Right now, the maximum privilege "unlock" is at 10k reputation:


We're considering adding a new 20k reputation privilege, but having a hard time figuring out exactly what it should be.

Two guidelines:

  1. I would like it to be more than cosmetic -- I'd prefer to add a new and useful privilege that gives people actual power to effect more change on the site they have invested so much time in.
  2. It would also be clever, though by no means required, if the privilege scaled so the more reputation you get above 20k, the more potent this hypothetical privilege is. Although this could be risky and even dangerous, so be careful and think through the consequences of what you're proposing.

Let's hear it -- please propose a new 20k reputation privilege, ideally meeting at least one of the guidelines above!

  • 70
    This is the last thing that I, a 9665-rep user, needed to see. I'm already hooked, man! – Pops Nov 11 '10 at 22:59
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    Lol, most of these answers are by users between 19-21K rep here on meta. – Joel Coehoorn Nov 11 '10 at 23:15
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    I don't think that 20k rep users are more thrustworthy than 10k users. I believe after 10k one has proven one's dedication and that one knows the way around SO. I'd rather give the proposed priviledges directly to 10k users. At the moment, they don't gain much power. – Georg Schölly Nov 12 '10 at 17:55
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    @Georg: When you have as many users above 20k as SO has (which correlates to the number of users total), it might be worth giving them some additional privileges to reduce moderator load — and I think that should be the goal of any of these high-rep privileges. SO is getting a lot more 10kers, and the specific rep requirement is higher to both reduce the number of users (thus hopefully avoid some abuse) and make it meaningful+fun. The latter includes not swamping users with a ton of new abilities at once, which is already a problem with 10k. – Gnome Nov 12 '10 at 18:07
  • I'm not saying these users should be forced to spend more of their time moderating, but if they want to, giving them the tools to do so is a good thing. I'm using "moderation" broadly as "actual power to effect change" rather than specifically limiting other users; e.g. tag synonyms are change without limiting other users (but they'd also make a bad 20k ability, I think). – Gnome Nov 12 '10 at 18:10
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    This list of privileges that 10k users don't have is useful: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/05/a-theory-of-moderation – Gordon Gustafson Nov 13 '10 at 18:13
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    I propose the inability to answer questions that don't already have several answers. This is to take the stress of always needing to be the first to give a decent answer off their backs. (With the added bonus that other people on stackoverflow also get a chance to contribute) ;) – Joren Nov 16 '10 at 10:11
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    @Joren that would just increase the number of bounties offered. Also, Jon Skeet would kill you. – Tyler Carter Dec 17 '10 at 17:51
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    How about, the higher over 20k you are, the more points you get for upvotes, accepts ... yes I am lazily trying to increase my rep, what of it! – Aiden Bell Feb 5 '11 at 22:14
  • Jeff, shouldn't you tag this as status-complete already? :) – Earlz Feb 11 '11 at 6:58
  • @Jeff: Why is this listed as "Trusted user", and not as three separate privileges? Other privileges that are reached at the same rep level aren't grouped together, and "trusted user" doesn't sound like a privilege, but more like a state. – Jan Fabry Feb 11 '11 at 11:27
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    Someone voted to close as No Repro, presumably because there is a 20k privilege now and thus no need to fill the gap… neglecting the obvious fact that it was this very question that filled that gap in the first place. – Nathan Tuggy Jun 26 '17 at 4:27

44 Answers 44


Moderators on the site get a cute little icon next to their name, 20K+ should get some sort of visual indicator. This could scale well too (Color, shape, etc).

(I know this is just a "fun" thing -- it has no functional purpose -- but aren't badges just fun too?)


View Site As... Feature

It's easy to forget what the site might look like to other users. That's why Facebook introduced the "View As..." feature:

enter image description here

The ability to enter a certain reputation score and then see what the site would look like would be very useful when trying to post ideas or help users on Meta. Examples:

  • I want to take a screenshot to demonstrate how to access a feature, but my view of the page is cluttered with options that are not available to the average user.

  • I want copy/paste an error message that high rep users don't see (you can't comment, etc).

  • I'm just curious whether or not a particular feature is accessible to a user with 976, etc., reputation.

Some high-rep users and mods create "puppet" accounts to achieve this goal (being careful not to use them in fraudulent ways), but this has obvious downsides and probably isn't a good idea for the majority of 10k+/20k+ users.

If we could gain access to some sort of "view as..." feature, or official "sock puppet" accounts that are invisible to other users (with locked rep, certain restrictions, etc), it'd be helpful.


Let 20k+ users' votes to close as duplicate (not for the other close reasons) count twice or even thrice, so that two 20k+ users are enough to dupe-close a question.

  • -1, duplicate voting is already misused, I feel. The fact you misnomed the " exact duplicate" close reason proves my point :) – badp Nov 12 '10 at 10:15
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    @radp I disagree. There may be frivolous duplicate votes, but all in all, the number of unclosed real duplicates overshadows them any time of the week – Pekka Nov 12 '10 at 10:18
  • @Pekka That's because searching for duplicates is a bitch :) Many times it occurred to me I knew there was a exact duplicate from ages ago but just couldn't find it. Once one does find it, there's chat for coordination. – badp Nov 12 '10 at 10:28
  • @radp I agree with your first sentence, but what I mean is that a dupe is identified, but doesn't gain enough dupe votes because the question falls off the front page so quickly. But maybe that gets better now with the "interesting" tab – Pekka Nov 12 '10 at 10:31
  • @Pekka, I'm not sure. Bad questions get huge penalties on the interesting tab, which makes it them easy to ignore and tough to handle. That's why my sorting proposals were focused on merely giving bonuses on interesting questions, regardless of their quality :) That said, rallying for moderation support on chat is what I'd do. – badp Nov 12 '10 at 10:41
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    @radp that adds too much hassle to the process IMO. People don't necessarily want to get involved in chat discussions. I think we have too many unclosed dupes, and this would be a good way to battle them – Pekka Nov 12 '10 at 17:43
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    I was going to suggest this myself - some questions in niche areas fail to reach the required number of votes to be closed as a dupe. – Andy E Nov 12 '10 at 18:32

Someone needs to watch what users with new 10K rights are doing, so should 20K users see a list of actions being taken by new 10K users and be able to contact these new 10K users to guide them?

Maybe each new 10K user should be monitored by 2 or 3 20K users.

  • Nice idea, but the biggest jumps in responsibility lies between 2000 and 3000 (editing and closing). So if there need te be mentors it need to be earlier. And its still no guarantee that each 10K+ user act according the community. – Toon Krijthe Dec 17 '10 at 13:43
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    The only new action that 10k users get is deletion/undeletion, which is pretty basic and already tracked by the 10k tools. Everything else they get is mostly reporting and tracking features, while everything they do was earned earlier. At 10k reputation they're probably less necessary to watch than users who are new to those abilities (like the newly 3k users as @Gamecat mentions). – Grace Note Dec 17 '10 at 14:03

Give 20k trusted users more ability to help cleanup Closed As Duplicate questions.

Being able to change the close as duplicate link, so that it would point to a real canonical question would be a good start.


The ability to put a bounty on someone else's question, spending only a fraction of the reputation it would normally take.

For example, when you saw a question that you really wanted to help, you could spend 50 of your own reputation to give that question a +250 point bounty.

This would allow 20k users to shower a little bit of extra attention on highly deserving questions.

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    If you have 20k does it really matter if you give 50 or 250? And what's up with the inflation that might lend to the system? – jcolebrand Nov 12 '10 at 0:24
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    If you've got 20K rep does spending it on a bounty really matter? – Rebecca Chernoff Nov 12 '10 at 0:25
  • Darn you @drachenstern! – Rebecca Chernoff Nov 12 '10 at 0:27
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    well you made a good point. I can delete mine if you want to compose a better retort. – jcolebrand Nov 12 '10 at 0:28
  • @drachentern. I don't think that inflation is really applicable here. Every upvote introduces either 5 or 10 rep into the system that just comes out of nowhere. likewise, every downvote removes 3 points that just goes nowhere. It's not really a real economy to begin with and I don't see a problem with that. – aaronasterling Nov 12 '10 at 0:36
  • @aaronasterling ~ But they're trying to get people to close old questions and encouraging bounty giving to do so. I just see it as a way to feed inflation to those in the 5k - 15k slots. Maybe it's just me. I also don't think that a 1:5 ratio makes a big difference to 20k+ holders. Either they will or they won't give bountys – jcolebrand Nov 12 '10 at 0:42
  • If you look at the stats. High rep users barely use the bounty feature, they are really competitive and giving up 50 rep, strangely, is not something they like to do. How about 1 free 50 bounty a week, could that work? – waffles Nov 12 '10 at 7:38
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    we'd have to watch for bounty rings, of course – Marc Gravell Nov 12 '10 at 8:05
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    Instead of this, leave the system as is, just remove the parts that suck: The 24-hour waiting period before you can award a bounty, and the limit of one bounty at a time. That would make the system really work. – Pekka Nov 12 '10 at 9:35
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    I love giving bounties to random, unanswered questions. I don't mind laying down 500 rep if anyone needs it (in fact, I was thinking of starting a chat room for it). I'd much prefer @Pekka's idea so I can throw down a few k of rep for several questions at once. – Andy E Nov 12 '10 at 9:41
  • In my mind, the main argument against this is that it gives 20k+ users the possibility to "print money", so to speak. Seeing as the likelihood is huge that another 20k+ will successfully answer the question and cash in the bounty, this will create the impression of high-reputation users feeding each other, whether it's justified or not. I think that is harmful for the community as a whole. Bounties should come from your own pocket. – Pekka Nov 12 '10 at 12:01
  • @Pekka ~ So I'm not the only one seeing the potential for abuse to cause higher level inflation? – jcolebrand Nov 12 '10 at 13:05
  • @drachenstern yes, although I'm rather concerned about the fact that only a small group can cause it. But this is an interesting view: Stack Overflow has a currency that is backed by good questions and answers. At least indirectly, with all the shortcomings of the voting system. – Pekka Nov 12 '10 at 13:08

The ability to get moderator powers for reps/20k hours every week.

  • You cannot moderate questions you asked and/or answered and/or have an active bounty for.
  • If you moderate a question, you cannot answer it until your mod powers expire.
  • Once in moderator mode, you stay in moderator mode until your mod time runs out.
  • Unused mod time is lost and not saved up for the following week.

I'm against adding new features above 10k reputation because it takes a lot of time for a SE site to get even just one 20ker. Having 20k-rep-only votes makes such a privilege useless for SE sites for a long time. Super User only has four 20kers, to name one of those young sites (the fifth is just 700 rep short, however.)

  • If some of the captchas sound inspired by Slashdot, it's because they are. – badp Nov 12 '10 at 11:56

The ability to award extra rep or a badge to users who make some kind of great contribution, kind of like the Wikipedia Barnstar idea.

Advantage (at least of rep) is that it is completely scalable (e.g. 200 rep awards for 20K users, 300 rep for 30K etc.).

Disadvantage because it is subjective some people who don't get these awards may ask, "Hey, what about me? That's not fair" and it may create a bad atmosphere.

  • Also, the amount would need to be well thought out. Too much rep floating around would cause the value of it to decrease. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Nov 24 '10 at 17:53

Is there a way to allow 20K users to contribute to the code of the SO sites? I mean develop a new feature or implement some of the existing feature requests?

I'm not sure how you'd do that (since it is not open source) but I could see them creating optional add-ons.

Add-ons could be: things for easier formatting, for making database queries, for "pimping" your view or avatar, etc.

Then they could earn further rep each time the add-ons are used (for the inevitable 30K bonus).

This idea needs a lot of work, I know.

  • Besides needing a lot of work, why would you limit it to 20k users? – juan Nov 24 '10 at 18:30
  • @Juan Manuel - it doesn't have to be 20K per se, but two advantages are: 1. someone with 20K has a better idea of what makes a useful add-on than someone with less, because they understand the community better and 2. prestige. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Nov 24 '10 at 18:37

How 'bout a 20K-only chatroom? By the time you get to 20K, you've probably interacted several times with a few other high-rep (frequent) users and it would nice to have a place to get to know them in a different setting with less noise from occasional users. For scaling points you could add rooms at other thresholds as well (50K, 100K, and the private Jon Skeet-only room, where he receives new answers directly from God).

The danger here is this would pull these users out of more public chat rooms.

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    I want to upvote for the Jon Skeet joke, but I don't agree with the suggestion. So torn! – jjnguy Nov 12 '10 at 16:06
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    Would this upper-crust lounge also include personal servants? – mmyers Nov 12 '10 at 16:52
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    Because chat is just so extremely populated right now... – TheLQ Nov 13 '10 at 1:55

They can cast multiple up\down votes.

E.g. Ability to cast one more +1 for every additional 15,000 points above 20,000 and -1 with a similar penalty.

I do believe in equality, but these guys are supposed to be the most experienced\enlightened programmers and hence I think should have the ability to nudge some things in the direction that they think appropriate.

I was thinking of an implicit bonus\penalty for every vote they cast, but I guess it's better that they have the discretion to decide whether or not to.

  • 3
    No, no, no, no. This has been proposed, like, 500 times already in different forms. Just having a high reputation doesn't guarantee higher expertise, especially in unfamiliar areas/tags. A high reputation is the result of effort and not necessarily expertise. There's a huge difference and the voting system absolutely needs to recognize that difference. – Aarobot Nov 14 '10 at 15:31
  • Terrible idea. High rep opinions should not be worth 2 votes. – John Dibling Nov 15 '10 at 2:48
  • I do believe in equality too, but if you have 20k rep you're more equal than others. – Fred Nurk Jan 6 '11 at 12:08

Increase daily reputation cap by 10.

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    And the rich get richer... – Aarobot Nov 14 '10 at 15:36

Allow 20k users to see who downvoted their questions/answers, so they can call people out. =)


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