# 2020 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided positively-scored questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 8 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes. Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):

1. 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?

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

3. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

4. 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?

5. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

6. A good deal of pending flags are on answers a few years old which have been flagged as invalid based on meta consensus on golf submissions, which sometimes postdates those answers. How would you handle these?

7. A new user has put a brilliant solution to a challenge in the comments section of the question. Other users point this out in the comments, and even try to guide the user to posting an actual answer, but the user seems to have disappeared. Flags start coming in that the comment should be converted to an answer. What do you do?

8. Moderators must sign an agreement whose terms include:

i. I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (which is a part of this agreement), and enforce it to the best of my ability.
...
iv. I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
v. I will accept additional guidance given by members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Community Team and Senior Leadership Team, whether in response to questions, concerns or discussions regarding existing network-wide policies.

How would you respond if a policy or company directive (current or future) seems to conflict with your beliefs and ideals?

## Wheat Wizard

1. 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?

There are many users who produce valuable answers and challenges and few that are extremely disruptive or abusive. We can certainly afford to treat everyone the same regardless of the quality or volume of their contributions. One individual with hostile behavior can drive away many. We should focus first on creating a strong community and good challenges and answer will follow from that.

That does mean treating every person as a human being, even those that produce arguments and flags. I find it unlikely that the hypothetical user doesn't care about the community they are steadily participating in. I think that a human conversation can help to push people to be better. However I am not a therapist so at the end of the day I know I cannot talk everyone into being nice to each other. And suspending a user who is belligerent towards others and is harming the community will sometimes have to be done.

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

I think this has to be talked about on a case by case basis. Closure especially is a case where I think that reasonable people can have disagreements and there are definitely situations where I might disagree but might not take any action. However where I do believe that it transcends beyond simple disagreement in policy I think the obvious next step is to have a discussion in chat with the moderator who made the decision. I think that we can reach a consensus if not an agreement on how to best respect the communities wishes. And of course the meta is always a good tool for divining the will of the community.

1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my opinion moderators use the site tools to carry out the desires of the community. They need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the community and in ideal circumstances should use very little personal discretion in the use of them.

1. 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?

I feel fine.

1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I think this question is a little weird. My goal as a individual on the site is quite different from the goals of a moderator that I am volunteering to adopt. I have used the 10k and 20k rep tools to push the community towards what I think is best. I will not be using the moderator tools in the same way.

Becoming a moderator would not simply make me more effective or capable, it would change the way I use the site, and it asks me to use these tools not how I think is best for the community but how the community thinks is best for itself.

1. A good deal of pending flags are on answers a few years old which have been flagged as invalid based on meta consensus on golf submissions, which sometimes postdates those answers. How would you handle these?

I think the community has made itself clear that consensus is retroactive. And while old questions are not the highest priority I think that we need diligence in bringing the site up to the community standards, as only moderators have the power to enact this.

1. A new user has put a brilliant solution to a challenge in the comments section of the question. Other users point this out in the comments, and even try to guide the user to posting an actual answer, but the user seems to have disappeared. Flags start coming in that the comment should be converted to an answer. What do you do?

I think this can't be answered universally; it depends a lot on circumstances. Overall, I have trouble imagining this scenario actually taking place. I'm not sure if a truly brilliant answer could be captured in a single comment. If something clever has been done, converting any answer left as a comment to a community wiki gives the opportunity for it to be thoroughly and properly explained. And since the user is no longer a member of the site and can't possibly gain rep from the comment, I don't think that we would be stepping on their toes in any way.

1. Moderators must sign an agreement whose terms include:

i. I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (which is a part of this agreement), and enforce it to the best of my ability.
...
iv. I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
v. I will accept additional guidance given by members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Community Team and Senior Leadership Team, whether in response to questions, concerns or discussions regarding existing network-wide policies.

How would you respond if a policy or company directive (current or future) seems to conflict with your beliefs and ideals?

I think everyone has a point at which they break and I suppose this question is about where mine is. I am volunteering to moderate because I think moderation tasks are needed to help this community that I love. If I feel that the moderation tasks I am asked to do are no longer helping this community I would stop and hand in the diamond, that is my line.

