While going through the review today I found a question first posted over two years ago being reviewed and an answer to a question that, I believe, had been reviewed previously.

The question is What would the Universe be like if gravity was slightly stronger?

The answer was posted by MrNemo to this question Fabric in a waterless world

Now my question has nothing to do with the quality of either question or answer, it is concerned with the number of times questions and answers can be reviewed. (I have my own views on their quality, but that is mainly beside the point.) The danger or risk factor is that eventually any and every question / answer can be closed especially if the culture of Worldbuilding SE changes over time. This could result questions / answers being acceptable at one point in time and not acceptable at another.

Potentially the good posts of yesteryear could be overturned and deleted by WBers with a different worldview. This doesn't suggest that the good questions of the past were exemplary, they might not be, or the judgements of newer WBers might be better than their predecessors, again they might not.

Since at any time it only takes a handful of voters to close posts. So by chance alone good posts can closed. Admittedly the capacity to reopen posts does exist. But this is not exercised to the same degree as reviews to vote to close.

What I am highlighting is what I perceive as system weakness, not a major one, but a weakness (yes, that does mean a risk factor) none the same. I do not have any proposed remedies to this issue, and would welcome any suggestions, however, I do acknowledge setting limits to the number of reviews of posts could lead to bad posts becoming entrenched (although I suspect to a lesser degree than with excessive reviewing). perhaps there should be a flag that warns this post has been reviewed before and it should be reviewed carefully on this occasion.

  • $\begingroup$ Personally, my default attitude is to reject review actions on posts more than six months old. I still conduct a proper review, I'm simply much less likely to further the action. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Apr 26, 2017 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ I put the first question up for review, and I did it because of this question: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/79180/… The second question is very similar, almost to the point of being a duplicate, and way too broad. For consistency, I thought we should review the first one as well (and one more I also flagged). You are right, I don't think we should review things more than once, or review older questions, but these two were so close that it seemed like a special case. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Apr 26, 2017 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


This could result questions / answers being acceptable at one point in time and not acceptable at another.

That is a real issue on the flagship SO site. Even if I do dilligence and find similar questions, I can't consider that to be precedent. They say that just because it was on-topic then doesn’t mean it’s on-topic now, as the policy evolves; or they say that just because those questions slipped by doesn’t mean that it’s not off topic.

If “closed” reflected current policy, it would be easier. Many questions from the first year are not good by the standards that emerged. The very reasons for closing have changed over time.

  • $\begingroup$ Possibly I look at things differently having worked in the legal area where consistency and precedent are the gold standard. I can accept that on-topic posts in the past would be off-topic today. I'm happy to allow older posts to persist, it's when they're being reviewed by today's standards. Ultimately, if that goes on, everything and anything might be off-topic at some stage. Fade to maximum entropy. Perhaps a limit might be set. No more reviews of posts than x or after this lapse of time. Perhaps. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Apr 26, 2017 at 6:30

The question went through the review queue only once, when somebody cast a close vote on it a couple hours ago.

The answer was in the First Posts review queue when it was posted, and later went through the Low Quality review queue. That sometimes happens; those are different queues.

A post only goes through the Low Quality review queue once (subsequent flags go straight to moderators), but a question can go through the Close and Reopen queues more than once. It only re-enters one of those queues if all votes that were in place when it entered the previous review have expired. (Close/reopen votes don't expire when the review ends; they hang around until they start to decay.) So we won't see rapid-fire close-reopen-close-reopen reviews of the same question, but an old question can newly show up in the queue.

  • $\begingroup$ If posts only go through any one review queue once, that would resolve part of my question. A limit to the number of reviews, in any review category, would be set. The other issue about older questions could remain open. I appreciate finding the documentation may be difficult. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Apr 27, 2017 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ @a4android haven't found it yet, so I've asked on M.SE. $\endgroup$ Apr 27, 2017 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for keeping me up to date. I didn't expect it would be easy. I've had too much experience trying to find the right document. There seems to be a law of nature that always makes this harder than makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Apr 28, 2017 at 4:07

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