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The default view for meta.stackexchange.com is Top Questions. This list very frequently shows off-topic questions that are (mostly) intended for Stack Overflow main. Such questions usually have a number of downvotes and close votes with off-topic as the close reason.

These questions are not Top Questions (assuming 'top' means 'good'). Therefore it would be nice if a question that has a vote to close as off-topic is not displayed in this list.

Currently these questions are quickly closed and disappear from the list within a few minutes. However, many times there are some of these questions on the top of the list, which is distracting for people looking for actual meta questions (such as myself). Of course the questions must stay in the list long enough to allow somebody to vote to close and push it in the queue for others to finalize the closing, however it looks like the questions are currently displayed until they are actually closed, and not until the first close vote is cast.

To be clear: this is not about how to prevent people from posting off-topic questions on meta. It is also not about displaying questions in the Newest or Active tabs, it is only about the Top Questions page. These other pages/tabs could be used for people that prefer to vote to close from the question list instead of the queue.

Example of the current list below. The 3rd question is off-topic, already downvoted, has a comment that it is off-topic by πάντα ῥεῖ which is 10k so it is presumably also close voted, yet it is still visible in the Top Questions list, also after refreshing the page.

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    Isn’t there already a score threshold in place anyway? – user289905 Jun 7 at 18:26
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    @user289905 Mhmm. At -8, questions disappear from the Top Questions list. – Spevacus Jun 7 at 18:34
  • @Marijn Not every close vote is justifiable. I'd agree for already closed questions, if these are shown at the top questions. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jun 7 at 19:33
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I want it off the Top Questions list. – Robert Columbia Jun 7 at 22:44
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No, I don't agree with this feature request, at all.

Meta Stack Exchange doesn't see that many visitors in a day and I know those that do visit glance at the home page if there is something that needs their attention.

Those users do often have down, close and delete vote privileges. I'm already holding back on down votes so these questions stay visible for more users until those posts are closed. After that such questions are brought up in the Tavern for final deletion.

If we remove those questions from views prematurely, their curation becomes harder. Now and then one slips through the cracks already, having this implemented only increases those odds.

Flag/vote for closure, down vote if that is not yet done and once closed ping someone in the Tavern to expedite the delete process. That keeps the list clean without the posts going out of sight before properly taken care of.

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    I was about to write this on the question itself, but is there a feature implemented where if the question has too many code-related words the quality-checking system smells a rat and give the heads-up that it's probably for SO? – mindstormsboi Jun 7 at 19:09
  • @mindstormsboi I often put the title of such questions in the stack exchange search and then post a comment with that search link under the question. That is hardly any work, gives a welcoming feeling and gives you a better redirection rate in case strange things or nothing useful is returned. Don't migrate crap is a saying here. I think that goes for these type of questions as well. They don't need a better site, they need love from the OP first before they repost on Quora ... also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/349050 – rene Jun 7 at 19:13
  • @rene ok, these questions need to be curated, but do they really need to be on the Top Questions list? Isn't that list intended for, like, on-topic questions? – Marijn Jun 8 at 13:46
  • @Marijn sure, and who decides if a question is on-topic or not? Users that watch the Top Questions list maybe? – rene Jun 8 at 14:17
  • @rene or users in the close vote queue, or users that watch the other tabs, or users that search for off-topic keywords, there are many ways. The issue is that the Top Questions view does not do what is promised, and that is bad for the user experience. Admittedly not a huge problem - but that fact that curating needs to be done should not serve as a reason to put questions on a list where they clearly should not be. – Marijn Jun 8 at 14:38
  • I don't see why an off-topic question can't be shown on Top Questions. From the active questions on the site, you view the Top ones. But maybe this needs Mari-Lou to give me a better definition of Top. – rene Jun 8 at 14:48
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I don’t think it’s a good idea to hide more questions from the “Top Questions” lists.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize something: some people don’t realize that there’s other lists of questions that they can look at (which show slightly different questions). This is not just low-rep users; I have seen plenty of complaints by high rep users (even some at >100k rep) posting comments that make it clear they don’t completely understand this.

(And why should they? The system is unintuitive in this respect, to the point where I think it needs to be redesigned with more transparency.)

This has an observable effect: if a question scores low enough and is dropped from that list (-3 on main, -8 on meta), it’s often slower to receive moderation actions (close votes, flags, or delete votes) even when these are sorely needed. And answers that are posted to older questions excluded from Top Questions get even less visibility.

The ability to take a question off this list, with no good way to veto that (as you can’t remove close votes without waiting a while or closing the question and reopening it) is just too much, even if it was done after more than just one close vote.

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  • Then maybe it is a good idea to make the Active tab the default view, and hide these questions (possibly even on the first downvote) from Top Questions? Then people who don't know there are other lists will still see and moderate all questions, whereas people who don't want to see the questions can go to Top Questions (and people who are looking for ways to avoid off-topic questions might start looking around and find out about the existence of other lists that they didn't know about before). – Marijn Jun 8 at 7:16
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    @Marijn My idea is to completely scrap Top Questions and replace it with filters (which would have more options added, including a score range option). You would get to completely choose what’s on the home page. Then we wouldn’t have to keep talking about the meaning of “top”, which keeps on confusing people. – Laurel Jun 8 at 11:12
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There's also a potential for abuse. Under this plan, any 3k+ user who wants to hide a post (for whatever reason) can just add a close vote. With the downvote threshold, multiple users must agree (by all casting downvotes) before the post is hidden from the top screen.

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