This is NOT a duplicate of Baffling Review Criteria - that review shows a question, but this review does not, instead showing a Question not found error.

The question in this review task "can't be found". This makes it difficult to get past the review audit:


  • was the question "what dictionaries offer APIs?" ?
    – hayd
    Feb 26, 2013 at 3:55
  • @hayden We'll never know... Feb 26, 2013 at 3:56
  • @Siva You seem to be missing my point entirely... Feb 26, 2013 at 3:59
  • 3
    I make it a rule to never comment when I downvote, but seriously, -1 for the animated smiley. Gahh. Also, and much more importantly, please remain calm and constructive.
    – jscs
    Feb 26, 2013 at 3:59
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    Erm, they shouldn't use answers to deleted questions as review audits. Often the question was deleted for a reason, and probably solicited crappy answers like that in the first place...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Feb 26, 2013 at 4:01
  • For the sake of clarity, since @Siva has gone on a deleting rampage... apparently only users over 10k get to see something more enlightening than "question not found". Feb 26, 2013 at 4:01
  • 2
    No, seriously, chill out. The question was deleted by a moderator, Will, after it was closed by five regular users, because it's a bad question and unfit for the site. We can talk about whether that answer should have been used for an audit, but it'll be a lot easier if you stop fuming first.
    – jscs
    Feb 26, 2013 at 4:04
  • 1
    Incidentally, the fact that you could not load the content to view it should probably have served as a hint to just go ahead and hit the "Skip". Feb 26, 2013 at 4:07
  • 1
    I understand and agree that not being able to reach the question from the review of the answer is a problem. You should understand, however, that taking the correct action for this particular answer, and therefore passing the audit, does not depend on being able to see the question, for the reasons I've given in my answer to Baffling review criteria.
    – jscs
    Feb 26, 2013 at 4:34
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    So that question lingered for over 3 years, before being answered on Jan 30th, which draw attention to it to be closed and deleted 2 hours later. Bit baffling how it made it to the audit queue... Feb 26, 2013 at 4:35
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    @JoshCaswell But then if I can't see the question, I can only presume it says "what APIs are there". If it does, then it's a good answer that stands on its own. Feb 26, 2013 at 4:36
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    No, it's a link-only answer, which, as a matter of established policy, is a candidate for deletion. It's also an answer that does the absolute rock-bottom minimum to answer a question that's unsuitable for the site. Even for the question "what instances of X exist?", describing the various x's is important for a truly helpful, meritorious answer.
    – jscs
    Feb 26, 2013 at 4:39
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    @JoshCaswell playing Devil's advocate - linking to the API's directly is: 1) Not going to link rot as such - if it's no longer available presumably the service is no longer available - thus tough luck, 2) Going to be up to date for future posts as to how to use it... Any examples made to the post could be out dated and then thus too localized... But yes, it is a somewhat poor answer. Feb 26, 2013 at 4:49
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    @DannyBeckett we cant review something assuming , so the best thing would have been to flag . But the other way around, an answer with no question doesnt make sense , so to present it to review doesnt make sense atall .
    – Shail
    Feb 26, 2013 at 4:56
  • 1
    Protip: If the answer is "blah blah blah [link]" it is NEVER a good answer on StackOverflow. It is a good answer on Google, or Bing, or Yahoo, but NOT here.
    – user1228
    Feb 26, 2013 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


The original question (closed as off-topic) was:

Is there a free available public APIs that I can call to get the English dictionary word definitions?

I would like to call it from a web app in python.

I feel that the audit answer, in the worst case, was equally bad as the question itself; actually, it didn't look much different from an earlier answer which received 5 upvotes and was equally informative:

DictService is a fairly popular one.

You can find the asmx here

That said, "question not found" can be seen as a hint that the question has already been removed (i.e. it's probably not a glitch). If you could have seen the question, I have a personal rule that may help you:

If the answer is as bad as the question, vote to close the question instead and either downvote the answer at content value or skip that particular review item.


My review would have been to flag it to moderators and down vote it for deletion . Since we can't assume questions and review their answers, flagging and reporting the moderators should, have been the right way to do it.

  • Flagging would have been seen as the "correct" response by the audit system, and I would have passed the review, not failed. By the very definition of a review audit, the flag goes nowhere... Feb 26, 2013 at 5:10
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    Thats wat the system wanted , do the correct thing by taking action ,.. i.e review -> flag -> edit -> down vote -> leave comment . Flag and down vote was applicable . Thats how you review .
    – Shail
    Feb 26, 2013 at 5:20

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