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 Italian Language breaks down by activity over the past 12 months:

                 Action                  Moderators Community¹
---------------------------------------- ---------- ----------
Users suspended²                                  0          6
Users destroyed                                   1          0
Tasks reviewed³: Suggested Edit queue            15          8
Tasks reviewed³: Reopen Vote queue                2          0
Tasks reviewed³: Low Quality Posts queue          4          5
Tasks reviewed³: Late Answer queue               13         27
Tasks reviewed³: First Post queue               159         20
Tasks reviewed³: Close Votes queue               16          2
Tag synonyms proposed                             3          0
Tag synonyms created                              3          0
Questions reopened                                2          0
Questions protected                               0          1
Questions migrated                                1          0
Questions merged                                  2          0
Questions flagged⁴                                0         12
Questions closed                                 27          1
Question flags handled⁴                          10          2
Posts undeleted                                   5          4
Posts locked                                      1          1
Posts deleted⁵                                   46         47
Posts bumped                                      0        104
Comments undeleted                                5          0
Comments flagged                                  0        162
Comments deleted⁶                               169        157
Comment flags handled                           136         26
Answers flagged                                   0         40
Answer flags handled                             39          1
All comments on a post moved to chat              5          0


¹ "Community" here refers both to the membership of Italian Language 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 wonder which is the reason of the downvote.
    – Charo Mod
    Jan 4, 2019 at 22:54
  • @Charo It's because I dislike the lack of openness in SE's moderation process, and I find this summary to be a poor substitute for having more transparency and accountability. It's not motivated by a specific complaint against the moderation on this site. Jan 5, 2019 at 11:11
  • @FedericoPoloni If you have any complaint about moderation, or any remark you wish to pass on, feel free to contact me or the rest of the moderating team.
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 12:48
  • @DenisNardin I have no complaints regarding your actions. I disagree with SE's philosophy that many moderator actions can be seen and audited by moderators only, and are invisible or well-hidden to normal users. This is by design, and I don't think they wish to change it. For instance, I see from this report that on Italian.SE one user was destroyed and 6 suspended in 2018 (by 'community', apparently? What does that mean?). This is a very small SE, so I was surprised to see that so much action goes completely undercover. It must be even worse for larger communities? Jan 11, 2019 at 12:54
  • 2
    @FedericoPoloni Ah I can answer this. I was the one to destroy the profile: it was a spammer (a profile created just to post commercial informations to unrelated products). In this site it is not a big problem, but believe me: if high reputation users received a notification every time a spammer is destroyed, they would tire very quickly of it on higher traffic websites. I don't know about the suspended ones, but they are probably network-wide suspensions or attempts to recreate the user on the part of the spammer.
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 13:00
  • I have nothing against you deleting a spammer. It's the general way things work that worries me because of its lack of openness. Your comment is a reason for making suspensions less visible (for instance in a "suspended users" page), not for hiding them completely. Isn't it like a government saying "No, you cannot know when we arrest and kill a person; that's a government secret. If we sent a letter to everyone every time we did that, that would be annoying"? Jan 11, 2019 at 13:19
  • 1
    @FedericoPoloni Suspensions are not hidden, as far as I can tell (if you look on the user page, it will tell you whether the user is suspended and the duration of the suspension), although I'm not aware of there being any easily accessible list of suspended users. Spam users are sort of a different beast (we try to destroy them without leaving any trace to disincentive them). When a user requests self-deletion, it is of course their discretion whether to send a message to the community or not (this did not happen on Italian.SE this year). What kind of notification are you thinking about?
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 13:26
  • @DenisNardin Suspensions are essentially hidden, unless I happen to randomly stumble on that user's page exactly during the suspension period. And, as far as I understand, it is forbidden for the suspended user to discuss it in Meta. Anyway, that was just an example. Is there a way to know when a moderator deletes comments, or deletes a question (OK, I think there is one hidden in some review page, but who checks that regularly)? Jan 11, 2019 at 13:30
  • 1
    @FedericoPoloni Users with high enough reputation can see deleted questions, and they can look at recently deleted question via the search bar, although whether anyone bothers with it I couldn't say. For comments I don't know (I couldn't find it on the moderation tools). I can't find it anywhere the rule that users cannot discuss suspensions on meta, and in fact in practice on other sites they usually do (as long as I've been on this site there's not been any suspended user). They can certainly request to make public the reasons for suspensions, although I've never seen it done on any site.
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 13:39
  • 1
    In general there are very few things that moderators can see and high reputation users cannot, and this is typically related to the handling of PII (that I haven't had to do yet, thankfully). This site does have the problem of a lack of high reputation users, but this is due to the unfortunate lack of activity more than anything else.
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 13:41
  • @DenisNardin Well, the number 1 reason is that you can't post because you are suspended, and that extends to meta. :) Anyway, some other threads about (not) discussing suspensions: academia.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3933/958 meta.stackoverflow.com/a/251213 Jan 11, 2019 at 13:46
  • 1
    @FedericoPoloni I think you are misunderstanding: the pages you link suggest that we (the moderators!) are not encouraged to discuss the suspensions unprompted, not that the suspended user cannot raise the matter in publci. They of course can (although they also have a private channel of communication with the moderators). They can also raise the matter on meta.SE if they wish to do so before the suspension expires.
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 13:52
  • In general there are very few things that moderators can see and high reputation users cannot I disagree; I already listed three or four of them here, just on the top of my head: suspensions, deleted questions, who deleted comments. Also, who moved comments to chat, I think. I'm sure there are more, if one wishes to enumerate them. Some of these are not technically completely 'hidden', agreed, but one must look in a very specific place at a very specific time to find them. Jan 11, 2019 at 13:53
  • 1
    Deleted questions are not an example of this. I have no menu listing deleted questions that high reputation users cannot access. I think you are right about comments (no idea why this is the case) and it is true that users have a harder time looking for suspended users (but this is partly by design: we do not want to raise a lot of attention on suspensions by default, the suspended person can do that if they so desire). We also have no way, as far as I can tell, to tell who moved comments to chat, although we can ask it to SE employees.
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 13:58
  • 1
    Sure, you don't need to justify yourself, although I've seen most of the "secret info reserved to moderators" and it's nothing to get worked up about. I'm just trying to show that we do hold ourselves accountable to the community. If there's any behaviour you'd like to see explained, feel free to ask a question on meta or ask it privately to the moderation team (or even just me, although in the 99% of the cases I'd just add the rest of the moderation team to the conversation - ironically for accountability's sake :)).
    – Denis Nardin Mod
    Jan 11, 2019 at 14:07


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