I know that users aren't permitted to nominate themselves as moderator candidates if they were suspended after one year. Additionally, such users are shown a message before posting their nomination.

I know that this is technically feasible (i.e. that suspensions across the network are accessible by other sites), given that message, but why was the decision made to simply provide a soft block, allowing users to dismiss that prompt and nominate themselves anyway? Why not outright prevent them from nominating themselves (i.e. remove the "I want to continue" link in that prompt)?

I understand that users suspended within the past year can nominate themselves if they contact the SE team and obtain permission, and it should be easy for employees to clear the past suspension from their record, which would allow them to run, or otherwise set some flag allowing them to run on a certain site.

Please note that this is a neutral question; I'm simply asking why the decision was made to implement it that way.

1 Answer 1


Because that's actually more work.

So far as I've observed, nominations from folks with suspensions in recent memory are doing their respective nominees no favors; they inevitably end with the past being dredged up, the candidate's name being dragged through the mud, and everyone feeling just a bit less happy about the whole experience.

So while the prohibition on nominations from recently-suspended users is primarily intended to benefit the larger community, it is in everyone's best interest if it is respected.

Thus, the lack of a hard block leaves two possibilities:

  1. Folks whose suspensions were of no consequence, in error, or "for science" (active moderators suspending themselves) and thus would invariably be allowed.

  2. Folks who lack the situational awareness to recognize the futility of their efforts, and would attempt to bash their heads against such a wall anyway.

For the former, a hard block just creates busywork for us and an annoyance for the nominee.

For the latter, a hard block leaves only the option of making a spectacle of themselves. This is not something we'd like to see, no matter who is involved. Much kinder to quietly remove their nomination and privately message them.

  • 2
    I don't understand the last paragraph. How would a hard block leave only the option of them making a spectacle of themselves if their nomination never makes it onto the site?
    – user102937
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:15
  • Because what's the alternative then, @Robert? Take it to meta? I suppose we could direct them to the contact form, but... Well, we do this on suspensions already, and you've probably seen how well that works.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:17
  • 2
    So you're saying a soft block let's them make a spectacle of themselves on the nomination page instead of on the meta site (assuming you don't catch it right away)?
    – user102937
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:21
  • 5
    The nomination is removed; there's no public reason given as to why, it looks the same as any other withdrawn nomination. This is assuming, of course, that they don't use their nomination to rant about their suspension - which I'll admit is a dodgy bet, but I've seen relatively little of this so far.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:22
  • And if it made it to meta instead, we would leave it on the meta site for reasons of transparency?
    – user102937
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:23
  • 1
    Probably, unless it got super ugly. And then it'd get dredged up in the next election and we'd be right back again...
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:24
  • 2
    Well, that would be quite the spectacle.
    – user102937
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 4:25

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