If you go into the "close votes" review queue and either selecting "Leave Open" or "Close" adds a count to the number of reviews you have done in the "close votes" queue. However, if you are viewing a question outside of the queue and vote to close it, this does not add a number to your number of reviews.

I understand how in general this could make sense. If you are not doing things while looking at the queue then what you do won't count towards your numbers in the queue. But it still seems odd to me. For example, if I directly click on a question and see that it already has 3 close votes, I could either vote to close it there (doesn't add to my number in the queue), or I could easily just open up the close votes queue and vote to close it in there (does add to my number in the queue).

So why is it not set up to where close votes count towards the number either way? It seems odd to me that the difference is just in whether or not you cast the vote while in the queue. NOTE: I am asking about this for questions that already have at least one close vote on them. I understand why you wouldn't want to raise the number of reviews for new close votes, as one could just go and vote to close every new question to get their number up.

  • $\begingroup$ It is still counting somewhere, because eventually it won't let you directly vote to close a question, but you seem to be able to exceed the 20 votes in 24 hours. Perhaps you are allowed your quota of votes above 20, and then it shuts you down? $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster Yeah either way you use up the number of close votes you have during the day $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ I suspect the initial idea of the SE was that there are only votes, but no reviews. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ You're not reviewing the question when you are outside the queue, you are instead flagging it. You can see how many votes you've actually cast from the profile page. Click on the "### votes cast" and then select closure (I believe this counts deleted questions as well). $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos Interesting. I figured selecting "flag" was flagging it. You do the same exact thing to vote to close the question whether inside or outside of the queue $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ @aaron I posted the comment as an answer because I think it does answer the question. But I'm using flagging to indicate a further review by >3k rep members, rather than flagging for moderator attention. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:21
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Related on Meta SE: Include reviews made outside of /review in progress towards the badge: status declined. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 2:41
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT. Ah yes. Thanks $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 2:46

2 Answers 2


I think rob's answer provides some insight as to why the review queues exists, but I think the answer to the question is as simple as

"You aren't reviewing the question when you are outside the queue; when you click the "close" button from the post page, you are just voting to close the question, even when there are existing close votes."

So even though the same result occurs (a vote to close), because they were done in different manners they are counted separately. Note that you can view your own total cast vote count from your profile (click on "# votes cast" and then make sure you've got "closure" selected), so the system is still tracking it, even if the review queue isn't.

  • $\begingroup$ Small nitpick, in this case, you're voting to close, not flagging; but it's still not a review. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ You're not flagging it in the sense of moderator attention, but you are flagging it for further review by other >3k members (just that with your own >3k rep, it's attached to a close vote). $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ This still doesn't make sense though. I understand the first close vote " flagging it for further review by other >3k members". But what if I am the second or third vote? That doesn't make it any more flagged than before. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos Not necessarily, it could have votes on it already, it would already be flagged for further review; but because you're just browsing normally it's technically still not "reviewing". I think it really helps to address Aaron's concern too. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ In the moderator flag queue, and presumably also in the review queues, the number and type of flags is used to order the items that are presented. Something with a bunch of flags from different users gets dealt with before something that was just flagged once. So a second or third flag is certainly meaningful. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 0:43
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac fair enough; i've replaced flagging with just VTC. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 10:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm also curious what's to DV here. Is it the usage of "flagging" instead of "VTC"? Or is it that you think the VTC on the post page should be counted towards the /review count? Something else? $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac Strictly speaking, it is a flag; just one that is immediately acted upon by the system (increasing the "close (n)" counter, etc.). Try voting to close a question using the flag menu; you'll find that exactly the same thing occurs. $\endgroup$
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 11:49

There are plenty of questions on the site that could use reviewer input as to whether they should remain open, but they might not attract your attention from any of the question lists.

The purpose of the review queues is to encourage some fraction of our users to occasionally look at a representative sample of questions that are pending closure. Without the review queues, we would have higher-quality curation of the more interesting (or more popular) tags and topics on the site.

For instance, imagine that you're poking around in your favorite tag, . You find an old question that should have been closed right after it was asked, but somehow it was missed at the time and it's several months old. You flag it for closure and move on to other stuff. Without the review queue, you might be the only user on the site who gets that deep in the the backlog before your close vote ages away, and the bad question would stay open. But with the review queue, I'll eventually get shown the bad question you found, even though I usually don't read the questions at all. I may not know very much about death rays in particular, but I can usually tell a good question from a stinker.

That whole process only works if we have reviewers who are willing to spend time going through the queues. Our population of active reviewers is smaller than it might be: there are only a dozen users who have spent any time going through the close queue in the past week. Since it takes five close votes to close a question, an extra person looking at the representative problematic questions in the queue can have a big impact on the curation of the site's questions. An extra person who spends a lot of time in the review queues is especially valuable; that's why we award those people review badges.

  • $\begingroup$ This all makes sense, but I am not questioning the purpose of the review queue or why it is useful for users to go through the queue. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 21:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your question is why only going through the queue makes the number bigger when other "reviews" don't. It's gamification. SE wants people to use the queues, so using the queues is what makes the numbers go up. Then people who like to see the numbers go up will figure out to use the queues. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes this makes sense. But if I am going through questions on my own and happen upon a question that already has close votes on it, why not get "credit" for voting to close it (of course making sure it warrants a close vote first). If my goal is to get that number to go up then of course I will go to the queue since that is the most efficient way for the number to go up. Maybe I should edit my question to be clearer that I am wondering why the number doesn't go up for questions that already have a close vote. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 23:53

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