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Closed questions on Web Apps SE are almost never reopened by regular users only:

Only 1 question got reopened in all of 2023 without moderator help. TheMaster Oct 30 at 10:16

One of the reasons is the tiny number of active users with 3k reputation point, which is the current threshold for regular users to be allowed to cast a reopen vote on a closed question.

Catija mentioned the following when they were a CM:

We will only adjust individual reputation levels if the current number is not working.

The current number for the reputation threshold to be allowed to cast a reopen vote on a closed question is clearly not working, since as mentioned above, only 1 question got reopened in all of 2023 without moderator help.

Therefore, I'd like to make the following proposal: let's reduce the reputation threshold to be allowed to cast a reopen vote on a question, so that more regular users can participate in the reopening of closed questions.


According to Henry.Ecker's SEDE query on How can one see how many regular users cast at least one reopen vote during the current year?, only 5 regular users with 3k+ rep cast a reopen vote in 2023. They cast a total of 10 reopen votes. This statistic ignores reopen votes that didn't result in the question being reopened (there seems to be no way to gather that information).

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2 Answers 2

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We have granted the community request to lower the reputation requirement for reopen votes. That is now set for 500 reputation. This also impacts the close vote reputation requirement being lowered to 500 as well. The settings on our end are tied together and cannot be adjusted individually.

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    Should status-review be replaced by status-completed? Jan 29 at 23:53
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    @Rubén-VolunteerModerator- Yes, I forgot to switch it. Thank you!
    – SpencerG StaffMod
    Jan 30 at 15:41
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    I think this is good development. I haven't engaged on this and that has been a mistake. In the past I've considered writing an open letter to the community and thought better of it. I intend to do that now, so that we can have a discussion about my role and behavior and move past this. It will take me time to write please try to be patient with me.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Jan 30 at 16:45
  • @Blindspots - Introspection is good, but perhaps you might also consider stepping back (or stepping down) and allowing fresh eyes to see the problem.
    – Valorum
    Jan 30 at 20:26
  • @Valorum I'll give it some thought
    – Blindspots Mod
    Jan 30 at 21:55
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Close & Reopen: Two sides of the same coin

One of the omissions that I noticed from the question was that there is no mention of close votes. As far as I know, there's no way to set different reputation values for close votes vs reopen votes. There's also no reason why we'd want to. Lowering the reputation to cast close votes will put us in a position where closing can once again be a "democratic voting process" decided by the community.

Let's go back to beta

Close/reopen voting is unlocked at 500 reputation on sites with "beta" privilege levels, such as my own Writing SE. This works well enough, or at the very least I've not seen it abused on any site.

I've been trying to keep track of who I see participating on Webapps nowadays. We may have as few as 2 active 3k+ non-mod users, which isn't enough to close/reopen questions. (There might be a third who is only active in specific tags.) There are at least 4 active users who are between 500 and 3k, which is enough that there would be even some room for some to disagree or abstain if they all could vote. Not everyone feels comfortable voting to close or reopen, especially outside of the topics they're familiar with. Moreover, 500 reputation is also attainable even on this site in a fairly short time period: I got 500 reputation give or take during this calendar year alone, and that's excluding the association bonus too. This might help motivate some low-rep users to start participating on the site more.

This isn't the only privilege that's dramatically different under the beta system. My suggestion is ultimately to adopt each and every lower reputation threshold here. Other parts of the site are suffering due to lack of participation too, such as suggested edit reviews, which this would also help with. I won't explain in detail, but the reasoning is the same: It works for other sites with similar levels of activity, so it should work here.

