A few months back, we had a discussion about adding more room owners to The Nineteenth Byte. As a result, five users were added as room owners, and the problems we were facing lessened. However, we're still having issues with disruptive users when there are no room owners or moderators around (specifically around 5 AM - 2 PM UTC). Should we add more room owners to help moderate TNB (especially during those hours where we often have no room owners or moderators online)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give a link to a transcriptpage with a lot of noise? \$\endgroup\$ – Downgoat Dec 16 '16 at 14:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Downgoat: Not the best example, but from this morning, there was this. \$\endgroup\$ – El'endia Starman Dec 18 '16 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Downgoat chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/240/conversation/noise \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 18 '16 at 13:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ More generally, I get up around 10:45 UTC for work, usually at the tail end of a period of either noise or quiet. It's rare that there's interesting stuff, and the noisy times apparently left a stronger, long-lasting effect on me. (Here's another example.) \$\endgroup\$ – El'endia Starman Dec 18 '16 at 14:28

Yes, we should have even more room owners

Though we added 5 new room owners back in August, 2 of them (trichoplax and El'endia Starman) were already community moderators, so we essentially only gained 3 (which I pointed out at the time), and we still have gaps where no room owners or moderators are online. Community moderators have all of the same powers as room owners (plus more), and they are trusted enough to perform chat moderation duties across the entire network. Any community moderator familiar with our room rules can (and should) enforce them as necessary.

So, I propose we democratically choose at least 2 more room owners that fit the following criteria:

  • Contributes positively and regularly to chat (more signal than noise)
  • Frequently active during 5 AM - 2 PM UTC (when other room owners and moderators often aren't)
  • Levelheaded and reasonable (essentially the same things we want in community moderators)
  • Not currently a community moderator (though since I am in the minority in the opinion that adding community moderators as room owners doesn't help alleviate the burden of moderation, this is more of a personal preference than a requirement)

The keyword here is democratically - we should have an election on Meta, lasting 2 weeks or so, where users are able to nominate themselves and cast votes on who they think should be given room owner status. The situation is much less urgent than last time - we can afford to take 2 weeks to choose room owners via community consensus, rather than emergency appointment by the moderators.

  • \$\begingroup\$ And, when will the election happen? \$\endgroup\$ – Erik the Outgolfer Dec 16 '16 at 12:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ErikGolferエリックゴルファー That's outside the scope of this question, though it should be shortly after a consensus is reached on a) if we should have more room owners, and b) if we should have an election to choose them. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 16 '16 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think another criteria to add to the list is "levelheadedness", essentially. We want room owners who take the time to consider their options and are fair to all parties involved. \$\endgroup\$ – El'endia Starman Dec 16 '16 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @El'endiaStarman I considered that to be implicit, but I went ahead and made it explicit per your suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 16 '16 at 14:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ "so we essentially only gained 3 (which I pointed out at the time)" Making someone a room owner isn't just about giving them technical privileges, but primarily about giving them authority (which was pointed out to you at the time). El'endia and trichoplax have been dealing with noise in TNB a lot more actively since they were appointed ROs, which I assume is because they are now a lot more comfortable doing so in a community that didn't elect them as a moderator. \$\endgroup\$ – Martin Ender Dec 16 '16 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MartinEnder And I am still of the opinion that having chat moderator tools in all rooms means that one has the responsibility and the authority to use them as necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 16 '16 at 15:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mego As a chat moderator, I disagree strongly. Stack Exchange has thousands of chat room, and I certainly don't feel obligated to keep the signal-to-noise ratio above an acceptable level in all of them. Sure, I'll step in when there's something that requires immediate attention, but handling flags is where I draw the line. Likewise, non-PPCG moderators certainly don't have the responsibility to watch over TNB and enforce site-specific rules such as our chatiquette. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Dec 16 '16 at 23:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ As for authority, while I respect your opinion and you are right to a certain degree, it doesn't change the fact that a moderator that wasn't elected on PPCG may feel uncomfortable micro-managing TNB. While El'endia Starman and trichoplax didn't earn any moderation abilities in TNB, they've used them a lot more often since their appointments as room owners. In the end, that's all that matters. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Dec 16 '16 at 23:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Dennis I certainly don't mean mods should watch every single room on the network. But, if a mod is in a room where there is a problem, and the local mods and room owners aren't around to deal with it, I believe the foreign mod has the authority and responsibility to take care of it. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 17 '16 at 1:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mego: I think the key might be that foreign mods won't have the experience and background to judge whether a user (or group of users) are actually causing problems or if someone's just a little too thin-skinned. Like what flawr said (which I agreed with). In that case, looking at it in isolation, those irksome messages don't really seem so bad, and they seem superficially similar to other exchanges that no one complained about. Foreign mods miss out on the months and years of experience with the room and its users. \$\endgroup\$ – El'endia Starman Dec 17 '16 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @El'endiaStarman But when a foreign mod is a regular in the room (such as yourself and trichoplax), that argument goes out the window, because they do have the experience and background necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – user45941 Dec 17 '16 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mego: To some extent, yes. My appointment as room owner definitely makes the statement that I am not a foreign mod. That said, I can't think of another (current) regular who is a mod and not a room owner. \$\endgroup\$ – El'endia Starman Dec 17 '16 at 14:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've been struggling to find a TNB regular who's frequently active between 6:00 and 12:00. \$\endgroup\$ – Dennis Dec 17 '16 at 20:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dennis Don't mistake posting activity with presence - and thus - availability to respond. I can tell you that while I am most active during night hours (when the US wakes up), I'm always (I mean that - looking at my browser history, I'm always present and was basically every single day) here during 7ish to about 15 (UTC). \$\endgroup\$ – user42643 Dec 20 '16 at 13:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ And adding to that, I definitely notice the absence of mods during these hours. I was very close to making this meta post myself. \$\endgroup\$ – user42643 Dec 20 '16 at 13:10

More room owners would be useful to cover gaps

Regardless of whether they are already a moderator, and regardless of the specific method used to choose them (election/appointment), it would be useful to have room owners who are frequently present during the times that currently lack frequent room owner presence.


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