First I would like to congratulate Luis Alvarado on his efforts today in dealing with the Close Vote queue.

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It would appear from the questions I have asked here

Should we be able to review 40 close votes when the queue length is less than 1000?

and on Meta StackOverflow

Close Vote review thresholds

That the only way we can keep the Close Vote queue a sensible length is for more of the users with 3000 or more reputation to play an active role in reviewing this queue.

We have 281 users with this privilege according to the reputation leagues so if we can encourage a few more users to actively review we should be able to keep on top of this.

What ideas do we have to encourage ourselves and others to vote?

  • He's done 423 now... I still must be asleep if the close vote queue is that small...
    – Wilf
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 5:06
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    @Wilf You are looking at today's count only. The count in my screen shot was yesterday's and he kept reviewing even after it was taken. I think Luis must have done at least 1000 reviews. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 6:47
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    We could hide gifts in the review key. Here is an iphone, for instance. Or a bounty, if you wish. You only get the gift if a mod confirmed your answer. Or, for instance, you get 1 fake internet point per succesful review IF a) a mod or 4 other users agreed with you and b) if you review on a daily basis.
    – don.joey
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 10:06
  • Now seriously, the task is too big and the execution is too slow. In other words: make review faster and easier and do not show more than 5 items in the review queue in order not to discourage people. In other words, it should be a distributed system.
    – don.joey
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 10:07
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    Thank you all for this conversation. I greatly appreciate that the close que is of a more manageable size, it seems much less overwhelming. In addition I am adding guidence when reviewing close votes, meaning review the question and add advice in the comments where necessary. Might be along the lines of ... "If you looked at foo and bar, what did you actually try " , requestiong additional information, or pointing to supplemental information. Occasionally I might even anser the question ;)
    – Panther
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 17:05

4 Answers 4


As can be seen in your screenshot I'm the second user with most reviews completed and will tell, from my perspective, you what the problem is:


Reviewing duplicates use a massive amount of time. The good reviewer have to read two questions, and answers to verify that both questions are actual duplicates. This would work fine if there wasn't for the 80% of reviews, that the reviewers have to see, don't even reach the category of "question".

How is a 1 line long "i haz a problemz, fix pls", without the proper information to know what is wrong in first place, a duplicated of anything but another unclear, vague question? You should have closed as "Unclear what you are asking" and ask for the missing information.

Since duplicated implies that the reviewer have to read two questions, please, think about the poor good soul that have to figure out what OP is asking first and then decide if the duplicated is actually what it's asking for. Remember, duplicated is the last close reason you should use, and only if the other reasons doesn't apply.


I've seen people closing random "my wireless doesn't work, I don't know why!", that SHOULD be closed as "Unclear what you are asking", being closed as duplicated of My wireless/WiFi connection does not work. What information is needed to diagnose the issue?.

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If you believe that the question need the information as explained in other answer, the Right Thing To Do™ is to leave a polite comment reading:

We need more information to know exactly what's wrong, please read this answer and provide the information required.

and flag it as "Unclear what you are asking". That way OP have a clear message of what they need to do, provide it, and possibly get their answers in a timely manner. At least, that is what I think it will happen... and in case of OP bailing out, the question is deleted and nobody (10kers) have to come along and delete it. Is a win-win situation.


And, sadly I'm still lashing out to duplicates, and this time not only affect reviews but also the users themself.

In the review queue, I find users flagging as duplicated questions where OP said, clearly, that they have read the questions, they even provide the link, and it didn't help them or have problems following the instructions, and instead of an answer, users just trow them in a loop, flagging them as duplicated of the very same questions they linked already:

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And the sad part, is that reviewers just rubber-stamp this behavior. Those were examples that I got wind of because I was behind the reviewer, obviously not looking over their shoulders, but I'm sure there are many more cases.

If you don't feel confident of understanding a question/topic, investigate, ask around, but unless you are entirely sure, skip.

But I want to know how I encourage reviewers, how this help?

This is asking you to use more wisely the duplicated close reason. It's by far the most (mis)used close reason with pending votes in the review queue, and, as I've repeating in my post, is the most time consuming close reason.

