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Over a week ago, the Health.SE site lost two moderators, Susan and anongoodnurse, in quick succession (the same or subsequent days). As far as I can see this was never announced anywhere on Meta and only brought up in chat by other people who noticed that the moderation team had changed. When bringing up the lack of communication, I was assured that there would be more information, and that the CM team would be keeping an eye on Health.SE.

Well, it's been a week, and with the holidays around the corner it seems like either I ask now and probably get a "we are still working this out" answer or ask next week and get a "we are on holidays" answer. I'll take my chances with the former. I also think this should be public, so I am asking here instead of contacting the Community Managers.

  1. Obviously without going into anything that shouldn't be announced publicly, why was this major change (that's 50 percent of the moderator team, after all) not communicated on Meta?
  2. What's the current plan to proceed? How will this effect the site?
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I'll address the potential effect on the site. If SE is unable to find enough qualified users to moderate, the site will be shut down.

What does this mean? If there's enough moderation for a public beta site to consistently remain free of spam, for flags to be cleared, and for our Be Nice policy to be upheld, your site will remain open. However, if community leaders drop off, flags sit without being addressed, and we can’t find any suitable volunteers to step forward, the site gets closed.

from Graduation, site closure, and a clearer outlook on the health of SE sites

  • 1
    Do users get notified a bit before closure, so that we have some time to move the questions somewhere else? (without having to dig into the dump) – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 18 '15 at 15:52
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    @FranckDernoncourt it's been a long time since Stack Exchange shut down a site that made it to public beta (private betas are different; several of those have failed), but the last time it happened there was at least a week's notice on meta, and an attempt to migrate anything that could fit on other sites. I assume this site could expect at least that much notice. – Monica Cellio Dec 22 '15 at 1:54
  • @MonicaCellio Great, thanks! – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 22 '15 at 3:34
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Well, here is your "they are still working it out" answer. :)

Just as most of the rest of us have Christmas, so do have the Community Moderators. Ana is the primary person that has been communicating with us during this process, and she is currently on vacation. There have been other CM's checking in and helping as needed (Which has not been much at all).

They do intend on talking to some members of the community as potential replacements, I just do not know the timeframe for when that will occur.

In the meantime, while what Mad Scientist says is true, currently we are not letting flags sit, we are free of spam and we are still Being Nice to each other. The site is not in any immediate danger of closing, at least as far as I am aware.

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    Thanks for the answer, I appreciate it can you give any answer at all to question 1 in my post? – YviDe Dec 18 '15 at 18:00
  • Has there been any update on the possibility of getting a few new mods? – Joe W Jan 16 '16 at 16:50
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As JohnP said, we are still trying to work this all out. Obviously, this was a very sudden change for the community, but we are trying our best to keep that community moving forward in a positive direction. Hopefully we'll be able find another user that will make a competent moderator.

Now I'll answer your first question about why this sudden change wasn't announced publicly. We wanted to leave announcing that they won't be moderators here anymore up to Susan and anongoodnurse. They were and still are free to make a meta post, but they decided not to and we want to respect that decision.

  • Whether or not they want to post about their resignations is, of course, entirely up to them; however, notifying the community of a major change is definitely of interest to all participants. What you're saying is akin to saying that a corporate executive who chooses to resign can choose to notify the stockholders or not. While that may be true, it's not optional for the remaining executives to notify them. It's not necessary to give a reason but rather simply that it occurred. For some participants, myself included, this information could make a substantive change in their participation. – Carey Gregory Jan 17 '16 at 21:13
  • @CareyGregory Our initial hope was that we would be able to acquire a willing and capable volunteer to step up as a moderator, but that has proven to be more difficult than we had thought it would be. A post would have gone up announcing both losing two moderators and getting a new one. – michaelpri Jan 19 '16 at 3:18
  • I'm not really sure how replacing mods works but isn't the basic procedure to call for moderator nominations followed by an election? It's been over a month since they resigned so I'd say it's time to just put the procedure in motion. There's no need to explain why they resigned other than perhaps to reassure people there's no big drama going on. – Carey Gregory Jan 19 '16 at 4:57
  • @CareyGregory Beta sites don't get elections, so the process for replacing a moderator is to ask users who seem like worthy candidates to be a moderator. We haven't been able to get anyone yet who has been willing to step up, though. – michaelpri Jan 19 '16 at 22:16

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