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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 folks — folks like you. 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 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 Arqade over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community User¹ Community²
All comments on a post moved to chat 0 0 0
Answer flags handled 469 220 0
Answers flagged 68 127 471
Bounties canceled 0 0 0
Comment flags handled 263 35 2
Comments deleted⁸ 777 17 424
Comments flagged 1 1 297
Comments undeleted 22 0 0
Escalations to the Community Manager team 1 0 0
Posts bumped 0 1,191 0
Posts deleted⁷ 263 704 292
Posts locked 8 97 0
Posts undeleted 6 4 36
Posts unlocked 0 2 0
Question flags handled⁶ 124 295 2
Questions closed 265 242 3
Questions flagged⁶ 26 2 381
Questions merged 7 0 0
Questions migrated 3 0 0
Questions protected 0 23 3
Questions reopened 12 6 1
Questions unprotected 0 0 0
Revisions redacted 4 0 0
Tag highlight language set 0 0 0
Tag synonyms created 71 0 0
Tag synonyms proposed 70 0 1
Tags merged 58 0 0
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Close votes" queue 246 0 1,560
Tasks reviewed⁵: "First answers" queue 41 0 593
Tasks reviewed⁵: "First questions" queue 35 0 836
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Late answers" queue 11 0 386
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Low quality posts" queue 92 0 579
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Reopen votes" queue 14 0 88
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Suggested edits" queue 176 90 726
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 1 0 0
Users contacted 4 0 0
Users deleted 2 0 0
Users destroyed⁴ 134 0 0
Users suspended³ 4 60 0

Footnotes

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

² This refers to the membership of Arqade 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! ^_^

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    777 comments deleted, calculated
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Commented Jan 24 at 21:23
  • @Unionhawk Well Mods have Read, Write AND Execute privileges, so it checks out :P
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 24 at 21:40
  • 2
    How and why does the Community User reopen questions, especially in such a high proportion on Arqade? Commented Jan 26 at 1:31
  • Hey JNat, if you can, could you review the comments here, on the one answer as well as the answer itself to answer some questions? Probably best to make answer of its own answering them.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Jan 29 at 4:04
  • 1
    Sorry, @TimmyJim — I posted these network-wide, so have a ton of comments and answers to respond to; will try to get to these this week or the next!
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Jan 30 at 11:15

1 Answer 1

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I have some questions about these stats and I hope someone can shed some light on them:

Action Moderators Community User Community
Questions closed 265 242 3
Questions reopened 12 6 1
Tasks reviewed: "Close votes" queue 246 0 1,560
Tasks reviewed: "Reopen votes" queue 14 0 88

Questions reopened and closed by the Community User

According to the table, almost half of the questions that were closed (242/510 or 47%) and a third of the questions that were reopened (6/19 or 32%) were done by the Community User bot. I know that the Community User owns the close vote when an asker agrees with a pending duplicate close vote, as explained in this Meta SE post. Is this what happened here - did the askers of 47% of the closed questions agree that their questions were duplicates?

Possible discrepancies

Schism also raised interesting points regarding some possible discrepancies in the comments:

by my count, there were 92 reopen reviews from community members, and 9 from Timmy Jim, for a total of 101. Which ones are being excluded in the reported 88 tasks reviewed?

Questions closed by moderators

The table also shows that more than half of the questions that were closed (265/510 or 52%) were closed by moderators. This is much higher than the number of questions closed by the community (non-moderators), which is only 3/510 or 0.6%. Does this mean that we don’t have enough active users reviewing the close vote review queue, and that the moderators have to step in more often? The stats seem to contradict this, as they indicate that most of the close vote reviews are done by the community.

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    I often see that Timmy Jim casts the final close vote on a flagged post, so that definitely counts as "closed by moderator". But 3/510 is a really low stat.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Jan 25 at 10:16
  • JNat confirmed on last years report that yes, if a moderator closes a post as the fifth vote (or as any vote since a moderators vote will automatically close a post), its considered a moderator action.
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Jan 25 at 20:21
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    And I'll add - I will often wait until there are 3 to 4 votes already on a review item before I make my vote (unless its a blatantly off-topic post like a game ID post without an artifact), to give the community a chance at it first. It's one thing I wish could be a little better since sometimes I just want to cast a normal close vote and not have it count as a moderator close vote. After all, I am a community member too :) But I do think there are less people going through the review queues now a days
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Jan 25 at 20:24
  • I typically close posts via the review queue, and looking at "My Reviews", I have to go back 7 pages to see my first 2023 review item I handled. I think there are 50 items per page, so 6ish pages of 50 each where the majority of my votes were "close", I'd say the math adds up to the 265 seen in the table (that's just counting me too, not the other mods!) For perspective, Robotnik has performed 5 close review items for 2023, with only 1 of them being a close vote! (Sorry to call you out Robotnik)
    – Timmy Jim Mod
    Commented Jan 25 at 20:33
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    +1. I also have questions about the "Questions reopened" stat. Here are three questions reopened by, as far as I can tell, 5 community members. Where is the 1 coming from?
    – Schism
    Commented Jan 27 at 9:28
  • Similarly, by my count, there were 92 reopen reviews from community members, and 9 from Timmy Jim, for a total of 101. Which ones are being excluded in the reported 88 tasks reviewed?
    – Schism
    Commented Jan 27 at 9:28
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    @Schism Hmm. Interesting. All three of those reopened questions should count as a Community reopened question. In two of those three reopened questions, the OP has cast a reopen vote. So maybe that counted as "Community User" reopened question (though it shouldn't). Commented Jan 27 at 10:03
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    @Schism The discrepancies regarding the "Questions reopened" stat have been explained in this Meta SE post: What are the conditions and events that trigger the Community User to reopen questions? Commented Jan 28 at 7:04
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    @TimmyJim - I likewise tend to hold off on close votes, not that there's ever much in the queues when I'm looking anyway - the queue is currently completely empty. I also have a tendency to err on good faith: a lot of the close votes I see - while coming from a good place - could potentially be solved by a third-party edit, imo. This was true before I was a mod as well.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jan 29 at 3:38

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