One of the consequences of being promoted out of beta is that much higher rep is now needed for all privileges - so high that very few users have such rep. Currently we have no 10K users and hence nobody has access to moderation tools. I think many users were employing some of these tools to help organize the site - keeping an eye on posts from new users, watching recent edits, etc. It's a great loss that we can no longer access them. It would make more sense to gradually increase the required privilege levels as the site grows. Can anything like this be done?

NOTE $\ $ I find it strange that some people have downvoted this. Perhaps I should elaborate. This is not something I use much personally. Rather there are many helpful users who have more spare time than I who graciously spend their time retagging questions, adding better titles, etc. I presume that one way they efficiently locate many of these posts is via the mod tools. Unlike Qiaochu and I, many of these folks are a long way from reaching the new mod privileges. So it is a shame that we may lose their organizational skills due to the changes. Access to this data is helpful to the community at large. It's not even clear why such data is not accessible to everybody. I think it should be since it helps everybody to improve the site. At the least the data should be accessible to some non-infinitesimal portion of the community.

Note that the mod tools don't grant any new powers - they merely give access to lists of data that anyone could collect otherwise - though much less efficiently without special scraping scripts, etc.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I suppose we'll have to wait for Qiaochu; he's the nearest to the mark, and he accumulates rep quite quickly. :) $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2010 at 22:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have the moderators pro tempore lost their moderator access now? $\endgroup$
    – user856
    Oct 25, 2010 at 23:02
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ While this is being worked out, perhaps we should encourage people to start voting more. $\endgroup$
    – Aryabhata
    Oct 26, 2010 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Jeff Atwood: as Bill says, "access to this data is helpful to the community at large. It's not even clear why such data is not accessible to everybody. I think it should be since it helps everybody to improve the site. [...] Note that the mod tools don't grant any new powers - they merely give access to lists of data that anyone could collect otherwise." Although I personally did not find the 10K tools useful in the beta, others might. Can you (or SE) explain why these features require huge reputation to use when they are just a digest of public information on the site? $\endgroup$
    – T..
    Oct 28, 2010 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ On second thought I recall that there may be a few pieces of data that wouldn't otherwise be accessible. However, most of the data in the 10K mod tools is accessible to everybody (but would require great effort to collect it without the aid of the platform). $\endgroup$ Oct 28, 2010 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ It would be quite easy to display the public information in the 10K-tools to all users, with a separate decision as to whether otherwise invisible data (such as flags) should be displayed for all, some or none of the users. One just has to move the privilege check from "tools" to "flags" (or junk it entirely). This is a matter of not withholding something already built and working and formerly available, not a pie-in-the-sky feature request for the SE developers. $\endgroup$
    – T..
    Oct 29, 2010 at 0:04

2 Answers 2


As far as privileges and capabilities are concerned it would be good to avoid having some animals be more equal than others, and also to have as little dependence on moderators as possible. Whatever reputation-based privilege hierarchy does exist should be as"flat" as is possible within the software setup at any given moment, with features granted to a large population of users (e.g., all of them). Problems can worked out by means that do not rely on macroscopic human intervention and instead utilize the micro-scale voting and tagging mechanisms with aggregation of the micro-information by algorithms.

In the meantime, within the current reputation and moderation system and its escalator of privileges, there are users below 2K (muad comes to mind, and there are others) who in the beta had been actively using edit capabilities to improve questions, add or fix TeX, etc --- and now can not contribute in that way. Also, editing is a way for some users to participate who are not as active in the Q & A. Narrowing the population with this capability would be a step backward from the beta-test.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ +1 for the Animal Farm reference. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2010 at 21:38

This is touched on in


The reputation levels required will not change; I would encourage people within the community to vote more (both up and down) and try to use all their votes every day as they deem fit.

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ the Area 51 process is a step backward from news.groups. The metrics you list make it impossible to get a specialized group out of (and often, into) beta. math.SE will tank if it doesn't form subgroups. Wait and see... or take a hint ("sci.math"). If your advisory board of old Internet hands doesn't grasp that the SE model lacks key elements that even USENET handled smoothly (crossposting, ramification), and instead devises silly "metrics" as a graduation obstacle course, please consider replacing them with something more thoughtful. $\endgroup$
    – T..
    Oct 28, 2010 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ @T.. Why don't you guys try and follow the rules, instead of asking why they are in place? Reputation is there for motivation purposes also. Motivation to get more rep, not motivation to complain about the system. $\endgroup$
    – badp
    Nov 23, 2010 at 15:03
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @badp: It is following the rules to discuss the rules, operation, policies and future of the site. Hoarding reputation points (if that is really a motivator) and conversing on the meta are both within the scope and ordinary use of the site. Counterintuitively, meta conversations can sometimes be more a productive use of time in the long term and may improve the site more than additional math Q & A. The idea that people should run a race in order to be allowed to speak -- or in order to prevent them from speaking -- is a strange one and I doubt it will gain support from the user population. $\endgroup$
    – T..
    Nov 23, 2010 at 18:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @badp: Fyi: Some members of this site have been active in online math forums for a few decades or so - both as users, software developers, moderators, etc. The collective wisdom gained from such experiences can prove very helpful when making design decisions for new platforms - esp. those that are math-context dependent. So you shouldn't be surprised to see discussions about such here. $\endgroup$ Nov 23, 2010 at 18:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .