Recently I was introduced to the review feature for the first time. I was happy for the option to help improve SO so even though it was late I put some effort and reviewed a few questions.

One question popped up that I had no Idea what to do with it was obviously bad (one line "Please explain" and another line of Android code) having no experience with android and nothing constructive to add for the topic I clicked the "No action needed" button.

To my surprise I was met with a harsh text mentioning I just failed a test, I did not pay enough attention and that I'm actively harming the community.

I went back and checked the instructions I was given where it says -

No Action Needed when this post needs no action from you.

I still fail to realize how deciding not to take action means I am actually endorsing this question. Other users found this issue confusing as well.

  1. I think the fact that we could not explain the review process in a meaningful manner is harming the community the text and explanation around this button should be changed to reflect it's true meaning.

  2. If you test users asking them to spend time on reviewing topics just to see if they are doing it right, make the explanation nicer. Blaming the user as acting in a dishonest way or not paying enough attention is counterproductive (especially when many users find this to be confusing).

    a much better solution will be to ask the user to do a short training where she reviews some known posts. after each review, offer an explanation for how she can improve it or what she did wrong until she gets better in that. It has a few major advantages by not misleading the user, not attacking her and getting her to take an active role in her own self-improvement.

Not exactly related to the main issue but my experience from the review process, in general, is that it seems to encourage giving bad reviews. The easiest thing to do is vote an issue down with no explanation. In my short time reviewing almost every topic, I reviewed was already downvoted without no comments or very short and nonconstructive comments.

The fast past and new topics popping one after the other make does not encourage constructive feedback.

I don't think it should be allowed to downvote at all at this stage and only comments or upvotes should be given, downvoting should only be done after a few comments were added and the user did not follow through.

  • @Servy are you aware you marked this as duplicate of another question I posted and that after discussion with other contributor we decided it's better if it will edited and re posted ? – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:23
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    You can edit your previous question to make it clearer without issues. I don't see where anyone told you to repost the question. – fbueckert Jun 14 '18 at 16:25
  • @fbueckert "I strongly suggest the author to close this question and open another that more concisely and impartially expose his specific pain points with the review process." – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:36
  • Oh, man, that's buried. I didn't see that at all. I apologize for missing it. Still, reposting the question isn't generally a good idea; you're usually much better off editing your existing question, and clarifying how it's not a duplicate, if you want to reopen it. – fbueckert Jun 14 '18 at 17:01
  • @fbueckert I have suggested that the author reposted the question on the grounds that the original question was downvoted to oblivion (at one point there was a thread on hacker news requesting people to downvote it with no explanation why). Editing the original question would, in my analysis create a bias on the reader that there was something fundamentally wrong with it even after it was corrected. – Marcelo Lacerda Jun 15 '18 at 11:59
  • @MarceloLacerda While I'm sure you had good intentions about it, that's generally not the way we do things here; reposting the same question instead of editing just annoys everyone, because now we have to spend time cleaning it up. Editing doesn't create bias; voting can, and does, but can be overcome by presenting your points clearly, concisely, and constructively. Hence why you edit your post. – fbueckert Jun 15 '18 at 13:48
  • @fbueckert Thank you for explaining the problem to me, I'm terribly sorry that I have caused unnecessary extra work for the maintainers, and under normal circumstances I would have conceded on my argument, however there are two problems with this situation right now. Firstly the original question was closed and this question was marked as a duplicate so no answers can be posted there or here. Secondly there is already a reply here from Glorfindel so even if the original question was reopened it would be necessary to move his answer to the other question. – Marcelo Lacerda Jun 15 '18 at 14:10
  • To solve this situation I want to suggest for the moderators delete the original question and untag this one as a duplicate. – Marcelo Lacerda Jun 15 '18 at 14:15
  • @MarceloLacerda Considering that both questions are essentially rants against review audits, I don't see much value in trying to keep either of them. There's very little constructive feedback, and what little there is, is lost in the ranting. In order for the original to be worth keeping, it needs to be edited to be constructive, stripping out the rant, and show how it's not a duplicate. Until then, I really don't see the point in trying to salvage this, or the original. – fbueckert Jun 15 '18 at 16:09

it was obviously bad (one line "Please explain" and another line of Android code) having no experience with android and nothing constructive to add for the topic I clicked the "No action needed" button.

So you did see it was a bad post, but didn't know how to salvage it? Well, you have two options here:

  1. There's no shame in using "Skip"
  2. To restrict the topics of the posts you review, you can use a filter in First Posts and most other review queues.
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  • I'm not asking how to solve it for myself I'm asking how to solve it for the entire ecosystem. It is not clear the difference from "Skip" and "No Action". – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:11
  • Also for review process maybe it should be mandatory to set tags first to join the review process at least until you have enough reputation in doing so. – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:13
  • @YoniJah What is not clear about it? "No action needed" == "There are no problems with the post", "Skip" == "I'll skip this post and let others handle it because I am not sure or I am not an expert on the topic". – user204841 Jun 14 '18 at 16:15
  • @ModusTollens the problem is that it not what it says. not even in the more detailed explanation it never says No action means no problem with the post. and if there is no problem with the post why can't the button say "No problem in post" Instead of "No action needed" ? – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:19
  • @YoniJah Because it doesn't mean that there are no problems with the post, it just means that any problems it might have don't require actions that are appropriate to take from that review queue. Lots of posts will have problems that the queue you are in is not designed to address. – Servy Jun 14 '18 at 16:39
  • @Servy I'm not sure I understood what you are saying. But even if I did why not rewrite the explanation for the review process in a way they will actually be useful for reviewers ? why both of us need to wast our time explaining a process instead of just improving its documentation ? – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:45
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    @YoniJah Basically anyone that has read it so far has understood what it means. So far one person out of the tens of thousands of people who have done reviews struggled to figure out what it means. That's actually pretty good. And of course you've proposed changing it to something that is incorrect, and would be far more likely to mislead lots of people to use it improperly. – Servy Jun 14 '18 at 16:48
  • @Servy I think the post I linked to from 4 years actually shows that is not just me. Also I noticed many reviewers are renting about automatically approving robo users and other diminishing terms. But ok it's just me. – Yoni Jah Jun 14 '18 at 16:55
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    @YoniJah You linked to a post of someone who felt that the post did not require any action from review, and so specifically marked the post as not needing action from review. They understood what they were doing; they just didn't agree with the audit as to what the correct course of action was. That's not a lack of understanding of what the button does. – Servy Jun 14 '18 at 17:43
  • Ok how about this one ? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/155561/… – Yoni Jah Jun 15 '18 at 4:58
  • @Servy and if the post I linked to is not identical to my issue can you remove the duplicate that was assigned to it from the original post ? – Yoni Jah Jun 15 '18 at 4:59
  • @YoniJah what about it? It's worth noting that at the time I posted that the review system was very different in a lot of ways. Some of the problems remain, some don't. The behavior that you're upset about didn't even exist at the time I wrote that post. Most of the problems also didn't stem from reviewers being unable to figure out what they should do, but rather the queues being overrun with reviewers who knew what they should do, but simply didn't, because reviewing properly is too much work; work they were unwilling to put in. – Servy Jun 15 '18 at 13:10

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