Currently SE review system allows questions' closure by the option of vote-to-close. There is an option of "Leave open" and I have read this to understand its use properly.

I am suggesting that the questions should be closed if they receive a net of 5 (close votes - Leave Open) votes instead of just close votes.

I understand that the Leave Open can take the question out of review queue but still if there is a new question which is on front page and community is divided on the closure then the close votes will generally win due to the current system. This can be a issue in beta websites where scope is still under discussion.

For such cases if the community is divided then why not go on side of leaving it open instead of closure till the same can be decided on meta/by a moderator?

  • 3
    This would be way too easy to abuse; one person votes to close, and if the first person in the Close queue votes to leave open, that's it. Vote negated, and no more eyes on it. The thing about closing a question is: It's not a bad thing. More eyes on a question means a better chance of it making it through the close queue in higher quality, regardless of whether or not it stays open or not.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 4:52

2 Answers 2


"Leave Open" just means "I don't think it should be closed". It does not mean "I want to undo existing close votes".

Also, another reason why it's not a good idea, that would give too much power. Even moderators can't undo close votes: they can close then instantly reopen, but not cancel existing votes. Giving ordinary 3k users such power doesn't sound right.

  • 3
    Undo close votes is one thing. Changing condition of close to closeVote - LeaveOpen == 0 is another thing. I just thought that closeVote mean It should be closed and LeaveOpen means It should not be closed. Opposites. That got me thinking why the condition was not taking the difference to close the questions. Maybe I misunderstood the intent here. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 20:27
  • Close vote is action made on the question itself, not always through the review system. Leave Open is review only action which was intended from the beginning only to remove the item from review. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 20:32
  • The problem today is there are so many 3k users that all you now need is 5 people on a site of potentially thousands to close every question. This is destroying Worldbuilding. I recently counted 17 closed topics on the top list because there's basically a cabal of 5 people who have the authority to close anything they want, and their decisions are extremely questionable. Countering them with "leave open" doesn't work -- because it doesn't really do anything -- so you need your own cabal of 3k rep people to carefully seek out and reopen things from the queue. The system is pretty broken now.
    – JamieB
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 18:40
  • @JamieB so that's exactly what the site meta exists for, where you can explain the situation and the site moderators can handle it. If that fails, you have the "contact" link that allows you to submit a support ticket directly to Stack Exchange staff, which can also intervene if they'll find it needed. And at some point, you'll also have to accept that indeed, few people dictate the site rules and policy for all the thousands of users, and not always it will be to your likings. Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 19:50
  • @ShadowWizardChasingStars - Really we're discussing problems that go beyond moderators, and with the site concepts themselves. Close and reopen may simply be fundamentally flawed, and it can (and, at times, has) actually created a burden on moderators rather than an aid (or certainly can be, as increasing numbers of people can VTC). In the end it may be a case of "not my circus, not my monkeys", but it's worth pondering what has changed and if the site can or should rethink some old policies that may not work like they used to, or were originally envisioned to.
    – JamieB
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 20:32
  • 1
    @JamieB what you consider as useless and "burden" is for others the way to keep a site clean and with high quality content. It works well here on this site, I don't know about "your" site because I'm not active there, that's why I gave the advise about their site meta. You don't have to take the advise, but that's the best I can give. Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 7:41
  • @ShadowWizardChasingStars That it's a burden isn't even in dispute. If you search meta for the vote-to-close tag, it's been a hot topic for a good decade, and still is (with "queues are too large" being one even the site admins talk about). I never said it was useless, but it's clearly a consistently broken part of the site, causing a lot of various problems. I think it's a case of "it works fine on 'my' site therefore there is no problem", so it's hard to get people to sit down and figure out solutions.
    – JamieB
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 18:55

From the linked answer

But if enough people (currently 3) select "Do Not Close" within the review queue, the question will be immediately removed from the queue (not shown to any more reviewers) and the ageing starts immediately."

So no need to change. This works.

  • 3
    From the linked answer "This doesn't prevent it from being closed, mind you - if someone visits the question directly and votes to close it". That can happen for beta website. Exactly the situation that I am describing. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 19:49
  • That is what is supposed to happen. I don't understand the problem.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 21:00
  • This was probably fine in 2014 when 3k rep was less common. As it gets more and more common, finding 5 people to close literally any topic is easy to do and now requires 5 people to seek out closed questions to reopen them, which is harder than spamming close, and a bit silly of a back-and-forth. "Leave open" negating "vote to close" on a 1:1 basis is far more in the community spirit than is a cabal of 5 people closing things and creating a hassle.
    – JamieB
    Commented Dec 26, 2022 at 18:43
  • It does always amuse me when folks say "cabal" of high rep users - because that almost never happens. Whenever mods go and look at sites where this accusation is levelled it always seems like the questions being closed / put on hold have been good decisions, ie they need improvement. So the best thing to do is improve them and request reopening - maybe a cabal will reopen them for you...
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 9:31

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