• In regard to question 4, having a diamond next to your name can change the way that some users (especially new users) view you and your answers. You may be fine with "Everything you will do will be seen under a different light." (emphasis mine), but how do you feel about the fact that everything you've already done will now be seen under a potentially different light? – caird coinheringaahing Sep 16 at 19:53
• @cairdcoinheringaahing That was the way I understood it. I feel fine. Nothing comes to mind that would make me feel excited or ashamed to be placed next to a diamond. – Wheat Wizard Sep 16 at 20:04

## Jo King

1. 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?

Users should be treated the same, regardless of their contributions. This is especially true on CGCC, where questions and answers don't require any particular domain knowledge. This being a smaller community, I can't think of any users that fit this description, and if one popped up that caused a lot of disturbances, they would receive an appropriate amount of focus from the moderators.

No matter how valuable their contributions are, I would act in a way that attempts to allow the user to coexist with the community.

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

The majority of question closures and answer deletions are usually for objective reasons (missing winning criteria, invalid program output or behaviour etc). For the majority of other cases the difference in subjective view is slight enough that I wouldn't persue the matter further.

For the small percentage of other cases, I would first check the comments and chatroom to see if there is any context I am missing. Next, I would talk with the moderator in question to see what their reasoning was, while being open to the possibility to having missed something. If the issue is still contentious, I'd talk with any other moderators (publicly or with the first moderator) and most likely defer to their judgement on the matter.

If after all this the question/answer remains closed/deleted, I would attempt to help the original poster make their submission appropriate for CGCC again (if the original moderator has not done so already of course!)

1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators keep the community clean from spam and disruption, while encouraging community growth. Mods should err, moderate interactions between users, stepping in if the discussion gets too heated.

1. 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?

Generally, I can't think of anything that I would be ashamed of. Perhaps in the past I've been a bit brusque with users where I would be far more polite nowadays. I would fear that some of my meta answers would be seen as more authoritive, but otherwise I don't think any of that would matter.

1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I would still use the 10k and 20k moderation tools, while handling moderator only flags oon top of this. This helps me help the community in ways that I can't without being a mod, especially when there currently aren't as many mods available.

1. A good deal of pending flags are on answers a few years old which have been flagged as invalid based on meta consensus on golf submissions, which sometimes postdates those answers. How would you handle these?

Answers that predate meta consensus would be left alone, though I would leave a reply encouraging the user to amend their answer to be valid by today's standards. I see Wheat Wizard's link that meta consensus applies retroactively. I don't think this is common knowledge in the community, but I would still apply it to flagged answers.

If the change would be trivial (such as removing a "non-competing" subtitle), I would edit the answer.

If the answer does postdate the meta consensus, Otherwise, I would leave a warning to the user that the answer is invalid, link the relevant meta answer(s) and delete the answer, encouraging the user to amend the answer so it can be restored.

While validating old answers are not the highest priority, I appreciate users helping make old answers valid as well, if only to avoid new users making bad assumptions.

1. A new user has put a brilliant solution to a challenge in the comments section of the question. Other users point this out in the comments, and even try to guide the user to posting an actual answer, but the user seems to have disappeared. Flags start coming in that the comment should be converted to an answer. What do you do?

There's nothing you can do to force a user to participate. A briliant approach to a challenge is free to be implemented by any user that wishes to do so, though I would certainly encourage users to make their answers community wiki, attribute the original user and/or elaborate on the approach and why it works.

1. Moderators must sign an agreement whose terms include:

i. I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (which is a part of this agreement), and enforce it to the best of my ability.
...
iv. I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
v. I will accept additional guidance given by members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Community Team and Senior Leadership Team, whether in response to questions, concerns or discussions regarding existing network-wide policies.

How would you respond if a policy or company directive (current or future) seems to conflict with your beliefs and ideals?

