# 2019: a year in moderation

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 Cryptography over the past 12 months:

                  Action                  Moderators Community¹
----------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                   4         14
Users destroyed³                                   9          0
Users deleted                                      5          0
Users contacted                                   14          0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue            199      1,563
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue                52        192
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue          16        182
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue                 62      2,353
Tags merged                                        6          0
Tag synonyms proposed                              3          0
Tag synonyms created                               3          0
Questions unprotected                              1          0
Questions reopened                                54          0
Questions protected                                7         11
Questions migrated                               190          0
Questions merged                                   7          0
Questions flagged⁵                                13        587
Questions closed                               1,181        201
Question flags handled⁵                          331        267
Posts unlocked                                     0         34
Posts undeleted                                    7         99
Posts locked                                       5        233
Posts deleted⁶                                   266      2,132
Posts bumped                                       0        435
Escalations to the Community Manager team          3          0
Comment flags handled                            164        710
Bounties canceled                                  1          0
All comments on a post moved to chat              38          0


### Footnotes

¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Cryptography 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).

Wishing you all a happy new year...

• Footnote: I often help close questions after they have a significant amount of close votes obtained already. Basically I'm then acting as some kind of user with extreme closing powers (mods cannot cast a single close vote, unfortunately). That may significantly skew the statistics towards the "moderators closing the question", so that statistic should be taken with a huge grain of salt - you guys are indicating which questions should be closed, not us mods.
– Maarten Bodewes Mod
Jan 19 '20 at 14:15
• I should've really clarified this in footnotes, but ... When there are other close votes besides the moderators' on a question, it counts in the "community" column, @maarten Jan 19 '20 at 15:24
• That cannot be right? Questions closed (mods) 1,181 (community) 201 - I'm pretty sure that the mods didn't close that many questions without the community casting at least one close vote. OT: very glad you're still around, Shog9 - thanks for taking the time!
– Maarten Bodewes Mod
Jan 19 '20 at 15:29
• Yeah... Sadly, I can't double-check my work on the actual numbers anymore. If you wanna do a sanity check yourself, get a random sample of closed questions (from search closed:1 deleted:all) and check votes from the timeline. Jan 19 '20 at 15:32
• I was kind of afraid of that answer when I posted the comment. Will possibly try and do check upon the stats. But I'm not Anglo-saxon, so I'm not that much into stats anyway - this one just stood out, and I was afraid it communicated the wrong idea. Especially since it was topic of discussion. So yeah, grain of salt...
– Maarten Bodewes Mod
Jan 19 '20 at 15:39