In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This is the same as we've done in previous years. It will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.
The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.
Here's how it'll work:
During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, August 15th 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 process, feel free to post as a comment here.
A number of site participants feel that one major problem at EL&U is that bad questions remain open too long and take too much effort to close; some of these participants have argued in favor of instituting reforms designed to make closing questions easier. But other site participants feel that some questions that might elicit interesting answers are closed too quickly and for reasons not especially relevant to their value as questions (most often, for lack of prior research). What is your view of the current state of question closure at EL&U, and what—if anything—would you do to try to change the status quo?
A perennial issue at EL&U is whether the site is unfriendly toward low-rep users and especially newcomers. Do you view clubbishness or hostility/rudeness toward recent arrivals at EL&U as a continuing problem? What can moderators do to help inexperienced users feel more comfortable and welcome here?
A new user to the Stack Exchange (member of ELU for 2 days, rep of 1, not a member of any other SE site) posts a rather basic question on ELU. Based on how the question is worded, it seems evident that this question is coming from a non-native speaker. Chances are, this user has not read this meta post, and is probably not even aware of the existence of English Language Learners.
There is a fairly substantial division in the ELU community over what we should do with medium-to-low quality questions. One group says that any question which can be understood can and should be answered. Another group says that it is better for the long term health of the site and its community for unresearched questions to be closed and not answered. (There are surely others who think something else, but these are the two big groups.)
As a mod, how would you mediate between these two groups?
One of the things that seems to divide this community are (usually partial) answers posted as comments. Some are annoyed by it, others post them on a regular basis. As a moderator you will be responsible for handling comment flags – how will you approach this issue?
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?
One of the most difficult roles for a moderator is to "moderate" users' behaviour. Users can get pretty indignant about being asked to improve their post or having their precious question declared off-topic. And of course some users appear to approach any well-meaning comment as an invitation to a duel.
What's your own tolerance for problematic behaviour - in particular, the "borderline" kind that some would interpret as acceptably robust debate, while others might feel are unacceptable shows of anger that breach the spirit of "keep it nice"? Would you aim to remove nasty, disparaging comments about our site as quickly as possible, or do you see this as freedom of expression that you would be loathe to censor?