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I could not find anything, but is there a detailed explanation on what is required of you once you hit certain rep scores?

At present having reached 3,000 posts (rep count, always mixing the two words), it seems to give you a fair bit of power to moderate posts. Problem is, I am not real sure what is correct usage of this. It would be nice if there was a link to a page in your inbox that tells you what is required of you.

The way I see it right now is that this is a pretty big responsibility and to keep new members attracted to the site a fair system is needed.

I can also see a that a lot of people won't necessarily read every page on the rules when they join a forum. A lot of people use the 'trial and error' method, e.g. if this question is accepted then this should be the type of question I need to ask from now on. But, I have seen that this does not necessarily mean that those questions are quality posts.

I hope you can understand what I am trying to say as I am not the best at English. I just would like to see a prompt to show guidelines after you receive your next privilege.

  • Nothing is asked of you, other than to never feel required to do something that you're not comfortable with doing. This is a pretty broad question, one that you'll have to read a lot of (real) Meta.SE posts about to even begin to grasp, and you may even find the answer to this, there. – Mazura Jun 26 '16 at 6:15
  • Here's that page with everything: FAQ for Stack Exchange sites. But with you just getting to 3K, this is prob your concern: What is a “closed” or “on hold” question? – Mazura Jun 26 '16 at 6:27
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    @Mazura, that is the whole point. Nothing is asked ,but yet we have the power to arbitrarily apply it. And it does seem to be something to strive for according to everyone's profile page, via "Next privilege". At least if their were some guidelines at each privilege , it would makes things a little bit better. – KyloRen Jun 26 '16 at 6:28
  • For me it was mainly a trail by fire. Plus one, as I'd be eager to see written documentation regarding this. IIRC, the answer's always: go read the help center. – Mazura Jun 26 '16 at 6:47
  • @Mazura, but the help center or the rules don't give you a guideline on how to moderate, b/c that is basically what those of us with higher post can do. – KyloRen Jun 26 '16 at 6:50
  • FYI it's reputation, not post-count that gets you the privileges – Valorum Jun 26 '16 at 7:07
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    Duties = none. You don't have to do anything if you don't want to. – Valorum Jun 26 '16 at 7:08
  • @Valorum, but the problem is that you can and if you don't know what is the right way, it could scew the way the forum was meant to be. And I meant to say rep btw. Cheers. – KyloRen Jun 26 '16 at 7:16
  • At 2k rep, you could have 'sewed' the forum way more than what you can do now, at 3k. SE can take care of itself, don't worry ;) I don't think there's a list sorted by milestone, so much as there is: here's what stuff does that you can do. As to guidance for your new powers? Basically (at 3k), you can VTC now. So you should know What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic? – Mazura Jun 26 '16 at 8:01
  • While it’s awesome and appreciated to be nice (like you are), don’t worry too much about the responsibility — remember, this place is a purely voluntary community where we all come to goof off about sci-fi and fantasy. (Plus there always actual elected moderators to let you know if you step outside the community norms.) I do think this is a great question though — given the whole “communities should manage themselves” philosophy of Stack Exchange, it can be really hard to find a nice, clear statement of what’s expected. – Paul D. Waite Jun 29 '16 at 10:38
  • @PaulD.Waite.Thanks for the kind words.But, this is exactly the issue I have with StackOverflow.There are so many overzealous people there it is not funny and no amount of moderating can fix that.SO is very unfriendly to Learners,not necessarily new users, as a new user can have quite a bit of knowledge,but some who is just begining in a programming language it is hell on earth.Some people expect you to know the answer to the question you are asking and they will let you know pretty quickly.Back on topic for here,If we are given these powers,I think we have a responsibility not to abuse them – KyloRen Jun 29 '16 at 11:55
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So you've just acquired a new rep-based privilege. There's a couple of different questions here:

What is required?

Nothing. These milestones are privileges, not responsibilities.

How should you use this power, given that you want to?

First of all, read the help centre page associated with that particular privilege. (There a list of all privileges with links to some explanation and guidance for each one, so this doesn't just go for 3k powers.) That page is the same on all Stack Exchange sites, so it contains nothing SFF-specific; it's mainly about the technicalities, system restrictions, and user interface associated with this power.

You'll notice that that page links to the on-topic page in the help centre. Again, the page exists on all Stack Exchange sites, but this one is tailored specifically to SFF (in fact, site moderators can edit it). The most important information to take away from there is:

Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is for questions targeted towards science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. This includes questions about:

  • Plot, character, or setting explanations
  • Historical or societal context of a work
  • Behind-the-scenes and fandom information
  • Story identification
  • Franchise/series reading or viewing order

Not all questions have a home on Stack Exchange. Please note the following types of questions are off-topic here:

  • Questions calling for a list of works, authors, …: What are all the books that have X? Who wrote about topic Y?
  • Reading or viewing recommendations: I liked X, what should I watch next?
  • Genre classification: Is X Science Fiction?

