Is it just my impression, or are some folks (blindly) closing every single question that appears in the Close Votes review queue?

https://english.stackexchange.com/review/close/history (Note only users with 10k rep will see a site-wide history, users with less will see only their own)

We can also cast our vote to keep a question open.

For example, How would I describe this situation on a CV/to an interviewer? was recently closed for being POB, well you might as well close 70-90% of all SWRs. But wait, that question wasn't a guessing game; it had context, it supplied a possible solution, a good sample sentence, it followed all the guidelines to a T. But only one user voted to keep it open in the review queue.

It's a community, and we do not necessarily have to agree on everything. I'm not saying the users who cast their close votes were wrong to do so. I'm just saying. to anyone who wants to listen, if a question isn't shockingly low quality, consider casting a vote to keep it open.

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    Some vote histories remind me of the straight-liners or speeders described at english.stackexchange.com/a/373409/131620
    – k1eran
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 18:32
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    Personally I do consider each question on its own merits. I close most (because most need closing), skip a bunch, and vote to keep a few open.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 22:19
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    NB Only users with 10k can see the voting history of all users
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 12:56
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    I thought all along that your question was quite discreet in linking to an ever-changing list of vote results from the close question review queue that tracks everyone's votes in that queue as they are cast. Only now do I understand that people with rep points below 10,000 can see only their own vote record when they click that link. I had no idea. Anyway, it explains why people with reps below that threshold might mistakenly have thought that their record was being singled out for public scrutiny and disapproval, which was NOT your intention. Thank you for the clarification.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 21:37
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    @SvenYargs yes, who knew? I didn't want to take a screen shot. Anyways, I see a few more questions have been actively kept open since my post, so it was worth it. :) There should be some message that reminds users that they don't have sufficient rep to see certain statistics and users' history. Oh, you have to thank NVZ, he is the one who realized where the confusion stemmed from.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 21:40
  • I have edited my answer to reflect what I have learned in the last few days. I believe that I have benefited from this Q, no matter that I felt uncomfortable at first. BTW, I hope you do not think I DVed you. I have too much respect for your opinions. I agree that such behaviour is reprehensible. Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 20:01
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    @Cascabel I apologise for overlooking the fact that users with lower rep are not allowed to see everyone's voting behaviour. Maybe, when I have the inclination and time, I might raise this issue on SE meta, there should be some pop up message telling users they have limited views or something.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 20:06
  • I didn't see the 'How would I describe this situation on a CV/to an interviewer?' question. The title question strongly invites closure on 'demand for writing style advice // requests for opinions' grounds, but the body redeems this. Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 22:20

4 Answers 4


Perhaps some review queue reviewers who feel that the site is overrun with cruddy questions are loath to waste any of their allotted 20 daily review votes on keeping acceptable questions open, since doing so would mean having fewer votes left to close unacceptable questions with. If so, they may be inclined to skip questions that, if they had unlimited votes to cast every day, they might vote to keep open. The result would be a voting record that skewed strongly toward close votes.

My review voting record looks injudicious in the opposite direction, but it isn't because I skip questions that I would vote to close if I had unlimited votes. In many instances I enter the close vote queue because I want to defend a particular question that someone has nominated for closure. So I go to the close vote queue to look for it—which means wading through a bunch of questions that I don't care about one way or the other, as well as through some that were nominated for reasons that I oppose on philosophical grounds ("lack of research effort" or "general reference") and a few that are under scrutiny for what I consider to be valid close reasons (true duplicates and questions of no interest to anyone but the poster) until I reach the one I really care about.

I usually skip most of the questions along the way—and very rarely expend all of my day's votes. But occasionally I find myself on a slippery slope where one question nominated (wrongly, in my view) for closure leads to another and another and another, and I end up voting to keep open even some questions that I would normally just skip. But if that's a problem and if the powers that be ever want to sharply reduce my participation in the close vote review queue, all they have to do is add a "keep open" option next to 'share', 'edit', 'close', and 'flag' beneath individual questions.

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    I heartily agree - all the levers of the review queue that a given user can use should be accessible from the posts (questions, answers or comments) themselves.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 14:41

It's much less bad than you can see in your view. Moderators can also see which reviews were deliberately skipped.

I can't tell you specifics, but on average for every two or three entries you do see, there's another you aren't seeing where the reviewer has deliberately passed on a review decision because they've elected to skip it.

