2012 Stack Overflow Community Moderator Election Begins

by Josh Heyer

on June 4, 2012

Hard to believe it's been only six months since the last moderator election on Stack Overflow...

Remember A Theory of Moderation? It talks about how moderators are the "human exception handlers" on Stack Overflow, elected to deal with those rare situations the normal community moderation can't handle. It also notes:

The most common moderator task is to follow up on [flagged posts](http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/01/improved-flagging/). Every post contains a small **flag link**, which anyone with 15 reputation can use.

Over 200K users with at least 15 reputation have accessed Stack Overflow in the past three months. That's a lot of folks able to raise a red flag - and a lot of them do.

With 12 moderators on Stack Overflow, handling the more than 1,300 flags each day has become an increasingly heavy load to bear - so we're looking for a few good men or women willing to step up and help. If you're an experienced, community-minded member of Stack Overflow, willing to devote a bit of time each day to assisting your comrades, visit http://stackoverflow.com/election and nominate yourself.

Of course, needing more moderators is a good problem to have - it means Stack Overflow is thriving, its community able to recognize when a something on the site needs attention. That said, there's something a bit wrong with this many flags going to the exception handlers, when many of them can and should be handled by other trusted members of the community. Last fall we started experimenting with ways of presenting some flags - those most likely to require actions available to ordinary users - to the 10K users first, and forward them only to moderators when unresolved in a reasonable period of time. We'll be expanding this in the next month to put flagging for action (close, delete, re-open, etc.) and voting for action in the same league when it comes to requiring moderator intervention. Stay tuned...