I see that there are currently very poor questions by many new users who are not responsive to comments and downvotes by few experienced community members. This imbalance leads, in my view, to a decline in the quality of the questions and answers. For me, the question is whether this leads to more serious participation in this community or less. I don't know SE German Language very well yet to decide that. On the other hand, I wonder whether there are enough people in general to deal with the "entrance control" of the first questions.

Or to put it more simply: if there are only 3 people there, there will be no 5 close votes.

Wouldn't it then be better to switch to a threshold of 3 close votes?

(SO has switched from 5 to 3, DE sticks to 5, are there maybe just technical reasons)

  • 2
    There are plans reduce to three close votes on interested sites, but as far as I can tell, this project is going very slow. If you (or anybody else) has good arguments and we can achieve a community consensus as indicated by votes on a respective answer, we can join the queue. I will feature this in hope to attract more attention.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 15, 2020 at 17:14
  • @Wrzlprmft: Is there any data request possible that shows how many vtc are waiting on their 5th decision? Or waiting on their 5th closure user? (and since when?) Jun 17, 2020 at 11:09
  • Not as far as I know since the timing of close votes is not public information (however, close reviews are). You can look at some recently closed question how long it took to close them. (You can get those from here.)
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 17, 2020 at 11:32
  • @Wolf: note that the SE-Feature "only 3 votes" also comes with an aging process. Thus said: if the missing votes needs to much time to get closed, close votes will disappear... Jun 17, 2020 at 11:38
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    @ShegitBrahm: The aging of close votes has existed for a long time and is not dependent on the required number.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 17, 2020 at 11:50
  • Is there any update on this? Nov 29, 2022 at 16:54

2 Answers 2


I'm in favour of this one. Even with comments that request additional info or note that the question is currently offtopic, there are people who are either oblivious or deliberately ignore this. As we are a rather small regular community within GermanSE, I think putting down the threshold to 3 gives us a faster way to work and ensure the quality of this site. This way, lazy questions (aka what is translation of X) or unclear questions can be reworked so they serve a better overall purpose. Users who are only here for a quick'n'easy way to get answers, will probably not become a part of the community anyways, so I don't think there is much harm, if they don't update their question. (And as Wrzlmprmft has commented, this goes for close and reopen votes).


As I pointed out in another question about "are we to slow in closing?" I think there is sometimes to fast closure. In terms of "new users are required to answer comments within 10 minutes or question is closed". While I would give a new user at least 24 hours, better a week to close it due to lack of participation to make a good/better question. Because they also need to get aware of how SE works. And that people wanna help even with the question itself.

While I consider it possible that many questions need closing, I vote to need then only 3 votes for reopen.

So yes, I fear a much faster closing is gonna telling the new ones:

You new member did not respond to our efforts for making it better within our timeframe of patience (15 min) - so your question lost. You maybe too.

  • 4
    Just a quick note: The number of votes needed to reopen questions is always the same as the one needed to close – whether it’s five, three, or one.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 17, 2020 at 11:33
  • 6
    I disagree with this stance. A question that is closed is not lost but it is temporarily not accepting answers until unclarities and similar get sorted out. Of course it is crucial to communicate this (and communicate it this way) and SE is finally taking steps in that direction, but it is also upon the commentors to clarify this instead of blaming them not to use a dictionary or similar.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 18, 2020 at 7:09
  • 3
    The point of having five close votes is to avoid bad decisions due to bad close votes, not to delay the closure. If a question needs to be closed, it’s best to close it as early as possible, avoiding premature answers that make it more difficult to fix the situation and cause the broken-window effect. In my experience, the vast majority of questions that are properly edited after being closed get reopened, and the new follow feature should even enhance this.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jun 18, 2020 at 7:13
  • @Wrzlprmft: I just realized that the "follow"-feature is inaccesible during close dialouge. While I usually open the question in another tab, I just miss it there - because a decided question leaves the queue... And yes, this is a network wide feature, mayby I start a search/request on meta. as the buttons should be a combined feature it might be not be done.... Jun 22, 2020 at 18:29
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    Totally agree. Recently I've been new on another SE site (the experience on other SE sites doesn't count apparently). I received a very warm welcome. However on some sites - to this day - even after having gained more reputation I find them unwelcoming and unappreciative. I think that indeed a too hard and too rushed reaction to bad (or subpar) questions has a chilling effect and will rather appall people than getting them to engage with the community. Originally on the site I moderate, but now everywhere I am giving a welcoming comment to any new contributor. Jul 16, 2020 at 19:15
  • @Wrzlprmft you do have a point about closed being not the same as deleted. And yet it has a certain chilling effect when a question gets closed. Similarly it's been said that questions should also be voted upon, but reality shows that questions are considered somehow worth less than answers (and until recently the lower reputation gain added insult to that injury). Also very often it's the very first question that is voted highest and it sometimes takes years for this to get corrected. Given that fact, I think close votes - too - should not be rushed. Jul 16, 2020 at 19:19
  • @0xC0000022L:as I have the imagination to lack any awareness in that: can you please describe me how this very warm welcome happened? I mean, here is no hugging, no face expression, no snacks - just plain text without a voice that I have to read in my mind with my own voice. So I cannot tell you why I stayed and I cannot imagine how to deliver the impression "welcome, you want to know things, we help you to get things known". Thanks. Jul 17, 2020 at 7:16
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    @ShegitBrahm yes. The SE site in question was Aviation. I lack all domain knowledge in that. I've been a plane passenger and that's about it. The commentary on my question provided guidance, was friendly (and thus welcoming) and there were no rushed downvotes. Compared with other SE communities that was a stark contrast. Elsewhere it's handled quite differently. Perhaps the contrast is what made it appear very welcoming when it was "just" welcoming? Either way, there are a few sites where questions, however well researched, are treated with disdain. The annoying part is, that I've found... Jul 17, 2020 at 14:07
  • 1
    ... those communities to be the least helpful in general. I.e. there are some high reputation users, but they don't necessarily know stuff better than you know it yourself, they just happened to have joined earlier or answered questions which are more sought after. You can see a similar effect on StackOverflow, I think. There are some "tags" (topics) which are practically overrun with people (.NET or JS stuff, also Python). But ask about fringe topics and you're lucky to get any answer or even any votes (up or down). Sometimes individual users can make a site seem toxic, or the opposite. Jul 17, 2020 at 14:10

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