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The Stack Exchange 2015 Year in Review blog post claims:

After five years of democratically electing moderators, it’s mind blowing that Stack Exchange is still the only major network that embraces this form self-governance. It’s a strategic advantage we wish more internet communities would adopt. We simply cannot thank our 476 volunteer moderators enough for their patience and dedication.

Is Stack Exchange the only major network where moderators are democratically elected?

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I approved your comment, which obviously is not spam. ;-) This is an interesting question I probably should have asked before I posted. – Jon Ericson Jan 13 at 1:11
Define: "major network". Because it certainly seems like SO is a major network amongst the IT community! – Mooz Jan 13 at 2:37
It's not entirely true that all moderation is done by designated elected moderators. Standard users can gain some moderator power over time from building up a good reputation. There's therefore also an element of meritocracy in SE moderation. – GordonM Jan 13 at 11:37
What's a "network"? – mattdm Jan 13 at 17:23
Not enough for an answer, but I think this all hinges on the definition of "major network". In my experience, democratic moderator elections in online communities are fairly commonplace. A search for "moderator election" -"Stack Exchange" returns plenty, and that's just people who use that exact terminology. Some sites may even have more self-governance, since AFAIK Stack Exchange reserves powers for appointed employees, e.g. in legal matters. – IMSoP Jan 14 at 18:07

Wikimedia holds democratic elections for its board member positions.

Wikipedia's nomination and selection process for administrators and bureaucrats is roughly democratic, with requests for adminship almost always being accepted if they receive at least 75% support and request for bureaucratship almost always being accepted if they receive at least 85% support.

Physics Overflow holds democratic moderator elections.

Young socialists united subreddit holds democratic moderator elections.

Rational wiki uses democratic moderator nominations.

Which, if any, of these is "major" is a subjective judgement call, but beware falling into a no true Scotsman fallacy.

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I suspect that Wikipedia is the only of these anywhere near in size of the SE network, the last three are tiny compared to SE. – Mad Scientist Jan 12 at 19:33
@MadScientist Agreed, but I think both Wikis easily satisfy the 'major network' criteria. – David Grinberg Jan 12 at 20:45
For what it's worth, if I had been aware of Wikipedia's process for selecting administrators, I would have phrased the sentence differently. In fact, I might very well change it tomorrow. – Jon Ericson Jan 13 at 1:50
Wikipedia seems relevant, the rest is by no means a major network -- e.g. physics overflow's top voted mod had exactly 10 votes. – Sklivvz Jan 13 at 16:43
Speaking as both a mod at SE and and admin at Wikpedia, the roles are equivalent regardless of the name difference. – SevenSidedDie Jan 13 at 19:52

Ubuntu Community Council is democratically elected.

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