This question, which clearly explains at the beginning is designed to provide a list of Selenium Test Optimization Tips, lists several bullet points with one or more full paragraphs of information (not questions), and then finally asks one vague question in the final paragraph (and asks for more tips) failed an audit review when I voted to close it.

The very vague "semi-question" asked is (quoted verbatim, including the lack of a question mark):

Is there any known problems/caveats when using a headless browser

The reason for the audit review fail is:

There are no major problems with this question. You should click Leave Open, or make minor corrections via Edit.

Can someone explain how a list of optimization tips (not posted in the form of a question), a non-specific question asking for "any known problems/caveats", and mentioning they'd like to see other tips posted is an acceptable question on SO?

I'm curious because I've reviewed quite a few questions, and voted to close a lot of others, that were similarly vague and asked for speculative lists and collections of thoughts. Those questions were closed by others as well, and many have been deleted. I can't understand what makes this one different.

For my own education, can someone explain the reason the audit review failed?

In the interest of full disclosure: I went to the question after the audit failure, carefully read it again, and voted to close it for the specific reasons I describe above.

  • This is definitely a poor question for the reasons you note. Close vote are selected automatically, not manually, based on votes and other criteria, and so for whatever reason this question collected six upvotes. Sep 5, 2013 at 23:22
  • @DavidRobinson: I can see that being a reason. The problem is that I don't race through reviews; I actually spend time reading the actual question, skip the ones that seem to be questionable or that are clearly outside my familiarity and could be better than I think, and edit to improve the ones I can. I actually failed my first two audit reviews ever (including this one); the first one I questioned, but wasn't 100% sure; this one was totally incomprehensible to me. :-)
    – Ken White
    Sep 5, 2013 at 23:27
  • related: meta.stackexchange.com/a/182625/217863
    – apaul
    Sep 5, 2013 at 23:38
  • @apaul34208: I saw that, and did so. My question was more about how this question could possibly have been used to fail an audit review. It's not even a question, but more of a blog post; it definitely isn't a suitable question for SO, and failing an audit on a closure vote seemed really wrong to me. I wanted to confirm that I wasn't totally missing something.
    – Ken White
    Sep 6, 2013 at 0:29
  • You didn't miss anything, it just wasn't a good audit question
    – apaul
    Sep 6, 2013 at 0:33
  • @apaul: Thanks. I see it's since been put on hold, so it wasn't just me. :-)
    – Ken White
    Sep 6, 2013 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


The audit questions are chosen by an algorithm...

Sometimes the algorithm picks a real "winner", and you get questions like this used as an audit.

It seems to me that perhaps we would be better off if the audit questions were picked out manually, or at least if they're to be picked by an algorithm they should be viewed by a mod or a member of the SE team to check if the algorithm is choosing wisely.

This sort of thing seems to happen quite a bit...

  • 2
    +1 for "should be viewed...to check if the algorithm is choosing wisely". Sep 6, 2013 at 1:02
  • 3
    Be careful of the bias... Very few people come here to complain when they failed an audit by voting to close a really great question, or voting to leave open an obviously bad one. And when they do, they tend to get... corrected.
    – Shog9
    Sep 6, 2013 at 4:14
  • 1
    @Shog9 That's a fair point there obviously is a selection bias, but shouldn't audit questions be more or less bullet proof? If the point of an audit is to assess the quality of reviewers and teach better reviewing practices dropping questionable questions on them seems like it could be counter productive...
    – apaul
    Sep 6, 2013 at 14:19
  • If you'd like to see the audits get more bulletproof, review these, please.
    – Shog9
    Sep 14, 2013 at 0:37

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