How we close or don’t close questions is a long-standing problem:
The close queue is comparably full, which means that questions that should be closed may get closed too late or not at all.
There is a lot of disagreement on what questions should be closed for several reasons.
Handling the close queue has been found extremely frustrating not only due to its size but also because a lot of questions are not considered to belong there (remember that a leave open decision costs far more time than a close decision as you have to exclude all possible problems instead of just finding or agreeing with one) and close voters are unsure about how to deal with certain questions.
Some users flag or vote to close certain questions only because they feel obliged to do this and not because they think that there is an actual problem with the question.
Few close voters leave guidance when voting to close (remember that most askers only see the close reason after the question has been closed; and they are not informed about that either), but how we handle closure is a crucial to how welcoming this site is to new users.
Obviously, these issues are far too broad and diverse to be tackled in a single Meta discussion. Therefore, over the next months, I will organise Meta discussions on specific close reasons and other issues – roughly one per week. I will try my best to initiate these discussions with a focussed question such that they yield a constructive result. I hope that at the end we have:
- Better or new close reasons.
- A better defined scope, avoiding quarrel, helping reviewers to make quicker decisions.
- A FAQ for reviewers.
- Better guidance for askers.
- A less painful close queue.
- Fewer unnecessarily closed or voted-to-close questions.
This will likely mean that we will revisit some issues that have already been discussed and even may end with the same conclusions. However, if we should revisit a topic, this will usually be because there is disagreement about it and therefore it is valuable to re-assess the community’s stance on it.
Finally, for all of this to work, your participation is needed. So please take part in the discussions. Even if you do not want to post an answer, you can still comment and most importantly vote.
To keep this project organised, productive, and concise, I first want to assess what shall be discussed before starting individual discussions. Therefore I am asking: What aspects of closure should be discussed? Please adhere to the following:
One topic per answer.
List individual questions that you desire to be addressed under that answer.
Feel free to add new sub-topics to existing answers (answers are made community wikis to facilitate this).
Upvote answers if you think that a topic needs discussion or revisiting. Downvote answers if you think that everything is going well in this respect.
Do not discuss the actual topics yet. Also, to avoid priming or proviking premature discussions, please do not make suggestions, but phrase your proposal as a question instead, e.g. write:
Are we closing too few or too many questions as tech support?
I propose that we close fewer questions as tech support.