I propose the ability to request ad hoc review queues - to highlight a problem that requires a concerted effort to solve, but doesn't occur often enough to merit a permanent review queue. It would require a clear description of the problem, a list of proposed fixes, and a certain threshold of posts to be considered relevant (say, 1000 questions/answers). Once emptied, the queue could either disappear completely, or remain dormant until that threshold was reached again.

This could happen simply through a post on Meta - this would allow discussion on whether or not it's a real problem. But it could also happen through a more formal process on /review - in this case, some amount of reputation would almost certainly be necessary to request a queue, and I'd even understand if this would be currently above my paygrade.

If done on a per-site basis, it would allow a particular Stack Exchange to specify its own problem tags, questions, and answers. On Stack Overflow, the homework tag is perhaps the most prominent example of a possible queue, but another is this post on how Accepted / Solved / Fixed is showing up in question titles. On English Language and Usage, there's the single word request. On Ask Ubuntu, a number have been highlighted in this post (which also includes a similar feature request). It goes on and on, and I'm sure more examples will come to light in answers and comments to this post. In all cases, an ad hoc review queue would allow the problem to be addressed in a recurring fashion, without resorting to banning a tag or title keyword - and hence, allowing legitimate uses to remain in place, assuming good quality reviews.

I do acknowledge, however, that good quality reviews cannot be assumed. Actually, part of my motivation for this is to help the rubber-stamping problem on the existing review queues - it's been highlighted that the thoughtful review is at a disadvantage, as the rubber stamp will quickly clear out the entire queue and receive all of the review points. Although disincentivizing the review process could help (for example, no Silver/Gold badge), just as problematic is that there just isn't enough content in the existing review queues (at least, for less than 3k users).

The ad hoc review queue would alleviate the scarcity - by establishing a higher threshold, there would be more items in a review queue at once, and there would also simply be more queues (and hence, items) to process. Hopefully, the lack of scarcity would encourage more thoughtful reviews, as there would always be more to look at.

In addition, the current per-queue badge levels could be replaced with a single set of aggregate badges over the whole review system (perhaps with higher counts), which would put even less pressure on snapping up items in any particular queue. They could also be augmented by a series of badges based on the number of review queues that you have contributed to, encouraging a wider understanding of the customs of a particular Stack Exchange.

It's been pointed out in the comments that this kind of feature has been requested a few times before - I'm totally open to closing this as a duplicate, should one of the other requests be implemented, or even declined. However, there are two things that make my proposal unique: first, with the threshold, it needn't become a permanent queue, forever cluttering the page with one or two posts. Second, it's not limited to tags only - any kind of queryable problem is available for the queue proposal.

Of course, the permanent queues could still be there for things that require more immediate action, like Suggested Edits (prevents others from editing) and First Posts (feedback to new users). If found to be widely applicable, an ad hoc queue could become a permanent queue at some point. But there would also be room to solve intermittent problems, that nevertheless need to be addressed by a larger portion of the community.


1 Answer 1


This would be VERY useful for tag cleanups. Over a year later [we're still working on The bad tag collection) and it might help if we could use a /review queue to highlight a tag-of-the-month that needs community effort to clean it up.

The only real question is "How much development pain would this involve for Stack Exchange?"

  • 5
    It isn't a trivial request, to be sure. I think that's one reason it hasn't been addressed in the other similar suggestions just yet.
    – Hannele
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 19:22
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    @Hannele I expect it to actually be quite difficult (arbitrary data query, arbitrary instruction text, arbitrary actions). As an engineer I don't ever expect to see the request fulfilled, but as a user "GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE I WANT I WANT I WANT!" :-)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 20:30
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    You know you could always create a chat room for a tag cleanup and add the tag's RSS feed as a room feed.. Not as easy or intuitive as review, but it will work for now.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 0:32
  • I think it would depend entirely on how much attention it gets - I gather that the review queues aren't the preferred weapon in the community's immune system.
    – Hannele
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 2:54
  • @Hannele That's probably because some people who review don't know how to handle things right and let a lot of bad things through first posts, robo approve edits, etc.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 15:13
  • @Seth The chatroom idea is a pretty good one but I think ultimately it would suffer the same inertial lapse as our meta thread though (SF used to have a very active "Improve or Close" room and eventually it got quiet) For whatever reason /review/close so far seems to be keeping the community engaged - maybe it's still got the new-and-shiny appeal going on though :)
    – voretaq7
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 17:09
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    @voretaq7 Yes review is always better than a chat room for getting things done.. We've had 3 or 4 of cleanup rooms on AU and they've all been frozen at least once.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 2:52

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