I just went through this process on a small site:

  1. Open a question and read it thoroughly
  2. Think "hmm, that's a good question"
  3. Notice the usercard
  4. Think "hmm, I haven't seen that user before; I wonder if this is his/her first post?"
  5. Go to the First Posts queue
  6. "Yep, there's the post!"
  7. Upvote and click I'm Done in a couple seconds
  8. Close the queue because there was nothing else in it

I'm sure the quickness of my review would raise the concern of anybody who was looking. I know normal users can't directly see a review item's time, but can moderators or CM's? (Do I need to explain myself to anyone? I'm not a robo-reviewer, I promise!)

  • 6
    Mods can at least see an average review duration of a particular user over the past month. Other than that, I dunno anything. Also don't ask how I know that . . .
    – M.A.R.
    May 30, 2016 at 19:30
  • 4
    @TIPS how you know that? May 30, 2016 at 19:30
  • @Sha of course a mod told me the other day. [ . . . ] Were you expecting any other responses, by any chance?
    – M.A.R.
    May 30, 2016 at 20:01
  • @TIPS from you? Of course! May 30, 2016 at 20:02
  • 1
    I might also have some other friends in some other places @Sha. Good day. Tips traditional hat
    – M.A.R.
    May 30, 2016 at 20:03
  • 1
    review-audits are expected to take care of those who really don't pay proper attention (you are obviously not one of them that's why you don't even mention these). Audits seem to do this well, at least I fail every time I stop paying due attention. Very useful feature. Even passing them is useful as it reminds that I need to stay properly focused
    – gnat
    May 31, 2016 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


I know normal users can't directly see a review item's time, but can moderators or CM's?

The short answer is "sort of." As TIPS commented, mods have some review stats available to them. As for CMs, well, when you have access to the database, a lot of things are possible. So in that sense, yes. But on the other hand, we don't go out of our way to make that information easily accessible, if that's what you're getting at. Like, there's no mod tab on user profiles that lists the past hundred review durations.

Do I need to explain myself to anyone?

Nah. If you had made a habit of submitting rapid reviews, or failed some audits, then maybe. As things are, you should be fine. The fact that you took the time to make this whole Meta SE post seems pretty non-robo-reviewer-y.


You are asking the wrong question here, in my opinion.

The actual question should be: "Is quick review sign of robo reviewing?"

And my answer to this is: depends/we can't really know.

Robo reviewing is when someone choose an action in random, without bothering to take a look in the review item itself. Usually to gain badges, but the motives are not relevant here. Now obviously you, in the case you described, didn't choose the action in random since you gave it some thought before getting the review, but there's no way for anyone to know that.

So how can we tell when someone is robo reviewing and when someone is putting enough thought behind each review action? We can't.

The only thing we can do is go over the user's reviews and judge by the decisions. Robo reviewing ought to leave some marks in the form of bad decisions, even when the user is smart enough to pass the audits. When spotting such a user, he/she will indeed have lots to explain when confronted, either by a moderator if you flag them or by you (the one discovering this suspicious review pattern) if you leave a comment on one of their posts, or invite them to chat.

  • 3
    -1 on principle--even though the content here isn't necessarily bad--because you didn't answer the original question, and instead substituted a new question of your own
    – Pops
    May 31, 2016 at 16:15
  • @Pops well, the answer is pretty much "no, nobody can really see it" and that's not a very thorough answer. So I took a step ahead and answered the question that wasn't asked, but is there behind the scenes, in my opinion. Kudos for your answer, that is indeed what OP was looking for. May 31, 2016 at 19:42
  • Ah, so say that as part of the answer, right? Then it'd be both complete and extra-helpful!
    – Pops
    May 31, 2016 at 20:51
  • @Pops well... Didn't think of that! ;) May 31, 2016 at 20:58

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