VLQ flagged posts are now being shown in the Low Quality review, which allows:

  • Looks Good
  • Edit
  • Delete
  • Skip

but no option to vote on the post. My suggestion is to add downvoting as options:

  • Downvote
  • Downvote/Delete (this would replace current Delete)

There have been times I want to downvote but not necessarily delete a post I see in the queue. This is likely much more common on subjective sites than Stack Overflow. "What is an answer?" is a little less clear.

My current workflow is to open the question, scroll down and downvote, then go back to the review task and hit "skip." It seems this is not really what is intended.

I do this because I cannot rescind delete votes and occasionally someone will edit a post which is VLQ. Yet I still want to take action, in this case downvoting.

  • 3
    I think this has been mentioned multiple times before… but yes! Me wanu.
    – bjb568
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 2:56
  • 3
    Oh, and how about offensive/spam/other flagging too?
    – bjb568
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 3:48
  • 1
    related (not a duplicate): Why is voting removed from new review system?
    – gnat
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 8:41
  • 3
    I so heartily concur with this question. I was going to make a feature request to the same end but saw that this question would be an exact duplicate. When I go to the trouble of opening the question, scroll down to downvote the low quality answer and leave a comment, go back to the review queue, and find that I have four options, not one of which makes a bit of sense, I take option #5: Close the review queue window and swear at myself for wasting time with this fundamentally broken low quality review queue. Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 14:09
  • My userscript Enhanced Review adds the downvote option to both LQ and Close queues. Particularly useful for posts that need a downvote to be eligible for deletion from review.
    – user315433
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 2:39
  • This is NOT a duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/239420/…. Unsatisfactory choices is not the same as wanting to vote on answers.
    – Drew
    Commented May 22, 2022 at 17:45

2 Answers 2


I addressed the general case when review was first rolled out: Why is voting removed from new review system?

I addressed the specific case for LQ review on MSO: Would it be possible to add flagging/voting to "Low Quality Answers" review queue (complete with huge images of tools!)

I addressed this in passing when Triage rolled out: Why is there no facility to vote in Triage?

Note that I've become increasingly negative about the idea over the years; the First Posts / Late Answers queues repeatedly demonstrated that voting was both a terrible primary action to encourage and made it hard to improve the efficacy of a queue once available. The show-stopper for LQ review in my opinion is that we require multiple reviewers in some scenarios: this would invariably result in answers that were the result of simple confusion (questions as answers, etc) getting hammered by downvotes.

There is another option here though - the one we used in Triage: the last reviewer, the one to "complete" the review, gets a post-review screen that displays the final verdict and offers them the option to vote or move on to the next task. This encourages voting, slightly, while limiting the number of votes that can be generated directly from a single review.

That said, Triage isn't even active on most sites and even there the voting stage isn't fundamental to its operation; I don't see any pressing need to retrofit it to the LQ review queue unless / until we get around to making fundamental changes to how that queue operates network-wide.

While discussing this feature request internally, animuson noted that VLQ flags already trigger an automatic downvote when the post is edited - given editing is an option in the queue, there's already a reasonable option for posts that do need some work but don't need to be deleted.

As always, if you honestly don't know what to do with a given review task... Just skip until you find one where you do.

  • 1
    I also think that it is better to keep voting off the LQ review but can not clearly spell why it feels that way (even though I tried). I re-read your explanation several times and it didn't help either. In particular, fear of down-hammering blatant NAAs looks really slippery... "ahh simple confusion, pity them". Consider investing a bit more effort into explaining why such a popular and seemingly appealing request merits decline. (Analogy of rich toolbox vs two hammers in one of your linked posts felt like a move in the right direction but somehow not quite there yet)
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 12:44
  • 1
    I explained this at length in chat once... It took a while. My guess is I'll have to have this conversation a few dozen more times before I can answer succinctly. Vote-skew in review always sounds more benign than it is in practice; the shear number of posts affected tends to generate a lot more of what are normally fairly rare problems.
    – Shog9
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 13:18
  • I see, thanks. Keep iterating towards better explanation, this looks like a sensible approach (and I take back my suggestion in prior comment about investing more effort because it looks like you're doing this already)
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 13:55
  • ...I think I finally figured why I want to keep it off, quite a relief :)
    – gnat
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 19:02

On Jan 28, 2021 it was announced that downvote option is now available in this queue:

We heard from you that being able to vote directly on all tasks as well as the option to follow posts and receive updates on changes would help in the reviewing process. These features will be available in all queues.

