As we say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one, we have a tradition of sharing moderation stats for the past 12 months.

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 welcome 2021, and in keeping with tradition, 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 Amateur Radio over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 1 5
Users destroyed³ 58 0
Users deleted 2 0
Users contacted 1 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 28 74
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 2 7
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 12 37
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue 1 105
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue 9 372
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 9 93
Tags merged 2 0
Tag synonyms proposed 6 0
Tag synonyms created 6 0
Questions reopened 10 0
Questions protected 0 4
Questions migrated 10 0
Questions flagged⁵ 2 63
Questions closed 74 4
Question flags handled⁵ 30 35
Posts unlocked 2 0
Posts undeleted 10 19
Posts locked 1 25
Posts deleted⁶ 101 159
Posts bumped 0 46
Escalations to the Community Manager team 1 0
Comments undeleted 46 0
Comments flagged 3 14
Comments deleted⁷ 377 363
Comment flags handled 15 2
Answers flagged 44 138
Answer flags handled 167 13
All comments on a post moved to chat 17 0


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 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).

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:

A big thank you to Shog9 for writing the queries and script to facilitate fetching and posting this data to all the sites in the network, and to Brian for the subsequent work making the whole thing more user friendly.

Wishing everyone a happy 2021!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for all the moderators putting hard work into this exchange. It makes the Amateur Radio community better! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks to everyone! You’ll see that the Community column has generally higher numbers than the Moderators column. This site is mostly moderated by the users of the site. Moderators usually only step in in the cases where the community can’t (e.g. destroyed users, converting answers to comments, tidying up comments when no longer needed) $\endgroup$
    – Scott Earle Mod
    Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ Comment moved to answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ JNat, I didn't mean to dump on you in our first interaction. I know you are one of the hard-working CMs here. :-) But would it be possible to edit the column so that it shows only what the human participants did? Or else add a second column for that? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


"... the bulk of moderation work is carried out by regular folks."

Not so!

These figures don't tell the whole story. Moderators do much more than the regular users on this site. And look at footnote 1: it puts human participants and the automated systems together!

The reason why we moderators hesitate to use flags is because mod flags initiate immediate action. (We three mods have discussed this flaw amongst ourselves and feel that this needs to be changed, but that's OT here.)

In fact, I have been discussing the need to educate the community to flag and cast votes on posts (among other things), as A Theory of Moderation and the updated version outlines.

  • $\begingroup$ Few folks look at Ham Shack, but I started this discussion there anyway. We will move forward with educating the regular users after we get another moderator. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 21:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was scratching my head about a few actions by the "Community" in the list, like five suspended users. I'm pretty sure that regular users can't suspend other users, so those five must have been suspended by user #-1. $\endgroup$
    – rclocher3
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 21:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @rclocher3 Same goes for other things in this list, which only moderators can see (probably). For example, I can't tell you how many notices I've seen created by user #-1 to the effect that 'This question/answer was flagged as low quality due to its content'. Some were valid, but others were valid answers. They were all one sentence and one paragraph, which leads one to the conclusion that all answers consisting of a single sentence are flagged. My point is, most of these flags were not raised by regular users. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 13:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Making this split is a bit tricky, and entails a non-trivial amount of work — sometimes we attribute certain actions to the community user when in fact they were carried out by multiple users, for instance. As such, I can't guarantee we'll be able to make this change to how we present 2020's stats, but I'll make a note so we can try to take this into consideration in 2021's. $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 14:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The table in the question didn't give totals, so I did the math. Moderators did 1,047 actions, and "Community" did 1,578. $\endgroup$
    – rclocher3
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 14:53

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