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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.


A Pro Tempore Moderator election was just announced:

This post is for questions that candidates need to answer, please keep to one question per post. In this way, you can vote for question individually.

For a debate as to whether we want a questionnaire or not, see here:

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16 Answers 16

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As a fairly new site, the scope is still quite fluid. As a moderator, how would you treat questions where there is a borderline consensus (for instance, 3 up 2 down on the meta post) on whether it is on-topic or not? What would be your threshold for mod-hammering it closed?

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Occasionally we may see individuals who are experts, and who leave very highly upvoted posts, but who are very argumentative or intolerant and upset other members of the community.

How would you approach the challenge of moderating them - high value on the one hand, but potential damage to the community and site on the other?

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How do you feel about downvoting or closing questions by brand new users with a reputation of only 1 (and no experience on any Stack Exchange community), when the question is not spam or ill-intentioned, but of extremely low quality by Stack Exchange standards? Should their question be downvoted or closed immediately, or should comments be used to make suggestions to them for how to improve their question?

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  • $\begingroup$ Can't edit here, but your whole question talks about 'questions', except the last word is suddenly 'answer'. You might want to edit it to be clear for the person that has to potentially answer this ;) $\endgroup$ – Tinkeringbell May 15 '20 at 8:13
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. I fixed it. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 15 '20 at 14:04
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How much time will you be able to devote to moderating Drones.SE each day? What is your timezone?

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  • $\begingroup$ The first part makes perfect sense to me. Is the goal of the second question to try to avoid having all the mods be from the same basic timezone? $\endgroup$ – Kenn Sebesta May 7 '20 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ @KennSebesta yes, to get a rough idea of when we can expect mode to be online. Not saying we are choosing mods based purely on time zone though $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 7 '20 at 21:19
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Do you think funny comments should be deleted? Do you think that any unrelated comment should be deleted?

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As a moderator, part of your job involves dealing with the worst behaved and most stubborn people on the site. How well do you take and respond to any abuse that is directed your way (such as personal attacks and insults)? Are you able to stay composed, or step away, and not react badly?

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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?

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    $\begingroup$ This question already exists as one of the guaranteed default questions in a questionnaire. $\endgroup$ – gparyani May 17 '20 at 23:09
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What is your view on editing a question to correct grammar and style issues? Do you think we should edit answers differently from the way we edit questions?

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Deleting comments is somewhat "permanent" in that no one can "vote" to un-delete them. What would be your policy on deleting comments?

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Do you use the Drone chat room? If not, why not? If so, how would you deal with negative attitudes or disagreements/fights between users?

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

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What is your stance on users that have enough power to edit questions/answers without review, but abuse this power? For example going ahead and changing something that is not absolutely necessary, without trying to first suggest the user to make the change themselves, since un-necessary changes should be at the discretion of the original asker?

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As a moderator you will have the power to do things that you would normally not even have enough reputation to do.

For example, you might have a reputation of 1000, which is far away from the 4000 required for "expansion and deletion privileges". A user might have 5000 reputation, which means that they in fact have earned the right for deletion privileges through their high-quality question and answer contributions, whereas you were given the power only due to an election that may have happened several years ago, when the site was still brand new and not many people knew you.

What would be your stance on exercising your powers as a moderator, in such a case? Would you wait for the question to be deleted "organically" by voters, in the usual way, or would you exercise your moderation powers?

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    $\begingroup$ I am not too keen on this question, a fair number of mods across SE sites have less than 25k rep. The privilege levels show how trustworthy you are, by being elected you proved the community trusts you. The way you mod the site shouldn’t depend on how much rep you have, a NAA or spam post should be deleted regardless $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 10 '20 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "leaves" ? $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 10 '20 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I accidentally posted before finishing, see above ^ $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 10 '20 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Daniil I hear you, and I respect that opinion. On the other hand, mods are chosen extremely early and then keep their powers for eternity (basically until the day they die, or even longer if no one knows they're dead) unless they do something really really bad. Deleting a post without waiting for votes, will not get a mod de-modded. The SE Network is huge, and there are many parallel realities of what goes on. Some mods abuse privileges, some don't. I've had answers of mine incorrectly marked as spam by mods that had 30% of my rep and it wasn't pleasant. The question is just about what the $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 10 '20 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ mod running for election would do. In this case, your answer is that you would delete the question without waiting for votes, even if it were a 25k user. That is a perfectly valid answer. Someone else might have a different answer. The question gives us a glimpse of the potential moderator's style. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 10 '20 at 18:00
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    $\begingroup$ I see, interesting. I would only delete it if it is obviously Spam/NAA, if it is low quality, maybe wait to see the reactions of other users e.g. downvotes, negative comments and maybe 1/2 delete votes. Anyway, won’t go into much details for now :) $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 10 '20 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Daniil Yes that's the point. You would wait until you see the reactions of other users, whereas some mods would not. It is a bit scary how getting power can change a person. I was quite surprised at what this mod started doing immediately after becoming a mod. They were de-modded within less than 6 months, but the damage it did to the community still persists. Not only is my answer still deleted (I no longer have the energy to have it un-deleted), but that community never ran an election to replace him. Elections take a lot of time and effort, so now that community has only 2 mods. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 10 '20 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry to hear that, what site is this on? $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 10 '20 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 10 '20 at 18:11
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As a moderator you have the power to delete people's posts without the usual need for 3 people to vote on it. Even more seriously, posts that are deleted by a moderator cannot be voted on for un-deletion, the way normal deleted posts can. Would you ever use these powers, or would you still allow there to be democratic voting for deletion or un-deletion of posts?

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    $\begingroup$ It’s 3 people, not 5 $\endgroup$ – Xnero May 10 '20 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I thought it was 5. For closing it's 5. $\endgroup$ – Nike Dattani May 10 '20 at 18:00
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When things get bad, users may need to bring something to your attention privately (i.e. not on Meta or Chat).

The only option for them to do this is to use the "contact us" form, which is limited in what you can include (e.g. screenshots or more markup features like highlighting or underlining test), has been known to be prone to errors, can involve extremely long wait times, and skips over the level of attempting to resolve the situation at the local moderator level.

Would you allow users to contact you by email or some other means for situations like this, or would you prefer to have the CMs handle it?

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As a moderator you will have access to the names and email addresses of users. Will you make your name and email address available?

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