We have an election happening in Magento StackExchange. One of the candidate who is nominated for the election has been suspended by a moderator. But the problem is, his nomination is still there for the election.

Before this suspension, he had sufficient reputation score to apply for an election (i.e., more than 300 reputation score). But due to their suspension, their reputation turned to 1. Now the user is not eligible for the election since the user do not have the minimum reputation score to appear for an election. Also, the system automatically removes nominations from users who had been suspended in the past year unless they get special permission from the SE team first. As per my understanding, moderators of the Magento Stack Exchange community do not have the privilege to remove that user from the election candidate list.

It would be nice if we could automatically remove candidates who get suspended after they nominate themselves from an election.

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    Its probably rare enough that it doesn't need to be automatic - chances are they can be removed when they set up the actual elections. – Journeyman Geek Feb 22 '18 at 13:03
  • It's rare i agree. But I believe there won't be much pain to implement such feature. Or at least we can provide that privilege for the moderators of corresponding community – Rajeev K Tomy Feb 22 '18 at 13:06
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    The scenario is very rare, so ask a mod to ping CM to kick that candidate off. No need to spend effort on automatic removal. – iBug is disappointed in SE Feb 22 '18 at 13:12
  • One of our moderator already notified super-mods regarding this. But it would have been better if the moderators have that privilege to remove a candidate from the election manually – Rajeev K Tomy Feb 22 '18 at 13:13
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    Other than this use case being very rare, automatic removal of a nomination does not account for the possibility that the moderator was wrong in suspending the candidate. Also rare, but it happens. – yannis Feb 22 '18 at 13:13
  • They are not "super-mods". The correct terminology is "Community Manager" / "Community Management (Team)", often referred to with the acronym CM. CMs are staffs/employees of Stack Exchange Inc. – iBug is disappointed in SE Feb 22 '18 at 13:16
  • @ɪʙᴜɢ Sorry for the mistake. – Rajeev K Tomy Feb 22 '18 at 13:17
  • They are already disqualified for having been suspended in the last year. – WELZ Feb 22 '18 at 13:42
  • It's rare i agree. But I believe there won't be much pain to implement such feature There is. Afaik The devs are working on different things and a new comer, Channels. Also there are lot's of bugs reported daily to which need to be fixed. So implement such a feature is costly and irrelevant since the scope is very very very very very(beat tim by 1 :) ) low – Optimus Prime Feb 22 '18 at 14:13
  • There's nothing that automatically removes candidates who have been suspended in the last year... so that part of your question is simply incorrect. – Catija Feb 22 '18 at 15:45
  • I would be curious to know what would happen if a suspended user gets elected. Would the suspension end then? – Donald Duck Feb 22 '18 at 16:11
  • @DonaldDuck If a user is currently suspended on the site running the election, they wouldn't be able to nominate themselves because they only have 1 rep. – Catija Feb 22 '18 at 17:18
  • @Catija I know. I'm wondering what happens if they nominate themselves before they get suspended, when they do have enough reputation to nominate themselves (which is the case that the question mentions). – Donald Duck Feb 22 '18 at 17:20
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    @DonaldDuck The CMs check the suspension status of the nominees before the primary phase begins (or voting phase if there's no primaries). If they're currently suspended anywhere or have been over the past year, they're removed from the election. – Catija Feb 22 '18 at 17:21

There is a danger in allowing moderators to directly intervene in an election, it can very easily create the appearance of bias. Disqualifying inconvenient candidates is one of the ways of rigging real elections, we should be very careful when adding tools that can be used this way in SE elections.

Personally, I'd have discussed the suspension itself already with the SE team, to avoid any appearance of bias at all. And I'd prefer if the power to remove candidates stays with the SE team alone.

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  • In Magento SE we have full trust in our current MOD, so this is not the issue, here we are asking how we can remove this guy from candidate list – Murtuza Zabuawala Feb 22 '18 at 13:25
  • Thanks for considering the comments and answer them in your answer. – Rajeev K Tomy Feb 22 '18 at 13:25
  • Your current trust does not obviate the fact that removing a candidate from the election by fiat is not a thing that should be allowed to happen. – Nij Feb 23 '18 at 5:58

The answer written by Mad Scientist essentially sums up the reasons that I'm declining this; it's an exceptional situation that needs our review as a company. Not just this situation, but any where a candidate once had the rep to nominate and then (for some reason) didn't. Suspensions carry a different sort of stigma because the suspension itself is meaningful beyond impacting rep requirements, so they'd need human review even if we automated other cases.

The other reason is this type of thing very, very, very, very rarely happens and isn't an exception we really need to write (and maintain) code to support. When you start looking at all of the ways it could happen, it starts to look like quite a mess.

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    can you also take care of cleaning our election? :) I asked on chat but there were not many CM's online when I did. – Marius Feb 22 '18 at 14:04
  • Also I believe your edit changed my question little bit. I was actually enquiring about someone who is not having the criteria (i.e, more than 300 reputation points) after the nomination. Not really about the suspended one!!. Yes in this particular case suspension is the reason why he become non-eligible for the election – Rajeev K Tomy Feb 22 '18 at 14:11
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    @RajeevKTomy but think about a valid user with 750 rep, who nominate themselves, then after a day start a 500 rep bounty. Why remove such a user? They did nothing wrong. That would be a bad idea. Suspension is good reason to remove a candidate indeed, but as Tim said, better done manually. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Feb 22 '18 at 14:14
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    @RajeevKTomy Imagine a brigade of users downvote all that user's posts. The rep loss will be reversed by the serial downvote script, but if they fell below the election rep threshold, they'll need to be readded to the election, either manually or by making the serial downvote script more complicated. – Jeffrey Bosboom Feb 23 '18 at 0:27
  • @JeffreyBosboom You have a valid point. In that case, a manual intervention would be better. I got it. – Rajeev K Tomy Feb 23 '18 at 4:07

The scenario is very rare, so there's no need for the dev team to spend extra effort on automatic removal.

If that happens, ask a local mod to ping a CM to evaluate whether the suspension is justified and if yes, the CM can kick out the candidate.

The potential danger explained by Mad Scientist is also something to take into account.

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