Elections are held to choose moderators for Stack Overflow and non-Beta Stack Exchange sites.
What are moderator elections?
Moderator elections are held periodically to determine who the community moderators will be for a given site.
What are community moderators?
Moderators are site users who have been elected by the community based on not only their knowledge in the topic domain, but also because they are:
- patient and fair
- lead by example
- show respect for their fellow community member in their actions and words
Moderators have the very highest level of privilege in our system:
- Moderator votes are binding. Any place we have voting (close, open, delete, undelete, offensive, etc.), that vote will reach the threshold and take effect immediately if a single moderator casts a vote.
- Moderators can lock posts. Locked posts cannot be voted on or changed in any way.
- Moderators can protect posts. Protected posts cannot be answered by new users.
- Moderators can see all data in the system, including votes and user profile information.
- Moderators can place users in timed suspension, and delete users if necessary.
- Moderators can perform large-scale maintenance actions like merge questions and batch retag.
- Moderators have access to the moderator flag queue
How do community moderators work?
The following guidelines are provided to all our community moderators, and all moderators of any type are expected to abide by them:
- As a moderator, your actions now represent our community; please act accordingly. You are in a position of the highest trust.
- Your goal is to guide the community with gentle — but firm — intervention. Respect your fellow community members at all times; demonstrate fairness and impartiality in your actions.
- Keep the discussion reasonably on topic by providing visible feedback to indicate where and why things have gone off topic.
- Regularly check for and deal with posts flagged for moderator attention.
- In the case of serious disputes, communicate directly with users via email to help mediate and resolve disputes.
When should I seek out a community moderator?
Don't hesitate to flag posts for moderator attention any time there is something you feel strongly needs to be brought to the attention of a moderator. And if it is extremely urgent, you can always mail the address provided in the footer.