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Make Moderator abilities relate to Rep Inflation

With the high number of 10K moderators on SO, would it be more effective to have the amount of votes required to move, close or delete a question be calculated based on the number of 10K users rather then the static 5 vote rule?

This would help with questions being closed incorrectly as well as with the migration of questions to the wrong site.

For example:

There are currently 437+ 10K moderators on SO.
For every 100 moderators the vote count increases by 1 starting at the current 5. Therefore it will require roughly 9 votes to move a question.

This could also be applied individually rather then globally, ie. 10 votes to move, but 5 to close for example.


I have suggested this globally, however it has the biggest impact on migrated question. I am NOT suggesting the spam or offensive votes be changed, only the ability to close a question for migration. SO users don't see it as a problem, however the SF and SU users and moderators end up having to deal with these questions and there aren't as many users on these sites. SU/SF are not garbage bins.

A few times votes are cast solely because someone has the power to do it, and not because there is a legitimate reason too or because there is already x number of votes.

The process for dealing with spam should remain as is.

Thanks to Roger Plate for providing the moderator count

I've closed it since there is a global assumption by meta users reading this that it is a none issue. However unless you spend time on all three sites on a regular basis, and have to deal with this directly on a daily basis I don't agree that it is a basis for outright claiming it being a non-issue. I did however post to possible solutions, and the other one was much better received. I am leaving this here for reference purposes however.

  • Then presumably 2 users hit 10K in the intervening 15 minutes... Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 13:46
  • Dominic: There wasn't any count in the question when I posted the comment, thought the actual current number would help.
    – Gnome
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 13:57
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3440/…
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 14:10
  • Diago: It took me a minute, but I spotted your veiled waffle reference!
    – Gnome
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 14:21
  • 2
    Perhaps a better idea is to junk the concept of migrated questions? I don't think it works very well, and don't use it as a reason for closing SO questions very often myself.
    – nb69307
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 14:24
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/125/…
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 16:43
  • BTW - this is pretty much an exact duplicate of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/28232/…
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 17:20
  • @Shog9 - I disagree. That question limits the number of moderators to combat inflation, while this question increases the number of votes required for a given action to combat inflation. Two different tactics, and I can see some people voting for one solution and not the other, so they should be separate.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 17:37
  • Yeah - two different "solutions" to the same non-issue. I'd be more inclined to distinguish between them if this one at least provided some evidence that closing or migration is over-used on SO.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 17:46

7 Answers 7


I'm surprised that a moderator makes this request. You should really know better. The answer to this question is identical to the answer to requests to increase the threshold for casting close/delete votes: The larger pool of users have to deal with a larger number of posts. The ratio of 10k users/posts is what matters and should remain steady.

Update: I'm not sure what you really think about SO. It's much larger than SU for sure and I don't think your experience with SU adequately applies to SO. The number of spam votes cast is not really enough. I assume most of them are actually casted by the high rep user. Today, I confronted a spammer posting the same question over a few days. The time frame between my report and taking action was not low. The user got a bunch of sympathy upvotes from clueless people who didn't realize this was a spammer. This problem is not a small one. I'm especially seeing this as I live in a weird time zone (today, I felt the problem is large enough that I'm considering self-nominating myself for moderation primarily because of the time zone).

  • As diamond moderator I have veto rights so it doesn't effect me. However currently a question gets the 5 votes to be moved within 1 minute of being asked, however it was never meant to be moved. This causes a larger problem. Yes there are more questions, but with more 10K moderators, there is a bigger change of a mistake being made. Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 13:44
  • 5
    Diago: I'm not sure how active you are in the Stack Overflow (not the trilogy). I, as a quite active member, actually feel a lack of moderation power, especially in quiet hours. As the site grows, a lot more spam is generated.
    – mmx
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 13:47
  • With regards to your spam update. I do see the same on SU, and although I don't have a lot of rep, I have been part of SO for a while before moving to SU. I agree the number of diamond moderators on SO needs to be increased. Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 14:07

This would only work if it were based on the number of active 10k moderators on the site.

