Every so often, I check under "tools". I usually see that a few questions have been closed in the last day or two. I just went and saw over 30 questions closed in the last 24 hours, way more than I can remember ever having seen before. Are we suddenly getting a lot more cruddy questions? Or has someone organized a posse to hunt down old questions that don't measure up, with a view to getting them closed?

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    $\begingroup$ It might have something to do with the new design of review page, which was mentioned by Leonid hre $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Aug 18 '12 at 12:38
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    $\begingroup$ I am certain it has to do with the new review page. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Aug 18 '12 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ Now all that is left to do is for the firing squad to check the delete page as well... $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Aug 18 '12 at 12:42

I was about to accept LVK's answer, but I got here two minutes after the owner deleted it, so in order to have an answer of some sort, I'll echo the comments of Martin Sleziak and Asaf Karagila; it has to do with the redesign of the review page.

  • $\begingroup$ Haven't heard back from Bill and Shog9 about the outcome of their chat, so I'm accepting my own answer. It has the most votes, anyway. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 23 '12 at 4:14

To expand upon Gerry's summary of LVK's now-deleted answer: we recently introduced (in stunning beta-vision) a review queue for questions with pending close votes.

The way this works is, any question with at least one close vote (or a close "recommendation" in the form of a flag) ends up in the queue. Concerned Mathematics Stack Exchange members may walk through the queue, evaluating each question in turn, and recording their opinion as to what should be done with the question:

  • Close requires the selection of a close reason, and pushes the question further along the path to closure.
  • Do not close records their dissent. Enough "Do Not Close" responses immediately start the aging process for existing close votes, and remove the question from the queue.
  • Edit allows for correction of problems that might otherwise encourage closure.
  • Not sure skips evaluation of the question, leaving it for others to decide its fate.

This is important, as there are many (currently 287) questions that have received at least one close vote (or recommendation), but haven't yet been closed or had time (or sufficient views) for the votes to age away. Ideally, those of you with sufficient reputation will review these and either opt to leave them as they currently sit, or close them.

Because, after all, we all need closure.

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closure_(mathematics) would have been a more appropriate link, perhaps. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 20 '12 at 5:43
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    $\begingroup$ Heh... I couldn't think of a bad pun for that one though. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Aug 20 '12 at 5:48
  • $\begingroup$ -1 I disagree with (explicitly?) actively encouraging folks to waste precious time on these matters when there are far more valuable ways where such precious time could spent. Random close votes that have not yet expired are very far from the top of the queue of important matters MSE faces. One of the most challenging aspects of UI design is to naturally draw attention where it is needed (and to divert attention from where it is not needed). $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Aug 20 '12 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ And I disagree, @Bill, that having few views or simply being a few months old makes these questions somehow unimportant. Why should someone working on a relatively obscure subject deserve the threat of closure perpetually hanging over them while awaiting an answer, simply because someone else didn't understand the question? Conversely, why would you want to keep poor questions around, simply because they'd been overlooked? It is the right of all members to participate in the moderation of their site to the extent that they are willing and able to do so. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Aug 20 '12 at 15:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 You are disagreeing with things that I never said (nor implied). My primary point is that there are far more valuable ways that folks can spend their spare time, and that it is non-optimal design to deploy software that diverts attention from more valuable activities. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Aug 20 '12 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ Value is subjective, @Bill. For many people, spending time on an online Q&A site would seem a very poor use of their spare time, regardless of what they were doing here. As far as value to the site goes, I strongly believe that moderation is both necessary, and a constructive use of time for those able to do it effectively - given that diamond you volunteered for, I would rather hope you agree. We might disagree as to the exact forms moderation should take, but on this site closing and editing are core parts of the community moderation system - and everyone has some say in how it works. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Aug 20 '12 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 We simply disagree on the relative value of cleaning up delete votes on old questions vs. other activities that I think contribute much more value to the site. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Aug 20 '12 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: you're free to make your own decisions as to what forms of moderation you wish to engage in. So is everyone else. This fulfills several long-standing requests for better handling of close votes on low-activity questions, and for disputing close votes on all questions. I've heard from far too many people on far too many sites that the close-reopen system wasn't properly engaging and didn't reflect the actual views of the larger community to consider this unimportant. But as I said, you personally are free to ignore it if you wish. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Aug 20 '12 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Shog9 Again, it's not that I disagree that cleaning up close votes on old posts may be useful (see my comments to LVK's deleted answer). Rather, I simply think that there are more valuable things that we can allocate spare time to on MSE. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Aug 20 '12 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ let us continue this discussion in chat $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Aug 20 '12 at 19:01
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    $\begingroup$ And in the unlikely event that the two of you resolve your differences in chat, please be sure to come back here to report on the outcome. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Aug 21 '12 at 0:09

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