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For many graduated sites (eg Physics), moderators do not want to apply the unilateral close vote in all cases--it is better to let some community votes pile on first. We only use the unilateral in obvious cases then.

This renders the CV queue useless to us. If we "skip" something, we can't get back to it. If we say "do not close", it's removed from the queue and our community can't see it. If we use "close", we are using a unilateral mod vote--we don't want to do that.

What I propose is a set of "next/previous" buttons, that let us navigate the queues, looking for closeable questions, and coming back to the others later.

Thoughts?

Update and bounty reason

Due to the recent Great Flag Overhaul, mods no longer see close flags in the flag queue. Which means that the only way to get to them is via the review queue 1

Shog's solution is ideal in this case; let mods view the close queue as a list. (In fact, a list similar to the old flag queue -- which shows a list of mods who have seen the post and what mod actions have already been taken -- would be great)

On Physics, the majority of the flags that we get are VTC flags. And the community isn't always able to close things on their own, so we have to step in. However, powering through the close queue isn't an option; because "skip"ing a post2 leads to it being dumped into the void (I can't get back to it unless I have a link). Extremely inconvenient.

Could the workflow here be improved?

1. The /tools listing for posts with outstanding close votes doesn't work because it doesn't list posts which have been flagged but not VTCd

2. which I may want to take a closer look at later; gotta be careful with the binding votes.

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Can't moderators just use the Close list under the 10k tools? It's sorted by most close votes or most recent close votes, and will show items that haven't been voted "Do not close" –  Rachel Dec 10 '12 at 20:27
    
@Rachel: right, forgot about that (rarely use 'em, probably will need to now that I've been elected on Physics)... if you post it as an answer I'll accept... –  Manishearth Dec 10 '12 at 20:31
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Generally speaking, I think the solution to this problem is for people to stop treating mod closures as horrible abuses of authority. Our communities elect mods specifically to clean messes up. Granted, that's hard to accept when you think your site's mods frequently display poor judgment. –  Pops Dec 10 '12 at 20:32
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@PopularDemand: That's not the only reason we want to stop closing unilaterally. We also want to encourage community closes--we shouldn't have to do all of them ourselves. Eventually, mods should only need to exercise their power from the lens of the flag queue. Currently, on Chem, we mods pretty much close all the qs unilaterally (sometimes there's a single CV). On Physics, there are small handful who close vote--and out most prolific CVer was just elected. We'd like to encourage CVing on both communities. –  Manishearth Dec 10 '12 at 20:36
    
@PopularDemand I'd disagree with you there. I think moderators should be exception handlers, not janitors. They are there to handle the exceptional cases that the community can't handle themselves. Users should keep their own site clean, and not expect moderators to do so for them. It scales better, is easier to maintain, provides a better sense of community, and the decisions are publicly seen are community decisions, not a single moderator's decision. Its much easier to uphold a community run site with the will of the community instead of the will of a single user or small group of users –  Rachel Dec 10 '12 at 20:37
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@Rachel: This may work on Programmers and other large sites. On smaller sites like Physics (and beta sites like Chemistry), we mods pretty much have to exercise our binding CV in most cases, though we do encourage the community to help close posts. –  Manishearth Dec 10 '12 at 20:40
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@Manishearth That's being an exception handler :) The community is unable to close questions since there aren't enough active close voters, so a moderator needs to step in and help out. Once the community picks up and becomes more active in helping moderate the site, the moderators can step back a bit and only step in when they're needed. I think the Workplace is a great example of that happening, as Rarity pointed out in a recent meta post :) –  Rachel Dec 10 '12 at 20:43
    
@Rachel: True.... –  Manishearth Dec 10 '12 at 20:46
    
@Manishearth Something I enjoyed on some smaller SE sites I've seen, is moderators posting questions in chat and asking if they should be closed for x reason before actually voting to close. It left me with the feeling that the moderator was seeking community feedback before closing (even if that feedback was nothing), as opposed to simply voting to close on their own. It was also nice to always find a moderator in chat to discuss things with, and I knew I could stop by anytime I was in the mood to help out and would probably find some questions that needed attention there. –  Rachel Dec 10 '12 at 21:01
    
@Rachel: I did that in the initial days of the beta, but our chat became deserted later on. I'me always lurking, and sometimes people ask stuff, but mostly we're quiet... Though on Chem nobody (so far) has any issues with the unilateral voting :) –  Manishearth Dec 10 '12 at 21:07
    
@Manishearth Workplace chat was dead some days other than the occasional question post from one of the mods, but I appreciated their effort and glad they kept at it, and some days people actually answered back and some productive discussions occurred :) –  Rachel Dec 10 '12 at 21:10
    
