In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. It's similar to the Town Hall Chat done previously, but as a standalone question rather than a chat event. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, February 1st at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer. It is not required, but it would also be helpful to stick to inline link syntax for links in your question.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • At the end of the phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

7 Answers 7


Stack Exchange has a structure and rules unlike what most new users have experienced elsewhere. Unfortunately, new users tend to post questions and answers that don't fit in that structure. As a moderator, it will be a part of your job to close or remove those posts. How will you do that but still encourage the new user to "stick out the learning curve"?

  • I just want them to implement my idea : meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/q/2004/67 .
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 18:50
  • @Joe I'm waiting for you to throw in your hat and make this election interesting!
    – Jolenealaska Mod
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 18:56
  • But I've been a moderator. And I'm still a moderator on OpenData.SE. Besides, I've done enough elections to last a lifetime (was a town commissioner for 3 terms)
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 19:08
  • @Joe OK, you're excused :)
    – Jolenealaska Mod
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 19:09
  • More useful perhaps would be answer to question conversion. I think the mods have always been totally happy to have those things end up as questions, and we can make it happen reliably via flagging without needing to tune a classifier.
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 3:52
  • @Jefromi : shouldn't that be an answer to the meta-question linked? Now you're answering questions in comments, but not even in the same question.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 14:33
  • @Joe Um... it was a reply to your comment, I just forgot to @ you. I think it makes as much sense here as yours does? I've tried to push for it before on global meta though (where the original request is status-declined).
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 16:04

Moderation can sometimes take up time and energy that might have been spent on regular site participation. Additionally, that regular participation sometimes has to be more careful; for example, users may tend to take everyday comments as absolute moderator judgment. How do you feel about this?

  • (This is sort of a different take on the "diamond attached to everything you do" question.)
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 6:09

Imagine that you wake up and see a question which should be closed, either because it is too broad or because it is out of scope (e.g. a nutrition question). However, it is immensely popular, with many upvotes and already has several well-written answers. How do you handle the situation?

  • Or if it doesn't have answers yet but you know people will post them if it's not closed...
    – Cascabel Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 17:36

When you spend lots of time on the site, you interact with the users and form an opinion of them. In a few cases, there will be users towards whom you build up animosity, in others, you will feel respect for their knowledge or friendliness and a general liking.

Imagine that you see problematic content posted by somebody who is not just "one of the crowd", but somebody you either like or dislike a lot. How do you act to ensure fairness in that case?


What are your thoughts about the current level of Meta discussion on this site? Does it need improvement, or is it good?

What are your thoughts on the importance of Meta and how it helps contribute to the site and its policies?


Moderators often end up as the bearers of bad news, for example deleting newer users' posts or letting more experienced users know about a problem, which can lead to unpleasant or hostile reactions. How do you feel about taking on this role, and how would you deal with it?


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

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

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • 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?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

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