RationalWiki:Moderator elections

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The nicest bunch of assholes on RationalWiki
Shills and Whores


The moderators are vested with moral authority (and user rights powers) to keep Wiki discussions on track, especially by stopping discussions that have become destructive in nature.



In May 2011, Tmtoulouse announced a plan to reform RationalWiki's user rights structure. After a period of soliciting comments on this plan, he laid it out in more detail.

After the July 2013 election, elections scheduled for December never took place and the 7 people elected as mods got to keep being mods for 2 and a half years. Eventually, a discussion was had which agreed to lower the number of mods to 4 and scheduled new elections for November of 2015.

Following this election, in typical RationalWiki fashion, 2 moderators promptly resigned, and the community voted to elect 4 more moderators for a total of 6. As of December 2022, there are 6 moderators and 2 alternates elected every year.

Election process

At the end of every year (December or November depending on our mood), these elections are held. When elections begin, two subpages of RationalWiki:Moderator elections are created: one for nominations and the other for campaigning. Additionally, the subpage RationalWiki:Moderator elections/Schedule (shown at the top of all election-relevant pages), is updated to reflect the current elections and the current state of elections (from nominations/campaigning opening, to voting opening, and to results announced) and to ease navigation. During these two weeks, users that have accepted the nominations can post in the campaigning subpage, with a subsection detailing their plans and expectations for next year.


There are some rules on the nomination process. The nomination pages will also have these rules as a reminder.

1: There are no rules against self nomination.
2: When nominating somebody else, it is considerate to inform them with {{modnotice}} so that they don't miss the opportunity to accept the nomination.
3: Nominees should acknowledge the nomination by signing next to their name.
4: Nominees should accept or decline their nomination and move their name to the right section.
5: The propaganda and misinformation supplied by our candidates for supreme leadership may be found here, if anyone bothers to post any.
Timing note: Nominations must be accepted before midnight UTC on the closing date, this may be different to your timezone. Any nominations not accepted will be treated as "presumed inactive".

Also, as per the discussion and vote following 2018's moderator's election (poll results):

1: Anyone who has been banned through coop or received the sysoprevoke penalty will be ineligible to run.
2: All candidates have to have been on the wiki for 6 months.
3: All candidates have to have made 300 edits by the time the election starts.
4: All candidates have to have edited at least 10 times in the two months before the election.
5: No sockpuppets may run, this includes alternative accounts.
6: Blocked users cannot run, unblocking users for the purpose of allowing them to run is discouraged.

RationalWiki's voting system is single transferable vote (abbreviated as STV). During the nomination process, there is also a request for OpenSTV ballot readers. Resources on how to operate the OpenSTV ballot are available, but a computer program needs to be run. Instructions on interpreting STV include two videos, here (7 minutes) or here (2 minutes).


After users have accepted their nomination, they can create a subsection under "campaigning" with their user name and can persuade potential voters about their capability to moderate a wiki. Users can upload posters if they wish, such as in Category:Moderator campaign posters. Good candidates understand what's outlined in RationalWiki:All things in moderation and usually have an established reputation on the wiki for making constructive edits on pages, handling content disputes with constructive comments, exercising reasonable sysop power, and interacting and establishing with the community. Good incumbent moderators have been consistent in their promises and maintain cooperation with the wiki as well as attend to matters that call for moderator attention.

There is a section after campaigning which has questions for the candidates. The questions can be serious or light-hearted. Good candidates try to respond these questions with honesty and thoughtfulness, provided the questions are good of course.

The last section is typically for endorsements. Here, potential voters can show support, criticism, or neutral comments for a candidate. Endorsements are not votes for a candidates but they can help gauge general voting patterns once the voting booths are open.


See the main article on this topic: RationalWiki:Moderator elections/Election booth

After around two weeks of nominations and campaigning, the nominations will close and the voting booth is open. Voting for candidates is done on the election booth subpage.

Voters are required to meet the following:

1: Registered for 3 or more months
2: Made 75 or more edits

Users have a one week window to vote. During the process, voters have multiple empty slots in an order of priority (the first slot would be first choice to be moderator). These slots can be filled by selecting a drop-down containing a list of names of the candidates.


Once the week is over, the voting booths close, and OpenSTV ballot readers interpret and announce the results. These results are posted in a subpage of RationalWiki:Moderator elections/Results. Discussion can take place and actions on demoting winners can be taken. Once discussion and actions are complete, users should archive all the election subpages (such as nominations, campaigning, results) by creating a sub-sub page and update the RationalWiki:Moderator elections/Archive page. Additionally, RationalWiki:List of moderators on RationalWiki should be updated to reflect the results.