Here is the question, that I was reviewing:

10 GB of RAM unaccounted for by top

It appeared as a new one, so I flagged it as a duplicate of How to interpret output from Linux 'top' command? (actually there are hundreds of the same "why my free command displays wrong memory" questions out there).

Then got this:

 STOP! Look and Listen.

 This was an audit, designed to see if you were paying attention.
 You didn't pass. Your review was inappropriate.
 This was a high quality post and you should have considered leaving it
 as-is or even upvoting.  

You know, I'm getting a feeling I'm the only one doing reviews for several weeks, since the "unreviewed" posts count only goes down when I'm doing it. Getting a test failure on such troll questions doesn't help my motivation in doing reviews at all.

I might just have a simple technical solution, that will once & for all eliminate this problem:

  1. When flagging question as a duplicate, we already got "Similar questions frequently linked or suggested as originals" search field.
  2. Exclude questions that have possible duplicates from the "review audit" questions pool.
  3. Problem solved!

I'll explain a bit:

Look at the top rated questions, choose a random one, press "flag -> Duplicate" and check whether it has any suggested duplicates. If it doesn't, than it's a good test question. Here is an example of a good test question.

But if it does have a long list of possible duplicates like this one - exclude it from the pool, so it never shows as a test question.

I'm not saying this is anywhere near important, but it would be nice if this is implemented someday.

  • 12
    Review audits are a waste of time. Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:08
  • 1
    @KatherineVillyard Oh, you just jealous of my super-duper rare "Reviewer" badge :)
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:20
  • 7
    It's not that rare - 270 people have them and Katherine has 4 ... Review audit's are a waste of a good reviewers time.
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 20:28
  • @Hanginoninquietdesperation World really needs irony punctuation, i was just joking ;) As for "wasting time" - you can do reviews in the interims between work, while answering the question requires much more dedicated time (at least for me :)
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 20:35
  • 4
    You misread what Katherine and I said ... 'Review Audits are a waste of time' (for a good reviewer)
    – user9517
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 20:36
  • 1
    @Anubioz There is an irony punctuation. (.This is sufficient irony/sarcasm punctiuation for the whole world!.) Only very few people use it...
    – Jenny D
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:44
  • @JennyD Sorry if i'm taking it serious wrongfully, but denoting irony has always been a huge problem for me (most of people tend to get me wrong for some reason :). Are you saying that a parenthesis followed by a period can/should be used for sarcastic sentences? Like (. Here goes sarcasm .)?
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:51
  • @Anubioz Yes, that's what I'm saying. It's been used that way in some online communities I've been a part of since the 1990's. For some reason it never got any traction on the web, and nowadays people will just use emoticons instead. (. Kids these days, getoffmylawn... .)
    – Jenny D
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:52
  • @jennyD Thanks for the info, I'll start using it right away :). I cannot understand why Unicode doesn't have that symbol from wikipedia though. A stupid flying man 🕴, which will never be used by anyone, is there, while reversed question mark isn't...
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:59
  • Yeah, sorry if I wasn't clear, @Anubioz. It's not reviewing that's a waste of time, it's the audits. Whatever code generates them is sometimes wrong, and... what Reaces said, really. Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 15:55

2 Answers 2


Disregarding my personal opinion on whether this question is, or isn't, off-topic.
Here's my two cents on disputing Review Audits on meta.

Don't bother

By design reviews take several votes, it takes a consensus of people to close a question.
This also means that people are allowed to disagree, but they have to abide by the majority vote.
The fact that you disagree with a particular closed question, or want to close a question that others don't is just fine.

Your opinion matters, the fact that you want to do reviews and care enough to post on here (in a civil manner) means that your opinion probably matters more than most.
But a review audit is the place where your opinion doesn't actually matter it's trying to trap people who are inattentive while doing the review queue.
It's not trying to test your knowledge of the subject, it's not trying to spark a discussion on the merits of the question.
It's trying to catch out people who just mindlessly spam a button.

You're not one of those, you've in effect been trapped into arguing with an automated system here.
So don't bother, accept that you disagree and think this question should be closed as a dupe.
Perhaps place a close flag on the question yourself, and move on. You've voted.

  • 1
    I like your point & I agree with it, but I'm actually trying to improve things here (though it may not be clear from my initial post :). I added a possible (purely technical) way to prevent audit system from being so stupid. I think that implementing my suggestion will fix this only problem I can think of - otherwise automated auditing is completely fine to me :)
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 9:42
  • @Anubioz Handling duplicates is a vital part of the review queue's. Removing them from audits (that are supposed to reflect real cases in the queue) seems a bit much.
    – Reaces
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 10:26

In short, this question is not a duplicate of the 30,000 "how does free work?" questions on the site. It's asking a much more specific and detailed question, not covered by the dupe target(s).

  • Like it requests an advice for memory monitoring tools, which makes yet another reason to flag it as offtopic? Seriously, what's makes you thing it's "detailed", does any question which features command outputs is regarded as "detailed" automatically? :) I can understand that, since compared to 95% of everyday garbage this question DOES seem like a good one, but still without looking at answers I can't see any value in it (just imagine, that I am not supposed to "cheat" by opening the actual question in another tab while reviewing - how would you determine whether it is specific & detailed)...
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:36
  • I don't have anything against review audit questions & I successfully passed every one of them before, there also were those "high quality posts" in there. But this particular one is a bad one for including it into test. Since the test shouldn't include something that we can argue on...
    – Anubioz
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 19:45
  • Yes, but the review audit items aren't chosen by a human. They're random high-voted or low-voted posts stuck in the review queue to see if you're randomly mashing buttons for a badge. I don't imagine Stack Exchange is going to hire people to select review audits, so.... Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 15:57

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