I just got back to reviewing on SO after a few months of inactivity, and I've been very surprised with the new review system, it seems to have changed a lot since the time I was using it a few months ago.

I like the new review system, but I don't really understand how the new limitation work.

Before, I used to be able to review hundred of posts in any category I wanted and do as I wanted. I actually found it fun to review posts.

But I've just tried again, and here is what I noted, which is probably intended in the new system, but I'd like to understand why the limitations:

  • It seems to me the queue is almost always empty. Before, the queue was always full, I always had many posts to review at any time of day or night. Now it looks like I can consider myself lucky if the queues have 5 items to review in them. And they go out really fast, literally in 10 seconds the queue is empty again, so I can barely review 1 or 2 posts.
  • Depending on the review category, I get a limitation after for example 20 or 40 reviews and have to wait 2 hours.

I'm just trying to understand why review was limited? I'd be happy to review hundreds of posts, but if I have to do this in increments of 20 an hour (and that's if I'm lucky if the queue fills up), I'm probably not going to do it anymore. This may be just me, but I find it quite counter productive, but maybe I do not understand the reasons why this was done as such.

Maybe this has been posted earlier on meta, but I haven't found it.

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    It was limited to prevent people from just mindlessly "reviewing". – Austin Henley Jan 3 '13 at 22:22
  • I am not sure what is the limit, but it was added because some people were using the review queue just to get the badges and did not care. Therefore, with the addition of the badges more people have become inclined to actually perform reviews. Also to note, when the review queues were initially created there were many old posts that still needed reviewing; however, we have now reviewed all of the old posts. – Josh Mein Jan 3 '13 at 22:22
  • a lot of changes has been done to prevent / tame review-abuse, eg this one: "An optimization to the Late Answers, First Posts, and Low Quality review queues has been deployed that will keep a single review from being shown to multiple people at the same time..." – gnat Jan 3 '13 at 22:26
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    Btw, if you're new to the queues, I just wrote a guide on them meta.stackexchange.com/questions/161390/… – Manishearth Jan 3 '13 at 22:26
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    Thanks for the clarifications. It totally makes sense now. I'm still a bit puzzled how this really applies to the "close votes" queue (48.2k pending reviews) and possibly other queues with higher privileges since it applies to a smaller population, but the other ones I agree. – Charles Menguy Jan 3 '13 at 22:32
  • @linker: on SO, the "smaller" population of >3k users ain't that small. Not everyone with higher rep (even 10k, even 100k) know or follow the rules, so everyone should be kept in check, imho. I have seen people all over the rep spectrum robo-reviewing. – Manishearth Jan 4 '13 at 3:11
  • I actually found another thing that bothers me with this new system: every time I try to do a review and actually spend some time digging into the post that needs a review, if I wait like 1 or 2 minutes it says that this edit has already been aproved, so I did just review for nothing. To my mind this just encourages mindless review, if I want to make a review that counts I have to do it quick otherwise someone will do it before me and my review will be refused... – Charles Menguy Jan 4 '13 at 18:49

The limit prevents people from mindlessly abusing the system just to get the badges or a high number of reviews.

Related questions include How do the review limits work? and Why are suggested edit votes limited?

Jeff's answer I think applies to your exact question as well:

We really want vote diversity here, so that's the point of the limits -- if the same 2 folks are vetting all the edits, that's not a sufficient set of eyeballs on those edits.

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