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I've had a couple of questions lately asking about the advantages of participating in certain aspects of Stack Exchange (e.g. earning badges, marking answers as Community Wiki), so I figured I'd ask: It's pretty clear why we need people to participate in moderation activities. However, what's the advantage to the individual of participating (besides the overall improvement in site quality, which obviously benefits everyone)?

A related question (and I can split this out into a separate question if people think I'm asking too many questions in one post or this makes the post too broad), but there's a lot of evidence that only a relatively small percent of people who have moderation privileges of various kinds (e.g. the ability to vote to close questions) actually use them. What determines who is likely to participate in moderation and who isn't? (That actually seems like an interesting game theory question, come to think of it).

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One advantage for me is that when I do visit the site, looking for an answer, I am not faced with an absolute torrent of bad and have to go around looking for the nugget of gold. I've been through that with traditional forums.

Additionally as someone who was very involved with the site, giving a lot of answers, I want to see thing stay clean. I am invested in the site and want to see its continued success.

What determines who is likely to participate in moderation and who isn't?

Good question. Different things for different people, I'd expect. We haven't done any sort of research on this, so that's all I have on this one ;)

  • The second question (on what determines who's likely to participate in moderation) seems like it could be an interesting question to put on Economics SE (I'm hardly a professional economist, though) or Cognitive Science SE - do you think that it would be likely to be closed for being too broad on those sites, or is it ok "as is?" It seems like there must be some game theorist who'd be interested in that question. – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Feb 28 '17 at 21:31
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    No idea, I don't participate on them. I don't know if "social economics" are on topic on the first or if it is indeed overly broad. They both have help centers that tell you what's on and off topic though. – Oded Feb 28 '17 at 21:32

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