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


Cross Validated is scheduled for an election next week, October 5, 2020. In connection with that, 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. Participation is completely voluntary.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until October 5, 2020 at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT 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.

  • 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.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

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

  • At the start of the nomination 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.

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

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    $\begingroup$ -1 to express my annoyance with the entire situation: the election is needed because two of our great moderators stepped down as a protest against the irresponsible actions of SE. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Sep 28 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ I am strongly tempted to ask candidates to comment on gung's and Glen_b's resignations, which were the impetus for this election. Then again, I don't see what the use of such comments would be in helping us decide who to vote for, so I'll refrain. Those comments would need to come from SO, and they haven't - for over a year now. $\endgroup$ – Stephan Kolassa Sep 29 at 10:52
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    $\begingroup$ @StephanKolassa I still think it should be a question. To comment on recent resignations and on why the candidate is willing to step up despite all of this. I'm not saying that nobody should nominate themselves; but I would definitely like to see what people who do nominate themselves think about it. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Sep 30 at 7:28
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    $\begingroup$ @amoeba: I fear the only imaginable answer would be "I know that SE does not have my back, may indeed screw me over for no good reason at all, then ignore any pleas for an excuse, explanation or amends - but someone has to moderate the community in spite of SE." How much would we learn from that? It's akin to asking a job applicant: "This is a shitty company, and everyone knows it, so why do you still want to work here?" $\endgroup$ – Stephan Kolassa Sep 30 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, this type of question has been asked previously, so y'all can do it here too. I also wanna take the chance to acknowledge everyone's frustration, but to highlight that there is an actual need for this election to be successful, and that it was set after talking with the current moderator team and assessing their needs. $\endgroup$ – JNat Sep 30 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ This question has been downvoted so badly it no longer shows up in the "active" questions at Meta.CV. This community is Not Happy. I don't think we all want to see everything crash and burn, so just to get the conversation started, I'll point to the questions proposed for the 2017 elections and for the 2015 election and for the 2013 election. $\endgroup$ – Stephan Kolassa Sep 30 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ At some point, it may be more enlightening to ask current moderators why they are still around, rather than ask new volunteers about their motivation. $\endgroup$ – Stephan Kolassa Sep 30 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, I don't think that how people answer awkward questions is a big deal here. The only criterion I ever use myself is does this person have a good track record on CV as competent, conscientious and civilised. Some elections ago, someone had as part of their pitch that electing them as moderator would encourage them to remain a member as they felt lukewarm about participating. That was, fortunately, so bizarre a platform that they got nowhere (and indeed left CV shortly afterwards). $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Oct 1 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ @JNat This election won't be successful if people at SE continue to piss off moderators and the community. We've lost good moderators over this and in the absence of any sign from SE that they intend to change their approach I can only foresee continued problems, and any new Mods elected here will have to deal with all that BS and the usual Mod tasks. Holding an election is like trying to use a band aid to treat an arterial bleed. The current Mods wouldn't be overwhelmed if SE had't driven several of them to leave. Address the real problems, then we can hold elections. $\endgroup$ – Gavin Simpson Oct 1 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ @GavinSimpson: I understand where you are coming from and myself wish SE would at some point address the actual issue. But they won't. They haven't done so for over a year now, so why would they start doing it now? We will need to adapt to this reality, each of us in their preferred way - but hoping that SE will change is IMO not helpful. Note that Workplace.SE managed to have a successful election. $\endgroup$ – Stephan Kolassa Oct 1 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ @amoeba Your inference about why the election is needed is understandable, but it is flatly incorrect. The evidence is that we have had no problems moderating this site during the past year during which three mods became inactive. The reason for the election now is that it has been in the works for a long time and several more of the currently active mods have expressed interest in doing less work. In my case, at least, I have been contemplating this move for the last three years, well before there was any controversy. $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 1 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Gavin I dispute your assertion that "current mods are overwhelmed," because I haven't seen evidence of that. What is your basis for it? $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 1 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ And reading your response to amoeba, "overwhelmed" could just as easily be interpreted as doing more work than they'd like to be doing in an ideal world right now. $\endgroup$ – Gavin Simpson Oct 1 at 22:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Gavin: Thank you, that's the correct interpretation. Add to it that the work some of us would like to be doing right now is much less than we have been doing on average for a very long time. Include a sense of growing stale after such a long time and the picture ought to become clear... . $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 1 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ I think we owe potential candidates a promise that we regard their offered service as intended as supportive of CV and won't regard them as responsible for any perverse decisions by SE management. But I hope that any candidates won't stand on an anti-management platform, even though I have no right to do anything much except vote! $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Oct 3 at 1:28
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Do you have any Meta posts that you're particularly proud of, or that you feel best demonstrate your moderation style?

(Taken from the 2017 SO election Q&A thread, which Firebug very helpfully linked to. Cribbed shamelessly from the question collection from the 2017 election.)

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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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