As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the past 12 months.

As most of you here are aware, sites on the Stack Exchange network are moderated somewhat differently to other sites on the web:

We designed the Stack Exchange network engine to be mostly self-regulating, in that we amortize the overall moderation cost of the system across thousands of teeny-tiny slices of effort contributed by regular, everyday users.
-- A Theory of Moderation

That doesn't eliminate the need for having moderators altogether, but it does mean that the bulk of moderation work is carried out by regular folks. Every bit of time and effort y'all contribute to the site gives you access to more privileges you can use to help in this effort, all of which produce a cumulative effect that makes a big difference.

So as we welcome 2021, and in keeping with tradition, let us look back at what we accomplished as a community... by looking at some exciting stats. Below is a breakdown of moderation actions performed on Meta Stack Exchange over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 115 216
Users destroyed³ 1,510 0
Users deleted 23 0
Users contacted 156 1
User suspensions lifted early 2 0
User review-bans lifted early 2 0
User banned from review 3 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 33 2,149
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 11 2,232
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 10 1,252
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 11 6,061
Tags merged 6 0
Tag synonyms proposed 4 7
Tag synonyms created 10 1
Revisions redacted 11 0
Questions unprotected 5 24
Questions reopened 51 135
Questions protected 2 125
Questions migrated 59 0
Questions merged 1 0
Questions flagged⁵ 409 18,804
Questions closed 1,903 4,344
Question flags handled⁵ 3,407 15,799
Posts unlocked 14 28
Posts undeleted 53 241
Posts locked 57 2,010
Posts deleted⁶ 2,823 6,792
Posts bumped 0 67
Escalations to the Community Manager team 9 0
Comments undeleted 110 0
Comments flagged 37 4,362
Comments deleted⁷ 7,284 5,668
Comment flags handled 3,356 1,053
Bounties canceled 4 0
Answers flagged 180 3,415
Answer flags handled 1,555 2,055
All comments on a post moved to chat 28 0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Meta Stack Exchange without diamonds next to their names, and to the automated systems otherwise known as user #-1.

² The system will suspend users under three circumstances: when a user is recreated after being previously suspended, when a user is recreated after being destroyed for spam or abuse, and when a network-wide suspension is in effect on an account.

³ A "destroyed" user is deleted along with all that they had posted: questions, answers, comments. Generally used as an expedient way of getting rid of spam.

⁴ This counts every review that was submitted (not skipped) - so the 2 suggested edits reviews needed to approve an edit would count as 2, the goal being to indicate the frequency of moderation actions. This also applies to flags, etc.

⁵ Includes close flags (but not close or reopen votes).

⁶ This ignores numerous deletions that happen automatically in response to some other action.

⁷ This includes comments deleted by their own authors (which also account for some number of handled comment flags).

Further reading:

A big thank you to Shog9 for writing the queries and script to facilitate fetching and posting this data to all the sites in the network, and to Brian for the subsequent work making the whole thing more user friendly.

Wishing everyone a happy 2021!

  • 3
    How did the community contact 1 user? Jan 19, 2021 at 21:10
  • Hmm. I am curious too, but not enough to dig through all the mod messages 🤣 Jan 20, 2021 at 1:13
  • The amount of flags handled almost equals the amount of flags raised. I don't expect them to be 100% the same due to carry over from 2019 and to 2021. But seeing that they are so close does that mean that no flags aged away, or is that captured as being handled by the community user?
    – Luuklag
    Jan 20, 2021 at 8:55
  • 4
    @double-beep I'm pretty sure it's a mod-message Robert Cartaino sent before being fired, so it's now counted as being from "the membership of Meta Stack Exchange without diamonds next to their names".
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Jan 20, 2021 at 9:40
  • @Luuklag I think aged away flags are dismissed by the Community user Jan 20, 2021 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


As this site is the network meta, a large portion of the moderator actions here aren't performed by local moderators, but by Stack Exchange employees exercising their staff moderator privileges. In fact, between April 2014 and November 2018, this site had no moderators, with the only moderators being SE staff.

I'm curious to know the proportion today of moderator actions which are performed by local moderators, as opposed to SE employees.

When it comes to the moderator-performed actions in the table, can we please get a breakdown of the number of actions performed by local moderators, and the number of actions performed by Stack Exchange staff? In other words, I'd like to see the "Moderators" column broken down into "Local moderators" and "SE staff".

  • Seeing that the group of local moderators is only 2 IIRC that shouldn't be too difficult.
    – Luuklag
    Jan 20, 2021 at 22:37
  • 3 actually. You forgot one Jan 21, 2021 at 1:19
  • I thought all moderators on all other Stack Exchange were automatically moderators on MSE. Was that never the case? Jan 21, 2021 at 5:30
  • 2
    @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q No, this hasn't been the case since the Meta Stack Overflow-Meta Stack Exchange split. After that, only SE staff were moderators (until November 2018, when this site got its own, separate team of moderators). Jan 21, 2021 at 6:56
  • 2
    That's just something I have been saying for years should happen, @P.Mort; not something that ever actually did happen. Jan 22, 2021 at 7:21
  • @CodyGray Too bad you weren't a mod in the pre-split days. Back then, all Trilogy moderators had moderator access here. Jan 22, 2021 at 7:33
  • I was, actually, just not on Stack Overflow. And I don't remember having mod access on MSO. Perhaps it was something implemented between the time that I stopped being a mod on Philosophy and the time of the Great Meta Schism? The former would have been around 2011-12? Jan 22, 2021 at 7:35
  • 1
    @CodyGray No, only the Trilogy moderators (Stack Overflow, Super User, and Server Fault) ever had mod access here during that time. Jan 22, 2021 at 7:44
  • Oh, that's right. I remember that now. Thanks for the reminder! Your memory is impressive. Jan 22, 2021 at 7:50
  • 1
    I checked with Brian, and making this split would be a non-trivial amount of work. I can't guarantee we'll be doing it for 2020's stats, but I'll make a note to try to get it prioritized for 2021's stats.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Jan 27, 2021 at 14:34

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