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    Are decisions to close a particular question discussed somewhere where they can be read by people other than moderators (if that's what they are) who close a question?

    In the comments thread following a question, and here, but sometimes not at all.

    It's always okay to start a thread here asking about votes to close, and indeed to add a comment to the question linking to the thread here.

    Are you thinking about this thread, Michael?

    Usually what happens in a borderline thread like yours is there's discussion in the comments. Usually someone mentions they're going to close or they think it's not an appropriate question. If there's no further discussion in the comments thread it is oftentimes closed quite quickly. If there's significant discussion in the comments, an interested party creates a meta thread here to discuss the thread there -- and includes a link both in meta and the original thread so that people can easily go between the two. Sometimes the initial thread is closed before the meta discussion progresses very far, and then sometimes the thread is re-opened after some discussion on meta.

    That's roughly the procedure.
    Michael, there's a secret underground cabal that discusses closing questions - especially your questions - and you have to know the secret handshake to be let in on them, and if I tell you any more they'll kill me.

    Gerry, hold that thought... while you've still got your hands.

    • CommentAuthorWill Jagy
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2010
    Gerry, Wadim called it the Mofia. Ask him.
    Will, I'm here to promote conspiracy theories, not to indulge them.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2010 edited

    @Will: My favorite was "NARQ squad".

    • CommentAuthorMariano
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2010

    Wadim++ for coming up with Mofia!

    • CommentAuthorWill Jagy
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2010
    To fill in some blanks, Wadim remained unhappy with voting patterns (more than closings) and no longer posts on MO. My friend Dmitry regards it as standard Russian thinking to look for the hand of, say, the KGB, or less popularized agencies/institutions I could not name. It is not clear to me how seriously Wadim took that sort of idea. I can say that he was quite surprised when I directed him to look at Meta, how very open the deliberations were. So the discussion changed in nature. It was originally the Mafia, I suspect I came up with MOfia.

    The down side is that most votes come from unknown users, often fairly junior people. Wadim would post a promising technique for something similar and get downvotes for not answering the exact question. There were several other types of things that went wrong, and the last thing I want is a dissection here of Wadim's answers, just as I could hardly stand to see a dispassionate evaluation of mine. But he did get angry and left the site. From time to time I see an obvious Wadim question, but I no longer email him about those.