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 2021, 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 MathOverflow over the past 12 months:

Action Moderators Community¹
Users suspended² 14 63
Users destroyed³ 1,331 0
Users deleted 25 0
Users contacted 25 0
User suspensions lifted early 2 0
Tasks reviewed⁴: Suggested Edit queue 2 2,541
Tasks reviewed⁴: Reopen Vote queue 0 697
Tasks reviewed⁴: Low Quality Posts queue 0 1,335
Tasks reviewed⁴: Late Answer queue 0 460
Tasks reviewed⁴: First questions queue 0 1,646
Tasks reviewed⁴: First Post queue 0 3,476
Tasks reviewed⁴: First answers queue 0 398
Tasks reviewed⁴: Close Votes queue 22 6,875
Tags merged 1 0
Tag synonyms proposed 1 0
Tag synonyms created 1 0
Revisions redacted 1 0
Questions unprotected 0 3
Questions reopened 8 33
Questions protected 8 29
Questions migrated 26 45
Questions merged 3 0
Questions flagged⁵ 54 4,183
Questions closed 345 2,899
Question flags handled⁵ 900 3,321
Posts unlocked 4 20
Posts undeleted 51 756
Posts locked 3 358
Posts deleted⁶ 1,543 6,762
Posts bumped 0 1,782
Escalations to the Community Manager team 8 0
Comments undeleted 78 0
Comments flagged 2 629
Comments deleted⁷ 4,131 10,491
Comment flags handled 498 134
Bounties canceled 3 0
Answers flagged 38 1,517
Answer flags handled 1,022 533
All comments on a post moved to chat 18 0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of MathOverflow 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:

Wishing everyone a happy 2022! ^_^

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ the comparison 2020/2021 shows a five-fold increase in the number of posts deleted by moderators (while this number remained roughly the same for community deletions); I presume this does not include spam deletions; since deletions tend to be quite disruptive, I would prefer to see these in response to votes by users rather than by super-user action. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 21:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @CarloBeenakker It would take some more analysis to get to the bottom of this, but one thing to keep in mind is that this year there was an influx of ridiculous spam users which forced us to (temporarily, but it's been months now) stop showing bronze badges on the front page. Most of these users did not post, but it's possible that there was also a rise in posts by spam users. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Campion Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 16:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Indeed, you'll notice that there was a similar rise in the number of users destroyed, which is an indication of the level of spam activity. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Campion Mod
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 16:47


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