Today, the system threw this audit my way: https://superuser.com/review/first-posts/626893

My first instinct was flagging it as "Low Quality". But the "Low Quality" flag was not even in the list. (This is an issue I am noticing a lot lately: I don't have access to "Low Quality" flag most of the times. Only rarely.) Downvoting was my second thought. But the voting arrows were not visible.

Naturally, I chose "No action needed" and failed the test.

What gives? Is this SuperUser's version of Kobayashi Maru?

  • 1
    I believe that attempting to leave a comment, editing, or upvoting the existing comment would have passed the audit. In the first posts queue you are looking at telling the user what they can improve. Flags are suppressed depending on which queue you are in.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 8:25
  • There was no existing comment. (Your comment was not visible.) And I had no idea what I could possibly do with an edit. Low Quality flag seemed like the most logical choice. As for your comment, did you copy and paste it from somewhere?
    – user477799
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 8:30
  • Ah, never too sure when comments are shown or not in audits... Adding a comment would probably have done it. I often use canned comments from review or a Greasemonkey add-on called SEreviewcomments, but that one looks a bit different. Probably partly copy paste and partly my words, can't say for certain though...
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 8:38
  • To me, Low Quality means the post is unsalvageable and should be outright deleted. But the answer seems to be helpful nonetheless. Couldn't you have downvoted the post, and left a comment to the author, asking them to improve it? Certainly, they could explain what changes are needed, exactly.
    – slhck
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 8:38
  • @slhck Like I said, the up and down arrows were not visible. As for commenting... well, the spilled milk adage! And no, the answer is total garbage.
    – user477799
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 9:30
  • Deleting and converting it to a comment is probably the better option… maybe I'd have given the user a chance to fix the post. Now, looking at the question for context, I tend to agree that there's more to a helpful answer than “look at this guide and change your settings”.
    – slhck
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 11:15
  • @slhck - The answer was deleted so the community already determined it wasn't helpful. I see nothing salvageable in that answer.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 12:50
  • @FleetCommand - In the future you can always verify the answer actually exists. This one does not, which means, the community deleted it. Which explains the reason "taking no action" failed the audit.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 12:50
  • 1
    @Ramhound The answer could have been salvaged, had the user been given the option to improve their post. Clearly they had an idea how to solve the issue—it just wasn't communicated very well.
    – slhck
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 14:03
  • @slhck I beg to differ. The answer didn't even introduce a link in which the answer was. The OP had a Windows problem; that "answer" pointed to an installation guide for Ubuntu that couldn't be carried out on Windows. And it was the distinction between Windows and Ubuntu that had brought the OP here.
    – user477799
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 19:56
  • 2
    @FleetCommand, the focus of the First Posts review is the user, not the post. The whole purpose is to help educate new users and get them up to speed rather than to clean up bad posts. Whatever you see as the problem with the post, even if it is total trash, the benefit of the review comes from explaining that to the user. If they learn what's good and bad and why, their future posts will be better. If you don't feel like dealing with a particular post, you can skip it. If it happens to be an audit, that just bypasses it.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 6:26
  • I already mentioned that, considering the context, the answer is obviously not that helpful. But: there's no way to identify these problems when just looking at the answer without the question. The First Posts queue is not about judging the technical merits of those posts, but about their form.
    – slhck
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 10:44
  • @slhck - Which is the reason you should also view the question (IMO) when doing a review. It might be cheating in the sense, thats the one way way, to determine if your looking at an audit.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


The "First Posts" queue is all about helping a new user see how things work here. As such there are only really 3 options for outcomes:

  1. The answer is great and has no issues at all:
    • No Action Needed
  2. There are some content or formatting issues:
    • edit it
  3. There are major issues with the answer or the user is doing something wrong:
    • leave a comment telling the user what is wrong

Higher rep users have a 4th option.

  1. I hate every possible thing about this and want it to die in the pits of Hull
    • vote to delete the post.

In this case the answer needed something done to it. Ether the cryptic phrase "restart server after change in setting.py" needed explaining or the contents of the link needed to be used to support a proper answer. Either doing the edit or asking the user to do it would have probably passed the review.

There's no point in flagging as low quality in the first posts queue as you are not telling the user what the problem with their post is.

Each review queue has a philosophy, which can be gleaned by looking at what powers you have available in each queue.

The site isn't just about making good stuff and weeding out the bad, we educate people. Sometimes education isn't just about taking their bad stuff away, it's about telling them why it is bad.

  • The answer was total garbage. It was the kind of forced responses that extremely puzzled tech support agents give because they are obliged to answer. Only this time, there was nothing forcing that response. The OP had a Windows problem; that "answer" pointed to an installation guide for Ubuntu that couldn't be carried out on Windows. And it was the distinction between Windows and Ubuntu that had brought the OP here.
    – user477799
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 20:00
  • Then pointing that out to the poster would have helped the original question askee, the person who mistakenly posted a wrong answer and future visitors. In the queues (and site in general) you need to take the approach that you are not the sole proprietor of all that is correct, educate people when they are wrong, don't just spank them for it or simply ignore it either. If you'd have said anything along the lines of what you just mentioned then you would have passed the audit. I'm not disagreeing that the answer was bad, it was, I'm saying that there was something you could have done.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 23:21
  • @FleetCommand - So if it was total garbage, you shouldn't have selected, "take no action" but either skipped it or left a comment. Most of the times, when its an audit, you will actually be told "this is an audit" when you submit a comment :$
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 23:32
  • @Ramhound Normally that's in the Low Quality Posts review queue that you are told "this is an audit". In First Posts and Late Answers, submitting a comment will pass the audit saying something like "Congratulations! This was a test. The post has already been deleted but thanks for considering to leave feedback to the author". At least that's the way it works on Stack Overflow. I don't have enough reputation to review on Super User yet, but I don't see why it would be different. Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 16:57

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