Occasionally, deep seated rifts in a community and a variety of compounding factors can lead to an 'exodus' of moderators, where most or all of the moderators step down.

How can the remaining moderators (if any), or failing that, site owners rescue a community in this situation? If the community is deeply divided, or sore from the events that caused the problem, simply appointing new moderators may not fix the underlying problem.

  • 3
    What is the underlying problem? Your moderator exodus isn't - that's just a symptom. If you want to rescue your community, you need to investigate and fix the cause for the community divide. Unfortunately you are not providing any details, so we can not really help you with this.
    – Philipp
    Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 15:06
  • Possibly related (depending on the background of the exodus): moderators.stackexchange.com/q/125/83 Commented Sep 2, 2014 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


This is always a trying time for a community. Part of the family leaves and a power vacuum is left behind. As can apply to a lot of situations in life, not just this, don't make major decisions during disruptive times. Allow a cooling off period for the community to return to normal before even thinking of replacing those moderators that left.

It may mean extra work for the site owner / moderators that are still here, but this is a difficult time for the entire community and this is an opportunity for those still here to come together and help each other. Being a little lax on the rules probably wouldn't hurt here, maybe giving a few more warnings before that temporary ban then you normally would. Maybe let the odd comment slide that you'd normally be straight onto.

As the community shows signs of recovering and moving on, start to tighten up on rules again and discuss the possibility of moving several members up to moderators. If you're on your own as site owner then perhaps you're discussing this with several members of the community, or the community as a whole. If you've got some moderators left then maybe it's just discussing it with them. This will all depend on your community. But soon after you should have your new moderators and things will be moving on and your community (hopefully) has survived the rift.


It should be a quick but thought out process for sure to keep the community from crashing (further)

  1. Figure out what went wrong in the community to cause the Exodus
  2. Decide if you can safeguard against the same thing happening in the future and implement those safeguards.
  3. Talk to the community and see how deep the issue is, and what they suggest should be done.
  4. Create a game plan
  5. Ask the community to elect moderators or give suggestions on new moderators (not sure if you would want to put great weight on this after a major meltdown though)
  6. Engage your Moderators and Safeguards
  7. Supervise closely, at least until things start to normalize.
  8. After normalization keep your binoculars handy and observe from a distance for a while.

After point 3 & 4 you will know whether or not to pick moderators or let the community nominate/elect moderators (point 5).

This is assuming that there was a Meltdown as opposed to someone just resigning.

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