While processing a review queue, I was presented a question which "had been flagged as spam". I recalled seeing a very similar question a short while ago, and wondered if it was related.

Lo and behold, it was the exact same question!

So naturally, I tried to flag the duplicate. It was a word-for-word copy, this seemed like a sensible choice. Well, direct flagging as duplicate didn't work, so I used the general moderator awareness flag instead. Uh-oh! Nope! I got the "stop, look and listen" message instead of thanks for flagging. Hmm.

Then later, while checking my flag history for a separate question, I saw this:

This is an exact copy of question ID 1825199, but the system disallows tagging as duplicate. Have also voted closure. – Nij 15 hours ago helpful - This is question 1825199. Did you mean to flag a different post?

The system placed a legitimate flag on a question that, if being used as a test, should be separate from any full system.

  1. Is there anything I/we can do about this kind of audit? Proper due diligence suggested a course of action entirely at odds with the recommendation (which was that the question is fine). As a result the review is almost guaranteed to give false negatives on review quality.

  2. Given that it is only an audit, should the flag have been applied to the actual question, instead of its auditing form? There is obviously a way to do this, as the asker of the original is named, while user-insert-random-digits was given as the asker of the audit question, as well as other details being stripped.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ The flag was applied to the actual question. Hence the question whether you meant to flag some other question. I only figured out that it was an audit after handling the flag. I guess the "right" thing here would have been to let you dupe-flag, and count the dupe flag as a passed audit. Discarding the dupe flag, since it actually points to itself. But that would be some complicated logic to implement properly. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here is link to the review audit. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2016 at 16:10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Can we take famous questions out of the "review audit" system? $\endgroup$
    – mathlander
    Jan 17, 2023 at 16:40


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