Someone pointed out to me that at least some users see a Recommend deletion option in the Late Answers queue. This completes the review, but aside from giving the user the option to leave one of the canned comments from the Low Quality Posts queue, doesn't actually do anything towards deleting the post.

"Recommend deletion" misleadingly appears to be the strongest possible expression a user can make of a conviction that the post merits deletion, but as an action it is extremely weak compared to flagging the post as Not an Answer (or Very Low Quality), which both sends the answer to the LQP queue and brings it to the attention of mods. It is especially important that posts that merit red flags (spam or rude/abusive) are flagged. It would be better to remove this ineffective option so that users don't think they're taking action to delete the post when they aren't.

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    We determined that selecting this option sends the post to the Low Quality Posts queue if it is not already there: are you sure? I did so here but it didn't result in a LQP review item (there's no pending one either).
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Nov 16, 2021 at 11:28
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    @Glorfindel oh... we thought that because we found a post that seemed to have gone to LQP at the time the LA review was complete, but looking at it again, it seems that the LQ review started at the same time as the LA review (oops). So does this mean that Recommend Deletion (which does complete the review) does nothing at all? (which is even worse)
    – Zanna
    Nov 16, 2021 at 11:43
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    Well, it does offer you the option to leave one of the canned comments from the LQP review queue. After that, it's basically hoping the author notices the comment and fixes their post ...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Nov 16, 2021 at 11:45
  • @Glorfindel thanks a lot for the major correction! <3 I have edited the post
    – Zanna
    Nov 16, 2021 at 11:49
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    Wait, it does nothing? I could've sworn that those votes don't complete the review, and that a certain amount of those votes (6?) is supposed to lead to actual deletion. Let me go dig out the review flowchart and check.
    – zcoop98
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:12
  • @zcoop98 that's the case in the Low Quality Posts queue, but in the Late Answer queue it completes the review and, apparently, does nothing
    – Zanna
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:30
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    Based on the investigation that I pulled into an answer below, I think this feature request is backwards; the Recommend deletion option shouldn't be removed, it should be fixed. It's supposed to work just like it does in LQP, but it appears to be broken in LA, which is a pretty huge deal.
    – zcoop98
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:49
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    A related problem is that the recommend deletion comments that may be left as feedback on the post from the LQ and LA queues are not merged (and upvoted) but exist as separate streams: meta.stackexchange.com/a/369618/282094 - possibly diluting the deletion votes.
    – Rob
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:56
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    @Glorfindel IMO, it should do more than canned comments. I think it should let me flag the post. If I'm suggesting it be deleted, I should have the option to flag it. E.g., it leaves a comment, and then gives me the flag dialog, so I can flag as NAA if desired
    – cocomac
    Nov 18, 2021 at 4:18
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    @cocomac sure, but I can't change it :) I'm merely stating the facts (or rather, what my observation is of the current situation)...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Nov 18, 2021 at 7:11
  • Well, well, something (else) in our new and improved review process that doesn't quite work as expected? Who would have though it...? It's similar to an audit review, that when you try to leave a comment, a big red notice pops up saying "This is an audit" (which sort of defeats the object of having an audit). Or the "Looks OK" radio button not being disabled (automatically) after a downvote, comment, or flag raised. The list is endless... I guess that it's one of the expected hazards when not properly beta testing something before putting it into production Nov 20, 2021 at 20:44
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    I added the bug tag since this is clearly a bug and the system isn't functioning as designed.
    – terdon
    Nov 21, 2021 at 11:21
  • oh... I think this is the intended behaviour...
    – Zanna
    Nov 21, 2021 at 11:54
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    That the intended behavior is buggy doesn't make it any less of a bug, @Zanna. :-) Sep 24, 2022 at 6:59
  • 3
    Thanks for adding the status-review tag @Glorfindel Sep 24, 2022 at 13:03

2 Answers 2


I think you've uncovered a huge bug here in how these reviews are supposed to work, at least if I understand the handy-dandy review queues flowchart (from this post) correctly.

Here's the Late Answers portion of the chart:

Notice that there are supposed to be two outcomes from this queue: Looks OK/ Edit, and (Recommend) Delete. The former option leads straight back to "Full visibility on the homepage"; the latter, however, is supposed to lead to "...stays in queue until threshold met", which can ultimately result in the post being deleted.

So that's how it's supposed to work... let's take a look at how it's actually working. For reference, all users with access to the LA queue that lack the reputation to cast delete votes (users with less than 10k, myself included) see the "Recommend deletion" option in reviews, rather than just "Delete", so this isn't a small fraction of reviewers we're talking about.

If I dig into my past reviews and pull out one where I voted "Recommend deletion", I find...

"Review completed Sep 15 at 21:18: zcoop98 reviewed this Sep 15 at 21:18: Recommend Deletion"

...that selecting this option ended the review entirely. Huh.

Maybe a new review task is created for some reason?

Completed review post timeline event showing that the review was completed with just a single "Recommend deletion" vote

...Nope. One single Recommend deletion ended the review.

Okay, this is a big problem. This means that, conceivably, no poor-quality Late Answers posts have been handled correctly by the system in reviews by non-10k reviewers since the queue updates (if, that is, this isn't a new development, which it doesn't appear to be).

To clearly reference your feature request, I don't think that this option should be removed, I think it should be fixed. Recommend deletion should either accumulate deletes, just like LQP does, or send the post into the actual LQP queue– either way would be an improvement, and would result in these posts getting dealt with.

At the moment, this queue is broken, which doesn't help anyone!

For reference, here's how a (since completed) review of a delete-worthy post in LQP queue looks:

Notice that there are multiple "Recommend deletion" entries by sub-10k users. The LQP flowchart has the same "Delete" flowchart box:The above reviews led to the deletion of the post attached to the LQP review above.

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    I guess the bigger question for me here is: how was this not noticed sooner? This is kind of a huge deal.
    – zcoop98
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:44
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    but the Late Answers queue has always been completed by a single review. It is very unlikely, I think, that a post would get 6 such votes from this queue. If selecting recommend deletion sent the post to the LQP queue and cast a recommend deletion vote there, this feature would probably help to reduce mod workload on SO, but it would still be bad for my site because it would be much more effective for people to flag the post and "recommend deletion" sounds stronger when it would still be weaker.
    – Zanna
    Nov 16, 2021 at 16:59
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    Whether "recommend deletion" should gather deletes like LQP queue, or should just send the post to LQP queue directly, doesn't matter much to me; either way would be an improvement. As-is, low quality posts in LA queue aren't getting dealt with regardless, which is clearly problematic.
    – zcoop98
    Nov 16, 2021 at 17:09
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    I agree that either would be better than the current situation :) But since flagging the post sends it to LQP (as well as bringing it to mod attention), I think that the focus should be on flagging deleteable posts and this confusing option should just not be there at all
    – Zanna
    Nov 16, 2021 at 17:13

One way to make this option useful, as suggested by BeastOfCaerbannog would be to make it open the flagging dialog.

It could also then offer the canned comments from the Low Quality Posts queue (which is currently the only thing it does), and then complete the review.

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