2022 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jun 20 at 20:00
election began
Jun 27 at 20:00
election ended
Jul 5 at 20:00
candidates
3
positions
1

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!

Additional Links

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]

Null

I wasn't planning on running in this election, but there aren't many candidates (there were none for most of the nomination phase) so I'll offer my help.

I've been a moderator on Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange since 2016 so I'm familiar with the mod tools. While my reputation on this site is a bit low for a moderator candidate, I have extensive experience performing user-level moderation on this site as demonstrated by:

  1. 11 Steward badges (awarded for 1,000 completed review tasks in a review queue), with at least one such badge in almost all the review queues

  2. > 1,000 helpful flags raised, with only 5 declined and 6 disputed

  3. 2,490 post edits

I am also fairly active on meta, mostly regarding tag cleanup -- which will be easier for me to do if I am elected.

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?

If immediate action is necessary (e.g. the user is being abusive), I would delete the comments and/or suspend the user as necessary. Next, I would discuss the user with the other site moderators and attempt to come up with a course of action for dealing with the user (other moderators will likely know more about the user's history and therefore may be better able to help the user interact on the site more constructively). Some possible such courses of action include:

  1. Send a mod message to the user as a reminder of the expected behavior on the site. Users get one chance to respond to a mod message to explain themselves, and moderators can send additional messages for further discussion.

  2. Offer to make myself available for a chat between myself, that user, other moderators and/or with other users if more discussion is required than is possible in a series of mod messages and responses.

  3. Suspend the user if the user has previously been warned/suspended about the same problem before, or there is other evidence that the user is unlikely to improve.

Ultimately, the goal is to find a way for all users -- especially ones who produce valuable answers -- to participate on the site while also following the site's rules. Users who produce valuable posts still have to follow the rules, though, so if such a user is unable to participate constructively even after exhausting more lenient courses of action then I am willing to suspend such a user.

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

The first thing to do is to discuss the situation with that mod privately. We might be able to come to an agreement by discussing it just the two of us.

If that doesn't work, there are two paths to follow depending on whether or not other users have expressed an opinion (e.g. in the comments to a closed question).

If no other users have expressed an opinion, I would ask other mods to weigh in. Hopefully, the mod team would be able to come to an agreement and act accordingly. In that case most users wouldn't even notice that there was a dispute. If the mods are not able to come to an agreement then it is time to open up the discussion to the wider community via meta.

If other users have expressed an opinion, the issue needs to be brought up in meta. More users discussing the issue in meta may help break the disagreement between the mods.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

My philosophy on moderation is in close agreement with "A Theory of Moderation". In particular, I think the description of moderators as "human exception handlers" is superb. Most moderation (reviewing and editing posts, closing and re-opening questions, etc.) can and should be conducted by the community, but exceptional circumstances (e.g. edit wars, rude/abusive behavior, etc.) sometimes require users with additional system privileges (here, the diamond moderators) to resolve the problem. When exceptional circumstances do occur I favor a light touch, but I am willing to take firm action if necessary.

Also, I am willing to support community consensus even if I personally disagree with it -- as should any good moderator. Moderators wield additional power but are not rulers -- moderators' extra privileges are designed to help the community achieve goals that regular users cannot do on their own.

  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?

A diamond has been attached to my name on Science Fiction and Fantasy and in chat since 2016 so this is nothing new to me. I have never been suspended on any SE site nor in chat, and I try to be cordial in all my interactions with users on the network.

  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?

Moderators have some additional privileges which 10k and 20k users do not have, and on this site in particular there are two which would be especially helpful in making myself more effective:

  1. Binding close and re-open votes. This site often has a backlog of posts in the close votes review queue in particular, so a binding close vote would help me clear the queue. Of course, I would also need to be especially careful not to vote if I'm not sure of my action, since it would be binding.

