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On our site, we need 5 votes to close or duplicate a question without the moderators intervene. In Stackoverflow, 3 votes enough. For example; see in this question.

I've seen that most of the time we fail to collect the 5 votes in a meaningful time. Can we decrease the required total votes to 3 so that we can act faster to close/duplicate?

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    $\begingroup$ The 3 vote close will start testing at 12 sites, for details see this meta post $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes Mod
    May 3, 2021 at 23:51
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    $\begingroup$ You may have seen that we conducted a test on 13 network sites (as noted by the above comment) — please stay tuned for the results of that step and next steps on this. $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jul 9, 2021 at 10:28

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We've implemented this change - Crypto SE now takes 3 close and reopen votes, instead of 5. This isn't a super complicated change but there's a bit of reasoning that might be good to share... and, I gotta say, especially on Crypto, I'm very hopeful this change will have a positive impact.


Y'all close a nontrivial volume of questions on a month-to-month basis, and the lion's share of those questions are closed by moderators:

A chart showing the trend in number of closed questions over time, demonstrating moderators close the vast majority of questions.

What gives me a fair bit of hope that this change will help is the clear pattern showing community participation in closure, albeit only a proportionally small volume of community votes affect the outcome. That demonstrates an active community interest in maintaining close votes This makes me suspect the change (Please do keep this up: the change from 5 to 3 close votes only alleviates moderators' burden to the degree it enables community members to take on this responsibility.) And, increasing the proportional weight of a single community member's close vote is liable to significantly bump up the % of posts handled fully by the community, as well.

The next chart also shows clear room for improvement as a potential result of this change:

A chart showing the long-term trend in percent of questions nominated for closure that are eventually closed.

The line called "PctHandled" describes the percentage of posts receiving a first close vote that were eventually either decided for closure or decided for leaving open. The fact that it's stable is good - the fact that it's hovering around 70-80%, less so, and hopefully it can be improved with this change (nearly all posts receiving a close vote should ideally receive a decisive outcome one way or another).

Just don't forget to keep an eye on review queues!

As always, if you notice this change just isn't working out, make a new meta post - we'll be happy to re-review and/or change again on request.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the graph for the estimeas. $\endgroup$
    – kelalaka
    Jun 14 at 18:49
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We currently have 10 questions with 3 or 4 close votes on them. Lowering the threshold to three will allow us to have the community handle more close votes and leave less to the mods - who may also sometimes stay back in favour of letting the community deliberate / vote on more unclear edge cases regarding topicality.

I'm fully in favour of lowering the threshold.

Note, that it has been communicated via the blog that the first (large) batch of sites have a good chance of getting this in this quarter.

However, it has also been communicated to the mods that the lowering is not automatic and needs community support (e.g. through this Q&A).

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