Allow me to set the scene for you.

Only once in a while, First Posts and Low Quality Posts are active, i.e. actually have some waiting to be reviewed. (it's a tough world waiting for reviews)

So, I click First Posts, which has 15 ready to be reviewed and I come across a post that needs a comment or two to give them guidance.

Then, when I click 'I'm Done' there are no more reviews queued.

So, doing the 'right thing' and spending time advising users on how they can improve, means I lose out on future reviews, whereas taking the easy way out and Recommending deletion, allows me to continue reviewing (only because I'm then quick enough to catch some left in the review queue).

In short, wouldn't this mean that reviewers are more inclined to Recommend Deletion, and thereby punish the new users, than comment and allow the new users a chance to improve?

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    So why do you feel the fast-gun reviewer would be inclined to choose "delete" rather than "looks good"? – HansUp Sep 2 '13 at 17:21
  • I used Recommend Deletion as an example, but yes, it could be Looks Good as well. In this case, the new users aren't punished, but the community is by allowing low quality posts to pass. – Dan Hanly Sep 3 '13 at 7:46
  • Related, maybe even duplicate, discussion: meta.stackexchange.com/q/149621/152859 – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Sep 3 '13 at 9:31

I was expecting something else, when I saw the title to your post. Most users, when they say they've been "punished", mean that that the system has detected activity that is wishes to prevent, and has blocked the user from further action. No more questions, no edit reviews for a week, that sort of thing. Or maybe, heavy downvotes.

That's not happened here. You chose to spend some time helping a user get familiar with Stack Overflow. Excellent, that's what's supposed to happen. Thanks!

So, other users were able to deal with the other posts in the queue while you were busy helping out. You're right that the review queues (with the exception of the Close queue) empty quickly, and it can be hard to catch them with unprocessed work. That's not a punishment, though. That's what's supposed to happen.

I'm guessing that you're working towards the badges you get after a certain number of reviews. I'd say, don't. I've done that, and after awhile, it just feels like grinding. It's great to help out, but don't let badges be the primary motivator.

I personally doubt that reviewers will be pushed into incorrect review outcomes based on the scenario you describe, but that's what review audits are for.

There's tons of work to do on the site, if you're so inclined. My thing is editing posts into shape - I've done a few thousand. It takes as much work as you're willing to put into it - you can fix up code formatting, edit for grammar, or work with the author to completely rewrite a poorly crafted post.

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    Excellent! The "problem" goes away when you're not focused on chasing badges. – HansUp Sep 2 '13 at 17:35
  • I toyed with the title a few times to try and suit what I was trying to say... It's hard, man! I see what you're saying about the grinding, but the badges are there for a reason, and I want one! :) I've not long reached 2k rep so I want to make the most of my new privileges. – Dan Hanly Sep 3 '13 at 7:44

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