The tone of the beginning of the question is aggressive and judgemental of OP's co-workers. The audience has only one side of the story. Besides, OP's co-workers' competence is irrelevant to the question at hand. Further, the quote is unattributed and a link would improve the answer.

My review was spot on.

And yes, I see that the author of the answer has umpty-thousand reputation, but everyone makes mistakes. If the goal of the stack is to provide answers for reference, judgement of third or fourth parties' competence based on limited information has no place. In fact, it detracts from the answer, and the stack.

  • 2
    While I agree that the tone of the answer was more aggressive than it should be. The answer is a fully technical correct answer to the question.
    – Reaces
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 15:54
  • If I want bickering and insults, I go to reddit. If the first line of the 'answer' is an insult, I do not expect quality content from the rest, probably even skip to the next one or downvote without finishing the answer. I agree with you, the answer was an unattributed quote (probably from TechNet) that answers the question.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 16:26
  • 8
    "Besides, OP's co-workers' competence is irrelevant to the question at hand." False. "My review was spot on." False. "If the goal of the stack is to provide answers for reference, judgement of third or fourth parties' competence based on limited information has no place." False. "In fact, it detracts from the answer, and the stack." False. So in other words, the review audit was accurate, worked as intended, and we're all good here. ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
    – Wesley
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 16:33
  • So we ARE here to insult and deride each other and draw conclusions from not enough information. Check And we should immortalize those insults and diatribes for posterity. Check Insults make answers better. Check I don't buy it. I'm a professional and I believe that ad hominem attacks detract from the argument.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 17:07
  • 4
    So we ARE here to insult and deride each other. False Co-workers != 'each other'. They would be a separate third party. That said, I'm here to insult and deride each other. Especially @wesley.
    – user143703
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:15
  • 1
    @yoonix Truly you are my kind of scum. <3
    – Wesley
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:17
  • 5
    @Wesley you should be out buying a bike instead
    – Jenny D
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 18:56
  • 5
    @Xalorous I'm sorry but if the tone of the answer immediately disqualifies it in your eyes. Then I personally do not trust your judgment when it comes to technical Q&A. And do indeed agree that you failed the audit.
    – Reaces
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 19:34
  • Unfortunately, the review queue is automated, and the audits appear to be generated based on community consensus. Sometimes one disagrees with the community, but there's not a lot to do about it. Unless you fail audits repeatedly no one does anything to you, anyway. In short, flunking a review audit once is pretty much meaningless. Don't worry about it. Commented May 11, 2017 at 20:46
  • @Reaces If the tone of the answer does not disqualify it in your eyes, you have a much greater acceptance of unprofessional behavior than I do. "Badmouthing" others in a professional setting demonstrates personal feelings of inadequacy, and a need to lower others to the level where the speaker subconsciously feels they are or where they feel they are judged to be. I mean really, come on. Didn't all "Geeks" and "Nerds" learn this basic psychology when coping with bullies in school? Bottom line, I often feel like I can show Q&A from here to back up a proposal or a decision in discussion. Then...
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:18
  • @KatherineVillyard Thank you. I aspire to be level headed and come to balanced, appropriate answers, like your comment shows. I guess the question probably seems a bit thin skinned. Maybe that's why I got all the troll responses too.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:21
  • downvote MOAR!!!!
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:39
  • 7
    @Xalorous Please stop it with the armchair psychology. And d/v on meta only signal disagreement.
    – Sven
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:46
  • @Sven ummm, dohkay.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:49
  • 7
    @Xalorous Technical QA =/= a professional setting. We are a QA for professionals but this QA isn't our profession. The difference being that we are answering here out of our own volition using our personal time. If we want to be crass (while keeping basic civility), we can be crass, we have no direct connection to the people we talk to. And to be frank, that is the only environment in which you can expect people to give up free time to help others. Now there are lines you shouldn't be crossing, but judging by the votes I don't think the majority feels like that happened here.
    – Reaces
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 9:06

3 Answers 3


What do I do?

Essentially you can't do anything about the audit itself. The review system has no meaningful way to handle this kind of issue. I guess if you failed multiple such audits and ended up in a review ban, you might be able to talk a CM into lifting that ban on the ground that this is primarily a matter of opinion.

Of course, if you feel strongly about the issue you have with the post, you could flag a moderator to look into this, just as with any other post you have a problem with (side note: Frankly, I wouldn't do anything about this - it's not friendly towards the authors coworkers, but not bad enough to warrant a mod action, IMHO, and hey, he is right!)