There will always be a line that I won't cross. Forcing a behaviour on users, whether it is x or ¬x (where x is some controversial issue), would most likely be a step too far, whether or not I agree with x. Right now, the policy is close enough to "Be nice and assume good faith", that I'm comfortable enforcing it. I'm skittish enough from SE's actions in the last few years that any drastic changes to the Code of Conduct without consultation from the community would be likely to make me step down.

Generally, if I feel that if by moderating, my actions would be driving away users that would fit this community and have actions or ideology that don't actually affect this community, I would not be helping the community.

• Would you mind adding a link to the original post in the question above? – ouflak Sep 20 at 18:09

## HyperNeutrino

1. 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?

I believe that rules should be rigorous and enforcement should be consistent. If an infraction is enough to warrant a punishment, a user that contributes shouldn't be let off the hook for that. If one could justify not punishing that infraction, then no member should be punished for it. I would attempt to break down the issue and help a user back onto the right track, as this is healthier for the community and would avoid losing their contributions, but I believe in this approach for all users.

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

I believe that the most important part to healthy moderation and community, especially in Stack Exchange's moderation model is communication. I would privately communicate with the moderator with what I would have decided and my justification, and ask for why they made the decision they did. If we cannot come to an agreement by discussing, I would raise it to the other moderators and discuss it together, and we would come to a consensus on what action to take on the post.

1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I believe that moderators should serve two main purposes - firstly, to represent the values of the community and serve as the anchor to the community, reflecting the positive qualities of the community, and secondly, to enforce these values and rules, and act as an unbiased force to ensure everything runs smoothly, everyone is behaving civilly, and to intervene in extreme cases.

1. 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?

I am happy to attach a diamond to everything I have and will say as I believe how I have acted and spoken on this site reflects the qualities I wish to see in this community. I will continue to act this way and especially if I do gain the diamond that signifies me as a moderator to CGCC, I will ensure 100% of my behavior reflects how users and members here should act.

1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Being a moderator would have two large effects for me. Firstly, it means that I can act quickly and directly on decisions that, given my experience with this site and interacting with the community, I am near 100% confident would be the best for CGCC. Secondly, it means that I am identified as a community member that any user can go to for help.

1. A good deal of pending flags are on answers a few years old which have been flagged as invalid based on meta consensus on golf submissions, which sometimes postdates those answers. How would you handle these?

In general, I believe that extremely old answers on inactive questions are unlikely to really be noticed and thus I would prioritize pressing matters first. However, again, I believe rules should apply always and unambiguously, so if the submission is just trivially reparable, I would edit the answer and leave a comment for the user telling them what I changed and including a link to the meta consensus that I am complying with, and if the answer is seriously invalid, I would delete the answer and comment to the user to fix the answer and flag it to be considered for undeletion.

1. A new user has put a brilliant solution to a challenge in the comments section of the question. Other users point this out in the comments, and even try to guide the user to posting an actual answer, but the user seems to have disappeared. Flags start coming in that the comment should be converted to an answer. What do you do?

If the user seems to be entirely absent and is just gone, I don't think they would lose anything from someone else posting the idea as an answer, though I would encourage them to credit the original user and make their answer community wiki so they don't gain free reputation from someone else's contributions (if they took a base idea and extended greatly on it, I would not encourage this, though I suppose a "brilliant solution" would probably be complete).

I would make attempts to contact the user one final time first, but if that seems impossible, I would leave a comment advising the same things I've answered here.

1. Moderators must sign an agreement whose terms include:

i. I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (which is a part of this agreement), and enforce it to the best of my ability.
...
iv. I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
v. I will accept additional guidance given by members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Community Team and Senior Leadership Team, whether in response to questions, concerns or discussions regarding existing network-wide policies.

How would you respond if a policy or company directive (current or future) seems to conflict with your beliefs and ideals?

I have individual beliefs and values; however, my priorities as a moderator are to enforce what the policies and company directive dictate. If it's something that I would be able to discuss on main meta or with other mods or staff, I would take that approach first, and understand the decisions. Should an action I have to take to stick to my priorities and moderator duties seriously contradict my important core beliefs and values, then I believe this indicates I would no longer be suitable as a moderator, and if my beliefs would prevent me from properly moderating for this community, then I would be forced to resign, which I believe would be the best decision I could make for the community while not acting against my will.

