After someone opened this question, a decision was made to open up moderator nominations to individuals who have not been members of the site for at least a year.


What possible benefit does this have besides allowing marginally qualified people to enter the race and clutter it up?

Do we really think that we won't have enough actual qualified candidates? Doubtful.

IMO Yearling was one of the most important requirements. Being around at least a year indicates commitment to the site. It also increases the likelihood that you really understand the SO philosophy (not just the gamification parts).

Part of moderating, indeed a very BIG part, is getting respect from the community. This is earned, not granted because you have a diamond after your name. Building respect takes time.

I see no benefit to allowing newer users to become mods. All it does is crowd an already pretty full field.


Just to clarify the biggest problem, as I see it -

From the moderation election page (emphasis added)

After 7 days, the top 30 nominees, ordered by reputation, advance to the primary phase

We have 24 nominees now, after a day. I don't want to see someone qualified but with lowish reputation pushed out of the primaries by someone less qualified but with higher rep.

  • Neal nominated himself. stackoverflow.com/election/2#post-8041952 his name is different here, but its the same guy...
    – wax eagle
    Nov 9, 2011 at 13:30
  • @waxeagle - didn't realize, thanks for clearing it up. I'll remove that part.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 13:31
  • 3
    The decision to remove the requirement was made independently of the feedback we received here (though we certainly did notice it). It was basically reconsidered at the same time we removed Pundit, but we didn't remove it until some further deliberation.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Nov 9, 2011 at 13:47
  • 2
    @GraceNote - Are you at liberty to disclose the reasoning? There was overwhelming opposition to it before and it looks like a lot of support now for putting it back in.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 13:51
  • I would rather first see the feasibility of whether the decision can be re-reconsidered, if that's alright with you, than to discuss the initial reasoning right now.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:00
  • @GraceNote - Do as you must. See my edit for why I feel so strongly about it.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:07
  • One of the thoughts I've been having about this topic is that Enthusiast and Fanatic might be more useful than Yearling. But really, we need to step back and look at why we want the badge requirement. It's being used as a sort of proxy for "is this user dedicated to the site," and really, neither badge is a good yardstick for that. Of course, visit logs aren't public data, so we may not be able to do better.
    – Pops
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:57
  • 5
    @PopularDemand - those would also be good measures. I would be happy if the primary stage limiting to 30 nominees was eliminated, though. I don't care so much that the newer folks can be nominated, but that they can squeeze out older users with less rep.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:59
  • 1
    @PopularDemand: I have tried 4 times now to get Fanatic, but the nature of my work schedule (software cubicle job interspersed with 3 paramedic jobs) makes it near impossible to meet. I'm certain some great moderator candidates have similar restrictions.
    – user7116
    Nov 9, 2011 at 21:37
  • I can't get fanatic either because I keep getting hurricanes and/or freak snowstorms in Connecticut that knock out my power and internet.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


While I support the idea, it would be ungraceful to put it back in right now, given that some candidates that lack Yearling have entered their nomination. For this election, it's thus probably best to keep Yearling as not required.

Again, though: only four people can get the spot. It's kind of silly to talk about badge requirements when we know those who will get the place most likely will pass the requirements with flying colours. Even just Convention would have probably been enough to make sure those people would remain eligible despite the reputation requirements.

Who does feel strongly about this can simply speak with their votes.

  • see my edit for a strong reason why. Since entrance into the primaries is based solely on reputation, some qualified folks may be excluded.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:07
  • 9
    Also, no pun intended at Ms. Note, but Grace is irrelevant here. This is an election for international office, not local board of education. The new mods will have a huge impact on the future of this site, which is very important to thousands of people. Doing that properly is more important than possibly offending some newer users who get booted from the race. They can run next year.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:10
  • 2
    @JNK See, you're going to the heart of the issue: the "top 30" reputation requirement. That one is the potential wrong that the badge requirements are seeking to remedy. Rather than rigthing the remedy, perhaps you may want to right the wrong itself.
    – badp
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:21
  • 1
    If you have an idea on how to fix that, I'm all ears.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:22

With the experience needed to earn the current list of required badges, it was decided that the list was long enough without adding the unnecessary (and redundant) requirement of being online a year.

There are a LOT of badges that a good moderator candidate should have, but the goal was to set a minimum bar that captures the essence of what we'd like to see… not to create an exhaustive list of all the badges they should have.

The current list captures that requirement nicely.

  • This still serves to exclude more qualified people from the primary at the expense of letting through less qualified, newer people who play the rep game better.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:43
  • 4
    We ran a query and a few hundred users were qualified to run with the current requirements. Adding the 'Yearling' badge barely moved that needle at all. That's the point. Nov 9, 2011 at 14:49
  • 6
    With the current system you basically are saying "The 30 users with the highest rep who meet this not-very-stringent list are the only ones who get to run." I think rep is LESS IMPORTANT than the other stuff. Possibly the least important.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 14:53
  • 8
    Ah, sorry. I thought your [feature-request] was to add the 'Yearling' badge back to the requirements (which would have done little to narrow the field). Instead of changing your argument midstream, you might want to bring your "edit" to another post to suggest useful alternatives for a sort order that narrows the field of candidates to 30. Nov 9, 2011 at 15:06
  • 2
    Good point on changing my argument, which I am doing :) Badp makes a good point about the Yearling requirement being a symptom but not a root cause. I still want to see Yearling put back in.
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 15:11
  • Is there a reason for limiting it to 30 in the first place?
    – JNK
    Nov 9, 2011 at 15:50
  • @JNK: I think the limit is mainly there to not charge the voters with a too big choice, and limit the time needed to do the voting. Nov 9, 2011 at 16:13

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