It’s that time of the year again! As we wave goodbye to last year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the preceding calendar year.

As most of you here might be 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 — folks like you. 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 in ensuring Stack Exchange sites remain a valuable source of high-quality content on the web.

So as we say goodbye to 2023 (and January 2024… ahem) and move into 2024, 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 Community User¹ Community²
All comments on a post moved to chat 9 0 0
Answer flags handled 1,422 1,648 0
Answers flagged 251 270 2,544
Bounties canceled 1 0 0
Comment flags handled 3,367 687 49
Comments deleted⁸ 5,558 86 2,939
Comments flagged 862 42 3,201
Comments undeleted 126 0 0
Escalations to the Community Manager team 18 0 0
Posts bumped 0 28 0
Posts deleted⁷ 1,931 3,120 1,089
Posts locked 43 2,084 0
Posts undeleted 125 1 147
Posts unlocked 9 18 0
Question flags handled⁶ 3,125 9,233 0
Questions closed 1,626 1,684 91
Questions flagged⁶ 672 260 11,429
Questions merged 5 0 0
Questions migrated 44 0 0
Questions protected 3 86 25
Questions reopened 44 52 11
Questions unprotected 3 0 5
Revisions redacted 206 0 0
Tag highlight language set 2 0 0
Tag synonyms created 22 0 0
Tag synonyms proposed 14 0 2
Tags merged 10 0 0
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Close votes" queue 135 0 3,106
Tasks reviewed⁵: "First answers" queue 0 0 0
Tasks reviewed⁵: "First questions" queue 0 0 0
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Late answers" queue 0 0 0
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Low quality posts" queue 54 0 859
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Reopen votes" queue 31 0 618
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Suggested edits" queue 63 105 1,225
Tasks reviewed⁵: "Triage" queue 0 0 0
User banned from review 1 0 0
User review-bans lifted early 0 0 0
User suspensions lifted early 2 0 0
Users contacted 163 0 0
Users deleted 7 0 0
Users destroyed⁴ 428 0 0
Users suspended³ 124 577 0


¹ This refers to the automated systems otherwise known as user #-1.

² This refers to the membership of Meta Stack Exchange without diamonds next to their names.

³ 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.

⁴ 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.

⁵ 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.

⁶ Includes close flags (but not close or reopen votes). The community² can handle these flags by at least one person voting to close a question that has a close flag.

⁷ This ignores numerous deletions that happen automatically in response to some other action.

⁸ This includes comments deleted by their own authors (which also account for some number of handled comment flags).

Further reading:

Wishing everyone a happy 2024! ^_^

  • For comments deleted by the Community user, does that refer to comments deleted by users who later deleted their accounts? Jan 24 at 21:02
  • 1
    no totals column? Jan 24 at 23:11
  • 2
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog No, comments deleted by users who later deleted their accounts are counted under "Community".
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jan 25 at 18:47
  • @AdamLear Ah, so then why do comments get deleted by the Community user? Also, when an automatic duplicate comment is automatically deleted as a result of the question being closed as a duplicate, which column is it counted in? Jan 25 at 18:57
  • @Sonic It looks like your edit changed “Wanna” to “Want to”. 1. Why did you make this edit? 2. Why does the revision page say “added 43 characters in body”? Jan 28 at 1:44
  • @ElementsInSpace I have no idea why it says I added 43 characters to the body. I made the edit because it didn't seem proper to me to use an extremely informal English word in what's meant to be a formal post. Jan 28 at 2:26
  • 1
    @Sonic A touch of informality (such as the occasional “y'all”, “ahem”, “^_^”, etc.) make this post more conversational/human, and less dry/boring. It’s a deliberate choice of writing style that actually improves the readability of this post. Jan 28 at 2:44
  • @ElementsInSpace the diff works in an odd way, I can look it up later and post in chat but the TL;DR is something about checking whole paragraph and counting the difference by words or something like that. Anyway it's not a bug. Jan 28 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


Rows for "questions closed" and "questions reopened" are incorrect/misleading

Shortly after these posts were published on all sites, there was some confusion as to why the Community user is shown as having reopened many questions, generally more than what the community reopened. The Community user cannot itself reopen questions - the only case where it would be shown as a reopen voter is if a user who's cast a pending vote to reopen later has their account removed.

Eventually, after some sleuthing, we discovered that the columns for that row are based on the (individual) user listed in the history event in each question. When more than one user is involved in reopening a question and a moderator isn't involved, the system will list the Community user in the history event. Based on fairly obvious conjecture (the community most definitely closed more than 91 questions here on this site, what with the large amount of blatantly off-topic posts coming in daily), it appears the same is true for the closed questions row. This means that:

  • The "Moderators" column shows questions where a moderator closed or reopened. (This is the only column that is correct.)
  • The "Community user" column shows questions where the community closed or reopened without any type of binding vote, questions where a gold-badge user bindingly closed or reopened and other users had also cast votes, and (for the closed questions row only) where the Community user actually cast a binding vote in response to the author approving a proposed duplicate.
  • The "Community" column shows questions where a gold-badge user bindingly closed or reopened the question without anyone else voting.

The latter two columns, as you can see, don't conform to the actual definitions. In particular, the way it should be like is as follows:

  • The "Community user" column in the closed questions row should only list cases where the author approved a pending duplicate vote or flag. For the reopen questions row, it should be zero since the bot cannot reopen questions.

  • The "Community" column should list all closures and reopenings done without binding votes or with binding votes from gold-badge users.

Can these fixes be deployed on all sites?


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