As detailed in "Moderator Pro Tempore Announcement", on Apr 3, 2017, there were 3 members assigned to act as temporary, provisional Moderators. At this very moment, Oct 25, 2017, this is what is shown on the profile page for one of these 3 members (who was last seen on SO just "yesterday"):

Last seen Sep 28 at 19:08

I'm aware of the "... be respectful and understanding of the Moderators Pro Tem. ..." mentioned in the linked question, but am I really the only one who thinks this seems like something is wrong in the decision described in that Announcement? I.e that a Moderator who has been away from the site for so long, seems to not be interested in even checking if there is anything on the site that needs some kind of moderator interventions.

I don't question the decision made back in the days of the announcement, but based on the current facts: What's the remedy?

Note: my question has nothing to do with the 2 other members mentioned in that announcement, nor do I question anything about whatever moderator interventions by those 2 other members.

  • 1
    What's the remedie to which problem ? I fail to understand what the problem is for the site from the question.
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 9:20

3 Answers 3


There doesn't appear to be anything wrong.

Moderators are volunteers and aren't required to be on the site all day everyday.

While being missing for a month could be seen as a problem, if the other moderators can handle the site then it isn't currently a problem.

If the absence extends to 6 months or the workload becomes too great for the remaining moderators to handle then the moderators can discuss the situation with the community managers to see what steps need to be taken. That may be appointing a new moderator or even, in extremis, removing the diamond from the "missing" moderator.

So, unless you think that the moderation of the site is suffering because of their absence there's nothing that needs to be done.

  • I can tell for sure we're not overwhelmed by flags to handle at least ;)
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 9:29

I.e that a Moderator who has been away from the site for so long, seems to not be interested in even checking if there is anything on the site that needs some kind of moderator interventions.

Well, Dave's hasn't been active (in the sense no post nor comment) on Stack Exchange network for a month. He may have personal reasons for it, maybe a new work with less free time or whatever.

I don't feel this actually harms devops.se in any way so I don't see something to "remedy" to (and the word sounds a little extreme).

  • This answer is partially wrong, at least for this part of the SE network.
    – Pierre.Vriens Mod
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 10:03
  • @Pierre.Vriens I said inactive in the sense of no participation (no question, no answer, not even a comment since September)
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 10:04
  • 1
    I don't want to give the impression that I'm disinterested in participating. I am somewhere within the SE network almost every day, so I do see notifications when there are moderator activities here. I have been busy with work lately, so I haven't had as much time to check on the site or answer questions. Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 18:54
  • @Dave I've absolutely no problem with that and I absolutely understand :)
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 19:03
  • 1
    This kind of inactivity/disinterest can harm the site though - pro-tem moderators are appointed to moderate. @Tensibai shouldn't have the sole duty of involved moderatorship - this duty is intended to be shared by a team and the expectation was that all members of that would be active and involved. If moderators aren't going to do that, it is wholly understandable as life happens, but it should be equally understandable that this duty would be reallocated to a volunteer who is capable of performing the duty at the moment. (Though I don't think this rises to that level) Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 17:09
  • 1
    It can or may happen yes @james, but it doesn't for now, we still have the teacher lounge to ask for others eyeballs when we have a doubt and the ability to summon others mods for some case like I did this week. Trying to fix something not broken in case it may happen is rarely constructive.
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 20:21

It looks like the answer to my question (which was about "What's the remedy"), can be found in the link added by Shog9 ♦ in a previous answer. You (should) know the drill: "links may stop working, better to include a relevant quote from it ...". So here is the relevant quote from that link:

Absentee Moderator Policy

We are in the process of implementing a policy for “absentee moderators” —

Any moderator who is not active on the site for a period of six months is subject to removal of their moderator abilities.

Moderatorship is an elected position, so if an absentee moderator returns to the site, they may be eligible for reinstatement. We understand that sometimes life happens: projects come up at work, other obligations take priority. If you need to take an extended leave of absence, just let us know and we will make the necessary accommodations. This policy is simply a way to help us better determine where additional help may be needed.

Note however that the (quote in the) above quote does not say what "active" means in this context. Some possibilities to pick from:

  • no post nor comment.
  • last seen.
  • some type of moderator action.
  • Well, links to SE blog post are unlikely to disappear totally. Links within SE network are usually considered stable an 'community' user update them when they change usually
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 19:01
  • Better safe than sorry. That blog has had a rough time of it; I was happy to see the post was still there!
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 22:40
  • @Shog9 I understand each word of your comment here, but I have no clue what you are trying to say, can you retry?
    – Pierre.Vriens Mod
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 23:19
  • @Pierre.Vriens he's telling me that you're right quoting it here as the guarantee it was still there wasn't such a guarantee finally.
    – Tensibai
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 12:42
  • @Tensibai, aha, now I get it, merci!
    – Pierre.Vriens Mod
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 13:08
  • In this case however moderatorship is not an elected position, it is appointed. It may be a simple matter of asking for Stack Exchange to appoint a new mod - not to step on toes or create hard feelings, but instead to allow the space for Moderators to attend to life needs. I'm sure there are volunteers who are ready, willing and able to step in and serve. I'm not sure that less than 30 days of inactivity rises to that level however. Some people go on vacation sometimes. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 17:12
  • @JamesShewey When I posted my question, I actually wanted to make sure to "not to step on toes or create hard feelings" (by asking this question). Which is also why (a) I did not do any 'name calling' in my question and (b) I added the "Note" to it. Moreover "I" wont ask SE as you suggested, instead I'm OK with the procedure as detailed in the quote of my answer here. Though I do wonder what the trigger for that "subject to removal" would be: is it some automated procedure that triggers it? Or some user "asking SE" as you suggested?
    – Pierre.Vriens Mod
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 17:25
  • In the case of a pro tem moderator, I don't know. I just know the position is appointed. On the other beta site I participate on, Mods have been pretty self aware and have requested to be relinquished when they were unable to serve in the role due to life events - that site has been beta for about 5 years. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 17:30

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