-5

I have noticed a number of questions (for example this one), that are put on hold because of a possibility rather than the actuality. Typically, it is a question that is worded in a way that could result in some readers offering opinion-based answers. However, as in this example, the question has been online for a reasonable time, attracted a lot of interest and upvotes, and received, as the only answers, several fact-based answers citing references. At this point, it isn't likely that a bunch of readers will offer BS answers because these would likely be downvoted and it is obvious that any opinion-based answers would not add anything.

However, it is at this point that the question is put on hold. Granted, the wording of the question should be improved because there shouldn't be a bunch of bad examples floating around. However, putting it on hold at that point seems like overkill. Hold is part of the closure process and closure becomes automatic if the issue isn't remedied. It would be more undesirable to close a question of this nature than to leave a popular, well-answered question that contains undesirable wording in the question if the issue does not get fixed. So in this sense, putting such a question into the close queue may not be the best solution.

In a situation where the risk of undesirable answers is already negated by events, it seems like action less drastic than taking the question out of circulation would be better. For example, add a comment stating the issue and allowing some period (12 hr?), for the question to be edited to remedy it. If the issue isn't fixed in that time, then put it on hold.

One other thought: the people voting to close the question must do some tasks to accomplish that, including stating a reason. The moderator needs to consolidate this into a message explaining the cause of the hold. Getting into and out of the queue requires review time by a number of people. In most cases, a simple boilerplate edit would solve the problem, such as modifying a few words into a phrase like "can someone cite a reference that answers the question of...". It would be a simple task for any one of the voters or the moderator to just make the change. This would eliminate the requirement and time demands for that question to go through the hold process.

  • That question (on storage life of CDs) is also too broad. Maker, storage conditions, quality of materials, use, etc. – random Oct 10 '14 at 17:10
  • This is simply a case of the question being to broad, I would argue, the question would not actually lead to opinion-based answers because the estimated lifespan of optical disks is actually known. I would also argue the edit by JakeGould is what caused the question to be closed because it would lead to opinion-based answers. If the question can be improved then it should be improved then voted to be reopened, I don't see any pending edits, why are we discussing it instead of just doing it? Questions are closed by the community not moderators. – Ramhound Oct 10 '14 at 17:58
  • I wasn't so much asking about why this particular post was put on hold (and perhaps it isn't the best example). Rather, it was more general -- posts that raise a question of obvious interest and receive good, fact-based answers, but the wording is not ideal. The point was that it might not be the best solution to put such otherwise good questions into the hold/close queue based on potential problems after the evidence is already in that the question does not pose a "threat". – fixer1234 Oct 10 '14 at 18:10
  • If the wording can be improved then it should be, and I'd the question is closed, it will automatically be placed in the queue to be reopened – Ramhound Oct 10 '14 at 19:20
  • I understand how the process currently works. I'm asking if there might be a better way to handle certain kinds of issues. Avoid the overkill of pulling otherwise good questions and answers from circulation and requiring reviews and re-reviews by many people when the value of the information outweighs the imperfections in the question wording. – fixer1234 Oct 10 '14 at 19:32
  • "The moderator needs to consolidate this into a message explaining the cause of the hold." This would be a serious bottleneck. We're generally trusting the community (especially experienced members) to do the right thing. If they don't, things can be reverted by others, or appealed. It shouldn't be part of the regular work flow though. – Daniel Beck Oct 10 '14 at 21:45
4

In a situation where the risk of undesirable answers is already negated by events, it seems like action less drastic than taking the question out of circulation would be better. For example, add a comment stating the issue and allowing some period (12 hr?), for the question to be edited to remedy it. If the issue isn't fixed in that time, then put it on hold.

This is precisely what "on hold" is. It used to be that questions were closed immediately when 5 users voted to close them. Now the following happens:

  • Questions are "on hold", not "closed", for the first 5 days.
  • During that grace period, if you edit the question, it'll automatically be put into a re-open review queue.

One other thought: the people voting to close the question must do some tasks to accomplish that, including stating a reason. The moderator needs to consolidate this into a message explaining the cause of the hold. Getting into and out of the queue requires review time by a number of people. In most cases, a simple boilerplate edit would solve the problem, such as modifying a few words into a phrase like "can someone cite a reference that answers the question of...". It would be a simple task for any one of the voters or the moderator to just make the change. This would eliminate the requirement and time demands for that question to go through the hold process.

Voting to close already requires a reason! The reason is right there in the "on hold" message. There's no need to add additional complexity to the moderation process. The cause for the question being put on hold is right there under the question. Why should we add requirements and time demands to put a question on hold to save the asker from requirements and time demands? An individual user may have a handful of their own questions on hold, but a moderator or reviewer may go through dozens in a day. The time of the reviewer is more valuable than the time of the user because the user only has to look at their one question that's on hold, not the hundreds they may be reviewing.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .