I just got tripped up in the /review queue on this question

It showed up in the Re-Open queue, and seemed terribly written, and overly broad, so I voted to keep it closed. The audit notification alerted me that there were no major problems with the question.

Was I being overly harsh, or should this not have been used as an example of a question without major problems?

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    I generally just avoid the Reopen queue now because I get tripped up by most the audits there. It baffles me how that question got 5 upvotes... – animuson Feb 23 '13 at 22:41
  • @animuson - ah, I'm not (that) crazy after all :-) – Adam Rackis Feb 23 '13 at 22:42
  • I always just skip the audit questions in Reopen (they're easy to spot because they don't have a "Revision" tab). That's the one queue that I've missed the audit more than once. The decision to reopen is not "clear and obvious" like an audit should be. – ThinkingStiff Feb 23 '13 at 22:56
  • @ThinkingStiff - questions in the reopen queue don't always have a revision tab. If it's picked up a couple of reopen votes it will appear in the queue. – ChrisF Feb 23 '13 at 23:02
  • @ChrisF I may be wrong, but I think the audits never have a revision tab, regardless of actual revisions. I've been skipping all questions without that tab. – ThinkingStiff Feb 23 '13 at 23:04
  • @ThinkingStiff - ah, the penny drops. – ChrisF Feb 23 '13 at 23:05
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    FYI, here's why it was picked as an audit: meta.stackexchange.com/a/168372/148949 – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir Feb 24 '13 at 0:16
  • Thanks @little - it seems like this algorithm could use a bit of tweaking. – Adam Rackis Feb 24 '13 at 0:38

Was I being overly harsh, or should this not have been used as an example of a question without major problems?

It's a lousy example, albeit one that could've been edited and not closed. I kinda think 5 votes is too low a bar for "pure gold" on SO.

  • How did those votes come about in the first place? I can't believe they're legit. – Pekka Feb 23 '13 at 23:48
  • @Pekka웃 - if you check the actual question you'll see it was never closed. The close "votes" were generated by the review audit. – ChrisF Feb 23 '13 at 23:49
  • Assuming you're talking about the up-votes @Pekka... All I can say is that most of them were probably legit. – Shog9 Feb 23 '13 at 23:57
  • @pekka - that score of 5 is down to 1 now :-) – Adam Rackis Feb 24 '13 at 0:39
  • @Adam yeah! But the fact that at some point, it had 5 upvotes makes me go youtube.com/watch?v=35TbGjt-weA – Pekka Feb 24 '13 at 0:42
  • @Shog - completely shooting in the dark here, but are some tags more known for score inflation than others? ie, would a mediocre asp.net-mvc question be less likely to garner undeserved votes like this one did? If so, that could be a direction to take this audit algorithm: ban certain tags from audit questions. – Adam Rackis Feb 24 '13 at 0:43
  • Nice, @pekka - curious what you think of my question to Shog, being the PHP guru here. Is this a problem more likely to happen in PHP than other tabs? – Adam Rackis Feb 24 '13 at 0:45
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    @Adam I can confirm that happening for trivial answers, but not so much on questions. My view may be skewed because whenever I see something like this taking place, I call in air support from the local neighbourhood watch... but in general, I'd say something like this is highly irregular – Pekka Feb 24 '13 at 0:47
  • @Adam just came across this in the HTML tag: How can I make a header like for facebook? 3 upvotes in 5 minutes... THE BIKE SHED IS EVERYWHERE – Pekka Feb 24 '13 at 12:04
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    "albeit one that could've been edited and not closed", but such would above all have been the responsibility of the OP, I feel. And it still is, once closed. So if this were really closed, I'd never vote to reopen until such editing was actually done. In other words: I feel audits are not asking "was the closing okay", but are asking "is it better now, to reopen". There is some hysteresis in any closing and reopening, I feel. – Arjan Feb 24 '13 at 12:21

If an item in a review audit can generate a real discussion on meta, and gather mixed upvotes/downvotes, then it's a terrible audit question. The goal of an audit question isn't to see if you can adequately defend your nuanced opinion; it's to make sure you're awake. It's like putting an essay exam where a pop quiz to make sure you're paying attention should be.


The question is specific, its goals are clear.

The question is weak, as the author posts no framework for how the question should be solved other than the tags. Accepting the tags are correct, I disagree that it is overly broad.

In this context, closing might have been harsh, but once it had been closed, reopening seems improper, so your decision seems correct and perhaps the appropriateness of this audit should be further scrutinized.

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    The tags definitely made some difference with this one. – Andrew Barber Feb 23 '13 at 23:01

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