It just happened the other day that I was doing some reviews on Stack Overflow and just when I opened a queue I got called away from the computer. I didn't skip the review nor did I close the tab/browser, since my help was required rather urgently.

When I came back at about 30 minutes later (might have been even longer) the item was still there waiting for my input, meaning that there doesn't seem to be a time limit as to how long we can think over an appropriate action for any post.

Is this really desired behavior or is it maybe a (minor) oversight? I think there should be a time limit for post in review queues, because for example in the triage queue three votes in either direction ("Looks OK" or "Requires editing") are needed to let the community decide what should happen with a question/answer from that queue (and other queues work very similar). It seems to be a bit unfortunate if one user was able to prolong the time a post spends in any queue by simply getting called away or even forgetting all about the review and thus "blocking" the item for other users to review, especially in the triage queue, where the guidelines say that we should skip an item if we cannot decide what to do with it after one minute, meaning that we should act rather quickly and not spend too much time, especially not 30+ minutes.

  • and thus "blocking" the item for other users to review What's your basis for asserting that's happening? You reviewing an item isn't stopping other people from reviewing it. – Servy Sep 8 '17 at 15:13
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    where the guidelines say that we should skip an item if we cannot decide what to do with it after one minute The purpose of the guideline is to prevent you from spending your time unproductively, not because it's actually a problem for anyone else if you want to spend more time reviewing a post. – Servy Sep 8 '17 at 15:14
  • @Servy: I was under the impression I was blocking it, since I was still able to cast my vote on the item in question after 30 minutes. To me this seems like it hasn't left the review queue during those 30 minutes. – waka Sep 8 '17 at 15:17
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    You can go back and look at the review to see for yourself if the item was resolved before your vote or not. It might have been, or that item might simply not have been handled in those 30 minutes, some queues can take a while to process items. – Servy Sep 8 '17 at 15:19

Some queues (suggested edits, triage) will avoid assigning a task to anyone else after you've opened it and until you've submitted a review... Or until about 5 minutes passes.

After that, someone else might get assigned it. If enough other people review it then the task is completed and your review (if you later submit one) is simply discarded.

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