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@arjafi has detailed some reasons that require the organization of elections in SE communities. What conditions have been met that triggered the organization of this election? Is is that some current moderators have decided to resign, or have been removed from duty? Is it because of an increase in the work that moderators are facing, caused by a corresponding increase in the MSE activity? Is it something else?

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    $\begingroup$ What you listed are reasons for removing diamond from a moderator. That is different from reasons to start election of new mods. (AFAIK it is usually done when more moderators are needed. See also this answer: When is the next Moderator Election?) $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak: You are right, I have edited my question. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Oct 3, 2017 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ This is not Twitter, what benefit is to write "@arjafi"? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:03
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: The "at sign" has become a way of distinguishing common nouns from user names. Simply removing it from my sentence would have given "arjafi has detailed"; what if some user chooses the handle "Our president"? $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:13
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    $\begingroup$ Alex, well, first of all, you should have a stable link to the user profile. Secondly, in case the user name is "odd", just add "The user '...' bla bla bla". $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: I like to view the "at sign" as a sigil, useful not only for pinging. $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ Everything is a list. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: Shhh, I knew you belong to The Brotherhood, now get undercover again till The Day comes when we shall be victorious! $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ (Okay. (I will make sure to wait (also, S-expressions!))) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Oct 3, 2017 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ It's been three years - this election is seriously overdue. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Gordon
    Oct 3, 2017 at 14:48

1 Answer 1

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The Community Managers, most notably Grace Note and Shog9, discussed the matter with the currently active moderators. And we jointly decided (on CMs initiative) that it is a good time to recruit new moderators. Many of the criteria that you listed played a role. One of the current moderators burned out, needs an extended break, and therefore wants to step down. We also use this opportunity to get reinforcements.

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    $\begingroup$ I understand. Let's see if you may answer this one: of the current moderator team, will there be people leaving, or will this election only add users to the existing team? $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Oct 3, 2017 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexM. Added a bit more. Read between the lines at your own risk :-) $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 12:27
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    $\begingroup$ Given that there's a higher volume of questions now (and not all of passable quality!) than the last time elections were held, I'm only surprised that elections didn't happen sooner. The mod attrition rate is also a bit of a concern. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Alex, usually such questions are answered anyway when the election winners have been proclaimed, so I'd recommend waiting. You don't really need to know the answers right now, right? ;) $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 12:40
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    $\begingroup$ @J.M. What you say is true. But we have also had examples of moderators stepping down giving a farewell speech prior to elections. In Alex M.'s defence, the first version of my answer was even more evasive. I think the latest additions should satisfy their curiosity. If not, that is just too tough. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 12:44
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    $\begingroup$ "We have also had examples of moderators stepping down giving a farewell speech prior to elections." - yes, I had that in mind, Willie being a (relatively) recent example. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ I would also add that it's been 3 years since the last new mod joined the team. In that time, the number of daily visitors to the site has doubled. One might expect the number of moderators to roughly scale with the number of posts. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Oct 3, 2017 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ @mix, now that you mention it, I'm also not sold on y'all needing only two, using the rule of thumb that if you need n to function well, hire n +1. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2017 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ @mixedmath: What you say makes a lot of sense, and I can only be surprised by arjafi's claim from June that "the work-load on the moderators has not noticeably increased in the intervening 2.5 years [since the last election]". $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Oct 3, 2017 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexM. I should give the SE team some credit. They've simultaneously implemented some things that reduce the number of flags that mods handle. The review queues take a lot of low-quality flags and handle them now, for instance. A few years ago, a low-quality flag always raised a flag for the mods. So the number of flags we handle isn't twice as many as it was 3 years ago. But we certainly get twice as many annoying-or-complicated-to-handle flags compared to 3 years ago. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Oct 3, 2017 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ It might be useful to a voter to know which moderator(s), if any, is/are stepping down, if that voter values geographical balance on the moderating team. $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2017 at 0:59
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    $\begingroup$ A fair point @Gerry. Given that the four active moderators (based on this years flag handling stats) are all (as of today) based in Europe that is not a concern. Except possibly a point in favor of non-European candidates. BTW, you could narrow down a big time-zone hole by nominating yourself :-) $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2017 at 4:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Jyriki Why do I currently see only three active mods for the last few weeks? And anyways, why is it acceptable, that out of eight mods, only three or four are active? I think that when commitment and regular consistent contributions/moderating dissipates in any mod (over a few months), they need to resign, or be asked to resign. It's not fair to the community, or to the active mods to simply sail along with the privilege of a diamond, when there's little current (within the year) evidence of activity more than an isolated vote, or meta post, here and there. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Oct 6, 2017 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ A fair question @amWhy. Probably worth a thread of its own. To be honest, I don't know. I have been wondering about that myself. But, I don't see any harm in having those inactive moderators in the roster either. It's not like they cost the site anything. They have been summoned at critical times. Even though they aren't active they occasionally give advice or share their experiences in the moderator chatroom. $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2017 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ @Jyrki I've not restricted my comments to a senior mod; but all inactive mods. There is harm from having half the mod team sit idle most of the time. This site deserves the commitment and effort of all current diamond bearers. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Oct 6, 2017 at 22:38

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