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  Proposed alternative to rotating moderatorship: Evaluatable moderatorship

+ 0 like - 3 dislike

In place of the rotating moderatorship, which I find unpractical, 
I propose to institute moderator evaluations. The idea would be to 
elect moderators for an indefinite time, but to require that each 
moderator is subject to a moderation evaluation after 9 to 15 months 
uninterrupted service at a time freely chosen by the moderator within 
this time span. The moderation evaluation would consists in a one month 
suspension form moderatorship during which a thread on meta discusses
the service of the moderator in question. During the last week before 
the end of the suspension, votes for continuation are made on a second 
page on meta, and the suspension ends if there is a net positive vote 
at the end. If not, the moderator is dismissed and a single replacement 
elected in the following two weeks (as suggested here for the upcoming 
election) http://www.physicsoverflow.org/28815

If a moderator resigns voluntarily, a shortended moderation evaluation 
(lasting only two weeks) takes place, including the final voting.
If there is a net positive vote at the end. If not, the moderator is 
dismissed with honor, otherwise dismissed with shame. Afterwards,
the replacement election takes place. 

As moderator evaluation and (re)election takes 4-6 weeks, during which 
there is a temporary moderator vacancy, the moderators should strive 
for timing their evaluations or resignment such as to avoid moderator 
dictatorship -  at any time there should always be at least two active 

With unanimous consensus, moderators may decide at any time to propose
an additional moderator office, who will be elected in the same manner; 
instead of the moderator evaluation there will be a thread on meta 
discussing the service of the whole moderator team, and of course no 

What do you think?

asked Mar 26, 2015 in Discussion by Arnold Neumaier (15,787 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 27, 2015 by dimension10

We all were expecting you, Arnold, to appear on Q&A section, and you continue to mess around on Meta.

Hi Vladimir please, Arnold does not and never did "mess around" in meta, what you say is unnecessarily disparaging and confrontational  ... :-(

PhysicsOverflow has become MetaOverflow :-(

1 Answer

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

I believe this policy is unnecessary at this stage. We don't have moderator problems anymore, nobody has any problems with moderation right now. All that is necessary is to do what has already been agreed, and there is nothing one can change now to change the past.

The moderator rotation was an emergency measure, to demonstrate good faith from all moderators, and submission to community will, to show responsiveness and empathy to others, and to restore trust among all the members. It worked, all the conflict is over now. Every moderator agreed to voluntarily do their bit for symbolic periods, and this shows that all are equal, and everything is hunky-dory.

The rotation is probably not needed as a formal policy, just as a good faith thing to show people do what they say. I started because I knew that my own moderatorship was the most imposing, in the sense of perception of power. I stepped down, no more power.  Nobody introduced it as a formal policy, it was just a social contract, and formal policies don't build trust as much as voluntary actions that are done out of free will, just to be nice to other participants, and to show that social contracts are respected and count for something.

If there is no such minimal good faith effort, it makes it difficult to imagine that we are working together, rather than working apart.

answered Mar 26, 2015 by Ron Maimon (7,730 points) [ revision history ]

You mean that it happens exactly once for each of the current moderators and then no longer? So that the newly elected moderators are not subject to moderator rotation?

Please confirm or clarify.

To me it had sounded like a principle you found very important to establish, so that a moderator doesn't forget the user experience!?

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