Those automated things try my patience... and I'm supposed to click on "I understand" to agree? With no alternative?

I realize that this is by far not the worst trial of my patience I'll encounter in the world, but it does definitely provide an incremental demotivation from looking thoughtfully at the review tasks... In effect, I have to remind myself that to "do good works" may require suffering random noise from well-meaning but foolish people, etc., ...

But, can't it be arranged that people with sufficient rep, or something, be exempt from second-guessing by the software? When the software says "oh, no, there's no problem here" when I spent some time and decided that a question does have a problem (whether or not other people voted it so), I am ... "put off" by the situation.

Is there a way to avoid this other than never reviewing? Is the configuration of the thing alterable?

There are certainly many crappy, lazy questions asked, many of which nevertheless can be vehicles for useful information. My "close" votes tend to be for essentially-incomprehensible questions... which might, I observe, appear comprehensible to people who didn't understand what was going on...

Can anyone clarify the mechanism/motivation for "prank-tests"?

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    $\begingroup$ If I strongly disagree with the automatic stupidity, I kill the browser window instead of clicking I understand. I also stopped regularly reviewing stuff. There are more than one ways to contribute. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 2:44
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    $\begingroup$ The motivation is simple. I can decide that I want to be with the most reviews in all queues. Then I can just enter each queue and spend my 20 daily reviews on some automatic quick-click "Looks OK" or "Leave Open" or whatever. Click-click-click. In some cases this is not a real issue, since reviews go through several people, but in some queues they don't. Moreover, what if several people decide to clickity-clack through the queues? The whole process becomes useless. So spicing it up with a silly audit from time to time helps catch those robo-clickers more easily. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 7:41
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    $\begingroup$ This has already been discussed many times. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 8:08

3 Answers 3


For those users who are annoyed by audits to the point of quitting review, I can offer the userscript Review Audit Detector. To use it,

  1. Install a userscript-managing extension (popular choices: Tampermonkey for Chrome, Greasemonkey for Firefox).
  2. Click here to add the userscript.

When you are presented with an audit that is considered to be "good" (i.e., to be left open, not be deleted, etc), the review bar will change the color to green. When the audit is "known bad" (to be closed, deleted, etc), the review bar will change the color to red.

good bad

Or you can just skip all audits and avoid both criticism and congratulations from the software.

Obviously, I didn't spend much time picking these colors... To change them, edit line 50 of the script where it says

... = (audit == 'bad' ? '#ff6666' : '#66ff66');

Here '#ff6666' is used for bad, '#66ff66' for good.

  • $\begingroup$ Very good! Thanks for this! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 21:14

I'm supposed to click on "I understand" to agree? With no alternative?

As achille hui wrote in a comment, there is an alternative: you can close the browser tab and do something other than the reviewing for a little while.

can't it be arranged that people with sufficient rep, or something, be exempt from second-guessing by the software?

Not likely. Consider that we had a 100K user suspended for "voting irregularities". And on Stack Overflow, it's not unheard of for a 10K user to be banned from reviewing manually, by a moderator, because of low-quality reviews.

Elsewhere, Tim Post wrote:

I've got over 20k on the site. I was an elected community moderator for two years, and now I work here with developer level access.

I still get audits, just like everyone else.

Any time you have a repetitive task such as this, I think it's good to have these to catch you if you doze off.

I'm inclined to agree with him.

Can anyone clarify the mechanism/motivation for "prank-tests"?

In Review FAQ I mentioned a few things about those tests. For more, including motivation, see What are review tests (audits) and how do they work?

Is there a way to avoid this other than never reviewing?

If you really want to, then... instead of clicking buttons in review, you can use the bookmarklet Skip but open in another tab and vote from that tab. I use this often for the Close queue; not because of failing audits (I almost never fail them), but because voting in another tab allows me to downvote in addition to closing... and because this way I can cast 50 votes to close per day, without being restricted by 20 review/day limit.

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    $\begingroup$ Actually, you make a very good point when you mention the history of high rep users being suspended for acting poorly in their voting behaviors. I suppose high rep cannot necessarily ever be used to assume a future of good behavior. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 3:25

Clearly you know the answer to your title. At least I know that you know, and you know that I know that you know, and so forth. I have managed to avoid the hit most of the time, but I expect most heavy reviewers have tapped the admonishment of the bot a few times.

I had achille hui's thought as well when thinking about having to click some sort of "do you understand" button. It can come off like a bot trying to treat us like petulant children.

I think the main redeeming quality of the bot tester is that it might actually slow down the newer reviewer who is not being serious about voting. This sort of reviewer could actually do some damage to our site, so good there. This sort is not you, it is not me, and it is certainly not the people whom I hold in highest esteem here.

I could quite possibly see merit in some partial exemption from types of dummy reviews for very well practiced reviewers who have had a very long time demonstrating their willingness to not act irresponsibly in the review queue.

All rant aside, a person of your rep is highly desirable in review queue. You getting busted by the bot, or you never even reviewing, means nothing to anyone. No one considers this a mark on your clearly great character and status as a tremendous contributor. No one really cares, except that when you choose to review it is appreciated.

Ire might be warranted for someone with a long history of great review experience, and who knows, maybe they will back the bot off a bit for people who have clearly demonstrated a long term commitment to taking each and every vote seriously.

Personally, and I am a bit newer than you, the bot does not really bother me. I take neither pleasure nor pain in its behavior. Very occasionally I just laugh when I think it made a bad move, and that's about the whole of how I react to the bot.


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