Having now spent some time on the review queues I thought it might be apposite to propose one or two refinements. I note that the current review system is just over a year old, so perhaps it's a good time to look at how it's working.
Three common categories I see for new user questions are:
- Eminently closable questions, no redeeming features. Career advice, choosing tools or methods, opinions, lists, etc. The question cannot be fixed, but it's a brutal way to treat a newbie.
- Horrible formatting, incomprehensible English, unformatted code. The user should be told to clean up the question and resubmit, and I don't want to do it for them.
- Potentially good questions that are far too short. The user should be told to expand the question the question and resubmit, and I can't do it for them.
So I'm regularly faced with questions that I can't or don't want to fix, but that badly need fixing. I can add a comment or I can flag for deletion, but I don't have a satisfactory way to push it back on the user to read the help and fix the question (or delete it).
[Meanwhile it's just as likely someone else will OK the question while I'm still thinking about it. This can be pretty frustrating, but that's another story.]
A solution could be a pre-canned comment similar to "Oh Hold", that blocked the question until some other reviewer cleared it, and with a link to relevant help text. I'm sure others could think up better ways.
This question is related: How to help hapless newbies become better SO users.
[There are similar problems with reviewing answers and approving edits, but that's enough for now.]
In response to comments: The choices I get to see when I flag a question are strongly oriented towards closing, not fixing. I am reluctant to flag for deletion a question that just needs some work by the OP.
What I think might help are options that are oriented towards saving the question rather than discarding it. That might be some different wording, and/or a lower threshold for putting the question into that state and getting it out again. Maybe 2 votes instead of 5; maybe rep 2K instead of 3K+.
If this is heading toward a suggestion for a new feature, then this is what I would suggest.
- A new status for either a question or answer called "under review"
- Can be switched on or off by anyone during a review (so one vote by 2K+ either way, but only during review)
- Otherwise similar rules to "on hold": no votes or answers, recycles through review queue.
- Final deletion should probably still require voting, but I leave that up to the high reps.
The purpose is to catch bad questions very quickly and push the job of fixing (where possible) back on the author, not on the reviewer, hopefully with some helpful comments.