For the past 3+ years users with 10,000 reputation have had access to a moderator dashboard [A Theory of Moderation].

There are 3,269 users on SO that have these privileges. I am assuming that this number was much, much smaller back 3 years ago. Has the growth of users with high reputation been proportional to the total number of users?

My question: Is 10k reputation still a good level to gain access to the mod tools or does it need to be changed to have a better ratio with the total users?

  • 2
    I would think it should not be changed, unless it is taking less time for users to accumulate 10k... if it takes the same (few years?) time, then don't you think it is probably worth the same effort and value? (but also good point about the proportion, that's interesting, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/45373/…)
    – d-_-b
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 5:08
  • 2
    10k wouldn't take year. I only take 6-7 months, and I think it could have been reached earlier. The only thing I like about 10k is being able to see all deleted post. I wouldn't care much about the mod tool.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 5:10
  • 3
    10k user is now around 1.3% of all the user on the site, assuming the negative number currently in the statistics is positive.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 5:26
  • @nhahtdh I was basing it off the numbers from this screen shot I took a few hours ago: total rep chart. I wonder what the percentage was 3 years ago Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 5:28
  • 4
    Note that some of those 3200 10k+ users may not be really active at this time: I'm a physicsist first and a programmer second and now spend rather more time using and moderating Physics.SE then I do on Stack Overflow. I know there are others in similar positions. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 5:43
  • Getting to 10K doesn't take too long now, particularly if you hang around tags related to concepts that do not require a high level of expertise (took me around a month and a half). Most of this has to do with the increased attention SO has been getting from amateurs and hobbyists. I think raising the rep bar somewhat, or instituting an additional time based constraint would not be misplaced.
    – user200500
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:56
  • The blog post you link to describes a different category of moderators (to which I may or may not belong). Not sure how relevant it is to the issue discussed here. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 15:27
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn The blog post is just my source that the mod dashboard's requirement has been 10k for over 3 years. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 17:05
  • Aaah... Don't say that it is not same as it used to be.. I am struggling to get there.. Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 11:04

2 Answers 2


I headed over to https://data.stackexchange.com/stackoverflow/queries?q=count+users+

Using this query 4 times I counted the number of 10k users over the last 4 years:

SELECT Count = COUNT(*) FROM Users WHERE Reputation >= 10000
and CreationDate <= '1/1/2013'

Using this query 4 times I counted the number of users over the last 4 years:

SELECT Count = COUNT(*) FROM Users WHERE CreationDate <= '1/1/2013'

Since a 10k user Mod's main job is to look at flagged posts I used this query to try and find the number of flagged posts over the last 4 years:

select count(v.Id) from Votes v
where (v.VoteTypeId = 4 or v.VoteTypeId = 12 or v.VoteTypeId = 13)
and v.CreationDate < '1/1/2013'

I then charted the results in Excel:

enter image description here

Although the trend in user growth is not backed up with additional (10k user) moderators the trend of flagged posts still appears manageable.

The recent improvements I've seen (and subsequent popularity) of the Review system has empowered the community with greater control of the overall site quality.

***Disclaimer: *** *I'm not a 10k user so I dont know how to calculate the time and effort spent in 10k user moderation.

Edit: Some data here is not correct, the user page suggests there is 4 * 9 * 36765 = 1323540, not 1597594.

Update Shog9 and Stackoverflow team have a great blog on this: https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2013/03/2013-so-moderator-election

  • 13
    One suggestion, Jeremy, is to edit your post and try to avoid using the term "mod" or "moderator" when talking about 10k users. Most regulars and established users here think of moderators as one of the 15 diamond moderators, not one of the 3000+ 10k users with access to mod tools...
    – jmort253
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 12:12
  • This is (probably) heavily skewed as deleted posts are not shown in the data-explorer. There's a feature request to add it. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 14:13
  • 2
    I'm not sure I understand the method used here. What does CreationDate give you? That doesn't show how many users were 10k+ that year, it only shows you when they created an account. That's why the year-on-year gains stagnate for 10k. +2200 the first year, +600 the next, +300, then finally +70. Does anybody really think that only 70 users hit the 10k mark last year? No, only 70 users who joined last year hit the 10k mark, which makes perfect sense, since most people don't hit it their first year.
    – Geobits
    Commented Mar 9, 2013 at 2:56

tl;dr: We have enough hands. It's a matter of coordinating and teaching them.

