I had been banned from review 2 times on Stack Overflow before this event came up.

After my 2nd ban, I've been working carefully, doing 80+ reviews every day and passing ~30 audits (I think there's 30 but a rough estimation suggests 28-29). On Day 7, I got tripped by a controversial audit. Thanks to a ♦ on SO my ban was lifted that day.

One interesting side thing was, another user tried to protest his ban under the comments of my MSO post. The ♦ then pointed out that he was banned right after his last ban had expired. After that the user began to introspect himself. It's a déjà vu.

Leave the story alone and talk about the reality. Whoever has been banned from reviewing cannot fail one single audit, or he gets banned again for twice the last duration. This is unfair to passionate workers. One can choose to continue working during the 30-day trial, or stay away from reviewing and dream for née ponies for the month. These make no difference in terms of duration of the next ban. Proverbs say: No one is perfect. Proverbs also say: Talk much, err much. It's very likely you fail one or so audits if you're going through 200~300 audits in 6 to 8 weeks, especially given the fact that careless reviewers make the system generate bad, controversial or questionable audits, which I am disappointed with. The current mechanics will only refuse potential good reviewers' passion and determination and will not encourage the banned to continue with extra carefulness. It definitely needs an improvement.


Be more lenient to careful and passionate reviewers, by reducing their grace period after last ban according to the number of passed audits. I recommend to reduce the period by 1 day for every 2 passes. More audit passes is fine (say 3) but it shouldn't be too much or this improvement will be almost useless.

Or alternatively, allow an extra audit failure before banning for every 20 (or 25) passed audits (capped at 3). We are all human at last, so Review much, err much.

  • I'd like to add as well, that one failing an audit on Day 1 after last ban's expiration is absolutely different from one failing an audit on Day 30. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '17 at 2:11
  • Another thing that compounds this problem, according to this, is that even if you get a ban lifted for successfully contesting a bad audit, that ban still counts in your history and if you get banned again you will be banned for twice as much time as if you had just passed or skipped the audit. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Dec 11 '17 at 2:16
  • "dream for née ponies"??! Has auto-correct turned a meaningful phrase into nonsense? – Peter Taylor Dec 12 '17 at 16:44
  • @PeterTaylor I copied this from FAQ. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '17 at 16:48
  • But did you (or auto-correct) introduce an error while copying it? google.es/search?q="dream+for+née+ponies" shows that this is the only occurrence of that phrase in Google's database. – Peter Taylor Dec 12 '17 at 16:52
  • @PeterTaylor Unlikely. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 12 '17 at 23:12
  • Ok, now I understand. I think that should say either "dream about ponies" or "dream about unicorns". "Unicorns (née ponies)" means "Unicorns (previously known as ponies)": it's a common usage in English to refer to a woman's original name if she changed it on marriage. – Peter Taylor Dec 13 '17 at 8:20
  • @PeterTaylor Well I thought née was a name like Disnet or so. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 13 '17 at 11:53

I think part of the idea is ... you shouldn't be doing that many reviews a day, and reviews should be spread out amongst many users. A review ban might be the universe's way to tell you to take a break ;).

I've had those days. I've ploughed through tons of reviews that were taunting me through the blue number on the top bar. I've gotten annoyed at the bloody obvious audits, and the less obvious ones. I've even gone back and fixed an audit I disagreed with (mwahahahaha). I managed to get myself review banned, and amusingly didn't realise I could lift my own ban on SU.

Its worth remembering while meta moderation is nice, it isn't really a core part of the QA experience. We appreciate it, but most mere mortals are going to get tuckered out going through your entire review quota, consistently, every single day.

Having read through the comments - its worth noting you seem to have a significant number of audit fails.

Its also worth considering - with something like that, if its low quality but substancially correct editing it would be a safe option that also lets you pass review. What's been done since seems like a minimal option, and that answer does feel like a valid, self contained oneliner, but that's not always the case.

  • I can assure you, the controversial one was the 5th lifetime failure. I don't know how that SO ♦ came up with that comment and how people interpreted it. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '17 at 3:35
  • 1
    Should be spread out, but they're not, just as questions and edits and flagging are not broadly spread. Some people do lots of one thing or much of a few, and little or none of others. You also mention a significant number of audit fails, but as pointed out, statistically greater number of trials will lead to a greater number of failures (whether they are false positives or not). What is the proportion of audit fails? - that's much more relevant and indicative of an issue. – Nij Dec 11 '17 at 4:01
  • 80+ reviews would imply that they are reviewing in at least four queues a day, as reviewers are restricted to just 20 tasks per queue per day, unless the queue size is large, in which case it is increased to 40. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Dec 11 '17 at 5:43
  • Its SO, so more likely 40 – Journeyman Geek Dec 11 '17 at 5:46
  • @JourneymanGeek Even on SO, only CV is 40, and SE sometimes 40. I've never seen any other queue that offers 40/day. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '17 at 6:43
  • Note as well, that CV always has 8k-10k queue size, Reopen always 80~200, LQP and SE less, but always tens. If everyone reviews less without getting more reviewers, these queues will blow up. – iBug says Reinstate Monica Dec 11 '17 at 11:08

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