When reading the information box to the right of the election page, you see this text:

In the nomination phase, any community member in good standing with more than 3,000 reputation may nominate themselves to be a community moderator.

To me, the phrase "in good standing" roughly translates to "who we like" which makes it sound like there is a bit of bias in who is allowed to run for moderator. It reminds me of teachers who use "participation points" in their classes.

Since the requirement to have 3,000 reputation is listed as a separate requirement, just having 3,000 reputation is presumably insufficient to constitute good standing (e.g. one user might have 3,000 rep but yet be somehow out of standing, while another might have only 1,250 rep but be not just in good standing but excellent standing).

So what exactly is the phrase "in good standing" supposed to mean?

  • Is it synonymous with "not currently suspended"?
  • Is there a minimum badge count that is required, and new users earn their "good standing" automatically upon reaching this number?
  • Is there a particular set of badges that are required?
  • Are off-network criteria considered, such as whether the community member is a high school graduate or does not have more than X felony convictions?
  • Are the community member's political beliefs or affiliation considered (e.g. no communists)?
  • Is "in good standing" an award that is manually presented by a moderator and/or staff member to users that they consider to be sufficiently praiseworthy?
  • Is the term intentionally left undefined in order to allow the company to refuse candidacy to anyone and everyone they feel is unworthy?

Another way to approach the question is whether "in good standing" is something that every community member is presumed to have unless they have lost it due to their own misbehavior (e.g. by flooding the network with spam or abuse or using too many racial epithets in chat), or whether is it a status that must be positively earned. If everyone is presumed to have it but can lose it, how exactly does this happen (e.g. is loss of good standing synonymous with suspension or is an entirely different moderation consequence)? If good standing must be positively earned, what are the criteria and how does someone know when they have achieved it (e.g. does it appear on a person's profile)?

If the term has no standard definition and exists in order to allow arbitrary rejection of community members who are politically disfavored by the company (e.g. "Uhh, you were involved in that birthday cake incident in chat in 2016, right? You're, uhh, still out of good standing, no nomination for you today."), that's an answer.

  • 1
    I personally can't comment on this, but I'd be interested to see the response. I don't know whether you're reading into it a bit too much... Mar 4, 2013 at 2:13
  • 8
    I may be wrong, but I believe "in good standing" translates closer to "doesn't have a question/answer ban in effect" and the like.
    – Geobits
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:13
  • 2
    @Geobits that's what I thought too, but the wording is so vague that I believe it's inclusive of both what I said, and what you said.
    – David
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:14
  • 14
    @David I've just never really heard the phrase "in good standing" used for "who we like" is all.
    – Geobits
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:15
  • 1
    Well I'm not saying that's what the words mean, I'm saying that that's essentially what the words give the moderators the right to do. Just like "50% of your grade is Participation Points" doesn't really translate to "You're going to fail if I don't like you" But that's essentially what it means.
    – David
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:17
  • 1
    I think the better question is, has anyone ever been rejected for personal reasons? If so, your claim may have some merit. I was under the assumption that nomination was a fully automated process initiated by the user.
    – Geobits
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:24
  • 7
    Moderators, quick! Delete this question and suspend David before anyone else discovers your secret! @David: Seriously, dude? This is the loosest interpretation of those three words I can imagine. If you have some reason to think that moderators are using their privileges to skew the election of new moderators, then present that reason.
    – jscs
    Mar 4, 2013 at 2:38
  • 1
    I threw the same question out there for discussion a while back before I got my mod diamond: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75510 - back then I was on the fence about it, but afterwards - and while still a regular user of the site - decided I was ok with this. At the end of the day mods are users as well so why shouldn't we cheer on our favourite candidates.
    – Kev
    Mar 4, 2013 at 12:09
  • 1
    FYI, I stumbled across this in the Reopen Votes queue, and I feel that as it currently stands, this is a useful and constructive question to the community, so I'm reopening it.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Sep 11, 2013 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


The phrase "in good standing" is very common in the legal world and used to indicate that a person otherwise has nothing wrong with their account. Here on Stack Exchange, it means you're not currently banned or suspended and meet all the necessary requirements explained. In a place like a college, it means that your tuition and other fees are all paid up. In a company, it means that you are all caught up on your legal paperwork (taxes, licenses, whatever).

It has nothing to do with "do we like this person or not?" It's merely meant to indicate that a person is not currently in the wrong, so to speak.

  • 10
    Right, in this case it just means currently suspended on the site in question. It doesn't even mean review or question bans. Plenty of candidates have run in the past that existing moderators had severe reservations about, and you better believe that suspending them mid-election would make for quite a spectacle. The only instance that I know of where a nomination was removed was for a known troll who ran on a campaign of violating the Stack Exchange moderator agreement and privacy policies, which are the two things a moderator has to comply with. Mar 4, 2013 at 3:52
  • 1
    Sorrry, the wording seemed vague, maybe there should be a clarification that "good standing" means not banned.
    – David
    Mar 4, 2013 at 6:02

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