Bill the Lizard is the number 1 reviewer when it comes to Close Votes. Now I can only respect the amount of time he's put in to sealing that podium position, however he's doing this in such a way that prevents any other non-moderator from catching up: he's completing more than 40 reviews per day.

Today he's completed 64 Close Vote reviews - 60% more than anyone else on StackOverflow is able to complete. Yesterday, and at least every working day of last week he completed 50 reviews per day - 25% more than anyone else is able to complete.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing, far from it, but as there's a ranking of sorts, shouldn't moderators also be restricted to the reviews cap to make it fair competition?

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    So you care more about your ranking instead of the work being done? – juergen d Oct 24 '13 at 13:36
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    This is a competition? Since when? – Oded Oct 24 '13 at 13:36
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    @juergend not at all. I'm far from the top reviewers list and have no intention of trying to compete. – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 13:37
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    Maybe also restrict Jon Skeet answers per day? By all means, this is the most absurd request I've seen in looong time. If someone is doing something good for the site, let him keep doing it! – Shadow The Burning Wizard Oct 24 '13 at 13:37
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    SOCIALISM ----- – Pekka Oct 24 '13 at 13:37
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    @ShaWizDowArd anyone is able to answer as often as Jon Skeet can, I'm sure. – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 13:38
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    Based on the negative response, maybe I should instead have asked why there is need for a top reviewers list in the first place... – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 13:40
  • @ShaWizDowArd and to your bolded edit: if one person is willing to put in 64 reviews per day, why is everyone else restricted to 40? – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 13:41
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    @JamesDonnelly because the community/system does not trust regular users enough so it's rate-limiting their actions. – Shadow The Burning Wizard Oct 24 '13 at 13:44
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    @JohnnyBones haha! Now that may be a legitimate response to Bill's "antics"! – Andrew Barber Oct 24 '13 at 13:45
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    Fun fact: over the last month, Bill has handled almost as many flags on Stack Overflow as the #2 and #3 moderators put together. Even we can't keep up with him. – Brad Larson Oct 24 '13 at 15:40
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    Does your fanny ache? – user1228 Oct 24 '13 at 17:28
  • @Oded - it seems to be a competition for Lizard – Ultralisk Nov 18 '19 at 10:22

I just want to take this opportunity to make sure everyone knows about the close vote review filter tool. It makes blowing through 40 reviews pretty quick and easy, so it's one of my favorite new features of the past year. I'll often filter reviews on problem tags like or , or on a tag that someone brings up for burnination here on Meta. For example, someone suggested that should be looked at, so I got in a few extra close reviews today based on that.

Tools Filter

Filtering on one tag at a time or on one close reason at a time really reduces mental context switching, so you can get through reviews a lot faster.

To your point, I'm not reviewing more than 40 close candidates per day because I want to be the top name on the list. We have a growing number of questions in the close review queue, and I just want to help handle them. I don't necessarily want to be the person who does this work, I just want it to be done. I'll be happy to slow down when I see the number of reviews needed start to go down instead of steadily going up.

  • Thanks for your input. As I've said several times in this thread, I respect the time you've put in to this and don't want you to think that this question was an attack on you. I can only raise two questions from this though: 1. If the moderators are well aware of just how many close vote reviews there are, why do the requests for increasing the close review cap made here on Meta go ignored? 2. Moderators have the power to directly close questions anyway, wouldn't this be faster than sifting through the review queue? – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 14:20
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    Hi @JamesDonnelly. 1. Moderators aren't the ones who set that limit, so we can't increase it. I think 40 is an ok number, since that's about the time I myself start to get bored, but I wouldn't have a problem with raising it for people who want to do more. 2. No, the review queue is much faster. There I can see questions that people have already voted to close without looking through the main list of all questions. – Bill the Lizard Oct 24 '13 at 14:25
  • @JamesDonnelly Raising the review cap can cause problems. It results in malicious users being able to do more damage without being found out, it can burn out the good reviewers rather than helping them keep a sustainable pace, etc. – Servy Oct 24 '13 at 14:25
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    So you got a bunch of badges - including Reversal - for a question about you consistently topping the review leaderboards. Wow. I hope you're proud. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 25 '13 at 9:31
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    @BoltClock'saUnicorn I just knew all those hours in /review would pay off eventually. ;) – Bill the Lizard Oct 25 '13 at 11:05

Bill is a moderator and likes to use /review as a tool for moderation. Bill gets an unlimited number of close votes, because he's a moderator.

Bill's use of /review for moderation tasks has prompted us to create a special interface for moderators there, which we hope to have available in probably six to eight weeks. It just naturally lends itself to moderation, even without the presence of the special tools and more detailed information.

It's not a competition, it's just a collaborative effort to keep the site clean. The lizard king is just exceptionally, if not inordinately, good at doing that - we don't want him to slow down :)

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    'Exceptionally'... 'inordinately'... bleh... I say 'obsessively'! Which I mean as an entirely good thing, since all us mods have our own... peeves. – Andrew Barber Oct 24 '13 at 13:48
  • I'm not saying he isn't good at what he does. I even applauded him in my question for it. My issue is that you're claiming this isn't a competition. With the presence of the Top Reviewers list I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people who would argue otherwise. bensiu, the #2 top reviewer has reviewed 13,000 Close Votes. That means they've spent at minimum 325 days reaching the 40 review cap. That's a lot of time spent reviewing Close Votes, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have done so were it not for a rankings list. – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 13:53
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    @AndrewBarber We know that your peeves have pets. It's all good. – Tim Post Oct 24 '13 at 13:54
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    Can you imagine how awful it would be if he actually reviewed everything and there were no things left to review? Is this what you want? – Gabe Oct 24 '13 at 13:55
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    @JamesDonnelly If it were a competition, there would be some other sort of incentive to be on the top. We specifically don't want it to be a contest because we want people to review carefully. Even badges as incentives resulted in the need for audits because people were just blind-clicking to earn them. The review stats are purely informational, and recognize the folks that put a lot of time into it. That's it - no more, no less. – Tim Post Oct 24 '13 at 13:57
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    @JamesDonnelly Rankings don't make it a competition. Many aspects of SE sites are gamified to encourage good behavior or increase engagement, but there's no prize, no time limit or anything that would grant Bill extra perks for being the top close vote reviewer. – Gabe Oct 24 '13 at 13:58
  • @Gabe competitions don't have to award prizes. The problem is that bensiu and Mario would be above Bill on the list if Bill was restricted like all other users are. Is it fair on them that Bill, as a moderator, is allowed to bypass the limits they're forced to follow? Surely after 10,000 reviews, those users would be trusted to carry out just as many reviews as Bill? – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 14:04
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    Why this focus on being on top @JamesDonnelly? Who cares? And where does fairness come into play? If you want to argue the amount of votes should be increased, or a limit abandoned at some point, fair enough. But I see no problem in Bill reviewing more than others. – Bart Oct 24 '13 at 14:06
  • @James, for some reason, I don't think these users care about this as much as you do... – Frédéric Hamidi Oct 24 '13 at 14:06
  • @FrédéricHamidi probably not, no, I'm just wondering why moderators don't have to follow the same restrictions as everyone else on review audits. Especially when they have the power to instantly close questions anyway and technically don't even need to perform close reviews. – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 14:10
  • @JamesDonnelly Because keeping the site clean and healthy is their responsibility, so as a reward for their efforts they get to see more crappy posts. – Gabe Oct 24 '13 at 14:15
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    @JamesDonnelly So that they can use it as a tool to aid in moderation, which is why the review queues were created in the first place. You seem to be lacking a bit of perspective in the purpose of the review system to begin with. – Servy Oct 24 '13 at 14:16
  • @Servy I'd imagine the review system is more targeted at regular users than moderators, what with the whole "StackOverflow is moderated by you" stated on the main /review page. – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 14:22
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    @JamesDonnelly It would appear Bill feels otherwise. If he feels that the tool helps him moderate the site more effectively, more power to him. If he has other tools/methods that he finds more effective, then I'm sure he wouldn't be using the queue to begin with. – Servy Oct 24 '13 at 14:23
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    @JamesDonnelly Bill is also a member of the Stack Overflow community. He has extra tools available to him because he's a moderator, but that doesn't make him any less of a user. – Adam Lear Oct 24 '13 at 15:26

Well....we kinda have this problem:

And it's not a competition. It's a community cleanup at most.

  • Of course. So why should we have one moderator perform 60% more close votes when we could let everyone perform 60% more close votes? – James Donnelly Oct 24 '13 at 13:42
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    @JamesDonnelly Go and upvote one of the many proposals on giving users more close votes each day. – Bart Oct 24 '13 at 13:42
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    @Bart - just one of them? – Oded Oct 24 '13 at 13:43
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    @Oded Yes, one. And don't think I'm not checking. Because I am! – Bart Oct 24 '13 at 13:43
  • Even without so many items in the queue, moderator will have infinite amount of votes. – Shadow The Burning Wizard Oct 24 '13 at 13:46
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    One thing to do with that fat elephant of a queue is age off close votes more intelligently, which we're actively working on. If 5 people with close privileges see a post and don't close it, that's a pretty clear signal that it probably doesn't need to be closed. Sounds simple, but gets a little tricky - we hope to have it soon. The other thing we could do better is show you posts in /review that are more relevant to your interests and expertise, which we're also examining. – Tim Post Oct 24 '13 at 13:59
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    @TimPost Not so fast. In the past, I've probably clicked through a lot of posts that should've been closed, but I didn't vote because I knew nothing about the topic and it wasn't bad enough to close as warblegarble. It's a simple fact that SO's scope is so broad that you can easily find 5, 10, 15 SO users from a random pick, that know nothing about an on-topic question. Now, if you were to also factor in activity in said tag (say, bronze badge and up), then this might work. – Lorem Ipsum Oct 24 '13 at 17:47

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