## caird coinheringaahing

1. 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?

Similarly to the other nominees, I believe that every user should be treated fairly, regardless of the quality of content they are producing. Therefore, I'd engage the problematic user in a discussion about why they're behaving this way and what can be done to stop. Hopefully, the user would recognize that they're having a detrimental effect on the site and would stop their disruptive behaviour.

However, if, after having this discussion, they continued, I would put them in a 7-day suspension, detailing exactly why, in an effort to prevent their activity from continuing to hurt the site.

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

I have a great deal of respect for our current mod, Doorknob, as well as my fellow nominees, and so find it difficult to believe such as issue would come up that wouldn't be solvable with a quick discussion as to why they did what they did, and then if anything needs reverting, I'd either do it myself or allow the original moderator to do so.

1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my view, moderators use the extra tools they're granted in order to improve the site's health and overall quality. They do this by removing posts that regular users may not be able to (and that should, under site rules, be removed), prevent discussions between users escalating into arguments, and generally stepping in to prevent poor behaviour from hurting the site where regular users have been ineffective.

1. 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?

I won't lie, I've had a couple of issues in my past on this site. I've been suspended twice and, because of my poor understanding of the site early on, I have a poor question record (according to SE's metric, hence why I don't have the Curious badge or its related badges). However, that occurred over 3 years ago, and, since then, I believe I've been a valuable voice on both Main and Meta.

I currently do not have any issue with anything I've posted to this site being attached to a diamond. There are moments in the past where I made a stupid mistake, but I've moved on and learned from those, and have no shame with users being aware of that.

1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

The unique tools granted to moderators would allow me to better improve the site when necessary, more so than either the 10k or 20k rep tools could. Most notably (for me at least) is the influence that comes with a diamond that reputation cannot fully convey. I believe I'd be able to help new users integrate into the site better with such trust as well as better moderate disagreements between users.

1. A good deal of pending flags are on answers a few years old which have been flagged as invalid based on meta consensus on golf submissions, which sometimes postdates those answers. How would you handle these?

Consensus applies to all posts, past or present. For invalid posts, my general policy would be to leave a comment informing the user that their answer in invalid under a specific consensus and give them 24 hours to correct this. If they haven't responded after such time, I'd inform them that they can flag for moderator attention if/when they correct their answer and I'd delete the answer.

1. A new user has put a brilliant solution to a challenge in the comments section of the question. Other users point this out in the comments, and even try to guide the user to posting an actual answer, but the user seems to have disappeared. Flags start coming in that the comment should be converted to an answer. What do you do?

First of all, I'd check the user's page. If they haven't been active on the site since they posted the comment, I'd leave a comment requesting that people stop asking for the comment to be converted to an answer as there's nothing a mod could or should do in this case. If however, the user has been active since posting the comment, I'd try to contact them either through chat or by leaving a comment, asking them if they want to convert their comment into an answer. If so, I'd help them do so, otherwise, I'd do the same thing I'd do if the user hadn't been active.

1. Moderators must sign an agreement whose terms include:

i. I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (which is a part of this agreement), and enforce it to the best of my ability.
...
iv. I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
v. I will accept additional guidance given by members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Community Team and Senior Leadership Team, whether in response to questions, concerns or discussions regarding existing network-wide policies.

How would you respond if a policy or company directive (current or future) seems to conflict with your beliefs and ideals?

As with most users, I have a certain line I will not cross. I can't articulate exactly what that line is, but, in general, I have a "Don't be an a**hole" approach to most things. If SE forced me to choose between being a moderator and violating my principles (which I very much hope they wouldn't), without a doubt, I would hand in my diamond and step down as a moderator.

I've made it very clear that I agree with the former moderators, and I'm only nominating myself for the sake of the site's health, not because I condone SE's actions. Despite agreeing with the reasons for the former mods stepping down, the site needs moderators in my view, and I believe I'd be a good choice for such a role.

