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I have seen several cases like the following: if a problematic question has score −3, it will eventually be closed, whereas if it reaches score −4, it is not closed.

This happens because questions with score −4 or lower are not listed on the top page. This means that if a question reaches score −4 before it is closed, it has extremely low probability that it will be closed unless someone with the access to the moderator tools look through the list of questions with close votes. Those who have the access to the moderator tools are the moderators (currently three (yay!)) and the users with ≥10,000 rep points (currently none).

This seems unbalanced. Should we care? If so, what should we do?

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One easy solution is that if you come across such a question, just flag it. I actually never troll the list of questions with close votes.

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  • $\begingroup$ Strange. I have never thought of flagging them! $\endgroup$ Feb 6 '11 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ great ! now more work for the mods :). Sorry, Dave and Kaveh $\endgroup$ Feb 6 '11 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ yes - you guys should feel free to close them. $\endgroup$
    – Lev Reyzin Mod
    Feb 6 '11 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Let's come up with other ideas to impose more burden on mods ;) $\endgroup$ Feb 6 '11 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ a once-in-a-couple-months purging of heavily-downvoted bad questions seems easy enough. $\endgroup$
    – Lev Reyzin Mod
    Feb 6 '11 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ I don't have a problem with closing them, but an alternative is for high rep users to check the review page from time to time. :) (Let's come up with other ideas to impose more burden on high rep users ;) $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Feb 6 '11 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Kaveh: Note that that page does not necessarily list heavily downvoted questions or questions with many close votes. $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 2:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Tsuyoshi, yes. There is also the possibility of listing the questions based on their total votes and check the last page. I went over them and closed some of them, but I am not sure about the rest. Those questions with at most -4 total vote count that remain open are not many: cstheory.stackexchange.com/… $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Feb 7 '11 at 5:49
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I think moderators should regularly keep an eye on the list of questions with many downvotes, and unilaterally close them if it looks like a clear off-topic case.

But I would not worry about it too much. Questions with -4 score effectively "disappear" so they are pretty harmless.

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    $\begingroup$ This might be desirable if we want to keep the number of unanswered and unclosed questions low. As you state, questions with score −4 cannot harm the user experience. (In fact, hiding the question is a real punishment, unlike closing it, because almost no one will notice the hidden question.) $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '11 at 2:04
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If you have sufficient rep (10k or diamond mod), visiting

https://cstheory.stackexchange.com/tools/

Will show you the list of questions with "interesting" statistics within a specific date range. Including highest and lowest scores...

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