Skip to main content

2024 Moderator Election

nomination began
Apr 9 at 20:00
election began
Apr 16 at 20:00
election ended
Apr 24 at 20:00
candidates
2
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. What level of participation or activity, as a moderator, do you see for yourself if elected? We have moderators that are active on virtually every question, or at least several times daily, and we have had moderators we rarely see any activity from. Where will you fit into this lineup?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. How do you see yourself using the moderators close vote power? The majority of the current moderators seem content to allow the site to be mainly community moderated, rarely using their ability to unilaterally close a question. Would you continue this trend, or do you see yourself using the moderators close vote more heavily?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 5 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 6 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. How do you see yourself using the moderators close vote power? The majority of the current moderators seem content to allow the site to be mainly community moderated, rarely using their ability to unilaterally close a question. Would you continue this trend, or do you see yourself using the moderators close vote more heavily?

[Answer 8 here]

  1. What level of participation or activity, as a moderator, do you see for yourself if elected? We have moderators that are active on virtually every question, or at least several times daily, and we have had moderators we rarely see any activity from. Where will you fit into this lineup?

[Answer 9 here]

SPavel

I have been active on History SE for a long time, contributing to making it a high-quality stack with questions, answers, and edits. It is my favorite stack in the network, and I would like to do more to help keep it that way.

My years here have given me an eye for which questions/answers can be salvaged, and how - and which are either a poor fit for historical analysis, or conspiracy theories/troll posts with an agenda that do not belong anywhere on the SE network. I have the added bonus of a cultural background that helps me recognize Russian-aligned disinfo/trolls by their rhetoric and tropes, and a healthy interest in the news that helps me do the same for other politically-motivated topics.

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 depends entirely on the nature of the flags. The Stack is not just a Q&A site, but a community - and any user who is making the community less welcoming deserves a reprimand, regardless of the points they accrue.

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

In public, the moderation team should show a united front. The appropriate forum would be to take this up privately among the moderators, where I would explain my position and give the other mod an opportunity to do the same.

  1. What level of participation or activity, as a moderator, do you see for yourself if elected? We have moderators that are active on virtually every question, or at least several times daily, and we have had moderators we rarely see any activity from. Where will you fit into this lineup?

I'm here at least once a day and I have the badge to prove it. I will intervene where necessary when I see a flag or issue.

  1. How do you see yourself using the moderators close vote power? The majority of the current moderators seem content to allow the site to be mainly community moderated, rarely using their ability to unilaterally close a question. Would you continue this trend, or do you see yourself using the moderators close vote more heavily?

I would use this ability sparingly. I have seen questions pick up 2-3 Close Votes, and then go on to receive a high quality answer regardless. Users casting those votes are also likely to leave helpful comments that will aid the asker in revising their question.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

StackExchange is designed to self-moderate for many functions of a traditional forum/platform moderator. The mods are here to deal with exceptions - those posts that cannot be salvaged, or actors who refuse to engage with the rules and format of a Stack. The moderator's objective is to get as many of those people back on track to contributing within those parameters as possible, and ensure that those who do not are not degrading the Stack's ability to self-regulate for everyone else.

  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?

My jokes would officially become twice as funny as before.

In all seriousness - I stand by the high quality of contributions I've made to this stack, and intend to maintain that bar going forward.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?

I have already reached both of these milestones, and have been using their powers to assist the moderator team. Becoming a mod will allow me to take action on abusive posts that I could only report before, without needing to wait for intervention from someone else.

CDJB

You very likely don't know me, and if you do, it's probably not from History.SE but rather from Politics.SE, where I have been a moderator for the last three and a bit years. I'm nominating myself here because there is only one other candidate at the moment, and I think it's important that the community should have the chance to express their democratic voice and give the winning candidate legitimacy, rather than an election being a coronation.

As for why you should vote for me; I have experience moderating a site which is somewhat similar in scope, with an overlap of many similar site-specific moderation issues, for example, relating to ongoing conflicts and the resulting bias. I have moderated Politics.SE (hopefully with some success!) through half of the COVID pandemic, the 2020 US election, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and now the Israel/Gaza conflict. In addition, I already understand the moderator tools and duties.

