On most other SE sites, particularly Stack Overflow, at least 5 people are required in order to close a question.

How come I see so many questions on Philosophy.SE that have been closed by only one person? Is this due to a lack of moderators? Or due to being a Beta site? Even the FAQ says questions can only be closed after reaching 5 close votes.

Also, I'm not trying to say anything as to whether or not a question should be closed, but rather the process by which an inappropriate question is closed.

  • 1
    Moderator close and reopen votes are immediately binding (this is global across SE, btw.) We usually try to indicate in what ways the question might be improved if we do take a moderator action like instant-closing a question. Note that we do also try to reopen closed questions if they have been suitably modified.
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Nov 29, 2011 at 17:49
  • 2
    I wanted to add that you can distinguish mods from the rest because they have a little diamond (♦) after their name. For example, Joseph, stoicfury, and I are all moderators. Nov 29, 2011 at 18:22
  • I understand and appreciate all of this. Unfortunately it still does not answer the question as to why questions here (or anywhere, I guess) can be closed with fewer than 5 votes (as it explicitly states in the FAQ).
    – ZeeKay
    Nov 29, 2011 at 18:26
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    @ZeeKay: Why? because t was designed that way. Moderators are given autocratic powers (no voting needed) because they are viewed as having better judgment. (or it could be the other direction...we think they have better judgement because they're given the power to close autocratically).
    – Mitch
    Nov 29, 2011 at 20:26
  • If it was designed that way, would anyone happen to know where I would go to request that the FAQ be changed? (on this site, and any other where it is incorrect).
    – ZeeKay
    Nov 29, 2011 at 21:06
  • Or, alternatively, where would I go to ask that the FAQ be followed (on this site and any other where it currently isn't)?
    – ZeeKay
    Nov 29, 2011 at 21:06
  • I would think meta.SO would be the most constructive place to floor general SE concerns. As far as moderation policy goes it may be worth it to check out the various blog posts from Jeff Atwood on the subject (i.e., as to why the system might be structured in this way)
    – Joseph Weissman Mod
    Nov 30, 2011 at 1:04
  • 3
    Note that the FAQ refers to questions needing 5 votes from regular members of the community in order to close a question. Moderators are elevated users with the ability to perform certain actions that do not require approval/concurrence from other users, such as closing, editing posts, etc. This is the same across all SE sites, not just philosophy.
    – stoicfury
    Dec 1, 2011 at 7:13

1 Answer 1


As others have noted, moderator close votes are binding and always have been, even on Stack Overflow.

The moderator list is here:


(scroll to the bottom)

Of course, closed questions can still be voted open by regular users. A moderator close vote just hastens the process.

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