As a moderator, I can close a question unilaterally. I've been trying not to do this, because I think it's unfair to let one person decide whether a question should be closed. However, there are very few users who are inclined to cast close votes even for slam dunk cases, and so many posts that should be closed will languish with between 2-3 close votes.

What should the moderator policy be on such cases ? Again, referring back to the earlier discussion about edits, I would prefer to ignore such matters except for the idea that in this beta phase we'd like to keep a clean front page.

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  • $\begingroup$ A tangential whining: I think that it would be good if moderators cast a usual vote first and boost three votes or so to five later (at least until there are sufficiently many high rep users interested in closing questions), but unfortunately moderators cannot cast a usual vote. I voted the following request up: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41062/… $\endgroup$ – Tsuyoshi Ito Sep 13 '10 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ I think the following might be a good policy; then it wouldn't feel "too unilateral", and it'd also protect against some mistakes (like moderators misunderstanding a good question): (1) Moderators who spot off-topic questions downvote + leave a comment that explains why they think that the question is off-topic. (2) Then others can vote to close and/or downvote and/or add further comments. (3) Moderators can later come back and close the question. $\endgroup$ – Jukka Suomela Sep 13 '10 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ why don't you post this as an answer, so we have the definite policy stated. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Sep 13 '10 at 22:07

I'll answer by saying: What Jukka said! :-)

There's a specific case right now of a user asking us to reopen a -5 question. He says if we reopen it, he'll clean it up, etc. Maybe so, who knows. This would be much simpler if someone had commented, "Please do the following things or we'll probably close your question." Then either he does them or he doesn't, after some reasonable waiting period. If he does, problem solved, and, if he doesn't, we close without any concern.

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  • $\begingroup$ if the user flags it, I can reopen immediately $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Sep 13 '10 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ The question definitely should not be reopened until after the poster has fixed it. The poster can do this if the qn is not locked. $\endgroup$ – Charles Stewart Sep 14 '10 at 19:27

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