I have reviewed a question and I wanted to vote to close the question because to me it seems like a polling question on a very subjective topic.

To my surprise, the system told me

STOP! Look and Listen.

This was an audit, designed to see if you were paying attention. You didn't pass. There are no major problems with this question.

I had actually read the question quite accurately and I normally click on skip if I have no clear opinion on a review. I still believe the question should be closed because it can encourage polling.

Of course I can vote to close again (I am considering whether to do it) but I wanted to ask how the results of such audits are used by the system / by the moderators.

  • Do you have link to the review and/or question.
    – ChrisF Mod
    May 17, 2013 at 12:10
  • 1
    @ChrisF programmers.stackexchange.com/review/close/29853
    – yannis
    May 17, 2013 at 12:11
  • 1
    Exactly (thanks Yannis for this link). I would close the question because it is a matter of opinion whether the syntax of one language is simple or not and the discussion whether Clojure's syntax is simpler than Scala's syntax can go on forever. I do not see how this question relates to facts.
    – Giorgio
    May 17, 2013 at 12:16
  • @Giorgio I just pushed it into CV queue where I think it belongs, feel free to "correct" the mistake made by the script that automatically selects questions for review (it probably assumed 600+ views and zero DVs indicate "good enough" question)
    – gnat
    May 17, 2013 at 12:20
  • 2
    btw Giorgio links to all your reviews can be found in your profile (in the reviews tab). Wouldn't have shared the link if it wasn't already public.
    – yannis
    May 17, 2013 at 12:21
  • @Yannis Rizos: My comment was not ironic: I did not know where to find the link. Thanks for the hint. :-)
    – Giorgio
    May 17, 2013 at 12:25
  • 1
    @Giorgio Didn't thought your comment was ironic, no worries.
    – yannis
    May 17, 2013 at 12:26
  • It's a sort of question that I think could be made objective and valuable. Something like "What are the ways in which Clojure is simpler than Scala". But even then it's inviting a list of reasons, which I think is useful, but the guidelines for stack overflow generally say "close without question".
    – Jack V.
    May 17, 2013 at 14:50

2 Answers 2


Nothing will happen if you fail an audit (or two). If you repeatedly fail audits, you might find yourself (automatically) suspended from reviewing for a week. If, after your suspension you continue failing audits, you might find yourself suspended for a bit longer. Moderators also have the ability to suspend a user from reviewing, in case the automatic measures miss something. We also have the ability to lift a review suspension, if it's unjustified.

That said, this was a very sneaky audit. The question is borderline, I can see why you voted to close it (although it might be salvageable with an edit or two). The audits system picks questions and answers from the last 30 days, and as any automated system, it can only rely on the available data. At the time you reviewed the question, it had 7 upvotes, 0 downvotes, 0 close votes, 0 flags and 4 upvoted answers. Naturally, the system assumed it was a very good question for the site, and expected you to think the same.

Interesting reads:


taken for the review audit FAQ on MSO

What happens if I fail?

For most, nothing. You'll be given some guidance on why the post was inappropriate and what you could have done instead, and then allowed to continue reviewing.

Repeated failures, especially in short succession can lead to your review privileges being suspended for a week or longer, depending on the frequency of the failures. Stack Exchange is continuing to analyze the data to determine the best action to take in these cases.

The Review audits aren't perfect though and its somewhat common that a poor question is chosen, but that shouldn't matter for users actually interested in reviewing questions, the audits are designed to help prevent robo-reviewing if you take your time and review normally its unlikely you will fail enough audits in a short enough period to matter.

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