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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.

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 April 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.

  • I think that this should be a community wiki, so that those with lower reps (like me) can edit the answers freely (no suggested edits on meta). – gparyani Apr 24 '14 at 15:30
  • Oh, missed that. That actually wouldn't be a bad idea. Normally I'd say something along the lines of "A comment would work typically well", but in this situation, the increased edit access is very convenient. I'll keep that in mind for future editions. – Grace Note Apr 28 '14 at 13:44

12 Answers 12

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Question: Super User's broad scope overlaps with several other Stack Exchange sites, including but not limited to Ask Different, Ubuntu, Server Fault, Unix & Linux, Software Recs, and others.

How do you intend to handle issues of scope overlap? How would you handle a flag suggesting that a question about OS X be migrated to Apple.SE, or a question about bash migrated to U&L?

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Question: Stack Exchange has established quite a few norms over the last years, which dictate the default action to be taken in several situations. After a few weeks of moderating, you find yourself in strong disagreement with one of these policies.

Would you take different actions and deviate from the norm based on your personal assessment of the situation, or would you follow the established rules in order to keep the moderation coherent? If you thought a policy needed changing, how would you approach that?

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Question: Super User is a community of people, and often people disagree (whether on the topicality of the question, correctness of an answer, etc). While many users discuss things civilly, some don't. What is your approach on handling arguments that get out of hand, or are distracting from the original topic?

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(or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

Oh boy, I like this one:

Question: 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?

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Question: Topicality (that is, whether a question is on-topic or off-topic for the site) is broadly described in the Help Center, but there are often questions that test the boundaries of the topicality guidelines, causing some users to disagree on the topicality of a question. Describe in a few sentences your personal view on the topicality rules of Super User, and how you might apply them as a moderator. You may cite other content on the network as a reference for your answer, but answer in your own words.

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Question: What will you do to breathe life back into my the Super User Blog?

  • You don't have to be a moderator to do so... – gparyani Apr 24 '14 at 15:41
  • 1
    @damryfbfnetsi no, but if we had one or two mods that were really excited and focused on the blog, I believe we could really breath new life into it. – James Mertz Apr 24 '14 at 16:15
  • @kronoS Until now I didn't know that was around! I would totally be willing to bring some fresh ideas in, if I get the opportunity. – Moses Apr 25 '14 at 21:58
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Here is a set of general questions, which should've been posted when I posted the collection thread, 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?
  • You could mark this answer accepted so that it shows up above the other answers... – gparyani Apr 23 '14 at 15:29
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    Actually since it's self-posted, it won't float to the top. But at any rate it's unnecessary - seeing how it ranks amongst the community's contributions is in itself an interesting thing to see. – Grace Note Apr 23 '14 at 15:33
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Question: What is your current approach, overall, to handling new users when they come into the site and appear not to understand our rules/customs/guidelines? If you became a diamond moderator, how would that approach change, if at all?

For the purposes of this question, you may assume that the new user is not posting something worthy of the "Spam" or "Offensive" flags; that would make the question too easy to answer ;) Instead, just imagine that the new user has posted an answer with quality problems, or asked a question in an "Answer" post, or asked a question that has been asked many times before and is widely duplicated -- something along those lines. Pick an example and explain how you deal with it.

Note: Credit given where credit is due; DragonLord made me think of this as a result of his post on his nomination.

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Question: A user takes major offense at content in another user's profile (e.g. about me text, or avatar) and repeatedly flags posts by that other user within a few hours, demanding that you remove the offending content from the profile. You look at the user profile, and it doesn't appear to be against the rules. Neither user is available in chat. What do you do?

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Question: Part of a moderator's duties may involve representing your community in "cross-site" communication (that is, dealings with moderators or high-rep users of other sites for issues related to, e.g., question migration, the applicability of site-wide policies or technical features to individual sites, etc.). As a veteran user and moderator nominee, you probably have some experience with this already.

Please describe an experience you've either witnessed, or been directly involved in, that related to cross-site communication. If the outcome was positive, describe what the user(s)/moderator(s) involved did right. If the outcome was negative, describe what the user(s)/moderator(s) involved could have done differently to obtain a better outcome for everyone involved.

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Question: Suppose a tag that receives several new questions daily is being neglected by the answering community. That is, new questions have piled up for several days (a week or more) with few to none receiving useful answers. Ordinarily there are a handful of users who answer most of the questions in this tag, but recently each has been absent or only active in other areas of the site.

As a moderator, is this your concern? Why or why not?

  • If yes, then what would you do in your role as moderator to remedy this situation? Moreover, how would you go about identifying situations like this in the first place?

  • If not, whose responsibility is it to address the situation? Is the situation even anything to worry about at all?

  • +1 great question IMO – Raystafarian Apr 22 '14 at 18:16
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Question: As SU falls a long similar lines of ServerFault, AskUbuntu, and Linux&Unix there is a lot of overlap (as referenced by other questions). However, the communities and attitudes from users are very different among the sites.

Given the overlap, some questions get migrated to the specialist sites. If the asker indicated they preferred SuperUser, would you let the question remain on SU?

  • I'm afraid you answered this barely five minutes after the deadline (April 28th at 20:00:00Z UTC), so this question has no chance to still be included. – Daniel Beck Apr 28 '14 at 22:24
  • Bummer... Maybe next time. – Colyn1337 Apr 29 '14 at 1:56

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