A +10-year-old site that I moderate is full of "too simple questions". Blame whatever you like, groupthink, low community participation on moderating the site, blame me, etc.

I think that questions that don't meet the quality standards should be closed.

Below there are some options that have considered so far:

  • Considering the site is under exceptional conditions, I could manually close these "too simple" questions.
    It will take me a lot of time, but I'm confident that eventually, these set of closed questions will communicate the right message: questions should meet the quality standards as I'm able to close more questions daily than the average number of new questions have being posted weekly, and probable monthly, in the last 2-3 years.

  • Leave the site floating to the derive hoping that sooner than later the community will "awake".
    I don't like this option as it looks to be magical thinking.

  • Accept that the site has suffered a self "imposed" downgrade. Instead of taking seriously the site description, i.e. "Q&A for experts in X", I might accept the fact that the volume of simple questions means "Q&A for anyone interested in X" and leave my spot to someone willing to moderate such the site.
    I don't like this option as it looks to me like it might be a mature and healthy decision, it has several caveats beyond losing moderation privileges and swag.

Am I missing another option?


From A Theory of Moderation

We believe deeply in community moderation. That’s why we appoint Pro Tempore Moderators and, ideally, democratically elected community moderators for every site in our network. But what do community moderators do? The short answer is, as little as possible!


Even with active community self-regulation, moderators occasionally need to intervene. Moderators are human exception handlers, there to deal with those (hopefully rare) exceptional conditions that should not normally happen, but when they do, they can bring your entire community to a screaming halt — if you don’t have human exception handling in place.

From Are Some Questions Too Simple?

The key distinction to make here, in my mind, is that all questions are ultimately in service of the people answering them. That is the audience you need to satisfy if you want to have any hope of creating and sustaining a community of peers learning from each other. The minimum bar for a question is not “is this on-topic?”, but rather “is this somewhat interesting and on-topic?”. I’m not saying every question needs to be utterly fascinating, but please endeavor to make your questions more than a constant stream of no-duh underhanded softballs requiring nothing more than a quick cut and paste from Wikipedia, IMDB, or some other standard internet reference site.

There’s nothing useful any expert can learn from ultra-basic questions. Allow your Q&A; community to fill itself with enough “General Reference” type questions and you’ll soon find no experts there at all.

From Groupthink | Wikipedia

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.

From Magical thinking | Wikipedia

Magical thinking, or superstitious thinking, is the belief that unrelated events are causally connected despite the absence of any plausible causal link between them, particularly as a result of supernatural effects. Examples include the idea that personal thoughts can influence the external world without acting on them, or that objects must be causally connected if they resemble each other or have come into contact with each other in the past. Magical thinking is a type of fallacious thinking and is a common source of invalid causal inferences. Unlike the confusion of correlation with causation, magical thinking does not require the events to be correlated.


Stack Overflow Blog

As of October 31, 2023, I requested to merge the account that I have used on this site with my main Stack Exchange network account.


1 Answer 1


Am I missing another option?

Yes, you could ask the community if they think that a better description of the site would be "Q&A for anyone interested in X". I see that's what you did on https://webapps.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5035/18147, and the most upvoted answer (4 upvotes, 0 downvotes) wrote it bold and large letters "Q&A site for users of web applications". So the community clearly disagrees with you. Unfortunately, you ignored the community and continued your closing spree.

As a side note, by my estimate, the site in question (https://webapps.stackexchange.com) has a ~60% of answer rate, so I don't think too may questions are overly simple.

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