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At the core the Low Quality Review Queue exists to do 2 things:

  • Close low quality questions
  • Delete crap (questions and/or answers)

However, despite these goals, the minimum reputation to access the queue is still less than the minimum reputation required to accomplish those actions.

But why is this? We don't trust those users enough to close questions or delete posts, but we trust them enough to perform actions that will remove the posts from that queue.

Near as I can tell, when a user without close privileges reviews a question, they have 3 actionable options, "Looks OK", "Edit", or "Close". Both "Looks OK" and "Edit" will help kick the post out of the queue. But "Close" only effectively counteracts as "Looks OK" vote and helps keep it in the queue. In essence, those users can only help remove the post from the queue and can't really do anything else.

I can say from experience that I have seen posts that I have flagged as "Low quality" get kicked out of the review queue because someone decided to perform a meaningless edit that made absolutely no difference in the quality of the post. It was then necessary to involve a moderator to handle the post. But if low rep users were not permitted to review in that queue, it likely would have been deleted without bothering a moderator.

If we can't trust users with <3K rep to close questions, what is the benefit to allowing them access to the Low Quality posts? As an extension of this, if a user has <10K and can't delete, what is the benefit of them being allowed to access the same queue to review low quality answers?

When the only action someone can do is to remove the item (or leave the post for others), why is it necessary to allow them to review to begin with?

  • 1
    Actually, you can't access the Low Quality Posts queue until you earn your full editing privileges (2,000 reputation on graduated sites). – animuson Feb 9 '15 at 1:53
  • @animuson really? Was it always that case or is this a relatively recent change? Does cut into my argument a little – psubsee2003 Feb 9 '15 at 1:58
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    Always been the case. First Posts and Late Answers are the only queues you get at 500 (and Triage now, but that's only on Stack Overflow). – animuson Feb 9 '15 at 1:58
  • @animuson guess I was always beyond 2K on the site I spend most of my time one when the queues were invented and never noticed. I have edited the incorrect information, but I have left the core of the post intact since it is mostly still relavant. – psubsee2003 Feb 9 '15 at 2:00
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For questions, users under 3K have "Recommend Closure" button instead of "Close", which pushes questions into the Close queue.

For answers, users under 20K have "Recommend Deletion" button instead of "Delete", which results in deletion of answer if six reviewers pick that option. My research shows that nearly all deletions in Low Quality review queue are due to users with less than 20K reputation, simply because there are so many of them compared to 20K users.

  • 1
    This certainly addresses the benefit with regards to deletion, but just throwing a post into the close vote queue doesn't seem to offer a lot of benefit on sites with a large close vote queue. You end up with questions that have well more than 5 close "votes" from that queue simply because the question does not get closed fast enough and gets lost in the close vote queue and/or kicked out of the LQP queue due to a misguided editor. – psubsee2003 Feb 9 '15 at 13:29

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