As you may or may not know, Stack Exchange moderators have access to a Private Team SE site where staff and mods can discuss stuff and help each other (similar to Meta Stack Exchange, but with restricted access).

Today a discussion opened there inviting questions from mods for the CM (community manager) team. Here is the most important part of the post:

The CM/Mod Quarterly Meetup is your opportunity to ask questions that matter to you personally or folks from the communities you moderate. You can ask any question about the Stack Exchange network, even if the answer requires us (CMs) to contact our colleagues in other departments. We can't promise that we will answer every question, but we will do our best to bring the information that interests you.

If there is anything you would like to be raised, please post about it here before 16th November.

  • I am always a late person. Is the deadline 16/11/2021 23:59 UTC? Nov 5 at 17:48
  • 3
    @RandomPerson I guess it would be 15/11/2021 11:59 UTC to be safely before 16th November (it won't be 16th anywhere then yet, will it? I'm not sure)
    – Zanna Mod
    Nov 6 at 3:49
  • Yeah... the key word was "before 16th November". But why 11:59 UTC instead of 23:59 UTC on 15/11/2021? Nov 6 at 5:11
  • Please add the featured tag such that more people see this question. Nov 6 at 5:13

Since I got access to the review queues in Ask Ubuntu, one thing which I noticed a lot is that our community has (or at least IMO has) less number of reviewers.

Because of the less number of reviewers, I noticed that many reviews got invalidated and this is worrisome.

I would like to know if Stack Exchange has an eye on the state of review queues of its communities (something like a dashboard which shows which community has lots of pending reviews, lots of invalidated reviews, less number of reviewers, etc.).

If there is such a dashboard, I would love to see it.

  • 1
    I can report from personal experience that Stack Exchange has an eye on the state of review queues of its communities. Stack Overflow requires only 3 close votes from reviewers to close a question. This may be due the large number of high reputation users at Stack Overflow which helps duplicate questions having a particular tag to be matched to their best duplicate questions.
    – karel
    Nov 7 at 10:13
  • 1
    I wonder when the last time was that the Close votes review queue reached zero, or even <50?
    – Paul
    Nov 15 at 0:37
  • 2
    @Paul I think that at the end of 2017, during Winter Bash, the Close Votes queue went into the teens
    – Zanna Mod
    Nov 16 at 9:54
  • 3
    See meta.askubuntu.com/questions/19487/2020-a-year-in-moderation and similar annual posts
    – Zanna Mod
    Nov 16 at 10:30

AFAIK, many people in the Ask Ubuntu community have expressed frustration about the misuse of Community bot comments.

Please talk about this issue to the SE staff.

I know that SE staff would not be interested to completely remove this feature, but they can do some other things like:

  • Make the Community bot comment option available on a per-site basis (for example, like this Unpinning the accepted answer from the top of the list of answers).
  • Make the feature of being able to comment using Community bot limited to few reviewers (based on factors like reputation, tag badges, etc.). I don't think this is an ideal solution.
  • Give moderators the permission to stop a user from using the Community bot comment feature if they misuse it. I know that moderators can suspend users, but that might be overkill in some scenarios.
  • 4
    my view on this feature is that misuse isn't the problem - it's just a bad feature, and there's no way to use it that is good. I will complain about it :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Nov 13 at 4:19

How do we change the policy of Ask Ubuntu if votes are low in Ask Ubuntu Meta?

Since important policy decisions regarding Ask Ubuntu's scope are taken using voting in Ask Ubuntu Meta, it's important that many people participate in the discussion related to changing policies of AU in AU meta (by voting/commenting/some other way).

Let's take a look at the number of posts having a score of 10+ in the year 2020: 98
Now, let's a look at the number of posts having a score of 10+ in the year 2021: 36*
*I know that 2021 is not done yet, but I don't think there will be more number of posts which will have 10+ score by the end of the year.

So, that's approximately a 63% decrease and this is worrisome.

There were days in AU meta when posts (which are not even related to policy decisions) had chances of getting more than 70 votes. Example(excellent answer by Zanna)
Gone are those days!

I might be judgemental to compare the state of AU meta just based on votes. But I feel that the active users of AU meta do know that other forms of interaction (like comments, answers) too have decreased substantially in the recent past.

The recent policy change proposal just got approximately 40 votes and this is sad to see. The 10 years anniversary post got more votes than it.

There is a complaint being raised by some users regarding accepting the policy change as the votes were low. How do we deal with this issue? Should we have the tag for more than a month? Should we invite more people to meta? (and how do we invite them?)

  • 6
    I think you would be better off just posting this as a Meta question here than as a question for the CMs. I think a massive reason for a dip in activity on Meta and Main is that Ubuntu proper just isn't as popular as it was before. Ubuntu was the go to Linux distribution but it dosen't have the reputation it did before and many of its spin offs like Mint, Zorin and Pop add a lot of polish and userbility on top, making them much more appeling to new users.
    – Mark Kirby
    Nov 5 at 20:06

I made two answers to the question on Teams:

I asked on Ask Ubuntu meta what people would like to be discussed in this diffuse meeting-like arrangement :)

The most popular answer concerned the lack of activity in review. There are few enough active reviewers on Ask Ubuntu that many posts do not get the attention they need. For example, we found that over 1000 First Post reviews were invalidated between the start of 2021 and the retiring of the queue. We also found that many Close Votes are aging away. The Suggested Edits queue used to move fast and has become quite congested in recent times, even though the number of edits being suggested has reduced over time. Right now our review queues don't look so bad, though.

The answer asked if CMs have a "dashboard" to help monitor review activity, and if such data could be shared. I mentioned the annual year in moderation posts which give an interesting summary of that kind of activity (I would love some graphs though), but I would be grateful for any suggestions for us to monitor review activity in a way that could be shared to encourage people to participate.

Another answer to my Ask Ubuntu Meta post about this meeting was about the comments from review appearing to be posted by Community♦. I passionately hate this feature and much of the Ask Ubuntu community seems to feel the same way. I am planning to make a meta post asking people not to use it at all (as a personal request), but might there be any possibility of turning it off on a per site basis?

Replies from CMs are expected by December 6th.


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