Improved Reviewing

by Sam Saffron

on November 21, 2011

Stack Exchange gets a staggering amount of questions and answers every day.

Our goal is not only to provide great answers to the huge amount of questions, but to create awesome gems of knowledge that can be consumed by generations to come.

New users on our sites need some extra TLC. Without them we can not grow our communities. However, often they are not aware of the rich formatting capabilities and various rules we enforce. Occasionally, they post "answers" that are not really "answers". Sometimes they simply do not belong in the community they are trying to participate. Sometimes we are lucky, they are awesome and need to be enticed with a few upvotes.

In general, most of the "problem content" our sites is created by brand new users. More than 44% of the flags on Stack Overflow are raised on content created by users with less than 10 reputation. In comparison only 11% of the content is created by these users.

Together we can help shape up the problem content, upvote the great new answerers and askers and create a site we are all proud of.

There is one big problem though. Janitorial work can be boring. To make it more fun and productive we created the review section.

When you gain the privilege to downvote a new review link appears in the header.

This new section will allow you to track your review progress, but first you will need to unlock the right to review by gaining the Strunk & White badge.

As your suggested edits get approved or you edit posts, we will track your progress towards Strunk & White.

Once you have this badge you will be allowed to track your review progress and be a candidate for the new Reviewer badge.

You will also be able to track progress towards the 2 voting badges, Civic Duty and Electorate and track progress towards the epic Copy Editor badge.

The reason we unlock this section is to ensure all questions and answers are viewed by at least 2 users who are good at editing. This means that we are less likely to get flags stating "please sir, edit this for me" and gives new users a better chance. Once two users with the Strunk & White badge review a post the post will "vanish" from the list.

The review section focuses on 3 areas.

  1. Questions and answers by users with 10 or less reputation.

  2. Questions and answers that are caught by our "low quality" heuristic, this heuristic is not perfect but it finds a fair amount of posts that need editing, voting, commenting and flagging.

  3. (10k only) Questions that received close votes. More about this on meta.

In the review screen you can choose to filter by tag or time frame. You can also vote, flag, comment and edit without leaving the review section.

We have had a very noticeable increase in editing and reasonable increase in voting in the last few weeks.

If you have a chance, review a few posts in the review screen. Help us create awesome, clean and useful sites we are proud of.