Before I reached 10K, the orange counter next to the top bar's "Review" link was very useful. It popped-up as soon as there was some suggested edit(s) to review so they can quickly get my attention.

After reaching 10K, since a recent "evolution", this counter theorically now shows the total number of pending reviews for everyone, no matter if I have any pending review myself or not. Concretely, it is just always present displaying some random number between around 5 an 10.

I see it a bit like a mail notifier notifying you that someone has received an email even if you yourself have no unread messages. It just feels useless to me or, to be fair, I do not understand the role and meaning of this indicator.

Let's say the counter shows 5 but I have no pending review. What should I do to get it to 0? Or should I just ignore it and miss a lost feature? (damned, this was punishment for having written too much answers, 10K users are actually being sanctioned here ;) !)

The more I read, the more I have the impression that this number is just a trend information misplaced here instead of the "Stats" tab. It just seem obvious to me to reserve such orange-highlighted indicator to an urgent and actionable information... and again I perceived the previous indicator as really useful.

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I've found no technical answer for this, so my best guess is that the answer lies somewhere else.

My observations are that the counter now takes into account all review queues from everybody, and pop-ups only when a certain threshold (most probably defined on a per-site basis, each site having different loads, the threshold appearing to be currently set to 3 reviews on Security SE), leading to these notable effects:

  • The counter may be present while I have myself no pending review in any queue,
  • The counter may be absent while I have some pending reviews (total number of pending reviews < threshold).

Here is how I understand this now:

  • While the user is below 2K, there is no such indicator (even though starting from 500 a user already has access to a few review queues). At this stage the new user user should focus on understanding how SE works and what defines a good post on the current site.
  • This counter first appears when the user reaches 2K. He has gained more experience, this counter will notify him about the status of his own Suggested Edits queue. This is a way to encourage the user to familiarize himself with the reviewing process.
  • Starting from 10K, the counter keeps the same visual look but as I saw his meaning is completely changed. Having gained some experience, the user is given a more management-like role (as can be understood from the 10K privilege lecture: "we're counting on you to guide the community and lead by example").
    Such user should:
    • Not focus on individual review tasks but instead delegate this to lower rep users so they can evolve,
    • Just ensure that the reviews queues remain manageable, that's why he is only alerted when the queues as a whole go beyond some threshold so he can act accordingly (take a part in the review process, or in the worst case invite other established users to give a hand).
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This has been answered over on meta.SE

It is the number of pending edit reviews. They may not be accessible to you because of rep, or because you have already reviewed and they are waiting on someone else to review.

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    I don't think so, this is described as "10K users now see the total number of pending review tasks in the top bar instead of just pending suggested edits.", so it merges all pending reviews (with the exception of Close votes on StackOverflow but we are not concerned here). Members with a reputation below 10K have a personalized counter of pending edit reviews, I mean except very rare exceptions (like own tags edit) the counter really shows number of reviews the user can actually validate after which the counter disappear for this user. – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 20 '16 at 17:01
  • My issue with this is two sides: I have lost a functionality because I'm not warned anymore when an edit suggestion awaits my review, and I have an irritating orange highlighted counter warning me of nothing I can really act on (for this the Remove It Permanently FF module seems to do a good work). – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 20 '16 at 17:07
  • Check my update. The original link was the wrong one, sorry. – Rory Alsop Jan 20 '16 at 17:07
  • I have never ever seen that orange number be correct for me, so I don't even see it now. – Rory Alsop Jan 20 '16 at 17:08
  • Well, for me it was correct until yesterday evening :(... Well, with the help of time I guess I will forget about it, but it is still sad to loose a useful functionality just because I was promoted 10K, as I said it feels a bit like being punished for filling SE databases with answers ;) ! – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 20 '16 at 17:11
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    @WhiteWinterWolf yes yes, we caught your humblebrag there... Congrats on reaching 10K !! ;-) – AviD Jan 22 '16 at 11:12
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    @AviD: Well, maybe, maybe not ;), but thanks anyway :). I like to understand what I'm expected to do and why, and people behind SE do not seem stupid so I was wondering about the actual reason behind such change, but now I think I understand better (as long as the answer I've just posted makes any sense, of course!). – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 25 '16 at 17:24

There are two things going on here.

  1. As you noticed, before you reached 10k, the count was of suggested edits; now, it's of all queues.

  2. The number is heavily cached, which can make it seem wildly inaccurate when the queues are empty or nearly so (the difference between 0 and 5 feels bigger than the difference between 110 and 115).

There's not necessarily any action for you to take if you click on the number and don't see anything to do. An exception might be if you'd previously skipped a review and want to go back to it.

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