If you see a few comments engaged in a pointless discussion and try to flag them in a quick succession, you'll notice that the system will slow you down: you are compelled to wait 5 seconds before you can flag another comment. I imagine that it is not casual and suppose you agree that it is a wise precaution, to prevent anyone from carelessly flagging comments.
But you can easily verify that there is no restriction if you up/down vote questions or answers without even reading them (or if you vote to close a question). If this policy is not casual, it is contradictory and inexplicable.
- 1) Can anyone explain why the software is structured in this manner?
- 2) do you think this restricting policy should be extended?
But the purpose of this post is to draw your attention to another problem: Careless serial voting in review tasks
I have been monitoring the review queues for a couple of weeks and here are some facts: when you complete a review
- the page goes blank for a [couple of] seconds (1s), when you click the close button ([1+]1 s)
you are offered a choice of 5 options ([1+1+]1 s).
a) If you click duplicate you are offered one [choice of many] similar question you must read in order to decide if it is a duplicate ([1+1+1+]3 = 6 sec)
b) If you click the off-topic button you are offered another choice of 5 options ([1+1+1+]1 = 4s) (and if you chose the another site button you are offered another choice (+1 = 5 sec)
- then you have to click vote to close (+ 1 sec)
I have considered excellent reflexes and eyesight and the shortest time possible, which is on average 7 seconds per question, just for the mere concrete technical/manual operations.
I have monitored the close review queue for a while and cast myself some 250 votes, and I have registered that quite often members vote several questions in the same minute (I imagine the recording log-system is accurate). Just to cite a recent example, 3 days ago (Jan 22) one member voted to close 7 questions in a row in one minute or so, and 19h ago cast up to 8 close-votes in a row: I couldn't check if also those were voted in one minute or so, but probably some of you can. You can also see there that over 95% of votes are close/leave closed votes, which is really a huge merciless percentage.
Now, subtracting (7* 6/7 sec) 36/49 seconds to one (or even 2 minutes) we realize that it is not possible to read 7 questions with enough care to decide if it is unclear, duplicate or off-topic. All those reviews had one or more contrary votes and in one case the vote was by John Rennie. The issue becomes even more serious when a question is judged as unclear, because I have personally ascertained that over 50% of those questions are clear enough if you take the trouble to read them carefully for a few minutes or to correct the faulty grammar.
This question is an eloquent example: even if you are an expert, it takes a few minutes to read it properly and control the equations. BrandonEnright, ACuriousMind,JamaIS were the first to review it and voted to close it as it had not shown some effort, RobJeffries was more careful and voted to leave-open, Fibonatic was conscientious, read the post carefully, checked the equations, found a mistake, signalled it to OP and rightfully concluded that the question should not be closed. An hour later PranavHosnagadi arrives, ignores Fibonatic's comment, hastily reads the post and determines its definitive closure. OP is comprehensibly disappointed and comments:
The reason for this being put on hold isn't valid in my opinion. I believe I showed considerable effort, and I asked for a critique of my approach and possible other approaches. – Arturo Don Juan
Having one's question closed is always a humiliating/shocking experience for a newcomer, some are frustrated, some outraged, but very few know how to react or that they can post a question at Meta.
Whenever I offered a sensible solution to a concrete problem in the past I have been showered with downvotes, this time I ask you a very simple question:
- 3) Do you think we are being nice/fair to newcomers?
- 4) do you think we should do something to be more considerate and respectful to students, and at least try to prevent careless, irresponsible voting to close?
over 5 700 questions have been closed, and over 750 of them have more than 2 upvotes
There is one member that has cast over 4200 votes only in the close queue (over 10,000 in total), if he had taken an average of 5 mins to examine and assess posts in a scrupulous manner he should have spent some 350 hours. (850 in total, which makes over 100 days working 9 to 5 without a coffee-break).