Catching up on this thread the response seems to be mainly: set out what you’d like to happen so it can be discussed.
You don’t have to do that. If all you wanted to do us express concerns that’s fine.
BTW there are good reasons for why we decided to choose mods the way we do. Essentially we take moderation seriously, so we look for committed community members who show qualities we have found to be important: such as their ability to communicate clearly, commitment to the project, not taking things personally, even self reflection and the ability to hear another’s point of view. And not least, the willingness to be part of a team, who consult, advise and support each other. I don’t think voting would improve the quality of mods or the team, although it might help the community feel more empowered and less suspicious of individual moderators, or if moderation in general.
Usually people seem happy about moderation until they are personally affected in a way they disagree with, so I think perception is important and elections might help with that. But I’m not convinced such a change would be worth it - I expect it would take up more time, and could result in less good moderators, or a less effective team. It’s up to the community though - if someone were to propose it, it could be discussed and voted on.
Frankly moderation is already a lot of work - including all the discussions such as this that go along with it, and keeping up with the forum.
I think if the community could see what we do - the amount of time we put in, and the careful consideration we give to the actions we take, all of these issues would disappear. But the only way to experience that is to try moderating this forum yourself. Any volunteers? We normally approach people when we think the team is ready to expand, but if anyone wants to volunteer we’d be happy to discuss with them what’s involved and whether we and they think they’d be a good moderator. (I’m not able to say we’re ready to add to the team right now, because I have not discussed this with the other mods and wet take these decisions collectively).
It’s notable how a tiny fraction of the community generate the majority of the work required for moderation. It would be far easier to not: mention, advise, and discuss with people when we think they need to change their behaviour - which we only do in relation to the guidelines agreed with the community. Not personal opinion, always in view of each other and almost always with internal discussion. When this happens it takes a lot of our time, and it is happening on a regular basis now, whereas in the past it was intermittent.
If instead we could just act and be done, and not consult, or allow discussion and challenge of moderation, our work would take a fraction of the time.
I think that is a serious consideration, because the mod team is already stretched, and I anticipate that things are going to get far busier when the network is ready.
I don’t see how we can continue to do things with the same level of consultation and diligence in that context. It will certainly not be possible without the support of the community, so the community will be the ones to decide how moderation develops in that context.