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Over the last couple of weeks, my review queue has been mostly filled with close / reopen request for questions from 2011.

This feels like a waste of everyone's time. It is a waste of time for the person or persons going around flagging these decade-old questions; questions written when the rules of 'what is appropriate for the site' were very different. It is a waste of time for myself and every other reviewer to evaluate if these questions, that were asked and answered more than ten years ago, should remain open. And it is a waste of time to discuss if they should be re-opened for new answers when they have been closed.

Is there any way we can stop this kind of excessive curation of the archives?

Clarification: I am not questioning if these threads should be closed. If they violate the rules of the stack then they should be closed. The issue I am observing is that it appears that someone is trolling the Stack by going through inactive question archives and flagging for closures.
Is there a way to stop such trolling?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you feel like a review is not worth your time, you can always skip it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Aug 26 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, last night I definitely popped a Chuck Norris meme comment onto a question in the Close Queue, only to notice immediately thereafter that the question was from 2010. I mean, Chuck Norris will never not be funny, but still. \$\endgroup\$
    – screamline
    Aug 26 at 15:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see a better fix than mirroring answers a bit, but categorizing activity as trolling is not very nice. If you think someone is actually trolling the site (which implies an intent of malice) just flag it for moderators. In that case, all raising it on meta would do is give them the reward of seeing you frustrated. But I'd typically want to see more than just a trickle of old, borderline questions be put into the close queue. And I'm basing borderline here in part on the questions get both Close and Leave open votes. There was thinking to do there, which is what the queues are for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Aug 26 at 20:23
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No one is trolling anyone.

In a comment below this answer, doppelgreener wrote:

Since I'm being quoted here, I will add that I have been repeatedly vocal that we should not be hunting down old questions to close that haven't been recently active. So while I agree voting to close them when we come across them isn't inherently an issue, actively seeking out ancient long-untouched questions to close is creating unnecessary busywork that I believe is an issue—which may be the driver of the complaint in this question.

I VTC a lot of questions, more than anyone else. But I also see a lot of questions, more than anyone else. I went back through the last week or so of questions in the close vote queue. A lot of them were stuck there by me, doing exactly as doppelgreener describes in that comment:

So while I agree voting to close them when we come across them isn't inherently an issue

If I come across a question I think should be closed I vote to close it. I agree, trawling through pages of questions seeking closure targets is a waste of time, and I can assure you I'm not wasting my time doing it. There are so many other things I waste my time doing on this site. I'm not going to submit a "proof you found these questions organically" here, because that would be an even bigger waste of time. As explained below, the review queues are functioning as intended, the volume is well within our ability to manage it even at its peak, and if you think a question should be closed, you should be able to make that decision without checking its timestamp.

Off topic questions should be closed, regardless of age. This is consistent with local and network meta guidance.

Doppelgreener writes in her answer here:

close voting has nothing to do with a question's age, score, or answers. If it's close-worthy by our current standards, we close it, that's it. Sometimes answers help us recognise a question is good & worth keeping open, or not, but that's about it.

Mxyzplk writes in their answer here

A bad question, old or not, CW or not, should be closed. But the close should be like any other close - we should be seeing if something can be salvaged out of it.

AceCalhoon writes in their answer here:

If you do find an old post and want to do something about it, you have several tools at your disposal. Flagging it, with an explanation as to why it should be closed let's us know your thought. You can also vote to close yourself, although you'll probably need to do some work in meta and chat to get others to look at it within the window.

Doppelgreener returns with more guidance here:

There were game-recs and other old questions there, and I didn't dump them in from search. I'll get back to that.

If you find it so annoying to deal with, I encourage you to leave the review queue alone at those times. There's plenty of other people to cover for you. If you feel you're being hasty (as in, making poor reviews), please step back from the reviews and get a drink and do something more personally important to you. You avoiding review fatigue is important, the site getting good reviews is important, so it's a win/win if you step back when the review queue's fatiguing you.

I agree there's no urgency in closing them. There is, however, importance in curating our site, and because our questions are timeless we can do that basically whenever. If we only leave curation 'til it's urgent, I can't imagine what condition our site would be in — it'd probably be a cesspool by then and you and I would be long gone. So, yeah, it's not urgent, but that doesn't matter or suggest we shouldn't be closing them.

To the same question, SSD provides more guidance:

Reviewers can just take bites out of it, and bow out when decision fatigue rears its head. Pressing Skip when at all unsure helps a lot in that regard, too. Others will pick it up and take care of a few more, until the whole queue has been reviewed. Crowdsourcing at work!

