I just got a failed audit for this question, which showed up as a "first post" (and the audit system, as it does, lied and said that it had no upvotes and no answers). I intended to mark the ostensible new question as a duplicate of the actual question involved, because it's a clear-cut "canonical question" that's had a good answer, but the audit fails you before you get to the point of specifying why you're closing the question.

Canonical questions are likely to be selected by the audit system by their very nature, and the proper response to the frequent re-asking is closing as duplicate. The audit system should at least see whether the reviewer attempts to close a question as a duplicate before failing.

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    Completely agree, something would have to be done to make sure "close as duplicate" wasn't a valid response to all audits however – Richard Tingle Nov 17 '13 at 9:17
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    @RichardTingle Since the audit selected the question as a known-good one, simply selecting the "duplicate" option on the close dialog should finish out the audit. I actually now completely avoid the close queue, letting it pile up, because of these audit problems, but an item in First Posts specifically has a much higher likelihood of being a duplicate. Even for the Close queue, as noted elsewhere, just clicking the "close" think isn't enough, but the duplicate problem is especially keen in First Posts. – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- Nov 17 '13 at 9:48
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    If they've noticed it's an audit, doesn't that mean the person's not a robo-reviewer the system's meant to catch? – doppelgreener Nov 17 '13 at 10:24
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    Related - Close vote review audit flawed - fails without casting vote (not a duplicate, that's a discussion, but note Shog9's answer saying that fixing it "is not feasible at this time", wondering when "this time" will have passed). – Bernhard Barker Nov 17 '13 at 15:24
  • @Dukeling Exactly; that answer (whose score, I think, indicates the community's opinion of SE's priorities) was from 6 months ago, with no updates of any sort that I've seen. – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- Nov 17 '13 at 22:53

I totally agree.

There were discussions in the past, like in Close vote review audit flawed - fails without casting vote, where the accepted answer is by Shog9, who said

I consider this behavior appropriate for most of the audits. If you're clicking "close", you probably do want to close the question.

However, it kinda falls apart when you want to close a known-good question as a duplicate.

Fixing this would require dragging in code that's currently being extensively re-written; doing so is not feasible at this time. It may or may not become possible in the future - even without the current re-write, the logic for that UI isn't trivial to fake.

Such answer is legitimate, but clearly the community didn't find it satisfying as it received several downvotes.

I strongly believe testing only the press of Close is not doing any good, and this is a good example. Also I can think of the case in which a unexperienced reviewer is deciding whether to close a post, she hits Close and then she realizes that none of the close reasons apply and therefore decides to leave it open. That's a good behavior, and exploring the close reasons is a great way of learning how to be a good moderator.

To summarize:

  • hits close → bad boy

should rather be

  • hits close → none of the close reasons apply → closes for the wrong reason → bad boy!
  • hits close → none of the close reasons apply → leaves open → good boy!
  • hits close → closes the question as duplicate of itself → good boy!

According to the answer given by Shog9 this wasn't feasible at that time (May 10, 2013), since there was some code being extensively re-written. Now it has been a few months since then and I wonder whether the time has finally come.

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    I would be happy with "hits close → tries to close the question as duplicate of itself → gets an error message that this is illegal → leaves open" – John Dvorak Nov 17 '13 at 18:38
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    @JanDvorak, well at that point all cards are on the table. I'd say the audit is passed. – Gabriele Petronella Nov 17 '13 at 18:40

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