a per-site basis.

I don't think this would be an issue if it were enabled on a per-site and by-need basis. However, we need to take a good look at the users this affects. Thinking about this applied to all sites, I believe you'll quickly agree that there really aren't many users on most sites that would gain any privileges from this. With the exception of Stack Overflow:

  • This means that, for a community to vote to enable this feature, they'd effectively be voting on the people, not the idea.
  • This privilege carries a significant amount of power.
    • This means that a very small number of users (for most sites, one or two) gain an inordinate amount of influence over other users' posts.
    • Since most sites have a far lower question volume, there would be effectively no restriction on the number of weighted votes one could cast in one's tag area. This is a problem pretty much everywhere except Stack Overflow, and maybe Mathematics/TeX/Trilogy.
  • High tag score does not necessarily correlate with high trust, in the same way that we have high-rep and low-rep moderators.


This proposal links two previously completely unlinked systems. It gives a very small number of unelected users (with the exception of Stack Overflow) a lot of power over questions in their tag category. High tag score does not necessarily correlate with trust, which means that small handful of unelected users have the capacity to do undue harm to the community.

While this is a good idea, on most sites, it upsets the careful balance of power that is community consensus. This is a significant problem.

If you wanted to enable it on Stack Overflow, though, it might be a good idea to post it on Meta Stack Overflow - the community there will better be able to decide.

  • 5
    This would be exceptionally weird on meta sites, since those have 4 mandatory tags, one of which must apply to every question before it can be posted.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 4:53
  • 1
    @Shog9 That's why I used it as an extreme example of a restriction on tag usage - most sites wouldn't be able to use tags in the way Meta does (even to a far lesser extent), where all questions of a category X are tagged. It would give those users a huge amount of power on the site.
    – user206222
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 4:54
  • let us continue this discussion in chat
    – Travis J
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 6:10
  • 3
    "High tag score does not necessarily correlate with trust" except it does. High tag score correlates to high rep score (for a gold badge most likely you're over 10 or 20k) which correlates to trust: stackoverflow.com/help/privileges
    – hayd
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 17:21
  • @hayd But... really? In all cases? You can't imagine someone getting a gold badge who really shouldn't have this moderation privilege?
    – user206222
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 17:22
  • 6
    @Emracool I can (and there are such people), but historically the SE system has always given out trust with reputation. My point is these people are already trusted with the means to do "undue harm" e.g. via editing without consensus. I'd advocate assuming each person is "good" until they demonstrate otherwise.
    – hayd
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 17:26
  • @hayd That's true. The risk is that close votes aren't necessarily seen if executed unilaterally in the background. Edits are.
    – user206222
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 17:28
  • 1
    @Shog9, I don't know how this was implemented, but it seems like the obvious solution to this objection would be: If a site has mandatory tags (which AFAIK is just Meta), gold tag badge holders for those mandatory tags don't get dupe hammers.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 7:15
  • A more realistic example would be the embedded tag on SO. What sense does it make for an ARM expert to be able to single-handedly close/reopen AtMega questions? Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 8:05

I was curious as to how many gold badges there were in various tags on Stack Overflow (the site with the most gold badge holders according to another answer), so I (semi-manually) scraped https://stackoverflow.com/help/badges?tab=tags&filter=gold and sorted it by decreasing number of gold badges (excluding tags with fewer than 5 gold badges):

             c#  293
           java  254
            c++  216
     javascript  183
         python  176
            php  139
         jquery  136
              c   91
        android   85
            sql   73
    objective-c   71
           .net   71
         iphone   69
              r   54
           html   50
            ios   49
            css   40
          mysql   38
           perl   37
           ruby   34
     sql-server   33
        asp.net   31
          regex   29
          scala   25
        haskell   24
         delphi   24
           bash   21
  ruby-on-rails   20
           linq   17
         oracle   16
            wpf   15
           tsql   15
          swing   15
          c++11   15
            git   14
         django   13
         vb.net   12
         string   11
     powershell   11
          linux   11
         spring   10
 multithreading   10
            vim    9
sql-server-2008    9
         matlab    9
            xml    8
          shell    8
       winforms    7
     postgresql    7
             f#    7
          cocoa    7
    asp.net-mvc    7
            wcf    6
      templates    6
sql-server-2005    6
        node.js    6
        mongodb    6
           list    6
         arrays    6
           xslt    5
        windows    5
ruby-on-rails-3    5
            jpa    5
      hibernate    5
       generics    5
        eclipse    5
     batch-file    5
            awk    5
      algorithm    5
           ajax    5

Additionally, there are 13 tags with only 4 gold badges, 24 tags with only 3 gold badges, 48 tags with only 2 gold badges, and 174 tags with only a single member with a gold badge in that tag. There are roughly 38988 tags (1083 pages with 9 rows and 4 columns of tags on each page, according to https://stackoverflow.com/tags).

