Let's say some close votes roll in on a question.

If regular members cast a close votes, it will take 5 such votes for the question to get closed.

However, it looks like if a moderator casts a close vote, the question is closed immediately.

Example: https://fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/32823/is-it-ok-to-take-test-boosters

I agree that this question should have been closed, but I disagree that a moderator should be able to forego the 5-votes rule.

In the case of blatant spam, I agree that a moderator's choice to delete it should have immediate effect, but for close votes, it seems like it should be the community as a whole that decides. It's silly if a question, for example, has two close votes, and maybe a "keep open" vote, and the moderator simply invalidates all votes.


Is this really how it works, or do moderators have a choice on whether they want to cast a normal vote, or forego the process?

All in all, I think moderators should prevent spam and malicious intent, but not inherently have the voting power of 5 users when it comes to deeming honest questions (in)appropriate.

2 Answers 2


Moderators have always had the power of a one vote close. Most of the time I will let the community winds blow before I add my close vote, because as you note, it is binding.

However, in some cases, where a question is blatantly off topic, I will go ahead and close it, as will most moderators. The question you note is basically "I want to use a testostorone booster. You have advice?" which is just soliciting personal opinions. The one thing that I did miss doing on that was a comment to the original poster suggesting ways to improve it so that it could be reopened.

It is interesting to note that it got a couple of downvotes without either comment or close votes. That is a failure on the part of the community.


The one-vote-to-close isn't just a power for moderators; a moderator does not have the ability to issue a "normal" close vote. Echoing @johnp's answer, for that reason it's normal for moderators to be hands off if the question isn't very blatantly and obviously violating a site guideline.

  • I try to stay out of the close queue for that reason, but I need to be more aware.
    – Eric
    Apr 1, 2018 at 3:51
  • It's interesting to look back on this answer now, from the PoV of a moderator. The idea that a moderator might decide to let the community handle close votes (apart from egregious cases) came pretty naturally. I feel like such a dictator when I cast the one and only vote :D
    – Alec
    Jun 29, 2020 at 20:44

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