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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 8 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):


WELZ

Emilie

  1. A moderator role that is unusually relevant in this community (as opposed to others) is taking “political” initiative, i.e., steering the community by means of meta posts and similar. What are your ambitions in this respect? Are there any pressing issues you would like to address and how do you plan to do so?

  2. Name a single action that showcases your suitability as a moderator, for example a meta post, review action, or comment. Why do you think that this a good example?

  3. Recently there have been meta discussion about low-effort questions in general and tutorial-on-demand type questions specifically, see here and here. The consensus, after plenty of debate, seems to be to allow them and have the close-vote and flagging system take it's course. Even if this might mean more questions in the queues. What is your stance regarding this issue? Do you think this issue should be discussed regularly, or only if users ask for it?

  4. 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?

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

  6. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  7. 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?

  8. 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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Emilie

  1. A moderator role that is unusually relevant in this community (as opposed to others) is taking “political” initiative, i.e., steering the community by means of meta posts and similar. What are your ambitions in this respect? Are there any pressing issues you would like to address and how do you plan to do so?

I’ve partly answered this in my nomination. I am concerned with sustainability and integrating new valuable users to our community while retaining our experts. More specifically, I think we should strive to be a welcoming community and I think we need to better define the scope of questions accepted and what should be done about the close vote problem. I think there are no easy ways to address these issues and that the current team is already doing a great job at examining various options.

  1. Name a single action that showcases your suitability as a moderator, for example a meta post, review action, or comment. Why do you think that this a good example?

Among others, I tend to carefully consider potentially duplicate questions because I find titles can be misleading. I often find questions getting closed because of duplicates but they differ in substance when you look more in-depth. I vote to leave them open when I find there is enough difference because I feel a responsibility to make up for users who may vote in consensus with existing votes, simply because that’s the easier thing to do.

  1. Recently there have been meta discussion about low-effort questions in general and tutorial-on-demand type questions specifically, see here and here. The consensus, after plenty of debate, seems to be to allow them and have the close-vote and flagging system take it's course. Even if this might mean more questions in the queues. What is your stance regarding this issue? Do you think this issue should be discussed regularly, or only if users ask for it?

I think we have to be really careful in how we judge low-effort. It’s easy to consider something low-effort when the answer seems obvious, but it may not necessarily be the case for the OP. Tutorial-on-demand questions are extremely specific but I don’t see them as problematic. I think they tend to get flack because they are fairly long to answer properly and will not necessarily gather a lot of reputation points because they are mostly of interest to the OP.

I think users will ask for it and that it will be discussed regularly because the field and the network are in constant evolution and so our scope needs to adapt.

  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?

I think it’s important to consider the reasons for flagging. If there were good reasons and the user has already benefited from warning, I would start a discussion fellow moderators on possible courses of action before doing anything rash. I think it’s important to at least try to help the user see how their behavior is affecting the community and see if they are ready to collaborate. As I mentioned in my nomination, I take to heart that we should be a welcoming community, and I also care about retaining our experts. I think it’s possible to get along.

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

I would refer to meta first to see if this was discussed before then I would discuss it with the moderator in question, try to see things from their point of view and try to get my point of view across. Last, I would raise the question on Meta if I felt it was required.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They steer the community so that it can better manage itself and reach a consensus on a course of action for more sensitive issues.

  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 think I have a fairly good track record on the community for the most part and I am well aware that everything is logged. I think it’s unavoidable that we all have stray here and there but I see it as part of integrating any users/moderators and am comfortable with this being public. It is part of the process of becoming a part of the community.

  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?

In all honesty, the main reason would be because it would be quicker than reaching 10k-20k reputation! I also believe being awarded a diamond by the community is a great vote of confidence in someone by the community and can increase their sense of belonging.

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WELZ


  1. A moderator role that is unusually relevant in this community (as opposed to others) is taking “political” initiative, i.e., steering the community by means of meta posts and similar. What are your ambitions in this respect? Are there any pressing issues you would like to address and how do you plan to do so?

There is actually an issue which really gets to me.

I call them SEO users, they are spam accounts who don't post any content - hence not triggering any spam flags/account deletions. They add all their product info into their profile (when someone searches online for anything related - they're website/phone/product come sup in the results). They are using our community as a free hosting platform for spam, which we do not tolerate here.

