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Why are there two distinct categories for First Posts and Late Answers? As both reviews are about checking the first time contribution of a person, what is the interest in having both?

First Posts: Review first posts from new users

Late Answers: Review late answers from new users

I know that first posts are not the same thing as late answers but new users are new users.

What difference does it make that they contribute to a recent or old question?

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Because your assumption is wrong: They're not both about checking the first contributions of a user. One of them is about checking Late Answers, and the other is about checking First Posts.

Late Answers are answers on questions which are more than 30 (60?) days old. While it's true that most of these are from newish users, that's not always the case. I've seen users with up to 1800 rep in that queue, and others with plenty of answers.

First Posts are actually the first few posts from each user, and are totally independent of late answers.

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The descriptions say: "Review first posts from new users" and "Review late answers from new users". – Damien May 10 '13 at 20:33
From my (limited) experience, I saw only newcomers in the Late Answers queue. – Damien May 10 '13 at 20:40
The definition of "new users" might be different on each queue, but I'm not sure. – bfavaretto May 10 '13 at 21:28
@Damien I'm not sure what the distinction is there. I know First Posts is just the first few posts; not sure about Late Answers' metric. – Emrakul May 10 '13 at 23:19
This still does not explain the different queues. It does not matter to the reviewer why the post is in that queue. – Wrzlprmft Aug 28 '15 at 10:56

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