# How many times we need to ask about closing quick questions of ✩new users✩ so that something is done about it?

I've searched old questions about the very short time for closing a question and unfortunately there are a lot.

I didn't get all of them (IIRC there was like 10 other pages to check them all) but I found 7+1 (mine) + a lot of others where they discuss similar issues.

And one question is

Why the rush? What's wrong with waiting one hour? even one day? what's the worst thing that could happen?

Some of you might say, that "it prevents opportunistic answerers from answering the post" but come on.. since when could that be a problem?

Let's suppose they answer the psq, it wouldn't matter because if OP doesn't provide context within a day, then their question will be closed and eventually deleted. Problem solved.

I do understand that rules are rules and math.stack has them and one should follow them. Yes. I have nothing against to Close questions provided that OP is already familiarized with math.stack (which I think should be after your 5? 10? question) in that case I'd even support immediate Close.

The problem comes when OP is totally new, and the problem start to grow when OP is not American, doesn't know MathJax, is not aware of the "common tongue" from math.stack users, is a freshman (with exceptions), has never been on a site like this before, etc.

See this for instance "Very often I see a user's first question getting down-voted and eventually it ends up being closed. Usually I find this to be too rough of a treatment, as the user is not accustomed to the site." from here or "..new users, not necessarily aware of MSE's "common tongue" " from here or this "When I was totally new as a user I found myself helpless by the comments and downvotes of relatively senior guys" from here this later is ouch!

This problem is here since

(I'm sure there are more in the other pages)

New decade, and the same holds..

I do really hope this could be handle a little different on math.stack and it's new users. Even SE staff told us about it

user123 is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.

Why did they do that then? I mean why specially with newbies? Because they know, a newbie is a newbie and usually tends to do something unusual.

• Closing questions comes with messaging that tells the OP, however new they are, how to repair their question so that it can be reopened. Deleting a question is something that should be held off on because it is not (as easily) reversible, and that is the convention here. – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 1:31
• You also ask since when can opportunistic answerers be considered a problem-- actually, that has been a major problem on the site for a long time now. Opportunists hovering to answer bad questions enables users to violate the community question standards and still get an answer to their question. To combat this, the community has elected to close quickly when possible, in lieu of other possible solutions (such as punishing the opportunists). – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 1:35
• @AlexanderGruber I understand. But you also understand how is this perceived by some new users. It's hard to find a closed question with no downvotes. What is the combination of this? (see the quotes) – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 1:36
• @AlexanderGruber that's not a problem. And you as a moderator know about this. Haven't you suspend them for their 'very low' contributions, i.e. answering psq after psq, etc ? – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 1:38
• I have occasionally, in extreme or obvious cases. If it were up to me, I would do much more often, but mods follow community consensus, which has not been unanimous enough to justify suspending rep hawks on a hair trigger. – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 1:40
• How is this question not a duplicate this one? What new question are you asking which hasn't already been asked? In the comments of your previous question, it was noted that your question sounded kind of ranty... this question suffers from the same problem... – Xander Henderson Feb 24 '20 at 1:44
• I do hear what you're saying, though, as it can obviously be discouraging to ask your first question and have it closed and downvoted. It is a delicate balance that must be struck between quality control and tolerance. Efforts are ongoing to welcome new users while still teaching them how to correctly use the site. – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 1:44
• @AlexanderGruber Regarding your first comment, it might be worth noting that it is more difficult to delete a new question than it is to close it. Most users cannot cast delete votes until a question has been closed for two days, and even users with over 20k XP cannot vote to delete a "young" question with a score greater than $-3$. – Xander Henderson Feb 24 '20 at 1:48
• @XanderHenderson True-- perhaps I should have said that is why I hold off on deleting such questions. :) – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 1:50
• @AlexanderGruber I figured that you weren't really speaking for yourself, given the moderator super powers. :) However, I think that it is eminently reasonable for this delay to exist, and I see only very rare instances when quick deletion is appropriate (e.g. for spam). In the best of all worlds, a question is closed, the original author improves it, and it is reopened. – Xander Henderson Feb 24 '20 at 1:52
• @AlexanderGruber Regarding your third comment, that doesn't sounds fair to me. You are saying that 'is not that easy to suspend them' but they are acting against the rules just like new users are. However new users do pay for the price whereas the rep hawks only pay the price on extreme cases. This rep hawks are usually high rep or at least have a considerable amount of time on the site (which leads them to understand better the punishment), wouldn't be better if the ban would be the other way around? – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 2:11
• I mean why this rep hawks are only being suspended on extreme cases? New users are paying for this, because you said that Close stands for preventing this opportunistic answerers – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 2:14
• @XanderHenderson They are different. There I asked "Can you please give new users some time to breathe?" and "Is that ok?" here I ask "How many times we need to ask about closing quick questions of ✩new users✩ so that something is done about it?", "why the rush?", "What's wrong with waiting one hour?" and "what's the worst thing that could happen?" \\ I'd appreciate if you could explicitly tell me where the kind of ranty is. – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 2:48
• @user486983 You're preaching to the choir advocating action against rep hawks. However, there are only a few rules in this community that are absolute. The rest is precedent stemming via discussion here on meta. If the community views something as a gray area, we try to treat it like one, and hold off on action until there is a stronger consensus. – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 3:37
• The argument I typically hear against suspending rep hawks goes as follows: what constitutes a low quality question is fuzzy, and there's enough consensus now to say that "pure" PSQs (with no context at all) are unacceptable, but the amount of context needed after that is subjective. (Hence why questions are closed by vote.) Within that gray area, it is difficult to enforce, since maybe the rep hawk didn't view the question as low quality. – Alexander Gruber Feb 24 '20 at 3:45

