I just failed these review audits in First Post, I read the question and thought it seemed reasonable but the user was deleted so to be on the safe side I clicked add comment and I failed the audit.

I'm not sure why adding a comment would be considered a negative action, is the correct option to click No Action Needed or edit?

What was I supposed to do in this situation? Adding a comment should not be a review audit fail.

  • 9
    that audit item is just crappy. Related: “STOP! Look and Listen” audit tricked me and especially: Review audits and “I understand” button
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 12:37
  • 2
    Out of curiosity, if the user is deleted, who is going to read the comment you add?
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 12:44
  • 4
    @RobertHarvey the point is not was not to actually do anything. The review smelled of an audit so I did an action that would get through audits. Is that not enough proof that I'm not a robo-reviewer?
    – Aboutblank
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 12:57
  • 1
    I very much doubt that the algorithm is smart enough to figure out that line of reasoning. Hypothetically, however, it may be wondering, "Why are you attempting to communicate with a non-existent user?"
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 13:00
  • 22
    Failed reviews too wanting to add a comment... it's strange to fail when you actually wanted to add something to the question you just actually totally read and understood. Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 12:49
  • 3
    @RobertHarvey Anybody can read the comments, not just the questioner. Commented May 21, 2014 at 14:57
  • 1
    Same boat here: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/250283/…. Mindless upvoting doesn't work. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 9:52
  • 2021 and this is still broken. If SO wants to fail on add-comment for a "good" review audit, at a minimum it should perform a sentiment analysis of the comment. Adding a comment is almost always a valid action in any context.
    – Mansoor
    Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 17:40
  • This is now fixed, I just added a comment here and passed the audit. Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 16:22
  • 1
    I am confused by closing this feature request because typical procedure in cases like that seems to tag these status-completed (while leaving them open). For example this is how similar feature request at MSO was handled
    – gnat
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 17:06

3 Answers 3


I understand the problem with people cheating the first post review audits by simply clicking the add comment button, but there really has to be a more graceful way to handle it.

It should be as simple as forcing the person to actually write the comment and submit it which will make it less abusable, and if they are abusing the system, they'll be caught quickly because they'll actually be posting their (presumably canned) comments on real questions.

And if the comments actually aren't canned and relevant to the question anyway, then it's really not that harmful that people are doing it.

Both edit and add comment are neutral actions, and it doesn't make sense for someone to fail an audit regardless of whether the post is good or bad (unless it's a blatant spam post or something).

  • 7
    I do not know how were comments abused in review audits. Could you please let us know? --- A while ago I failed an audit just because of clicking add comment and I really feel to be deceived. The otherwise good question certainly deserved a comment (the existing ones were hidden). --- I completely agree with you that edit and comment are neutral actions. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 16:28
  • 3
    @pabouk Peopel use to grind medals by just up-voting all of the posts in the first posts queue without discretion. When the first audits were implemented, they were almost all negative audits, and you could immediately trigger pass the audit by clicking the add comment button without actually leaving a comment. This meant that people could continue just grinding through the queue without paying attention. Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 16:36
  • It's a bit more of a problem when the system has generated a fake question for an audit (specifically, adding incorrect tags). Because the comment may be relevant to retagging the question that was shown, and not relevant to the real question. While other comments may be relevant to the real question as well.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 19:30
  • 2
    +1 I agree with this. I just got put on a 2 day suspension for "failing too many audits recently" after doing failing my first audit in a week or so. I failed because the answer was interesting and I wanted to make a comment.
    – leigero
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 1:15

I understand the purpose of positive audits but I think the system is flawed. The good way to review is take time, read the post and understand it. When doing that, I find myself having all sorts off thoughts around the topic mentioned in the post. Sometimes I would like to add something. Sometimes I know a good link that would add to the post. Sometimes I would like to see clarification of some point which I believe could be expanded on. Comments are all suitable for that. I still think the post is good and I just want to comment on it so that it can become better.

Yet the system tries to stop me from doing that. It encourages me to only post comments on bad posts. My understanding is that comments don't work this way outside of the review system. We end up having to follow 2 sets of rules: one when reviewing and one outside of the review queue.

The same applies to edits in much lesser extent - edits of good posts are less warranted than comments (of the type mentioned above).

  • Well said. I just failed one for clicking add comment to point out that the answer was an exact duplicate of the top answer and upvoting that one was the more accepted course of action. If this is logical I'm in the wrong place.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 14:40

I've just failed First Posts review queue audit on such answer:

Sort the other range only, and then use std::merge.

While the using of std::merge could really solve the OPs problem, I've found it not appropriate to flag the answer as link-only. However, according to current guidelines, the answer should be independent from the link, so it should provide at least some usage example (which, as I expect, is to be found under the given link).

I've wanted to add a comment to the AP asking to elaborate and add some example, and I've failed! I think this is flawed! I'm punished for trying to improve the post, because other users have voted it to be good as it is. It's very confusing and should be fixed. Posting a comment shouldn't fail the audit, if the flagging or recommending deletion won't follow.

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