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I have received an notification on scifi Stack Exchange demanding me to "review" what was labelled as a "first post". What I saw was a question I have found to be mostly incomprehensible with no votes and only one comment. Why exactly am I asked to do that? I never signed up for this, nor am I qualified to do so - my grasp of English is rudimentary at best.

I didn't respond to it, unsure of what am I demanded to do, and the review disappeared while the point score on the top that I have appeared to have lowered. Will my point score get gutted into oblivion and my account get locked up if I don't respond? Am I blocking new questions from appearing through inaction?

I've seen some long-winded answers, such as here: What is a review in Science Fiction and Fantasy? (Well, the answer itself is not long-winded, but the first link is) but surely reading ~2k word post with dozens of links for further reading isn't required to use the website?

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Why exactly am I asked to do that?

You're seeing the queue and being asked to review new questions because you have more the 500 rep. After 500 rep there is an assumption that you would have a firm grasp on how the site operates, and what to do/what not to do, and so be able to review a new users question to see if it fits in with the site.

What are the consequences for ignoring the task?

There are no consequences. I'm not entirely sure what happens behind the scenes, but if you don't review the item then someone else grabs it from the queue instead.

Will my point score get gutted into oblivion and my account get locked up if I don't respond?

No. You don't need to complete any review if you don't want to. There are no negative consequences to not reviewing. You won't lose reputation (points).

Am I blocking new questions from appearing through inaction?

No, the question has been asked, and can be viewed by everyone. The review is something that happens only after the question/answer has been posted.


If you don't want to review a question, then you don't have to. You are under no obligation to review anything, ask anything, answer anything, reply to anyone, etc etc, if you don't want to.

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The other answer does a good job of covering this in the basics and I don't want to repeat that information here but it has missed a couple of points that are worth mentioning.

The notification that you saw, red or grey dot in the top bar over the review button, only shows up in specific circumstances. These are explained on this main meta post (there might have been tweaks to the numbers since then) but the TL;DR is that when a specific review has >N items in it and/or you haven't visited /review in a while.

To expand a bit further on why you was asked to review as your rep hits certain milestones you unlock different privileges. In this case 500 rep gives access review queues which gives you access to the First Posts and Late Answers queues. The post you linked links to a good guide on reviewing in these queues. These are actually quite important queues because they are there to help guide new users first using the site. There is no requirement to read any guides on using the queues of course but it does help to have some idea of what is to be done in them.

You also mentioned you appeared to have lost some rep for not reviewing the First Post. This isn't the case and you either misremembered your rep or some other action has lowered it. You can go to your profile page for rep changes and it will show any negative changes recently such as down votes on your posts or cast by you. (Negative changes are only shown to you and moderators).

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