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

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 say goodbye to 2022 (and where did January go, right?) and dive head first into 2023, 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 Mathematics over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
All comments on a post moved to chat 317 0
Answer flags handled 2,277 9,316
Answers flagged 101 11,510
Bounties canceled 28 0
Comment flags handled 5,680 2,947
Comments deleted⁷ 15,078 73,758
Comments flagged 45 8,585
Comments undeleted 129 0
Escalations to the Community Manager team 79 0
Posts bumped 0 8,305
Posts deleted⁶ 875 79,465
Posts locked 36 373
Posts undeleted 149 6,772
Posts unlocked 4 55
Question flags handled⁵ 2,158 24,430
Questions closed 1,743 29,915
Questions flagged⁵ 36 27,335
Questions merged 16 0
Questions migrated 13 92
Questions protected 3 455
Questions reopened 39 766
Questions unprotected 0 402
Revisions redacted 22 0
Tag synonyms created 7 0
Tag synonyms proposed 4 6
Tags merged 5 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Close votes" queue 41 71,450
Tasks reviewed⁴: "First answers" queue 1 19,174
Tasks reviewed⁴: "First questions" queue 1 54,275
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Late answers" queue 2 6,946
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Low quality posts" queue 6 50,071
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Reopen votes" queue 3 15,278
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Suggested edits" queue 31 37,657
User banned from review 8 0
User suspensions lifted early 3 0
Users contacted 406 0
Users deleted 252 0
Users destroyed³ 122 0
Users suspended² 256 106


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Mathematics 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). Community can handle these flags by at least one person voting to close a question that has a close flag.

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:

Wishing everyone a happy 2023! ^_^

  • $\begingroup$ I am surprised by the huge amount of flagged comments. $\endgroup$
    – user1551
    Jan 26, 2023 at 22:37
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I am surprised by the down vote on this post. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jan 26, 2023 at 23:24
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ @user1551 My feeling is that most of the comment flags are "no longer needed" flags. Remember that comments are meant to be ephemeral---if a user suggests a modification to a post, and that modification is made, the comment can be deleted. "No longer needed" also covers "thank you" messages. My gut feeling is that most comment flags don't represent any kind of conflict, hostility, or "rule breaking", but are simply housekeeping. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Jan 26, 2023 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ If no users were deleted by the "community" does that mean no one voluntarily left? $\endgroup$
    – bobeyt6
    Jan 27, 2023 at 1:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'd guess that "moderator action" implies something one does to affect a different user, so those aren't included in moderation statistics. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jan 27, 2023 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ And now there are 4 down votes! If you are one of those 4, I would love to know why. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Feb 5, 2023 at 22:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am not the one, but I am going to give one downvote. First, the numbers don't mean the quality. We cannot tell how many contents are wrongly moderated. Second, democracy doesn't forms only by voting. Human know tyranny of the majority and hierarchy. Last, deletion should only happen when the content is offensive or harmful. If one cannot find a reason the content is offensive or harmful, they should keep the content there. A notification in help centre "comments are meant to be ephemeral" is not sufficient reason to remove the content. $\endgroup$
    – gyro
    Feb 7, 2023 at 17:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @gyro You seem to have a lot of misconceptions about the purpose and functioning of this site. First off, while it is largely community moderated, it is not a democracy. Ultimately, Math SE is run by a for-profit organization which is not beholden to any of us. Second, three is no reason that useless but otherwise harmless content should be kept on the site---the goal is to create a high quality repository, not a social network. So, unless you include "harms the integrity of the database" in your definition of "harmful", there are plenty of reasons to delete "harmless" content. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Feb 7, 2023 at 18:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Third, comments are designed to be temporary. Period. Don't put anything you want to keep in the comments. They can and will be deleted without notice. This is how the entire network has treated comments since day one. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Feb 7, 2023 at 18:51


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