15
\$\begingroup\$

I have noticed a growing problem here during the last year or so - likely it surfaced/escalated when we got the reduced close vote consensus necessary reduced from 5 to 3.

There is a whole lot of people here with the bad habit of casting arbitrary and incorrect close votes. Often picking the wrong reason or close-voting perfectly on-topic questions.

When looking at closed questions, reviewers rarely ever agree on which close reason that should be used - this seems to be the norm here, where on other sites in the SE network, it is uncommon. Those who moderate the sites tend to know what the close votes for the specific site mean and when they should be used, but not so much here, nowadays.

I'm particular tired of watching perfectly fine questions gathering blatantly incorrect close-votes. I'm talking of things like questions with schematics + datasheets posted getting close-voted as "opinion-based", or questions about EMC regulations getting close-voted as "shopping recommendation". Completely out of the blue nonsense close votes. People seem to think close voting is appropriate for "I don't like the question" or "down vote deluxe".

The close-voting on Electrical Engineering in general stands out compared to other sites in the SE network. We seem to have a growing bad site culture and it seems to be a recent trend - I've been a member of this site for some 10 years, so I'd like to think I know the site culture quite well. Perhaps this happened when all those veteran users/mods quit pretty much all at once, a few years back? Leaving a "moderation vacuum" behind.

What can be done about this? Is it a culture problem or an education problem? Should we flag questions such with blatantly incorrect close votes for moderator attention? Can moderators revoke close voting privileges specifically, like they can revoke review privileges?


EDIT Some of the worst examples that came up during a 20 close vote review round just now. Out of the 20 reviews this time, around 5 were correctly flagged/close voted, around 10 were incorrectly flagged/close voted and 5 were blatantly incorrectly flagged/close voted, I'll include those 5 below:

Why are patch antennas used instead of planar dipole antennas? 2 close votes as opinion-based. Sure it isn't a great question, but it isn't asking about opinions or best practices, it's an answerable question (size is the difference), if not a very interesting one.

How to define a mathematical formulation in order to derive required communication time of a core accessing memory? 1 close vote as opinion-based. This is not asking for opinions, but it's much too broad to be answered. Should be closed as needs more focus.

How can I identify test points in electrical circuits? 1 close vote as unclear, 1 as opinion-based. Perfectly answerable question ("it's those little plated circles indeed") if not very interesting. It is not unclear, it is not asking about opinions, can be answered by anyone who is the slightest experienced at working with PCBs. Should not be closed.

Novel CAN bus design - needs criticism 2 close votes as needs more focus. Should not be closed, design reviews with schematics and details posted are perfectly fine and on-topic. They even ask for specific things for the reviewer to focus on. It's a pretty good question.

Identifying Tenda F3 Router Burned SMD Regulator with Marking 297V0 1 close vote as opinion-based. It's a standard identification question, how is it asking for opinions? It's fairly obvious that the IC is some sort of voltage regulator, likely a buck converter, likely made by some obscure Asian manufacturer that isn't easy to track down. Should not be closed.

