I know the review queue was recently brought up by Mitch.

This can't be right, can it?

enter image description here

The close-vote queue was dramatically reduced (at which point Mitch commented that we were doing a good job).

Did Mitch jinx the site? If not, can someone explain what's going on?

I don't really think @Mitch did it.

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    I tried reviewing some to see what's going on and all the answers are old; I got some from as recent as April but most from 2011-2013. I'm guessing a buggy piece of code got pushed that screwed up the "what is a late answer from a new user" selection process. – Hellion Sep 29 '15 at 23:52
  • @Hellion - I was afraid to click on it! But I did, and found, as you did, that the first few were old, though I had no idea what that signified. Thank you for your explanation. (I'm terribly tech-unsavvy.) – anongoodnurse Sep 29 '15 at 23:54
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    See a relevant question on Meta.SE and its nominated duplicate. I might write an answer here, but at the moment I would be less than diplomatic about the code change which has been made. – Andrew Leach Sep 30 '15 at 0:02
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    Well, it's a chance to work toward a new silver badge, at least. – Hellion Sep 30 '15 at 0:33
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    It's Jon Ericson's fault! – Shokhet Oct 2 '15 at 13:04
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    I feel like there should be one answer that just says "Yes" and another that just says "No", so we can see which one gets more votes. – Hellion Oct 6 '15 at 16:23
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    It's San Andreas' fault. – keshlam Oct 9 '15 at 11:26

After clicking around a bit through Andrew's link, I found this explanation of how the Late Answers Review queue works:

The way the late answers queue works is by checking two things.

  • Was the answer posted at least 30 days after the question was asked?
  • Was the answer posted by a user who has 10 or less reputation (disregarding suspension) [but see below]

If both of these are true, it is entered into the review queue until it eventually gets reviewed. In most cases, this will catch things as they come in and so you will only see new posts, so we don't spend any resources checking time.

However, on rare occasion, someone will actually drop below 10 reputation, while having some past answer that does qualify. That's what happened in your example - the user received a dunk in reputation from 15 down to 5 on December 21st, 2013, and so this ancient post of theirs that has not previously been reviewed, is now put into review that same day.

Earlier today, at someone's request on Meta StackExchange, the reputation limit was changed from 10 to 50, causing thousands of answers on sites all across the network to suddenly qualify for the review process.

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    +1, but I still believe OP is onto something. It's hard not to see @Mitch's sinister hand in all this. – Robusto Sep 30 '15 at 0:42
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    Did @Mitch have anything to do with that?!!! (J/k; thanks for this.) – anongoodnurse Sep 30 '15 at 0:56
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    @medica: Perhaps you should hang out in ELU chat more. You'd see what kind of monster he is. – Robusto Sep 30 '15 at 1:06
  • Strangely, all of those @'s did not ping me @ all. So, who here has signed up for the one-way Mars mission? – Mitch Sep 30 '15 at 2:28
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    @Mitch You only get pings after you enter a discussion. – curiousdannii Sep 30 '15 at 3:05
  • @curiousdannii I did not know that, that explains a lot. Is this something you figured out yourself, or is there a page somewhere which mentions this? – Mari-Lou A Sep 30 '15 at 7:26
  • @Mari I read it somewhere, don't remember where though – curiousdannii Sep 30 '15 at 7:54
  • Is it just me, but it seems the vast majority of backlogged answers come from users who have only posted once and then disappeared. Many have 10 and 20 rep which correspond with the number of upvotes their late answers receive. In which case, are we reviewing answers which had already been reviewed in the past? If this has already been said, I apologize for not picking up on this, but try as I could, I couldn't work out what was being said in the linked SE meta question. It's too techie for me. – Mari-Lou A Oct 1 '15 at 6:35
  • @Mari I doubt that they will have been reviewed before, since one review is all that is needed to remove it from the queue. They are queued now because the question was 30 days old when the answer appeared, and the answerer has been below 50 rep at some point since (or at) the time they answered. Previously the answer would have been queued if the answerer had been below 10 rep since (or at) the time they answered. The new limit will include a lot of drive-by users who may have received between one and six upvotes on one or two answers. (Cont) – Andrew Leach Oct 1 '15 at 6:52
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    @Mari (Cont) It was incredibly badly implemented, but I don't suppose there's any harm in reviewing the questions which now qualify. – Andrew Leach Oct 1 '15 at 6:54
  • @AndrewLeach This user's late answer has just cropped up in my LA review queue, dated Aug 21 2011, it's the only time he ever posted, and he has exactly 11 rep, so I don't understand. – Mari-Lou A Oct 2 '15 at 7:10
  • Surely at the time of posting this other user had less than 10 rep and his LA was reviewed by someone in 2013, so why am I/are we (re)reviewing it today? Another user, Ron Read, this time with 20 rep, a one time poster, wasn't his LA reviewed by the community? – Mari-Lou A Oct 2 '15 at 7:16
  • @Mari Neither do I understand. The code change was incredibly badly implemented, not sufficiently tested (if at all), not announced beforehand, and obviously incompletely explained in the MSE post. I doubt that even Jon E knows what the system is doing now. – Andrew Leach Oct 2 '15 at 7:20
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    Since I've commented and asked Jon to look in here, I'll add that my forthright opinion is based on what I have to do in the day job where any change to a live system is developed in one environment, thoroughly tested in a pre-production system and only then (and after notice, full details and approval by all potentially-affected parties) released to Live. – Andrew Leach Oct 2 '15 at 7:28
  • OK, so these backtracked LAs aren't from users whose answers were not reviewed the first time around. Their answers had already been "approved" by the community. I thought it looked strange. And I can't be the only one who's noticed this discrepancy. One last example: Kristina Droz 11 rep, only two answers posted as a member, back in Sep 2014. – Mari-Lou A Oct 2 '15 at 7:28

I was hoping that the powers above The Powers That Be could reverse the settings, but apparently they cannot.

Please roll back this change immediately. We have now a 3.2k entries long review queue on ServerFault. That's total crap. – Sven 10 hours ago

Reverting won't help, I'm afraid. The damage has been done. I have gone over to pitch in on Server Fault as an act of penitence. Jon Ericson♦ 10 hours ago

If it's any comfort, the queue on EL&U is shrinking.... (and ServerFault are having a much worse time than we are)

enter image description here

UPDATE 2nd Oct 2015

Sorry Hellion.... enter image description here

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    Noooo! I'll never reach my silver badge if everybody else sucks up all the reviews! – Hellion Sep 30 '15 at 16:05
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    I guess I'll have to go over to meta.SO and agitate for them to bump it up to 100.... ;-) – Hellion Oct 2 '15 at 14:48

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