26

As much as possible, closing of questions should be done by the community in general contributing one closevote each, rather than diamond moderators using their closehammers. (When I say "closehammers", I'm talking about the privilege given to diamond moderators, not to gold badge holders - I don't think I've ever seen a gold badge user mark a question as a duplicate)

The community is frequently prepared to close questions, so I don't think the following argument, made in the early months of Skeptics.SE apply any more:

Time for the community to decide...

That means closing questions that need to be closed. This is happening; it needs to happen more.

The main circumstances I'd see using a closehammer as appropriate is in the following circumstances:

  1. A question is so problematic (at least in its current form) that the community would almost certainly close the question if given the opportunity.
  2. (Possibly) a question hasn't received enough eyeballs to determine whether or not it should be closed.
  3. Acting in response to a non-3K user who has bothered to raise a flag about a question.
  4. The community as a whole has somehow got things badly wrong, and is ignoring policy possibly because emotions or biases have affected the thinking of the community.

The case of Was there a negative response to the video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing? , where a diamond moderator closed the question, it was re-opened by the community pretty swiftly, and then was closed by one 3K user and one diamond moderator, indicates that something has gone wrong, either with the community or the diamond moderators.

It's even more concerning when moderators also delete (not even moving to chat) a bunch of comments addressing whether or not the question is on-topic, at least one of which was highly upvoted.

In fairness to diamond moderators, they don't have the ability to cast an "ordinary" closevote, and sometimes wait until four closevotes have been cast so that they have the same amount of power as ordinary closevoters.

  • 2
    In addition, I'm bothered by the deleting of some answers... as a new user, I can't see the deleted answers, but my understanding is that at least one of the deleted answers actually did a good job of answering the question, and perhaps would have been accepted. – GendoIkari Jan 11 at 13:40
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    I just had an answer with 40 upvotes deleted it's pretty clear to that at least the moderator that closed it doesn't care about what the community thinks. – JimmyJames Jan 11 at 14:28
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    @JimmyJames on Skeptics we are strict about referenced answers and we routinely delete highly upvoted answers as part of our (community-agreed) mandate – Sklivvz Jan 11 at 15:58
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    @Sklivvz The fact remains that the answers are highly up-voted. A skeptical mind should question the assertion that this is a 'community agreed' mandate. Or perhaps your definition of 'community' doesn't include the people that up-voted the answer. – JimmyJames Jan 11 at 16:22
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    @JimmyJames A big part of the problem (especially here and on the other sites that routinely get questions about controversial matters, such as politics.SE) is the HNQ problem. When a question hits HNQ (as the one mentioned in this question did,) it gets a lot of people who are not normal users of this site visiting it. A very large number of those have the association bonus (due to having rep on another SE,) but haven't participated in this site at all. Downvoting requires 125 rep, meaning those users can't do that. But they can upvote (due to association bonus,) which greatly skews results. – reirab Jan 11 at 16:59
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    @JimmyJames Another problem that frequently comes to questions on controversial topics is that a lot of people (especially the ones coming from HNQ with no actual history of participation in the site) use an upvote to mean something closer to "this answer confirms my biases" rather than "this answer is actually correct and is well-sourced to the standards normally required by this SE.") – reirab Jan 11 at 17:00
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    @JimmyJames Basically, original research is not allowed here for most purposes. In order for the answer you describe to not be original research, you'd need to cite sources making that argument, not just make it yourself. – reirab Jan 11 at 19:15
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    @reirab Logic isn't research. I know logic is not allowed here but that makes no sense to me. Logic is self-contained and can be evaluated purely on it's merits. References can never be evaluated in isolation. The way the rules are set for this site, only appeals to authority are allowed. Such credulousness is completely antithetical to proper Skepticism. A better name for this subsiite would be "gatekeepers of approved facts" or something Orwellian like that. – JimmyJames Jan 11 at 19:27
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    @JimmyJames If you want to argue the rules on what's allowed as answers, I'd recommend posting a different meta question for that. While attempting to determine community consensus for the site rules is a perfectly valid thing to do, the comments of a different question isn't really the place to do it. – reirab Jan 11 at 19:50
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    @reirab You're absolutely right. Thanks for your patience. – JimmyJames Jan 11 at 19:57
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    @Daniel The Trump question is only 7 hours old. A little premature to note differences in behavior. But it is virtually the same question with different parties. – fredsbend Jan 12 at 0:23
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    FYI, there are no gold tag badges on Skeptics. Only two silver tag badges have ever been awarded, so it's no wonder that you haven't seen tag closures here. If mods have been closing any questions specifically as duplicates, I haven't seen a problem there at least. – Laurel Jan 12 at 4:31
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    @daniel I can assure you there is no political agenda. We don't even have any American moderators. – Sklivvz Jan 12 at 9:21
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    @JimmyJames unfortunately we have to delete highly upvoted answers here all the time, nobody likes to do that, but it's the only alternative at having no viable rules (incoming HNQ votes obviously and brazenly do not respect or even know our site rules). – Sklivvz Jan 12 at 9:22
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    @LangLangC Catija and Sklivvz chatted briefly about it, so not that intransparent. – fredsbend Jan 25 at 20:23
14

I too see a problem here, but want to add a vital point that you have forgotten. The five of us who voted to reopen it after it was mod hammered closed can now not vote to reopen again, ever. That's status by design.

Meanwhile the mod who closed has infinite close votes. It's a convenient solution for the mod to get it closed eventually and keep it closed. But he's telling us it's a different question now, so he's voted to close for a different reason.

Okay, fine. It's a different question and I'd like to vote to reopen it, as I find that one acceptable too. Oh, but it's not different, I guess. That's status by design.

I think it's clear. Sklivvz is grossly misusing mod privileges against the community. He should have at least waited a day to see if other users would have voted to close with Konrad.

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    It does seem that the ban from casting new reopen votes should be reset when the question is edited. I can understand the logic for not allowing new reopen votes (or new close votes for the same reason) from the same people on the same question, but I tend to think that should be reset when the question is edited for precisely the reason Sklivvz cites - that it may well be a different question after being edited and should be judged on its own merits, IMO. – reirab Jan 11 at 19:34
  • Is it forever, or a certain period of time? – Andrew Grimm Jan 12 at 1:33
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    @Andrew My understanding is forever. – fredsbend Jan 12 at 4:40
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    Why can't you just edit the question to be the same as before and ask for reopening? It should be the same to you since you seem to disagree that they are different (if I'm reading correctly your "Okay, fine"). If, instead, in your opinion they are different, then what is the problem with closing? The reopen votes went to a different question so the new closure is unrelated. – Sklivvz Jan 12 at 9:14
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    @Sklivvz because regardless of edits is still post 43159 and they have lost the ability to vote to re-open – James Jenkins Jan 18 at 19:20
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    @James And that's "status by design". – fredsbend Jan 18 at 21:04

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