I was reviewing questions from new users.

So, I got well known, one time Stack Exchange network hot question about broken RJ-45 plug presented to me as question from new user. My instant though was - this is duplicate! I even was surprised that this new person put exactly same picture in his question. Without even thinking I pressed flag to attract moderator's attention.

Well, after that a banner appeared informing me that I need to stop and listen and that my review was inappropriate.

I know it was high quality question and I would accept it otherwise if it would not be a duplicate.

What is correct way of handling these questions?

Should this testing behavior be fixed and allow reviewer to mark it as duplicate and pass the test?


There are share, edit and flag options available to me.

Here is a screenshot of what I see when I review questions:


  • wasn't there an option to close?
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 17:47
  • No. Look at my edit
    – VL-80
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 17:51
  • 1
    The correct action for an obviously good question would be to select No Action Needed. I don't know whether the audit presents the question with score 0. In that case, it'd look like a duplicate if you know it's much more popular than that.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 17:54
  • @Sathya Nikolay has <3k reputation, so flagging is probably the only option.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 17:57
  • @DanielBeck yeah, but I thought the flag option would probably bring up the vote to close dialog as it does on questions..
    – Sathyajith Bhat Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 17:58
  • @Sathya See my first comment. Here's the audit, it's the same question and there's nothing wrong with it. But in case the audit screen changes information like score it'd appear as a different question.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:02
  • Exactly - For me it was presented like a new question with zero upvotes, from user with 1 reputation, created couple of hours ago.
    – VL-80
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 18:05
  • IT does appear as score 0. It also shows up as being posted by a new user.
    – gparyani
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


This isn't really a bug, the system is doing exactly what it's been programmed to do - pick what it thinks is a high quality post based on criteria and then expect you to take a certain action. "No Action Needed" was what it was expecting, it's not smart enough to know that you thought it could be a duplicate.

These are designed to stop robots from going through the motions in order to earn a badge, don't sweat the occasional fluke. If you were certain this was a duplicate, then flagging would have been the appropriate course of action. You were paying attention, which is all that matters.

We're not going to put a whole lot more work into making these more intelligent because they're inconsequential to people that are actually using the system as intended, along with being extremely effective at slowing down people that are going through motions to get a badge. There's no permanent record, there's no black mark - there's nothing to worry about if you trip one just because you didn't take the action its feeble brain expected you to take.

Don't sweat it :)

  • Is there any recourse in case you do happen to get banned from an incident like this?
    – gparyani
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 7:59

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