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As both of the new moderators indicated in their election Q&A, voting to close questions is the responsibility of the community, provided community members with sufficient reputation are actively engaged in reviewing close votes.

If the close queue is up to date (which it has been), I would ask moderators avoid solo closing unless a question is particularly egregious. When you do solo close, I'd suggest a comment indicating not just why you thought the question should be closed, but why you thought it was so bad that it couldn't wait for community input.

To be clear, I haven't seen any excellent questions closed. I've just seen new moderators be a little more closehammer happy than I would have expected based on the Questionnaire answers.

Please respond with an answer here if you feel your Questionnaire answers were misinterpreted.

EDIT: It might be time to have a broader discussion about the community expectations here. 3/4 mods seem to be saying pull back a bit while the queue is reasonably short, but this post has 2 up, 3 down votes right now. There is some appetite for a more aggressive moderation strategy among people voting on meta. I'd encourage those who feel this way to post an answer.

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    $\begingroup$ I've only close-hammered 2 posts since becoming a mod: each had at least 2 close votes already, scores of < -3, & were not good posts. I don't view this is an abuse of the close-hammer, but rather expediting a sure closing. I commented on these posts & did not delete them so that each OP could improve the post if desired. I don't plan to use the close-hammer as the sole close vote on posts unless they're blatantly bad/unwanted (e.g. spam); however, I do plan to close-hammer posts with 2+ other close votes that are obviously bad. This approach mirrors my election questionnaire response $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 11 '19 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ I looked through all closed questions sine the election to examine close-hammer usage since the election. Results: 11 close-hammer votes were used by mods in that time, 3 of which were on posts with < 2 other close votes, and 7 of which were made by BryanKrause. @BryanKrause, I think a comment or response from you would be prudent given your bias in close-hammer usage. I would guess such a response would mirror that of AliceD's answer, but nevertheless De Novo's post can serve as a starting point of a community discussion about such practices so please consider joining the discussion here. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 11 '19 at 2:34
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    $\begingroup$ It takes a little bit of time to control close-voting when you convert from an active user to a mod. $\endgroup$ – user237650 Mar 11 '19 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ I think my use of closing posts has mirrored my answer in the election Q&A - I think I'm probably going to lean more towards hammering than the other mods. Most of the questions I've closed so far with the hammer already had several close votes, and did not seem to be salvagable. That said, I'll take your feedback under consideration and especially as AliceD mentioned the queue has been quite short lately anyways thanks to community input in moderation. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Mar 11 '19 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause to my read, I don't think your close voting has mirrored your statement. "Ideally, (the closehammer) shouldn't ever be necessary because the community should be closing by themselves...Moderators should monitor the dynamics of the community moderation and respond accordingly, being more aggressive when community moderation is low, and backing off when it is sufficient." I read the rest of your statement as what to do when community moderation is low. Perhaps I misread it, but I don't think I'm the only one. $\endgroup$ – De Novo Mar 11 '19 at 11:04
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause We'll close the bad questions. Give us a chance to do it. If you jump in there with a closehammer, we'll get out of the habit. $\endgroup$ – De Novo Mar 11 '19 at 11:05
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    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause Please be more easy on that. This should be (except for spam and personal medical questions) a matter of the community, not the mods. Usually downvoting such questions and having a bit of patience is enough, as these usually don't receive much attention and are closed and removed automatically by the system as abandoned. $\endgroup$ – Chris Mar 11 '19 at 13:29
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Of course mods should leave close-voting to the community, and they should close only Qs when blatantly oftopic. I plead guilty.

However, over the last months the close queue on my end was often >50. Because close-votes are removed at a certain point (when there are <5), I'm always afraid that the few active voters start to think Why should I vote? Nothing gets closed anyway. Hence, because I don't wish to discourage active voters, I sometimes run through the list when the #votes >50. Because I'm short in time, I run through the queue quite quickly. And yes, I often tend to err on closing Qs, especially when the #votes in is >3 and when they agree with each other (e.g. all 3 mention self-help, or when the reasons are closely related).

Once I notice that the queue is held in check by the community, I am more than happy to stop closing Qs. However, I have often encouraged the community to review, via chat or on meta, unfortunately to no avail. I would really love to see you guys finally picking up the job - Go.for.it.

My expectation, however, is that this spike in review activity is due to the elections. Before, during and shortly after the elections people are more motivated somehow. Because two active close-voters have been withdrawn from the active ground personnel and have picked up the diamond, I'm actually afraid that the length of the close-vote queue will even be worse than before the elections.

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