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    Thanks! Can we use beta reputation thresholds here without having to label WebApps at beta? Nov 6, 2023 at 21:35
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    @FranckDernoncourt No "beta" label needed. Most sites using beta privileges don't have a "beta" label, not even sites without a design such as Arts & Crafts. To be extra clear, the only change I'm suggesting here is lowering the rep needed for privileges.
    – Laurel
    Nov 6, 2023 at 21:41
  • @Laurel as a user who put in the effort to get the necessary reputation, I encourage you to do the same, rather than trying to work around it. lt isn't as hard as you think. I share your goal of encouraging participation on the site and the continuous focus on meta on undermining the moderation instead of focusing on contributing quality content here or on the main site continues to disappoint me.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Nov 9, 2023 at 23:04
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    @BlindSpots It's relative. While you might have 3k reps, you don't have the reps to unilaterally close or reopen questions in the tag, where you're expert in(if you weren't a moderator). Anyone with that 10k reps/gold badge might feel the same way, where the value of the privilege they earned is highly reduced. While I agree that it is indeed devaluation, we're looking at the profit of site as a whole and not at the individual level [1/2]
    – TheMaster
    Nov 10, 2023 at 2:30
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    Moderators should rarely be engaged in voting(closing/reopening/deleting/undeleting) -they're exception handlers. If the only closing, reopening or (un)deleting is done only by mods, that's not good for a site - it leads to a situation, where the community is prone to believe their voices aren't heard or appreciated - more importantly have no part or power in the running of site.[2/2]
    – TheMaster
    Nov 10, 2023 at 2:30
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    Given what I've seen since becoming a mod, I don't think the problem is with voices being heard. Nor do I think those voices, loud as they are, represent the broader community, or the best interests of the site. There is a lot of self-interested arguing. I have stayed largely out of the fray to maintain objectivity but it has been pointless as I've been branded as biased and whatever other accusations have been convenient. The quality of the discourse hasn't improved and the bias continues. I realize that not engaging at all doesn't help either so I am trying to respond more.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Nov 10, 2023 at 3:44
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    @BlindSpots 1. I don't see how you say, they don't represent the broader community - given that almost all related meta questions provided by them were upvoted - sometimes +10, which is huge in this relatively smaller community. Let me ask you this, in SO, we use meta voting to gauge community consensus. What would you propose as a alternative to objectively gauge community consensus?
    – TheMaster
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:23
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    @BlindSpots 2. Furthermore, if they don't represent the entire community, wouldn't reducing the rep threshold actually help? We will get more users - not just the loud voices on meta - who can vote to close, even if the loud voices vote to reopen.
    – TheMaster
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:23
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    @BlindSpots 3. In SO, the mods involved in a controversial decision do speak up explaining their reasons - within 2-3 days. And if they don't, other mods usually explain their reasons - within 2-3 days. If other mods disagree, they do overrule the initial decision. For context, my question in SO meta(where Ruben was also a part in initial discussion), got a response in 6 hours and the overruling in 2 days. [1/2]
    – TheMaster
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:35
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    Here, what I see - is zero response for almost 15 days. Even after that delay and clear community consensus, no actual action was taken. See yourself in a common user's shoes. Don't you think It's rational to think you were biased and doubling down, given the timeline and the decision which involved no one except 2 moderators? [2/2]
    – TheMaster
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:35
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    @Themaster that's is indeed a tough one. It is obvious from the moment I came in that there was trouble on this site. I've kept mostly out of this and I'm not sure it is productive for me to get too engaged. There are issues with the model for sure. I mostly bite my tongue, and try to do my role as fairly as I can. I appreciate the things that go on on the main site and am mostly disappointed by what I see on meta and have the most respect for the users who contribute value to the site, and are respectful & fair. I think +10 is disappointing given the focused investment of energy.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:41
  • I expect with enough months of similar effort that number can be increased. Will that be a win for the site? Depends on one's goals. For my part I appreciate competence and quality and fair play.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:44
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    @BlindSpots We need users interested in moderation as much as the main site. Some users are interested in moderation and they flock to meta. Their efforts are not wasted. I don't see why you believe +10 is disappointing? Site runs by community moderation first and then on exception, by community elected moderators. Why exactly do you think the silent majority supports the moderators team? If they're silent, they let their right to make change go, didn't they? Why do we even think their "secret intentions" matter? And what exactly do you use to objectively gauge their "secret intentions"?
    – TheMaster
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:56
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    @TheMaster I'm not sure where the "secret intentions" came from, nor do I think the silent majority supports moderators. They are simply silent. But they matter too. So do you. Even if you seem to be very angry at me. +10 isn't disappointing to me. It is encouraging.
    – Blindspots Mod
    Nov 11, 2023 at 1:08
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    @BlindSpots You ought to at least consider that maybe the reason the voices are loud is because those voices feel they're not heard.
    – TheMaster
    Nov 11, 2023 at 3:52

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