Just wanted to collate and touch on some of the excellent community feedback, and my own further thoughts as a result, to make this a more well thought out idea.
For those not wanting to read, I think we know what is mostly needed and why, so this TL/DR addresses the most important issues raised so far.
The two most important issues raised seem to be:
- Changing the current question voting system to include something
else that would seriously alter why people vote (upvotes to stop
question close etc)
- Drastically reduced rep threshold for closing questions (from 3k to 125)
To resolve both of these issues (in 1, I'm that good):
- Any downvote made on the question (using the current vote system,
unchanged) from users with X rep will count towards a total close
X can be something everyone feels is sane.
While it alters the current voting system to include something else, I don't think it seriously alters it (not with 1k rep needed for it to count).
This is simple enough for users to understand what/how happens.
If we say 1k rep required for the vote to count, and the total vote count to close is 4 net downvotes, I'm sure with the influx of additional votes this will bring, and requiring 1k rep, we'll be somewhere near..?
Sure more people will vote up/down knowing the affect, but 1k rep is a sane level I think. Plus, users with 1k rep are not likely to unfairly/wrongly manage to get a net of -4 downvotes, not considering there will also be upvotes if the other votes were unfair.
These thresholds can be debated, but the basic idea seems sound.
It's about getting that sweet spot whereby more votes are given to make close quicker, but not unfairly (hence 1k and -4 total net).
Note, this idea does not add downvotes to any flag downvotes, as this is still a new close reason separate to current ones in flag - i.e. "Your question needs work before it can be answered".
Purpose of this proposal
- Close poor questions more quickly than the current system (flags)
- Stop poor questions undeservedly receiving answers
- Make it effortless and more simple for users to close the most common poor
1 & 2 - Will work together, poor questions closed quickly wont receive answers, questions more likely to be improved, or better next time (not essential, closed and no answer is key).
3 - Closing being as effortless and simple as possible will hopefully bring about more votes, which will all also aid in the speed of closure.
What it's not for
- Not to replace or add to the current specific close reasons
- Not to be (directly) added to any part of the current flag system
- Not to drastically lower the required privilege level to close
questions (original proposal did, has been addressed here)
- Not to stop arguably ok questions from receiving answers
1 & 2 - This feature shouldn't be another flag option, that would defeat the strive for faster question close. Also, flags are confusing to some users (which one to choose), however are more time consuming to all users than a downvote. Flag = 4 or 5 clicks, downvote = 1.
3 - The poor questions this proposal is to close doesn't really need 3k rep. Dupes, off topic, etc, do require 3k rep and will still be handled with flags.
Perhaps slightly lowering required rep to close for this feature only (1k?) will provide more votes, thus closing questions quicker than current flag, but without lowering the required rep to a worrying level (again, this is not 1k rep allowed to close in the current flags).
This lower requirement can be done by anyone with X rep downvoting on the question and will count towards the close. Say -4 net downvotes by users with 1k rep or above.
Users with 3k rep are not necessarily better at making close decisions as 1k-2k rep users, certainly not in judging a simple poor question to downvote, which we entrust with 125 rep (downvote, not close).
4 - Questions which are arguably ok will likely not receive enough net downvotes to close it, due to up votes and not everyone downvoting grey area questions.
This proposal is more for closing the utter crap questions with no code, no effort, etc, than dupe, off topic, or others which require more site knowledge.
Users with 1k rep are not likely to unfairly/wrongly manage to get a net of -4 downvotes, not considering there will be upvotes if the other votes were unfair.
If we say total of -4 net downvotes by users with 1k rep or above closes the question, with message (eg) "Your question is closed as it requires work, code, or something else before it can be answered [link to help centre how to ask etc]".
Re-open is also by 1k rep users (why not?) simply voting above the threshold of -4 net downvotes.
I suggest no time time delay between total net downvotes getting to -4 and question being closed.
However a time delay from total net downvotes getting from -4 to above and question being re-opened. 10 mins?
Perhaps time delay is lowered for every increase in net votes from -4.
So at -4 question closed. 1 upvote from 1k rep user re-open in 10 mins, 1 additional upvote from 1k rep user re-open in 5 mins (or time delay as it is if time already below 5 mins, etc).
Something along those lines.
Perhaps the downvotes for the new close reason should be added into the queue somehow. I don't know enough about how the queue works to add input here.
I'm sure there are many other technical considerations (re-open from other flags - when question edited, etc)
And what happens if question is closed from this proposal, and there are flags for other close reasons? I'm sure that will be handled somehow similar to currently with different flags to close. A decision as to which one best fits etc.
I'll leave all that to the more experienced and site devs.
I think these ideas/thresholds will work well, but as always, chew thee fat...