  2. Tag cleanup. Much of my meta participation has been related to tag cleanup, and even when I get community consensus to perform some sort of tag cleanup I often need to ask a moderator to actually do it (e.g. synonymize a tag). I will of course still ask for community consensus before any non-trivial tag cleanup, but as a moderator I could perform the actual cleanup myself.

As an existing moderator on the network I am also very familiar with the SE network's mod tools, but as a 10k or 20k user I would not be able to use that experience to help this site -- I could only do so as a moderator.

Juraj

I am moderator on Arduino SE and I would like to help out the moderator team here on EE SE. I joined EE SE 3 years ago. It is one of the three SE communities I joined and visit every day.

I am a software developer over 30 years now. Arduino is my main hobby. My electronics knowledge is only at Arduino level.

I visit SE multiple times a day as part of my 'forums round' which includes SE sites Arduino, Stack Overflow (filtered by Arduino related tags), EE (filtered by Arduino related tags).

For a SE site with as much traffic as EE SE has, it is good to have moderators in different timezones. I am in the Central European Timezone.

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?

There are established 'procedures' for moderators on how to handle troublemakers on SE.

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

If as a moderator I disagree (very strong) about an action of other moderator, there is a way to talk to other moderators and express the disagreement and hope for explanation, but I will not start an argumentation fight or revert the action myself.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators duty is to handle flags: flags on Questions, flags on comments, flags on Answers.

Moderators can close/open/delete Questions immediately if there is a good reason to do it. Moderators can migrate Questions to other SE sites and accept migrated Questions.

  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?

no problem

  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?

With my linited electronics knowlege I can't reach that reputation on EE SE. On Arduino SE I reached all useful community moderation privileges in September 2018. I used them for community moderation, so my transition to full moderator tools on Arduino SE in July 2021 was easy.

Mast

I am nominating myself to help the existing team. They are already doing a fine job and if they need an extra hand, I'm happy to provide it.

I started my career in electronics (repairs, writing and executing FATs and SATs), but have been an electrical engineer for panel- and machine builders for the last couple of years.

Some of my answers to the questionnaire may look familiar. They are mostly updated versions of what I provided in my Code Review election.

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?

There are two separate issues here, the flags and the user. If the flags are valid, they will be acted upon. Even high-reputation users make mistakes. If the users have a track record of valuable answers, extra effort will be put into reducing the risks of the user giving up entirely or going down the slope even further. Moderators can invite users to private chatrooms, they are ideal for this situation. If more stern action is required, a moderator message without suspension can do wonders as well. Either way, if the Be Nice policy is repeatedly violated there have to be consequences. We can't have people scare away other users by their poor behaviour.

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

That's what we have moderator-only chat for. I'll communicate my concerns and trust their judgement if they have valid points. If necessary, a lively discussion behind closed doors won't hurt anybody.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

A lot of everything and preferably not too much.

Moderators are exception handlers. If there are no exceptions, the community should be able to moderate itself. Where necessary, I'll step in to help out to both give an example and to clear the backlog. I see no problem in instantly closing the obvious cases either.

Moderators help with the extreme cases (rubbish, spam and offensive posts can be instantly deleted instead of requiring multiple users), guide users who're misusing the site or misunderstanding how it works (flags, queues, etc.), deal with moderator flags, taking the leadership role more publicly, keep an eye on meta (a must for moderators, in my opinion), support the Community Managers if they have questions/concerns about the site's health, it's a long list.

  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?

It comes with the territory. I've been a moderator on Code Review for just over a year now, so I'm used to it.

  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?

For starters, I don't have 20k rep. My role here (if elected) will be slightly different from my role on Code Review since I'll take more of a backseat to the existing moderators where possible. However, I do have experience with being an SE moderator and the janitorial tasks most people seem to dislike. Considering the lack of enthusiasm by the rest of the community (there are 0 nominations at the time of writing this), I'll gladly help out. I'm not about to see this site fail (an election without nominees is officially a failed election) just because the moderator team has no back-up. I know some of them, voted for all of them and now I have a chance to support them.

This election is over.