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This post is part of a larger effort to create Help center pages for each of the Review queues. You can learn more about this project in the overview post. These posts will be locked so that everyone has a chance to review each original draft and provide feedback in the answers. We will continue to collect feedback until November 9th, 2020.

We are looking for your feedback on this draft for the First posts queue.
When reviewing this draft please consider the following:

  • What is essential to know about using this queue?

  • Is there any information that’s missing or should be removed?

How do I use the First posts queue?

Access earned at $Privilege-AccessReviewQueues reputation
The First Posts queue contains the first few posts created by new users, who may not fully understand the best way to ask and answer questions, or what's on- and off-topic on this site. The purpose of this queue is to give special attention to users who may need to be educated on some aspect of our model, and to posts that are more likely to need improvement.

Basic workflow

When reviewing, you may do one or more of several actions or you may do none. Perform all actions that you deem necessary - for example a question may be complete and on-topic but need formatting help. In this case, edit to improve the formatting and - if you wish - upvote it before clicking "I'm done".

  • Choose No action needed if the post requires no intervention
  • Select I’m done if/when you’ve completed any of the following:
    • Vote up or down.
    • Edit (or suggest an edit) if the post is clear and within guidelines but could use some editing help to improve grammar, spelling, or formatting.
    • Comment (or upvote existing comments) to point out content that is missing or may need adjusting. These comments can be useful to both the post author and other reviewers.
    • Flag posts that are spam or rude as well as answers that don't attempt to answer the question or are link-only.
    • Trusted users may also vote to Delete answers that don’t attempt to answer the question, are link-only, or are duplicates of other answers.
  • Skip if you’re unsure about what to do.

One review from a user is enough to dismiss the task so review carefully to ensure that this question meets site expectations. Here are some guidelines when reviewing and deciding which actions to take on new posts:

For all posts

  • If the post is spam or contains promotional links, flag it as "spam".
  • If the post is offensive, flag as "rude or abusive".

For questions

  • Check that the main part of the question is in the post itself and not hosted off-site. If there are links to other sites, the question should be written so that it makes sense even if the links break or change.
  • The question should:
    • be clear
    • have all necessary information required to answer it
    • be on-topic for the site
    • solicit fact-based answers
    • show research
    • be appropriately tagged
  • If appropriate, comment and ask for the missing information to narrow the scope of the question, or reword the question so it fits the site scope.
  • If the question seems like a question you have seen before, check if the post is a duplicate.
  • Upvote good, well-written questions to encourage new users.
  • Sometimes a question will need to be closed, which can be done by flagging or voting to close it. You can read more about when questions should be closed here.

For answers

  • Check that the post author attempts to provide a focused answer, and not a simple comment or new question post.
  • The post should be unique from other answers provided.
  • The post should not have broken links or be exclusively made up of links

For more information on how to edit effectively, please see our Help Center article about editing.

Some of the content of this page is adapted from information in our Meta Stack Exchange FAQ, which also contains more in-depth guidance if you are interested in reading more about this queue.

Other drafts

To review other drafts in part of this project, please see below:

Stack Overflow only:

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    Other proposed articles mention the review filter options; are they deliberately skipped here? It's still useful on larger sites for users new to reviewing. – Glorfindel Nov 2 '20 at 22:09
  • An oversight. :) Pop it in an answer and I'll get one made up. :) – Catija Nov 2 '20 at 22:12
  • recommend deletion of Is this supplanting the LQP then? – Machavity Nov 2 '20 at 22:22
  • @Machavity Nah, we're not changing any of the functionality at this point (other than the changes to Triage), anyway, just making documentation. I've just fixed this on the Late Answers post. – Catija Nov 2 '20 at 22:27
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"Voting up existing comments" is currently a valid way of completing a "First Posts" (or "Late Answers") review. This makes sense, because otherwise a reviewer might be inclined to post a duplicate comment. This possibility is mentioned in the explanatory text while reviewing:

  • Comment to leave constructive feedback for the author, or vote up existing comments.

but it does not appear in this Help Center draft. If this is going to stay as a way to complete a review, it should appear there too.

