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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 Artificial Intelligence over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 9 5
Users destroyed³ 2 0
Users contacted 12 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 236 353
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 10 61
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 12 95
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue 8 207
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue 206 1,831
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 107 485
Tags merged 55 0
Tag synonyms proposed 102 0
Tag synonyms created 102 0
Revisions redacted 1 0
Questions unprotected 1 0
Questions reopened 111 0
Questions protected 27 8
Questions migrated 125 0
Questions merged 7 0
Questions flagged⁵ 0 572
Questions closed 795 36
Question flags handled⁵ 288 282
Posts unlocked 6 30
Posts undeleted 55 75
Posts locked 14 177
Posts deleted⁶ 721 1,094
Posts bumped 0 1,342
Comments undeleted 172 0
Comments flagged 0 182
Comments deleted⁷ 4,833 642
Comment flags handled 156 26
Answers flagged 1 224
Answer flags handled 178 46
All comments on a post moved to chat 82 0

Footnotes

¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Artificial Intelligence 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!

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After a quick look at the stats, with respect to the last year, I want you to note a few things

  • moderators have definitely closed more posts. This is probably due to the fact that we started to have a clearer idea of the direction that the site should take.

  • moderators have deleted a lot more comments than in 2019, and the community fewer comments (which suggests that the community was not that engaged: see note number 7)

  • there have been a lot more posts deleted (this is probably a good thing because I've been trying to get rid of low-quality posts, which are still around, unfortunately)

  • moderators have been less involved in the review queue (I have definitely noticed this, although we have more moderators than in 2019!)

In any case, it would be better to have a more sophisticated way of seeing the evolution of these stats over the years.

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  • $\begingroup$ What I'm seeing that I love is that the community picked up most of the review tasks. I remember when the queue was clogged every time I logged in. Now it's much less stressful. (Pretty sure I destroyed one of those users, which means they really must of had it coming, and been given every chance to reform;) $\endgroup$
    – DukeZhou Mod
    Aug 31 at 3:21

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