I have a mod who is a real pain, who likes to down vote me and who generally makes my life (or tries to) a misery. Surely there should be some mechanism or community vote on this, or are they above the law?
There is no direct mechanism to remove a mod that I am aware of.
A down vote is not considered an abuse of power. People can use them as they please.
If someone serial down votes there is a script that runs and will back it out. But I seriously doubt any mods here are doing that.
When a mod comes up for election you can comment and not vote for them. But mods can stay in position for years.
I can tell you from experience that complaining about down votes will only get you more down votes.
Argue with a comment will do you no good. Just ignore the comment if you don't agree. If it is rude or not constructive you can flag it.
This site has a narrow definition of right and wrong. Mods and users are going to enforce it with comments and down votes. Play by their rules or be frustrated.
Mostly true, but a couple notes: most importantly, mods are a small fraction of voting. The whole community speaks about what it thinks is good, not just us. Mods can be removed for serious abuses (see my answer). And while purely arguing is usually not a great plan, and ignoring is better, I would suggest a third option: listen to comments and see what you can improve based on them, and if you wish, reply in that spirit too. Suggesting improvements doesn't have to be a disagreement, and in my experience, most people who suggest things on my answers (and others) have a point. Feb 9, 2017 at 15:24
I also strongly disagree about a narrow definition of right and wrong. We have so many questions with multiple very different highly-upvoted answers. We do have relatively high standards, but it's more about thoroughly addressing the question (and not getting sidetracked), avoiding misleading statements, clearly explaining yourself, and in general writing well. If people think a post doesn't meet those standards, they're not saying it's wrong, just that it's not as good as they would like. But yes, you will be frustrated if you persistently ignore that kind of feedback. Feb 9, 2017 at 20:41
I can see deleted comments, you know. Since this seems to be a persistent sticking point with you, let me try to be clear: comments are for pointing out issues in answers, especially on meta. It's true that comments aren't for long discussions (chat is better) or off-topic discussions, and we move or delete when things are off the rails, but using them to address a post as I did here is their entire purpose. If you want to do okay here, as you say, you have to play by the rules: accept that comments happen, edits happen, votes happen, and so on. Feb 11, 2017 at 5:27
4Well, I'm sorry you don't like it, but making snarky comments to mods and generally being unreceptive to feedback in comments has a way of leading to getting called out. Feb 11, 2017 at 12:17
3It's unfortunate, though: like I started out saying, I agree with most of your answer, just not the dismissive attitude toward people's comments and votes. People here are really pretty reasonable. Feb 11, 2017 at 12:55
@Jefromi I chose not to engage you. Feb 11, 2017 at 15:17
You may use the contact us link (it's in the footer of every page on the site) if you wish to report potential moderator misconduct. Moderators were elected by the community in the first place, and are not above the law. If we find mistakes we've made, we'll do our best to fix them, and if we egregiously misbehave, SE will take appropriate action.
- downvoting is normal, and the best response is to try to improve your posts and accept that you'll get a few downvotes despite your best efforts. (And unless other mods have been downvoting you a ton, I'm pretty sure you've gotten more downvotes from non-mod users than mods. I believe all three mods have also given you more upvotes than downvotes - I definitely have, anyways.)
- I do not try to make anyone's life miserable, and neither do the other mods. (I'm pretty sure I know them well enough to speak that much on their behalf.) I also don't like downvoting - I'd rather all posts be worth an upvote, or at least not worth a downvote - but downvoting is part of how we make sure better answers show up higher, so I do it when I feel it's justified and don't feel guilty about it. Same goes for having to close questions, or point out various rules or issues: it'd be nice not to have to, but it's part of the site and part of my job so I do it.
So if you have specific concerns that you'd like community input on, I would encourage you to post them, rather than a more general accusation like this.
In that case, you would also be able to easily gauge the community's view on issues. You could also discuss with the moderator in question or the other two - and we can also create private chat rooms if you wish. Assuming everyone approaches things in good faith, with the goal of working things out for the users involved and the site, this tends to be better than immediately escalating to the top.
See also the canonical question on network-wide meta for this: What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused his/her privileges?
who likes to down vote me... There's no way for you to know who's downvoting you - even moderators can't tell how people vote (except they can see some aggregate voting stats).