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Great to see the review queues getting some love! (Of course, we knew that, but it doesn't hurt to reiterate.) Just something that I noticed:

The question should:

...

  • have all

Have all what? I assume that's meant to be something like "have all necessary information included in the question itself"?

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    :D Fixed. it now. :D – Catija Nov 2 '20 at 22:12
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I share Glorfindel's joy that the Review Queues are receiving some much-needed 'treatment' and, like him, I salute the hard work being done by you and the entire team behind these improvements to the relevant help centre pages.

In your posted draft, there is just one point on which I would appreciate some clarification:

  • Trusted users may also Delete answers that don’t attempt to answer the question, are link-only, or are duplicates of other answers.

First, assuming this does not imply that a new "Big Blue Button" (B3) is to be added, and that it refers simply to the 'normal' "delete" linky-button under the post (alongside "edit," "flag," &c), then I think the text should be "... may also vote to Delete" rather than just "... may also Delete."

Further, could the text be clearer about when to use that "Delete" option?

To explain my confusion... In the Low Quality Posts review queue, there is some misunderstanding and debate about when to use the "Delete" (or "Recommend Deletion") option: i.e. that option should not be used for poor, incorrect, or (on Stack Overflow) 'code-only' answers, but should be reserved for posts that are not answers (i.e. meet the requirements for "NAA" or "VLQ" flags). (The official stance being, it seems, that such Delete votes on poor/incorrect answers should only be cast organically - i.e. outside the review queue.)

Would the same criteria apply in First Posts? It seems that, if the B3 addition is not what's happening then, as I see it, the 'linky' "delete" button is simply a manifestation of that which would appear on the post were it to be viewed elsewhere, and should be used as such. Or am I getting this one wrong?

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    I think I've adjusted this enough. I know there are additional rules about when you can even cast a vote to delete, but we'll need to see how this goes to assess whether we need to update further. – Catija Nov 10 '20 at 21:23
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Suggested edits:

(Use Edit History to easily view them)

  • Add periods at the end of all list items for consistency.
  • Capitalize first word in all list items for consistency.
  • A few other minor changes.

How do I use the First posts queue?

Access earned at $Privilege-AccessReviewQueues reputation
The First Posts queue contains the first few posts created by new users, who may not fully understand the best way to ask and answer questions, or what's on- and off-topic on this site. The purpose of this queue is to give special attention to users who may need to be educated on some aspect of our model, and to posts that are more likely to need improvement.

Basic workflow

When reviewing, you may do one or more of several actions or you may do none. Perform all actions that you deem necessary - for example a question may be complete and on-topic but need formatting help. In this case, edit to improve the formatting and - if you wish - upvote it before clicking "I'm done".

  • Choose No action needed if the post requires no intervention.
  • Select I’m done if/when you’ve completed any of the following:
    • Vote up or down.
    • Edit (or suggest an edit) if the post is clear and within guidelines but could use some editing help to improve grammar, spelling, or formatting.
    • Comment to point out content that is missing or may need adjusting. These comments can be useful to both the post author and other reviewers.
    • Flag posts that are spam or rude as well as answers that don't attempt to answer the question or are link-only.
    • Trusted users may also Delete answers that don’t attempt to answer the question, are link-only, or are duplicates of other answers.
  • Skip if you’re unsure about what to do.

One review from a user is enough to dismiss the task, so review carefully to ensure that this question meets site expectations. Here are some guidelines when reviewing and deciding which actions to take on new posts:

For all posts

  • If the post is spam or contains promotional links, flag it as "spam".
  • If the post is offensive, flag as "rude or abusive".

