I have been put off reviewing the Close Votes queue because often, in the time it takes me to carefully read the post and consider any following comments and answers, someone else has reviewed the post and taken action, rendering my decision useless.

With more than a hundred thousand items currently in the Close Votes queue, I think I, or anyone else for that matter, could do some good if only I had enough time to do something about it.

This would be the opposite to the unpopular idea proposed in Reset the close vote queue.

I don't mind chipping away at the old ones. For me, it's enjoyable to have the time to look at the thread and give it some consideration. I get to learn things whilst I'm doing that.

Is it possible to get in to the queue at an earlier date, say a year ago?

Can I use the data explorer to do that?

1 Answer 1


I like that you carefully review the queue. I think that not every question in the queue should be closed and that robo-ing through the whole thing casting "the right close vote" could result in unwarranted closures.

It would be very nice if there were a way to get date ranges from the review queue but that isn't an option at the moment. Some people suggest to just sort by a narrower tag.

I am not sure there is way to use the data explorer to check for current close votes (or at least not that I am aware of).

If you have 10k+ reputation

One way to do this which would take a semi brutal amount of time would be to wade through the old reviews yourself. You can make a rough estimate of where to start in the history. There are 50 reviews per page in the history. There are currently 118k reviews in the backlog. This means a rough estimate would be to start at page 2360 of the history.


Once there, you could then look at every question which has not yet been [closed] and review it if it still had any close votes. This user script will help filter the links out which are already closed.

$('.history-table tr').filter(function(){
 return $(this).find('td').eq(1).text().indexOf('[closed]') > -1;

This is definitely a slow process, but it is one way that you may visit older content which has previously been in the review queue.

I would advise that you just cast your close votes as you encounter questions in the wild and not worry too much about the size of the queue, but it is your prerogative and if you feel the need to review really old items in the queue, then this may be an approach which you could use.

  • 2
    That link only works for 10k+ users (us non 10kers don't get the full review history like you do).
    – hichris123
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:18
  • @hichris123 - Oh, I didn't realize that. Thanks for the clarification I guess this is probably not an option for most users :(
    – Travis J
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:19
  • Yeah... if only I had that link! :P
    – hichris123
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:19
  • Umm... that .remove()... it does only work on what I see, rather than changing the database, doesn't it? Before I try it. It isn't that I want to review only really old items, just that I want a possibility of my considered response having a chance of making a difference. Feb 17, 2014 at 23:26
  • @AndrewMorton - It just alters the structure of the page. It doesn't affect the database or anything else :) If you run it, and then refresh the page, everything will come back. As noted by hichris123, only 10k+ users will have access to the review history, sorry!
    – Travis J
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:27
  • I think I need to explore the data explorer more: your suggested query looks like jQuery syntax, and trying to use it as a query gives an error of Incorrect syntax near '$'. A RETURN statement with a return value cannot be used in this context. (Rhetorically) How much hacking am I expected to do to find out what column names I can use in an SQL query? Feb 17, 2014 at 23:41
  • @AndrewMorton - The user script is in javascript, it is in fact jQuery syntax (all SO pages include a jQuery reference). It isn't meant to be used in the data explorer or in a SQL query, but in lieu with the 10k link I provided (sorry, I realize this is not an available option for you but did not at the time of writing the answer). There should be no hacking involved, I did not have any suggestions for improving your SQL query with the data explorer.
    – Travis J
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:44

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