Right now there's a ton of old game-recs in the CV queue. There's no great urgency to closing those (per the original discussions that put them off topic), and dumping a bunch of them in from a search is not only annoying, but tends to lead to hasty decisions because of the repetitiveness. In case one of them might be salvageable, this is not the way to cultivate that possibility.


2 Answers 2


Larger sites deal with a high count of review items on a regular basis and it works, because no single user is responsible for reviewing the whole queue and the system is built with that in mind.

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.

I know that on a site like this, where we have the luxury of a review-flag-notice-free page appearance the majority of the time, it can be annoying to see that count jump an order of magnitude more than usual. That reflex to conclude that something is wrong with it jumping a magnitude is understandable. I know it and understand it because I get that feeling and that reflex myself. But it's not a useful reflex or correct conclusion, and is best responded to with a moment's breath, a reminder that “it doesn't have to be me”, and a cup of tea if one is so inclined.

(As of this moment, the queue is down to 5 items.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've found that ginseng tea is especially good at making overwhelming tasks seem more manageable. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Apr 4, 2016 at 4:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's an answer from a long-term user somewhere on Meta.SE or Meta.SO I wish I could find. In short, they encourage people use the skip button, so as to lower their fatigue in reviewing - they remind you the reader that others will use the queue and be equally willing to help as you, and if you're ever unsure about a question skip it, and if you get tired, stop reviewing for a while and let other people help cover the queue. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2016 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do use Skip (as needed). I'm also extremely familiar with SO's queues (11k reviews) and burnination practices. The queue ballooning organically because some saw a bunch of posts that needed flagging is fine; the queue blowing up because someone dug through a bunch of similar posts is much less so, much like someone digging through a bunch of posts to edit with a search. (Especially if this generates lots of suggestions to review.) There's no need to bring in slippery-slope fallacies; if you see something to flag, flag it, but going looking should be done in moderation. \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Apr 4, 2016 at 4:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TuggyNE The comparison to edit floods doesn't work because while edit floods damage the front page by pushing current questions down or off, there's no analogous effect with flag floods. Further, seeing old content that needs flagging is most likely to happen while doing searches for other things. Possibly, someone might search only to find things to flag, but as that can't be distinguished and isn't causing problems anyway, it's fine if that happens sometimes. I maintain: there is no problem here, and therefore it does not need solving with behaviour changes that would be damaging. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2016 at 4:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ We've been told in the past not to worry too much about mass edits (eg, tag-fixing) either, as the front page sorting mechanisms rebound from the flood within hours. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Apr 4, 2016 at 4:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BESW Yes, not too much. Worry about it a bit, but not so much that it prevents necessary work. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2016 at 4:31

I'm the one who put those questions into the close vote queue, so I figured I should say my piece.

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.

Now, how those appeared was that they showed up in this query. That query shows up a number of places where our site can be improved. The low %'s showed up a number of questions that needed closure — some were discussiony, some were game recs — and closed questions don't show up in the query. So, I voted to close them to clear them out so we could focus on the more important stuff in that query.

I also just vote to close poor quality, discussiony or off-topic questions whenever I find them, whether old or new. This happens to be one of those occasions, and I happened to find several.

While I appreciate your concern for the review queues, I'm not going to clear my close votes with Meta first and ask for permission. I'm not going to do that for twenty questions the same reason I wouldn't ask it for one — I already have that permission, and any effort asking it and getting it pre-reviewed and approved (or denied) is likely to be as much if not more effort than just casting the close vote and getting it reviewed to begin with (which you'd then have to do as well anyway).

I find a question that needs to be closed, I vote to close it, others need to review it (but no individual has any obligation to do so, including you), there's nothing more to it than that. If you find that annoys you, then fine, but I'm not going to stop curating the site just because you're annoyed by the review queues getting content — if you don't want to review them, don't review them and leave them to someone else. Relax and find something else to do.

Aside from that: if I happen to put a large number of questions into the close review queue that shouldn't be closed, please do call me out on it. Flag me for moderator attention on any of my posts ("this person's filling the review queues up with junk that shouldn't be there, please have a word with them"), ping me in chat, mention it on Meta (which I pay active attention to), whatever seems like an appropriate way to get me to cut it out. Do the same for anyone else.

I also don't know what you mean by cultivating the possibility of salvageability — I'm not trying to do that, I'm getting closed questions that should be closed. If you think something is salvageable, well, now there's eyeballs on it and an Edit button right there in the review actions panel. Now's as good a time as any to try to salvage it, and I've salvaged multiple questions myself out of the close vote queue this way, when I sure wasn't going to see them any other way.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also worth pointing out: In the case of old rec questions, there's no difficult decisions to be made, and reviewing them is a mostly mechanical process. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Apr 4, 2016 at 4:49

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