For questions

  • Check that the main part of the question is in the post itself and not hosted off-site. If there are links to other sites, the question should be written so that it makes sense even if the links break or change.
  • The question should:
    • Be clear.
    • Have all necessary information required to answer it.
    • Be on-topic for the site.
    • Solicit fact-based answers.
    • Show research.
    • Be appropriately tagged.
  • If appropriate, comment and ask for the missing information to narrow the scope of the question, or reword the question so it fits the site scope.
  • If the question seems like a question you have seen before, check if the post is a duplicate.
  • Upvote good, well-written questions to encourage new users.
  • Sometimes a question will need to be closed, which can be done by flagging or voting to close it. You can read more about when questions should be closed here.

For answers

  • Check that the post author attempts to provide a focused answer, and not a simple comment or new question post.
  • The post should be unique among other answers provided.
  • The post should not have broken links or be exclusively made up of links.

For more information on how to edit effectively, please see our Help Center article about editing.

Some of the content of this page is adapted from information in our Meta Stack Exchange FAQ, which also contains more in-depth guidance if you are interested in reading more about this queue.

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    :D Thank you! I admit we're a bit inconsistent about this and at least part of it is because we use the bullets in different ways, for example, under "for questions" the main bullets are complete sentences but the sub bullets under "The question should" are completions of the main bullet... so, you might argue that they should be treated differently. But I'm not expert at bullet formatting. – Catija Nov 3 '20 at 16:58
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    Agreed with the commas at the end of every bullet point for The question should:. Also, I would add a , and to the penultimate one, to show that it all the bullets are kind of required, is not either one or the other. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Nov 5 '20 at 9:10
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Select I’m done if/when you’ve completed any of the following:

This is insufficient, and therefore bad advice.

If a user comes across an answer that is not relevant to the question, it is not sufficient for them to simply downvote it. They must flag the answer as "not an answer". Otherwise, they've reviewed incorrectly and are subject to being suspended.

The wording needs to be adjusted here to clarify that the review action they choose must be the most appropriate action for that post. Unless and until they've taken that action, they are not done with the review.


Other miscellaneous suggestions:

  1. Put "skip" first.
  2. Only bold the word "Delete", not the entire phrase "vote to Delete", for consistency with the other action keywords.
  3. Rather than using the verb phrase "do [an] action[s]", prefer verbs like "perform" or "take".
  4. Avoid the often-misunderstood phrase "link-only" when referring to answers. Sometimes, the link is the answer, which means that a "link-only" answer is valid. See extended discussion here.
  5. Raise the bar for "No action needed" by adding "if the post is perfect as-is and requires no intervention".
  6. Raise the bar for self-contained questions by rewording to: "Check that all essential parts of the question are in the post itself and not hosted off-site."
  7. I dislike your over-simplified definitions of the "spam" and "rude/abusive" flags. A post can contain promotional links without being spam. A post needs to be unsalvageably offensive and in need of immediate deletion (i.e., cannot be fixed by an edit) in order to qualify for the "rude/abusive" flag.
  8. I also dislike your other simplifications. For example, you shouldn't only check for duplicates "if the question seems like a question you have seen before". Many sites on our network are far too large for any reviewer to have seen all of the questions they contain. You should always check for duplicates when reviewing.
  9. Upvoting should not be done to "encourage" anyone. Upvoting should be done solely because the question is good and well-written. That bullet point needs to be rephrased.
  10. The bullet point about closing and the bullet point about commenting to ask for missing information should be combined. In no case should you be commenting about missing information but not voting/flagging to close. If there is information missing, then the question needs to be closed, so those actions always go hand-in-hand. Advise people only to leave a comment if they have something specific to say in regards to that question, beyond what the generic close reason already says.

I feel that the guide on MSO is stellar for its comprehensiveness. A lot of what is here glosses over important details and oversimplifies what should be done, which is going to result in a lot of people getting suspended from review for things that the Help Center implicitly recommends that they do, which gets us right back into the confusing situation that existed before and motivated this revamp.

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  • The question body says that the team is only watching this for updates until November 9, after which suggestions should be posted as new questions instead of as answers. – Sonic the Curiouser Hedgehog Dec 6 '20 at 19:34

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