All that said, this is the exact problem why I believe the review system is fundamentally stupid and broken (and why I've originally stopped reviewing). It makes a binary choice on something that is 100% a matter of opinion and if you don't agree with the majority, you "fail" the audit and get a condescending message as a bonus. I just can't understand why anyone ever thought this is a good idea.

  • Your answer is right for my question, "What do?" I just prefer to see answers that I could show to my boss or a customer without apologizing for "random geeks on the internet."
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 22:34
  • 6
    @Xalorous Why would you show your boss or a customer? These QAs are here for you to learn from. If you need to "prove it" to a manager or customer by showing them an answer from some stranger, there are trust issues to work out.
    – EEAA
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 3:07
  • @EEAA Occasionally, it is helpful to have ammunition to defend a position. My boss trusts me, and so does my customer, but beyond them, it's all politics and paperwork. Change management and sustainability. For an admin to recommend a change, you have to have backing. Unfortunately, direct, hands-on experience with the system is not considered enough outside the group in which I work. I hate having to defend decisions to a change board who can barely log onto a Linux system, much less maintain one.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 13:59

I hardly see my answer as aggressive or insulting. I merely stated what should be obvious to anyone who has any experience with Exchange Server. If someone tells me that the Information Store service being stopped has no impact on the users then I'm going to assume that they're woefully unqualified to be speaking about, much less administering, Exchange server or that they're lying to me in an attempt to mask/hide their incompetence. I see nothing aggressive nor insulting about being direct and blunt (painful as it might be for the recipient to hear).

Additionally, I didn't "lift" that information from TechNet. That is the description of the service from the Services applet in Administrative Tools. If I had gotten the information from TechNet I would have cited it as such and posted a link.

Furthermore, there's a difference between "bad mouthing" other professionals in this field (which is something I frown upon myself) and pointing out when someone isn't qualified to be doing the job they're doing. If my physician isn't up to the task of managing my healthcare then I'm going to put it to him/her directly, frankly, and bluntly. I insulted nobody with my answer and I fail to see how it's bad mouthing them. If you're bad at your job or unqualified for said job then I have a responsibility to say so, regardless of the delicate sensibilities of the recipient of my bluntness.

  • 1
    If this was a work environment I would go talk to the exchange admins first. Then I'd probably see if I could explain the service to them, find out if maybe I was wrong, and escalate further if needed. I guess the point I'm trying to make is, on a QA your only options are to point out mistakes and give your opinion. You can't follow the tactfully correct route because that's up to the OP.
    – Reaces
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 9:16
  • I thought the part about 'dependent services' sounded familiar. I do not disagree that there is some impact of restarting the information store. The amount of impact varies on how large the Exchange environment is, how robustly the system is built, and how many users are online at the time of the restart. There are too many variables, AND we don't know exactly what OP was told. Maybe his boss said that the customers would not notice an impact. Telephone game and all that, stories change. My point is that simply stating that "no impact" is incorrect and explaining why focuses on the question.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:05
  • <cont> Bottom line, all that above is my opinion, and it obviously differs. Having served and worked in environments where appearances matter, one learns to maintain appearances even in social settings away from work. So, understanding other comments above about this not being a professional setting, I'll continue on, and let the answers do the talking.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:10

This is largely a duplicate of other answers and comments, but I thought it would add a bit of background.

You really have two questions:

  • What can I do about wrongly failing this review audit?
  • Why is this tone acceptable?

Your first question could be clearer: you don't say what action you took to fail, which would help. OTOH, as this question from meta.SE shows, the review audit process for positive answers (i.e. answers where you're supposed to conclude that the "correct" action is to do nothing) is fundamentally broken:

Clicking "Add comment" fails review audit

When the audit system shows you an answer that you're supposed to say is ok, if you do anything to improve it you'll fail the audit... That's totally screwed up.

The only thing you can do about a screwed up review audit system is to bring it up on meta.SE. If you choose to do that, don't focus on the issue of the tone of the answer, and provide more details (e.g. exactly what did you do in the review?).

As to your other question:

  • Why is this tone acceptable?

I don't anything wrong with it... yes, it's judgmental, but given the extreme difference between what the OP's exchange team said and what the actual service description reads, I'd say that "unqualified" or "lying" are probably valid judgments. And I don't think that adding a couple mild adjectives makes the judgment aggressive.

  • I did leave a comment suggesting that the tone detracts from the likelihood that the answser, which was valid, being read and accepted.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 21:29
  • Judgement made with too little information. Technical question. In a logical setting, these two should be mutually exclusive. Including the judgement contributes to this stack's reputation for elitism. But I understand that this attitude is perfectly acceptable here, most of the contributors enjoy it. Who am I to say it's wrong.
    – Jeter-work
    Commented May 19, 2017 at 21:33

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