(below is the text of the answer as it was written in 2017, keeping it primarily to provide historical context for this old discussion)

I believe that adding downvote option to the LQ queue would do more harm than good.

This will likely be unpopular opinion among experienced reviewers, and for a good reason - being one of them myself I would much benefit of this option (see note at the bottom of the answer). But thinking of less experienced reviewers makes me feel like this isn't the way to go.

Main problem with providing downvote option in LQ review is an obscure, counter-intuitive possibility of an unexpected reputation loss.

Just think of it. Imagine an average, moderately experienced user just over 2K reputation doing LQ review. Imagine them looking at apparently poor quality answer shown under big bad title "Low Quality Posts", heavily voted down, having comments clearly explaining what's wrong with it. Many of them will probably pick that vote down option because it is so apparently correct one.

Now, how would they feel like after it turns out that review didn't delete the answer? (1, 2, 3, 4)

- Hey what's up, I did nothing but few LQ reviews and now I'm out of 20 rep points?
- Oh that's all your fault: these answers weren't poor enough to merit deletion because of <some intricate obscure formal reason>.
- Oops.

Would you expect a user penalised this way continue reviewing? Hardly. Would such a penalising be fair? Why would it?

We're talking about average users with typically limited experience. They come here to just ask questions and get answers, "...no distractions" as they were promised in tour. They are not obliged to distract (yes, distract) on studying complicated nuances of when an answer is poor enough for downvote but not enough for deletion.

The reasons why we ask these less experienced users to review is because we can't do without them, because other ways we tried didn't scale. Diamond moderators couldn't handle it, 10K users couldn't do it either, so we asked these less experienced folks for help in maintaining site quality.

But we can't expect of them same level of understanding as that of 10Kers. And we can't really afford repelling them from review because of unexpected rep losses - because we already tried and found that without them system doesn't work.

Summing up, if we want LQ queue to work and scale successfully we better keep the downvote option out of it - because this tempting and obscure "rep-eater" would likely be a permanent drag-off for less experienced reviewers.

(For the sake of completeness, I can think of providing it as sort of advanced option for users with over 10k rep or maybe over 1K reviews - but not for less experienced ones, that's for sure.)

A promised explanation why to me personally this option would be very convenient. Myself, I vote down lots of posts from LQ queue and it sure would be much smoother if I could do this without opening them separately.

It is critical here that I fully understand rep-implications of my votes. I know when there is a risk (reviewers can disagree to delete and I won't have reasons to flag for moderator) and I fully accept that risk of rep loss. I also know when there's no risk - even if review breaks or author undeletes I would flag for moderator and get it deleted anyway.

But this all is based on higher than average understanding of how system works, and I got it only because I was personally curious about that and I can not expect other reviewers to be just as curious - simply because they are not obliged to and they have a full right not to bother. I don't want them to lose rep essentially because they were simply not as curious as me.