My history background is not as well developed as my interest in politics, however, if elected, I would certainly increase my participation on this site to ensure I could contribute to the ongoing work of the moderation team here.

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 one depends on the nature of the comments in question. If the user just has a habit of robustly - but politely - debating and defending their answers when constructive criticism is raised, then in my experience, a message encouraging them to make use of the chat facility rather than detract from their answers with long comment threads usually suffices.

On the other hand, if their comments veer into any rudeness or offensive behaviour, then the quality of their answers - in my opinion - should have no bearing on leniency. Quite the contrary, high-reputation users should be expected to not only be well aware of our rules regarding this behaviour, but also set an example for others.

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

If I felt very strongly that the question should not have been closed or deleted, I'd raise it with that moderator directly, allowing us both to present our point of view and hopefully come to an agreement. If that discussion proved unfruitful, I'd ask a third moderator to weigh in with their opinion and break a deadlock. Another option would be to create a meta post to solicit feedback from the wider community. I would not unilaterally re-open or undelete the question unless the issues which caused the initial deletion/closure had clearly been resolved.

This is especially important for deletions, as many community members will be unable to view the deleted question to scrutinise the moderator's actions, and moderator-deleted questions cannot be undeleted by the community. In the case of closed questions, however, borderline cases can generally be left up to the community to cast re-open votes if they disagree with the moderator's decision.

  1. What level of participation or activity, as a moderator, do you see for yourself if elected? We have moderators that are active on virtually every question, or at least several times daily, and we have had moderators we rarely see any activity from. Where will you fit into this lineup?

My participation on History in terms of contributing questions and answers has been so far fairly minimal, however I am much more of a lurker. If elected, I would endeavour to beef up my participation on the site in terms of content.

In terms of moderation, however, I am more of a 'soft-touch' advocate; I believe the community becomes healthier and more cohesive if the use of non-moderator moderation tools (closing/flagging/editing/review queues/etc) can be delegated to regular users as much as possible.

  1. How do you see yourself using the moderators close vote power? The majority of the current moderators seem content to allow the site to be mainly community moderated, rarely using their ability to unilaterally close a question. Would you continue this trend, or do you see yourself using the moderators close vote more heavily?

This sort of links to my answer to the previous question - I believe that it's important to allow the community to moderate the site to the extent allowed by the SE platform as much as possible. In clear-cut cases, there is value in moderators stepping in, especially when identifying offending content relies on moderator-privileged information. I don't think there are many cases in which I've used my mod close-hammer on Politics except for blatantly off-topic or exact duplicate questions.

I would, however, cast binding close votes on questions which clearly fit on other sites and are outside our site's scope, as without migration pathways this action cannot currently be taken by regular users.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators are there to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of the site and to attempt to maintain a welcoming and positive experience for other users. Much of this is achieved by working through the flag queue and keeping an eye on chat and meta, as well as using moderator-only powers sparingly. They attempt to mitigate rule-breaking and abusive behaviour as much as possible, but as this inevitably proves impossible, may use enforcement measures such as suspension in order to protect the site and community as a whole.

Moderators also assist the Community Managers, acting not only as a point of contact for them with the community, but also through relaying issues or concerns to the team directly.

  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?

I have had a diamond attached to my content on the network for the vast majority of my time here, and it has never been an issue so far.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?

In my opinion, there should be very little difference when it comes to the day-to-day moderation tasks available to trusted users and those with access to moderator tools. The majority of these actions are already well-handled by the community itself. Moderators, however, are privy to PII and cross-site information which allows troublemakers/trolls to be identified and dealt with, as well as more powerful tools to investigate sock puppets and voting rings.

In addition, some moderation duties are technically able to be handled by the community, however rely on a large number of flags being cast to automatically delete offensive content. On larger sites such as Stack Overflow, this is a functional system, however on smaller sites like History & Politics the community often relies on moderators having their attention brought to content by a single flag. Being a moderator would allow me, as a very active user of Stack Exchange, if not the History stack in particular so far, to deal with the community's concerns for content which they are unable to moderate using the existing tools.

This election is over.