Oftentimes I post a question on some Stack Exchange and what happens is that 21 people think the question is helpful and informative and 3 people think it should be closed. This is extremely unfair and I know that the contrarians do it because it costs them nothing. Therefore because Stack Exchange already has a feature which punishes the caster for downvoting answers, logically speaking it should also have a feature that punishes the caster for voting to close. Maybe -10 for each vote to close.

My question is not a duplicate of Questions with many upvotes should not be closable because I the author acknowledge that inquirer as having a bad idea, because it can result in some question on a cartoon upvoted and the mods prevented from doing their jobs. The mods made the correct decision in not approving that feature. But this feature doesn't prevent mods from doing their jobs. It only makes them think... a little longer before they do their job.

As @gnat pointed out, users are only punished for downvoting answers, not questions. I thank @gnat for that correction.

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    Considering close voting requires 3000 rep, and upvoting only 15, what if those three are experts and the other 21 are passer-by people who can't correctly judge a question's quality?
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:00
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    @Marshmallow assumes experts are immune from the same drive to spite common to all of humanity that made the punishment feature necessary for downvoting. Hint: they aren't.
    – Fomalhaut
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:02
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    But your assumption is that close voting and downvoting (on the main sites) are some form of dislike, based on emotion and having contempt for the poster, as opposed to judging a post's merit for future visitors. I'm basing my assumption on my experience as a downvoter and close voter. What is yours based on, if I may ask?
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:05
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    So what happens to the reputation when a moderator eventually votes to close the question? Is the reputation returned? What about those 21 other users, if the question is closed, do they lose reputation for upvoting a question that was closed? Why do you see a close vote as a negative action?
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:05
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    @Marshmallow close and down voting are expressions of disapproval and actually are by definition and have a tendency to become expressions of dislike.
    – Fomalhaut
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:07
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    But is that disapproval based on emotion? Is it irrational, or poorly explained? I have found that when most people close vote, they barely even know the poster or care. It's because the question does not meet the quality standards set by the community. Now whether to exclude some questions and answer others is unfair can be debated, but it's absolutely necessary to cull the 1000th poor question so it won't drive away the experts answering the more interesting ones.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:12
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    If you're talking about this question, do note that votes on Hot Network Questions are extremely skewed. Not many people coming from other sites have the required reputation to downvote, but they can upvote thanks to the association bonus.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:18
  • @Marshmallow "But is that disapproval based on emotion?" Like all human actions, it can be and more often than not is. Logic is something easy to put on paper when you're doing math or programming but extremely difficult to internalize when you're deliberating whether to disapprove or not. Emotions are extremely easy to internalize when you're deliberating whether to disapprove or not. So guess which one wins?!
    – Fomalhaut
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:20
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    Considering this is related to HNQ, I'd prefer to support this feature request instead: Prevent questions on Hot List from being upvoted by casual visitors (only rep is from association bonus) Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:22
  • Of course, there will be exceptions, one out of I don't know how many close votes. There will also be the controversial post you feel strongly about. That is exactly why you need 5 people to close a question. But you'd surprised at how many posts that get voted to close by avid voters actually don't incite much feeling at all. In your case, I would just head to meta.ELU and politely ask what could be improved about the post. Note that until it gets to 5 votes it is no different than any open question.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:31
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    speaking of "feature which punishes the caster for downvoting", your understanding seems to be not quite correct, see: Why is downvoting a question free but downvoting an answer not?
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 11:33
  • @Glorfindel that was a singularity but I wouldn't be posting on this stack if that were the only one because I only deal with generalities and a singularity doesn't disprove or confirm a generality. But generally speaking I have been at odds with mods on various stack exchange communities and I think this is a good idea for reigning in mods without removing their ability to do their work.
    – Fomalhaut
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 12:01
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    Hmm... if you have been at odds with mods on various Stack Exchange communities, perhaps there's something a bigger issue that we don't know yet? Perhaps like, the scope & minimum quality bar of each site is different and determined by their site's community... Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 12:08
  • @MetaAndrewT. Then my problem is more general than I thought and this may not solve it.
    – Fomalhaut
    Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 12:09
  • @BalancedTryteOperators Rep operations generally aren't meant for punishment. I really hate that kind of wording, and it's really wrong regarding the intend. There's a rep decrease if you're downvoting answers, and that's OK because you should be aware what you do. Though close voting is an essentiall feature of any sites, and we shouldn't discourage any users aiming for curation and site quality. There are too less already. Commented Jul 31, 2019 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


I know that the contrarians do it because it costs them nothing.

Can you prove this? I (and I think most users) do it because I want to make my voice heard in a democratic voting process where the community identifies questions that duplicate existing content, are unreasonable to answer in their current state, or do not belong on the site.

3 people think it should be closed.

Unless one of those three people is a ♦ moderator, or has a gold tag badge and they're voting to close the question as a duplicate, or you're on Hardware Recommendations, the question won't be closed; it takes five users to do so (and for good reasons). Similarly, if five users don't like that a question has been closed, they can vote to reopen it, even if a ♦ moderator closed it. If a question is frequently closed and reopened (that certainly happens now and then), one of the users involved usually opens a discussion on the Meta of that specific site about the fate of that single question, or a group of similarly themed questions. In my experience, if a consensus is reached, the ♦ moderators will follow it.

Also, as with all feature requests, you should indicate what benefit it provides to the site. So far, all I can see is disadvantages; it would discourage people from separating the wheat from the chaff, which is necessary to keep Stack Exchange from becoming the next Yahoo Answers.

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    "Which is necessary to keep Stack Exchange from becoming the next Yahoo Answers." how is babby formed? how girl get pragnent? youtube.com/watch?v=Ll-lia-FEIY
    – Fomalhaut
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 18:32
  • Astonishing. You really think that 3 votes have something to do with democracy? Now you will answer that it can be reopened later. But this is not reality. Closed questions will not often be revisited. People do usually not scroll back that much. And if you have an extreme toxic environment, like in [C++], a minority of always the same people, behaving like berserks, "close like hell". So thousands of silent people are dominated by a minority who feel like the guardians fo the holy grail. For me this is a very sad story . . . Sorry for that
    – A M
    Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 10:54

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