On a regular base, we see suggestions like above in chat. In far most cases, the call is just, and I am 100% positive it is done with nothing but good intentions to the site.

Does that mean we should "speed up" voting to close like that?

I believe it depends. If we seriously think the result of voting is injust, incorrect of whatever, both Meta and chat are there to discuss, so bringing it in chat is fine in such cases. In "normal" situations however, I'd say we shouldn't call for additional votes in chat, and have the intended procedures do their work. Just like "hey, I posted an answer, please give me an upvote" is inappropriate, I must say, I often find the "hey, I need an extra vtc here" as a habbit not quite the right thing to do.


As said, although I do not doubt the good intentions, and we all like to clean up things here, a call to vtc is always a suggestion, which harms the independant way we should practice these things. Unavoidingly, if person x suggests to close, person y thinks "ah, he or she should know, check!". To be honest, I've even vtc -ed myself.

Let's be a bit restraint to "lobby" for votes, no matter if it is for reputation or closure, in cases where there is no specific reason or time pressure to get it done.

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    Talking about a general case, IMO it isn't bad if you are confident that question is duplicate or off-topic. Just in these two cases. Since sometimes OP comments, "Yes it works!!!" but doesn't click on "That solved my problem button" (in case of dupes). If we check close review queue, about 150 questions still need to be reviewed and it might happen that all pending close votes age away. But IMO in other cases like, too-broad, opinion-based and unclear, let the community decide.
    – Kulfy
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 11:25
  • @Kulfy yeah, I think I agree, indeed if even OP agrees it is a dupe... Off topic might be more sensitive and subject to opinion I believe. The thing is, if you know there are many people in chat, you can find a few votes for an opinion easily. I've seen perfectly unique questions vtc' d in no time after a call in chat. Not often, but if it happens, it is quite an issue. Commented May 18, 2019 at 11:28
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    Even if OP doesn't mention that and you are damn confident that yes this is a duplicate or off-topic, feel free to post that in chat. If some other user asks to vote close, be open and brave enough to ask for the explanation that why they think that's a dupe/off-topic. Just a reminder: I guess we do have a special chatroom for such purposes but that's very much inactive than it should be since I joined chatrooms (precisely since Dec 2018). :(
    – Kulfy
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 11:33
  • @Kulfy exactly that is what I believe subject to discussion. Asking to vtc as a general rule isn' t the right thing to do imo. Only bring in chat in specific cases where you believe things go wrong. One of my first experiences here was exactly this. My Q was closed as a dupe in no time, utterly incorrect and similarly unpleasant for a new user. Later I found out it was as a result of a call in chat. If I run into a question that I am sure of is incorrectly closed as a dupe, I always mention that if I am around. I really think we shouldn't vote on someone' s call, no matter who. Commented May 18, 2019 at 11:43
  • What we need is independant voting from people who understand the Q and make an unprejudiced judgement. Commented May 18, 2019 at 11:45
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    IMO in such cases you should raise your concern and seek explanation that why they think it's a duplicate. Although I do agree with some of your valid arguments. But again community is big. Having contradicting views/opinions are quite natural. If a question is closed as dupe, OP can always edit his question make it to reopen queue. As of now I don't have a formal answer, so leaving my opinions in comment section only. :-)
    – Kulfy
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 12:04
  • @Kulfy You are misunderstanding what I am trying to say. It is not the outcome I am discussing, but the procedure to get there. Also: OP can always edit his question make it to reopen queue <- right, but I can assure you, new users are not familiar with the site and do not easily appeal. In the case I mentioned further above: Commented May 18, 2019 at 12:13
  • @Kulfy It was a Q on the procedure to get sofware into software center. It was closed as a dupe on a Q on packaging. Totally different, and in the Q was mentioned that packaging was not issue. Even after that, close votes rushed in, as we often see on questions once they are marked and mentioned as: "please vtc this". Please also see this one meta.askubuntu.com/questions/13964/dupe-but-no-dupe and even more: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/15313/…. Things simply easily go wrong. So I can only repeat: voting should be independant. Commented May 18, 2019 at 12:18
  • ...not by suggestion. Commented May 18, 2019 at 12:21
  • Jacob I know what you mean and I do agree with your arguments and it should not be encouraged. As I mentioned earlier, almost all actions of a user are opinionated. You can ask them to explain why it's a dupe. Or cast a reopen vote and comment that why do you think it's not a dupe. IMO all things sums up here. :-)
    – Kulfy
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 13:25
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    The title, the first two paragraph and the fact that you tagged it [meta:discussion] makes me think this is a question where you want to get (other) answers, but the following paragraphs contain your answer and turn your question into more of an announcement or appeal, especially the last paragraph. If you want other answers please split the question and your answer.
    – dessert
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 6:50
  • @dessert The tradition on Meta is not (only) to really to ask questions, but can be an opinion as well. Commented May 19, 2019 at 6:52
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    @JacobVlijm Yes, no problem with that, but then please make it clear that you don’t really ask or want to discuss anything. There are partial answers piling up in comments here.
    – dessert
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 6:54
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    I have to admit to be "guilty" of posting close/delete suggestions in chat too, but whenever I see one by others, I review it just as thoroughly as if I naturally came across the post. I agree with your concerns that it may influence behaviour of others and make their votes biased though. On the other hand, sometimes it really makes sense to speed up the handling of specific posts, e.g. if an answer suggests something potentially dangerous or a post is just terribly bad beyond any doubt.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 11:52
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    There are even site tools (20k+ IIRC) that show you posts ordered by the number of close/delete/... votes they aggregated in order to help speeding up the review process of posts that are already leaning to get closed or deleted. By your (valid) concerns expressed in your question, these tools also encourage biased reviewing and should be reconsidered?
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 11:55

1 Answer 1


I think it's right to be concerned about the possibility of mindless close voting, but I think this is not only a danger in chat - in fact it may be less of a danger there than in the queue. I also don't see any reason why moderation activity should be confined to the queues, or practised without collaboration, or left to itself.

To elaborate on the first point, I would hope that anyone who sees a suggestion to take an action on a post will read the post and decide whether they agree with the suggested action. Let everyone be reminded to do that always and without fail ;) In practise, we might sometimes, as you say, believe Experienced User that this question should be closed as a dupe or whatever and just click the buttons. Personally though I think that's less bad (actually I feel inclined to trust certain people's judgement) than voting to close in the queue on the basis that three or four people have already voted, so their judgement must be right - they might all have been as clueless as me!

I'd say it's a responsibility of the person suggesting moderation actions in chat to be sure they are suggesting a correct action, and also to be aware of their audience (are there any new users or new close voters in chat today?). More helpfully, they can give an explanation if one is needed. Users who see such suggestions and disagree with them should certainly challenge the suggester to provide an explanation, or explain why they disagree with the suggestion.

Giving an explanation makes the act of suggesting much more useful because it provides an opportunity for people to learn how to do moderation. I'm not talking only about close voting, but about up and down voting, flagging, commenting, editing. It's much easier to learn how and when to do these things, to pick up an understanding of scope and policy, with the opportunity to discuss them with other users. It's hard to learn them in the queues alone.

The opportunity for learning is one reason I feel raising moderation issues in chat shouldn't be discouraged. But since many people aren't very interested in doing that kind of activity (probably they are answering questions which is of course essential - it's like the paid work of the household, while moderation is like housework) I like to hang out in a room only for moderation where we are always asking for votes and other actions, not primarily for learning purposes (that happens incidentally) but because we know that correct close (and reopen) votes often age away without an extra push, especially when the close votes queue is full or during the summer holidays or whatever, purely because there are too few active reviewers at the time. Very often there are less than 5 active reviewers of close votes, and (I'm saying this as someone who loves to hit the back button when reviewing to see who else voted and how) reviewers are often not unanimous.

My mum and I joke that housework is done by fairies, because folks express amazement over its not having been done when the houseworkers were otherwise occupied or indisposed. Moderation will not do itself, and certainly not if it's confined to review queues or never talked about. We should be able to use all available channels and tools to help each other to do it. Why not? It's not really like asking for an upvote, which is bad etiquette because upvotes only benefit the receiver (in fact there are occasions when asking for an upvote is a moderation suggestion and perfectly acceptable - when making OP's self-answer-in-comments into a community wiki answer to have the question show up to visitors (and the system) as answered). There's IMHO no reason why we shouldn't talk about such matters in chat, though maybe we should do so with explanations rather than only saying "this needs one more vote".

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    Thanks, and quite an extensive answer :). I am not sure everything you say relates to the question. "I need one more close vote here" is not really discussing a post, it's a simple non-anonymus call for a vote. When we have exams, a committee of five-seven highly educated, many times renowned musicians bring out their votes. It is strictly forbidden to discuss the playing before the voting is done. Thsi is for a good reason. I cannot believe you actually say you find it acceptable (or "less bad") that someone votes, trusting the call from someone else. Commented May 19, 2019 at 19:08
  • Thus you actually say escaping the principle of five independant votes are needed for closure. Commented May 19, 2019 at 19:09
  • Discussion for votes for "learning purposes" is great, when discussion is done in general or after the voting is done. Discussing should be in general unless you believe something needs fixing (e.g. incorrectly closed). Independant and unprjudiced judgement is not something I invented, it is a general rule of justice and, as mentioned, practiced in judgement on countless areas. Although we all like to clean up stuff, keeping up high standards on this one should imo always prevail. Commented May 19, 2019 at 19:22
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    To be clear I don't find it acceptable for people to cast what I called "mindless" votes at any time - I just find it less bad to vote on someone's direct advice than simply because there are already some votes.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 1:06

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