  • I would suspect that there is less then 10% of 10K mods who are not active. By the time you reach 10k the addiction is over and the value of the site has come to the fore. Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 13:47

This is a suggestion I can't agree with. Others have covered the main points, but since the biggest thing we're talking about is closure and migration, a big part of my disagreement is the number of active mods.

It's way higher. You only need 3K to close. I can close, and I do not have 10K. I can migrate, which is just an offshoot of closure, and I do not have 10K. So we have a lot of users running around with the ability to close -- the "junior janitors," if you will. We need them because even though they are human and they err, they also are providing a valuable service in essentially taking care of the little messes so that the mods can worry about bigger issues. (No two mods, no matter how good and dedicated they were, could possibly handle all of the crap which gets flooded into SO on a daily basis. It's too much for even a team of 5 full-timers, most likely!)

Migration to an incorrect site is probably something of an issue; I have seen many questions get migrated that absolutely should not have. (Not that they should have stayed open, but SU and SF should not be considered SO's dumping ground.)

I don't think that increasing the number of votes required will matter for this, however. If you can get 5 votes within a minute, how long do you really think it will take for the last one, two, three, what-have-you?

I think if a solution to this is truly needed, perhaps a better answer is to only migrate if 4 of the 5 closure votes are for migration, and all of them to the same site. Otherwise, the question should still be closed as the majority reason, but not automatically moved, and let a mod on the source site perform the migration if it is truly warranted.


I think it's important to get bad questions closed as quickly as possible. This is especially true for duplicate questions asone of the most annoything things that can happen to you on SO is to find that you've spent 5 minutes on a carefully crafted answer to a duplicate question, with an original that already has a great answer.

I think the point of the 5 limit is to prevent a single user closing a question on a whim. However, if 5 users in good standing think a question is bad I don't see the point in waiting for a sixth.

  • The problem is with the 5 users of good standing. Do you trust every one of the 400+ current 10K mods to make the correct call? Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 13:59
  • A way to vote to counter close votes would help this issue too; occasionally I've left comments like "whomever is voting to XXX this shouldn't because of XXX", and seen many more of them than I've written.
    – Gnome
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 14:04
  • I don't see too many questions closed wrongly put perhaps I'm not on the site enough.
    – David Webb
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 14:41
  • 1
    I would argue that it doesn't matter if I trust them, but that the community trusts them - otherwise they would not have the 10k rep. Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 17:29

You have to understand that there are 50 new questions every 2 minutes on SO.

Fast reaction time requires many, many more moderators.

The one question you point out may be an outlier (I haven't looked at it) but the reality is that for 95% of the problem questions the system works fine.

It's a delicate balance, though, and making such a big change will not only make it slower/harder to close questions that obviously need to close or migrate, but it will change the closing and opening dynamic significantly. Small tweaks one at a time is best for such a large control system, or it goes out of whack and oscillates for weeks, tying up the owners, moderators, etc.

Having more moderators should help with the 5% that are unfairly or wrongly categorized.

But changing the system that works 95% of the time, just to target that 5%, may actually be counterproductive.

Still, go ahead and gather the statistics that show how many questions are being close correctly on an hourly basis, how many are being closed incorrectly, how many people are voting to close/open them, and how many 3k+ moderators are active on the site at a given time.

Then you might have enough information to pull out a conclusion to support your feature request.


I think you're addressing the wrong problem - i've seen questions migrated incorrectly by users who've been on SO since the beta, and who expressed a clear desire to get rid of an inappropriate question - hardly inexperienced users migrating for the heck of it. The problem you need to address is that of questions that don't belong on other, non-SO sites; This suggestion at least suggests a tool you could use to correct improper migration, although I have a small issue with that as well...


I think maybe based on the percentage of moderators, but not on the total. But even there it's a tough sell.

  • Site: 10k+/2+ rep users: SO: 437 / 73135 (5.9%), SU: 6 / 11200, SF: 10 / 12872. SU/SF currently have so few 10k+, seems better to just pick a number for SO independently. Revisit when any site hits 100x 10k+.
    – Gnome
    Commented Jan 15, 2010 at 15:06

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