I would turn the question around. SE has a strong Help Center and an interactive Ask Question form that points users to resources to ask appropriate questions for the site. When a question is closed for lacking details or clarity, there are links to how to fix the question to meet our (understandable) standards, at which point it will be reopened.

To ask (repeatedly) why we don't relax our standards for new users is essentially to ask why we have these standards at all. I'm sure there are stats out there of what percentage of questions are asked by new users, but anecdotally it seems like a significant percentage. Are we to allow users to ask us to do their homework for a week with only gentle chiding before we ask them to strap in and ask questions in such a way that it makes our job easier and our database more productive?

• Why do you think all this people have asked similar questions to the current one? Why is that? Think about it for a moment. // The answer to your question is no of course not, that's not the point. The point is to give them a day, meanwhile, at some point, they might be like ahh ok sir i got it, sorry.. You might say, well but in the meantime they already got an answer to their homework for free!, and I recognize that this is problematic, but as I said before at some point their question could be deleted. And recall that delete after delete leads to a ban to ask. So no problems after all. – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 18:23
• @user486983 I'm more than sympathetic to your argument. I stopped reviewing close votes when I lost the joy for wading through the swamp of "no context" flags to rule on the moderation that really matters, like identifying duplicates. I can't understand the value of deleting a well-answered question that still stays in the database anyways but just can't be found by a search. All that said, I stand by my thought that TPTB don't change holding new users accountable because they perceive that as a feature and not a bug. – Matthew Daly Feb 24 '20 at 20:38
• When I read your answer, I didn't saw the sympathetic side. But now I know there is and even a lot more ^^. And you're right, unfortunately they perceive that as a feature and not a bug. Their motto would be like: rules are rules and apply them and nothing more.. – user486983 Feb 24 '20 at 21:22
• @user486983 I don't think you really even considered Alexander Gruber's second comment below your question. Until you propose a way to circumvent answers during any delay you propose on closing a question, you've lost many users on this site. Also, don't duplicate your own questions. – amWhy Feb 24 '20 at 23:09
• @user486983 Until you are ready to sincerely listen to and engage with such a comment (Alexander's second comment below your question, and two of my comments on your previous duplicate question), you're just ranting, and not debating. One of the purposes of closing a question is precisely to prevent opportunistic answerers. Until you address that problem, I'm sorry, but little will change. – amWhy Feb 24 '20 at 23:14
• @amWhy I did considered Alexander Gruber's 2nd comment and I also replied to. I also did propose a solution (in the body of my question & in the comments below my question). \\ Now if you frequent CRUDE, you'll see the LOTS of questions that are going to be Closed and Deleted because they don't 'fit' on math.stack. Now the only thing I am asking to be considered is to wait at least a day before Closing and Downvoting low quality questions by new users, that's it. I am not asking to not to close them nor deleted them, (*) – user486983 Feb 25 '20 at 2:30
