My understanding is that there's been an update where a SE site can close questions on 3 votes as opposed to 5. The same applies to reopen votes, moving from 5 to 3 votes needed to reopen a closed question.

Given the user base, the length of time it takes for some OT questions to be closed I think this is a good idea. I would like to suggest this change.

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    $\begingroup$ Reminder: downvoting the question in this case means that you don't want to discuss the idea, not that you disapprove of it. If you disapprove, vote accordingly the answer that you support, or write your own. If you don't want to discuss, don't come complaining about the death of meta. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 15:21
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    $\begingroup$ Reminder (again) please vote on answers to show your support for or against this proposal. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec Mod
    Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Reminder voting on questions, whether upvote or downvote, is perfectly acceptable on meta sites. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec -- re your comment above ( aviation.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4335/… ) --perhaps guidelines need to be changed-- quoting: "On posts tagged feature-request, voting indicates agreement or disagreement with the proposed change rather than just the quality or usefulness of the post itself." (source: aviation.stackexchange.com/help/whats-meta )-- (why this particular question wasn't tagged "feature-request", I have no idea, but the same idea would seem to apply, because it clearly is a request for a changed feature) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 17:19

4 Answers 4


I support the idea.

As a user I feel that the amount of people actively reviewing has decreased.

As a mod, I try to hold back from reviewing and give priority to the community, rather than the mod-hammer, but I see that this leads to overly long stays in the review queues for many posts.

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    $\begingroup$ I made the same suggestion over at "my" stack: electronics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/7453/91862. A site-wide staff answered with interesting statistics, including when the "mod-hammer" is applied. Perhaps the same can be done on this site. $\endgroup$
    – pipe
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ @pipe The comments underneath this post on your stack make for interesting reading. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 22:09

I don't support the idea.

There is a very small base of users proposing a large amount of questions to be closed. There is too much closing of questions already on this site, which indeed has decreased much in activity in the last couple of years.

A most considerate and active user has left the site recently, amongst others for the large amount of questions that were closed irrelevantly. Other high point users have repeatedly pointed out that there are too many questions closed.

Giving the small number of very active closers more power, is not an idea I support.

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    $\begingroup$ We have discussed this in the past. I would argue instead that being slow at closing low quality posts has attracted ever lower quality posts, and that's what's driving people away. I very much suspect that this is the reason the considerate user in your example left, because we mods would not close/delete stuff. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 5:21
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    $\begingroup$ I fully agree with this answer. I have the feeling that increasingly questions are closed without the need to, and moreover, without any constructive feedback. It is the lack of constructive dialogue that kills the motivation to participate actively. Three votes is just too few, it gives more power to the small group of users that seemingly wants to close everything they don't understand, or don't want to understand because the poster is not a native English speaker, or "may be related to homework", just to name a few non-reasons to close. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima Mod
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that lowering the close vote threshold to 3 will also lower the reopen vote threshold to 3. So it might be easier to close questions, but it'd also be easier to reopen them. (You're still welcome to support or oppose it, of course.) $\endgroup$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ The amount of utter garbage questions posted on Aviation SE argues for quicker close, not slower. I have gotten to the point that visiting this site is painful as I open the review queue. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 23:11

You know, some people put in a lot of time answering a question in the most objective and non-opinion way possible, only to see that the question was later closed because somebody thought the question was still considered opinion based. Then when an attempt is made by a user to repeatedly edit the question in a reveiwer-responsive way and make the statement less opinion based and more direct, the repeated efforts are met with failure time after time. If se-aviation wishes to manage its question acceptance and editing policy in this way, then the process for resurrecting a closed question needs to be made less stodgy and more pliable, especially when people thoughtfully attempt to edit those questions (repeatedly) and make them amenable to acceptance. My agreement with @Koyovis is herewith expressed. I do not support the idea.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with the part that we should be more re-open friendly (and quicker), but wouldn't that also be easier with just 3 votes required? I'm not sure which action you're supporting here... $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Bianfable Thanks for the comment! Perhaps the way to do this is to set simple criteria such as concurrence of 3 votes out of 5 to close. Essentially, concurrence in votes of 3 reviewers alone may not be sufficiently objective to justify closing the question. Nevertheless, 3 votes alone may be a valid and objective mangement view. If so, the process needs to be more foregiving (less stodgy) in re-opening closed questions edited for recovery. Otherwise, 5 reviewer votes should be retained. My thoughts, anyway... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ Easy solution: Don't answer bad questions. That's a core value at SE all over the network. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 8, 2022 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ @KorvinStarmast Not so fast! The question/s was/were not bad... Somebody in review thought they were. As mentioned, even remediation (several times) was insufficient... $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 18:34
  • $\begingroup$ @ThomasPerry lots of times remediation is not possible because of those answers: you should not edit a question such that it invalidates a posted answer, but many times it is needed to clarify the question (e.g. the answer is good, but misunderstands the question, that can't be clarified at that point) $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico I'm well aware of that issue. For the instance that comes to mind, editing was to save the answers from never being seen because the question was closed. Others may find the answers valuable. All deliberate care was taken to edit the question & preserve its original meaning & intent, while objectifying the question statement to remove any sense of opinion. All deliberate care includes preserving answers. Some of us who try to do this are sensitive to, & not strangers to these issues. We embrace your perspectives regarding carefully editing questions & keeping answers intact. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ Just remember, answers to closed questions are still visible to all viewers, so it's not like your work on an answer was just thrown away. (I didn't realize that till I was an ASE member for quite a while.) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 17:12

