If one is elected moderator, how long is his term?

I know on Stack Overflow the terms are for life (source). However, they also routinely add new moderators because of their ever growing need for more people to handle the flag queue.

Does the fact that on Mi Yodeya we probably won't desperately need more eyes to handle the flag queue as often as is needed on Stack Overflow affect how long we want to install our moderators for?

What do people think?

  • Your concern seems to be that since new elections would be extremely infrequent, not everyone will be able to get a turn. Correct?
    – HodofHod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:22
  • @HodofHod Basically. I'm not sure it's about turns qua sharing, as much as the lack of opportunity for improvement. Consider how we might in the future get a qualified user from an obscure timezone, or one that is on more frequently or whatever. I just don't like permanent decisions. On the other hand I understand the reasons behind SO's decision too.
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:24
  • 2
    But if the elected moderator crop is unable to handle flags, etc., because of timezone or any other reason, they can appeal to SE for a new election at almost anytime (AFAICT). I agree with your discomfort on permanent decisions, but in this case I think it's fine. If the elected moderators are handling everything fine, then there's no reason to get new ones.
    – HodofHod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:27
  • @HodofHod I'm not saying they won't be able to handle it, just it would be an improvement (ie quicker delete time on spam at 4AM EST). What we have now for instance is working just fine (I think) but that doesn't mean it can never be improved. IAE Like I said I see both sides. Perhaps I should paste the above 4 comments into the question to clarify the issue? Or perhaps you would like to post the first answer for community discussion?
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:32
  • Also allow me to point out that the boundary for when to kick out a dormant mod is very unclear and can lead to hard feelings. From another perspective I imagine it's harder to decide to retire than to be cycled out.
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:35
  • 2
    There'd be no need to kick out a dormant mod in order to have elections for additional ones.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:39
  • 1
    DoubleAA: What @IsaacMoses said. It's all based on capability. If the elected mods can't handle it, then a new election is called. That simple. If 4am spam is a problem, then they can call a new election, and perhaps make it known that they would really like someone who's up at that time. I'm sure the community would oblige.
    – HodofHod
    Jul 9, 2012 at 23:41
  • @HodofHod You know what it's like better than I: if the four current mods remained (just as an example; I don't know if any of you are even going to nominate yourselves), how long do you think it would take before you called for another election?
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 4:05
  • @IsaacMoses ^^^ Same question to you (and msh210 or WAF if they happen to read this).
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 4:05
  • @DoubleAA re "if the four current mods remained…, how long do you think it would take before you called for another election?": (1) I assume the community can call for an election even if the ♦ mods don't. (I could be wrong.) (2) I'm sure that the SE staff can call for an election even if the ♦ mods don't, and that they keep an eye on the sites to make sure there's not too much undone work. (3) (To answer your question,) I don't know, but presumably it'd be a function not of time but of need.
    – msh210 Mod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 6:08
  • @msh210 I realize all those things. I just figure you as a mod who sees what the average work is would have a better guess as to when the mods/devs would call it. I doubt it would get so bad that the community would have to call it; the mods know when there is too much work before the community feels them slacking.
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 6:11
  • @msh210 Or are you saying that you imagine someone wanting to retire would happen before there would ever be a need for a extra mod?
    – Double AA Mod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 19:59
  • @DoubleAA, I'm not saying that. When you say "how long do you think it would take before you called for another election?", are you asking HodofHod/whoever to predict now how long it will take until mods will ask SE for another mod? That's what I answered 3 to, above: I have no idea what the time span will be. Presumably, when there is a need for it, the mods will do so.
    – msh210 Mod
    Jul 10, 2012 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


Looks like most of this has been covered in comments, but just to make it official: moderator terms are for life unless a moderator resigns or we elect (ha!) to remove them for extended inactivity or misconduct.

We review moderators' activity periodically. Those who have been absent for 6 months are subject to removal.

The flip side of these reviews is that we also try to make sure each site is adequately moderated, so additional people will be called up as needed or another election will happen. We typically run one election a year, though it's not something currently set in stone.

And, of course, if the mod team has any issues with availability, coverage, etc., they're welcome to ping any of us on the community team at any time.


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