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While cleaning up the review queue on one of the SE sites I noticed I accomplished something pretty cool:

enter image description here

I cleared the entire review queue! Every review type was at zero and I performed the most recent review on all of them. This happened on August 16th, 2014. I actually did it on July 10th as well, but I think the two in a row was a fluke for this site.

I think encouraging users to do review tasks could use a boost and a badge for this accomplishment would help. I think the description should be something like:

Be the most recent reviewer on all review tasks while each review queue has zero items available for review (ie clear the entire review queue).

Name suggestions:

  • Review Slayer
  • Task Killer
  • Queue Sweeper
  • Review Master

Badge metal: I'm tending toward Silver. It is likely impossible to get this on SO, while on other sites you can probably get pretty often. I did this on Christianity.SE, where I think this might happen once or twice a year (I'm pretty aggressive with the review queue there). I'd like another Gold badge opportunity, but I don't think it is that hard to get on most SE sites. I also suggest that it is unavailable for beta sites.


On a side note, it would be extra fun if the badge automatically took a snapshot of it and showed it to you when you hovered over the badge in your profile.

  • @doppelgreener I see what you mean, but is that a significant distinction. The queue says 0 on all tasks and also says I am the most recent on all tasks. That doesn't come easily and encouraging it would get people to the review queues. – fredsbend Aug 27 '14 at 23:38
  • @doppelgreener BTW, on SO, I can do first post reviews, such that it says six are pending, but when I click on it it says there are none. What you are saying in your above comment does not reflect what I am seeing on SO. Are you sure that the number shown is what I am able to review and not the site total? I don't think so because I also shows me close vote review at 11K, but I don't even have the rep to do close vote reviews, so the behavior would be inconsistent if it does as you say it does. – fredsbend Aug 27 '14 at 23:42
  • Actually, yeah, I might be wrong about that. – doppelgreener Aug 27 '14 at 23:52
  • @fredsbend Maybe that's SO-specific behavior (due to the large volume making an expensive query)? That's not my experience on Japanese.SE. The review page shows exactly how many reviews I can act on. – Troyen Aug 28 '14 at 0:36
  • And similarly on RPG.SE, I can have that 10k notice that there's [5] reviews pending, but have every queue list 0 reviews. But on Meta SE, I can do a close review, but it'll still say there's 1 review left in the queue afterwards... even though there's none available to me. – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 0:41
  • @doppelgreener Well, the top bar is not user specific for caching reasons, but the /review page should be. – Troyen Aug 28 '14 at 0:48
  • @Troyen Well, yeah, that's my point. If the top bar says [5], there's definitely 5 items present in the review queues. So if the review page on RPG.SE says there's 0 reviews present at that point, the review page must give me a customized view of only items available to me. – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 0:50
  • @doppelgreener Not definitely. The numbers in the top bar is cached. – user259867 Aug 28 '14 at 1:14
  • @Thursday Fair point. I've asked about that behaviour here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/238698/152515 – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 1:20
  • 1
    Can we go easy on the downvotes please? I think -11 is pretty good to let me and everyone else know that this is not a popular idea. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 5:52
9

I agree that was a pretty cool situation, but it's not one that makes for a good badge.

Badges exist to reward constructive behaviour we wish to encourage, and this does not reward constructive behaviour.

To consider what behaviour this rewards, let's consider the circumstances under which you can get this badge reliably:

  • A situation of total luck you just stumble into. There have to be enough items to fill up all queues (or simply no new items since the last time you cleared that queue), but few enough to be realistically reviewable, and that nobody else does reviews in the meantime. None of this is under your control and incredibly unlikely to occur. (And then do your reviews.)
  • Leave all your review queues alone and do nothing in them, letting them build up to the point where every queue has stuff in it, then review them and clear them all. (And then do your reviews.)

Badges don't really exist just for lucky/obscure situations, and the latter behaviour is outright unhelpful because we'd rather people do every individual review ASAP. So you get rewarded for luck or negative behaviour, followed by doing your reviews. The only constructive behaviour rewarded here is for doing reviews (which we already have a reward for). But this badge rewards you for doing them specifically in a bad way - postponing them as much as possible - so it doesn't make for a good badge.

Also, to be clear, the number of items displayed as available in a review queue is the number of reviews requiring your own action. Reviews you have already performed are excluded from that count, bar caching updates. So if all review queues say '0', that just means you've done all of your own review tasks - there may still be review items waiting for other users.

