Some background

The nomination phase of the election at Physics.SE started yesterday. When I first visited the nomination page, 7 users had nominated themselves. A few hours later, the number was quite smaller. Digging in the chat transcript, it turns out that two candidates were disqualified because they were suspended within the last year, according to this policy. The disqualification was the result of an automatic script that implements that policy. Nevertheless, both users felt targeted and started ranting in the chat room. I think that, if those users had known this rule in the first place, the election would have been more civil.

So, make this policy more prominent

Running for moderator is an important part of the participation in the community. It shouldn't depend on some obscure meta post. The faq and the nomination page should reflect that, besides the reputation/badges requirement, candidates must have a clean historial.

  • I'm pretty sure there's no automatic script to implement that policy, and the CMs remove such nominations by hand. Sep 29, 2016 at 14:10
  • Not that I disagree with your overall request, but I'm a bit skeptical that those users would've felt less targeted if the policy had been more explicit. There were all manner of accusations about fundamental flaws in the system being tossed around, and I think that being disqualified at all (whether expected or not) was going to make them pretty unhappy.
    – Cascabel
    Oct 4, 2016 at 17:51

4 Answers 4


For a couple of years now, candidates with recent suspensions are shown a message like this when nominating:

You've been suspended from one or more Stack Exchange sites during the past year. Recent suspensions tend to be a distraction during elections, distracting voters from the your qualifications and depriving other candidates of much-needed scrutiny during this critical period. You should avoid nominating in any election until at least 1 year has passed from the end of your last suspension. If you feel there are extenuating circumstances that should permit you to run in this election, please contact the Stack Exchange team and let us know. If you do not do this, your nomination may be removed without further warning.

This, coupled with the meta FAQ, should make it clear to nominees that they're not being singled out.

  • 2
    Why not altogether prevent users from nominating themselves if they've been suspended, and allow employees to "unlock" them in case they contact SE and have it approved? Aug 14, 2018 at 5:32
  • 11
    We do not need to be overly kind to recently suspended users, but can we at least spare them the awkward sight of the close button overlaying the text? :P
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 14, 2018 at 6:16
  • 2
    That'll be fixed in the next build, @Glorfindel
    – Shog9
    Aug 15, 2018 at 18:48
  • Thanks! I do try to avoid encountering this dialog in the wild.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 15, 2018 at 20:33

Indeed. It should be made clear from that FAQ.

I updated the FAQ to reflect that and referred to the existing post from Shog9.


I agree - and more than that, the entire thing should be automated.

Firstly, it should be clearly stated that you can't run it you've been suspended in the last year, somewhere prominent on the election page.

Secondly, if there's a script that detects and removes these people, why don't we use that to prevent them nominating themselves in the first place, to avoid having to delete the nomination and deal with all the ranting that follows?

  • 7
    There isn't a script, nor (IMO) should there be. In Shog's original post about this, it's noted that exceptions would be made if "the suspension was clearly in error" or if there were other extenuating circumstances such as suspensions "For Science". As far as I know, there's no way to make the system automatically recognise a suspension as invalid. Sep 29, 2016 at 14:17

Adding to @PatricHofman answer, I think this should be clearly mentioned in each site' official election page, for example, 2016 Moderator Election on Physics SE. I don't see any harm in mentioning this eligibility which is not known to many users.

No candidate affected by this would nominate themselves if it were clearly mentioned on the page or announcement in the first place and there would be no need for those candidates to feel embarrassed and for moderators or community managers to silently remove them.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .