It’s that time of the year again! As we wave goodbye to last year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the preceding calendar year.

As most of you here might be 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 people — people like you. Every bit of time and effort you 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 in ensuring Stack Exchange sites remain a valuable source of high-quality content on the web.

So as we say goodbye to 2023 (and January 2024… ahem) and move into 2024, 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 English Language Learners over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community User¹ Community²
All comments on a post moved to chat 19 0 0
Answer flags handled 495 162 0
Answers flagged 86 166 387
Bounties canceled 0 0 0
Comment flags handled 833 245 28
Comments deleted⁸ 1,531 13 3,622
Comments flagged 295 13 789
Comments undeleted 84 0 0
Escalations to the Community Manager team 8 0 0
Posts bumped 0 7,714 0
Posts deleted⁷ 283 1,115 958
Posts locked 4 207 0
Posts undeleted 18 0 149
Posts unlocked 6 6 0
Question flags handled⁶ 265 282 56
Questions closed 306 932 6
Questions flagged⁶ 42 52 538
Questions merged 1 0 0
Questions migrated 26 2 0
Questions protected 1 23 1
Questions reopened 28 2 0
Questions unprotected 0 0 1
Revisions redacted 0 0 0
Tag highlight language set 0 0 0
Tag synonyms created 2 0 0
Tag synonyms proposed 2 0 0
Tags merged 0 0 0
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Close votes" queue 50 0 4,745
Tasks reviewed⁵: "First answers" queue 52 0 704
Tasks reviewed⁵: "First questions" queue 97 14 912
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Late answers" queue 27 0 277
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Low quality posts" queue 75 0 568
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Reopen votes" queue 23 0 125
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Suggested edits" queue 105 99 935
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Triage" queue 0 0 0
User banned from review 0 0 0
User review-bans lifted early 0 0 0
User suspensions lifted early 4 0 0
Users contacted 34 0 0
Users deleted 0 0 0
Users destroyed⁴ 13 0 0
Users suspended³ 17 70 0


¹ This refers to the automated systems otherwise known as user #-1.

² This refers to the membership of English Language Learners without diamonds next to their names.

³ 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.

⁴ 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.

⁵ 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.

⁶ Includes close flags (but not close or reopen votes). The community² can handle these flags by at least one person voting to close a question that has a close flag.

⁷ This ignores numerous deletions that happen automatically in response to some other action.

⁸ This includes comments deleted by their own authors (which also account for some number of handled comment flags).

Further reading:

Wishing everyone a happy 2024!

  • 1
    It would be helpful to English Language Learners if you could use standard English on this site. I have been able to edit this post on ELU, but received a message preventing me here. I suggest the following changes: "folks" to "people", "you'all" to "you", and "wanna" to "would you like to". Regional/youth slang in official posts not only gives English Learners the impression that this is standard and acceptable, but gives many users the impression that Stack Exchange is specifically for people in a particular region and of a particular age group, to which they may not belong.
    – David
    Jan 27 at 21:17
  • English is a second language for me too, so I dunno what you mean by "particular region or age group," nor do I think the English I used is "unacceptable" (judging by your phrasing you seem to think it is) — it's just slightly less formal, which I've used in these posts over the past few years (and in most of my writing) because I'm not submitting an academic thesis here ;P That being said, I'll leave that decision to the locals, @David , and won't revert it if they think this post benefits from using more standard, formal language ^_^
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 30 at 11:25
  • @David I feel like I've had this conversation before :) It's a template and you'll have to edit every year if it isn't corrected at the source. <!-- Hello dear editor! If you want to avoid seeing your edit blindly overwritten, first remove this comment. Rev.2 -->
    – ColleenV
    Jan 31 at 13:04
  • The thing is that it's a template for all 180+ sites in the network, not just ELL @ColleenV . I'm just injecting a bit of my own personal writing style into it, instead of making it look like it's posted by a bot. That being said, as mentioned above (and in the past), please feel free to edit it in a way that works better for your community — I won't reverse that, unless it somehow materially changes the content (as in, misrepresents the data, etc.).
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 31 at 14:42
  • But it is a template posted by a bot, so why shouldn't it read that way? And if it is posted all over the network it probably should avoid non-standard English like "y'all" and "wanna". These stats aren't necessarily positive, so should probably adopt a more neutral tone. Also, I clicked on the "exciting stats" link expecting some data and felt like I got rick-rolled :) I don't mean to pick on you, it's just that technical writing is something I care about and I can get a little nitpicky about it.
    – ColleenV
    Jan 31 at 15:01
  • Fair points, @ColleenV . I guess maybe I don't think about this as strictly technical writing, because I don't think about what I write as technical writing. Maybe the familiar tone, and a bit of humor aren't necessarily good fits with this type of post. I have a year to give it some thought, I guess ;P
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 31 at 16:17
  • I do think it's a bit weird that these aren't posted by the Community user somehow since they are generated instead of individually written (I hope! please tell me you aren't copying and pasting tables for each site :)).
    – ColleenV
    Jan 31 at 16:22
  • 2
    A script generates the data, and populates the tables. But I do customize the opening and closing bits every year, to make this not be boilerplate stuff. This is something Shog decided to do a while back, and a tradition I picked up from him, but we don't have built-in tooling to produce the results — hence why it comes from a CM's account. Additionally, having the Community user post it would mean there's no one on the other end of the post to respond to comments like these — hence the touch of familiar tone; there is a human on the other end ;)
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 31 at 16:25
  • If Stack Exchange is using bots that post scripts written in this style, then it is a matter of general SE policy which I shall raise as a post on Meta, rather than discusss it further here.
    – David
    Jan 31 at 16:27
  • Just to make sure we have a shared understanding of the situation, @David: there is a script that facilitates posting these to 180+ sites. There is a CM on the other end, that double-checks the posts before posting (not all 180+ individually, but at least a sample) to make sure the data and formatting are ok. The scripts need a human to run them. There is not "bot" (at least given my understanding of bot) involved in the process.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 31 at 16:33
  • Oh, and the language that's been the focus of this discussion in the comment section is not hardcoded in any part of the script, but something I specifically customize to reflect my writing style
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 31 at 16:34
  • @JNat Thanks for giving us a peek behind the curtain. I wonder if it would make sense to have a "CM Team" persona to post these things so one person doesn't get flooded with all the comments. There is value in people getting notified of discussion on the posts. It would also help on Meta to not have one staff member getting downvoted to oblivion for an unpopular but necessary post. Maybe a way for staff posts to flag a set group of people for responses?
    – ColleenV
    Jan 31 at 16:50


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