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Full contact moderating

Is getting a bad/poor question off the main page so important that it's worth closing a question even before it can be answered? That behavior just encourages "The fastest gun in the west" race where any flaw in a question gets the "close" gun drawn on it. The response is usually, "It pollutes the main page" which seems to be another way of saying, "It makes it harder to get the first answer in to all those questions."

  • 3
    Nice try, poor execution. Feb 19, 2010 at 19:12
  • At least I tried. Any suggestions for a better execution? Feb 19, 2010 at 19:19
  • Voting for close as duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/35864/full-contact-moderating because, hey, that feature request solves all close/open and other moderation problems.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 19, 2010 at 19:22
  • 2
    Get 5 Sock Puppet accounts with 3000+ rep each. Feb 19, 2010 at 19:24
  • @Kelly - My vote to close as a dupe was not much more than a joke, sorry everyone else joined in the fun. It'll probably be opened eventually, and then someone with more time and skill at finding dupes will find the right dupe and it'll be closed again.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 19, 2010 at 19:50
  • Although I still contend that full contact moderation is truly the only solution.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 19, 2010 at 19:50
  • @Pollyana: the rest voted for any of the other two close reasons. Seems like exact duplicate triumphs the other close reasons or there was a tie. When I voted with one left there was 1 ED, 1 NSOR and 2 TL votes.
    – perbert
    Feb 19, 2010 at 19:56
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    There is no race to ask questions: you're not going to get beat out by someone with faster fingers asking your question 10 seconds ahead of you. Therefore, questions should be polished into acceptable form (if possible) before they are posted, and don't have any particular right to time for fixing them after posting but before closing. Closing should be as fast as possible to discourage the investment of energy into off topic or duplicate titles. None the less, nice users are encouraged to fix them and stop the close votes before consummation if possible. Feb 19, 2010 at 20:04
  • @voyager - Ah! That's interesting behavior! So once anyone votes for close as a dupe, anyone else that votes for close also votes as a dupe, whether they want to or not. I wonder how it works for migration...
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 19, 2010 at 20:07
  • @dmckee: We're up against human nature, they speak/type THEN think instead of vice versa. I can't disagree with you. The race, though, is to answer the remaining-and-still-open questions; as if the poor ones are obstacles to answering the rest. Feb 19, 2010 at 20:16
  • @Pollyanna, no worries. I think we're pretty close to full contact moderation already when it comes to the question-closing debate. Feb 19, 2010 at 20:17
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    "they speak/type THEN think instead of vice versa" Yes, they do, and we want to encourage them to do it the other way round...so we should close garbage for what it is. They can always fix it after and we'll probably reopen it. Maybe. If it really is a new and on topic question, anyway. And they'll have a hint for the future. Feb 19, 2010 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


If a question can improve with editing, then it should be left alone long enough to be edited.

But a question that's clearly off-topic isn't going to get any better by leaving it alone. It needs to go, as soon as possible, so that the OP can post it somewhere better.

  • @John: +1, Agreed but we seem to be in the minority Feb 19, 2010 at 19:26
  • 3
    If a question is improved with editing, it can always be reopened.
    – perbert
    Feb 19, 2010 at 19:33
  • +1, but I'd argue that if a question can be improved with editing, and you have the power to close, then you also have the power to edit: Go forth and do so, if you can. I understand not wanting to touch questions which may not be your exact area of expertise, but if you're able, you should probably go ahead and perform the edit as much as you can.
    – John Rudy
    Feb 19, 2010 at 20:39
  • @State: Some questions are simply badly written and can be made decent with editing. Some questions leave out vitally needed information, and then it's useful to write a comment and leave it open for a while. Questions that are just off-topic aren't going to be improved by an editor or by the original poster, and should be closed. Feb 19, 2010 at 21:54
  • @David: You and I are in complete agreement.
    – John Rudy
    Feb 19, 2010 at 23:29

How quickly should an off topic question be closed? [closed]

As quickly as possible.

Is getting a bad/poor question off the main page so important that it's worth closing a question even before it can be answered?

Most certainly. If the question doesn't belong, then neither do the answers.

...any flaw in a question gets the "close" gun drawn on it.

Please post examples of questions that were closed which shouldn't have been closed. Otherwise it wasn't just 'any' flaw - they are closed for meeting specific close requirements, or not fulfilling specific requirements to meet the site guidelines.

Wow! this was closed in < 5 secs! Touchy today are we?

If I weren't lazy, I'd look for a dupe, and I'd probably find one, then close this question. But it would take me far longer to cast my vote than 5 seconds...

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