If one acquires a score of 1000 points or more on a given tag, one gets awarded the "privilege" to single-handedly close questions. This is also called golden hammer privilege. But what if someone does not want to have this? Is there a possibility to have my vote just recorded without immediately closing the question? Please don't get me wrong, I do not want to tell others with a gold badge what to do or what not to do, but I would find it nice if I could just vote to close instead of closing a question without others having to agree of it. From my point of view, the ideal way resolving this issue would be if there were two buttons, one vote to close and another one close, such that users with that score would have this choice.

QUESTION: Is it possible to provide the "golden hammer" users the option to just vote to close rather than closing single-handedly?

ADDENDUM: It might not be easy or even possible to have this feature on this site. Another way of dealing with that is that the first golden badge user (who doesn't want to close the question on her or his own) just leaves a message "I think this is a duplicate of post X" and if enough others say "Me too" then one of the golden hammer users can close it. Of course, this is just a thought, but it would be nice if you could express your opinion or possible ways of improving this "code of conduct" in a comment or answer.

UPDATE: To my greatest embarrassment, I found that my question is (in a way) a duplicate of Ignasis question. I guess the main thing that is different is that I would not have accepted the answer that says

If you are not sure, you should simply comment, not vote to close, and see where it goes.

because IMHO it is not at all to the point. Even if I am sure, this does not mean that I am right. On a daily basis one can find on the main site disagreements between expert users. Sometimes A is right, sometimes B, and sometimes none. That's why we have open discussions here, they are supposed to help us finally finding or approaching the true or best answer. And this works only if if it is not in the hand of one single user to decide. (And in a way that is also how democracy works.) So, in short, my question is different from Ignasi's question in that it's accepted answer is not to the point. My question is simply how to maintain some quality control over question closures.


1 Answer 1


No. In the same way that mod votes are binding as we are expected to have experience in using them, once you have shown knowledge in a particular tag it's expected that you do know about it. So you are in a position to judge if a question should be closed.

  • 2
    The issue is not so much whether or not one knows enough about the tag but that the standards of identifying A as a duplicate of B are very different between users. This is the main reason why I would like to have a second (or third) opinion.
    – user121799
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 12:33
  • @marmot one option is surely to simply wait for someone else to vote and then you can essentially rubber stamp it
    – Au101
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 13:54
  • 3
    @Au101 This would require me to repeatedly go back to the question and check if something has happened. Even worse, the other users might have the same problem, and hence nothing happens. A timely example is this post which is IMHO a duplicate, I made a comment that the user should check out the brother question, and the comment got 4 upvotes. What do you think I should do?
    – user121799
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 14:49
  • @marmot The Golden Hammer comes really from the needs of the main site (StackOverflow), where they have a lot of dupes and low-quality questions. For us, it's less needed but then you can probably simply 'walk on by' ...
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 14:56
  • 1
    But it is also hard because it is so easy to use it inadvertently. For a moderator, closing is always closing, but for users it is sometimes closing and something voting to close. And which it is is not necessarily related to the content of the question, since tagging is sometimes at best tenuously related to content. At the very least, it would be nice if the site would ask me if I'm sure before closing a question I think I'm voting to close.
    – cfr
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 20:30
  • One more comment on "The Golden Hammer comes really from the needs of the main site (StackOverflow), where they have a lot of dupes and low-quality questions.": I am not asking to remove the dupe hammer from anyone, I just want an additional button "vote to close". That is, if you have the golden tag badge, you will have the "close" button in addition to "vote to close'. This will also solve the issue raised by @cfr.
    – user121799
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 17:58
  • @marmot The Powers have been asked about this many times and turned it down: the logic is you are always supposed to be sure before you vote, hammer or not, and that reopening is also possible (needs fewer votes).
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 18:37
  • 1
    Well, I guess we are going in circles. Again, the issue is also that the standards of identifying duplicates vary significantly among the users. So even if I am absolutely sure that this is a duplicate by my standards, this does not mean that everyone else agrees. Of course, you are saying that those who could change things refuse to do so, that's a different story and I have to live with their decision. If you are saying that it would be too much effort to change it, that's also a valid point, but saying that I should know enough to be able to decide alone is IMHO not a valid point.
    – user121799
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:24