It used to be a lot worse, but due to a joint effort between a couple of users (myself included) and some mods, we destroyed about half of them. There are still a handful remaining, which just need someone to dedicate time towards.

I will start by destroying all of them and then taking measures to ensure that they get deleted quicker − The longer they are up > the more they get paid > which only encourages this kind of behavior.


As for steering the community with meta posts regarding other issues. I'd still like to figure out a proper solution to our Low Quality questions problem.

  1. Name a single action that showcases your suitability as a moderator, for example a meta post, review action, or comment. Why do you think that this a good example?

What I'm going to bring up is actually not a meta post, review action or a comment.

I'm a very active member over at Charcoal (we fight spam across the network - especially on GDSE - see #8)

I think that it's a good example, because I've gotten lot's of advice on dealing with spam and users that require special attention. There are also a lot of other mods who participate.

  1. Recently there have been meta discussion about low-effort questions in general and tutorial-on-demand type questions specifically, see here and here. The consensus, after plenty of debate, seems to be to allow them and have the close-vote and flagging system take it's course. Even if this might mean more questions in the queues. What is your stance regarding this issue? Do you think this issue should be discussed regularly, or only if users ask for it?

When Vincent posted the original question, my stance was very firm - to not allow them. Since other users posted answer (we got >15 different users that wrote an answer) I had my eyes opened as to how they can be valuable and why we should allow them. I do still believe that there is a line that has to be drawn.

As for discussing it, I think that for now, it's actually pretty fine (when the issue got stirred up , there was a Steady Stream™ of very TOD/spec-work questions coming in, which seems to have slowed down.

Unfortunately, a consensus was never really reached on this issue, I hope that we, the community, can work together towards implementing a long-term solution.

  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?

I think that this is a very delicate situation and you have to be really careful. I don't believe that having a "steady stream of valuable answers" should give the user any special treatment over other users (when it comes to instigating). I will treat it on a case-by-case basis. Discuss with the user, figure out why they're doing it (they may not even notice that what they're doing is causing disturbances) and try and work out a solution with them.

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

I would share my opinion and have a discussion to see if we can come to an agreement. If we fail to come to a solution, I would invite other mods and all users to give their feedback on said action via means of a meta post or in chat - obviously, without directly calling out the other mod.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They are voices for the community. The community is really run mostly by a privilege based system.

Moderators are there to lead by example for the community. (Start meta discussions, engage with the community etc.)

They are not there to single-handedly initiate actions that they deem fit, they should engage in suitable discussions on meta on how to better help improve our community.

  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 feel honored. I'd like to think that all my contributions and actions have been and will continue to be a positive thing.

  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?

Speed and efficiency.

A member with 10k or 20k can only cast a vote/flag to delete something such as spam, which just stays up there until more users flag it.

  • We have one of the highest amount of posts caught by SmokeDetector from all SE sites (over 5.5k as of writing)

    enter image description here

    • I think that destroying spam quickly is a very important to us and it'd be nice to have someone with experience help out.

Please comment any questions you may have. You can also find me in chat.

  • Regarding 1: Unless I am very much mistaken, new user’s profiles are of no use for SEO: They are excempted from indexing and contain no marked-up links. Some exotic search engines may ignore this, but unless they are exotic, there is no damage to us. Yes, the spammer has something to show that satisfies an ignorant employer, but that’s nothing for us to worry about. That being said, it would be interesting to see if spam posts are correlated to this. – Wrzlprmft May 8 '18 at 7:58
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    Regarding 8: As far as I can tell, most blatant spam is destroyed within seconds now (thanks to Charcoal). It’s been a long time since I last such a post that was alive for more than a few minutes. This is different for more subtle spam posts but they occur as frequently as on other sites. Oh, and a year ago, Graphic Design held the third place of spammed sites. – Wrzlprmft May 8 '18 at 7:58
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    Maybe this is not a common thing to ask, I haven't done this before, but I would like to know a little bit about your graphic design experience as opposed to your SE experience. What do you do in your every day life, do you have enough knowledge about the subject to pair the right tags to a post, things like that? – Summer May 8 '18 at 13:44
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    @JaneDoe1337 I am not a graphic designer by trade, but a very avid hobbyist. I'd like to think that I have a great understanding of the topic. I mainly use Illustrator and a bit of Photoshop (which you can pretty much see from my profile). – WELZ May 8 '18 at 13:49

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