I would like to ask moderators whether they think it's correct to use the mod hammer (i.e. closing question solely by the diamond vote) for questions that could be easily closed by the community if the community sees the questions as wrong.

I remark that there are more than 150 users with the vote-to-close privilege.

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    The reason that ability exists is so that it can be used. If the question should be closed, is there any sense in waiting? On a site this small, in particular, there is no guarantee that 5 users with enough rep will see it and vote, though the last few months have seen a good number of such closings before a mod has even seen the post. 150 users with the privilege is a bit misleading -- you need to look at how many are active, how many use that privilege, how many agree on a particular question, and the fact that it's the holidays and people have better things to do. – user28 Dec 27 '13 at 20:30
  • This site is getting very low traffic. And from what I see, two things happen a lot: 1) the community is not getting involved where it could, 2) people are discouraged from returning here. But again, TeX.SE is different, maybe that's the problem. However, it is quite possible to be such, and I'm quite sure that unexperienced people get primarily support, and not cold environment :-/ maybe it's just me, if it's so, just ignore me, I'll be fine. – yo' Dec 27 '13 at 20:37
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    I don't know what specific questions you're talking about (I'm just getting back here after a few days away), but please note that "on hold" (later "closed") isn't forever. The point is to prevent answers coming in while a question is still under development, as it's much harder to revise a question once there are answers that might be invalidated. The goal is for most (non-spam, not obviously off-topic) held questions to be reopened. – Monica Cellio Jan 2 '14 at 18:52
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    @MonicaCellio We all know that this is not quite the case. The reopen rate is much lower that it should be, especially on sites that close questions too fast. – yo' Jan 2 '14 at 19:03
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    I haven't actually been tracking it here. It does seem to vary by site. Sorry I'm not being more helpful. – Monica Cellio Jan 2 '14 at 19:04
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    @MonicaCellio Just going through the 1st page of closed questions, I've seen a couple that were low-quality but otherwise fine, and closed as off-topic or unclear. But the OP got (quite likely) angry for seeing on hold and -1 or -2, and simply left. But quite probably that OP was a valuable user and a good source of more good questions, therefore a good generator of contents. Now he's left, like I am. You may say that I'm over-reacting, but I'm surely not the only such one. – yo' Jan 2 '14 at 19:25
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    @unregistered most mods here tell the person why the question is off topic or not fit for the site and give the person a chance to edit it to make it better. And if you left why are you still commenting here? – Dom Mod Jan 2 '14 at 19:49
  • @Dom because I keep getting the messages in the inbox. The mods might do that, however, we all know how psychology works: It doesn't really change anything. – yo' Jan 2 '14 at 19:52

Where the question is obviously off topic, offensive or down, I would say yes, the moderator job is to clean up. It sa part of what the mods are expected to do and is the least fun part of the job.

I can see you have had two of your three questions here closed, once by me, once by another moderator. The explanations given on both closures should help you.

Generally on a site where we have many active users, the mods try to leave almost all close decisions to the community. On a small site such as music.se, where we have a low number of voting community members, we are very lenient but need to step in earlier than a larger site.

Tl;Dr - yes. It is part of the job.

  • Well, maybe the biggest problem is that my home site is too positive. Au revoir in a better world. – yo' Dec 27 '13 at 8:43

I'm not a mod on this site, but I am currently a pro-tem mod on another much smaller site, and I certainly agree with:

On a small site ... where we have a low number of voting community members, we are very lenient but need to step in earlier than a larger site.

sometimes a problem just needs dealing with, and mods are there to do that!

However, there's a related bit of logic that I also think is important: If a site doesn't have sufficient non-mod users to close in some cases when appropriate, it probably doesn't have sufficient non-mod users to re-open in some cases when appropriate.

So I would suggest to mods: If you mod-hammer a question, be responsive to attempts to improve the question and also queries as to whether the close was appropriate. If you're not going to have the time to do that, that's when it might indeed be better to leave things to the community.

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