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. To that end, here is how the moderation done here on English Language Learners breaks down by activity over the past 12 months:

                 Action                  Moderators Community¹
---------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                 33         21
Users destroyed                                 273          0
Users deleted                                    19          0
Users contacted                                  39          0
User suspensions lifted early                     2          0
User review-bans lifted early                     1          0
User banned from review                           3          0
Tasks reviewed³: Suggested Edit queue           304      3,335
Tasks reviewed³: Reopen Vote queue               99        742
Tasks reviewed³: Low Quality Posts queue          3      2,369
Tasks reviewed³: Late Answer queue               61      1,249
Tasks reviewed³: First Post queue                11      5,078
Tasks reviewed³: Close Votes queue              453      7,449
Tags merged                                       9          0
Tag synonyms proposed                             8          0
Tag synonyms created                              7          0
Revisions redacted                               11          0
Questions unprotected                             8          1
Questions reopened                              165         14
Questions protected                              42        106
Questions migrated                               19          3
Questions merged                                 12          0
Questions flagged⁴                               15      1,047
Questions closed                              1,406      1,036
Question flags handled⁴                         412        650
Posts unlocked                                   32         15
Posts undeleted                                  77        140
Posts locked                                     19        367
Posts deleted⁵                                1,451      3,348
Posts bumped                                      0      8,720
Escalations to the CM team                        3          0
Comments undeleted                              331          0
Comments flagged                                  5      2,941
Comments deleted⁶                            11,263      6,176
Comment flags handled                         1,271      1,675
Bounties canceled                                 1          0
Answers flagged                                 136      3,356
Answer flags handled                          2,906        586
All comments on a post moved to chat             52          0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of English Language Learners 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 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.

⁴ Includes close flags (but not close or reopen votes).

⁵ This ignores numerous deletions that happen automatically in response to some other action.

⁶ This includes comments deleted by their own authors (which also account for some number of handled comment flags).

Wishing you all a happy new year...

  • 2
    Let's say a question has 3 close votes from the community already, and then a "diamond mod" closes the question. That would show up in the left-hand column of this table, true? That makes me wonder: What percentage of questions closed by the moderation team were closed only after three or four community members had already voted to close the question? I ask because we mods will sometimes take a "wait-and-see" approach on a borderline question, and only vote to close only after we sense the community is leaning in that same direction. Interesting data, by the way. Thanks for sharing it.
    – J.R. Mod
    Jan 1, 2019 at 13:07
  • 1
    About 123 questions were closed by a combination of moderator and non-moderator votes, @J.R. (may not be exact, but close enough to give you a sense of scale).
    – Shog9
    Jan 1, 2019 at 20:41
  • In case anyone is curious as to why the moderation team has such a low number of Low Quality Post reviews, the low quality flag shows up in the moderator's flag queue, and so we often act on the really egregious examples from that queue instead of the review queue. I won't speak for the other moderators, but I tend to let the community handle low quality posts that shouldn't be deleted outright (i.e., they are actually attempts to answer the question and not other questions, gibberish or spam).
    – ColleenV
    Jan 3, 2019 at 20:46
  • 2
    @Colleen I tend to think the healthier the site is, the less 'community' actions mods end up doing relatively. Of course that's an overly generalized look, but you know what I mean.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 7, 2019 at 10:37


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