Close vote seems rule-based, but the rule now can't be handled by a computer. What about up/down vote?


1 Answer 1


Both voting and close votes are opinion based, guided by rules

If you hover over the upvote button: you'll find some basic guidelines: "This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear". You'll find something similar for downvotes.

The same is true for close votes. When you close something, you specify the reason. However, if you look at all of the close reasons, all of them have elements of subjective, opinion-based elements. (e.g. Is this challenge similar enough to be a duplicate?)

There is a distinction however: As close votes matter far more, we have far more guidelines on their use, and who voted to close a challenge is public information.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree - they are actually quite different in principle. Up and down votes are a secret ballot kind of thing, they are entirely designed for expressing opinions. In contrast, close votes are an open system and are intended for implementing policy as decided on meta. There are subjective elements but we try to minimise them by formulating policy more precisely, and using them off-policy will generally result in the action being reverted by a moderator. \$\endgroup\$
    – N. Virgo
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 15:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with every you said, but that doesn't invalidate anything I said. Both are subjective (to different degrees of subjectivity), and close votes have far more impact. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 4, 2018 at 20:10

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