This is my first question on Meta, I hope it belongs here. I'm asking this because I just reached 2000 rep, and I was awarded "Access to moderator tools", whatever that means. I'm not sure if this is something the community has control over, but I really don't think the rep limits are high enough. 'Access review queues' is awarded at 350 rep. I still don't think I'm qualified to judge those questions.

I looked around on the other sites a bit - It looks like they either have the same rep limits as us ( IPS, Gardening and landscaping, lifehacks), or a huge difference, with 'Access to moderator tools' awarded at 10k rep (Seasoned advice, AskUbuntu).

Music Practice and Theory also has the larger rep limits. Its stats are

  • Questions: 17k

  • answers: 44k

  • answered: 98%

  • users: 43k

Our stats are :

  • Questions: 8.7k

  • answers: 29k

  • answered: 100%

  • users: 30k

So does the boundary of small rep limits and large rep limits lie somewhere between these two sites' stats? Is it something to do with the graduation thing? Is it possible for us to change the limits just a little bit, or are they fixed?

Basically, can we do anything so that people like me (0 reviews, 1 accepted answer(to someone else's question), 0 answered questions (I've accepted no answers yet), 0 flags posted) aren't prematurely given responsibilities/power?

3 Answers 3


Stack Exchange has been talking about decoupling "graduation" and the various effects of that transition since 2015. So far they've only altered elections -- so-called "beta" sites, including us, now elect pro-tem moderators, at least after the initial set. All moderators used to be appointed.

So in principle we can ask for changes to our privilege thresholds, and I think it would be good for us to try, assuming this meta question shows community support. I think they can change those values on a per-site basis today, because there are already some site-specific variances. The low privilege thresholds that we have are designed for small, young sites; we are neither. We are ready for mature-site privileges; let's ask for them.

If SE won't grant the single request that would address all the individual concerns, maybe we can make some progress by asking for them one at a time. Or if we fail, perhaps that failure will provide either more enlightenment or more ammo for other sites to use.


The reputation thresholds depend on the status of the site. If it's a beta site the thresholds are low, if it's a graduated site the thresholds are big. There is no way for us to change the thresholds, even if we are large enough that people can easily get privileges very early on without a lot of experience of interacting with the site and the individual features they unlock while getting reputation. I regularly place bounties on questions that could in theory get someone from "just created an account" to "close / reopen review queue access"...

See Writing.SE clamours for graduation for more information about the process that won't happen anytime soon and the problems with the status-quo. Employees mentioned there that something would happen - then it didn't happen and when we asked about it the teaser announcement was deleted.

Writing.SE will stay in Beta for quite a while more and so the reputation thresholds will stay where they are.

We can't even get the management of StackExchange to remove the little "Beta" label, let alone change the reputation thresholds / design / ...

So, Yes, we should increase the reputation threshold. But we can't.

Enjoy your privileges, be mindful of how you use the features that the site is giving you, if you are having problems or questions don't hesitate to come to meta or the chat to ask for help and remember: the "Skip" button is your friend. Better to skip something in the reviews than to mindlessly use a feature that you are not really sure how or when to use. If you are not sure, leave it to someone else. There are enough people on the site to user-moderate it and there will be an additional moderator soon for the really difficult / bad stuff.

  • 5
    Let's try anyway -- keep asking for the things we need, that they say they want to decouple from "graduation". Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 14:38
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio Yes, that sounds great! Let's try and see if we can get them to help us with this. We really, really need higher reputation thresholds. It's just too easy with a site of our size to get to the real big privileges without having time to learn about the site's guidelines, culture and getting used to the tools available to you. Like I said: it's regularly very easy to find questions with enough bounties to skip quite a few "levels".
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 16:31

A more accurate question is probably: how long does it take for a user to get enough experience to use a certain privilege?

That amount of time times the average top-1000 active users growth1 could be a good guess for rep cutoffs.

1: the top-1000 active users growth is a very crude attempt at not being biased by the fact that most of the 30k registered users of do not post answers/ask questions

Q: How to measure the time taken for a user to gain enough experience?

A: A ballpark estimate is roughly 90% of the the average rep at which a user starts using a privilege that they gained at an earlier rep. This can be estimated from the site statistics. This considers that the user still needs some time (10% of rep) to figure out and overcome the beginner's fear to actually use something they have.

Finally, my favorite arguments against arbitrarily large rep cutoffs:

  1. A qualitative observation:

In the time writing has existed, it does not look like it has been made hostage of malicious low-rep users with privileges.

  1. Another qualitative observation:

It takes time on writing to grow rep.

  1. What the OP said:

A mindful user does not use something that they are not comfortable with.

  1. What the OP did not say:

Receiving a privilege early on means that a user can familiarize with its scope and functions long before actually deciding to use it. In other words, you cannot learn to use something whose existence is unknown to you.

  • "Receiving a privilege early on means that a user can familiarize with its scope and functions..." - good point. I guess I was just thinking about non-mindful users, but if Writing hasn't had problems with that yet that's great. Also, it's easy to make mistakes when you're learning something new. If I make a mistake in a question or answer, I get downvotes. If I make a mistake about a review queue or a close vote, it affects someone else.
    – tryin
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 7:29
  • 2
    It takes a few people to really affect something. Edits are subject to approval and can be reverted. Close votes require a few people to agree with you before the question is put on hold. Worry not :)
    – NofP
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 10:20
  • 1
    @NofP Edits are not subject to approval once you get the relevant privileges. There are also a few gold tag badge holders, who can unilaterally close and reopen questions in those specific tags, though that's not tied to reputation, but instead to score. Still, there are quite a few ways to get privileges that do not require others to take effect.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 11:40
  • @secespitus thank you for clarifying this point. It still stands that by then the user should have enough experience to know what they are doing, and enough seniority to be mindful of their actions. At least on writing.se :)
    – NofP
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 20:01
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    I disagree. More than once I have received over the course of 3 days 500+ rep on one post. Imagine a new user posting a good answer, being around for 3 days, and suddenly they can VTC. Before they have any idea how the site works. Maybe they do familiarise themselves, maybe they don't. We won't be made hostage by malicious users with privileges, but more than once I have found myself using bold comments to explain that yes, whatever it is, it's very much within our scope, for example. A few new users making a mistake can create a cascading effect, teaching even newer users the wrong thing. Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 21:31
  • @Galastel but you are the exception in terms of dedication and skill. Anyway, I was suggesting a way to put a reasonable number, which may be larger or equal than the current, albeit not arbitrarily (or needlessly) large.
    – NofP
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 21:41
  • 1
    PS as you mention, what's the frequency of answers with more than 50 upvotes (500+ rep)?
    – NofP
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 21:43
  • 2
    You don't need a single answer with that many votes. You just need a couple answers with a few votes. And bounties go on top of that. If a new user answers one of the questions with 500 rep bounty they immediately jump to the VTC privilege without the need for rep through votes. Also the new users tab shows us that there are other users that for example get over 1k rep in 11 days. And there is no way to suggest an algorithm to get reputation thresholds. We either have the beta version or the graduated version of the thresholds.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 26, 2019 at 5:48

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