I just had a review queue audit question "fail" because I clicked "Close" on a post that the community felt should be left open. This particular meta question is about the close vote review queue, but the same principle should apply elsewhere.

Audits are good. I see what the idea behind them is, and for the very most part I agree wholeheartedly. However, just clicking "Close" in the review queue doesn't actually do anything. All it does is bring up a dialog box with a bunch of options for how to close the question. Nothing of significance happens until you actually vote to close.

I often pull up that dialog box to refresh my memory if I am uncertain what is considered on topic by the community on various sites. For example, product recommendation questions are off topic on SuperUser but not on Unix & Linux. On the other hand, on Unix & Linux non-reproducible problems are specifically off topic, which they are not on SuperUser (though posts about nonreproducible problems may be off topic for other reasons). Since there can be quite a bit of overlap between the sites, sometimes I'd rather just check to be sure before deciding to leave a question open. There have been a number of times when actually checking has made me decide that a question really is not off topic where it was posted; it might have been off topic on a different site, but it's fine on this one according to the earlier judgement of the community.

However, unless you really go out of your way, before you're able to make that determination you have already failed the audit.

If the issue at stake is (as has been indicated previously) that users may follow each other down the wrong slope in voting, that can easily be detected (handled, mitigated, fixed, ...) by putting in some random votes in the audit "close" dialog box, or not displaying any votes at all in the case of audits. Or even possibly showing exactly such a set of "wrong reason" votes. The reason for that being that what one should be trying to catch is people taking action based on incorrect judgment, which is quite different from just clicking on the "Close" button quite possibly without even a clear intention (see above about the memory refresher).


In a review queue audit, only actually doing something that would ordinarily result in taking action should cause you to pass or fail the audit. That is, for example, clicking "Close" in the outer view shouldn't fail you even if the question should be left open, although clicking "Vote To Close" in the resultant dialog box should.

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    +1 I often pull up that dialog box to refresh my memory... So do I. It is FAR easier to do this on-demand than to open new tabs to the various information portals whenever I go to the review queue. It is understandable that people get frustrated with wasted clicks in an audit, but I would point out that audits are (or should be) rare. The annoyance of wasted clicks is less (for me, at least) than the annoyance of an audit that I fail simply because it doesn't mesh with my standard workflow. Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:22
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    I would love to see this implemented. This is so frustrating. Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:24
  • inb4 this gets closed as a countless duplicate Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:32
  • @JanDvorak I did look, but at least didn't see anything that looked like an obvious duplicate. It's also definitely current, since I failed the audit for that exact reason less than an hour ago.
    – user
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:33
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    @MichaelKjörling - see below. It has been discussed, at least in part. Anyway, this is the kind of question that should be reasked. Maybe this time they will consider changing this behavior.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:37
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    +1, suggested it also here - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/169580/… (possible dup)
    – Leeor
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:41
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    @SPArchaeologist There are ways around that, like adding fake votes in the case of an audit, or not showing any vote counts at all even if there are votes on the audit post currently. The problem isn't bringing up the dialog box. The problem is taking action based on incorrect judgment. That is what should be caught by the audit IMO, and it will be even with my suggestion implemented.
    – user
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:41
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    @MichaelKjörling - I totally agree - I was just indicating the original answer given to the original question about the same problem on the "flag" button. This doesn't mean that I don't believe that the current behavior is wrong
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:54
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    On my last failed audit I was specifically thinking at the time "Why would someone want to close this one? - Maybe I'm missing something", check the votes, instant fail.
    – OGHaza
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


I agree. Often, there are questions that are canonical references, but could easily be seen as having not enough research effort, stuff like how do I do x in jQuery, that have a ton of upvotes, but not much research effort, and usually have 1 line questions and answers.

Opening the close dialog refreshes our memory on what kind of questions need to be closed, and what the criteria for bad questions are. If we just want to clarify if something should be closed, the best way to do that is through opening the close dialog, but then we fail. Also, it's too easy to click in the wrong spot and get that big angry message. Failing a review audit should require the exact same actions as what would happen during a normal review, and the message should only come when you click I'm done


Searching in the meta archives I found a similar question from the past:


Basically: they made the "Flag" button automagically fail the audit (BEFORE you select a flag category) because they feel that looking at what the other user did is regarded as a bad habit : after one user flag a question, all other people seem to follow the same pattern. Actually, I don't agree. If that was the problem, hiding the actions of other users would be enough (as the comments below suggest- thanks for the idea, Michael)

So I guess that for the "Close" button the reason is the same. I suspect that this won't be fixed.

I perfectly understand your reason though - I have experienced your situation and I can confirm that many user open the window only to review the available options (a memory refresh).

I can only suggest until this will be hopefully changed that you open the actual question instead and then open the flag window from there. Far from optimal, but still...


In the meantime, have my support.

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    But one could put in a few "bad" reviews in there too, if that is desired. Or just leave it entirely blank in the case of audits, regardless of any current flags or votes. Bringing up the dialog box isn't the problem. Taking action based on incorrect judgment is. It's the latter that should be caught by the audits, IMO:
    – user
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:39
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    @MichaelKjörling - I totally agree with you. And let me edit to give your idea more visibility. That would actually be a viable solution.
    – SPArcheon
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:41
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    I actually ended up adding it to the question, too.
    – user
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 15:47

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