@Rachel: Hmm, I may start again then, thanks for the suggestion :) –  Manishearth Dec 10 '12 at 21:11
    
I'm not sure a mods "Leave Open" vote is binding... doesn't solve your request but may make your life slightly easier if true? –  ben is uǝq backwards Jun 26 '13 at 21:52
    
@benisuǝqbackwards it is, so? That doesn't solve anything. And most cases where I want to not vote to close I would want to hold off decision on (by skipping) –  Manishearth Jun 26 '13 at 21:55
    
I thought not... I only mention because you said it was one of the options you had to discard. –  ben is uǝq backwards Jun 26 '13 at 21:57
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2 Answers 2

up vote 28 down vote accepted
+100

I don't think this needs to be so convenient as to require buttons on each review item, but a list - similar to the existing review history list - of pending review tasks per-queue would probably come in handy for moderators now and then.

As of 2014-7-2, this is the UI we've settled on:

"my review history" link

Moderators and 10K users visiting the /history tab for any review queue will, by default, see all recent reviews by all reviewers, but will have the option to filter this down to just their own reviews - including those they've skipped.

Additionally, moderators only will be encouraged to review their history upon reaching the end of the queue:

There are no items for you to review

This should be used only as you describe in the post: as a way to revisit items you left for the community to handle which were not resolved. You should otherwise strive to review normally: act on those items you strongly believe are actionable, skip those you do not feel strongly about.

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Yeah, something like that would do the job too :) –  Manishearth Jun 13 '13 at 15:48
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Aww yeah. :) I'm actually pretty happy with this solution. I think it solves most of the issues moderators are facing without compromising the whole point of the review queues too much. –  Anna Lear Jul 3 '13 at 21:53
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This is ...elegant. A simple "skipped only" button would be nice, but the volume on Phys.SE isn't so much that it's necessary imo. Question: if I re-review a skipped item, does the "skip" entry go away? –  Manishearth Jul 4 '13 at 3:03
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@Manishearth: no, it will add a second review with whatever action you take next. If you're really bored, you can start just piling up duplicate "Skip" entries for the same task even. Of course, if the review has already been completed by others, you won't be able to review it at all - but, you'll still be able to find it. FWIW: I don't see this as being particularly useful on high-volume sites, beyond just being able to view what you've done recently. –  Shog9 Jul 4 '13 at 4:43
    
@Shog9 Yeah, just tested that (was on mobile earlier). Well, this will be quite useful on Physics: There are obvious closes and then there are "hmm, let's see what the community thinks" type closes (or closes that will require a thorough reading of the question and comments). There have been plenty of instances when we leave a close flag intentionally unattended for a while, to see what the community thinks. We can afford not to power through the flags (making quick decisions) unlike SO. –  Manishearth Jul 4 '13 at 4:47
    
Now I need this for the First Posts queue. Is this coming, or should I open a new question? –  Michael Hampton Sep 7 '13 at 2:46
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I don't think this is needed because Moderators have access to the 10k tools, which includes a list of questions with close votes, sorted by either the most close votes or the most recent close votes.

I actually find the 10k tools better than the review queue in some cases, as users can vote a question out of the review queue by voting Do Not Close, while they can't vote it out of the 10k tools list.

Now if you want to discuss being able to go back and view skipped questions in the review queue for everyone... that's a different story. I'd like that ability as well, and don't think it should be limited to just moderators :)

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I noticed SE removed the tools link and forced it to be replaced with the review link, so I created a Userscript that put it back.. The 10k tools are awesome, IMHO, and I like having them just a click away. ;) –  jmort253 Dec 11 '12 at 4:59
    
@jmort253 Is that for specific sites or all of them? My 10k tools on two sites go to the Review page first now, but I can switch to Tools using a link in the upper-left of the page –  Rachel Dec 11 '12 at 12:57
    
Hi Rachel, it's for all sites where you have 10K (or 2K on Beta sites). It puts a "mod-tools" link to the left of "review". I'm kinda torn between whether or not to make the script replace "review" with "tools" or keep it how it is so that both are visible... Basically, this just makes it easier by 1 click to get to tools. It's nothing ground-breaking. ;) Let me know if you have any more questions! –  jmort253 Dec 16 '12 at 3:40
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This no longer is enough, (a) /tools doesn't list the recently flag-to-close-d posts, and (b) Neither does the mod queue, not anymore. (see update) –  Manishearth Jun 26 '13 at 21:51
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As @Manishearth has said, close flags are no longer in /tools/flagged or /admin/dashboard - they are only used as a signal for the "Close Votes" review queue. –  Jarrod Dixon Jul 1 '13 at 19:10
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