I find that Bio.SE is kind of harsh to newbies. An old topic, but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to include a delay of 48 hours before one can vote for question closure. As of now I see many newbies posting questions that get trashed within the hour.

Of course, after editing it can be re-opened but I sense that newbies are scared away from Bio.SE by their virgin question being picked to pieces and put on hold within the hour. I know that everyone reading this question probably went through a similar process and persisted, but the process of re-opening may take quite a while, and the potential new member may have fled the scene. Further, shooting at a question is so easy.

Editing questions as an experienced member and helping it survive is where the challenge is. Awkward formulated questions may simply be caused by a language barrier.

This site depends on questions. Quite frankly asking a good question is more difficult than posting an answer.

What about introducing a compulsory delay of 48 hours or so, before a close-vote can be placed? Offensive stuff, spam and other nonsense questions can always be flagged for moderator attention.

EDIT: As an example, and nothing personal, but just to illustrate my point with a recent example: https://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/31784/ecology-question . The question is poor, I do not - I repeat not - wish to discuss this particular question, it is just to illustrate the quite aggressive close-voting (put on hold after 10 minutes). I removed the discussion tag to discourage homing the discussion in on this question.

  • $\begingroup$ I think your example constitutes an exceptionally bad question, and it is therefore a poor example for the point you are trying to make. I didn't vote on it, but questions like that should be closed as soon as possible. It is a lazy homework question with no attempt at a solution and no initial thought. On top of that, the photographed question isn't even readable, so the question cannot be answered. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Apr 27 '15 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater: to repeat: I do not wish to discuss this particular question, it is just to illustrate the quite aggressive close-voting. A very poor question indeed, that's not the point. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:05
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    $\begingroup$ I understand that. My point is that questions like the one in your example should be closed as soon as possible. There might be other examples where a delay in closing is warrented (honest attempt, but a bit unclear with poor writing), but this is not the case in your example. To me, this is a good example for why we shouldn't have a delay in closing. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Apr 27 '15 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ I edited the question. I was already fearing it would be more of a distractor. It is just to illustrate the swiftness. OP didn't even have the chance to blink or the question was put on hold. And flagging can help out if it needs quick closure. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this is a good idea. We got quite an increase in the questions over the last time and if we don't close bad questions, we will get flooded by them. $\endgroup$ – Chris Apr 27 '15 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris - questions can still be closed, but only after ~48h - giving OP a chance to edit (encouragement), instead of immediate closure (discouragement) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ Why the downvote? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, then I write this differently: I think closing these bad questions fast is ok, but we should give the people the reason. And encourage editing and the putting it for re-opening. $\endgroup$ – Chris Apr 27 '15 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ Downvote on meta means disagreement with the question/topic. $\endgroup$ – Chris Apr 27 '15 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ Well, your example was closed by a moderator, so basically the same process as flagging. A meta discussion on how we should approach close-votes is reasonable (when to be more lenient etc), but I dont think there should be a "mandatory" close-delay. If that would be the case, the community wouldn't be able to quickly close really poor questions, which means that more would have to be flagged, leading to a higher workload on the elected moderators. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Apr 27 '15 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris - Downvote on meta means disagreement with the question/topic - thanks! I didn't know. Meta always gives me a feeling of a mine field. This explains why :) Perhaps I just have bad ideas :/ $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater - from what I understand moderators at small beta sites are not under heavy workload and flagging is encouraged? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater - discussion tag re-applied. I'm very happy with this discussion and that's what it is all about I guess. Thanks for your thoughts so far. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 27 '15 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD Maybe, but I don't think we should construct a system that only works for small beta sites. Flagging is encouraged, but should be used for the right reasons. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Apr 27 '15 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ And why close this question? Is the feature request of a delay such a bad idea it should be deleted from the records? Quite frankly I do not understand what the purpose for meta is then. Should I use the chat instead for future considerations like this? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Apr 28 '15 at 1:53

While I agree that close-voting can happen rather quickly, I don't think a compulsory delay of 48 hours is a good solution. At the most, a delay of a few hours to give the OP a chance to salvage the question could perhaps be a good idea, but we don't want very low-quality questions (like the one in the example) lingering for several days.


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