  • 3
    Ooh, let’s lock the knives, scissors and matches away, lest the silly users hurt themselves. You get the downvote privilege when you hit 125 rep; if you make it to 2000 without learning that downvotes (on answers) cost you a point, then you need to be taught. Besides, your argument is made of straw; downvotes are meant for wrong answers. Reviewers should be casting downvotes and selecting “Looks OK” for wrong answers, and should not expect those answers to be deleted. I would downvote this, but you redeem yourself in the last paragraph — although I believe that 3000 is an adequate threshold. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 3:57
  • I’m not thrilled with the fact that downvotes on answers cost me a point, and there have been times that I have reviewed an answer that I believed deserved a DV, but I withheld it because I didn’t want to burn up my own rep.  (Now that I’m over 5000 on three sites, I don’t sweat the small stuff so much.)  If you believe that it’s unfair to penalize reviewers for downvoting, then advocate for removing the 1 point penalty, PERIOD.  … (Cont’d) Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 3:57
  • (Cont’d) …  And/or advocate for removing the opportunity to downvote from the “First Posts” and “Late Answers” review queues, where users with 500 rep can just as easily burn 20 points of it in 15 minutes. Making an appropriate, relevant function hard to access to prevent naïve users from hurting themselves is an insult to the intelligence of those users. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 3:57
  • why don't you try it yourself @Scott. Just spend a few weeks voting down reviewed answers (like I do, open outside of the queue). 20 a day, day by day, every day. Then get back to us and tell how it went. Just so you know, I lose 1-2 rep points a month doing that, because of mistakes - and this is despite knowing a lot about what answers are guaranteed to delete. A less experienced user would likely lose 1-2 points a day, that is 300-500 a year. For a typical 2K reviewer this is hardly "scissors and matches", more like a hand grenade. Do you keep grenades around your kitchen?
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 8:47
  • Is that a challenge?  I laugh at your challenge, because that’s what I do, and what I have been doing for the past several months (if not years).  OK, maybe not 20 a day in every queue — on “my” three sites (Super User, U&L, and EL&U) the review queues tend to stay short (except for the Close queues), and, even if they’re not, 10 per day per queue is my burnout limit.  And I don’t downvote everything I see — some first posts and late answers are acceptable,  … (Cont’d) Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 19:49
  • (Cont’d) …  and most LQPs are NAA, so I recommend deletion without downvoting.   I don’t lose too many points in SU, because the moderation there is pretty harsh, and there’s a great tendency to delete wrong answers (so, when I downvote wrong answers, I do get the points back, even though I shouldn’t).   But take a look at my reputation for the past 51 days (since Nov 1) on EL&U.   (I’ve edited out the 0-days for readability.)   If it weren’t for Nov 3, my total for the months of November and December (to date) would be a measly +2. … (Cont’d) Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 19:49
  • (Cont’d) …  As I said, I’m not thrilled with the fact that downvotes on answers cost me a point, but I bite the bullet and do it because I believe that it’s part of my duty as a responsible, high-rep citizen. I would like it if downvotes on answers were free, but I can understand the concern that some people would downvote answers casually / excessively if that were the case. I would readily support a change to make downvotes on answers free for high-rep users, or when issued within a review queue, but I doubt that any such suggestion would gain any traction. … (Cont’d) Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 19:49
  • (Cont’d) …  It seems as though you’re missing the point of the “scissors and matches” analogy.  No, I don’t have hand grenades, but if I cut myself 20 times a day, every day, for a year, I would die — or I would learn how to handle knives.  As I said, I was very sparing with DVs until I got well above 2000. And again, your argument doesn’t hold water.  If a user with 1999 rep got an upvote that pushed him up to 2009 and gave him access to the LQP review queue, and he cast ten downvotes on answers, that would send him back to 1999 and take away his access to that queue. … (Cont’d) Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 19:51
  • (Cont’d) …  That should be enough of a wake-up call to get their attention. So he wouldn’t be able to lose 300-500 points unless he continually gained rep at an equal or greater rate. … … … … … … And, since you haven’t addressed my suggestion, I’ll rephrase it as a question: Why do you think it’s OK to have downvote available in the “First Posts” and “Late Answers” review queues, where users with 500 rep can cut their fingers? And another question: What do you think is the right way to handle a wrong answer when you encounter it in the LQP queue? Recommend deletion? Or “Looks OK” with no vote? Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 19:51
  • probably SE team feels they can't afford "teaching" LQ reviewers in such a painful way. As I wrote already system seems to be incapable of handling LQ posts load without help of these reviewers so it is natural to assume that they are simply afraid of losing them. As for comparison to LA and FP queues it looks irrelevant because these queues unlike LQ don't "tempt" reviewers to vote down
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 22:06

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