I took a quick look at the review history in our first posts review queue and I've noticed some "No Action Needed" reviews that I didn't agree with. That's not a problem, I don't expect anyone to share my opinions on what makes a good Programmers post. However, I think the nature of the queue is such, that there is almost always something to fix, even if it's simply spelling and grammar. The queue hosts the very first posts from brand new users, who - quite understandably - aren't always familiar with our philosophy and rules.

To make matters a bit more complicated, it only takes one review to push the post out of the first posts queue. This means that we need to be a bit more careful with it, than - say - with the close votes queue. Your "No Action Needed" vote is binding, and if you use it carelessly you may cheat a brand new user of possibly critical feedback.

I'd like to ask all our reviewers to just skip the review if you aren't 100% sure that the post can be improved (in any way), or don't have the time to improve it.


  • single reviewer is there likely to prevent more than 1 sympathy / "welcome" upvote from such a review. If memory serves, the queue was originally tuned to have more reviewers and it ended in multiple first posts voted up to +2/+3 no matter how crappy. I'd say if we want to get back to more than 1 reviewer, this would better be combined with increasing amount of "known bad" review audits, to counter the thoughtless welcomes
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 14:18
  • @gnat It used to be 3 reviewers initially (if memory serves), but I have no clue why that was changed. You're probably right though, robo-reviewing had something to do with it.
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 14:21
  • Also: "I think people just don't understand the meaning of "No Action Needed" so majority of those cases are innocent mistakes. I'm almost sure that if notified, those people will become better reviewers, and we should also make it more clear what is the real meaning of clicking that button while reviewing. Maybe showing confirmation dialog box for the first X reviews." - Shadow Wizard
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 14:22
  • ...on a further thought, maybe requesting SE team to inject more "known bad" audits is the way to go for this issue? I mean, audits probably have better chance to reach and educate reviewers than meta post, and have longer term impact
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 14:34
  • 2
    @gnat The success rate for audits in the first posts queue is impressive: 58 audits, 91% passed (last 30 days). Also, I don't see signs of robo-reviewing in there (or any of our other queues). I think the root of the problem is that people translate "No Action Needed" to "meh, this isn't entirely terrible" and move on without thinking twice about it.
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 15:15
  • is this for known good and known bad audits together? Great thing about planting more known bad audits is if we later find out that it didn't help to increase reviewers awareness, we can request to switch back to current rate and look for other solution (by the way, if troublesome reviews you refer are the same as I found by checking the history, I'd really doubt that meta post will reach reviewer - they're not particularly active, and they're mostly accurate in other reviews, so the chance to them to frequently check meta for guidance look fairly slim)
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 4, 2014 at 15:22
  • @YannisRizos: I admit being one of those who uses "No Action Needed" for posts that aren't bad enough to close/down vote, but also not good enough for an upvote. Is there a guidance somewhere that states how the "No Action Needed" should be used? The explanation of the buttons in the queue itself isn't really helping. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 7:12
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau meta.stackexchange.com/a/180030/165773 My understanding is, when post is not bad enough to justify negative action and not good enough to upvote, reviewer needs to pick between No Action Needed and Skip
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 8:16
  • @gnat: I am looking for guidance on when to use No Action Needed and when to use Skip. As I understand this question, Skip should be used more often, but then I wonder what the value/intended purpose of No Action Needed is. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 8:27
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau I see. The best I could find at MSE for No Action Needed is this answer from SE team member, and there's nothing at our meta. Probably this post is the best place to clarify that. As for Skip, it seems to be well covered at MSE (in brief, the rule seems to be "in case of doubt, Skip")
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 8:36
  • 1
    That's an excellent Meta question @BartvanIngenSchenau, you should post it ;)
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 13:24
  • 2
    It seems like when in doubt, "skip," and let others review it. Whereas "no action needed" pushes it out of the review queue and prevents others from looking at it. "No action needed" is POSITIVE action, whereas "skip" is neutral, right?
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 20:01
  • @TomAu Yes, that's right. More details here: meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/a/6681/25936
    – yannis
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 10:01
  • @gnat: how do you find those troublesome reviews you mentioned? Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 16:06
  • Personally, I only hit "no Action needed" if it's something that I find just okay; it doesn't warrant an upvote, but I don't consider it to have anything wrong with it based on my view of how the site functions. Hence, no action - fine as it is. Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 2:29


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