TLDR: My thoughts about dealing with low quality content in scope of limited resources, like edits and flags.


(this is long and perhaps little boring, so you may skip directly to The problem section)

Recently I've started being a little big more active on Stack Overflow and it happened I passed the magic border of 500 reputation points. As a result I am reviewing First posts, Late answers and Triage queues. I consider myself as not very successful at this task, because majority of those questions are about subjects witch I am not even a beginner in. I am not even able to distinguish if the question (or answer) is totally rubbish or it provides some value. So, skipping is frequently in use.

However, this is a separate category of questions. They are asked about matters I do know and they are, well, rubbish. The user asking given question has not even tried to understand and solve the problem for himself.

I used to work as an instructor, training the people in some IT related subjects, so I am always for educating people. But what to do if someone asks a question, where the only reasonable answer would be RTFM (or verbatim copy of the manual)?

I agree, some subject are not easy, even if they look trivial for experienced people. But if someone wants to learn something, such person shall be driven by curiosity. Ok, man bash is long and boring. And even after 20 years of being either user, administrator as linux based software developer I cannot tell I know everything about it. And I have read it more than once. But sometimes people are coming with totally clueless questions, without any knowledge, without curiosity and - as it appears from discussion in comments under the question - without even willing to try solving it when given some hints.

We all know to gather some knowledge one need to spent some time reading books and articles about the subject, doing exercises and mistakes. And then, person is coming with the question "How to frobnicate my shmoolgulator" and then, as an expert in shmoolgulator, you remember spending days reading books and weeks doing experiments, before you achieve your first reasonable frobnication. And only reasonable answer is: "Sorry chap/lass, I cannot help you right know. But read following resources, start trying, and then come back and ask about specific problems you encountered, we will try to help you. Oh, you need the answer right now, because deadline for the work/school project is in three days. I am sorry for you." Or, if are trigger-happy short-circuited bad-tempered person: "RTFM, you indolent [selfcensored]".

The problem

So, after receiving a privilege of being reviewer I happily skipped in and - just after three days - my sanity started going down. When I was able to edit the question (or answer) I did it. But the edition is a scarce resource. I have been stuck more than once because I hit the editions queue length limit. Flagging posts is a little less scarce, as each day is started with fresh limit of 10 flags. However, as I understand the insights of the system, it is just passing the burden to moderators.

The questions

So, what should I do in case when I use all my review related resources? Obvious solutions are:

  • stop reviewing a queue for day
  • continue reviewing and accepting what seems to be acceptable and skipping what I consider as a candidate to flag.

but I am not happy with neither of them.

At the very moment I am following the second choice - skipping. But my doubt is: what is the mechanic of skipping? Is it possible, that every reviewing person would take a second approach and after using her reviewing resources it will skip remaining candidates, making them, practically, unreviewed?

So, what's your advice?

  • 4
    I rather have 1000 users spending their 10 flags per day, then 10 users spending their 100 flags. The key in getting post quality up and the review queues handled is the number of reviewers/flaggers, not the count of flags per user. Flag count doesn't scale. So you're doing great by the looks of it and please keep doing so.
    – rene
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 16:23
  • Provided answer together with this comment provide a nice summary about being a reviewer. Feel free to edit my question to remove some of my emotional bantering from introduction (personally, I am too attached to that and I am not being objective what shall be removed and what not) and let it - together with the answers - become a guide for other fresh reviewers.
    – ArturFH
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


As you review more, your daily flag limit will increase:

When you start out, you are allotted 10 flags per day. This number may increase to up to 100 flags per day:

  • You get one bonus flag per 2000 reputation.
  • You are awarded additional bonus flags when you flag correctly - one bonus flag for every ten net helpful flags (helpful flags minus declined flags).

This should slowly alleviate your problem of running out of flags. Edits are more difficult, until you gain the editing privilege (2,000 rep) — if you have 5 pending edits, you can't submit any more, which is what you're experiencing. Note that this isn't a daily limit; once your edits are handled, you will be able to submit more, so you don't have to stop completely for the day—just come back later if you really want to continue.

It's up to you whether you want to stop completely, or just continue reviewing the items that you're able to; as long as your reviews (ignoring skips) are correct, it doesn't really matter.

Is it possible, that every reviewing person would take a second approach and after using her reviewing resources it will skip remaining candidates, making them, practically, unreviewed?

I strongly doubt so. First Post reviews will eventually be completed by someone, and you personally don't need to review everything possible. It is far preferable that you review the posts you can to the best of your ability, rather than making poor review decisions because you're unable to edit or flag.

There are thousands of users on Stack Overflow, and many of these users participate in the review queues. Some will have the privileges to edit without approval, so they can't run out of edits, so you don't need to worry too much about review items never being handled.

And, remember: There is no shame in using “Skip”!

  • "As you review more, your daily flag limit will increase" is not correct. The number of flags available is not related to one's reviewing activity.
    – user315433
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 18:50
  • @Guero I hoped it would be clear from the quote that although you do not directly gain flags from reviewing, the flagging that you would perform while reviewing posts would lead to an increased flag limit, so indirectly, reviewing more posts would lead to more flags (unless you're doing it wrong!)
    – Aurora0001
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 18:52

Skipping? No. The community is Moderated by You.

Stop for one day? No need. It will be stopped automatically when reach 40 reviews(in each category)

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Please do review whenever you have time. Suggesting edits is not a very hard thing. If you put some effort, you will get an idea how to suggest edit.

When you reach 2K rep, there is no more suggestions. Your edits will applied immediately.

Then the flag limit,

Now you have 10 flags per day and it will increase as mentioned in the above answer. 1 more flag for each 10 accepted flags.

When you reach 3K rep, instead of flag, you can vote to close and while it reach 5 close votes, the question will be closed.

So, take the review queues as a Training Room for gaining enough experience so that while you unlock more privileges, you will know how to use it.

The technology you are not aware of

You can filter the queue using specific tags and up to 3 tags

Then you will see posts with only those tags.
Moreover detailed knowledge in that tag is not a must because you should check the grammar, quality and structure of post. Don't bothered about the keywords/ function names/ etc.

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