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32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In case this is an education problem, which I very much doubt... The close vote reasons we have are listed here: What does it mean if a question is "closed"? Study that link carefully if you mean to moderate this site by casting close votes! \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 8 at 14:11
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ 3 votes to close is a double-edged sword. IMO it should suffice only if there are 3 close votes of the same kind. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 9 at 9:10
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby this is utter whataboutism. If abuse of power exist, it is highly legitimate and important to discuss this. If it turns out to be a non-issue, fine. There are not even any names mentioned in Lundin's post. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 9 at 10:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @tobalt "even generally". Please read all the words. And how is this "whataboutism", do you need a dictionary? \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jul 9 at 10:31
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @devnull "Needs more focus" is convenient for homework dumps or "how do I do my whole project" kind of questions though, since SE won't allow us to have close reasons for homework dumps. I actually proposed to introduce such a close vote reason at SO earlier this year here and my proposal was at least well-received by the community. As for what the company intends to do with it, if anything... well, I guess we'll see, eventually. SO is typically the "guinea pig" for the rest of the network. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 8:20
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Passerby Source for "accusing people of incorrectly voting is a bannable offense"? \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Jul 11 at 9:25
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Hah and now someone is casting a close vote as opinion-based on a meta discussion post. This is ridiculous. Whoever did that - welcome to electronics.meta.stackexchange.com, kindly study the tag wiki of the (mandatory) discussion tag: "The question you're asking is designed to solicit opinions or best-practices on a particular topic, with the goal of reaching community consensus." That's the whole point of discussions, the reason that "opinion-based" even exists on meta is just because it's one of the standard close reasons on any SE site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 9:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In particular, that close vote reason doesn't mean "I don't like this discussion". Is now the time where we start flagging this blatant abuse of user moderator privileges or should we wait for further input before starting to report such? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 9:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dim direct threat of suspension for "not being nice" when I expressed exasperation with miscasted closed votes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jul 11 at 9:53
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Ok so nobody is "accusing" any particular person. If we can't have general discussions about the state of the community or we may as well close down the site. In case people want to line up as "victims" by their own initiative after reading this, then is no fault of mine. That's general social media behavior where everyone is offended by everyone and everything nowadays. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 10:39
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Now one reason why I brought this up is because "Programmers" (nowadays Software engineering) went haywire in a similar fashion some 6-7 years ago, to the point where nobody including mods could agree of what was actually on-topic. The site became useless, people couldn't post anything, it lost its reason to exist... I just deleted my account and left, good riddance. Recently, EE is starting to show similar signs. It could be a scope problem, a culture problem, an education problem or just a few rotten eggs - I don't know, hence the need for discussion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 10:45
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If I am to speculate, the 5 to 3 close vote change and/or the moderator "exodus" few years back may also be some of the reasons. We might have a "moderator vacuum" since all those experienced moderators left, and then one root cause for arbitrary close votes could be a lack of education/experience of user moderators. I mean just look at the recent moderator election, there were barely any candidates at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 10:48
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin I think SO is a very different stack than ours, with a ton more traffic and completely different moderation issues. The question is "how does it work here?" \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 at 15:02
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman Except if they don't bother learning when the various close vote reasons apply, they are not "good participants", but may be the actual ones chasing new users away from the site. It's not like a big effort is required to learn how to vote, just skim through electronics.stackexchange.com/help before start casting close votes left and right... \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 12 at 15:18
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman As a moderator on another SE site… That used to be my intuition. Actually, though, a small group of hostile users can be detrimental for the site as a whole, even if they're the highest-activity users on the site. Avoiding specifics, there was a situation on one of the sites where one such user crossed the line too many times, got suspended, and the answers-per-day went up significantly in their absence. \$\endgroup\$
    – wizzwizz4
    Jul 17 at 16:34

6 Answers 6

5
\$\begingroup\$

I can relate to the behavior you describe, and deem it incorrect behavior in those cases that you describe. I expect the moderation team to suspend users who abuse the power of issuing close-votes. If you observe this you should thus flag the questions to make the mods aware of the abuse.

However, it is a natural evolution:

  1. Site gets spammed with "RTFM" or "10-seconds-google" questions, which are legitimate questions by the site rules.
  2. Proper questions drown in the noise. Users get annoyed and become less picky with close votes.

I believe this overzealous close-frenzy issue is a product of too open question policy of the site.

