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Current Stack Overflow privileges are based on the user's reputation.

  • 25,000 access to site analytics
  • 20,000 trusted user
  • 15,000 protect questions
  • 10,000 access to moderator tools
  • etc.

Wouldn't it be better to tie this to rating percentage instead? E.g. the top 10% of users gain access to site analytics, the top 15% are trusted users, etc.

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  • 2
    Percentage of...what? – VLAZ Apr 12 at 12:34
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    @Glorfindel are you sure that's what OP meant here? – VLAZ Apr 12 at 12:36
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    @VLAZ do you want my certainty as a percentage? :D Danijel, if this isn't what you meant, feel free to roll it back. – Glorfindel Apr 12 at 12:37
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    @Glorfindel :D I'd settle for OP clarifying. – VLAZ Apr 12 at 12:37
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    Why would this be better? Which site are you on where you are not yet at 25,000 rep but are in the top 10%? Also: wouldn't this give much fluctuation of privileges for users across the board? One day you can close vote, next day you can't. – rene Apr 12 at 12:40
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    I kind of like the idea I'm "feature complete" on two sites. If privileges were tied to a percentage I would need to keep going in the rat race. – rene Apr 12 at 12:43
  • Isn't it something like "user reputation points percentiles"? – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Apr 12 at 16:27
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Wouldn't it be better to tie this to rating percentage instead? E.g. the top 10% of users gain access to site analytics, the top 15% are trusted users, etc.

Not really. If you look at all time reputation vs. an all time percentage, reputation is much more stable than a percentage. Imagine there are 1000 users. And 100 of those are spam accounts. One morning, a moderator decides they're bored, and removes the accounts of the spammers. Suddenly, 10 users lose their access to site analytics.

If you look at percentages for shorter time periods, you reach the problem of inactivity Glorfindel describes. I disagree with that answer stating that it may have merit on sites with little activity though: it would mean users can unlock a lot of privileges without first showing an understanding of how the site works.

Also, right now, once you reach a privilege level you can focus on using it. If you have to make sure you're in the X% group to keep using it, this adds a (probably unwanted) focus on keeping your privileges, instead of on curating the site with those privileges.

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I guess this system would have some merit on sites with little activity. I recently answered a question on a small site's Meta (but somehow SEDE can't find it) mentioning the Site Analytics page, only to discover that there was only a single non-moderator user who could profit from it...

The disadvantage of your idea is that it's possible to reach a certain privilege (e.g. Close Votes), and then lose it after a while because you're less active on the site. That's rather inconvenient; reduced activity does not necessarily mean you can't be trusted with those tools.

Alternatively, it could work the way that once you earn a certain privilege, you never lose it. Obviously, that would need a few exceptions (suspensions come to mind), and it has some other disadvantages: why would user John with 2,000 reputation be able to vote to close a question but not user Jane with twice that many reputation? And the user who got the first upvote on the site would gain all privileges indefinitely, even if they would never be active again.

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  • It might be ok to have a threshold be the minimum of the standard threshold, and a somewhat lower threshold determined dynamically by site statistics, similar to the way beta sites had lower rep thresholds. Although, that still has the potential for people to lose their “early access” to privileges as the site grows. I think it’s a bad idea for something positive like a site growing to feel a bit punitive to the people that helped it grow. A small stack probably doesn’t need a high % of the community to have privileges because it has less activity to moderate. – ColleenV Apr 12 at 14:43

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