  • 4
    On most of these I agree, but on "Y U USING DUMPING GROUNDS!?!?!?" I think they have a purpose. Funnel everything to a possible solution instead of funneling them to this: 3.bp.blogspot.com/_1zzWO0zKm80/TIVkWfjCuRI/AAAAAAAAAGc/… Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 22:29
  • @hbdgaf the problem is that they are wasting reviewers time doing this. They could archive the same just telling OP to read a question and see if it helps, and then wait for feedback in the case of vague, unclear questions.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 22:45
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    Making close reviewing faster is not more important than other considerations in deciding how to close questions. When closing as a duplicate or another close reason are both applicable, closing as a duplicate is often (not always) the better choice. Of all the arguments I've ever heard that we should supposedly avoid closing bad questions as duplicates, this is by far the weakest. Helping people review faster is not a good reason, nor even an acceptable reason, to choose one close reason over another. Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 23:37
  • @EliahKagan Could we keep on topic here? The fact that I do not review anymore is because it waste my time to review and, I assure you, everyone else, that I would prefer doing something more productive like answering question. That is my reason why, despite the fact that I have dedicated days to the review queue, I'm not doing such anymore, which is the topic of this discussion.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 23:42
  • Ah, btw, I'm not even talking about "review faster" I'm talking about "review better". Reviewers time is precious, we shouldn't bother them with poor duplicates that should be just deleted. Now, if you have other idea of how people can encourage me to review, go ahead. I'm sure nothing will be make me more pleased.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 23:45
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    You have proposed something you think will address the problem raised in this meta question. I have posted a thoughtful, reasonable comment disagreeing with the advisability of something you have proposed. That is fully on topic, and quite obviously so. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 0:00
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    @Braiam Please let me know which questions you found are flagged wrong. I might be almost blind right now reading through so many but if a wrong question was flagged it is my job to fix it even if it was me making the mistake. Thanks buddy. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 1:08
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    @Braiam - I voted to close a question today as primarily opinion based. The question was closed as a Duplicate but my name was listed as one of the people closing the question. I'm not saying I didn't vote to close the question you are referring to above as I duplicate. Clearly if I did I made a mistake as the question states that the duplicate does not work. I'm only saying that the reason given can be misleading. Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 8:38
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    @EliahKagan what I'm asking to users is to not waste reviewers time reviewing questions that should just be deleted, because they are very crappy, or really, more importantly, don't merit being closed. That is the propose of my counsel and, as you've seen by my examples, is common.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 12:06
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    There are some mistaken duplicates, but imho the larger issue here is that the vast majority of questions asked here are either duplicates or bugs. The current process does not do a good job of guiding the user to resolve their issue with the existing questions and answers, or with a bug report, but instead tells them to create a new question. Most users do not appear to be searching, or finding, the existing answers, perhaps because AskUbuntu is being seen more as "tech support" than a canonical question/answer database.
    – bain
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 13:29
  • @bain that's a problem that people just don't do research before asking their question, they are even encouraged to ask their questions without research, which is something should be treated in another metaQ that I plan to write at some point.
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 20:54

I used to like it when we had the regulators room open. That way, if I didn't really want to deal with the most questionable 25%-50 of the close-vote questions - and someone spent serious time weeding through all the chaff - they could drop in over there and linkbomb it then ping some 3k+ users.


Personally , I would like to see a way to remove questions from the close que . There are a bunch of old questions with one or perhaps two close votes that already have an answer.

I did read this discussion - Leave Open should negate close votes

and it also has merit. Perhaps close votes should expire after a time ? Perhaps is takes 5 leave open votes to remove it from the close que ?


Make a little bit of work obligatory (one close vote review per period of time or every N other actions) or karma loss.

Make it temporary more pleasing to use the service after reviewing a close vote, e.g. give additional privileges that expire over time.

Let less experienced users (2k+?) to review close votes.

Make it harder to mark as pending review, e.g. it needs more close votes or add additional step before the question gets on close queue, one that could be accomplished by less experienced users.

I think any of the above could help.

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