# Do you think that we need moderator elections?

According to this answer When are next moderator elections?

The next moderator election will be whenever the community and the SE team decide that the site needs more moderators

the community can decide when next moderator election will take place.

Do you think that we need moderator elections?

I think so. I don't trust some of the current moderators.

• Just FYI, moderator elections don't replace the current moderators, they just add new moderators to the existing ones – Mad Scientist Sep 10 '13 at 16:39
• @MadScientist I guessed that. But new moderators could make the moderator team better than it is currently. – Diego Mazón Sep 10 '13 at 16:44
• Please note the revised wording: whenever the community and the SE team decide that the moderation workload on the site exceeds what the current moderators can do. The key word in your quote is "needs more moderators." – Emilio Pisanty Sep 10 '13 at 19:06

I wasn't clear about this in the answer you quoted (which is now edited), but moderator elections actually happen whenever the workload becomes too much for the current number of moderators - whether because of growth of the site, or the resignation/removal of one or more existing moderators. The community gets to provide input about whether moderation tasks are being done, and in that sense the community can contribute to the decision to hold a moderator election, but just saying "I don't like the current moderators, so let's get new ones" isn't how it works.

However, you can express your concerns about a current moderator in a meta post or privately to the SE team.

Just a note on your last comment. If you have any specific complaints about a moderator action which you are unhappy with, this meta is the place to voice them.

You need to be polite and reasonable, provide evidence for all your allegations, and keep the discussion civil. Additionally, you also need to understand that some moderators (which notably include user suspensions) are a private matter between the individuals involved and should be like this as part of the privacy policy that also protects you.

Given that, there are no repercussions for conducting a constructive discussion in meta. If you are unhappy about specific incidents, please express that in this meta! It does not help if you bottle it up until you wind up being blanket unhappy with a certain person. Improving this site begins with the everyday process of helping moderators understand what the community's opinions are. If you bring a specific issue to meta in a civilized way, you stand to gain a community discussion or even re-evaluation of site policy or at least a good understanding of what the issues are and why the policies are as they are. (And, if you're unhappy with policy, you can again bring that up, though if the community disagrees with you then you'll have to settle with agree-to-disagree.)

In here as in real life, don't wait until elections to exercise democracy.

• Please, don't be gullible. There is no real pretension of democracy here. And I don't expect that from a private site like this. What I expect is freedom of expression, and this includes hard criticisms of answers. People must have the right to express opinions and deserve respect, but opinions or answers are subject to criticisms or disdain and don't have to be respected. – Diego Mazón Sep 12 '13 at 16:30
• That's the thing. Keep your disdain to yourself. I don't see why you expect unlimited freedom of expression on a private site, but I can tell you that if you express disdain or unconstructive criticism it will have consequences, from downvotes up. – Emilio Pisanty Sep 12 '13 at 16:57
• I can also tell you that complaining that "things are bad" in general will never, can never, be helpful. You think our moderators should be changed because their actions do not represent what the community really wants? Show us. Show us specific examples of when and why. If you're right, we might agree with you, and the site might even change. If the community disagrees... then maybe the mods were all right all along. – Emilio Pisanty Sep 12 '13 at 16:58
• I expect freedom because it is possible, healthy, and is expected of a scientific site, I think. Downvotes are okay, what I don't like are deletions of answers/comments and suspensions. I said what I wanted to say in the past, I don't feel like repeating (see for example last comment on meta.physics.stackexchange.com/q/2710). – Diego Mazón Sep 12 '13 at 17:21
• By the way, I find this statement nonsense "and should be like this as part of the privacy policy that also protects you". If the only person who knows the reason of the suspension may not make it public on the site because he is suspended and is not able to write in meta, then he is totally unprotected. Imagine that someone is sent to jail and no one is informed of the reasons apart from the person who is in jail, who cannot make it public because he has no freedom. The suspended user should be able to write in meta, at least in most of cases. – Diego Mazón Sep 12 '13 at 17:47
• @drake, follow this link, and tell me if that is the sort of "freedom of expression" that you think needs to be on this site: physics.stackexchange.com/posts/45672/revisions – Colin McFaul Sep 12 '13 at 20:42
• @ColinMcFaul Nobody can be suspended for that reason in any place with freedom of expression. – Diego Mazón Sep 13 '13 at 1:02
• @drake, to clarify: you believe that Ron's edit that I linked to must be kept in order for this site to have "freedom of expression"? – Colin McFaul Sep 13 '13 at 3:18
• @drake About the privacy policy: this is the internet. The public records are very public. People do occasionally get involved in ugly discussions here which they would rather not show up in google, and it is important that the people involved have the right to keep those discussions off the record. This is particularly important if, like Math Overflow, we ever hope to capture a sizable community of research physicists who use their names on the site and for whom their SE accounts are very visible in google. – Emilio Pisanty Sep 13 '13 at 9:31
• Users can write a statement on their profile (I agree that it can feel like very little, but think of the views RM's profile got during the discussion) and there's definitely a ton of ways to ask someone else to post a statement in meta for you. (Note, though, that making a record public often requires more than one person's approval.) Suspension is meant as a last resort action for consistent behaviour and is never applied without warning (Ron definitely was warned). – Emilio Pisanty Sep 13 '13 at 9:40
• If you have a reasonable model that will protect everyone to propose, or specific instances of breaches to the current policy, please bring them up. Keep in mind, though, that apart from being a science site, this is the internet. If you think an unmoderated group is a the way to go you're on the wrong site; anything after that is a question of how and how much, and should be discussed as specifics. I'm getting tired of repeating this and this is my last post to this thread unless you have something new to add. I'll be happy to participate in any specific questions you bring up. – Emilio Pisanty Sep 13 '13 at 9:43

The current moderation team is doing just fine. We officially have 5 mods: David Z, dmckee, Manishearth, mbq, and Qmechanic. mbq's activity has been sporadic recently, but I see all 4 of the others every single day. So maybe we really have 4 active mods. That seems to be working well for now. Maybe we could use another mod, but I could go either way.

I'm skeptical of this:

I don't trust some of the current moderators.

It would be much more effective to discuss your specific concerns, rather than vaguely insinuating that something isn't working. If you are not comfortable discussing it more specifically, then that is symptomatic of a larger distrust with the entire SE system. Simply by being here, and asking this question, you are expressing at least some trust that the system still works.

I can see from your activity that you have been less active in the last couple of weeks. Is that because of your distrust of the mods, or is this just part of the normal ebb and flow of time and energy?

• There is no freedom of expression here. – Diego Mazón Sep 12 '13 at 16:32
• @drake, I'm not sure I understand. The expression here seems pretty free to me. Have one or more of the mods been suppressing free expression? Which mod(s)? In what way? Have you reported it to the SE team? – Colin McFaul Sep 12 '13 at 17:18
• @ColinMcFaul: The reason for dilaton's suspension. – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Sep 13 '13 at 15:27
• @DImension10AbhimanyuPS, your comment doesn't make any sense. What question does that answer? You will need to improve your English language skills if you want me to take you seriously. – Colin McFaul Sep 13 '13 at 20:14
• @ColinMcFaul: lack of freedom of expression – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Sep 14 '13 at 1:57
• @DImension10AbhimanyuPS, you're still being unclear, but I think you are saying that Dilaton's suspension is evidence that there is no freedom of expression here. I don't buy it at all. I'm also not willing to discuss it with you because you refuse to understand what freedom of expression is. – Colin McFaul Sep 14 '13 at 18:51