For more information, see the question where these topics were discussed on our meta discussion site.


OK, so now what do you do when you come across a question in the Close Votes or Reopen Votes review queue and need to work out what to do with it? Well, there are a few different reasons a question might need to be closed:

  • Duplicate. These are relatively straightforward to work out. The review queue will show you two tabs, for the question you're voting on and the proposed duplicate. Read through the dupe-target and its answers; if the other (usually newer) question is answered there, then vote to Close/Leave Closed, otherwise vote to Leave Open/Reopen.

  • Unclear what you're asking. If the question is not actually a question, or it's so unclear that you can't understand what's being asked, vote to Close/Leave Closed.

  • Primarily opinion-based. If the question is not objectively answerable - e.g. it's asking for 'the best' something, or about future works - then vote to Close/Leave Closed.

  • Too broad. If the question has such a broad scope that any answer would necessarily be ridiculously long (OK, that's vague - for better guidance, see this meta question and answer), vote to Close/Leave Closed.

  • Off-topic. This is probably the hardest and most complicated to determine. There are a couple of standard off-topic close reasons - scientific solutions or explanations, explained in detail here, and lists of works or recommendations, which is fairly self-explanatory. Beyond that, it can be harder to determine. Sometimes it's obvious - questions which are obviously nothing to do with science fiction or fantasy - but more often it's not at all clear-cut and you may need to spend a while thinking about it.

Don't forget that if you're not sure - e.g. because the question is about a work you're not familiar with, or just because you don't want to commit yourself one way or the other - you can always click Skip and not review that particular question. There are also some friendly folk in chat who'll be happy to discuss or advise on question-closing dilemmas. And if you want a more formal discussion and official consensus, you can post a question here on meta, either about a or about a whole class of questions, asking whether they should be allowed or closed.

Also remember that if you do go wrong, it's not the end of the world. You can't close or reopen a question all by yourself (at least until you get a gold tag badge and the associated dupehammer), and any closed question can be reopened, any reopened question re-closed. Platitudes about great responsibility coming with great power don't apply that much to 3k rep users :-)

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First off, it needs to be made clear that there are no "duties" that relate to reputation and privileges. There are a considerable number of high rep users (those over 20K) who do next to nothing in terms of user moderation and that's absolutely fine.

As to how to use your new-found closing powers, there are a few posts that are essential reading (see below), but beyond that it's just a matter of involving yourself in the site.

One of the best ways to learn is to follow the review queue. This will allow you to see what questions and answers are being flagged by your fellow users. If you're not sure how to deal with a problem that arises, the easiest thing to do is 'skip it' and come back later to see how others dealt with it. You can also look at the history of a contentious question/answer using the timeline tool.


What questions are on-topic, and what questions are off-topic?

What is a "closed" or “on hold” question?

Closing Story-Ident questions as duplicates (where there's no acceptance)

Why is the close-as-duplicate policy so aggressive, and should we change it?

Should we burninate General Reference?

How should we handle questions that are about non-SF/F elements in a SF/F work?

  • You just proved my point. Why should we have closing powers if we don't fully understand them? There needs to be a guideline set out to follow **IF ** someone was inclined to do something with their new found powers. – KyloRen Jun 26 '16 at 9:37
  • @KyloRen - The privilege system is like training wheels. If someone goes wildly off task, there are checks and balances to prevent any single user from doing too much damage, firstly by not allowing unilateral closing, the chat system, private rooms, moderator messages and ultimately site sanctions such as temp-bans. – Valorum Jun 26 '16 at 9:43
  • I see what you are saying and I don't disagree, but it would be better if there were some guidelines to follow. – KyloRen Jun 26 '16 at 9:44
  • @KyloRen - The point of the moderation system is that it's led by its users. Having guidelines would subvert that. – Valorum Jun 26 '16 at 9:46
  • The nice thing about being a non-mod without a gold badge is that your one vote is not enough to do anything by itself. If you're doing something "wrong", it'll usually be corrected or blocked by other users. That aside, there is nothing you can do that can't be undone if a bad call on your part does get through. – phantom42 Jun 26 '16 at 22:05
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    If you're really interested, look at the review queue histories and look at how other people voted and the final results. You'll start seeing how things tend to go. – phantom42 Jun 26 '16 at 22:07

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