It's important to remember that the privilege scale adjusted past 10,000 reputation points, which used to be the point at which all privileges on the site were unlocked:

  • Users with 15,000 reputation can protect questions to prevent noise
  • Users with 20,000 can collaborate to delete negatively voted answers

This adjustment helped quite a bit in offloading some of the most common tasks from diamond moderators to the community, but a very small group of people (mostly, the diamond moderators) were still doing most of the 'dirty work'. Problematic posts were just not getting enough views by those equipped to do something, so we ultimately had to keep stepping in.

The problem was getting our small army of 10k, 15k and 20k+ users coordinated through a central system so that more eyeballs were reviewing and taking action on the same set of posts at once, which is what the new /review system is effectively doing, despite the problems we're still kicking out of it.

While I realize I'm stating the obvious, it's very important for people to use the privileges they unlock as often as they can. Every 3 20k+ reputation user is almost like having another moderator on the team as long as they're working in coordination. The first thing I'd like to see is /review handling the additional load that /review creates, then ultimately reducing the daily moderator queue average little by little as time goes on. It looks like we're on track for that, I'm pretty optimistic. I'm reviewing more and more closings and deletions that the community handled by themselves, and that feels good.

Ideas have been floating around regarding unlocking more moderation tools on merit (badges earned) instead of just reputation. That's also something we can explore if it makes sense.

For now, though, I think we're good - as long as people remain willing to put time into reviewing effectively in a coordinated manner, and the review system continues to identify additional ways to help people hone their moderation skills.

  • 1
    We have enough hands. It's a matter of coordinating them. It's also a matter of teaching them. A lot of the 10k+s/5k+s/3k+s know nothing about following the rules, never mind enforcing them. It has been(and still is) my opinion that privileges on SO should not be as easily gained -- rep shouldn't be the only thing that gives you access to a priv :/ (I have a meta post on this planned, but I've never gotten around to posting it--not enough time to draft it out :s) Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 12:53
  • @Manishearth Good enough of a point to warrant an edit, but I'm seeing a lot of good calls made by the community after reviewing flagged posts that were already dealt with. I think its the exception, not the norm for a 10k+ reputation user to do ... not so smart things with the tools they gain access to, at least on Stack Overflow.
    – user50049
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:17
  • 1
    True... I'm not sure if high-rep users are misusing the tools. AFAICT, those high-reps which don't know the rules keep away from the tools (I don't see why they would care about community moderation). Which still warrants teaching, but it's much less of a problem :) Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:20
  • Regarding teaching, I may later tailor this post for the SO community (which has a different set of issues regarding community moderation) and post it in some form. (I'll run it by one of you guys first) Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:25
  • @Manishearth That could be cool. We have all of that, just buried in different areas of meta. In fact that's one of the main problems. Everything is documented, it's just so scattered for someone new to find and read in some semblance of logical order.
    – user50049
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:47
  • Exactly. Plus some meta posts are obsolete/etc. The whole damn thing is too confusing. We need an SO manual :s Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:49
  • Done. Happy New Year. Feel free to edit the q to something else/make CW/whatever :) Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 16:02
  • Using select badges to unlock specific capabilities has the appeal that it shows that the user has shown some aptitude/experience in a particular area in a way that general reputation alone does not. The thing is, looking through the badges, there are not very many that seem very related to moderator activities. Deputy and Marshal are the obvious exceptions. I guess you might unlock the flag queue before 10k, but I bet most users with those badges are there anyway. The editing ones don’t much matter, save maybe Research Assistant for 20k-style tag wikis access, maybe.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 17:15

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