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There seems to be a consensus that robo-upvoters are running rampant on Stack Overflow because of the Late Answer and First Post review queues.

You've all seen it, spam that has been upvoted, questions that have been upvoted, and so on and so forth.

What if we were to create a badge, such as Attentive/Thorough, with the following criteria:

  • Flagged first answer with either Spam, Low Quality or Not An Answer
  • The answer must have at least one or more upvotes, but not necessarily a positive balance
  • You cannot have upvoted the answer yourself

As usual, there could be multiple levels, such as 1/25/100 for bronze, silver and gold.

I know there is Citizen Patrol, Deputy and Marshall for flagging posts, but I believe these new badges would specifically target the problem of upvoting what should be obviously junk answers in the review queues.

It could possibly give the badge grinders something else to do while grinding through the Late Answer and First Post Review queues, and it might even make them actually read the answer...

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Does this have any effect at all on the robo-voters, or is it just an incentive to flag? – Robert Harvey Dec 12 '12 at 18:55
So what will happen if/when the issue with bad reviewers are fixed at the source, given that you're just trying to mitigate the symptoms of it? – Servy Dec 12 '12 at 18:58
I guess my idea was that if people saw these badges were available, they'd feel compelled to earn them, and to earn them, they'd be more attentive when reviewing. Maybe that didn't come across correctly, or maybe the idea is just flawed. Based on the downvotes, I'm guessing the latter. – LittleBobbyTables Dec 12 '12 at 23:08
up vote 10 down vote accepted

How exactly would this stop bad upvoters? You're just splitting up the possibility of abuse into different categories.

  1. There will still be people blindly casting upvotes to get the normal review badges, which would not be affected at all by these newer badges.

  2. For those posts which shouldn't / don't need to be flagged, users will still blindly upvote the post simply because they still want their review to count and flagging is not a viable option.

  3. Generally, bad flagging isn't usually a problem, since the flagging badges require them to be marked as helpful. So these badges would also need to require them to be marked helpful. Even with that, there's still the possibility that users will just abuse flags, since casting a flag still counts as an action and would still count towards their overall badge progress in the review system, no matter what the outcome is.

So really, you're encouraging people to flag more when it's appropriate to flag. But that's what the existing flagging badges are already for. I don't see how these badges would at all affect the overall outcome of the review system.

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At this point, we're getting a bit ridiculous with the badge pimping here. Do we really need another badge for being a good reviewer?

Why not, instead, implement a system to automatically resolve cases such as this? They're common enough that developing something to solve this/remove poor reviewers from the system would be a better undertaking than delegating this to end users again.

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There should be a automatic review ban just like question ban. – juergen d Dec 12 '12 at 18:58
@juergend I found the faq and it does say In the future, it is possible that repeatedly failing audits will cause you to be blocked from reviewing for a period of time. so it may indeed happen – Some Helpful Commenter Dec 12 '12 at 19:50

They talked about on the podcast before last of heuristically determining good reviewing based on comparison to aggregate stats. They could just create an index number that shows how good or bad you are and base the badge on that.

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