I failed a review audit today and I got a canned message saying that I was not paying enough attention. However, I actually reviewed the post, thought about it, and decided it was good enough. It turns out that I was wrong, and I'm okay with that since I am new to both SO and reviewing.

What I would have liked, however, is an explanation of why that specific post was wrong so that I could have actually improved my reviewing skill.

I suggest adding the following to a failed review audit:

  • a brief but specific categorization of why this post is wrong (more specific than "very poor quality")
  • a longer explanation of what falls in the category above, and why it shouldn't be accepted
  • a suggestion on the best course of action (flag, downvote, edit, comment...)

For example, consider this failed review audit. After having clicked "No Action Needed", the reviewer might receive the following feedback (slightly paraphrased form AshRj's comments):

  • This answer should be a comment
  • This answer is a thinly veiled clarification of the question. It is not an actual answer, just an offhand suggestion which is asking the OP for more information rather than providing an authoritative answer.
  • In cases like this, you should flag the post as "not an answer" or, if the OP is a new user, add a comment suggesting that the answer should be turned into a comment.

I understand that review audits are mostly intended to prevent people from "robo-reviewing", but adding some detailed feedback might turn them into a means of educating new reviewers. Getting a negative feedback without being educated is somewhat frustrating, and the implication of "not paying attention" while the reviewers were (thinking they) were doing their job might be a bit offensive. Adding a helpful hint may prevent both of these.

  • 7
    The problem is, they are automated, typically based on existing/lack of community action (or random junk, in the case of edit review audits), so there really isn't any specific info as far as exactly what was wrong. You could share a link to your review and we could offer some opinions, though. Mar 14, 2013 at 23:38
  • I did not link the review because I wanted to focus on the feature request instead of the specific review. However here it is. I might include it as an example if I get feedback about why it should have been rejected.
    – Andrea
    Mar 14, 2013 at 23:41
  • 2
    That answer should actually be a comment, as it is a thinly veiled clarification of the question. Its not an actual answer, just an offhand suggestion which is actually asking the OP for more info rather than providing an authoritative answer.
    – asheeshr
    Mar 15, 2013 at 0:49
  • @AshRj so, what would a reviewer do in this case? flag as "not an answer"? comment "this should be a comment rather than an answer"? (I'd like to reuse parts of your comments to turn this into an example in my post)
    – Andrea
    Mar 15, 2013 at 0:57
  • 1
    Either would work. I would decide between the two by looking at the OP's rep, and time spent on the site. If the OP is a new user, then a comment would do. In my experience, new users tend to listen and act on such suggestions. If its an old user, then simply flag (as the user should then know better)
    – asheeshr
    Mar 15, 2013 at 1:29


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