Having seen at least two questions here on Meta today about reviewers running into honeypot questions that may have been edited into shape in the meantime and undeleted, I think there needs to be a mechanism in place for users to audit this audit mechanism.

I grant you, having an It's not fair button to report a false positive underneath the I understand one would be asking for a lot of clicks from disgruntled users who were upset that they were delayed in their quest to click to badges paradise, so perhaps putting a 5K or 10K rep floor on the ability to do so would curtail some, but certainly not all, abuses of such a system.

Why is this important? Reviewers that may be tripping these honeypots deserve a clear-cut example to follow. Really, perhaps the "mini-lecture" that accompanies these would be better served with some custom text from a human. Given the frequency with which they come up, this may or may not be prohibitive, but in place of that human touch, consistency would be the best teacher. Learning from a moving (or an already edited) target is almost futile.

  • 2
    I just got caught out by one of these for upvoting an answer. I had previously flagged an answer as being 'not an answer' but, as the user made some attempt at providing at least some helpful information, my flag was declined. I reviewed the honeypot question taking this into account. The user had provided information that was helpful even if it didn't answer the question directly as was the case when I got my declined flag. I am now very confused about what the right thing to do is in these cases :(
    – Ren
    Dec 7 '12 at 12:04

Or, just tweak the system to use the version of the post that actually caused it to become an audit candidate. There doesn't seem to be an issue with how they're being chosen, just with them being edited after they've been chosen. Showing an old revision doesn't matter because it's an audit - we're just making sure you're paying attention, and whatever action you take doesn't actually happen anyways.

I think allowing users to flag false-positives just complicates the system more than is needed. I personally think the proper action for these is reporting them here on Meta because there's the chance that if there is a false positive showing up, it might not have deserved to be deleted to begin with or may deserve to now be undeleted, and that's certainly something the community should be discussing, not a single user clicking an "Oh, I disagree" button and letting it float off into the sun. Adding a small section explaining false positives and how to properly report them might alleviate some of the confusion as well.

  • I think there are false positives beyond these edited examples as well. Besides that, I don't think looking for an older edit of a post takes any less code than a simple button would, especially since these honeypots are already being logged somewhere.
    – jonsca
    Dec 5 '12 at 3:15
  • Also, if the site were in a position for the community to be discussing these openly, it would be hard to give them as much validity as an audit mechanism.
    – jonsca
    Dec 5 '12 at 3:18
  • But a button only accounts for that single user's opinion. If that user has the wrong impression of a post or isn't seeing the real reason why it was deleted, then pushing a button achieves absolutely nothing and they walk away from the experience with the feeling that they did nothing wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, even moderators, and sometimes a Meta discussion is what it takes to point things out to them.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 5 '12 at 3:22
  • If they're pushing the button, perhaps they have done nothing wrong. These are being chosen automatically from deleted posts, and as we can see from today's Meta posts, even the most deliberate, careful moderators can "fat-finger" one from time to time.
    – jonsca
    Dec 5 '12 at 3:24
  • (I'm not proposing a means by which to evaluate the button push, but clearly 1-2 people saying it was a false positive is probably not enough to register on anyone's radar)
    – jonsca
    Dec 5 '12 at 3:25
  • 1
    The audit system sucks: meta.stackexchange.com/q/156938/169404 Dec 5 '12 at 4:50
  • @AustinHenley I'm not sure how I missed that question the first time.
    – jonsca
    Dec 5 '12 at 5:13
  • (though I don't condone the gaming aspect, I think you have a good point overall)
    – jonsca
    Dec 5 '12 at 5:17

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