I developed a tool in Python which has lot of functionalities, among them ways to access review queues.

I have a series of questions that I may ask separately. Here is the first one:

Suppose a post is deleted by reviewers as, for instance, a low quality post. Hours later, my Python tool can let me access that deleted post through the review queue and I can review it even if it is already deleted. This will make it easy to collect badges, for instance.

Is this action allowed or is it considered cheating ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how you could post reviews on deleted questions. Even if you somehow would be able to do so in a magic way, I don't think you would get any badges from it. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Jul 12 '19 at 7:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd oppose any attempt to gamify the system in this manner. What could possibly be your goal with answering deleted questions if there are plenty of non-deleted questions left to answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Jul 12 '19 at 8:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ 1. I did that several times and I still can do it. 2. This contributes to the number of posts I review, consequently this helps to get badges faster. 3. My only question is: is this allowed by the community rules or not ? I read the 'Help center' but can not make my own conclusion on this. \$\endgroup\$ – Billal Begueradj Jul 12 '19 at 8:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you provide an example question where you did that? \$\endgroup\$ – 301_Moved_Permanently Jul 12 '19 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MathiasEttinger Oh, I've suspected him of robo-reviewing before. I'm glad he finally admits. This is somewhat disturbing. \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Jul 12 '19 at 11:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Weren't you banned recently? Did the SE team tell you why? \$\endgroup\$ – Mast Jul 12 '19 at 11:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was banned for one year because of this Python tool. The only real unfair thing is that I always saw other users using their personal tools which do not behave as mine but which have the exact same consequences as my review tool has for all posts that were created up to 3 days before. These users were never banned (I do not want to give names because that is not my goal, but as an experienced user, it is not difficult to find such users everyday) until I got a sudden 1 year ban without any previous warning @Mast \$\endgroup\$ – Billal Begueradj Jul 12 '19 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BillalBegueradj - at the time of your suspension a year ago, we communicated with the SE staff about the issue, and a full audit was done by the SE staff on all review behaviour. Your activity was orders of magnitude greater than anyone else's, and the decision was easy. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Jul 12 '19 at 17:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ I want to reiterate, that getting a tool to run through previous posts, and create automated activity with the sole purpose (presumably) of getting a badge, seems like an interesting challenge to do once, but it adds no value to the site, it gives you an empty victory, and it reduces the value of other people's efforts. If you want to claim to have written a cool tool, then do so, but trying to claim that you have earned a badge for reviews based on it just feels like you are cheating yourself more than others. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Jul 12 '19 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Finally, addressing the "without any warning" comment, you were warned, in the terms of service. Additionally, you were given the opportunity to communicate with us during the whole suspension you had, and you chose not to do that. If you had asked to be reinstated, agreeing to modified behaviour, you would have been. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Jul 12 '19 at 17:29

It is considered cheating, and is considered abusive to the system, and violates the terms of service (disruptions and exploits).

Note that the way you describe your tool is also misleading .... You say: "Hours later, my Python tool can let me access that deleted post..." but that is not the whole story.

Years later your tool is "reviewing" posts that have gone through the queue. We have evidence that shows posts that NEVER entered a review queue are getting "reviews" from your tool.

For example, 22 hours ago "you" "reviewed" a post that was created more than 6 years ago, and it went in to the first post review queue, but somehow you put a close-review in earlier.....

Further, when your account was suspended (a year ago) you were informed of why it was suspended.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks. Indeed, my tool can review very old posts which were already reviewed. As you know, on each queue, a post can be reviewed only for a certain number of times: for example, a late answer can be reviewed only once as a late answer and only once as a first post: what if my tool goes to the *late answers queue and reviews the late answer once more: is this functionality also to avoid? \$\endgroup\$ – Billal Begueradj Jul 12 '19 at 15:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BillalBegueradj if you are circumventing the processes that are currently in place, on purpose, you are breaking the rules of Stack Exchange. no matter how you spin it, if you circumvent or go around logic of the site on purpose, it is essentially hacking. you have already agreed not to do this by using the site. \$\endgroup\$ – Malachi Jul 12 '19 at 17:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, fair enough, thanks @Malachi \$\endgroup\$ – Billal Begueradj Jul 12 '19 at 18:26

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