But there's other badges that reward situations outside your control!

Sure, but they don't require such unlikely luck. The rare few that require an element of luck have the elements outside your control influenced by constructive behaviour, so it rewards that behaviour.

  • Votes, favourites, and views are outside your control. However, this is a reward for making high quality site content, which is a fantastic contribution and constructive behaviour.
  • Reversal and Necromancer require questions you may be unlikely to come across depending on your site, but they still require making quality contributions to the site, and you won't earn them without making quality contributions.
  • Tenacious and Unsung Hero are rare and probably unlucky, but a reward for perseverance in being helpful to a lot of people.

The only real outlier is Tumbleweed, which is a sort of "we're sorry, please don't go away!" compensation badge.

This badge you're proposing doesn't measure up to those. It isn't influenced by positive behaviour. It's influenced by negative behaviour - doing nothing and avoiding reviews.

  • In response to (1) Individual problems on SO are a result of it's own success. Millions of posts, nearly 25 per second added, etc. lend to SO's problems, not the badges that encourage review tasks. Nearly all of the other SE sites do not have this problem with the review queue. (2) As I mentioned, I review on that site aggressively. I came to this situation because I check the review queue at least six times a day, about 3 hours apart. Sometimes much more. The encouraged behavior is checking the review queue frequently. – fredsbend Aug 27 '14 at 23:56
  • cont. (3) Plenty of other badges are rare on other sites for various reasons, but common on others, due to individual site culture (reversal on MSE, Favorite or Stellar question on nearly every non-SO site and also Epic and Legendary, Tenacious and Unsung Hero on C.SE, for example). This fact is a poor reason to oppose a new badge request. – fredsbend Aug 27 '14 at 23:56
  • Your statements after the numbered points seem to follow from the assumption that the review queue only list reviews available to you. I'm not 100% certain, but I think that assumption is false. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 0:02
  • So what about the main reason, wherein it encourages poor behaviour? It does reward checking the review queues often, but rewards doing nothing in them when you could do something. (And no, it does not follow from my assumption it only lists views available to you. That means something I need to add to point 2...) – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 0:02
  • We have a shedload of people already powering through review queues to get a badge. This would make it worse. – ale Aug 28 '14 at 0:02
  • @AlE. On SO, yes, but the nearly 100 other SE sites don't really have that problem. I know SO is the darling of the SE network, but we can't keep holding back stuff on the network because it might offend SO. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 0:03
  • @doppelgreener I've already read about the review badge problem. I'm not sure what to do about it, but as I've already said, most other SE sites don't have that problem. Most users are doing legitimate reviews. All review badges already reward only action, whether valid or not. The review tasks are not also reviewed in their own meta-review queue. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 0:05
  • Regarding your edit on point two, many badges are contingent on elements outside of your control. There is an element of luck in nearly every badge. The trick is if there is a greater element of hard and diligent work. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 0:08
  • I've deleted all that so as to not distract people into arguing over the minor reasons over the main one. – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 0:08
  • @fredsbend Not like this there isn't. – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 0:08
  • The minor points were better founded than your major point! They are all lacking in reason nonetheless. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 0:11
  • Your second bullet in your main point is still based on the false assumption that the review queue only shows reviews available to me. The first bullet critiques the luck element of the badge without mention of the work element. Since we're talking about badges encouraging behavior, let's take a look at Tumbleweed, Tenacious and Unsung Hero. It's obvious that those were designed to keep people participating on SO when the SO culture swung toward low vote count and low quality, incomplete answers. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 0:13
  • I could've sworn the review page only shows the number of items you personally can review, unless this changed recently or is determined per-site. I've seen different totals when checking as anonymous vs logged in on a smaller site. The number on the top bar is not indicative of how many reviews are there for you, however. – Troyen Aug 28 '14 at 0:29
  • @Troyen I thought so too, but I'm confused at the moment. I earlier did a close review, then there was still 1 close review waiting in the list. Maybe it's as you say, or there's a bug? – doppelgreener Aug 28 '14 at 0:31
  • In fact, I just tried it now. Found a site with 1 item in the close queue, skipped it, and the queue page now shows 0. Checked the page in private browsing mode and it still shows 1. (And it shouldn't show 0 because someone else still has to deal with it.) – Troyen Aug 28 '14 at 0:31

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