It seems that the moderators don't vote to close off-topic very often. Presumably this is because they don't want to exert (or seem to exert) and undue influence on the site.

I feel like this is a mistake. They should either just close the question, or they should have two types of close powers: "vote to close" and "close right now." Since they don't currently have two types, I'd prefer that they simply close questions they feel should be closed.


  • 2
    That feature-request would be very useful.
    – Caramdir
    Jan 9, 2011 at 22:47

3 Answers 3


You should be reaching out to the +3000 rep users (with close abilities). There are a lot of them and it appears they are not actively engaged in the care and operation of this site. It's not the job of the moderators to routinely close posts. Most of the closing should be the result of voting… by the community.

Moderators are only supposed to step in where the community cannot (or will not) act on their own. Having said that, it's okay for moderators to act in the most egregious cases, but what you should be shooting for is an active community getting involved in the operation of the site.


Tantamount to this answer is "Why aren't there already more +3000-rep users to help close questions?"

The answer is exactly why people need to participate more and vote! Award reputation for great content. See: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/when-will-my-site-graduate/

  • 1
    You mean 3000+, I guess. And why shouldn't moderators sometimes be allowed to feel like normal 3000+ users? Jan 10, 2011 at 15:59
  • 2
    Yes 3000+, corrected. And my post addresses your assertion that moderators don't close enough; my correction being that it's the community that doesn't close enough. Moderators aren't supposed to do routine closings... but they do when the community is not participating enough. Incidentally, I campaigned for the moderator vote-to-close but it was [status-declined]. Jan 10, 2011 at 17:16
  • Thanks a lot for your answer. Jan 10, 2011 at 17:36
  • 1
    That's a good point about trying to get the 3000+ users to vote to close. Although, if we exclude moderators, we need to get nearly a third of the eligible people to vote. And of the nonmoderators, only 2 people get to see the list of posts others have voted to close.
    – TH.
    Jan 11, 2011 at 0:47
  • @TH. : That is exactly why people need to participate more and vote (i.e. award reputation for great content)! See: blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/when-will-my-site-graduate Jan 11, 2011 at 21:12

Until now, questions are mostly closed because they are duplicates, sometimes not very clearly. I prefer to let several members vote and decide instead of closing a question just by myself, if it seems ok to give some time. So it happened that I closed as third or fourth voter.

I like it that active members can do moderation tasks like this. I would even support this instead of just quickly do moderation like I think. SPAM or offensive posts in contrast require immediate action, of course.

  • Spam answers can only be dealt with by moderators though, right? Even 3000+ can only flag them...
    – Seamus
    Jan 11, 2011 at 22:31

I think it is better for mods not to immediately close the question. Most of the closed questions here are duplicates, but what might seem to be a duplicate for someone, might not be a duplicate for the question-asker. The current closing process gives the asker some time to respond with a reason why they think it isn't a duplicate.

On the other hand, for obviously off-topic questions (like the Word question that like prompted this request), I wouldn't mind if a mod closes them immediately.

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