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UPDATE: While the testing period has ended, this change has been well-received by the community so we have opted to not reset the votes needed to close/reopen to 5 while we look at data.

Please let me know if you have any concerns about this change in the planned process or if you feel the number of votes should be changed back at least temporarily. I'll be back in a few weeks with the results of the project.


Part of understanding the impact of three-vote closure is to understand what impact it's having on y'all. I'd like to ask anyone who feels up to it to write an answer to this question and to tell us about your experience over the past few weeks.

The sorts of things I'm interested in knowing (feel free to address all or none or add your own) -

  • Did this help?
  • Did it hurt?
  • Did it make you more interested in close/reopen reviewing? Less?
    • Are there things other than 3-vote close impacting your interest in reviewing?
  • If you can't vote but do flag, did this make you more/less likely to flag?
  • Would you prefer to go back to 5?
  • Should it be permanent?
  • What would you like me to look into when it comes to analyzing the data from the test?
  • Were there any side-effects (good or bad) that you want me to be aware of?

These are merely prompts, so feel free to add anything I'm missing that you think is worth saying. This is focused on how you're feeling about it and what data you want me to look at, so don't feel like you need to analyze the data over the last 30 days - though you're welcome to if that's how you figure out what you feel.

If you have any outstanding questions, also feel welcome to ask them here.

The test will run until about Monday the 21st of June, at which point we'll be resetting the votes to close up to 5 while I review the responses here and dig into the data that we've been collecting.

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I've long thought we ought to close questions faster and grumbled that the burden on the small number of active, high-rep users with close-vote privileges was too high. I'd also support some other changes that reduce this burden (e.g. reducing the points threshold for close-vote privileges a bit, increasing users' daily limit of votes), but 3-vote closure has fewer obvious downsides than most other possibilities. I've voted more than usual lately and felt like those votes were at least a bit more useful. I have no idea how frequently the questions I voted on previously would get stuck on 3 or 4 votes, but it did happen. It was a mild but unnecessary annoyance that made the site worse and I'm happy to experience it less.

Please keep the 3 vote threshold!

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Looking at my voting history for the last few days I observe two things.

Most of the ones where I voted to close have indeed been closed and obviously I would not expect 100% anyway. I am sure I am wrong every so often, for some meaning of wrong. Since there is still only a handful of regular close voters this implies to me that the change must have had a marked impact.

In the old days I regularly used to hit the limit of 20 votes per day. This hardly ever happens now. I have no idea whether this is because hardly anyone is putting them in the queue or because they are being cleared faster but I assume someone with a better knowledge of the system could elucidate that. The advantage of having fewer to do each day is that I am more likely to visit the queue as seeing 50 waiting for me was always a bit off-putting.

So that all boils down to a vote for keeping it at 3.

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Closing poor questions quicker increases the quality of the site as a whole. I agree with the others that it can stay permanently.

Since you asked what might be interesting to analyze: One potential side effect is that more questions will get closed without any comments giving details. This may seem unwelcoming to new users (they can at least be referred to the tour if we can't think of any specific constructive criticism). I would be interested to see how many questions were closed with and without comments before and after the 3-vote rule.

Are there things other than 3-vote close impacting your interest in reviewing?

When you close a question as a duplicate it automatically comes with a "Does this answer your question: ..." comment. I would be more interested in reviewing if there were also an automatic comment for poor quality questions referring them to the tour for example. We can delete or edit the comment anyway, and there will be more time saved writing comments, then the occasional time deleting the comment.

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    $\begingroup$ Nb: if closed, the reason is posted on the thread for the OP to see. $\endgroup$ Jun 8 at 11:29
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    $\begingroup$ @gung-ReinstateMonica That's a good point, but a comment does seem more personal and invites the OP to ask for pointers to improve the question. $\endgroup$ Jun 9 at 6:23

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