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There have been some discussions on this site over the years about handling the review queues. I think the general view amongst the small number of people who regularly visit this site was that we should try to let community members handle the queues and only call on our diamond moderators if the votes were in danger of being aged away. This question is relevant to the discussion ¿Sobre qué elementos de revisión debemos evitar los mods ejercer el "binding vote"?

After the recent appointment of two more moderators the situation is slightly different (1) a community member who was active in the queues now has a diamond so reducing the number of rank-and-file members reviewing (2) the burden on the original lone mod is now reduced so arguments about saving him are less cogent. So do we still believe we should ask the moderators to hold off until posts are in danger of ageing off the queue or do we now feel we are not going to ever find five voters from the community so we should, in an extreme scenario, leave it all to the mods?

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  • While this question has value (although it may be too soon to know yet) another question that you may want to ask is if we need to adjust their behavior to accomplish something. We used to avoid binding votes not only to avoid unilateral decision, but also to foster people participating in the reviews and training them. I don't think this question can be answered until we understand the new pattern (unless you want to hear from each mod how much they plan to participate in reviews or you want to ask them to do X so we accomplish Y - resolving faster, more participation, or something else). – Diego Oct 27 '20 at 11:21
  • @Diego I think my assumption is that we avoid binding votes to avoid unilateral decisions. I can see your point about fostering participation though. When you say I should consider another question do you mean ask a completely separate question or edit this one and expand it? – mdewey Oct 27 '20 at 15:56
  • Probably both. You asked this question to learn how the changes in the mod team will affect the review process. So far I think that you only got a partial answer (meaning, from one mod). I would edit this question with an addendum to clarify that you want/need to learn how the mods plan to exercise their binding vote. They may have an opinion as individuals or as a team. Once you know what mods think they should do, you can assess or discuss the impact of their policy and if they should do differently and why, depending on what you or the community wants to avoid, foster or accomplish – Diego Oct 27 '20 at 20:03
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I am happy that you ask this question, because I myself (as an affected party) have wondered about this lately. Here is what I have been doing during my first few days as a moderator.

  • I try to avoid performing binding actions on the review queues. That means: no "Close", no "Leave Open", no "Leave Closed", no "Reopen", no "Delete", as these actions remove the item from the review queues when they are performed by a moderator, but not when they are performed by a non-mod user (source). I have been, however, closing some blatantly off-topic questions like this and this.

Note: we have asked to lower the "Close" and "Reopen" vote threshold to three (meaning that it would take three close/reopen votes to close/reopen a question), and it seems that SE might test this on our site in November. This might need to be taken into account when deciding our policy.

  • I have been doing "First Posts" and "Late Answers" reviews normally. This is because a moderator action on these queues is as binding as an action from a non-mod user, i.e., one single action form any user (upvote, downvote, edit, comment, "no action needed") removes the post from the queue.

  • I have not come across any "Suggested edits" since I became a mod. Here I am not sure how to proceed: it is true that "Approve" or "Reject" require one vote from mods and two votes from non-mods, but it is also true that any user can single-handedly approve or reject an edit by selecting "Improve Edit" or "Reject and Edit" respectively. So I guess I would not do much harm if I click "Approve" or "Reject" in this queue.

I hope to hear feedback from the community on whether this is fine or whether it is desired that we (moderators) handle review queues differently.

