While doing a tag dive a little over a week ago, I flagged a handful of posts which I thought should be closed. At this point, 1 has been closed, and of the remaining 4 which remain open, 2 have aged away and 2 were deemed helpful.

I have done all I can on these pages. With so few trust points (123 so far), I can't see the close vote count and I am not even able to downvote to help closed pages to be deleted by the system. I would like to ask for assistance from other volunteers on these pages to progress the status of pages that should be rightfully closed and/or potentially deleted.

In addition to running through pages, I've gone for a swim in the tag pool too.

I have flagged a couple more that remain open:

"Aged away" flags break my heart; what a shame when volunteer contributions simply fall flat without being considered.

Why are the Helpful flags not resulting in a closure? Maybe these have a vote or two and are still in limbo, but I can't see this progress.

I am new here (obviously) so I don't yet know the local culture. Are the review queues being regularly attended by volunteers here? Is this community overly concerned about the negative impact of a page closure upon the psyche of question posters? (if so, I understand.)

I don't mean to command the closure of these pages. I am just asking others to consider honestly reviewing these pages and if they agree with my flag, please support it for the betterment of the community.

  • 3
    Text processing is on topic here, so I don't agree with closing the [regex] questions. I have added my votes elsewhere :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 8:19
  • 2
    Text processing is on topic, using our command line tools. General programming using Python, PHP, whatever that happens to be text processing isn't.
    – muru
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 12:43
  • @muru that's what I initially thought. Ugh. And I just posted the first of two regex answers. I can delete it if it is off-topic. I want to do right by this community. Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 12:45
  • I don't think the odd answer is a problem - because it's fine to use PHP or Python or whatever to answer text-processing questions. But if the asker makes it a pattern on posting PHP questions, then it might be a problem. I think most of the question listed above are from the same user.
    – muru
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 13:03
  • Perhaps I'll wait to receive more consensus from the community. This feels like grey territory. Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 13:06
  • @muru in your opinion, should I remove my answer @ askubuntu.com/a/1228521/955434 so that the system can dispose of the off-topic page? My general feeling is that I don't want any ill-gotten unicorn points and my answer will block the Roomba. Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 0:42
  • 1
    (Well, I upvoted that answer, so I'm not so sure about ill-gotten) ... I don't think that question is offtopic yet. It should be closed, yes, because they haven't stated what the regex is going to be used with, so it can't be definitively answered. As I said before, an odd answer here or there isn't a problem for me.
    – muru
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 1:30

2 Answers 2


I am not debating the validity of your individual flags. The validity of each flag can be debated for a lot of flags. I think this question is based on a lack of information and feedback due to your low reputation.

Why are the Helpful flags not resulting in a closure? Maybe these have a vote or two and are still in limbo, but I can't see this progress.

They do have votes and you cannot see them

If you want to see this count you need 3000 reputation, unless it is your own question, then you only need 250.

As to why these questions are not being closed quickly, there are many reasons.

First in order to close question it requires 5 votes from users with at least 3000 reputation. Each user is allowed 20 votes per day to use to vote close or leave open, the posts they can review are presented randomly with some basic filtering. Also, your flag does not count as a vote.

Right now the review queue has 446 flags that need to be reviewed and it has had hundreds of flags to attend to for years. There are just not enough users to review them all and the randomization means some questions can just get lost forever while other get through quickly.

Not everyone who sees the post will vote on it, they can just move on or vote to leave it open. The topicality of some subjects is debated and the more controversial the topic of the question, the more it can effect voting. I think from comments above your examples may have some controversy.

Reviewing is thankless, time consuming and difficult, many people just do it every now and again but very few are dedicated and even if they are, they will be limited by the system.

"Aged away" flags break my heart; what a shame when volunteer contributions simply fall flat without being considered.

Well you will be glad to hear that people are absolutely reviewing your flags and everything is working as it should, it can just take longer than it should, this seems to be why some of your flags age away after, I think, 30 days, even though the questions are still in the system, there just isn't the people to do it in time.

The community is pretty healthy here and your contributions are welcomed, you just see a tiny part of what goes on.

  • It's been a long time since I contributed to a community while having such a deficit of privileges. I am probably painting myself as too impatient/demanding. I think I was most shocked that my closure flags aged away after just one week -- I never knew that they had such a short shelf-life. I am wondering if the aged away flags only gained votes because of this page or if somehow the flag DID prompt votes yet the flag was never marked as helpful. Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 10:17

I find Stack-overflow is very over-moderated.

Most of the "closed" topics I encounter either:

  • had valuable information and shouldn't be closed
  • or they were closed by moderators who didn't point to the right information
  • 2
    My stance is strongly opposed to yours. I find that too often volunteers (these are not moderators), do not consider closing duplicates. This is especially irritating when volunteers with >25k rep are answering questions that they KNOW are duplicates. Stackoverflow is very bloated with redundant content. Beyond my disagreement, I don't see how your answer is at all relevant to my question. Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 13:09
  • @mickmackusa totally get that which is why you have to bully the issue by down-modding my answer based on not liking my answer. You asked for support OVER MODERATING. Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 14:36
  • Closing questions that should be closed is not over-moderating -- this is the duty of volunteers who have the privilege, the time, and the will. I have not yet downvoted your answer, imgur.com/a/BUxUsPe, but I do feel I would be justified in doing so because 1. I disagree with the sentiment of your answer, 2. I don't think that it addresses my concern -- I am talking about AskUbuntu not SO. Stack Exchange communities are human-moderated, so mistakes happen. When you feel a collection of users has made an error in closing a page, bring it up for review -- this is a chance to grow. Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 20:41

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