As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the past 12 months.

As most of you here are aware, sites on the Stack Exchange network are moderated somewhat differently to other sites on the web:

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

That doesn't eliminate the need for having moderators altogether, but it does mean that the bulk of moderation work is carried out by regular folks. Every bit of time and effort y'all contribute to the site gives you access to more privileges you can use to help in this effort, all of which produce a cumulative effect that makes a big difference.

So as we welcome 2021, and in keeping with tradition, let us look back at what we accomplished as a community... by looking at some exciting stats. Below is a breakdown of moderation actions performed on Worldbuilding over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 13 23
Users destroyed³ 248 0
Users deleted 75 0
Users contacted 40 0
User banned from review 1 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 250 2,087
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 147 1,860
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 104 2,114
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue 226 284
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue 194 2,488
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 68 6,945
Tags merged 3 0
Tag synonyms proposed 3 0
Tag synonyms created 2 0
Questions unprotected 0 1
Questions reopened 37 105
Questions protected 106 31
Questions migrated 34 1
Questions flagged⁵ 47 941
Questions closed 655 1,170
Question flags handled⁵ 662 330
Posts unlocked 3 12
Posts undeleted 64 72
Posts locked 3 222
Posts deleted⁶ 541 1,524
Posts bumped 0 55
Escalations to the Community Manager team 12 0
Comments undeleted 17 0
Comments flagged 144 624
Comments deleted⁷ 6,756 3,268
Comment flags handled 700 70
Bounties canceled 2 0
Answers flagged 456 1,524
Answer flags handled 1,192 788
All comments on a post moved to chat 263 0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Worldbuilding 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:

A big thank you to Shog9 for writing the queries and script to facilitate fetching and posting this data to all the sites in the network, and to Brian for the subsequent work making the whole thing more user friendly.

Wishing everyone a happy 2021!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What does one have to do to get banned from reviewing? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jan 20 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ How have we had 248 moderators "destroyed"!? $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 20 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ No, @elemtilas, we've had moderators destroy 248 users :) $\endgroup$ – JNat Jan 20 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I see! A little unclear that. I understand that's a moderatorial function. How then can an ordinary user suspend another user? Apparently "we" have done that 23 times! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 20 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre for example worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/q/8110/30492 or insisting in pointless reviews $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jan 20 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ Did you see the footnotes, particularly 1 and 2, @elemtilas? ^_^ $\endgroup$ – JNat Jan 21 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. Yes, I did. All the more confusing, because I wasn't aware I could actually suspend anyone! #2 is, I think you must admit, pretty meaningless to us ordinary serfs as we never get notifications of those kinds of behind the scenes actions. Until we get this year end message! And now we're all "wow! 248 users destroyed! (As if this were some idle time cell phone game.) Who were they? And am I next!?" $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 21 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ You can't suspend folks, @elemtilas — footnote 1 clarifies that "community" means y'all + the system; footnote 2 clarifies circumstances under which the system will suspend a user; hence the 23 users suspended by "community." Does that help clarify stuff? :) $\endgroup$ – JNat Jan 21 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, a matter of unclear usage. "Automated systems" doesn't imply community, which is people. Even if these "automated systems" are part of our "community", the footnote leaves unclear who can do what. Perhaps a rewrite of the footnotes is in order. Along with a third column for all these "automated systems". $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 21 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ A third column would require a rewrite of the queries we're using — maybe something worth considering for the future. As for the footnotes' order, feel free to adjust if you think you can make it clearer @elemtilas (if I feel any edit has made things harder to understand, we can always talk about it and revert as needed). $\endgroup$ – JNat Jan 22 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ We've created a new help center article to explain that, @Frostfyre, as a part of our rollout of updates to review suspensions. $\endgroup$ – JNat Jan 22 at 11:05

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