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 Software Engineering over the past 12 months:

                  Action                  Moderators Community¹
----------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                   2         33
Users destroyed³                                   9          0
Users deleted                                      4          0
Users contacted                                    2          1
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue             69      2,403
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue                19        769
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue           4        434
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue                 2        443
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue                 21      4,052
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue                91      3,003
Tags merged                                        8          0
Tag synonyms proposed                              3          1
Tag synonyms created                               4          0
Tag highlight language set                         1          0
Questions unprotected                              1         16
Questions reopened                                93          9
Questions protected                                5        355
Questions migrated                                89         22
Questions merged                                   1          0
Questions flagged⁵                                10      4,830
Questions closed                               2,784      1,698
Question flags handled⁵                        1,554      3,271
Posts unlocked                                     4         29
Posts undeleted                                   27        121
Posts locked                                      18        242
Posts deleted⁶                                 2,627      4,148
Posts bumped                                       0      1,240
Escalations to the Community Manager team          4          0
Comments undeleted                                55          1
Comments flagged                                   0      2,624
Comments deleted⁷                              1,422      3,932
Comment flags handled                            469      2,154
Bounties canceled                                  1          0
Answers flagged                                   19        612
Answer flags handled                             390        240
All comments on a post moved to chat               5          1


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Software Engineering 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


Last year we closed 2728 questions and left 4125 open. 39.8% close rate.

This year we closed 4482 questions and left 3417 open. 56.7% close rate.

  • 1
    The question is, what does that mean? Are we getting better at closing Questions? Or more strict? Or are we getting more garbage than before?
    – Sarov
    Jan 3, 2020 at 14:21
  • 1
    In my mind, it means a solid majority of people who come to this site to ask questions disagree with the moderation, for one reason or another. That's a serious disconnect with what I thought was the primary audience for the site. Jan 3, 2020 at 15:19
  • 4
    Your logic eludes me. Are you saying it was better last year or worse? During my time as a moderator here, I closed about 300 questions per month; that's probably skewing the numbers a bit. They were mostly vague, underspecified questions that were more suitable for Quora. A lot of these questions attract close votes, but not enough to get an actual closure. We once asked for three votes to close, but didn't get it (Stack Overflow now has three votes to close). All in all, I'm not quite sure what you are getting at. Jan 3, 2020 at 18:56

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