It's much preferable for the queue to balloon occasionally, and be handled by the normal crowdsourcing mechanisms it has for precisely such events, than for people to refrain from flagging when they see something that deserves a flag. All that refraining results in is different people having to—redundantly—each stop and ponder how much flagging is “too much,” wasting user energy that would be better spent just about anywhere else on-site or off, just so that we can, inexplicably, prevent the flood-management measures designed into the system already from needing to be used.

Clearing each flood with meta (and then spinning off metas that seek to define what is and isn't a flood!) would be, for similar reasons, far more wasteful and inefficient than just using flags and the review queues as they are designed to be used.

Meta.se guidance echoes this guidance here:

View all question with today's standards. If the question fits as per current standards then leave it open; if it doesn't fit then vote/flag to close it. If we keep the questions which don't fit as per current standards, then people will ask why the questions are still open.

This sentiment of closing old, off topic questions is represented further in these questions from Meta.se:

The testimony of both site-specific guidance and network meta guidance is overwhelmingly consistent: off topic questions should be closed without regard for age.

You write your question as if your are obliged to work the review queue.

Let's make something clear:

The review queue is an opt-in experience.

When you look at the review queue, you are looking at the review queue because you intend to review things in the queue.

It is entirely backwards to approach the review queue intending to review questions and then complain when there are questions there. And maybe you don't like that a question is there - then skip the review per SSD's guidance, and you've wasted none of your precious time.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since I'm being quoted here, I will add that I have been repeatedly vocal that we should not be hunting down old questions to close that haven't been recently active. So while I agree voting to close them when we come across them isn't inherently an issue, actively seeking out ancient long-untouched questions to close is creating unnecessary busywork that I believe is an issue—which may be the driver of the complaint in this question. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26 at 14:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Expressed the issue that my question is about. Recent experience has made it appear that someone is digging through old, inactive questions just to close them. That creates unnecessary busywork for someone else to check in their review queue (even just to hit Skip). Personally, I am happy to contribute to the site by participating in my review queue but I am upset by someone seeming to troll reviews by flagging over a dozen decade-old inactive questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Aug 26 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ValhallaGH Reviewing the questions that have been in the close queue over the last week, a lot of them are questions that I was the first VTC on, and I can assure you I am not trolling anyone, or scrolling through pages of old posts looking for questions to close. You seem to be choosing to be upset over an assumption that just isn't true. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26 at 17:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Thanks for explaining the situation. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26 at 20:32
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Closing off-topic questions is not trolling and I would avoid calling it such

The people who are voting on questions through the queue are voting how they vote because they genuinely believe it is the right thing to do. Not just anybody can cast close votes; you need three thousand reputation in order to do this, and that is no small number. These are people who have been on the site and are doing what they believe is the right thing.

People who are voting to close older questions could very easily have come across them naturally, in fact, I recently wrote a comment linking to four older questions and each of these has linked and related question lists all their own. We should be careful with assumptions about how people are finding questions to add into the review queue.

Leaving questions that should be closed open creates confusion for users

Taking a quote from MSE:

[...] If we keep the questions which don't fit as per current standards, then people will ask why the questions are still open.

And adding to that my own personal experience: When I started on this site (and still now) one thing I constantly did before asking a question was look for previous, similar questions either to link as being related or to ensure myself that my question was okay to ask. I distinctly remember one instance where I even linked to an old, open question as proof that my question was, in fact, on-topic. I was then told that the old question was itself off-topic, resulting in confusion for myself as to why it was even open and had answers, high-scoring ones at that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Technical correction on the opening paragraph, close flags also put questions into the review queue. That's not what happened here, but that isn't knowable to non-mods. It doesn't invalidate your general point. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Aug 26 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil What is a close flag? This Q&A seems to say they are the same. Is that reputation requirement different then? \$\endgroup\$
    – Medix2
    Aug 26 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 When a user does not have the close vote privilege, they can flag for the usual close reasons. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26 at 20:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 It's castable with the flag privilege (15 rep) and only puts the question into the close queue. If you don't have 3k rep, you'll see a flag option on questions called "needs improvement" (if you choose it, you'll see the familiar close reasons). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Aug 26 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think most people here are using “troll” to mean “trawl”, not in the sense of internet misbehavior. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Oct 9 at 21:37

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