The current review system encourages fake reviews; some people upvote everything rather than actually fixing problems
“Revolving door” reviews are getting out of control
I found myself in an interesting situation earlier today. I had just voted to close this post, when a suggested edit to it was made. I reviewed it and decided it was incorrect - a couple changes were helpful, like fixing the spelling of "parameter", but the rest were pointless or introduced grammatical errors.
I voted to reject it, because IMO it made the post worse. To my consternation, it was approved within seconds by other people, apparently grinding away in the edits queue. It seemed clear to me that this was wrong - so I rolled back the edit.
A minute later, the same user made exactly the same suggested edit. Again I voted to reject it and again it was almost instantly approved by other people. I rolled back again, and made my own edit, fixing the mispelling etc. so that hopefully the suggester would be satisfied and leave.
At this point it occurred to me that something had gone seriously wrong with our editing and review process. My previous impression of it as a self-correcting, community-based process had been replaced by an image of a misguided, gamification hamster wheel that nondeterministically introduced gibberish into the system with community approval.
[wanted to post screenshot of hamster wheel from Incredible Machine 3, couldn't find one]
Troubled, I flagged the post for moderator attention, saying: "Our editing process is seriously broken. Please review what is happening here." I figured a moderator would see the edit history and sympathize with my point of view. Unfortunately the responding mod declined the flag, saying: "Please don't rollback useful edits. Expand them, add to them, but don't roll them back." He then rolled back my rollback and locked the post. It seemed I had flagged myself for inappropriate behavior.
I flagged again, saying: "RE declined flag by George Stocker: I think you may have misunderstood. The edit I rolled back was incorrect. Please read the edit history closely." After a while this flag was reviewed, but no further action was taken. Luckily, it was marked "helpful" which completely resolves the matter since I'm a robot whose actions are only motivated by points and shiny decorations. Beep boop, must get Marshal badge.
In all seriousness: I'm wondering how I could've approached this situation differently. What would be the best course of action in this scenario, where I was systematically in the minority, but genuinely felt like the other people weren't thinking as much about their actions?
More broadly, I just want to add to the calls for some serious reflection on the current edit and review process. I know that's already taking place in the above linked posts, so this need not become another debate about what they are already covering. But it's important to recognize that this isn't just a matter of fake reviews, but some really careless ones too. Let's not become hamsters.