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

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. Participation is completely voluntary.

This is an alternative form of the Town Hall Chat system we've done in previous elections, we're trying some new things to test out how a different approach works.

Here's how it'll work.

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until October 28th 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.
  • 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 new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

  • Will there still be a town hall chat event, just with the questions (mostly) known in advance, or will candidates post their answers on the meta post with the final questionnaire? If there's a chat event, will there be time for impromptu questions at the end? – Niall C. Oct 22 '13 at 17:27
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    @Niall, we run this Q&A in place of the town hall chat event. Here's what it will look like when we post all of the questions. Candidates will be able to clarify their answers and ask impromptu questions in the comments on each post in the questionnaire thread. – hairboat Oct 22 '13 at 19:56
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    @Niall Y'all can organize your own live chat event style if you want. Already have a chatroom you can run it in, too, though I see y'already found it. – Grace Note Oct 22 '13 at 20:07

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?

How much available time do you have to perform moderation activities and when (time of day and timezone) do you expect to perform most of these activities?


Do you have experience moderating, either on other StackExchange sites or on other online communities? If so, what has that experience taught you?


How would you balance the often conflicting roles of maintaining a welcoming site to new users while avoiding questions that are off topic?


What is the purpose of down votes and how would you promote that purpose?

  • Very nice question. – Chris Cudmore Oct 25 '13 at 14:14
  • @ChrisCudmore I am active on ELU, and the contrast in the down voting patterns and purposes, as compared to DIY, is startling – bib Oct 25 '13 at 14:55
  • As well as Meta.SO Where downvotes are used as an actual voting mechanism where as here they're used as a bumping mechanism. – Chris Cudmore Oct 25 '13 at 15:09

Are there things with the current site you wish to change (e.g. the site scope, moderation policies) and if so, how would you make that change happen?

  • Does this extend to the site moderation, or should I propose that as another question? – Niall C. Oct 27 '13 at 5:15
  • I think this should extend to moderation. I'll update the question. Thanks. – BMitch Oct 27 '13 at 12:51

Please weigh in on the great screw debate, Torx, Robertson, Phillips, or some other screw?

  • Your just begging candidates to screw themselves with this one. – bib Oct 25 '13 at 14:57
  • This question is designed to asses a moderator's sense of humor and determine if they've spent enough time in the chatroom to be familiar with some of our recurring jokes. It will also assess their familiarity with multi-national issues and their ability to analyze the true merits of solution without falling back on their own regional bias. – BMitch Oct 25 '13 at 15:34
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    You can't fool me. You are just trying to get the various factions to knock each other off so you can promote the return to the dreaded slot head! (I think that standard was first developed in Panama. Or maybe Suez.) – bib Oct 25 '13 at 15:38
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    @Bmitch Chat is not the site. You and I and a few others may spend a lot of time there, but it's not the purpose of the site. I don't know how much chat involvement should contribute to a Mod Candidate's electability, but it should be minor. – Chris Cudmore Oct 25 '13 at 15:48

Close votes and some flags cast by a moderator are binding, resulting in immediate action taken without further agreement needed by the community. Will this change alter how you use the site, and if so, how?

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    I think the converse is interesting too: if elected, how do you think community moderation on the site will change if you're elected? How would you address any adverse side-effects from that change? – Niall C. Oct 27 '13 at 5:19

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