I notice that there is a list (shown at the end of the post) in the chatroom called "CURED" for nominating closing and deleting questions from the main site.

This search shows that such lists have been written almost every day since 2018, mostly by one active user. So far there have been 900+ such lists. Questions on such lists would mostly be deleted soon. Some are relatively old and some are quite recent.

This chatroom seems quite popular on the site and I consider such lists are encouraged by the chatroom users.


Is there any generally applied algorithm used in the CURED chat room for nominating closing and deleting questions? Are these lists generated by certain SEDE queries (e.g. restriction to some length of the body, dates, etc.), or are they picked from the Q and A pool using the so-called "Enforcement of Quality Standards" of the site?

The possible "algorithms" found in the chat room are in the following two messages:

I do not know though if they have ever been upgraded or not.

[Added from comment.]

The actions in bulk from the chat room make a great effort to collaborate closing and deleting questions. This has been done for several years as the record show. If this action is a very good thing for the community, showing in public the standard they use, (again who has done more than 90% nominations of the very popular chat room), could draw more users' attention and more users join them. It is currently very unclear what algorithm they use.

@robjohn mentions that "The guidelines they are working from are outlined in "Enforcement of Quality Standards". Nevertheless, the EoQS is "published" on Apr 28, 2021; there are obvious 2018 or even 2015 questions in the deletion list.

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    $\begingroup$ Every person has their own standards, and anyone is permitted (encouraged, even) to post comments, discuss nominations, and/or to act on those nominations as they see fit. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jul 2 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ If you would like to discuss this user's selections, I would encourage you to log into CURED, and ask them yourself. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jul 2 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, and...? If you would like to understand why people behave as they do, it is generally best to ask them, and not try to call them to the mat in public. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jul 2 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ The only person who can answer your question is the user whose comments you have posted. As such, this is something which you should discuss in CURED, as that is where you are going to find that user. This seems off-topic for meta. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jul 2 at 22:36
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    $\begingroup$ I believe I am being bullied by moderator Xander Henderson. I request another moderator to handle the exchange of comments here. $\endgroup$
    – user1046533
    Jul 2 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ There is no set algorithm. The guidelines they are working from are outlined in Enforcement of Quality Standards. For any other details, you should ask the people making the lists in that room. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Jul 2 at 23:18
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    $\begingroup$ The close vote and DV was a bit harsh, there is very much a question here. How does one assess if a question is worth posting in cured ? While of course it is individual who make up cured and one can ask them. In net effect, it is a public thing which effects publicly , so it is worth to discuss $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ What answer are you hoping for here? Are you envisioning participants in the chat room answering this and explaining themselves here? Are you hoping someone will have theories about what those users do and post those as answers? I'm struggling to see what shape a good answer to this question would take. $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 5:05
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    $\begingroup$ At the moment, there is a real lack of transparency with how the Cured chatroom works. The unilateral close by Xander doesn't seem to help this image either imo. It all seems like a mystical black box where a few insiders judge questions. Its time that is changed and actual policy is put to guide and govern the usage of that chatroom. $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ @EthakkaappamwithChai Which part(s) of the use of CURED that you find not transparent? $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ @EthakkaappamwithChai You mention a "lack of transparency" with respect to the way in which CURED works. Please note that CURED is a part of the SE chat network, which is administered by the SE network as a whole, and not specifically math moderators. CURED is not really an official part of Math SE (nor is any chatroom). If you want to understand what is happening in that room, your best bet is to log into that room and ask there. You are almost certainly not going to get much of an answer here. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jul 4 at 1:30
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    $\begingroup$ Also, regarding "transparency", please understand that the whole point of CURED is to make the kind of business done there more transparent. Anyone is invited to log in, check it out, ask questions, and learn how it functions. I am astonished by the apparent unwillingness of several commenters here to take that step. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jul 4 at 1:31
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    $\begingroup$ The most sensible conclusion I can draw is that they do not want to understand what is going on in the CURED chat room. $\endgroup$ Jul 4 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson Cured has a clear influence on what stays / gets deleted on the main site, so while it is actually not part of the SE network, it does have much effect on the functioning of the site. If the purpose of Meta is to discuss what happens on the site, then it seems very on topic to me to ask about it. $\endgroup$ Jul 4 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ Even though CURED is part of chat.stackexchange.com and the general site, its activities impact far more upon math.stackexchange.com than other parts, so the work that goes on there (and it is very important work) should get an explanation on meta. As long this as question has been asked in good faith, I assume that an answer merely covers the schedule of a "semi-active" CURED user on the chatroom, like the answer below tried to do. Who knows, it could end up being a good community evaluation of CURED, which is good for all sides of the issue as long as everyone is acting in good faith. $\endgroup$ Jul 4 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


As a semi-active user on CURED, let me share my experience.

There is no general algorithm suggested as a guidance in CURED for users to use. While individual user might suggest/recommend their own search method, there is not a recommended one.

Indeed, for most of the users who post deletion/closure request only occasionally, no algorithm is really needed. For those who posts more requests on a regular basis, you will need to ask the individual (and they have answered in CURED 1, 2).

The only rule on CURED concerning posting (besides the usual rules that apply to all chat rooms) is that each user can only post at most 12 deletion and 12 closure requests each day. This is a consensus formed by regular users in CURED several years ago, when there were lots of such request each day. I am not sure if this rule is still being enforced by the room owners.

Sometimes ago when I was more active I used the following query, which returns closed, non-duplicate, non-locked posts with score $\le 1$.

Several remarks:

  • As a CURED user, it does not matter to me which query other users used to generate their requests: I evaluate those requests as if I am on the close votes queue no matter what. I assume the same for most other users.

  • I don't think EoQS had influenced a lot on the activity on CURED. I am not sure what guidelines are formed after the announcement of EoQS that is applicable to CURED.

  • Voting on CURED is the more transparent voting system in MSE then (e.g.) the close-vote queue. In the close-vote queue, even as a close-vote reviewer you may not find out if anyone is being targeted: on the contrary, it is hard to target any specific users in CURED without being noticed, as all the requests are documented. Moreover, by posting their requests in CURED, the user basically give up their anonymity that they vote to close/delete (before the posts are actually closed/deleted).

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    $\begingroup$ I think the main concern people have about cured is if there are negative generative effects of people banding together for quality control on the site. would the stringency of an individual reviewing a question be higher if they encountered the question through cured than otherwise? Nonetheless good answer +1 from me $\endgroup$ Jul 4 at 23:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Ethakka The same is confirmed by the first bullet point. This user votes like they're on the review queue. I myself have gone against the grain on many an occasion. The reason I backed out of CURED is that one (now deleted) user, after a rant which contained some deleted messages, wrote questions from a troll account calling mine (and other CURED users') mothers various foul words. Such explicit targeting scarred me, and the least I could do is flag and get the account deleted. That's the price to pay for sometimes asserting your opinions publicly. I will not mind being called a coward. $\endgroup$ Jul 5 at 4:06

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