Because of a comment I recently had a look at some FAQs in the "help" section and stumbled upon this post about review suspensions. It states the following:

Review suspensions are not penalties, but temporary holds on your reviewing privilege. The purpose of this is to give you time to learn more about how to review correctly. Poor reviews negatively affect the community and the site’s content. If you take incorrect action on multiple tasks, your reviewing privilege may be temporarily suspended and you won’t have access to the Review Queues during this time period.

So I wonder what constitutes a "poor review" that would end up getting a user suspended from reviewing. From how I understand reviewing, is is quite often subjective (IMO) and I would not necessarily consider someone who votes differently from myself to have voted wrong or to have poorly reviewed. Because very often, voting is not straightforward and opinion based, or hinging on small details. Also, in the overwhelming majority of voting, voters just use a preexisting voting button, making it hard to judge if someone just has a different opinion than other voters or if they really don't know what they are doing or being destructive on purpose.

So I am seriously interested in what makes a review a poor one and how this is judged. To me this feels like almost impossible to do. Or is this a remnant from earlier times and not really enforced anymore?


1 Answer 1


Review suspensions on this site are handed out manually by moderators. On other Stack Exchange sites, they can also be done automatically via review audits.

Review suspensions are usually issued for things like:

  • not reviewing blatant spam negatively,
  • accepting destructive edits,
  • systematically one-sided decisions, such as voting to leave open every question in the close queue because you think that closing questions is inherently wrong,
  • “robo-reviewing”, i.e., going through the queues as quickly as technically possibly to earn some badge or whatever,
  • consistently leaving misleading canned comments (from the low-quality queue), e.g., suggesting that questions posted as answers should be posted as comments.

So, it’s nothing that I would consider very subjective. If you review honestly and diligently, there is little chance you will even get near a review ban.

Fortunately, we rarely need to review-ban users on this site, but it does happen. By the way: If you suspect any bad review patterns, please feel free to cast a custom flag (on any related post).

  • Regarding the first case, is R/A flag considered spam flag? For example, there was a post I raised R/A flag because it was Chat-GPT-sh. Then the OP added spam link. I could not retract the flag because both spam and R/A flags are red flags. So, did my action fall into the first case in your answer ?
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 9:26
  • 3
    Also, we had a weird case today that a user sent an answer which looked spammy, but no spam link. Later, the user added spam link in the comment section, it became an obvious spam. What action should I take when I reviewed it before the user added the comment ? What would the mods do if I gave it "Looks OK" ?
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 9:32
  • 1
    @Nobody: I don’t think any moderator would even consider review-suspending you for any of this. What you shouldn’t do is choose Looks OK for something that is obviously spam, gibberish, or blatantly off scope at the moment you are making this choice.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 10:55
  • Got it. I think your keyword is "at the moment". Thanks.
    – Nobody
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 11:00
  • Thank you for the detailed answer! And just to clarify, I didnt really feel in danger of being blocked for doing a poor job at reviewing, just genuinely curious.
    – Sursula
    Commented Sep 13, 2023 at 6:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .