Looking at the text that greets a new community evaluation session, I see no mention of whether the votes a uses casts (Excellent, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement) will be kept confidential or made public. For example, here's the introductory text from EL&U's eval queue:

Review the question and its answers and compare them to information available from other online sources. What type of impression would this question make on a first-time visitor to the site? Are the answers correct, clear, useful and informative? Would the question and answer be interesting to the kind of user this site is trying to attract, or are they a little embarrassing?

  • Excellent if this question is well-written and has a clear, comprehensive answer that is far better than other available resources.
  • Satisfactory if this question has a clear, comprehensive answer that is comparable or better than the information found elsewhere.
  • Needs Improvement if this question is poorly written, not generally useful, or has an answer that is no better than what can be found elsewhere.
  • Skip if you are not sure and want to go to the next question

About this queue: This review queue appears periodically on sites to evaluate the overall quality of the Q&A. After a few days, this queue will disappear until it is time for the next quality review.

Since question and answer votes are kept confidential, I wrongly assumed that how I evaluated questions for community review would be too. A few days later, when looking at a random profile page, I was surprised to see their community evaluation assessments of questions. It was a little jarring, and I felt a little let down, as if I had been betrayed in a tiny way.

Now, I don't personally mind people knowing how I evaluated questions. I can see an argument that this kind of data should be made public to prevent abuse of it. But people can be sensitive to how the data they generate will be used and disclosed - justly so, I think.

Can the introductory text be updated to tell users that their Community Eval votes will be public? Not to do so smacks of a lack of transparency.

  • Close votes are not confidential either. Nor are suggested edit votes. None of the votes in the queue are actually anonymous, apart from the up and down votes on posts. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 20:50
  • 4
    "Since question and answer votes are kept confidential, I wrongly assumed that how I evaluated questions for community review would be too." — I somehow feel that's the change that's needed. Why does reviewing need to be public? (I was surprised to see I "reviewed" some posts by merely only peeking into the new "regular" review functionality when I saw it, without even casting any vote there. Have not visited those review pages since.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 20:50
  • 4
    This should be made clearer. Community evaluation is part of review (and review history is public--which I don't think we need to change). But the community evaluation is a very unusual kind of review queue, and many people using it may not realize it's part of review at all. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 20:51
  • @Arjan What do you mean? Where are you seeing that you "reviewed" some posts just by visiting the queue?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 22:19
  • I think I was wrong. I peeked into the queue (or even a post) this week again, but see no trail of that. And I see I actually reviewed some close votes, which I forgot; maybe I was confused about that? Also, I cannot imagine I voted "leave open" here, but I guess the computer does not lie. Or maybe I saw my name in some "Arjan reviewed this...: Reviewed" when I did not take any action? Sorry, don't remember, though until today the feeling was quite strong!
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 23:37


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