I've made this change. While there does seem to be some disagreement here, looking at the numbers makes it seem like this change will be beneficial for Aviation.

In general, when I review these requests, I start by looking at what percentage of questions nominated for closure get fully reviewed. While, historically, y'all have done relatively well (over 85%), since March this has dropped to the 70-75% range. Preferably it's as close to 100% as possible. This can be seen in the graph below:

Graph from September 2020 until August 31st showing the percentage of questions nominated for closure that are handled and what the breakdown of the decisions were (close, leave open, or pending). The percentage handled is generally above 85% until recently when it's been in the 70-75%range.

As such, a smaller percentage of posts are getting handled, which means there's likely not enough reviewers.

The second thing I look at is what percentage of closures are handled by moderators. In general, y'all have largely handled these closures as a community with the mods just occasionally picking up a few of them here and there. Since May, the mods have started doing quite a bit more closures themselves. On its own this isn't necessarily a concern, as it's possibly a short-term blip but it's the first time in the last two years that this has been the case.

Graph of questions closed by users vs moderators from September 2020 until August 2022. The overall number of closures per month has diminished over the two years but the community was still doing most of the closures until May 2022, when moderators started doing more of them.

I did look at which votes the moderators were casting as well. This graph is somewhat messy because the numbers are generally low. so it looks more volatile than it likely is. Even still, despite there being an overall decline in questions closed, since May 2022 you can see an upturn in both the quantity and the number of first votes to close cast.

Graph of which vote to close the moderators cast per month from Sept 2020 through August 2022. Mods generally cast fewer than 8 close votes of each type per month but they've recently been casting more, and more of those are first votes to close rather than fourth or fifth.

I'd be interested to hear from the mods what they think might have caused this change since April. It's possible that some of the more active reviewers stopped participating or that this discussion caused some changes in the behaviors of the community or moderators here, though the changes all seem to predate the discussion.

One thing that I will say is that reviewing is a really important part of this site's health. Even if you feel like too many questions get closed - which is a great discussion for meta - you can take part in that by reviewing. One of the review options is "leave open", so you can indicate that the question should not be closed. This gives us much more useful data than ignoring the fact that the question is in review at all and letting the review task go uncompleted.

Hopefully this change works out for you all. Do know that this isn't permanent. If you see concerning outcomes, feel free to discuss and bring them to our attention so that we can do a re-investigation. If you have any questions, please let me know!

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you Catija for implementing this. In reference to the uptick in mod closures since April, you say: I'd be interested to hear from the mods what they think might have caused this change since April. For me, the root cause is the other tidbit of information you share: since March this [percentage of questions nominated for closure get fully reviewed] has dropped to the 70-75% range We observed this, and saw that the trend was not improving, having posts sit in the review for days if not weeks, and intervened. $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ "One of the review options is "leave open", so you can indicate that the question should not be closed." Indeed. In the past, voting for 'Keep Open' has been a motivation for the moderators to suspend the reviewing capabilities of users. The general tendency for this site seems towards less democracy and more authoritarianism. I cannot speak for the other high rep users who do not participate in the site anymore, but for me personally the disrespect for other opinions has been a large factor. Wishing the site and the moderators lots of success with these new trends. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 2:55

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