Right now, crossing one of the magical rep borders happens more or less unnoticed. People just gain the particular powers. Now, of course they have eagerly been awaiting this moment, and want to start using their new powers instantly.

However, this leads to people---usually with good intentions---doing stuff that is actually discouraged. The most notable case is users who passed the 500 boundary starting to tag questions as "not-programming-related", "belongs-on-serverfault", or the like.

They do this because they can't close yet, but want to do what they can to get the question noticed for 3k-rep users to close. They're most likely not clear that this is unwanted behavior. I'm not claiming I haven't fallen into this myself when I passed 500.

Another example is closing. I often see question being voted to close for an obviously unfitting reason. I assume that this is often done by recent 3k-gainers, who are just happy to have found a question that they might use their closing powers upon, but are just a little too eager.

I propose a pop-up (like the "You've earned a new badge" one) saying something like "You have earned the power to retag questions. Please read our retagging guidelines [link] for a short introduction".

This probably holds for the 500 (retagging), 2000 (editing), 3000 (closing) and 10.000 (deleting / mod) boundaries.


8 Answers 8


This is now fully deployed on all sites.

There are 2 types of notifications you can get:

A batch notification that lets you know you got a bunch of new privileges, that takes you to https://meta.stackoverflow.com/privileges

If you only gained one new privilege you will be directed to the actual privilege page.

All privilege wikis are per site wikis, so they may look slightly different depending on the site you are on.

Blog post officially announcing feature:

  • 1
    Bah I missed all notifications
    – Confluence
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 2:01
  • Also you missed "Removal of 20 minute interval to ask questions" at 100 I believe.
    – Confluence
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 2:02
  • I also think you don't get to vote comments up until you get to 15 points
    – Confluence
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 2:03
  • @confluence ... a lot of the other bits and pieces belong in the wiki
    – waffles
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 2:13
  • Just a thought. You have added lots of new features to the site, but no new significant 10k powers...(that I know of)
    – jjnguy
    Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 20:38
  • Note: As of one of the review queue changes within the last few years (I think), there's also an informational popover/modal that appears whenever someone opens a particular review queue for the first time on a site, congratulating them on gaining the privilege and explaining how to use it.
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 6, 2022 at 18:24

I think that's an excellent suggestion. In addition, if we have pages that explain the pitfalls of those powers, it would also be useful to link to those pages from the FAQ, where it lists the powers and the rep points needed for them.

I certainly want to use whatever new powers I gain wisely, and I would be happy to find a page that explains how the community feels those powers are best used.

  • 7
    Thanks for the upvotes! - Hey, now I can create new tags! pops champagne
    – user133653
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 12:49
  • 1
    @redtuna Hmmmm.... Now where is that downvote option - Or should I start retagging :) Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 13:24
  • 3
    Personally, I would have found this feature very useful in learning to use and contribute to SO.
    – retracile
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 13:55

I really like this idea. Have the banner drop with, "You've just earned new privileges! Check the FAQ for more!" That'd be awesome.

I have one addition: When the banner shows, it plays the sound from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "And there was much rejoicing. (Yay.)"

  • 6
    The sound idea is awesome. In a "I sure hope you're kidding" kind of way ;)
    – user133653
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 14:01
  • 10
    It's awesome in an I hope it happens kind of way.
    – Eric
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 14:13

Joel Coehoorn said:

I think it's a good idea on the surface, but I also expect that unfortunately most people just won't click the link to the guidelines page.

So instead of getting more people to read the guidelines, what it would really accomplish is making more people who may not be quite ready for their new moderation abilities aware of them.

If it's anything like the little <div> element that pops up when one earns a new badge, the alert will continue to display until a particular action occurs. Except instead of clicking through to the badges page, the action that must be performed is clicking "Yes, I agree, I'll use my new powers wisely!" * on the guidelines page. This guidelines page could even come up automatically in a new browser page/tab to make the user that much more aware that this is something that should be read.

* To be really tricky, this button could be hidden for a certain amount of time, or require the answering of some skill-testing questions whose answers are found in the guidelines.


I think it's a good idea on the surface, but I also expect that unfortunately most people just won't click the link to the guidelines page.

So instead of getting more people to read the guidelines, what it would really accomplish is making more people who may not be quite ready for their new moderation abilities aware of them.

  • 10
    If you think that people are earning new abilities without being ready for them, then maybe we need to revise the rep thresholds.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 13:29
  • 2
    As to "making people aware of the abilities": I'd think that someone who has participated long / hard enough to have 500 rep is aware of the power implications.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 13:44
  • @jjinguy: for the most part I think the numbers are good. If you make them high enough to weed out everyone who doesn't have a perfect understanding of the site, you'd have to set them to infinity. It's not that we don't want good editing guidelines available. It that I think experience is the better teacher for this, especially as most people won't read the guidelines anyway. So no notification is better. Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 14:36
  • 5
    Put another way: the people most likely to see these notifications and also not already be aware of any guidelines are the people who are least ready for the moderator powers. Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 14:39
  • 1
    Motivated and interested people will read them, the rest won't. What's the deal with making things easier for the interested?
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Commented Sep 8, 2009 at 9:30
  • @balpha - can't you particpate long / hard enough to hit 500 in 3 days? I mean, theoretically, that is? :)
    – warren
    Commented Nov 5, 2009 at 11:43

Think of them more as responsibilities with a list of what is expected. Those who have to make spelling checks and retag questions have additional tasks that benefit the rest of us when done correctly.

  • 1
    I'd think most people take these as powers, not as responsibilities. I have yet to see someone saying "Please remove retagging abilities from my account".
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 15:20
  • 1
    Please remove the ability to comment from my account!!! I might be able to get some work done then.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 15:26

In addition to the recent highlighting of Asker comments update, "Transform and Rollout!", was kind of expecting to see some sort of banner somewhere. Or at least where the notification of Slowest Gun Heads to the Saloon, and direct to a Brazil-type section of,

Now that you've broken a threshold, here's a reminder of your oarsome new rowing powers and how to best paddle your way through the upper echelons of SOFU.


Retagged questions can again be retagged. The 3k-rep users can choose to not close a flagged question. Closed questions can be re-opened. Everything is community-driven. Someone who has more power can override those who are weaker. I don't think it's necessary to have this message.

  • 6
    Everything is reversible. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to reduce noise in the first place by giving a short introduction to people gaining power, so people know how to best be helpful.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 12:36
  • 14
    WTF does this have to do with anything? Just because someone can override you doesn't mean that we shouldn't make an attempt to educate users who are just coming into their new abilities.
    – TheTXI
    Commented Aug 20, 2009 at 13:12
  • @minitech Why roll back the edit? I can't see any way in which it changes the meaning of this answer, but it certainly makes it more clear and readable. Just because an answer has a score of -5 does not mean that it can't be improved by community edits. Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 15:09
  • @CodyGray: Sure, but I felt it made it slightly worse. There was nothing wrong with the answer to begin with, and the edit made it feel a lot less relevant IMO. Feel free to put it back, as the question from 2009 has already been bumped :P
    – Ry-
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 15:29

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