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13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you expand on your last sentence? Are you saying that the range of on-topic subjects is too broad and that it should become more focused? \$\endgroup\$
    – brhans
    Jul 9 at 14:57
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @brhans Yes that's what I mean. If the two kinds of questions mentioned above were off-topic, then over time people would stop asking them as the mentality shifts from rep-grinding such questions to just straight away closing them. Fewer bad questions -> happier users, less hostility and more patience with these edge-cases mentioned by Lundin \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 9 at 16:07
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that we should start flagging incorrect close votes and moderators need to crack down on this. As for the broad scope of the site, well it's always been like that. I think it got much better after we changed name to Electrical Engineering. But all the incorrect close voting is a recent trend. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 7:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, I have lots of experience from doing reviews of SO which has a very broad scope too (everything-programming) and that site is facing a constant s***storm of bad questions 24/7. Close vote reviewers have way more consensus there however, 3 correct votes of the same kind is by far the most common. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 7:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin Admittedly, that last part of my answer (about the broad scope) is not based on sociological studies, but is me extrapolating from my own behavior to others. I know this is not a good practise, but I think my behavior is at least not a far outlier in society. I am mainly here to improve my EE skills, as - I am sure - many others are, too. Seeing too many (sorry for the word) dumb questions annoys me and then I might be tempted to skip the second guessing at the next close vote I throw. But usually I only close-vote on clear duplicates and lacking details (schematics. e.g.). \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 11 at 8:03
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @tobalt Yes I know exactly what you mean and it's always been a design problem with SE that questions that aren't just slightly bad, but complete crap, aren't removed as swiftly as possible. The close system rather ensures that they are removed as slowly as possible, so they are exposed on the site far too long and annoy veteran users. -> \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 8:12
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Picking the wrong close reason for such complete crap questions is actually not a big deal (usually there are many problematic things at once), long as the questions get removed. It's all the complete incorrect close votes on things that shouldn't be closed, or on those which are borderline on-topic, that annoy me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 8:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin Agreed, personally I also like to have almost-duplicates on the site and I like opinion-based questions, although they are off-topic. I think both of those actually contribute to good exchange and learning. So it annoys me, too, if a Q gets too easily closed as opinionated or duplicate. But I understand those close-votes are usually legit wrt the site rules although I don't like it. (Not talking about your abuse examples here) \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 11 at 8:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @tobalt I think questions of the design review variety is actually the best kind of learning ones for intermediate/seasoned EE. The more reviewers the better, is my experience from real life projects. Nobody is an expert on everything. And consequently if you ask for a design review of a schematic, you'll get diverse answers from different EE depending on their individual skills and focus. And if you ask the same review question to software engineers or PCB assembly experts, you'll get completely different angles as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 8:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Voting to close, even with a low tolerance threshold, is not abuse, it's community moderation. We're either community moderated, or not. Abuse is certainly possible, but has more to do with issues like constantly close-voting from one user and stuff like that. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 11 at 13:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman Community moderation doesn't mean anarchy. There are established rules for when each listed close reason should be used - if someone disagrees with them, they need to raise discussion on meta to have them changed. And not "go rogue" and interpret some personal meaning of the rules, ignoring what the community has decided that the rules are for. That's not community moderation, it's mob rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 13:32
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin To be pedantic, community moderation is the textbook definition of anarchy. You're describing anomie and ochlocracy (mob rule). \$\endgroup\$
    – wizzwizz4
    Jul 17 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can relate to the behavior you describe, and deem it incorrect behavior in those cases that you describe - so have you read my answer - I voted to close on all the examples and I stand by my close vote. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 25 at 17:37
4
\$\begingroup\$

I think the heart of community moderation is letting the community moderate, but screening for clear abuses like targeting one user for no reason is probably a good practice.

That said, I'm not, and have never been, thrilled with how the close process works. You can easily vote to close from the question, but you can't vote to leave open anywhere but the review queue. I also don't understand how close votes and votes to leave open interact. Do they cancel each other??

It also feels like three close votes might not allow enough time for the community at large to land on a fair determination. If five was too much, three seems too few. Maybe 4 is the right number.

