I find that it sometimes takes a while to get some questions which are off-topic closed. In particular, translation questions are almost always very obviously, objectively off-topic, and there seems to be little room for disagreement around whether they should be closed or not

On the other hand, close reasons like duplicate (vs just being related) or “too subjective” seem rather subjective in themselves and more consensus seems valuable for those.

To keep the home page cleaner faster and require less clean-up effort from our users, is it possible to reduce the number of needed close votes for specific close reasons (e.g., reducing “translation requests are off-topic” from 5 to 3)?

If not currently possible, what is the correct venue for asking for a feature improvement here?

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    Wow, in some odd coincidence apparently StackOverflow just decided to reduce their close/reopen vote threshold from 5 to 3 entirely... meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/391832/… Commented Dec 10, 2019 at 20:52
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    Open and honest admission here. When I see translation posts that have 3+ close votes, I don't read the very deeply, and tend to vote as off topic.
    – ajsmart
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


The number has to be the same for every close reason but we can change the number required to close a question to 3 or 1. We've run a couple of tests on other sites and are willing to test it on others. If you'd like to run a test here, have a discussion about it and then have one of your moderators ping me once you've made a decision.

I have a handful wanting to test in January already and I'm not sure how many I can do at once but what I generally do is a one-month test and then we compare some stats before and after to see what impact the change had. We're being cautious about making the change permanent from the outset because there's some concerns we want to avoid.

Here's some examples of sites that have tested this out or are asking whether they should on their metas:

  • Thanks for the response Catija! Personally I think I'd be a proponent for moving to 3 entirely, especially with the improved infoboxes. I'll create a different discussion thread for it. Commented Dec 20, 2019 at 20:37
  • Is it always the case? I mean, do all sites go through a one-month test before having it changed for good? This was requested this in Spanish.SE and I don't know what is the workflow, which by the way is asked now in Meta.SE on What is the process for having a site's close threshold lowered?
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 12:40
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    @fedorqui The test is really important. I'll pull the stats first to see how numbers look and whether I think the right solution is the close votes change or if there's something else that might help that's less drastic. If we decide to go forward with the votes change, we need to test to be certain there aren't any unintended consequences. For example, if a site has plenty of voters to handle the queue, lowering the votes could lead to an increase in close vote warring.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 1:57
  • Thanks a lot Catija for the feedback. We are looking forward to having this experiment start :)
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jan 11, 2020 at 15:19

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