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Question: Do moderators receive any sort of notification when a vote to close is submitted by a user with 3000+ reputation?



It appears that if a user with 3000+ chooses to flag and picks "doesn't belong here", then, instead of flagging, the software instead will "automatically" submit a vote to close.

Now, on many SE sites, this will work just fine and is probably the preferred behavior. However, on smallish sites, like stats.SE, where there are only 13 users with 3K+ rep (and at least one of them is MIA), this behavior seems less desirable.

In essence, it is virtually impossible to gather the five necessary votes to close, even if the question is indisputably and unboundedly bad.

One can also "flag" a question surreptitiously by choosing "other" under "needs moderator attention" or something similar. But, I don't want to annoy the moderators with two notifications where one will suffice. Hence, my question.

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    $\begingroup$ I would just like to say that nevertheless the efforts of the community with flagging and votes to close are always appreciated: it means the mods aren't working in a vacuum. So even if you don't believe a question will accumulate five close votes, your vote is noticed and it's helpful. $\endgroup$ – whuber May 18 '11 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering the same thing. In some cases, whether or not closure is necessary seems like a matter of voting but in some cases, such as this exact duplicate: stats.stackexchange.com/questions/28515/… it seems like there's little or no controversy. Since it appears moderators are not notified of close votes, I'm wondering whether it is preferable to flag in this situation or not, particularly given the few close-voters on the site. There didn't seem to be a clear preference given in chl's answer- any thoughts, @whuber? $\endgroup$ – Macro May 18 '12 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ Moderators are not automatically notified of close votes, @Macro, but the mod's version of the reviewing tools now includes a tab for listing recent votes to close. I have begun systematically inspecting that about once a day, because a close vote is usually a signal that a closer look is warranted. (In marginal situations, though, I have been making an effort to hold back on immediate closure because I would like to see more community involvement in voting to close.) $\endgroup$ – whuber May 18 '12 at 14:12
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No, I don't remember receiving direct notification for votes to close, but we have (network-wide) instant access to flags, which remain the best way to draw our attention upon a question (IMO). About your second paragraph, I'm not sure so I'll let @mbq or @whuber answer as they probably have more experience than me in moderation tools.

I agree with you: It is difficult to get five votes to close; and, we, as mods, cannot simply vote to close. Unless there is evidence (to me) that the question is bad or does not belong here, I generally wait for flags or votes or comments. But, I would like to encourage all users with enough rep to flag or vote whenever they feel necessary.

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    $\begingroup$ I second with encouraging of close voting. Some day, this site will become huge enough so we would have to relay on high-rep users in this manner. $\endgroup$ – mbq May 17 '11 at 15:14
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From my experience flagging still works as expected after passing 3k reputation limit. The little box appears that says certain number of close votes remain, but the question is actually flagged. I infer that, since usually moderators respond and then my flag weight goes up.

The most recent example of that is this question. After my bounty expired here I flagged it to move to math.SE. I had more than 3k reputation then. It might be that the behaviour of the site changed since then, but this must be reflected in http://meta.stackoverflow.com. As far as I understand people care about their flag weight, so if there were recent changes there should be a lot of activity related to that.

Edit

I flagged the other question and realised that my answer is not entirely correct. When you flag the question there are several options available, one of the options might get converted to close vote. In this case if you really want to flag choose the option other and write the reasons for closing. This way moderators will certainly get informed, since flagging is done not only for reasons of closing. It will be a little abuse of the system, but for the greater good.

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