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In the Low Quality review queue a single Looks Good click is enough to take the post out of the queue, I believe. I'm basing this on empirical observations but on Stack Overflow at least, this appears to be the case1.

The system should not be quite so simple as it enables a single mis-click or robo-reviewer to stop spam/non-answers from being deleted and allows a single "looks good" to override multiple people's delete votes. I had envisaged this more as a scoring system; say the post has to reach a score of -X to be deleted or +Y to be saved. A Recommend Deletion click would be a -1 and a Looks Good click would be a +1.

If Y is less than X then a minority of people can still save an answer from deletion by people not paying attention but they cannot overrule the majority easily. If, for instance, Y was 2 and X was 5, once 4 deletion "votes" had been gained it would take 6 looks good "votes" to save the answer. Equally, the one person who clicked Looks Good at the beginning cannot take the post out of the queue on their own and if an additional 6 people think the post should be deleted then it will be. (Obviously, these numbers are not necessarily appropriate for every/any site in the network).

1. Evidence - Single "looks good" click, "looks good" after a deletion vote.

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Are you sure the posts are not removed from the queue because they have been deleted? Using the first link you report on the bottom of your question, I am redirected to a page where I read answer not found, and question not found. As I am not a 10K user on Stack Overflow, those phrases lead me to think the question has been deleted. –  kiamlaluno Dec 23 '12 at 13:35
That was an extremely poor example then @kiamlaluno; the entire question was deleted there. I'm not sure but I'm 99%. I've changed the example. –  ben is uǝq backwards Dec 23 '12 at 13:39
I'm not sure about the scoring system, but I definitely agree with the core issue: a single "Looks Good" vote should not be enough to remove an item from the queue. I don't see allowing more reviewers as a bad thing, since the queue pretty much sits at zero right now. –  LittleBobbyTables Oct 28 '13 at 17:54
Similar problem: Please require more reviewers on First Posts (just linking it here, carry on) –  animuson Nov 6 '13 at 15:37
it is worth noting that in this regard, VLQ flags per current system somehow manage to do the magic of increasing the number of Looks-Good required to take the post out of the queue –  gnat Nov 8 '13 at 15:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 12 down vote accepted

A post enters the Low Quality queue based on either simple heuristics (the system's quality score) or one person's flag.

At this point, there's a reasonable chance that the post should be deleted, but that's hardly a given: the system can't judge the context of the post or even the meaning of the content, and folks have a long history of misusing the VLQ flag.

In some cases, the quality of a post changes between the time it enters the queue and the time it leaves. Remember, reviewers are prompted to leave an explanatory comment when voting or recommending deletion - occasionally, an author will read this and edit his post.

Finally, this emphatically is not a scoring system - we have one of those already. You're not collaborating here to judge the worth of a post, you're helping to answer a question:

  • Is this post complete, unsalvageable garbage, an embarrassment to its author, a shame to his ancestors, and a blight upon the site?

This isn't a question to be taken lightly: if the answer is "yes", the post will be removed from the site, an action normally reserved for moderators and trusted users. This isn't a choice between two equally-preferable outcomes: the burden should be on the folks who think a post should be removed, not equally-divided and certainly not the other way around. If the reviewers make a mistake and fail to delete a bad post, there's a fallback that involves the elected moderators; since the post is still visible to everyone, there's a good chance someone else will see it and flag it. This isn't the case for the reverse: if a reasonable post is deleted, only a handful of people can still even find it.

That said, although we don't have the fancy system you propose, it isn't quite as simple as you suppose either:

  • If multiple readers flag a post, it'll take multiple reviewers to override them.
  • If both the system and a reader flag a post, it'll take two reviewers to override them (does not apply to Stack Overflow, since the system doesn't flag posts there).
  • If trusted users vote to delete, those votes persist regardless of how many people respond "Looks Good". Because we trust them.

So far, this seems to be working reasonably well, and has removed a great deal of fairly mindless work from the moderator queue.

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Frankly, I think we should take inspiration from Mary Tyler Moore and change the text "Looks Good" to "Not Awful". –  Al E. Nov 8 '13 at 16:57
"reviewers are prompted to leave an explanatory comment" -- worth noting that they are also presented with a No Comment option, which can eventually remove the post without comments –  gnat Nov 8 '13 at 17:02
Since you didn't change it, don't you mean status-bydesign? –  JoshDM Nov 8 '13 at 17:05
Thank you for taking the time to answer it's good to know that it's not quite as simple as it was/seemed. –  ben is uǝq backwards Nov 8 '13 at 17:07
"If both the system and a reader flag a post, it'll take two reviewers to override them" - per my testing performed here, this doesn't look like the case: despite the additional flag on the item that was in queue, single Looks Good dropped the post off the queue –  gnat Nov 8 '13 at 17:24
If the flag is handled by a mod, does that action remove the post from the review queue? –  Monica Cellio Nov 8 '13 at 17:56
@Josh: well, it changed between the time this was written and now; I just forgot this post existed until gnat pointed it out. –  Shog9 Nov 8 '13 at 18:19
@gnat: see my edit; LQ posts aren't auto-flagged on Stack Overflow. –  Shog9 Nov 8 '13 at 18:20
@Shog9 thanks... but still, I do not completely understand outcome of my test. Whatever was there that pushed the post into queue, I added an additional, my VLQ flag over it - how comes that this did not result into increasing of number Looks Good votes required to pull it out of queue? –  gnat Nov 8 '13 at 18:24
There's only one flag on that post, gnat - it entered review because of its low quality score (in this case, triggered mostly by length), but did not garner a flag until you flagged it. –  Shog9 Nov 8 '13 at 18:27
got it - thanks! that matches specification - "If more than one VLQ flag accumulates..." condition wasn't triggered –  gnat Nov 8 '13 at 18:36
@Monica: it is made ineligible for review at that point, removing it from the queue. –  Shog9 Nov 8 '13 at 22:18
"If trusted users vote to delete, those votes persist ... " is incorrect. The present behavior is that if the post gets deleted from review before getting 3 trusted user votes, and the author undeletes, the trusted users' votes vanish in a puff. –  Yes Jul 8 '14 at 18:04
That is not a scenario that I address in this answer, @This (the question is specifically concerned with the effect of Looks Good). However, this answer is out of date; I'll update it. –  Shog9 Jul 8 '14 at 18:08

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