Moderator selection criteria

This proposal was created by the @forums-governance team as a result of the identified need of providing transparency and clarity on how decisions around the selection of moderators are made.

It aims to summarize the process and requirements for the community to suggest and validate new moderators on these forums.

This is a proposal for discussion, it will be open for comments until September 15th.

After that date the @forums-governance team will iterate (if needed) to accommodate the general consensus and will take a decision on next steps.

Note: The intention is to come up with good-enough guidelines that have general consensus and that are expected to keep improving over time. We don’t intend to try to come up with the perfect guidelines in v1.0

OSM Forums - Moderator selection criteria


In order for a person to be a forum or category moderator, they would need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Actively contributing in the community conversations at least in the last 6 months.
  • No active bans or sanctions because of past misbehavior or abuse.
  • Good record of being exemplary, treating others with kindness.
  • Commitment to fulfill the role responsibilities (see below)

On-boarding and responsibilities

By putting themselves forward for a moderator position, candidates commit to:

  • Proactive Moderation: Stay active and regularly monitor conversations and community flags.
  • Incident Response: Follow and enforce the category and forum etiquette guidelines.

They will be provided with a detailed moderator guidelines with clear examples on how to deal with common tasks and recommendations for difficult situations. The rest of the moderators will help onboard new members and will provide peer-support.

New moderators process

Please note the requirements above before suggesting a new moderator.

Communities and users can suggest new moderators by opening a new topic in the “New category request” category. Candidates suggested will need to reply on the topic sharing that they are OK being candidates.

The topic will be open for community discussion for at least 5 days, allowing anyone in the community to share their thoughts and additional suggestions.

After these 5 days, a public forum poll will be called to (Approve, Reject) on the final list of proposed moderators.

The poll will be open for another 5 days, and it will be approved with least 80% of the “Yes” votes.

Voters are encouraged to comment on the topic explaining the reasons for their votes.

Approved moderators will be added to the corresponding groups by the forum governance team.


Once a year, communities will be asked to open a topic to check on the current moderators status, open for public comments. After 7 days a public poll will be created to re-validate the moderator list, and after another 7 days, it will be approved if there are at least 80% of “Yes” votes.

If any moderator stops fulfilling any of the points in the requirements list at anytime, anyone can flag it privately to the @forums-governance team and will be evaluated to be transitioned (if needed) out of the moderators group.

Special note on existing moderators

Since some category moderators have been added before this new process was in place, we will be running a health-check process (described above) in 3 months time (December 10th) to re-validate their roles.

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