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  • Mark Rages has voluntarily stepped down as a moderator of this site. Until his temporary suspension he has been relatively active, mostly in the review queues.

  • The last election has brought us two moderators from the camp that strives for high quality questions and puts questions on hold directly rather than tries to deal with the OP first to improve the question in a less drastic way. Mark Rages was a more clement moderator.

This turn of events means that things can only become more strict on this site in the near future. Of course, some people may be happy with this turn of events, others may not. This question is not to discuss that.

Instead, I'm interested in the way both the community and the moderators look at this turn of events. Specifically, I'm wondering if it's time to let the community decide in which direction we should go now. That Mark Rages stepped down means things will change in a direction that the users who elected him (and others) wouldn't have liked. That feels kind of unfair to me.

As I wrote before:

[Mark Rages] stepping down also means things will continue 'trending in that direction [of demanding high Q from new users]', even though he hasn't been active for a while. That's a pity, and perhaps a new election to fill that spot should be considered, to let the community decide in which direction we should continue.

So, I'm basically interested in any opinion on this matter, and in the votes on your answers...

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    \$\begingroup\$ This issue has been hashed back and forth MANY times here already. Let's not have another one of these tedious and ultimately pointless discussions again. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 23 '15 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of What can be done to curb Moderator abuse? \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 23 '15 at 19:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Olin, this is ridiculous. I accept your opinion that there's no problem here. But don't close questions as duplicates when there's no duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Feb 23 '15 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Really? A duplicate? Trying to be funny today? \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Feb 23 '15 at 19:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @W5VO: It's basically a duplicate of many other questions here. That's the first one I bumped into of that ilk. They all devolve into the same arguments every time. You can claim it's a duplicate of at least 10 other questions here over the last few years. Pick any one you want, but nothing good will come of hashing the same thing over again. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Feb 23 '15 at 19:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I explicitly stated that "This question is not to discuss that." This question is to discuss the situation that has changed since Mark Rages stepped down. There's no duplicate. You can easily check: there haven't been many questions since. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Feb 23 '15 at 19:27
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I don't see any real compelling reason to rush. I'm looking at the recently closed list, and many of the moderator-closed questions are duplicates. If the person who has enough drive to go dig up the appropriate dup happens to be a moderator, I can live with that, and in fact, thank them for doing the tedious part of the job that they signed on to do.

There are a few non-dup closings by a mod after only a few close votes, and I'm hoping that that is being done judiciously, and passed over by mods on close calls. That said, the numbers on the review queues have seemed very high to me lately, and somebody has to clear them (I suppose). If its a moderator, it can look heavy handed, but if they don't do it, the backlog would just keep growing and quality would go down. If the numbers are high because we're short a mod, maybe we do need an election, but if we'd like the board to be community moderated, then the community needs to step up.

In the meantime, I'd suggest that if you see something closed with less than five votes that you think shouldn't have been closed, post it on meta for discussion. I know that has the potential to sound like an "I don't like the way moderation is going" whine, but its the only way I can think of to give the moderators feedback on how the users want the stack moderated. If the discussion goes "yeah, I don't think that should have been closed", then the mods can adjust if they want to (or not, if they don't), and if the lions share of discussion goes "I'm fine with that" then there's no real compelling reason to adjust.

Individual users unhappy with a close can reach out to the asker through comments and say "If you fix this by doing X, I'll vote to reopen", and then do so if they follow through-- maybe even lobby for reopen votes on meta if its important.

My own experience is that a single close vote is often jumped on by other users fairly quickly, and that those questions end up closed anyway. Perhaps the best course is to lobby for reopening on what you feel are the most grievous occurrences, regardless of it was mod-closed or vote-closed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, with the note that moderators don't always seem to react on meta. \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Feb 24 '15 at 17:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ In some cases, there's no need to react. I'd almost guarantee that they see what's on meta. \$\endgroup\$ – Scott Seidman Feb 24 '15 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Camil - In my opinion, what you perceive as a lack of reaction from the mods may just be them being cautious, which is a good thing. Since mods are somewhat more visible, they should keep a low profile unless the situation requires them to act. Otherwise they will just attract attention that will just make their work more difficult. \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Feb 27 '15 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ To add to Scott's answer, I've recently seen mods kindly reopening questions upon request. In those cases, it started by someone knowledgeable posting a comment complaining about the closed question being on-topic. Then I flagged the question for the mods to reopen it justifying that we don't usually have enough votes to reopen questions on our own. At that point the questions had one or two reopen votes. In all cases the mods reopened the question quickly without any grief. That's a sign of sensible moderation to me, and also that things may be slowly changing for the better... \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Feb 27 '15 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ ... maybe it's just a matter of asking them nicely. \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Feb 27 '15 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ And to make my case more concrete, here's the latest example of reopened questions I was talking about: How to switch a Bluetooth module with a P-Channel MOSFET high-side switch? \$\endgroup\$ – Ricardo Feb 27 '15 at 3:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ricardo in this case, where there was a clear question for the one mod migrating something, he should reply. He is the only one who can explain why he did that. But I didn't intend to discuss that question here. Thanks for your thoughts! \$\endgroup\$ – user17592 Feb 27 '15 at 7:35

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