# 2018: a year in moderation

It's New Year's Day in Stack Exchange land...

A distinguishing characteristic of these sites is how they are moderated:

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

While there certainly are Moderators here, a significant amount of the moderation is done by ordinary people, using the privileges they've earned by virtue of their contributions to the site. Each of you contributes a little bit of time and effort, and together you accomplish much.

As we enter a new year, let's pause and reflect, taking a moment to appreciate the work that we do here together. To that end, here is how the moderation done here on Amateur Radio breaks down by activity over the past 12 months:

                 Action                  Moderators Community¹
---------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                  1          7
Users destroyed                                  40          0
Users deleted                                     2          0
Users contacted                                   1          0
Tasks reviewed³: Suggested Edit queue            49        131
Tasks reviewed³: Reopen Vote queue                5         19
Tasks reviewed³: Low Quality Posts queue          5         21
Tasks reviewed³: First Post queue                21        352
Tags merged                                       1          0
Tag synonyms proposed                             1          0
Tag synonyms created                              1          0
Questions reopened                               29          1
Questions protected                               1          5
Questions migrated                                1          0
Questions flagged⁴                               11        840
Questions closed                                102          2
Question flags handled⁴                         104        747
Posts unlocked                                    0          1
Posts undeleted                                  13          7
Posts locked                                      0        137
Posts deleted⁵                                  116        243
Posts bumped                                      0        121
Comment flags handled                            26         66
All comments on a post moved to chat             13          0


### Footnotes

¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Amateur Radio 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 This counts every review that was submitted (not skipped) - so the 3 suggested edits reviews needed to approve an edit would count as 3, the goal being to indicate the frequency of moderation actions. This also applies to flags, etc.

⁴ Includes close flags (but not close or reopen votes).

⁵ This ignores numerous deletions that happen automatically in response to some other action.

⁶ This includes comments deleted by their own authors (which also account for some number of handled comment flags).

Wishing you all a happy new year...

• I didn't realize that the non-moderators did so much. It seems to me that their activity in this regards is not what it used to be. – Mike Waters Jan 2 at 19:41
• "The ideal moderator does as little as possible. But those little actions may be powerful and highly concentrated. Judiciously limiting your use of moderator powers to selectively prune and guide the community — now that’s the true art of moderation." Maybe I'm doing too much? – Mike Waters Jan 2 at 19:45
• What I perceive to be a problem is the reluctance of everyone to downvote bad questions. Do you have any suggestions? – Mike Waters Jan 2 at 20:00
• The reluctance to downvote... Is kinda by-design, @Mike. Folks tend to not react well to downvotes. At the same time, it's important that overtly incorrect/harmful information is downvoted. So the system imposes a nominal "cost" to discourage frivolous voting, and it does precisely that - generally folks will not downvote unless they find a post not just problematic but offensively bad. – Shog9 Jan 3 at 3:30
• As for doing too much... I wouldn't worry about it. Folks will generally let you know if you're overreaching. Ham is currently in that sorta limbo state, where there are enough people involved but not so many truly invested as to make hands-on moderation unnecessary in most cases; in other words, folks depend on you to set an example. You need not worry about acting too much... Rather, ensure that when you do act, it is exemplary of what you hope to see in everyone. – Shog9 Jan 3 at 3:33