It's New Year's Day in Stack Exchange land...

A distinguishing characteristic of these sites is how they are moderated:

We designed the Stack Exchange network engine to be mostly self-regulating, in that we amortize the overall moderation cost of the system across thousands of teeny-tiny slices of effort contributed by regular, everyday users.
-- A Theory of Moderation

While there certainly are Moderators here, a significant amount of the moderation is done by ordinary people, using the privileges they've earned by virtue of their contributions to the site. Each of you contributes a little bit of time and effort, and together you accomplish much.

As we enter a new year, let's pause and reflect, taking a moment to appreciate the work that we do here together. And what could be more festive than a big pile of numbers? So here is a breakdown of moderation actions performed on Music Fans over the past 12 months:

                  Action                  Moderators Community¹
----------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                   2          6
Users destroyed³                                   5          0
Users contacted                                    3          0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue             65        456
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue                 2         14
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue          11        215
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue                 4        147
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue                  9        613
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue                99        382
Tags merged                                        1          0
Tag synonyms proposed                              4          2
Tag synonyms created                               6          0
Questions reopened                                 4          0
Questions protected                                1         24
Questions flagged⁵                                 0        207
Questions closed                                 166         10
Question flags handled⁵                           90        119
Posts unlocked                                     0          2
Posts undeleted                                    5          9
Posts locked                                       2         15
Posts deleted⁶                                   223        494
Posts bumped                                       0        133
Escalations to the Community Manager team          1          0
Comments undeleted                                 3          0
Comments flagged                                   5        415
Comments deleted⁷                                357        482
Comment flags handled                            262        139
Answers flagged                                    5        520
Answer flags handled                             413        120


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Music Fans without diamonds next to their names, and to the automated systems otherwise known as user #-1.

² The system will suspend users under three circumstances: when a user is recreated after being previously suspended, when a user is recreated after being destroyed for spam or abuse, and when a network-wide suspension is in effect on an account.

³ A "destroyed" user is deleted along with all that they had posted: questions, answers, comments. Generally used as an expedient way of getting rid of spam.

⁴ This counts every review that was submitted (not skipped) - so the 2 suggested edits reviews needed to approve an edit would count as 2, the goal being to indicate the frequency of moderation actions. This also applies to flags, etc.

⁵ Includes close flags (but not close or reopen votes).

⁶ This ignores numerous deletions that happen automatically in response to some other action.

⁷ This includes comments deleted by their own authors (which also account for some number of handled comment flags).

Further reading:

Wishing you all a happy new year...


One happy improvement is that there has been a clear increase in the amount of moderation activity, especially by the community members. For easy comparison, I've merged the data of some of the relevant rows from the 2018 and 2019 year reports:

Action Mod (2018) Mod (2019) Com (2018) Com (2019) ----------------------------------------- ---------- ---------- ---------- --------- Tasks reviewed: Suggested Edit queue 16 65 119 456 Tasks reviewed: Reopen Vote queue 0 2 9 14 Tasks reviewed: Low Quality Posts queue 12 11 145 215 Tasks reviewed: Late Answer queue 8 4 151 147 Tasks reviewed: First Post queue 11 9 656 613 Tasks reviewed: Close Votes queue 49 99 196 382 Questions reopened 1 4 1 0 Questions protected 2 1 17 24 Questions flagged 0 0 78 207 Questions closed 80 166 10 10 Question flags handled 42 91 36 116 Posts undeleted 2 5 4 9 Posts locked 0 2 7 15 Posts deleted 115 223 240 494 Comments flagged 1 5 62 415 Comments deleted 122 357 156 482 Comment flags handled 50 264 13 156 Answers flagged 9 5 270 520 Answer flags handled 221 402 58 123

One thing to note is that although the number of tasks reviewed by the community members in the Close Votes queue has doubled (196-382), the total number of questions closed by the community remains the same (10)—in contrast, the number of tasks reviewed by the mods in the Close Votes queue has also doubled (49-99), and the number of questions closed by the mods has also doubled (80-166).

I believe this indicates that although more questions are being reviewed, we don't have enough eyes on each question for enough close/reopen votes (this earlier question of mine points out that many flags are getting invalidated due to them ageing away), so the mods are having to step in. Perhaps we, too, can implement the new feature of 3 votes to close/reopen as on Stack Overflow to rectify this?

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