When bored (which is way too often) I cruise around the site looking for things to do.

Eventually I end up on the "Review" page, which gives me a list of recent posts that might be of low quality, or by new users and so on.

My question is what is the point of actually flagging low quality content? I flagged several questions as low quality, these were accepted as valid marks.

Now what? What do the moderators do when they see such flag, what we as a community should do when encountering very low quality posts?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you link to this page? I don't think I've ever seen it before. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2011 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu: The direct link is math.stackexchange.com/review/. The link is to be found next to your username, rep, badges (at the moment I have four links there: review, chat, meta, faq). I've seen the review link for the first time about two weeks ago. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    May 16, 2011 at 6:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Theo: interesting. Instead of the review page I have mod and tools. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2011 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu: I believe that the review appears after some rep. threshold, and it aims to operate the more-involved-but-not-10k-or-mods users as "moderator aids". $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 16, 2011 at 8:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Qiaochu: At 10K rep you see "tools" instead of "review", and on the tools page you should find a (more or less prominent) link to "review". $\endgroup$ May 16, 2011 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Hendrik: indeed, it took me a while to figure that out myself. $\endgroup$ May 16, 2011 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ Bah! So that's what that is? I clicked on a "review post" button just to try to see what the feature does. I didn't want to flag it for any purpose. And I didn't notice anything on the feature in the FAQ... $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    May 10, 2012 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ @QiaochuYuan: It has been my experience that either "tools" or "review" can show up in that spot depending on which page you were viewing last. At the top of the "Tools|Review" page, there is a link to switch pages (click on the greyed out one to switch). $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Aug 18, 2012 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


I guess the main point is to help identify things that the moderators should immediately act on, such as questions that should obviously be closed or moved or spam answers or comments. Generally speaking, beyond this I have been fairly lax in cleaning up flagged content: there have been a few mildly offensive comments which have been flagged but which I didn't think were bad enough to warrant deletion, and there have been a few "low-quality" questions which seemed sincere and not just homework.

If there is a community consensus that the moderators should be more aggressive in cleaning up "low quality" content, perhaps we should have a discussion about exactly what that is, since I'm not too sure myself.

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    $\begingroup$ Re: Second paragraph: My opinion is that at the moment there is no serious need for more aggressive intervention on the moderators' side. I think Willie and you make an outstandingly good job and I'm extremely grateful for that. As long as the noise level remains roughly the same as it is, I see no compelling reason for insisting that you should change your ways at all. Thanks for the good work to both of you! $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    May 16, 2011 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ I completely agree with Theo. I think that there should be a discussion what sort of "low quality" content should be deleted. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 16, 2011 at 8:01
  • $\begingroup$ @asaf the general guidance I give is twofold. Ask yourself "could a student (of x skill level) learn anything useful/practical from this question?" and "would I be embarrassed to be associated with this question?" $\endgroup$ May 18, 2011 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Jeff: Well, it comes down to what Qiaochu said above - we should discus as a community what is low quality content and how to handle it. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 18, 2011 at 20:45

Bumping the thread because the Review page is now entirely different. See meta thread here. It still does not render LaTeX, unfortunately. There are 320 questions with votes to close, on MSE, and during review they appear to come up in pretty random order. I'm not sure if this backlog is worth cleaning up. There is a new button "Do Not Close" which apparently does not do anything at all.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can enforce an order on the Review page, and it doesn't even require the axiom of choice! $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 14, 2012 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Huh. The new page is different. I liked the old page where you could provably construct a well ordering of the posts by date, or whatever. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 14, 2012 at 1:33
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila the old page is still accessible via math.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits $\endgroup$
    – user2468
    Aug 14, 2012 at 4:26
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    $\begingroup$ @JenniferDylan: I saw. But in time, it too will be gone. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 14, 2012 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ I got to review a short answer by an 80k+ user under low quality posts. What is the point of that? $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2012 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael: Yes, due to short, $\TeX$-y, and hinting answers it is not uncommon to see top users whose answers automatically get flagged as low-quality. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:05
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    $\begingroup$ Two remarks: 1) You can use robjohn's render MathJax bookmarklet available here to compile the LaTeX parts of questions, answers and comments you're reviewing with a single click (see this answer for some instructions). 2) What I find rather inconvenient with the new interface is that it is static in that browsing the things to review seems impossible. I'd very much prefer to have a list of, say, two dozen things to review so that I can jump where I think I have something to contribute. $\endgroup$
    – t.b.
    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ There is also a bug that you can submit deletion votes to non-downvoted answers. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Aug 14, 2012 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it looks like the Low Quality filter is indeed that. But the new Close Vote interface grew on me. Luckily we don't have 26000 questions with votes to close, like StackOverflow. $\endgroup$
    – user31373
    Aug 15, 2012 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelGreinecker I am not sure whether this concerns only SO or the whole SE network, but this might be a possible explanation, too. $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2012 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ The "Do Not Close" button may not do anything else, but clicking it at least increments the count of the number of reviews you have performed in the statistics of who has reviews, how many reviews have been done today, and so forth. $\endgroup$
    – MJD
    Aug 18, 2012 at 17:13

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