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 I would be interested in a statement from the mod-team about how exactly Leave-Open votes work. I cast them from time to time, but it doesn't seem to change the number of Close Votes. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 11 at 13:08
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 Cancellation, like in the up/down votes (which is even visible if you click the score) would be really great. With this, 3 VTC would be ok IMO because it really speeds up closing of really unrecoverable/terrible questions (before someone posts an equally bad question). \$\endgroup\$
    – devnull
    Jul 11 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure any change to the process is a bigger thing than our mods can do (aside from going back to 5 close votes) -- but a clear understanding of how close process works would be very welcome. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 11 at 13:18
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @tobalt The "leave open" button removes the question from the close queue, after three such votes. But it doesn't cancel the close vote, or make more close votes needed to effectively close the question. It's just that people browsing the close queue will not stumble on this question, which makes it less likely to be closed. In practice, it is just useless and does not prevent unjustified closing. I tried to raise the issue on the main meta, but it unsurprisingly led to absolutely nothing. \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Jul 11 at 13:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks @dim and a shame to see this outcome. But maybe other communities don't have such a close issue going on, so may not see the point in your request. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 11 at 14:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ VT leave open just removes the question from the review queue after 2 votes I think. It does not cancel any close votes. But vote to remain close gives a unfair message on the closed question saying it failed the review queue which just dooms them to stay closed forever. The system is broken. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Jul 11 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dim - for my own personal habits, close votes happen on views, not on the review queue. Is there any data on more typical users? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 11 at 20:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman I'm think you are representative of the typical user. I think there are two kind of very active users: those who mostly answer questions (and I'm sure they are the majority): those typically don't spend a lot of time in the review queues, and close the questions when they stumble on it "by chance", and those who spend most time cleaning up the site. Those users use review queues quite a lot. I know these users exist, I have seen some, but there aren't much. Here is the list: electronics.stackexchange.com/help/badges/123/steward \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Jul 12 at 14:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @dim -- I went to your meta thread. I think the close process is suitable for high-traffic sites with tons of crap posts, like stackoverflow, but comes up short here. A simple fix would simply be to NOT display the number of close votes on a question, other than in the review queue. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 at 14:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman That would probably work as well. You can always make an answer on that meta post... But, again, I'm afraid that is not going to get any traction. I'm not sure how the staff decides on what needs to be done on the sites. It looks to me that they like to change insignificant things (like colors, layout, ... - most often resulting in some annoyance), and they utterly dismiss any suggestions made to improve the processes. Well, they know best, I guess... \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Jul 12 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dim -- I think the gamification of the review queues actually attracts users on the way to high rep to do reviews, for a while, until one tires of the game -- so there is a subset of users that hits the review queue hard for a while. This, of course, comes right out of my butt -- I have zero evidence. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 at 15:22
2
\$\begingroup\$

The answer can be found in the tour, which every user that signs on to EE.SE will see (even briefly if they click through) :

Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about electronics design.

Questions that need improvement may be closed until someone fixes them.

I'm particular tired of watching perfectly fine questions gathering blatantly incorrect close-votes. I'm talking of things like questions with schematics + datasheets posted getting close-voted as "opinion-based", or questions about EMC regulations getting close-voted as "shopping recommendation". Completely out of the blue nonsense close votes. People seem to think close voting is appropriate for "I don't like the question" or "down vote deluxe".

I agree, there are questions that get wrongly closed. It would be great if you could also include a list of these questions, to show that it is a problem. Another option would be to flag these questions for reopening, it also takes three votes for a question to be reopened.

Worrying about questions that have 1 close vote that is incorrect is probably not worth worrying about, if they get closed, then vote to reopen or let the mod team know. Make sure that the vote to reopen agrees with what has been discussed in the meta and on the help site regarding ontopicness.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What does the mod team feel about users custom flagging posts for incorrect close votes? (Given that it's a blatantly incorrect vote and not some corner case.) It increases the workload and I'm not sure if there are already better tools present for alerting mods about strange voting patterns. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 12 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a specific user or pattern that is a problem? \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Jul 12 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't tell, part of the reason why I posted this was to discuss the possible reasons why. The only thing I can tell is that EE as of recent stands out with lots of incorrect close votes and arbitrary close vote reasons, compared to the rest of the SE network. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 12 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ That second quote would certainly make me look hard at the close menus to see why well-meaning users can't ever seem to find the close reason they're reaching for. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ "questions that have 1 close vote that is incorrect is probably not worth worrying about" I don't agree with this: one close vote will put the question in the review queue, from where two more incorrect close votes will be very easy to get, because, currently, the system is largely biased towards closing rather than leaving open. The "leave open" button barely does anything, and information is presented in a way that will make user want to click "close" (see my main meta post about this). \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Jul 13 at 8:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dim That's what reopening is for, flag the question if it gets three incorrect votes. There isn't really anything anyone can do for one vote. \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Jul 13 at 13:24
2
\$\begingroup\$

Doing a bit of research on meta, and thinking about our recent change to 3 votes, I have a bit more insight.

It really feels to me like the close mechanisms are well-suited to high-traffic stacks with tons of bad questions, like stackoverflow, but fall a little short for stacks like this one. The shortcomings of the process have been exacerbated by the change to rapid close.

The main shortcoming is that the urge to pile on just makes the process too fast, not allowing time for editing in cases where questions can be fixed, or creating too low a bar for closing for questions that might be borderline.

Frankly, I think the fix is to go back to 5 close votes, but I can understand that might create a real burden for mods. Maybe 4 close votes is the right compromise.

