Recently I asked this question, and it was closed as off-topic (wrongfully, in my opinion). The meta discussion I raised didn't get much activity.

All I'm saying, I like Stack Exchange because it takes 5 to tango. I don't want to reopen the question, I just to ask you please, don't let one person close a question, whoever that person may be, for whatever reason.

Even Linus Torvalds, the beloved dictator made bad decisions. Democracy is beautiful, that's all I have to say.

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    meta.stackexchange.com/a/78759/215590 matches my understanding of why moderators should use their supervote when they see a question they think should be placed on hold pending its improvement.
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 25, 2018 at 23:29
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    If mods don't have extra power over regular users, why even have mods? SE also isn't a democracy: it's a privately-owned company whose presence is entirely online. Nov 26, 2018 at 1:43

1 Answer 1


There is no point in having moderators if they can't act unilaterally.

In all but this meta site, moderators are elected by the community because of their reputations and ability to make reasoned decisions. There is also a need for them to handle some obvious things (at least to most moderators, if not most users with years of experience) quickly. This helps the overall site run more smoothly.

If other people think that a question is closed incorrectly, there are already ways of democratically addressing that: if enough people vote to reopen a question (those who have earned that right), it will be reopened. And this will happen regardless of any particular moderator's input.

People can also question the closure at the meta level, where other moderators can see the discussion and (at their own discretion) reopen it. If several moderators see the discussion and choose not to reopen it, it's probably a good indicator that there isn't a compelling argument to have it reopened. (And while it can be frustrating for one person to disagree with many, that's how a democracy functions.)

A case can be made that some questions have been closed inappropriately. And some of those have been reopened in one way or another. But the number of those that have been closed for good reason outweigh those edge cases. Removing the ability of moderators to close questions that shouldn't be open would do more harm than good.

  • I guess I agree with you, what you said is 100% correct, therefore I accept your answer and deleted my webapps.SE account, effective tomorrow according to SE rules, and will delete any other account if I encounter a similar situation. - I just hate the greater good, too many lives have been lost because of it. The greater good is the cause of too many wars, but it's a valid argument.
    – Lynob
    Nov 25, 2018 at 23:33
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    It worth remembering that mods are aware that it's a single vote to close, their actions are coloured by this and mods have few/no options for closure outside this. Nov 25, 2018 at 23:55
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    @Lynob: The question states that you don't want to reopen the question. And it states that you're fine with 5 votes to close. I don't understand how your problem with this has to do with "the greater good", nor why you feel the need to bring in melodrama about people being killed that way. No one is being killed, and, apparently, no questions are actually even being closed wrongly: it's just that the right outcome is accomplished unilaterally instead of by voting. Tempest in a teapot much? Nov 26, 2018 at 0:29
  • @NathanTuggy sure I don't want to reopen the question, that question, but I want to change the system if you can't change it, leave it. As for why I'm leaving webapps, firstly because I'm getting spammed meta.stackexchange.com/questions/318739/… and secondly well, i don't want to talk about it, my second reason that is. anyhow forget it and have a great day
    – Lynob
    Nov 26, 2018 at 0:48
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    @Lynob: If you want to change the system, you need to have solid examples for how the system is currently erring. It doesn't work to handwave "well theoretically sometime or other a question might not just be closed, but be closed wrongly and also not reopened, and wouldn't that be terrible?" It doesn't work, because there are multiple layers of defenses built into the system to prevent exactly that sort of problem, so there needs to be evidence that those checks and balances aren't doing their job. Nov 26, 2018 at 0:52

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