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Is the Robotics community interested in having the Close and Reopen vote threshold lowered to 3, rather than the standard 5. They made this change permanent on Stack Overflow and it has been working well for them.

If anything, it would be more valuable as a change here, since we have so few people actively voting to close and reopen questions. At the moment, there are fewer than 100 people who have the 500 rep currently needed to cast close and reopen votes and few people are exercising that privilege. I very rarely see more than one vote to close on a post before I deal with it, and frequently need to use the other review queues to find questions which should be closed, as they simply haven't attracted any close votes.

If there is a consensus that we should do this, then I will make a request for the threshold to be changed.

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    $\begingroup$ Hiya! For things like this, that you think have reasonable support from your community, please feel free to add the status-review tag, which will add it to our backlog and we'll triage it and let y'all know what the plans are. For this, I'd really like to look at all of the network sites and make this change anywhere it makes sense. I think it'd be really beneficial and I'm hoping to have time for it soon but right now, we don't have the time to make this change and monitor the impact. I'll get an update to y'all when I have more information. $\endgroup$
    – Catija
    Sep 17, 2020 at 1:57
  • $\begingroup$ This question currently has 3 close votes and isn't closed - did the threshold actually get changed? Tagging @Catija, too. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck Mod
    Sep 24, 2020 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ @Chuck Nope. It'd be status-completed if we had made the change. What I said in the last comment is still true - we want to do this because we think it'll be beneficial for sites but likely won't get to it right away. $\endgroup$
    – Catija
    Sep 24, 2020 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thanks @Catija :) $\endgroup$
    – Chuck Mod
    Sep 24, 2020 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ You may have seen that we conducted a test on 13 network sites — please stay tuned for the results of that step and next steps on this. $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jul 9, 2021 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ Any chance we can re-consider the status-deferred on this @JNat? We are in a bit of a Catch-22 situation here. We don't have enough people engaging in moderation and meta to get this voted up, which is the same reason why it would be good to have the close threshold lowered to 3. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Mar 8, 2022 at 10:28
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    $\begingroup$ CMs are meeting tomorrow to divide the backlog of requests like these that are outstanding amongst ourselves, so we can finally get to them. I apologize for the delay, @MarkBooth — we should have updates for you soon! $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Mar 8, 2022 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ No problem, sounds like I spoke up at just the right time. Thanks @JNat. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Mar 8, 2022 at 17:51

3 Answers 3

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You officially have three vote close here on Robotics!

I've looked at the data and it's clear that there's no reason for y'all to have this set at 5. Thank you so much for your patience while we got to this request.

Here's what I've seen - I'll check back in with you all in a few months to see how things are going - if things are going great, I may not post an update but please feel free leave a comment if you want me to post something.

Here's some basic stats of how things look:

Over the last year and a half, you've had decent numbers when looking into what percentage of questions that received at least one flag or vote to close getting closed in the end. While there was a dip in May 2021, things have been generally in the 60-100% range and, the numbers of posts this represents are relatively small.

Graph showing the percentage of posts with a single flagg or vote to close that are handled on a monthly basis as described in the prior paragraph.

If this were the full story, I wouldn't normally consider it but when you look at this graph, things become more concerning:

Graph showing the questions closed per month and who handles those closures. Only one line has any activity - the "all closed" line - this is because the line for moderators closed is identical to it.

The graph above may seem odd because it has six different possible lines and only the All_Closed and a single blip on All_Reopened - The latter is because y'all don't reopen a lot of questions, which is not particularly uncommon. But where's the Moderators_Closed and Community_Closed lines? - well, the former is identical to the All_Closed and the latter is hidden in the pile of zeroes at the bottom.

Here are the last few months:

OnDate Moderators_
Closed
Moderators_
Reopened
Community_
Closed
Community_
Reopened
All_Closed All_
Reopened
2021-11-01 00:00:00 10 0 0 0 10 0
2021-12-01 00:00:00 11 0 0 0 11 0
2022-01-01 00:00:00 29 1 0 0 29 1
2022-02-01 00:00:00 12 0 0 0 12 0
2022-03-01 00:00:00 7 0 0 0 7 0
2022-04-01 00:00:00 4 0 0 0 4 0

When working on this project, I found two primary use cases for this change

  1. When too many items are going unhandled (not unclosed, just unhandled)
  2. When the moderators are doing the bulk of the closing/reopening.

Because the mods here are casting the bulk of the final close votes, the first looks good but the mods shouldn't be making these decisions - even with other users weighing in. This creates an imbalance between closing and reopening as the mods now have to be really thoughtful about reviewing for reopening.

So, my hope is that changing this to three votes to close/reopen will take some of the workload off the mods and also increase the number of posts that find their way to be reopened - assuming it's worth reopening them!

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks Catija, your summary at the end is a great explanation of why this change makes sense for us. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    Apr 18, 2022 at 23:22
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I agree. I think 3 makes more sense for our community.

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Wanted to bump this. There's a question now sitting at 4 votes, which seems like a lot, but I think 5 is probably nearly impossible unless it's just outright spam or inappropriate, given the size of our site.

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