If I find a review that seems to have a lot wrong with it, as in, I want to go through the review line by line and review it as if it had been a question, what action should I take?

  • A downvote is a good start, but it doesn't help explain what's wrong with it.

  • Comments could help in cases where one or two small things are wrong, but are no good for addressing a review with many problems, some of which might need a few lines of code to explain.

  • I could add an answer to the question and talk about all the things that are wrong with the other review, but I wouldn't be reviewing the OP's code, so it would seem out of place.

  • I could create a new question with the bad review as the question and then self-answer it, but it would be separated from the initial Q/A, so people reading the initial Q/A are not likely to see it (including the person who needed the review and the person who gave the bad review), and it probably wouldn't be very useful to anyone who sees it out of context.

Is there any precedent for reviewing reviews? What's the best way to handle it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Feels like this would have been asked before, but my searches didn't turn up anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dagg
    Aug 19, 2014 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


Good question.

The logical progression is as follows:

  1. If the answer is completely off-the-rails and could not be salvaged, down-vote it, flag it as "not an answer", move on. That will put it in the low-quality queue, and the rest of the community can agree, or whatever.

  2. If the answer is technically incorrect, but otherwise is an honest attempt to review, then down-vote, and if you want to be part of the 'salvage crew', then comment, and point out the issues.

  3. If it can be edited to improve the answer, without changing the general meaning, then edit it.

Independently, if you feel you can answer the question in a way that's an improvement on, or supplements other answers, you can always add your own answer to any questions.

Similarly, you can always take any code, adapt it to make it yours (you can't just post someone's code), and post it up for a review. If you do that, it would be courteous to put a reference back to the original source of the code. Code Review has a special tag that is becomming popular too: which is specifically for those times where you see something interesting, and you think you can do it better.

So, there are three independent choices:

  1. deal with the broken answer
  2. deal with the question that could have another answer
  3. create a question if you want some code reviewed.

If you feel inspired, do all the above.


I think that in the situation you described, your best bet would be to write a competing answer, then downvote the bad answer. You may also want to leave a comment pointing out the main inaccuracies, and referring to your own answer.


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