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While this post has elements of jest in it, I'm entirely serious, and I think this situation deserves to be addressed: Should Stack Overflow moderators have a "standard of duty"? - While this discussion is not the only answer, that question really demonstrates that we, the community, aren't in a position to help the moderators as much as we could be. What tools can we ask for that would lighten their load?


There are over 270 users with more than 30k reputation. Unfortunately they are all lumped together with the 500+ plebes who have 20k reputation in terms of ability.

The current abilities are offered on an exponential rate that suggests the next natural priviledge points are:

  • 40k (176 users)
  • 60k (84 users)
  • 100k (36 users)
  • 150k (6 users)
  • 250k (1 user)
  • 500k (0 users)
  • 750k (0 users)
  • 1M (0 users)

What, if any, privileges could we award people at the above levels? Note that while I extended the progression well past 20k, we really only need to get something at 40k so the 500 people with 20k have a new brass ring.

For instance, perhaps 40k users could see more of the moderator flags of certain types, and perhaps they would have more ability to act on them unilaterally or bilaterally. There are probably a lot of other things I'm not aware of that could be extended to the 40k users, and if chosen well they could lessen the workload of the moderators, so I'm actually hoping the moderators chime in here with ideas for things they think could be done by highly trusted users.

Related:

Propose a new 20k reputation privilege

NOTE: I am just a user, I'm not in any position of authority, so this is a just a discussion, and not endorsed by or backed by Stack Exchange.

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Hey! Jon Skeet already got a signed picture! Why does he need an exclusive ability? I vote that a certain rep bracket contain at least 10 people before it gets a special privilege. –  John Aug 10 '11 at 21:08
    
@John Sure, and there are three brackets that mee that criteria. I'd actually be happy if we limited it to brackets containing 100 people. Either way, I think we could use another ability at 40k to give the 500 20k people something new to shoot for. –  Adam Davis Aug 10 '11 at 21:10
    
Maybe one of the moderators magic e.g. ability to delete or merge accounts? –  Shadow Wizard Aug 10 '11 at 21:12
    
I agree, but I think they should be useful abilities like approving/disposing flags. –  John Aug 10 '11 at 21:15
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@John: I didn't get anything for hitting 300K though. I nearly cried. Oh the humanity. –  Jon Skeet Aug 10 '11 at 21:16
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@Shadow I don't know that I'd let non-moderators monkey with accounts, but I've fleshed out the idea a bit more in the post. –  Adam Davis Aug 10 '11 at 21:18
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@JonSkeet: The prize for hitting 300K is getting to be Jon Skeet for a day. Didn't you notice? –  mmyers Aug 10 '11 at 21:19
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How about making upvotes on a 100k+ user's questions or answers bring in the unicorns‌​? Or perhaps to spread the wealth, do it on answers to their questions or competing answers if it actually encourages upvoting. –  Jeff Mercado Aug 10 '11 at 22:09
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I think it would be far better to say "I noticed you've suggested a new privilege. I suggest this be a candidate for being 30k+" than it would to say "We need privileges for 30k+" Those with 30k+ rep achieved it not out of a desire for privileges or probably even rep, but simply out of a desire to help people solve problems. Now, if we've identified things that could go there (including offloading moderator duties) that's great - but I think privileges for the sake of privileges is a poor decision. –  corsiKa Aug 10 '11 at 22:18
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If its just about the brass ring maybe more nerd merit badges –  Some Helpful Commenter Feb 28 '12 at 22:06
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4 Answers

There is a point (20K) where a user has all privileges. There is nothing wrong with these users having all privileges, and there doesn't need to be more privileges for higher reputation levels.

I personally think higher privilege levels could cause problems, especially for 8 more levels, because of the community nature of SE. I don't think there are many ideas for higher privileges that still restrict a user to make decisions with other members of the community (by voting), and I don't think a regular user should ever gain too much power. Not that Jon Skeet is a regular user :P but you get what I'm saying.

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Well, Stack Overflow is run by the community, as Jeff is wont to repeat, and further the moderators can only do so much work. We've got 10 moderators right now, and they still have a pretty heavy workload, and they don't scale without adding more moderators - which is fine if that's the intended decision, but it would be better for the community to handle those things it can. I agree that some things should be restricted to moderators - such as user bans and account maintenance. But surely there is moderation they do that could also be handled by very experienced, very highly trusted users. –  Adam Davis Aug 10 '11 at 22:04
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Keep in mind that the most two recent additions to the Stack Overflow moderation team were appointed outside a normal election cycle due to increased moderator workload. They were chosen based on the most recent election results, so it's not an issue of not voting, it's simply an acknowledgement that moderator workload is not trivial. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/92357/… –  Adam Davis Aug 10 '11 at 22:12
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A needed ability would be the ability to propose and vote on tag synonyms without having the five votes in the tag.

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What about unlimited votes, or at least great boost e.g. 200 per day?

I think that person who reaches 30K or 40K can be trusted to use it wisely and not abuse it, which is the reason for the limit in the first place, right?

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If someone uses 200 votes a day, that is a strong indicator that they're not actually reading everything they're voting on. –  John Aug 10 '11 at 21:58
    
Or that they spend a lot of time on the site... If I have more than a few hours to devote on a lazy day, it's quite likely that I'll read more than 40 good posts. –  Cody Gray Aug 12 '11 at 3:12
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we really only need to get something at 40k so the 500 people with 20k have a new brass ring.

That's a terrible reason to add a 40k privilege. The odds of even coming up with something that 40k users can be trusted with but 30k users for some reason can't is almost 0 -- by the time you've hit 20k I'm think it's well established that you're not going to destroy the site. Privileges should be given to the maximum number of people possible without greatly increasing the number of misuses, they shouldn't be given to a tiny number of people to make that particular group feel special inside

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The same could have been said of the 20k privilege, and 10k privilege back in the day. Why not have all the privileges at 10k? a 40k user has demonstrably spent more time helping people out on stackoverflow than a 20k user - therefore giving them abilities that moderators already have is more reasonable than simply giving the 20k users more and more abilities. –  Adam Davis Aug 10 '11 at 22:51
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@Adam I did say it about the 20k privileges, actually, and I think we should have all the privileges at 10k –  Michael Mrozek Aug 10 '11 at 22:58
    
This objection is sound; although I agree with @Adam's proposal, the rationale for more abilities needs to be the health of the site. Rep and privileges should remain mechanisms toward that end, not become their own ends. However, I didn't read this as a particularly serious statement on Adam's part. –  Josh Caswell Aug 10 '11 at 23:53
    
I had almost reach 10k on Android when the change was made. Ruined my day. –  Matthew Read Aug 11 '11 at 2:35
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