This is a heads up for people who regularly flag things as abandoned:

The mods are stepping back

We're not actually going anywhere and we'll still be dealing with most of the flags that come in but we feel that we've become too efficient recently and we're starving the community of the opportunity to use the moderation tools that are available to our 3k+ and 10k+ users.

We want the community to get involved and work together to maintain the site. It's something that needs to happen for the long term health on the site. There are plenty of people who can close things but there's no coordination. Instead of voting things just get flagged and the mods have been dealing with it.

So we've picked abandoned questions as our target. From today (as soon as the memo gets around) we're going to stop actioning any flags that come in for abandoned reasons.

So how do I get an abandoned question closed now?

In short, if you want something closed as an abandoned question, you're going to have to get at least 5 3k+ users together to close it.

Options for that include:

  • The Ubuntu Regulators chat room is good for spamming out your questions but this only works if you help other people too.

  • Monitoring the Review page to see what questions need closing. There are currently 233 posts that need more votes. Note this is for 10k users only. If you're close to 10k, get a move on :P we need your help.

"But you're moderators! It's your job to deal with this!"

It's a job we're all responsible for as community members but as I said before, the community currently relies on flagging for almost everything. That's not a system that will scale up with the site.

For both the mods' and the community's sake, we need to get people into the spirit of working together, using the tools we already have to maintain the site.

  • How can we keep track of the flagged questions by users if we have less than 10K rep? flagging a question then posting in the regulators chat room by lower rep users still relies on the moderators (or anyone in the room at the time) to work effectively. Commented Mar 23, 2012 at 23:45
  • @MarkRooney I was keeping track of things in a Google doc, then moved to a wunderkit workspace - I can revitalize both of those if the community wants.
    – jrg
    Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 1:18
  • 2
    As a <2k user, all I can do is switch to posting abandoned questions in the chat, then hit 'I give up', drop it from my list, and move on. All other options remain the same. This works well enough for me. If I'm missing something message me, else I'll just keep going. Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 17:04
  • @TomBrossman That is the spirit, that is how I also was doing it. Post them there (ping other people if you must), check back a few days later and repost if necessary. Sometimes I thought it was not working until I hit them back in a few weeks to see that they were indeed closed and my name was the first on the close votes list. Sometimes it just takes a bit more time but in the end it is all working as it should ;) Btw, good to see you are no longer a < 2k user! Commented Mar 24, 2012 at 17:18
  • 4
    I like the whole idea of community moderation. Will do my best. Commented Mar 27, 2012 at 0:15
  • You can remove the link to this meta from the cleanup site; with the new review queue our ability to close questions without moderator intervention is now much better! Perhaps link to review instead? Commented Sep 2, 2012 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


While I feel that moderator should use their privileges as sparingly as possible, I don't feel comfortable with the way things are currently heading to. Instead of completely stepping back from abandoned questions, I feel that moderators can play a supportive role, like giving feedback to the people flagging questions. No one likes to be ignored.

Saying that, if you think you have flagged or cast your close votes on abandoned questions and they are not sufficiently acted upon, you can do other things that will determine the fate of the question.

Like downvoting. If the question falls under certain conditions, then it becomes a candidate for automatic deletion. You don't need to worry too much about garnering 5 close votes for it when a single downvote is all it takes to wipe it off the site. (I already did propose downvoting for a similar situation, but people didn't prefer it.)

  • 4
    We picked abandoned questions because they're low-priority and should be something that people can agree on to close together (or answer). The point of this is that as we grow, more and more moderator time will be needed to deal with spam, duplicates and off-topic questions. We need users to pool their close votes to target things like this.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 10:42
  • Moderators are here and working time and time on. Nothing is being thrown in to to community, we just want more people at it doing what we do, if you don't work as teams. Understand that the site works like this and not on top of just moderators, we are improving the way of working, not trying to slack off! <3 Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 12:08

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