I was asked to review an answer flagged as possible spam. There was nothing spammy about the content, so I marked it as looks ok.

It appears however that the answer I was asked to review has been deleted because it was an exact copy of a positively scored answer on the same question.

But the review doesn't show me the other answers. So it appears as if I am expected to be able to tell the difference between two identical answers while seeing only one of them.

What exactly are the expectations on reviewers that such an audit is supposed to address?

  • 4
    Once you have demonstrated that you are a careful reviewer, review audits are a waste of your time. Personally I've stopped reviewing until SE fix that if more people took this approach then SE might be bothered to fix them.
    – user9517
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 9:47
  • TBF, exactly 1 person has ever been Review Banned on SF because of Audits and that person REALLY deserved it. It takes A LOT of failed audits to have any effect.
    – Chris S
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


Every time I have ever seen the message "Our system has identified this post as possible spam; please review carefully" it has turned out to be a review audit. I don't know why it's there.

As for the audits, I expect you to curse a lot at their absurdity. That post did indeed get a lot of flags, for the reason you noted, and it was deleted. But the audit system just isn't smart enough to handle this situation.

  • Here is a review with the "Our system has identified this edit as possible spam; please review carefully" message, and it was not an audit.
    – kasperd
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 18:53

Indeed, the review audits are crap.

Easiest way to handle them I've found is to follow the link to the original post in question. If there's a discrepancy between the votes (or its deleted/not-deleted status) in what you see in the review queue, and what you see in the actual thread, it's an audit. Otherwise it's real.

Do enough of them, and you get a pretty good sense for when you're seeing something that doesn't seem like it should be in the review queue, too... and that means it's an audit.

As to what review audits were meant to address... jackasses on Stack Overflow who clicked No Action Needed 20 times a day to get their shiny badges. (There was even an awesome thread on mSO around the time that these were introduced where the SE folks said so, but I can't find it right now.) In other words, once again, the mere existence of Stack Overflow members makes the world a slightly worse place than it was before.

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