• (*) just to be patient before doing so. Now your propose about "delay of x amount of time to close a question must be met with a prohibition to answer the question until x amount of time has expired" it's fine and that'd be ideal. But I doubt users might follow it, but as I said, it's not big deal because at the end of the day if OP doesn't make their question 'to fit' math.stack standard, it will be closed anyway and deleted anyway.. – user486983 Feb 25 '20 at 2:32
• You fail to address my point, @user486983. Waiting a day to close very poor questions allows for opportunistic answerers to answer those very poor questions. This is precisely what many very poor questioners would like to happen:"Get an answer to my homework. Then feel free to close the question, because I'll have my homework solution by then." And to your last comment: "I doubt users might follow" you're proposal to refrain from closure for a day. – amWhy Feb 25 '20 at 3:41
• Recall, @user486983, that closure actually provides an incentive to askers of very poor questions, to edit and improve their questions, if they'd like to salvage the question and perhaps get an answer. Forbidding closure for a day, but allowing opportunistic answerers immediate free reign won't work. – amWhy Feb 25 '20 at 3:44
• @amW I think you and OP are talking past each other. OP says even if answers get posted, the question will be closed and deleted after a day, so no harm done. I think you have to try to make the case that even if the question and answer are deleted after a day, some harm has been done to the site by having the answer there, even if only for a day. – Gerry Myerson Feb 25 '20 at 11:54
• @Matthew, it takes five to close a question, whether it's after five minutes or after 24 hours. And anyway there's a whole roomful of users who seem to be only too happy to spend their time and effort on deleting questions, new or old, answered or unanswered. – Gerry Myerson Feb 25 '20 at 12:25
• @Matthew there is a whole roomful, to be specific, the chatroom called CRUDE. I've seen posts in that chatroom that consist of nothing but links to 15 posts that are being recommended for closure or deletion. – Gerry Myerson Feb 25 '20 at 21:03
• @amW I wrote, "I think you have to try to make the case that even if the question and answer are deleted after a day, some harm has been done to the site by having the answer there, even if only for a day." Instead, you have made up something about a "blind spot", a phrase no one else has used here; you lump me in with OP, when I have written nothing here in support of OP; I don't have to appear in CRUDE to know that there are users who downvote answers, not because there's anything mathematically wrong in the answers, but solely in order to make it easier to delete the questions (continued). – Gerry Myerson Mar 2 '20 at 21:14
• (continued) What my voting to close or delete posts after users abandon them has to do with the topic under discussion here, I don't know. Anyway: you are having a discussion with user 486983. I suggested an approach you might take in order to convince 486983 that you are right. Why are you coming down on me like a ton of bricks, for trying to help you make your case? – Gerry Myerson Mar 2 '20 at 21:20
• @GerryMyerson I apologize. I did not "get" the comment you quoted in the second to last comment. (I didn't "get" that it was supportive, though I see that now.) I appreciate your follow up, and will delete my last (prior to this) comment, because it's clear I missed the mark. – amWhy Mar 2 '20 at 21:28