I recently failed the following review audit. I voted to close for "no context," but the system said it was a good question.


The irony here is that, before voting to close, I struggled with this one precisely because I do personally think it is an interesting question that is worthy of remaining on the site. However, my understanding was that we agreed as a site to close questions that are statements of problems without any background or work shown, so I voted to close.

I don't know an objective criterion for determining which questions have no-context. Should I only vote to close no-context questions if I find them uninteresting? This seems awfully subjective.

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    $\begingroup$ The review audits are automated; if the question has never been downvoted, has never received a close vote, etc., then it can be used as an audit. It doesn't mean the question is good or on-topic, because moderation by the community is inconsistent, unfortunately. There's not much you can do if you fail a review audit, but if it doesn't happen every single time you should not have problems. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '15 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ Related. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '15 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi Do you mean that we can get in trouble if we fail to many audits? $\endgroup$
    – Surb
    Apr 16 '15 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ @timmbob It depends on your definition of "trouble." Unless something has changed, rapid failure of many audits can put your account on a "review freeze" to prevent robo-reviewing. This may or may not be kept on record somewhere, but it doesn't cause any real problems. The audits are meant to prevent people from just "auto-clicking" "Looks Good" or "Close" without thinking. If you're actually thinking about the posts you're reviewing, you won't run into trouble. $\endgroup$
    – apnorton
    Apr 17 '15 at 3:47
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    $\begingroup$ No, we have not agreed to do any such thing. I will not vote to close any question except as a duplicate, as spam, as out and out crackpottery, as not mathematics at all, or possibly as being purely a matter of opinion. At the other extreme there are people who vote to close perfectly good questions that are not completely lacking in context. (These seem most often to be either sophisticated questions that may not have been understood by the voter, or very elementary questions, against which the site has, unfortunately, a noticeable bias.) $\endgroup$ Apr 17 '15 at 19:28
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I'm in the auto-downvote/close/hate/thwap with a hammer camp of the "problem statement only" question...I'm not quite at the other extreme from @BrianM.Scott as I won't vote to close questions I don't understand, only ones that I do understand and have 0 context. So yes, there's a wide variety of opinions here and the occasional failed audit isn't an issue. $\endgroup$
    – Alan
    Apr 18 '15 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ thanks. I personally misunderstood the consensus (and overestimated the gravity of failing review audits). Since I find myself somewhat in the middle of the two camps, I'll stop going through close votes for a while. $\endgroup$
    – hunter
    Apr 18 '15 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ A little bit late to comment maybe, but the question was closed a week after you had failed the audit. Interesting... $\endgroup$
    – zhoraster
    Sep 21 '15 at 9:20

my understanding was that we agreed as a site to close questions that are statements of problems

Not really. There is a wide range of opinions on the issue. Including the opinion that being interesting (a subjective measure, naturally) can redeem even a question that is nothing but a problem statement. The votes on questions reflect this mix of opinions, and the audit system picks up on them, presenting a somewhat inconsistent set of audits.

Should I only vote to close no-context questions if I find them uninteresting?

This is up to you. I personally won't blame you if you decide to do exactly that.


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