Just noticing a lot of edits where the editor mentioned having edited a post because of community consensus on an issue, but when looking at the related meta post I'm seeing very few actual votes...

To be clear I don't necessarily disagree with the specific edits, I'm just questioning whether we should be calling it a "community consensus" when so few people were involved in the decision making process.

Should we slow down a bit, and ask more people to participate in our meta discussions before claiming that an issue is settled and decided?

  • 1
    My concern is that only a handful of people (20?) actually visit meta to vote on decision, like removing tag, synonymizing, or deciding off or on-topic questions. However, I think we should define the least amount of votes and minimum duration of the post to execute the decision.
    – Vylix
    Aug 6, 2017 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Vylix Nah, probably less. There's only maybe about 6-8 names (no meme intended) that I see regularly coming to meta and fully participating in discussions. I like to give people at least 24 hours (so that everyone around the globe has a time slot to come on) - but if people don't always vote, add comments, then there isn't a whole lot of leeway to operate on.
    – Zizouz212
    Aug 6, 2017 at 21:53
  • Are you complaining about my edits removing two tags? Because those tags are easy to recreate if the consensus changes. And for a question about a tag that doesn't affect very many questions in a beta site, there was consensus. (Also, if this was an established site, people would be shocked that those tags weren't removed during the beta).
    – user288
    Aug 6, 2017 at 21:59
  • @Hamlet please don't take this personally. There bound to be some agreement about this eventually, and it's a good thing it's brought to meta to give community better options on addressing stuffs.
    – Vylix
    Aug 6, 2017 at 22:23
  • 1
    @Vylix I'm not taking it personally. I'm just trying to explain that for minor changes that can be easily reversed, the requirements for consensus should be lower. Want to close half the questions on a site? You need a huge consensus. Want to remove a tag that effects a handful of questions? You need a small consensus. There is no fixed number of upvotes.
    – user288
    Aug 6, 2017 at 22:28
  • 4
    @Hamlet Regarding your edit suggestions, I agree with you. I even approved them. But your assertion that you have "consensus" is what sounded odd. Anyways. it's a minor issue. Can rollback those few edits, if there's disagreement.
    – NVZ
    Aug 7, 2017 at 4:45

1 Answer 1


Depends on how you define "consensus" in meta.

After something has been posted in meta for a while, it's reasonable to presume anyone interested has had the chance to weigh in as much as they wish. If a proposal receives no discussion from other users, and isn't debated in the main chat room, one can only presume that other users have no opinion on the issue, or just don't care.

Votes, up for agree and down for disagree, remains the only useful metric. If the votes in both directions are nearly split, then the lack of consensus makes sense. On the other hand, if there are only a few votes, yet they agree, in the main, the presumption is that of the users who care about it, the opinion is "good idea," and moving ahead with proposed action(s), especially ones that are trivial to reverse, is likely the best course to follow.

For most issues on a site this size, and in beta besides, one cycle of the timezones seems like it should be enough time for interested users to express whatever opinions they might have on the subject. As the site's user base grows, especially as more users get involved in the meta of the site, a longer period may become expedient.

  • 4
    One cycle of timezones seems a bit quick, actually. That supposes that everyone checks in every day (their local day). I'm used to a bit more time for consensus to be reached, especially on contentious issues.
    – SQB
    Aug 8, 2017 at 7:22
  • I think 3 days is enough?
    – Vylix
    Aug 9, 2017 at 6:09

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