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    @Glorfindel sería bueno que aclararais el uso de la cola de revisión entre moderadores, porque estás invalidando muchos elementos. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Oct 26 '20 at 13:59
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    @fedorqui'SOstopharming' I agree with this answer; I intend to use binding moderator votes only for the most obvious cases, especially since I'm not as experienced here as the average reviewer. There even are a few tricks, such as flagging as VLQ / NAA, to 'delegate' deletion decisions as a moderator to the community. – Glorfindel Oct 27 '20 at 19:37
  • FYI, I'm planning to do most communication here in Spanish; for example, I still owe the community a presentation post, but it takes a long time to draft such a long post in Spanish. I'm using English now since you're way better at English than I am at Spanish :) – Glorfindel Oct 27 '20 at 19:38
  • @wimi. Can you clarify what happens next in regards to close/reopen? So it seems that now we finally got implemented something we requested 10 months ago when we had only one mod and a problem in the queues. Even if we just increased the mod team (so flags don't get unattended), considering that in that discussion the proposal to let the mods participate in the queue (and use the binding vote instead of lowering the threshold) was the less supported one, don't we have a clear policy? We need to discuss/vote something again? It's unclear to me what you're saying that will/needs to happen now – Diego Oct 30 '20 at 19:00
  • @Diego well, I clarified what I am doing: I actually have not reviewed any close/reopen votes since I am a mod (19 Oct): see review history. I did close two blatantly off-topic questions when bumping into them: I personally think that a question asking for relationship advice should be closed as soon as possible, as we shouldn't look like we are that kind of site. I will continue to stay away from the close/reopen review queues, and if my closing that question was something I should not have done, I won't use a binding close vote again. – wimi Oct 30 '20 at 21:33
  • @Diego Was the three-close-vote threshold implemented? I did not see that announced anywhere... The last close-vote review has been in the queue for more than a week... – wimi Oct 30 '20 at 21:35
  • @Diego I think what "needs to happen now" is nothing: when the three-close-vote threshold is implemented, close-worthy questions will get closed quickly enough and there will be no problems. – wimi Oct 30 '20 at 21:41
  • @wimi Maybe I didn't explain myself well or I didn't understand your update to the post? I did read your post. You mention a discussion about the policy, so I asked for clarification. You mentioned the vote threshold and then you said This might need to be taken into account when deciding our policy. So I asked to know what is what we are doing or needs to happen about this discussion. Also I read that you said "might get implemented". Why do you ask me if it has been implemented? I asked in good faith in regards of this topic & the OP's question. I wasn't trying to taunt or criticize you. – Diego Oct 31 '20 at 1:40
  • And I'll stress that I wasn't criticizing you (or any mods) bc the overall tone, you explaining to me why you closed a blatantly off-topic question and how you responded leads me to believe that you were thinking my comment had a different purpose, like, scolding you, questioning your actions or telling you want (not) to do. I mentioned the outcome of a meta discussion you linked (in which, btw, I stated that I'm in for the mods using their binding vote). I don't think that I have a reputation for giving harsh feedback to newcomers to the site, or newcomers to a new job/responsibility either. – Diego Oct 31 '20 at 1:54
  • @Diego I read your "it seems that now we finally got implemented something we requested 10 months ago" and I thought you might have seen some news that I didn't see, that is why I asked. It does sometimes happen that changes are announced in obscure places... Or were you not referring to the three-vote threshold? – wimi Oct 31 '20 at 8:26
  • I guess I did interpret part of your comment as criticism,particularly this part: "the proposal to let the mods participate in the queue (and use the binding vote instead of lowering the threshold) was the less supported one, don't we have a clear policy? We need to discuss/vote something again?" that's why I may have written in a somewhat defensive way. But if it was not criticism, then great, and sorry about the defensive reaction. In any case, my opinion is that things in the review queues are working fine... – wimi Oct 31 '20 at 8:29
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    I also appreciate you explaining how you are handling the queues now as a moderator. What I guess @Diego (and also me, and of course mdewey as OP) would like to know is what are the members of the moderator team going to do with regards of this topic. mdewey provided a link to a previous question, where this was discussed and it came from a previous Q&A where there was more debate. Of course this does not need to be an immediate decision, and CV may decrease to 3 soon, but would be good to have some kind of "team decision". – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Nov 2 '20 at 6:42
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    @fedorqui'SOstopharming' I'm sorry for commenting this late, but I also agree with what wimi said. This is basically what I have been doing the last year, leave the review queues for the standard users and attend only the most flagrant cases. Only sometimes I execute a binding vote if I see that a post has earned some close votes and mine would the last one, so it's not really a binding vote. Nonetheless, I think mdewey's question was more addressed to standard users: what do you want us to do? Hold off to leave moderation up to everyone? Or execute more binding votes? – Charlie Nov 3 '20 at 13:26
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    @wimi esa frase iba por el "this might need to be taken into account when deciding our policy" que pesaba que se refería a revisar esa policy de los binding votes en los close/reopen, ya que pensaba que ese "this" se refería a q quizá finalmente se implementaría lo del nuevo threshold. No sé ya qué policy hay/habría que decidir. Tampoco sé cuál es el alcance de esta pregunta (hice una sugerencia al OP hace tiempo en un comentario). Yo no estoy sacando mucho en claro de todo esto. Yo seguiré haciendo lo que crea necesario en las colas y como dije, los mods deberían poder hacerlo también – Diego Nov 4 '20 at 3:39
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Now that all three current moderators have indicated that they feel that the current policy is the same as before I think we should wait until after the system change to 3 votes to close being necessary rather than 5 and then see what effect that has on the queues. Then we will know whether we need to propose any changes in policy. That would need a different question with a different emphasis.

I am posting this as an answer rather than a comment so people can agree or disagree with it easily.

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    Yo no voy a dejar el -1, pero estoy un poco en desacuerdo porque en todas estas discusiones no queda claro qué "policy" se discute. Por un lado tenemos el de bajar el threshold a 3 votos (que ha quedado claro que es muy difícil para la comunidad actuar para modificar esta medida en un sentido y otro) y por el otro el del "binding vote". Lo que propones tiene sentido, pero parece que la primera no es discutible y la segunda sí? Entendemos que la política del Binding Vote sirve para ajustar o complementar la del threshold? Sí estoy de acuerdo en ver si la primera sirve para lo que pensábamos. – Diego Nov 6 '20 at 23:36
  • I think the lack of clarity in my answer and in the original question accurately reflects a lack of clarity in my mind about this. I will leave the discussion there, perhaps to re-start another time. – mdewey Nov 11 '20 at 16:45
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    Pues puede ser. Creo que el título de la pregunta ("qué efecto tiene...") y el cuerpo de las misma ("cuál de estas opciones debemos tomar ahora que hay 3 mods") aunque relacionados, piden conocer o discutir dos cosas distintas (de ahí mis comentarios a la pregunta). Para mi habría sido interesante conocer la situación actual de las colas y con ella tomar nuevas decisiones. Especialmente viendo que Can we get the close and reopen voting thresholds lowered to 3? va camino de cumplir 1 año y parece que todavía no sabemos cuándo se implementará – Diego Nov 11 '20 at 19:30
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    @Diego dicen los CM que lo harán este trimestre Q4 de 2020. También a mí me ha resultado confuso este hilo que al final ha quedado algo así como en nada. En cualquier caso, y dado que el cambio parece inminente, también creo válido esperar a que se implemente y luego ver qué tal se gestiona. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Nov 12 '20 at 14:48

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