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I regularly raise flags on questions for closure since I do not yet have the reputation to vote to close them. Recently, a number of these flags were "aged away". By checking the timelines of these posts, I noticed that the close vote review was usually "invalidated".

I asked a question on Meta about the meaning of a close vote being "invalidated", and although there is no answer there yet, I think I have understood why this happens: there were an insufficient number of reviews to determine whether the question should be closed or left open within a week of the flag being raised. it seems that this means that the close review generated by the flag aged away due to insufficient votes.

This is problematic, because as seen above the flags I raised were being invalidated not due to falling short of one or two votes. Instead, there were usually zero votes or one vote on a question. This means that there is very little moderation activity from the community. On some occasions, I have had to flag the same question again for moderator attention because the earlier flag aged away or was invalidated, and then action was taken.

So, this being the scenario, I request our moderators to help out by regularly visiting the review queues to clear them. If closure flags age away in a week, then it would be preferable if at least one of our moderators checks in every few days or so and reviews any pending flags. I searched on Meta and also found this question about whether we need more moderator activity/moderators.

In the long term, perhaps we need to find ways to make more users aware of the need for participation in reviewing and moderation. We currently have 55 users with at least 500 reputation (the minimum required to view the close/reopen review queues), so finding eligible users may not be the main problem.

(Of course I could be wrong about the level of community moderation, since I cannot access the review queues; perhaps some bug is not showing the pending reviews to all those who are online and can view them? I put up the latter scenario because of a question that was asked earlier about being unable to see reviews and it remains unanswered.)

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This site is supposed to be community driven and without the community helping out, things like this will happen. The mods are all fine with clearing the reviews as I try to do once a month, but this doesn't always align with what the community wants especially when normal users aren't reviewing.

Personally, I tend to be faster on hard actions like close and deletes, but that also has it's drawbacks and issues raised on the meta in the past. So recently I've been pulling the trigger less on these. I can't speak for the other mods, but I feel they may have similar contemplation keeping them from clearing out the queues and flags.

A takeaway from the stats you brought up is we need a community here to help.

  • I'm not sure I understand, so I hope you can clarify a point for me. Given the current level of community involvement (that is, non-moderator involvement) in the review queues, flagging problematic questions is not helpful. But, not flagging problematic questions is also not helpful. So, what is the way out here, at least in the short term? To me, it just feels incomplete to say that more community involvement is needed and leave it at that. – Brahadeesh May 3 at 17:00
  • Since I've not been around for that long on this site, I hope you'll excuse me if my question is naive. I am not aware of how severely debated past issues were on Meta. My feeling is that we could use some more participation on Meta, and if debates on question closure (and other moderation activities) help increase participation then I'm up for it. – Brahadeesh May 3 at 17:02
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    Pretty much the mods did a lot at the start, but when the community wanted to run things differently the mods stepped back and this is where we are now. One of the biggest areas where this happened was ID questions. The were off topic on the start and became on topic, but we never quite handled them the best nor could we determine quality as a site. – Dom May 3 at 17:20
  • Thank you, I shall go through the links. It would be nice if you could drop into the chat room once in a while too, we could use your opinions on several matters. :) – Brahadeesh May 3 at 17:23

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