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I just had the unpleasant experience of reviewing this question, where this close review was an audit to see if I was "paying attention."

enter image description here

I was about to vote to close, but then I noticed that only one close vote had been cast and it was for the reason of being "too broad," a clearly nonsensical choice. This made me suspect I had an audit review on my hands. For the audit review, the question being considered showed up as having zero upvotes/downvotes; I decided to click the hyperlink to investigate. Sure enough, the actual page for the question showed the question as having five upvotes, something I took to mean I should vote to "leave open." Thus, I passed the audit, but the obvious correct decision was to vote to close as off-topic (no work shown, no context, etc.).

What is one to do about this? I understand how some questions, such as exceedingly difficult integrals, can be upvoted quite a bit without much context because everyone knows just how hard the integral is to solve and a correct solution would be valuable. But this is different--a reviewer is effectively being admonished for making the correct decision. After failing such an audit (unreasonable audits have happened to me before), I know I can go back to the question being considered and vote to close or open, but this does not seem like a satisfactory solution.

Is there anything that can be done about this fairly frequent problem?

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I should add that it's obvious I was paying very close attention, something I was about to be told to "STOP! Look and listen." for. $\endgroup$ – Daniel W. Farlow Mar 19 '15 at 4:52
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    $\begingroup$ What I do in those case is actually go the the question when I fail and cast a real close vote on it. Hopefully others will follow suit. $\endgroup$ – dustin Mar 19 '15 at 5:19
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    $\begingroup$ The answer to your question is probably among one of these... $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Mar 19 '15 at 8:07
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    $\begingroup$ Hah, talk about "the meta effect". $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mar 19 '15 at 9:35
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The questions picked as "known good" audits must have received some substantial positive feedback (5 or more upvotes) and no negative feedback.

If you downvote the question, it will be removed from the pull of known-good audits.

a reviewer is effectively being admonished for making the correct decision.

It so happens that sizable groups of users differ in their evaluation of such questions. The audit algorithm, being fully automatic, relies on the opinion of whichever group voted on the question.

Solution: vote more.

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    $\begingroup$ Good advice. Only problem is I actually do vote a fair amount (already exhausted all of my votes for today), hence I cannot currently downvote the question in mind. Maybe I'll downvote it "when I come back in the next 19 hours." $\endgroup$ – Daniel W. Farlow Mar 19 '15 at 5:00
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    $\begingroup$ OK, I downvoted it. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Mar 19 '15 at 5:01
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. :) In light of your own recent posting about modifying the tour page, maybe the "STOP! Look and listen." message should be modified to be less insulting too (not relevant to that post, I know, but something for the mods to think about perhaps). $\endgroup$ – Daniel W. Farlow Mar 19 '15 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, that message is not moderator-editable; it's deep in the system. For a related discussion, see Review audits and “I understand” button. By the way, the message was modeled after a warning about crossing a street, which certainly wasn't meant as an insult. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Mar 19 '15 at 5:13
  • $\begingroup$ Alright thanks for the links. Must confess I haven't been active much at all on meta--I guess that is about to change. :D $\endgroup$ – Daniel W. Farlow Mar 19 '15 at 5:15
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    $\begingroup$ And although coming too late to the party, I’ve upvoted it. It’s a good question with some good answers. It isn’t even just a naked call for help, in view of the provenance comment. $\endgroup$ – Brian M. Scott Mar 20 '15 at 11:49
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    $\begingroup$ I upvoted it too. I'm really baffled by these people. If you don't want to answer a question because you think it is somehow beneath you, then don't answer it. Other people will. $\endgroup$ – Matt Samuel Mar 21 '15 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ @MattSamuel What you just said is conventional wisdom of the internet. The product of that wisdom is a conventional internet forum. Stack Exchange sets a higher standard than that. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Mar 21 '15 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ I really don't think the high quality of Stack Exchange is because of the question closing mechanism, it's because they add an additional feeling of accomplishment to writing a good answer, i.e. reputation points. This encourages people to write good answers. If the site were the same except without reputation points, no one would use it. $\endgroup$ – Matt Samuel Mar 21 '15 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ @MattSamuel For comparison, here's a popular Q&A site which also offers rep points, but does not have question closing. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Mar 21 '15 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ Is there one that also has voting on questions? $\endgroup$ – Matt Samuel Mar 21 '15 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think we can all agree, at least, that Yahoo Answers is garbage compared to MSE... $\endgroup$ – Daniel W. Farlow Mar 21 '15 at 22:27
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    $\begingroup$ @MattSamuel I don't know one (maybe Quora?) but earning points is not particularly important for question askers: they ask because they want an answer, not because they want points. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Mar 22 '15 at 0:07

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