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    Which makes me suspect that some users think the review queue is used exclusively for closing questions. Just a thought, and a hypothesis.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 19:07
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    @Mari-LouA Certainly we could stand more edits. But I've said that before.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 19:10
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    @Mari-LouA ...used exclusively at the expense of what else? The review queue has 5 or 6 categories and closing is by far the largest one. It's the one with the most work expect d. Are you then complaining about the existence of the queue?
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 12:55
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    @Mitch don't nitpick and feign you don't understand what I'm referring to. You're more intelligent than that. The actual post is clear enough, but if you want, cast your vote in favour of closing it for being unclear.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 14:52
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    @Mari-LouA You flatter me beyond my capabilities. I actually do not know what you're getting at now. All I'm getting is that you think that there is too much close voting going on and you are ascribing that to enthusiastic but shallow use of the review queue. Is that right? If so, all I'm trying to say is that the review queue is designed to make it easier to close vote. But it also makes it possible to vote to leave open (not possible anywhere else). So the RQ not all bad.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 15:05
  • There are psychological problems I can see (in myself) with close voting (bandwagon, overlapping close reasons, spirit vs letter of the reasons). But that's a difficulty with CVs not the RQ.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 15:06
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    @Mitch I'll clarify: 1. used exclusively at the expense of what else? Where did I say that? I conjectured that some users appear to be using the close vote review exclusively for closing questions. Please look back at the review history, there's a link on the post, there are some users who vote to close 20 questions in a row. I am reminding people that they can cast their votes to keep questions open. Is there a problem with this? 2. Are you then complaining about the existence of the queue? Where did I suggest that?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 15:11
  • @Mari-LouA 1a - Where did you say "exclusively"? in your first comment to this answer. 1b 'look at review history' Oh. I didn't see that. I don't think I can be so presumptive of others motives that you can. They're closing things that they think should be closed. Also, I see that some (not terribly many but some) leave-open votes are cast. 2 "Where did I suggest that?" I made the inference explicit in my comments. I suggested that you thought one thing (asking for confirmation), then inferred because of that thing you are really thinking something else (which you didn't state explicitly).
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 15:57
  • So what I get from this discussion is that you see the long sequences of closes in the closing history and don't like it (based on a few examples that you disagree with), and then blame the RQ for enabling that. I don't think that is unreasonable, but I think the benefits of the RQ outweigh the possible unthinking use of it.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 16:00
  • This link shows the "few examples", I said "some folks", I didn't say "everyone", I didn't say that the review queue should be blamed or eliminated, but where is the harm in reminding users that they can *also vote to keep a question open?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 16:27

If I am working through a queue, it is precisely because I am judicious that you'll see four closevotes from me in three seconds. It's because I haven't looked at four questions in three seconds, I've looked at twelve and skipped eight, in some cases merely because they had more than two lines of text in it.

I do not labor in the queues; I swipe the low-hanging fruit. If one wishes to plod sequentially through the list, one is free to do so, but I have encountered no such expectation, and will demur. We the low-hanging fruit swipers are in the queue for a minute here, two minutes there while we're waiting for an upload or for our boss to get off the phone. I choose to spend that time voting on obvious cases rather than mulling improvements to a few questionable ones. I am not a moderator, and as a community member, this is a more efficient way to contribute now that the queues have gotten under control.

It would be better if we were given better tools to triage— to see all the questions with closevotes listed at once, to be able to return to a question after we have skipped it. Alas, the powers that be have seen fit to give us only a skip button. Skip I shall.

There are questions that are obvious keep-opens. Maybe I sense that conventional references will fail, or that a non-native will find them more interesting than I do, and those I do vote to keep open. It just happens that they are far rarer than the obvious duplicates, bizarre rants, and unsalvageable wrecks in the queue that can be identified in under a second.

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    Perhaps the UI could be improved, but you can return to a question after you have skipped it — use either your browser's "Back" button or the History page. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 3:13

One small factor to remember is that while four or five close votes are often needed to take a question out of the queue, only three keep open votes are needed. So even if the queue was balanced with questions that should be closed vs those which should be kept open, there would be more close votes. But of course most good questions never appear in the queue so it is far from evenly split.

When I don't visit the queue for a few days I've often come back to it and almost all of the twenty reviews it gives me are questions which already have four close votes, and if I choose to close vote then that makes five. Because of the current backlog if you visit the queue less than daily this will be a common occurrence. Such times would make my review history look especially suspect, but I'd assume that several questions reached the three keep open vote threshold in the days when I didn't visit.

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