Most of the times, when I see a question being closed, two cases arise:

  • The question was closed by Community moderator (perhaps it was a dupe).
  • The question was closed by 5 VtC's, and names of the voters are displayed.

Most of the times I see this in Stack Overflow, which is the most active site in the whole ecosystem.

What I noticed is the following: There is at least one site when questions are being closed unilaterally. This means that one moderator vote made the question be closed.

I expect that action be taken, say, when a blatantly aggressive behavior from the OP is taken, say:

  • Anything violating directly or indirectly the ToS or any manifestation of common sense (e.g.: direct aggression against a user or social group, SPAM, an attempt to exploit an XSS bug, ...), which will involve even harder sanctions than closure/deletion.
  • A blatantly off-topic question (e.g. I go to Stack Overflow to ask about how to take care of two Trachemys Scripta turtles).

The question was not blatantly off-topic (edit although it was marked as off-topic since lately every site uses that reason as a wildcard) on the site or had any strange behavior, however was put on hold unilaterally. Regarding to me, one of my questions was closed in programmers.SE (say) for similar reasons but by five users, as most of the times occurs. And closing a question with five votes looks the usual to me. I always perceived this ecosystem was led by community, and not an administrator. This means: it was self-managed with downvotes and closures are agreed by multilateral parties.

I don't want to name the site, which had the particularly annoying case -to me-, because perhaps what I think is a wrong behavior is actually right and expected under certain conditions.

Edit This is another sample question in one SE site which:

  • Follows the good subjective guidelines (mainly because it asks about facts).
  • Had a lot of upvotes, meaning the users found the question useful and even the answers were considered useful.
  • They are about the game industry (which is one of the topics listed as allowed in the Help Center).
  • But... It was closed by a single admin vote.

So tl;dr: What bothers me is that there are cases where I see closures by just one user (the administrator) instead of community consensus. Perhaps there's a reason for me to be wrong about this concern. Question: What am I missing here?

  • I suspect you probably want to raise this on Meta Game Development
    – Shog9
    Apr 19, 2016 at 23:02
  • It was a sample question. What I actually ask happens in many sites I saw. Apr 19, 2016 at 23:02
  • 2
    I don't participate in Game Development but looking at the question you cited as an example it is certainly one that I would think off-topic on all Main sites because it is asking for a list rather than seeking a specific answer.
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 19, 2016 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


Something that I think you may be missing is that a "less than 5 vote" On Hold placement often results in quicker provision of more and clearer details by the asker of a question to make it become more answerable and avoid downvotes.

If a question requires improving, then that happening sooner rather than later is best, to try and reach its asker while they are still watching and thinking about their question.


You are missing that even regular users can close as a duplicate when they have earned a gold badge in that tag. This is the same on every site in the network.

And putting a question on hold is not a thing that can't be turned around. If the community thinks it should be reopened it can be. Just 5 votes do so and only one user can reopen it in the duplicate with gold tag badge case.

Is this a bad thing? No. Let those respected users do their part in keeping the site clean and useful to everyone. That is after all 'the spirit' of the site.

  • The questions that bother me are not being closed by Dupe Apr 19, 2016 at 22:46
  • 2
    But the question you used as an example was still off topic per the rules of the site, but if edited, could be reopened at any time.
    – Ramhound
    Apr 20, 2016 at 1:12

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