I recently posted on the Coffee.SE meta about a closing a question that was too broad. I had already flagged it for being too broad (which still hasn't been dealt with).

A moderator replied to the post saying,

I would say it is too broad, and should be closed.

However, in the comments, he replied:

Ah I think you misunderstand me. I think it should be closed, but that it should be closed by the community, not the moderators.

This is on a site where there are a tiny minority of users who have the 500 reputation required to vote to close.

What can I, as a low-rep non-moderator user do? When a moderator agrees that a question should be closed, but waits for the community to close it, and that may not happen, does this mean that the question is actually a good fit for the site?

Can we have some Stack Exchange employee guidance on what should happen in situations like this?

I read Beta site degrading in quality, per-site Meta discussion reveals that it's not perceived as a issue; what more can I do?, but the only workable advice there is "wait for the beta to be shut down".

  • 2
    Nitpicking here, but if using a specific tag, better use the tag for too broad, since not all too broad questions are also low quality. May 27, 2016 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


Each moderator has their own style(s).

I moderate two sites (one full and one Beta) and I moderate the two quite differently in some aspects.

In particular, I am quick to place questions which are too broad on the full site into On Hold pending closure, using my super vote when necessary.

On the other hand, for the Beta site I am usually more inclined to hold back on using my super vote until I have seen the first vote or a flag come from the community.

In both cases I know that I have been given my super vote to use as I think appropriate.

My advice in your situation is to try to achieve the close vote privilege sooner rather than later so that you can exercise your own judgement on when you think a question needs to be closed rather than needing to convince someone else to act in a way that they may not feel comfortable to.


It's important for beta sites to self-moderate. This is the point in time where the site is discovering what exactly its scope will be like.

There aren't very many moderators, and they can't handle everything, especially as the site grows (which a healthy beta should). So it's important that the community learns to handle its own moderation. Rep based moderation privileges exist so that this can be possible.

Compared with other sites, Coffee is very small and only a fraction of questions are going to be close worthy. There are probably more than enough close votes to go around.

I know you don't like waiting, so I will give you some advice. You can ask and answer questions, and also suggest edits on the site. Then, with enough up votes and accepts, you will get to 500 rep and be able to cast your own close votes.

Obviously fewer users will reach the higher tiers of rep, but there must be some that do in order for the beta to be successful.

Note that I'm not an employee, but my answer is firmly based off the rules and philosophies of SE betas, so I doubt their answers would be much different.

You must log in to answer this question.