The mod team has often closed threads based on our individual judgments, basically "if we don't think it should be open, we can close it." We decided that this left way too much room for disagreement between the mod team about what should and shouldn't be closed. We've agreed to all follow the below criteria for closing a thread and we want to make sure you guys know when we will.
#1: Duplicate thread: Another similar thread already exists and is moderately active.
#2: Spam thread: We all like our fun, but there can be too much of a good thing.
#3: Includes content we don't allow (copyrighted material, porn, private info related to Green Day, paparazzi stuff)
#4: List type replies: (What's your favorite song, favorite member, etc.) Everyone just replies with a couple words and there's no incentive for conversation.
#5: A blatantly stupid thread that shows no potential for engaging conversation. Will only be closed after more mods have agreed it should be.
There are a couple items on that list that still require us to use our own judgement (#4 and #5 especially). In those situations we'll talk it over with other mods to decide if it should or shouldn't be closed.
We have a topic in the mod forum where any one of us can ask the rest of the team for feedback about a thread and whether it should be closed. We also use the thread to challenge each other if one of us doesn't think a thread should have been closed.
When we close a thread from now on we will link to this post along with the rule number that correlates to why it was closed. If you feel like we closed a thread that should remain open, I encourage you to use the Report button on the mods closing post and give us your reason. The mod team will discuss it and if we agree we'll reverse our decision.
Hopefully this will clear up some of the vagueness about what we close. If you guys see a thread that breaks one of these rules and you think should be closed, we would prefer that you use the Report button and send it to us, rather than posting in the thread. A mod will take action on your report as soon as we can.