On some smaller sites...
Without pointing fingers, I've seen widespread diamond moderator closures, taken to the extreme where almost all closed questions are closed using a diamond hammer; not just for urgent closures, but virtually all closures.
I'm certainly not claiming the closures are incorrect [the questions are rightfully closed], but I'm bothered by how this behavior excludes the community from self-moderation. Virtually no question gets closed nor reopened without the few (one or two) highly active diamond moderators. Those few diamond moderators (not the community) are the gatekeepers of the site, and close votes function as flags.
The community seems to become dependent on the small number of diamond moderators. What happens when the site grows and it becomes overwhelming for these few diamond moderators? What happens if the diamond moderators were to unexpectedly leave?
Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
My instinct is that this is not how moderation is intended:
Moderators are human exception handlers, there to deal with those (hopefully rare) exceptional conditions that should not normally happen...
... Keep the site reasonably on topic by closing ... blatantly off-topic questions.
The ideal moderator does as little as possible. But those little actions may be powerful and highly concentrated. Judiciously limiting your use of moderator powers to selectively prune and guide the community — now that’s the true art of moderation.
Jeff Atwood, 2009
When you see a post you think should be closed, close it. When you see a post you think should be re-opened, re-open it. If you're not sure, don't do either. We've entrusted you with the ability to perform both of those tasks instantly - so use them judiciously.
Shog9, 2012 (emphasis mine)
I guess when writing that post, Shog9 did not envisage a scenario in which virtually every closure is a diamond-hammer closure. For example:
If the community decides to allow it, they can vote to re-open, and if the discussion clearly indicates support for the topic, you can re-open.
Shog9, 2012 (cont.)
No they can't vote to re-open! The community does not have sufficient population nor experience in self-moderation (closing and reopening). Only those few diamond moderators can reopen; the community needs diamond moderator permission to reopen.
I'm torn here. On one hand, close-worthy questions are being closed. On the other hand, the community's ability to self-moderate is squashed.
Should anything be done?
While I don't really want to point fingers, perhaps it'll be considered more seriously with recent numbers. Here's some examples on sites I'm not active on:
Action Moderators Community¹ ---------------------------------------- ---------- ---------- Questions closed 20 241 [BiblicalHermeneutics.SE] Questions closed 65 314 [Astronomy.SE] Questions closed 65 318 [Space.SE] Questions closed 145 142 [Sports.SE] Questions closed 55 2 [Poker.SE] Questions closed 200 3 [Parenting.SE] Questions closed 133 3 [Russian.SE] Questions closed 1,927 10 [Android.SE] Questions closed 91 0 [Gardening.SE]
(Quoted from the relevant "2019: a year in moderation" meta posts.)
This is not an issue only relevant to a single site.