I don't believe it's a surprise to anyone that I'm an advocate of swift question closure. I'd rather have a chance to help a user produce a great question than suffer the problems that come with merely good (or worse, mediocre) questions.
However, whether you agree with my behavior or not, I believe close voting on our creative, subjective, and amazing Stack suffers for inconsistent close voting—especially as most close voters choose not to offer advice for improving the question.
An example of my concern comes from one of our users, who posted this question:
- Would many parents use In Vitro Gametogenesis and Designer Baby technology to choose to have girls with Complete Androgen insensitivity Syndrome?
which was closed within a day and aggregating eight down-votes. However, this question from the same user posted 20 days ago:
is identical in form and intent and yet aggregated two up-votes and nary a single close vote. This was preceded by this related question posted yet two weeks earlier:
which aggregated three down-votes and was closed for a completely different reason than the first question I mentioned.
Request #1 I ask the moderators to please, please, please make the effort to come up with a final policy for how the Opinion-Based close reason should be used on this site and post that policy in the most closely-related Help Center page you can edit. We've been debating this since 2014. While I suspect a debate about how it should be used would be vigorous, I also suspect that in the long run nobody will care what the policy is so long as there's a posted explanation that everyone can easily point to for the purpose of justifying how they used that vote. Please. I'm begging on my hands and knees.
It doesn't help that VTC:Opinion-Based it closely related to the just-as-long-debated issue of allowing Fishing-for-Ideas/Idea-Generation/Brainstorming questions. At one time I promoted the idea that asking for an infinite list of things (meaning the question is poorly bounded) is off-topic while asking for a finite list of things (meaning the question is well enough bounded to limit responses) is on-topic. But while that distinction was reasonably well received, time has proven that creating Meta-only-based policies simply doesn't work in the long run.
Request #2 I ask all users to please think through your VTC reasoning. Even if you choose to offer no additional insight to the OP (which is your right), if you can justify in your heart-of-hearts any close reason other than Opinion-Based, please get in the habit of doing so. If you seriously think Opinion-Based is the only right answer, I further recommend that you instead select "A Community-Specific Reason -> Other" and explain it.