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I understand a new moderator is elected whenever one steps down or there is an increase in traffic to the point that the current moderator team cannot handle it. However, my question is more about when physics.SE might reach that point - i.e., using the current rate of increase in traffic, when will it become too much for the soon-to-be six moderators? Or is there a standard time for moderators to serve and then step down, even though it is technically a life term?

Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ The answer to this might be harder to get to than you think. It very much depends on how things go in the future. For instance, if I were elected and then I found that someone came along who would do the job much better and expressed interest in it, I'd step down then and there and champion them in the ensuing election $\endgroup$ – Jim Oct 4 '16 at 18:13
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This is really a complete unknown. As you mention, elections are held whenever existing mods step down, or increased traffic calls for an expanded squad, and there's no way to tell when either will happen. There's no way to tell when any of the existing mods' situation might change, and there's no way to tell how the site will grow in the future, or how mod-intensive that future traffic might be.

There is no standard time for moderators to step down - if mods can continue in their role, we want them there, as it's not worth the hassle of an election. If there is a problem with the mods, it can and should be brought up on this meta at any time.

If it's any guidance, there have been two elections in the past, in 2011 and 2012. Only one moderator (mbq) has stepped down, without stating any reasons that I know of.

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  • $\begingroup$ Okay, thanks. I didn't know that...I thought there was some average period. Good to know! $\endgroup$ – karatechop Oct 4 '16 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ This is basically accurate, but I'd offer a clarification: whenever the moderation workload exceeds the capacity of the current mod team (because someone steps down, or the mods have less time available, or because of growth of the site, or whatever), we can discuss adding additional moderators with the SE team. Typically, that means a new election, but not always. For example, if there has been a recent election, the team may appoint the runner-up from that election as the new moderator. $\endgroup$ – David Z Oct 5 '16 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @David Thanks for the clarification, that was new to me. But then there's only been a single election in my 4+ years on the site. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Oct 5 '16 at 16:56

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