The approach so far has just been to increase the number of closed votes needed. Originally it was 3 then 4 and now 5. But perhaps we should be raising the minimum reputation instead?

For example, Interview advice on reason for wanting to leave current job was closed. It seems that there is a distinct lack of awareness about Jeff's stance on this:

  1. Questions about social engineering, management, or career building, ergonomics, or other “soft” topics related to development work.


The “winners” of this poll, items 1-7, map strongly to my idea of what we built Stack Overflow for.

4 Answers 4


Part of me wants to agree with this. It seems like a no-brainer; the number of people capable of closing questions increases, thus the threshold should increase in response. But the number of bad questions is also increasing, and there's no indication that one is outstripping the other. We need more people in order to close more questions.

Besides, questions tend to fall into one of three categories:

  1. Obviously needing to be closed - where a small number to close is useful
  2. Debatable - they'll get closed and opened a few times, but eventually one side will win out; all hail democracy
  3. Intentional manipulation of the system - the limit of votes to close and the increasing number of people with the ability to reopen better invalidates the ability of a small, rogue group to cause widespread problems.

In a way I want to agree with this, but in another way I am more towards making it harder for people to effectively game the system by achieving 3,000 rep by posting hundreds of questions and no answers. I know this has been discussed ad nauseum in other threads, but I think it is warranted.

But hey, on StackOverflow I'm already over 10k, so whatever the limit gets raised to I likely wouldn't be too upset.

  • 1
    I think the "many questions" problem is WAY overblown. It applies to 3-4 users, tops. That's nice and everything but nothing meaningful in the grand terms of the community. Jul 8, 2009 at 0:29
  • @Paolo: The 3-4 users is not confirmed at all, and it will scale eventually anyway making that argument invalid.
    Jul 8, 2009 at 0:29
  • Paolo: Since I have not done the whole data dump analysis myself, I can't say for certain, but I can think of 4 right off the top of my head. If that is the case, I can almost ensure that there would be others. And the fact that there may be a smaller number now doesn't mean that the number won't grow down the road.
    – TheTXI
    Jul 8, 2009 at 0:31
  • 1 is too many IMO.
    Jul 8, 2009 at 0:31
  • I'm not saying the problem should be ignored, I do agree something should be done about those users, what I mean is that sometimes there are bigger fish to fry... Jul 8, 2009 at 0:36
  • Paolo: I have no problem with that sentiment. It just seems as if there is a lot of people out there who dismiss it as not an actual issue.
    – TheTXI
    Jul 8, 2009 at 0:40
  • I wanted to find out myself how big a problem it is, so I asked my own question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2557/… Jul 8, 2009 at 0:48
  • Brad Gilbert: Thanks for that link, I missed this and it's nice to know that someone actually queried the information.
    – TheTXI
    Jul 8, 2009 at 1:05
  • I'm with Paolo: 3-4 users tops seems to be the scope of this "problem". Who really cares?
    – cletus
    Jul 10, 2009 at 23:46

I think the closing system is working fine for the most part.

As far as the example:

It should be noted that the quote from the blog includes 'related to development work'. This is a key point here.

The question cited as an example is closed as 'not programming related'. I agree wholeheartedly with that. There is nothing even remotely related to programming in that question. The question is solely about career development.


I think this'll probably be necessary at some point, if the site remains relatively successful. But i don't think we're there yet by a long shot.

I figure that so long as i can go to the "Close" page and find day-old exact duplicate questions with only 4 close votes... we don't have enough people voting to close.

If you find this ability being abused, flag the affected questions for moderator review. That's what it's for.

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