As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the past 12 months.

As most of you here are 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. 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.

So as we welcome 2021, and in keeping with tradition, 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 The Workplace over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 47 15
Users destroyed³ 432 0
Users deleted 2 0
Users contacted 84 0
User suspensions lifted early 1 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 23 1,712
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 3 1,052
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 15 585
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue 9 101
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue 1 2,372
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 4 5,130
Tags merged 3 0
Tag synonyms proposed 4 0
Tag synonyms created 4 0
Questions unprotected 2 4
Questions reopened 17 71
Questions protected 119 90
Questions migrated 6 9
Questions flagged⁵ 54 3,470
Questions closed 207 755
Question flags handled⁵ 1,221 2,306
Posts unlocked 4 213
Posts undeleted 27 73
Posts locked 228 611
Posts deleted⁶ 275 1,930
Posts bumped 0 13
Escalations to the Community Manager team 13 0
Comments undeleted 135 0
Comments flagged 25 5,421
Comments deleted⁷ 11,233 4,147
Comment flags handled 5,033 395
Bounties canceled 3 0
Answers flagged 49 2,097
Answer flags handled 1,168 982
All comments on a post moved to chat 330 0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of The Workplace 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:

A big thank you to Shog9 for writing the queries and script to facilitate fetching and posting this data to all the sites in the network, and to Brian for the subsequent work making the whole thing more user friendly.

Wishing everyone a happy 2021!

  • Only 2 users deleted? Seems like I say the "-10 user was deleted" message more than that. I'm probably just misremembering. – Joe Strazzere Jan 19 at 21:28
  • @JoeStrazzere yeah, I've gotten hit with plenty of the -10 user was deleted as well, certainly many more than 2 – Old_Lamplighter Jan 19 at 21:48
  • 2
    @Old_Lamplighter - maybe the "destroyed" users generate the same message and that accounts for so many. – Joe Strazzere Jan 19 at 23:56
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    @JoeStrazzere and others: when we remove users, as you can see that is almost always by "destroying" them (more here) which removes all their content. Usually the distinction doesn't matter as we tend to only ever remove spammers or trolls. In some cases we delete a user when they have some decent posts associated with them. A typical example would be a troll question that was edited into shape to be a high-quality Q&A post. We still want to get rid of the troll but the post can stay in that case. – Lilienthal Jan 20 at 8:26
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    Secondly, you'll also get that "user was removed" when someone schedules an account deletion, at least in most cases. More on that here. – Lilienthal Jan 20 at 8:29

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