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Should Community Moderators be “elected for life”, or have terms?

If someone is elected a moderator, does s/he become a moderator forever (assuming they don't abuse their power...). Or is the election for a specific amount of time?

  • 10
    Some of them died years ago and are just cursed skeletons chained to keyboards.
    – Rosinante
    Jan 2, 2012 at 3:32
  • Also discussed as part of the answer to: meta.stackexchange.com/a/111467/153020
    – Flexo
    Jan 2, 2012 at 5:20
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    No, only diamonds are forever. Jan 2, 2012 at 19:55
  • @JustinSatyr and only moderators have diamonds...
    – yydl
    Jan 2, 2012 at 19:57
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    @JustinSatyr But, aren't they sometimes called diamond moderators? So, they actually are forever!! Jan 2, 2012 at 20:27
  • @JustinSatyr The mods do have the diamond symbols next to their name ;) Sep 10, 2012 at 17:52
  • YatharthROCK ♦ Has a nice ring to it, eh? Only about 19,500 more rep and one election to win and I'm on my way! Sep 10, 2012 at 17:53

2 Answers 2


Moderators are elected for an indefinite term -- until either they ask to step down or are asked to step down. Any moderator can be demoted at any time at Stack Exchange's discretion.

There is an absentee policy in the works, though it's not in effect yet and may be subject to change:

Any moderator who is not active on the site for a period of six months is subject to removal of their moderator abilities. Moderatorship is an elected position, so if an absentee moderator returns to the site, they may be eligible for reinstatement.

Moderators pro tempore (that is, moderators appointed by Stack Exchange on new beta sites) are replaced when the first election occurs. Unless, of course, they nominate themselves and get elected.

An election is typically run when a moderator resigns or more moderators are needed. Newly elected moderators join the existing ones rather than replace them.

Last but not least, some of the original trilogy moderators were appointed before there was an election process in place. Their appointments are also indefinite, at Stack Exchange's discretion.

  • Interesting, I always thought there were 1-year terms...
    – David Z
    Jan 2, 2012 at 2:31
  • As far as I remember, this depends from the number of moderators the site requires; if the site doesn't need more than 3 moderators, then the old moderators are replaced from the new ones.
    – apaderno
    Jan 2, 2012 at 13:48
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    @kiamlaluno I don't think I've seen a second election happen on a site that didn't need more moderators (either to increase the number or to replace some who left). Do you have an example where existing active moderators were replaced in an election?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jan 2, 2012 at 15:42
  • I will tell you the next time EL&U will have its elections. :-) I recall I have read the moderators are replaced, but I don't recall where I read it.
    – apaderno
    Jan 2, 2012 at 15:50
  • On a related note: I remember that you were elected as a community moderator on SO, but that doesn't seem to be the case and I can't find any follow-up Q&A. Did I miss something?
    – Iterator
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:15
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    @Iterator I joined the Stack Exchange team and that makes me ineligible to remain a community moderator.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:49
  • @AnnaLear Well, darn. On the other hand, congrats!
    – Iterator
    Jan 31, 2012 at 17:58

Appointed moderators are only until the sites first election (the trilogy may be exceptions).

Elected moderators are until death or resignment, and in one case, Jeff has been known to remove moderator status from a mod who didn't visit his site for 2 whole months.

  • The fact that they're appointed doesn't really have anything to do with it -- they're by definition temporary mods (pro tem mods) Jan 2, 2012 at 2:46
  • @Michael Well yeah, but I tend to find them referred to more often as appointed mods than pro tem mods.
    – John
    Jan 2, 2012 at 3:06
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    @BobCratchit Really? I usually see "pro tem" instead of "appointed". Guess it depends on who you usually talk to. :)
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jan 2, 2012 at 3:10

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