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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 History over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 13 24
Users destroyed³ 41 0
Users deleted 8 0
Users contacted 50 0
User banned from review 3 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 415 828
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 183 538
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 161 344
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue 154 226
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue 137 1,350
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 191 3,228
Tags merged 14 0
Tag synonyms proposed 7 0
Tag synonyms created 9 0
Questions reopened 18 24
Questions protected 29 87
Questions migrated 28 0
Questions merged 1 0
Questions flagged⁵ 29 443
Questions closed 484 437
Question flags handled⁵ 360 112
Posts unlocked 3 21
Posts undeleted 14 59
Posts locked 21 95
Posts deleted⁶ 483 1,289
Posts bumped 0 53
Escalations to the Community Manager team 3 0
Comments undeleted 39 0
Comments flagged 197 999
Comments deleted⁷ 2,654 2,000
Comment flags handled 1,128 68
Answers flagged 32 1,034
Answer flags handled 924 142
All comments on a post moved to chat 58 0

Footnotes

¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of History 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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Interesting how we are way down on users destroyed/deleted this year. I would not have expected that.

FWIW, I don't keep perfect track of this, but I believe the vast majority of "users" destroyed or deleted this past year were actually all the same user. Same as last year. Outgoing mod SempaiScuba showed this pretty conclusively. So the person last year who remarked "that's a lot of Nazis", was a bit off. It was mostly just one Nazi.

Of course with Nazis, a little can go a surprisingly long way.

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  • A year-over-year comparison in the posted stats would allow the rest of us to see wat you're seeing. In Accounting, it's standard to give year-over-year comparisons for two years going back at a minimum - as the only way for stakeholders to understand trends. Jan 22 at 12:30
  • @PieterGeerkens - Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the comment, but I didn't base this post on any super-secret moderator info. I simply clicked the link in "Further reading" up on the Q and compared two.
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Jan 22 at 13:51
  • That gives the source of last year's comparable data - but is not a column-wise year-over-year comparison as normally understood. Yes, the history is available - but that doesn't mean it's in a particularly useful or convenient state. Jan 22 at 14:00
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    @PieterGeerkens - That would be nice. Certainly would make the analysis I did above easier (although reading that years' discussion around it was also quite valuable). Perhaps SE devs can put it on their "round tuit" list?
    – T.E.D. Mod
    Jan 22 at 14:17

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