In what appears to be new to this election, there are a series of badges you need to be nominated as a stackoverflow moderator. Although I didn't intend to nominate myself, I did check (out of idle curiosity I suppose) if I had the set. I don't. I'm missing Pundit. No problem, but then why is there a link encouraging me to nominate myself?

Update: when I posted (and I might still be within ninja-edit time now) the Pundit badge was listed, and the link was there. So if the link appears smartly, they were out of sync. But maybe it appears to everyone?

  • 2
    You don't need pundit anymore.
    – Naftali
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:29
  • See related question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/111256/…
    – Naftali
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:29
  • Pundit has been removed from the required badges. It's a trick to see if you're reading the requirements properly. :)
    – Kev
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:29
  • The links are manually modified.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:40
  • This line of thought may not apply in this particular case, but for what it's worth, Jeff does believe in letting people see things they can't actually have just to raise awareness.
    – Pops
    Nov 7, 2011 at 21:47
  • I believe in that as well.
    – user102937
    Nov 7, 2011 at 22:34

4 Answers 4


The badge checking simply hasn't been written in the election page yet. After all it'd probably be inappropriate to require all six five four badges on all sites of the network indiscriminately.

  • As an example, I think on Crypto nobody will ever have the Pundit badge. Nov 7, 2011 at 21:30
  • @PaŭloEbermann Why? Keep in mind that removing the Pundit restriction really wasn't that much of a deal - the candidate pool grew from 105 to 141 (that's counting qualifying existing moderators). It's a nice percentage increase, but it hardly makes a difference in the big picture.
    – badp
    Nov 7, 2011 at 22:17
  • Accepting this one because otherwise I'd have to rewrite the whole question :-) Nov 10, 2011 at 0:24

The badge requirements were created because of the size and growth of Stack Overflow as a site, as well as the workload that moderators will have. We want moderators who will be active in handling this, and it was determined that the badges were strong requirements.

A change has been pushed that will now require these badges to be in place, and will prohibit nominations from any who lack those badges yet still attempt to submit a nomination. Run on.

This badge requirement is still specific to Stack Overflow, however, as explained above.

  • How is being a user for a year any different from a user who has been here for less than a year and done the same amount of work to get there? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/111256/… (sorry i had a rant all set up ^_^)
    – Naftali
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:33
  • @AManAPlanACanalPanama You grow experience with the site and watch it grow and understand why things become the way they are!
    – badp
    Nov 7, 2011 at 21:14
  • @badp and I have, but being here for almost a year and being quite active should not disqualify me
    – Naftali
    Nov 7, 2011 at 21:16
  • The desire to have active moderators is important. I won't be nominating myself because even moderating Physics.SE sometimes threatens to interfere with my real work. Nov 8, 2011 at 2:29

Everything in the world (or even on SO) doesn't have to be automated. I infer from badp's answer that a badge checking package is in the works (or at least in somebody's head), and it'll probably be useful in a number of contexts. That's great -- I'm sure it'll be very nice. But if there were no automatic badge checking of moderator candidates ever, would it really matter?

Anyone who bothers to read the requirements for moderator can see the short list of required badges, and nobody who doesn't have those badges is ultimately going to be elected, so the worst that happens is a few people nominate themselves or others without realizing that they don't meet the requirements. On the flip side, building a whole automated system just to check that a few dozen people meet the requirements seems like a lot of effort that might be better spent somewhere else.

  • True, but then we need to know so that some human can double check that all nominees are eligible. I am prevented from proposing tag synonyms automatically by tag score, so I sort of expect to be prevented from self nominating by badge-having. Not saying it's super wrong or a travesty or anything, but disrupted expectations Nov 7, 2011 at 20:42
  • @KateGregory I agree that it'll be nice to have -- it's just that the scale of the alleged problem is awfully small. Most missing badges will be noticed by the community (it happened once already), and even if Joel himself has to certify the candidates before the election it won't take long. The restriction on tag synonyms applies all year long and to a much larger group of users, so it's obviously much more important to automate.
    – Caleb
    Nov 7, 2011 at 20:51

As I understand it, the badges are required to be elected, not for the nomination. So there is still time for people to go and vote on 300 posts, and edit 80 posts, and flag 50 posts, and post on Meta, and hack into SE's servers to change their account creation date.

I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Surely someone who needs to do all of that won't make a good moderator, but maybe it's ok if someone who's on the edge in one category makes a little effort in the next few days.

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