Also, since I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that most closes come from simply reading the questions, and not from the review queue, that showing the amount of close votes right on the question creates a pile-on to close. Simply NOT showing the current number of close votes right on the question would prevent that. Yes, you would still see the info in the question timeline, and of course the review queue, but it would still go a long way toward stopping the pile-on. In the thread dim pointed to on meta, disagreement seemed to be centered on "people shouldn't use the close history to determine whether to close a question" -- so let's make it harder for the casual user who doesn't participate in the review queue to even know the close vote history.

\$\endgroup\$
6
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this might be part of it, but regardless of the number of votes necessary, it doesn't explain why there are so many incorrect close votes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 12 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin The nature of the close process sort of dictates that we don't discuss votes, but outcomes. Are you talking about individual votes, or actual closed questions?? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 at 14:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Both. It's harmful enough if someone starts incorrect voting, because that tends to trigger "bandwagon" behavior with others doing the same. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 12 at 15:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin -- I don't believe lumping these things together is a productive path. Bad close votes that don't result in a close really aren't a problem. Questions that shouldn't get closed that do might be a problem (or are a problem, but the seriousness of the problem is a matter of discussion). \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12 at 15:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottSeidman We are still sitting at ~100 questions in the que on close votes on average, even after moving to 3. Before it was hovering around 180 with 5 votes \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike Mod
    Jul 14 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand the size of the review queue is a major input here, but not the only consideration. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 14 at 18:26
1
\$\begingroup\$

Most of my answers take at least an hour, often much more, to compose. It's heartbreaking to spend so much time writing an answer, only to be met with "this question has been closed" when I click post.

I only answer if I feel that I can understand the question, regardless of how vague or badly written it is. Often I can fill in the gaps, to try to interpret what a beginner might have wanted to say but didn't have the knowledge or vocabulary for. This means that a question may appear to deserve closure at first glance, but actually does contain enough information to be addressed, and is not so broad as to be impossible to answer a single post.

I had some ideas.

  • Someone suggested that it should take 3 votes for the same reason to close a question, but it was countered with the fact that a question can deserve closure for several reasons. To me this suggests that a vote for closure should be accompanied not by a single reason, but by a list of all reasons why a moderator feels it should be closed.
    When three such lists contain the same single reason, then close the question.

  • Delay the actual closure (perhaps this is what happens already, I don't know). Give the question some time to attract answers. If people are answering, and getting upvotes for their answers, this could be an indicator that the question isn't so bad after all.

  • Provide a means for other moderators (or even trusted users) to vote to "not close" a question. The weight of such a vote may not be as great as a moderator's close vote, but can at least have some influence.

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • \$\begingroup\$ Essay-like answers (especially to some two-liner type questions) are hardly in the original Q&A spirit of SE. Instead, the meta on SE is: 1) clarify questions through comments if unclear 2a) give a concise answer 2b) close. I think protecting bad questions to give answers such as yours more room is not in the spirit of SE therefore. That said, I honor and greatly value your efforts, because I think SE could be the place for such wiki'esque answers, which provide great learning material even years later. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 22 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Workaround for your main issue:$$$$1) Post a short skeleton answer$$$$2) Delete it and expand/edit it with as much time as you need$$$$3) Undelete it, it will be visible even in closed questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Jul 22 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tobalt That's fair and makes sense. Thanks for the kind words. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 22 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ The same occurred to me several times, its really disappointing. Often I think the education or knowledge potential of the question was not seen by the closers. But, well, if that's not the spirit, we should improve the question first. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jens
    Aug 7 at 3:16
-3
\$\begingroup\$

There is a whole lot of people here with the bad habit of casting arbitrary and incorrect close votes. Often picking the wrong reason or close-voting perfectly on-topic questions.

You should link a few of these closed questions. I haven't come across one such occasion from memory. Every question raised that has a close-vote I can see the reason. OK maybe there is the odd-one but I don't recall it. So, please find one and link it here.

$$\color{red}{\text{In other words, where's the evidence?}}$$

When looking at closed questions, reviewers rarely ever agree on which close reason that should be used - this seems to be the norm here, where on other sites in the SE network, it is uncommon.

For my part, I vote to close many questions daily and, I always have a valid reason i.e. one that the site rules support. Many times I'm so challenged by the number of question discrepancies that I have a tricky choice of which rule I vote to close on.

