I can see on the user list we are about to get enough people with 500 rep that questions will start closing.

I lived through the "Science Fiction" stack exchange beta. Things I remember:

  • one day, all of a sudden, there were a lot of closes, like more than half of all questions. (I think this is because everyone hits 500 rep at the same time and there were a lot of competing ideas of what the site should look like)
  • people got really nasty, with helpful feed back like "You're a faggot for asking this question" (no kidding!)
  • it really weighed on the morale of the site and I pretty much stopped participating

Maybe we can do better? Maybe by being nice as we close, suggesting ways that the asker could re-ask without risking close, or suggesting where on the internet they could find a better answer?

Any other suggestions for smoothing out the coming close storm?

  • Isn't there a reopen function? Maybe that will help. Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 2:19
  • From my experience on stackoverflow, re-opens were exceedingly rare. The changing in wording to "on hold" and the new work flow for reopening may have improved things though. I haven't asked a question that got closed in a long time. After a while you get a feel for what questions are just asking to get closed. Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 12:02
  • 2
    @MatthewMartin Since there is now a reopen queue (and questions get auto-shunted into the queue if they are edited), reopening is fairly easy to achieve on small sites like this one.
    – senshin
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 23:49
  • On small sites with active pro tem or elected moderators reopening/unholding tends to be a relatively straightforward process and you'll see questions cycle out with some frequency. "On hold" isn't a criticism, it's just a tool for helping craft great questions.
    – Hrafn
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 18:16
  • In addition to the "close storm" it appears to be "getting windy" in terms of low quality questions (predominantly Christian, as far as I've seen) like this one buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/1864/… - it's a fine balance to keep a good quality SE that people find useful. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 9:25
  • re: closed q w/title "man-god-son-angel-turned-devil" -- hmm, that sounded pretty off topic. Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 11:32

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure how many of us are visiting meta, but some way to get people to comment if they are either downvoting or closevoting would be a great help.

We should probably encourage an order of operations to be followed, something like:

1st: Suggest ways the question can be improved by using comments

2nd: Edit the question yourself to increase clarity and focus

3rd: Suggest that the question may be downvoted or closed in its current form using comments

4th: Downvote or vote to close, making sure to leave a comment explaining why.

5th: Flag in cases of abuse, etc., again leaving a reason.


It is difficult to predict the future and this is where moderators will have to act.

The site is only as good as its users and all we, as regular users, can do is encourage good behavior.

In general, part of what makes this site work is that there has to be a consensus of five close votes to close a question.

There is no mechanism to force a user to comment on down or close votes and likewise there is no reason to take down or close votes personally.

If a user shows bad behavior, I would hope the moderators can engage the user(s) in a productive discussion. With a little, or sometimes more, effort most disputes can be resolved.

On the other hand, sometimes the moderators need to close or ban accounts for trolling, and it can be a bit of work if someone is persistent.

With the language you mentioned in your post, at a minimum, I would hope users can flag inappropriate comments and mods can delete them. Persistent bad behavior would require more effort.


I think we will be okay. The overwhelming majority of questions on the site are very much within Stack Exchange guidelines and looking at the people that are on the leaderboard, I don't think we are going to have a gang of vengeful closers descend on us. :-)

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