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 Physics over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
All comments on a post moved to chat 154 0
Answer flags handled 2,446 716
Answers flagged 168 2,989
Bounties canceled 8 0
Comment flags handled 980 256
Comments deleted⁷ 9,213 11,529
Comments flagged 12 1,226
Comments undeleted 875 0
Escalations to the Community Manager team 8 0
Posts bumped 0 8,266
Posts deleted⁶ 1,226 12,955
Posts locked 11 363
Posts undeleted 90 872
Posts unlocked 3 60
Question flags handled⁵ 1,229 2,619
Questions closed 2,930 5,946
Questions flagged⁵ 271 3,863
Questions merged 1 0
Questions migrated 85 77
Questions protected 8 57
Questions reopened 152 257
Questions unprotected 1 1
Tag synonyms created 26 3
Tag synonyms proposed 25 0
Tags merged 15 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Close votes" queue 126 15,878
Tasks reviewed⁴: "First answers" queue 60 3,737
Tasks reviewed⁴: "First questions" queue 109 9,291
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Late answers" queue 68 2,010
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Low quality posts" queue 120 3,035
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Reopen votes" queue 270 3,082
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Suggested edits" queue 606 5,632
Tasks reviewed⁴: "Triage" queue 12 257
User banned from review 4 0
Users contacted 122 0
Users deleted 110 0
Users destroyed³ 120 0
Users suspended² 98 85


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Physics 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! ^_^

  • $\begingroup$ 98 suspended, wow! Only 80 last year and 74 the year before and 83 the year before that and 50 in the year before that. A new record indeed! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 18:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user1271772 I haven’t munged any numbers, but last year felt like a big year for sockpuppeting, where one person uses multiple accounts to do things that a single account couldn’t do. I suspect the increase in 2022 over 2019–2021 is not statistically significant with that correction. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Jan 27, 2023 at 4:17


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