How do high traffic questions survive without any system in place to prevent them from being closed too easily? It seems strange to me that the number of votes required to close a question is a constant $5$. If, for example, a low traffic question requires $5$ votes out of $40$ viewers, while a high traffic question requires $5$ votes out of $10000$ viewers, then the latter should be much more likely to happen by "chance," independent of question quality, since it only requires a fraction of a percentage of viewers to apply anomalous voting criteria. Why don't all high traffic questions either end up closed, or in a constant close-reopen-reclose war?

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    $\begingroup$ "without any system in place" there is a system. I'll elaborate later $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Jun 20, 2020 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ May be users voting to close questions do so in a discplined manner applying to acceptable criteria? $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2020 at 19:58
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen While I don't doubt this is generally true, the issue is that the standard required approaches perfection as the number of potential voters evaluating a question grows large, which is too optimistic to expect from any large group. $\endgroup$
    – user10478
    Jun 20, 2020 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Even if users vote in a disciplined manner, there's disagreement over what the acceptable criteria are. Then if there are only five people on either side of a close/open difference of opinion, if they keep voting with discipline that question will be perpetually closed and reopened. $\endgroup$ Jun 22, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Votes do not just accumulate, they can "age away" and how quickly actually depends a bit on the number of views.

Moreover, questions with many views often are disproportionately viewed by users that cannot vote to close anyway.

Finally, if they are closed and many disagree they are also reopened quickly.

That said, for votes to delete the score of the question and the attached answers are taken into account. Thus, the idea itself to have flexible thresholds does have some merit.


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