• I wouldn't consider previous issues like bad questions/suspensions a disadvantage. It shows you can learn from mistakes and that you know what it's like to be the one being moderated. – Redwolf Programs Sep 21 at 16:09
• @RedwolfPrograms That is one way to look at it, but I'm not trying to frame my suspensions either way. I mentioned them because I think it's important for moderators to be fully open about their involvement in the site – caird coinheringaahing Sep 21 at 16:11
1. 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?

I think cultivating a non-toxic environment is very important. No answers are valuable enough to ignore hostile behavior that is driving other users away.

Any user who is being disruptive should be receive a warning about their behavior. If the behavior continues, at some point there is no choice but to issue a suspension.

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

Most of the time, I would defer to the other moderator. If I think the closure/deletion/etc is definitely incorrect, I would discuss it with the other moderator(s) involved. There is no point in having moderators that are rolling back each others' actions. Once we have come to a consensus one of us can implement said consensus.

1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators help to enforce the will of the community by curating the content using tools that are not available to other users. Moderators also step in to handle disruptive behavior.

1. 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?

Some of my answers might be embarrassing from a "wow I'm not very good at code golfing" standpoint, but becoming a moderator wouldn't make that any worse.

1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

For a start, it will allow me to get started with moderating tasks about 20 years earlier.

More importantly, I believe moderators should use their tools very differently that an ordinary high-rep user. An ordinary user can cast a close vote on a question that they believe in their own opinion does not belong here, while a moderator should be more conscientious and only cast a close vote as an extension of community consensus.

1. A good deal of pending flags are on answers a few years old which have been flagged as invalid based on meta consensus on golf submissions, which sometimes postdates those answers. How would you handle these?

The current community consensus is pretty clear that these answers should be deleted, so I would check that the answer is actually invalid and then delete it. If there is not already a comment left below the answer, I would leave one and give the OP a few days to correct it.

If that consensus changes in the future, I would follow the new consensus.

1. A new user has put a brilliant solution to a challenge in the comments section of the question. Other users point this out in the comments, and even try to guide the user to posting an actual answer, but the user seems to have disappeared. Flags start coming in that the comment should be converted to an answer. What do you do?

I don't feel this requires moderator intervention. Any user is welcome to make an answer out of a comment, though they should certainly attribute the original commenter and elaborate as appropriate.

1. Moderators must sign an agreement whose terms include:

i. I will abide by the current Code of Conduct (which is a part of this agreement), and enforce it to the best of my ability.
...
iv. I will abide by all other officially announced moderator and user policies made available to me.
v. I will accept additional guidance given by members of the Stack Exchange, Inc. Community Team and Senior Leadership Team, whether in response to questions, concerns or discussions regarding existing network-wide policies.

How would you respond if a policy or company directive (current or future) seems to conflict with your beliefs and ideals?

I have already accepted the new moderator agreement. If a company directive is absolutely incompatible with my beliefs and SE is unwilling to discuss it, I would have no choice but to resign. For what it's worth, I didn't resign when so many other moderators did, and I feel it is very unlikely that SE will take similar action in the near future.

• "In the corner cases where the answer seems to be accidentally invalid and the poster is still active here, I would leave a comment and give them some time to fix it.". You're supposed to leave a comment two days before flagging the answer, and I, as the user responsible for many of the aforementioned flags, have done so. – pppery Sep 20 at 18:31
• @pppery Ah, in that case I would only leave a comment if there wasn't already one there. – Chris Sep 20 at 18:33
• For this site, I would disagree with deleting invalid answers. If it's an answer that makes no effort and is just "this doesn't do the problem, but it is sort of related", then sure. But invalid/non-competing answers can often be very interesting or useful even if they might not follow certain restrictions (such as answers in languages that cannot possibly follow those restrictions). – Redwolf Programs Sep 20 at 23:04
• @RedwolfPrograms This is not the place to discuss the policy on deleting invalid answers, only how Chris would enforce it if he were a moderator. – pppery Sep 20 at 23:57
• @RedwolfPrograms By all means, bring it up on meta. As a moderator, I'll follow whatever criteria the community sets when it comes to deleting invalid answers. – Chris Sep 21 at 0:03