The question Reduce the reputation threshold to be allowed to cast a reopen vote on a closed question led to close and reopen voting being reduced to 500 rep here. I additionally suggested that we lower all the privileges, which was favorably received according to votes, but a CM suggested that I start a new question with more detail.
Overall, I think that it makes sense to lower the privilege level to "beta" levels since this site seems to have the activity levels of other sites using the "beta" privileges. There are only a few active users who have enough reputation from the old days to access many of the higher levels (and who aren't moderators). It also could help to stimulate some activity from people who would otherwise have no chance of getting privileges—imagine being 5 upvotes away from something instead of 100+.
There will be no need to visibly brand the site with the word "Beta". Just look at this fantastic site which has "beta" privileges, but no label.
Using What are the reputation requirements for privileges on sites, and how do they differ per site? as a reference, I made this table:
|1. Access review queues
|2. See vote counts
|3. Edit freely, SE and LQP/A queue
|4. Suggest tag synonyms
|5. Vote to close and reopen (done)
|6. Review tag wiki edits
|7. Moderator tools
|8. Protect questions
|9. Trusted user
|10. Access to site analytics
See the Privileges help page for more details on each.
- I like having "Access review queues" set to a bit lower than "Vote to close and reopen" because it gives new users a chance to do some low-stakes reviews before they get access to something a little more important. They're low stakes because anyone who's looking at the active homepage (pretty much everyone) can see the exact same posts and review them too, outside the queues.
- There is many a Meta SE discussion about setting "See vote counts" to numbers as low as 0 on every SE site, and the only downside seems to be that it would have a performance cost. There are some userscripts that can even reveal the vote breakdown, and the information is also in SEDE for the patient. Seems like a non-issue to set it to 750—it's still very high considering what privileges come before this (review queues, close votes).
- Having "Edit freely, SE and LQP/A queue" would help with the suggested edit backlog that we noticed a few months ago. I think Blindspots took care of most of the pending edits from that batch, but this would allow him a break to go do other things. Though there are a number of other non-mods who could review edits already, I don't usually see them completing reviews for whatever reason (except maybe on their own posts). I think that having a larger pool of reviewers is likely to help more than it hurts (goodbye, my future suggested edit rep).
- I think the tag synonym process is broken for everyone who's not a moderator, so I guess my only argument for "Suggest tag synonyms" is that it would be weird to leave it at the old levels if we change everything else (earned after the ability to vote to delete questions!).
- "Vote to close and reopen" was already changed.
- The same argument from #3 applies to "Review tag wiki edits".
- Lowering the rep for "Moderator tools" means that we likely would have enough active users for community question deletions (or undeletion of non-mod-deleted posts). However, viewing deleted posts is likely to be the most useful part of this privilege.
- It makes little sense for only maybe one non-mod to have access to "Protect questions".
- I'm not aware of any active non-mods who have access to "Trusted user", and I'm not even sure if lowering the rep would create enough to actually allow community answer deletions (or undeletion of non-mod-deleted posts) to happen. There are at least a few users who are in the 3k+ rep range that might have their eyes set on it though...
- I never understood why "Access to site analytics" was set at such a high level, other than perhaps as a late-level reward for grinding rep. Only 4 people have access to this with the old levels, and the only active one is a moderator. It's hard to do any real damage with this privilege since it's only informational.