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 Geographic Information Systems over the past 12 months:

                 Action                  Moderators Community¹
---------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                  2          6
Users destroyed³                                 12          0
Users contacted                                   7          0
User banned from review                           4          0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue           120      3,910
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue              121      4,741
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue         70      4,729
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue               22      2,136
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue                48      9,365
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue              151     10,562
Tags merged                                      26          0
Tag synonyms proposed                            38          0
Tag synonyms created                             42          0
Tag highlight language set                        6          0
Revisions redacted                                1          0
Questions unprotected                             1          0
Questions reopened                              408        222
Questions protected                              11         31
Questions migrated                               28          1
Questions merged                                 30          0
Questions flagged⁵                                8        951
Questions closed                              3,949      2,053
Question flags handled⁵                         452        506
Posts unlocked                                    2          5
Posts undeleted                                  37        258
Posts locked                                     40         68
Posts deleted⁶                                1,507      9,679
Posts bumped                                      0      6,898
Comments undeleted                               24          0
Comments flagged                                 39      4,377
Comments deleted⁷                             4,498      8,863
Comment flags handled                           510      3,906
Bounties canceled                                 1          0
Answers flagged                                  27      3,783
Answer flags handled                          3,059        751
All comments on a post moved to chat             14          0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Geographic Information Systems 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...

1 Answer 1


Personally, I would rather see more questions closed by the vote of community users in the reviews than by the decision of a moderator.

From the point of view of the user asking the question, the closure by a moderator can be seen as an arbitrary decision. Although I consider that it was always a fair decision, the user who writes the question sometimes considers it unfair.

I appreciate the enormous effort of the moderators and their ability to make the right decisions.

I would like to see the most varied list of users who participate in the reviews. That would collaborate with the multiplicity of points of view when deciding on a community basis.

Have a happy year!

  • I agree. Too often it seems like moderators are indeed arbitrarily closing questions or placing them on hold, which is far from helpful to the OP. In the amount of effort it takes them to close or place a question on hold, they could have easily either answered the question, rewritten it to meet the standards, or otherwise been more helpful. They need to be quicker to help than they are to undo the OP's asking of a question. People are coming here in good faith that someone will be helpful to them and instead they are being chased off. Commented May 19, 2020 at 2:51

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