2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jul 19 at 20:00
election began
Aug 2 at 20:00
election cancelled
Aug 2 at 20:00
candidates
2
positions
3

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

[Answer 1 here]

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

[Answer 2 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. If you make a ruling (e.g., closure) and a cogent argument is presented against your ruling by one or a very few users, will you tend to reverse your ruling, or will you (a) insist on many users making the argument, and/or (b) think you know best anyway?

[Answer 6 here]

AJ Henderson

I have been a pro-temp moderator here since the split from Audio Video Production. I know the community well and am an experienced moderator from multiple Stack Exchange sites.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

This takes a multiple step process. First I would try to figure out why the problem is occuring, then I would talk to the user about the issue and why it's a problem and see if we can come up with solutions. Finally, if solutions don't work, eventually it would be neccessary to take action against the user's account if the bad behavior continues. This can grow incrementally to try to fix the bad behavior.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Working closely with other moderators is a key part of a site running smoothly. On the rare case that there is a conflict here, they are almost always resolved quickly by chatting with the other moderators about the issue and determining the best course of action among the moderation team.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators are responsible for helping ensure the community on the site remains healthy. They encourage good behavior and make sure that bad behavior is addressed in the least disruptive way possible. They are trusted members of the community that uphold the ideals of the community and act as the community's representatives with Stack Exchange.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

This isn't a change for me, but it does mean I give more thought to what I say as a representative of the communuity.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

The added tools and the easier access to coordinate with other moderators and Stack Exchange staff is not something availabel to high reputation users.

  1. If you make a ruling (e.g., closure) and a cogent argument is presented against your ruling by one or a very few users, will you tend to reverse your ruling, or will you (a) insist on many users making the argument, and/or (b) think you know best anyway?

This really depends on the situation. There are times when Stack Exchange policies may force things to be done in a particular way even when the community doesn't like it. I can champion trying to get these things changed, but would ultimately have to leave them as is. That said, I am completely open to a subjective decission being wrong and will gladly accept community feedback and revise decissions based on feedback from either the community or other moderators. Moderators are not rulers, we're an extension of the community and an interface between the community and Stack Exchange.

Rory Alsop

I have been a pro-tem moderator here since 2014, and I also moderate a few other Stack Exchange sites, both small and large. My focus here has been on supporting growth, and rapidly removing off-topic content of the sort that can derail smaller sites through reducing quality.

I'm in the UK, which is often a good timezone balance, as I tend to mod first thing in the morning, at lunch and in the evening.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

First I would comment to ask them not to show that sort of behaviour, as it can negatively impact the site as a whole by driving away other contributors, I would clean up the offending comments as needed. If that didn't work, a short suspension would usually do the trick, but if the behaviour was extreme and there was no improvement, those suspensions can be lengthened as needed,

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Mods discuss decisions. With other site mods, and with the wider mod population. We shouldn't take these things personally, so we try for consensus.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

We don't do anything very special - it's just a small level over what you all contribute to here. We do the moderation that either can't be done by the community, or that may take too long (eg we can remove spammers or trolls immediately, whereas members of the community need to vote to remove), we mediate as needed, and we spend a lot of time cleaning up - which is where the community really defines our work, through flagging posts that need our attention. We also are a route to change - if you want a scope change, the usual route is to create a meta post describing it, the community votes, and the mods support the scope change, through moderation, but also in editing site guidance etc.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

This will really be no change for me. I am an elected mod on a few sites, and a pro-tem mod on others, so I know some folks will take frustration out on me as one of the faces of the site. It comes with the role.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

The only difference is in immediacy, only needing 1 vote to close or open, and accessibility to a small handful of extra tools to help keep things running smoothly. Other than that it doesn't change the way I approach review queues, editing or voting.

  1. If you make a ruling (e.g., closure) and a cogent argument is presented against your ruling by one or a very few users, will you tend to reverse your ruling, or will you (a) insist on many users making the argument, and/or (b) think you know best anyway?

One of the good things is the community can continue to develop the scope of the site - if I close a question, or think something is out of scope, I'm absolutely open to the community telling me I'm an idiot. I will have taken action based on my interpretation of scope, but as with the previous question, if the community prefers a different interpretation or scope, then discussion can bring that to a positive conclusion. Mods are not here to define the community, we are to support the community definition.

This election is over.