I ran across this answer in the Late Answers queue (review link). The answer was posted 6 years, 8 months ago! The user that posted it is by no means new; this is his only answer and his account is the same age.

Why did this answer by a not-new user appear in the Late Answer queue, where only new user's answers to old questions belong?

The review:

enter image description here

The "new" old user:

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Per this MSE, posts are enqueued into Late Answers if they were posted more than 30 days after the question and their owners have less than 50 reputation. This was not always the case; originally the rep threshold was 10 points. Here's what I think happened:

  1. The new user posts the answer several months after the question was created
  2. It swiftly receives an upvote (see timeline), putting the user at 11 rep, above the old 10 mark
  3. The answer accumulates four more votes, eventually putting the user at 51 rep
  4. The Late Answers owner reputation cutoff is changed to 50 points
  5. A user who voted for that answer gets deleted, removing 10 points from the post owner
  6. The system notices that the post qualifies for Late Answers but hasn't yet been reviewed there

The vote count of 5 in your screenshots seems to have been cached — I clicked to see the vote split and now it says 4. This and the user's rep graph made me suspect voter user deletion, since the post has never been edited.

  • Can confirm that the user has recently lost 10 rep due to user deletion. This would have suddenly put the user below the 50 rep threshold that would keep them out of the queue as described. They've been at 51 rep since Feb 2014 and just went down to 41 a few hours ago.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 17:36
  • 3
    This is some impressive detective work! :-)
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 21:23
  • 1
    I did not know that the Late Answer queue defined a new user based on rep rather than account age. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 2:20
  • Thanks for explaining that.
    – Blackwood
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 2:51

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