I know that this should better be on Meta.SO, but I don't have any SO reputation points(/account) and also I am not familiar with/interested in the politics of SO, so here we are.

Currently, when questions appear in the review queue for closing, we have only the question on-screen, regardless of the existence of any answers. We can click through to the full context of the question + answer thread, but this is both an unnecessary nuisance and takes us away from the review queue. Often I find myself visiting the question and casting my vote there directly after having seen the answers; probably this is not the intention, because there are various badges given for certain numbers of reviews, and one can have one's reviews fail to be counted towards them by reviewing outside of the review queue interface.

In my opinion, it is vitally important to show not just the question out-of-context, but the entire thread, including the answers (if any) that have been given to the question so far. This is so for several reasons:

  • For some questions, the interpretation is not absolutely unambiguous on the first reading. Sometimes, for example, it requires someone to run the given code; in other cases, the phrasing is not clear enough to be completely certain of what is being asked. To see other users' answers provides confidence that one's interpretation is correct (or not, as the case may be). To vote in a state of ignorance is irresponsible, but this is what is being encouraged.

  • The display in the queue almost seems set up to imply that there are no answers, which can lead to hasty decisions. One is not used to seeing questions separate from the answers, and showing them in this artificial (lack of) context produces a tendency toward floccinaucinihilipilification -- one sees that other users have deemed the question sufficiently valueless to close it, but not that yet others have valued it enough to spend their time writing an answer. Perhaps it is not part of the SE philosophy, but I think that sometimes the answers can justify a question. If not, then at least they can influence the action one takes from closing, towards merely editing a poor question. Do we know how many closed questions could be perfectly serviceable, yet are allowed to languish in endless mediocrity because, well, it's closed, so who cares?

  • To have some sort of second opinion (both ways) lessens the cognitive burden when deciding how to vote. In an ideal world, all votes would be completely unbiased on the balance of the evidence (except, we do not have the balance of the evidence, per the above point). But, to present the question in isolation leads (at least in my experience) to a large number of "skip" votes, because of a reluctance to pass overly-hasty judgment on essentially an unknown quantity. (I think we are also lucky on this site in that we don't get a large number of obviously horrible questions.) In any case, if we are to take democracy seriously, then we should suppose that there is some objective value in the opinions of other people. Seeing how other people have responded to the question helps us form our own judgments about it.

  • Closing the question is as much (in its effect) a judgment on the answers as the question. This clearly cannot be justified without so much as having seen the former.

Given the above, could I please request that the entire thread, including the answers, is shown in the review queue? As per usual, please vote up if you agree with this premise, and down if not. Arguments to the contrary welcomed as answers.

  • Meta.SE these days, and you don't need points there to ask. In any case, this has already been asked (although not as eloquently) and denied. +1 for "floccinaucinihilipilification" though :)
    – rm -rf Mod
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 16:24
  • 1
    my thoughts exactly. It had happened to me quite a few times that I offered advice in comments only to discover later that the same was already said in an answer. Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 21:25
  • @rm-rf thank you for the link and the advice. Well, let us wait and see whether they deny it this time as well, two years later and with (hopefully) better motivation. Incidentally (and this could be a whole other post), I see no reason why the up- and down-vote counts should be hidden from anyone interested. We see that the linked question has -4 net, but not how many for and against. Reserving this information for "privileged" users makes no sense anywhere, and least of all on Metas. Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 0:38
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    @OleksandrR. It doesn't make sense from your POV as a user, but from the POV of a Stack Exchange employee, it makes perfect sense to withhold certain features so that people are motivated to return and "level up" in order to gain them. We might disagree with some of these arbitrary restrictions (and also where the line is drawn), but it's not without its merits. In any case, the up/down vote split is an easy one to bypass since the information is available through the API. Just install this script :)
    – rm -rf Mod
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 9:05

1 Answer 1


I support your argument though I have no ability to implement this change. Due to things like "missing" answers I generally consider the Review view untrustworthy therefore in most cases I pop open a new tab by middle-clicking on the title and taking action from there. This assures me that I am seeing the real version of the thread in question but it also means that the majority of my reviews go uncredited. I am OK with this consequence as review is part of my duty as a community moderator but others may be more motivated to review if reviews are credited and lead to badges etc.

  • 4
    I'm okay with losing the badges as well, in the abstract--badges are of no consequence anyway, in the grander scheme of things. But what is the effort of one SE programmer, versus that of every reviewer on the network who is required to perform extra work ad infinitum due to a self-defeating (and, as you say, untrustworthy) interface? This seems like an easy decision, so I live in hope for an answer that justifies why it has not been implemented. Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 0:50

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