This leads to "closers" not agreeing on one reason (because there are several valid reasons). But how much of a problem is it when folk don't agree on a reason to close. After all, they agree to close but have different priorities.

$$\color{red}{\text{So, what's the big-deal?}}$$

About a year ago I didn't do this. I left comments asking for clarification hoping that something would gel with the OP. That usually worked but, in about the last 8 months or so I've received 4 suspensions for what appear to be OPs (or others) flagging my comments and moderators over-zealously agreeing with them. There are a few postings on meta where this has been discussed.

So, to prevent re-suspension, I just vote to close and usually downvote questions that don't meet site standards. For instance, today, I have voted to close so many questions that my daily close-vote limit has been reached.

So, unless something changes in the way in which moderators handle flags on comments, it will stay this way. Again, let me again state that every close-vote I give is underpinned by a site rule transgression. I don't like doing it this way but, the toxicity of the site has caused me to go down this route.

I'm not even sure I could return to giving comments (as I did months ago) because, it seems to be so much down to how moderators think that, I just can't risk a new set of moderators applying over-zealous suspensions without letting me know. So, it's basically down to how the site is moderated if I'm partially responsible for the number of question closures.

I'm sure other folks have other reasons and I look forward to hearing them.

They sow what they reap is a phrase that springs to mind.

\$\endgroup\$
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I both provide an answer and vote to close" If you answer and close vote at the same time, you misunderstand what close votes are for. Except for the special case of duplicates, close votes are used to close questions that cannot be answered (without too much guessing/speculation) and need to be edited by the OP. Nothing else. Why would you answer unanswerable questions, or alternatively close answerable ones? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 8 at 20:55
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ As for the rant why you got banned for posting various comments, it has nothing to do with this. I even remember agreeing with you that the moderators were overzealous and setting the bar of what's considered rude/unfriendly way too low, meaning they won't be able to maintain that consistently. But that has absolutely nothing to do with people casting random arbitrary close votes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 8 at 21:05
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I fully agree with the former you: electronics.meta.stackexchange.com/a/2782/301846 \$\endgroup\$
    – Seir
    Jul 8 at 21:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @seir yes, I remember writing that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 8 at 22:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin that's OK then so when you say this: But that has absolutely nothing to do with people casting random arbitrary close votes. that presumably excludes me. And, of course, there are questions you can answer that do not meet the site rules such as product recommendation when the OP has shown considerable research and just needs an extra bit of help to realize what they want. And, sorry to disagree but it is the moderator over-zealousness that causes me to actively not comment. If you are not talking about questions I've contributed a close-vote to then maybe you can drum-up examples. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 8 at 22:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin you said this in an earlier comment: But that has absolutely nothing to do with people casting random arbitrary close votes. - what is the evidence that there are people casting random arbitrary close votes? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 10 at 7:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka Spend some 20 minutes here and you'll see: close vote review \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 6:17
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I included some examples from a random 20 close vote review round in the question. It's not hard to find them at all, they are all over the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 6:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin I'm not going to go searching for something I don't believe exists in any significant quantity to make a shout about. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 11 at 8:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Only 15 incorrectly voted/flagged questions out of 20 is not a just a significant quantity, it's a sad state of affairs. Of course doing 20 random reviews is not of any formal statistic significance, but the trend is there. Perhaps someone more skilled at pulling out statistics from the database could provide complete data. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 8:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have no idea what you are referring to @Lundin \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 11 at 9:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In your question addition, as far as I can tell, all those examples have had vote's to close raised by me so, look above this comment reply to see my answer. In addition, one of the linked questions has received a VTC from you: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/626887/… - hence, you seem to be not making a good case for this being a problem @Lundin \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 11 at 9:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka I'm referring to the edit I just made to the question, as per your request for evidence. I commented on what was wrong with each of them. The one you linked should be closed but not because it is asking for opinions: "1 close vote as opinion-based. This is not asking for opinions, but it's much too broad to be answered. Should be closed as needs more focus." \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jul 11 at 9:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin I don't mind if your reason for closing is different to mine. I also don't mind that you think my reason for closing is invalid. I think that you are expecting people who make close votes to be all in agreement and, this won't happen for reasons I've given in my answer. I haven't seen a mad rush of folk trying to give answers to the 2 questions in your list that were re-opened BTW. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jul 17 at 13:00

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