Look at the question on Ito's lemma which has been closed with only two close votes. I believe that it is a valid question - while this type of question would probably be closed on MathOverflow, it wouldn't be closed on StackOverflow. I believe that moderators should only use their power to close questions with a single vote on questions which there is broad community agreement that the question should be closed. I don't believe that this question falls into that category.

I don't want to focus on the specific problem, but whether these types of questions should be closed by moderators using their single vote power or not.

  • $\begingroup$ As for the specific question, it's really hard to answer with something better than Wikipedia link, when asker refuses to give any background/motivation. Can you think of a good answer, btw? $\endgroup$ – Grigory M Aug 14 '10 at 8:53
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    $\begingroup$ I would just like to point out this is a 'seed' question which was not a real question (the poster already knew the answer) but just a tester. $\endgroup$ – anon Aug 14 '10 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ Also, remember that closing is not permanent. If a question was really closed in error, vote to reopen. Just as there exist many users with close powers, there exist many users with reopen powers. For my part, I don't wish to reopen this question. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 14 '10 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaestur: "closing is not permanent": This is like saying it is alright to beat someone up. After all it is not permanent and a stay in hospital will heal him/her. $\endgroup$ – user1119 Aug 14 '10 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ @George: I never said it was okay to close questions wrongly (the phrase itself surely implies that!). I just wanted to point out that, after having beaten someone up, better to take them to the hospital than to leave them lying on the street. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 14 '10 at 16:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Kaestur: It is alright if everything is done in moderation. The job title is quite apt. Like in the case of police action in civilian life, use of excessive force should always be avoided. $\endgroup$ – user1119 Aug 14 '10 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ To continue the analogy, also remember that someone who enters a new part of town, only to get beaten up, is likely to leave, never come back, and tell all their friends what an awful place it is. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 14 '10 at 17:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Muad: Why does it matter if it was a test question or not? $\endgroup$ – Casebash Aug 15 '10 at 0:34

I would prefer that for questions (excluding obvious spam), that moderators refrained from closing until there were already four votes. There are now many users with reputations over 500 and consequently it is likely that if a lot people here tend to want a question closed, it will be closed.

I think letting five close votes accumulate will reduce the sense that closing questions is arbitrary and dictatorial (which some users of the site seem to think).

For the record, I don't think this particular question was good, and probably would have voted to close it myself.

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    $\begingroup$ This fits with the StackOverflow policy that moderators should do as little as possible: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/05/a-theory-of-moderation $\endgroup$ – user1119 Aug 14 '10 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ I wouldn't take it so far as to say that they should only close obvious spam. Moderators should close any question where community policy is clear. The main reason I disagree with this question being closed is that the inclusionist/exclusionist debate hasn't quite been settled yet and it is probably best for the community to decide it $\endgroup$ – Casebash Aug 15 '10 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ +1, I agree with this. $\endgroup$ – Rudy the Reindeer Jul 4 '12 at 19:14

Generally speaking, I also think that moderator should use "single vote power" if and only if they are enforcing existing policy.

The problem is, currently we don't have a policy on anything. (E.g. I tried to create a discussion of CW policy, but failed.)

I don't know what is the moral of the story...

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    $\begingroup$ There is no way a mod not to use "single-vote power" if they decide to cast a close vote. See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41062/…. $\endgroup$ – kennytm Aug 14 '10 at 9:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Kenny certainly there is a way (AFAIR @Kaestur does such thing): leave a comment and wait for 4 votes to close (or for 3 votes to close if there are 2 such comments from moderators etc) $\endgroup$ – Grigory M Aug 14 '10 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Grigory: Well, Katie did leave a comment, there was 1 close vote before Katie, and Katie's comment had 3 upvotes. $\endgroup$ – kennytm Aug 14 '10 at 9:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Kenny it's not the same thing: 1) voting on a comment starting with "please give some background for the question" doesn't imply that voter agrees with the last part ("I'd close this"); 2) there are much more users that can vote on comments than users that can vote to close — and that's by design. (P.S. As it was me who casted another vote to close, you can guess that I don't really oppose the decision; but still.) $\endgroup$ – Grigory M Aug 14 '10 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Grigory: I'm just pointing out there support from community for the closing action, and also the OP did mention it's just a "feeler question", and he did not clarify the post 3 hours afterwards, I believe Katie has enough reason to use the super close vote. $\endgroup$ – kennytm Aug 14 '10 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Grigory: I often do as you say (or try to - sometimes other people have already closed the question before I come back to it), but that doesn't mean I ignore the supervote either. For example, this question I closed yesterday. Which is appropriate depends on the question. For this one, I agree with Katie's choice. $\endgroup$ – Larry Wang Aug 14 '10 at 15:38

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