In the high volume tags, there are many gold badge holders, so there should be balance. In the low volume tags, there are not, but they are no worse off under this proposal than they are now. They area of most concern is the tags where there are few gold badge holders and those members may hold undue sway. I'm assuming that any abuse will be flagged and dealt with appropriately; I don't know if this increased vote weight (or closing privileges in general) can be suspended/revoked from an account, but that would seem appropriate if there is abuse of this.


After a long time study of how StackOverflow in general behaves on this subject, I think we should actually extend the possibilities for closing questions as off topic for gold and possibly silver badge holders.

I do have currently a gold badge for cryptography & encryption but I can see this has limited effect on the site as most of the questions that should be closed are not duplicates. Currently hardly any cryptography related questions get closed at all.

I'll leave this answer as it invites informed discussion and a counter argument to above view.

Votes for this answer should still be for the old answer displayed below, which I do not support anymore.

The problem is that most gold badges are for popular tags, mostly languages and runtimes on SO. And the gold badge holders are not automatically experts on all the different techniques. This will lead to false-positives, that are difficult to reverse.

As an example: lets check my stats: I'm at over 600 for encryption right now and over 400 for cryptography. Nice, but after a lot of questions, not even near a gold badge.

Now almost all of the crypto questions are also tagged with a specific runtime; if they aren't they are mostly off-topic. However, not everybody with a gold badge for - for instance - Java knows much about crypto. So you get an "expert" with a gold badge closing a question that can be answered (or, reopening one that cannot be answered). And the actual expert is helpless; the amount of traffic we get for crypto questions is currently already too low to close questions, let alone reopen them.

Now I've just taken my field of expertise as an example; I do think there are many many of these "niche" tags and fields, and I assume (hopefully correctly) that most of the gold badges are for really popular tags. All in all, an interesting idea, but I don't think that this will work as intended.

  • 3
    This won't work -- somehow, this statement doesn't match the data I see. "145,843 questions currently closed would have been closed faster and with less effort needed from other voters. 90,722 of these would have been closed with a single vote" (see stats in this answer).
    – gnat
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 22:49
  • 5
    @gnat Yeah, but for my specific field, lots of questions would be closed that should not be closed, and because of the low amount of traffic, they would all have to be reopened with help of a moderator. And the moderator is not very likely to know anything about crypto either. I'm not afraid that too few questions get closed, with this proposal you will only see more questions closed (it is a question of false-positives and negatives). Commented May 7, 2014 at 22:52
  • 1
    I see, your concern makes sense indeed. Consider editing the answer to better present it - at the first reading I missed the point you make
    – gnat
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:02
  • 2
    Thanks gnat, glad you see my concern. And I know how to edit, thank you :) Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:08
  • @gnat Edited, if you see any chance of improvement, please comment. Removed opinionated first sentence as well. Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:15
  • 3
    This is a valid concern; we're discussing potential ways to mitigate it. Unfortunately, there's no easy solution for "sub-topics" short of spinning off a completely separate site... But that doesn't mean we can't make it easier for folks in niche areas to make their voices heard.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:15
  • @Shog9 You could give top users more power. But there are also niche/niche with one top user. Tricky to get this to balance right. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for attacking the queue. Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:22
  • I see your point, but my question would be: why does your point apply here and not right now? The answer is that they are one and the same - now versus hypothetically allowing gold tag badge holders to close. Take a popular tag (c#) versus encryption. In c# 4.6% of all questions are currently closed. In encryption 6.4%; the majority of users closing encryption questions in that list? Not users who primarily answer encryption questions. Seeing as how most of these questions were not tagged with a popular tag, none of that would have been affected - and the rates are still pretty close to equal.
    – Travis J
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:45
  • 1
    Let's take the highest voted closed encryption question as an example. stackoverflow.com/questions/1289061/… +175 . The users who closed it were 3 gold tag badge users in php and 2 silver php tag badge users. That was literally the first one I looked at in the list, and is the most prominent. How should that have changed if you propose these users do not understand the encryption aspect of this question?
    – Travis J
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:48
  • @TravisJ Hmmyeah, closed as a dupe - not that hard. And the +175 questions are not the issue. Although I'm impressed with your statistics fu, you haven't fully turned my opinion I'm afraid. I don't see the reasoning behind the percentages of C# and Encryption. The main reason for questions to get closed is that somebody has chosen to close it it seems - maybe allowing the gold badge to close questions will only affect those that were already going to be closed. But if that's the case we don't need the solution. Hmm, thinking in circles, I'm off to bed :P Commented May 7, 2014 at 23:59
  • @TravisJ, if it is a question about encryption where the "php" is not important, then it should not have had the php tag in the first place. Commented May 13, 2014 at 8:25

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