I recently noticed that I could now review posts and do some basic review tasks. In regards to the 'first posts' and 'late posts' in particular, I feel that if the reviewer(s) did their job adequately, we would not see so many downvotes on first time users questions. We still might see some but the basic errors of;

*"Hi my name is ... and I wanted to know ... any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

"I love security! I love this site! Go Eagles!"

"What do you guys think of ... ? I think it's bad/good, am I correct?"

"What is the best security tool?"

would be largely absent.

At the time of this posting, there are two questions asked within a few hours with 6 downvotes. I feel this is a shortcoming of the reviewers. Further, I think at least some of that shortcoming may spring from the fact that reviewers may seem rushed to perform a review task before someone else (for some reason humans are motivated by virtual badges).

I propose that for some or all of the review tasks, we impose a timed-lock of sorts to allow the reviewers to actually take the time needed to read and correct the posts. Something as simple as a message saying, "This post currently being reviewed. Your review will be queued second and used if the original reviewer does not finish." may work just fine.

Programmatically (I'm a programmer by trade), it could be implemented by storing the 'queued' reviews in a table or cache until needed or not needed (if not needed, then deleted from the cache/table). I assess this to be of little programming impact with potentially higher quality posts.

And we may already be implementing a lock just behind the scenes. If so, I say we peel back the veil...

  • Potentially useful - which posts specifically do you mean? I can see two, but one really deserves the downvotes and will get moved to comment shortly if the OP doesn't fix it.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 15:12
  • The two I saw this morning are here and here but I have seen worse ones out there. My point is essential that if the reviewers were doing their jobs more effectively than a brief glance (and even then probably not even that), then we may see less of these low quality posts. Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 17:47
  • Matthew - that first one has no hope of someone improving it. It required so much work - we have been trying to help that user understand how to ask questions here for some time. The 2nd one is definitely not a good fit here. So I wholly support the summary closing of both of them as not suitable here - they don't require more than a few seconds to be sure of this.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 17:53
  • 4
    So I'm not sure what the problem is - these posts deserved the downvotes, close votes, flags etc., and that is what the community is doing really well.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 17:55
  • 2
    "... then we may see less of these low quality posts". How? If those questions were downvoted, it actually means the reviewers did their job.
    – Simon
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 18:07
  • I think we are looking at two separate issues and it's my fault. The voting system works well especially with those two questions. I am merely suggesting an improvement on how to review so we lessen the potential of reviewers just clicking 'no action needed' instead of reading thoroughly enough first. It is difficult to determine if 'speed reviews' (the methodology of 'I gotta do this before someone else') is to blame, but I can say the thought has crossed my mind at least. Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 18:10
  • I don't think we have any evidence of speed reviewing here. In fact, of the 6 sites I moderate, this one has the most pro-active community when it comes to early response to posts. The mod team here have a pretty easy time - most bad posts are closed before we even see them.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 18:14
  • So if you can point me at a few where you think the process fails, that would be helpful for me to understand what you see not working.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 18:15
  • The issue I am trying to describe is of low importance and very difficult to replicate/describe (because it deals with human psychology). I apparently have failed to explain myself effectively, so I'm bowing out. I would delete this question but perhaps it has value later. Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


Down votes are, in fact, one indication that reviewers are doing their jobs. One of the review actions that you can take on a first or late post is indeed to up or down vote the post. It stands to reason then, that posts with a lot of down votes are simply poor quality posts, and not in indication of a lack of proper review.

This is in fact why we have the voting system on Stack Exchange, and why it allows down votes as well as up votes. It's a valuable piece of metadata to show what the community collectively feels about the value of any given post. In many cases low quality posts with many down votes do end up being closed or deleted, or otherwise cleaned up, but that should not necessarily be a step of first resort. The voting mechanisms allow a number of users to weigh in first, which ultimately results in our retaining the highest quality content. Because of this, I really wouldn't want a system that front-loads moderation to an extent that substantially eliminates the input of the community.


There is a proposed reform of first posts review, which includes the idea of locking posts at some stage of the review to avoid precipitation.

This being said, you seem to be confused as to the purpose of reviews. Posts in the review interface are already on the site. (This might change somewhat with the proposed new first posts review process.) Reviews cannot prevent bad questions from getting into the site. What reviews do is to ensure that at least one person will see post and act on it, that it won't get lost in the mass. Anyone, reviewer or not, can comment, edit, upvote, downvote, vote to close, etc.

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