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Candidate Index

0x7fffffff (nomination)
bluefeet (nomination)
Bohemian (nomination)
Doorknob (nomination)
Jon Clements (nomination)
Matt (nomination)
meagar (nomination)
Raghav Sood (nomination)
Siddharth Rout (nomination)
Undo (nomination)


Qantas 94 Heavy (nomination)
slugster (nomination)
Paresh Mayani (nomination)
FreshPrinceOfSO (nomination)
Kevin (nomination)
Jeroen Vannevel (nomination)
hichris123 (nomination)
PearsonArtPhoto (nomination)
Madara Uchiha (nomination)
vcsjones (nomination)
Sergey K. (nomination)
Dukeling (nomination)
Rocket Hazmat (nomination)
Rob (nomination) (Meta name: Robert Ryan)
Anoop Vaidya (nomination)
The Wobbuffet (nomination)
Midhun MP (nomination)


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. Not every question was compiled - however, while we originally stated that we were only going to select 8, we have instead selected 13, which combined with our pre-set two brings us to a total of 15 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 - it may not look like it below but the source there will break up all the block quotes question-by-question for you.

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!


Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?


Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?


Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?


Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?


Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?


Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?


Q7: 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?


Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?


Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?


Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?


Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?


Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?


Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?


Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?


Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

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The quotes break them up in the responses that would've been written. I've seen other people put numbers and the like in front to differentiate them, but ultimately the block I put there is for the utility of the answerers, not for readability prior to them. That said, the source link I provide is to the initial revision so I see no harm in keeping them split like this here in the visual copy. –  Grace Note Feb 17 at 20:21
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@GraceNote is there any meaning to votes on the answers here, or do we better keep our votes for other things? –  Shadow Wizard Feb 17 at 20:54
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@Shadow Voting is not really necessary here, no. Best not to cast votes because then it becomes like a "Whose answers do we like the most" kind of thing and that's just kinda weird. If you want to support your candidates, vote in the primaries and then in the election. –  Grace Note Feb 17 at 21:03
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re "A user repeatedly flags...": Is he flagging a single question or multiple? If one question, is the flagging without responses or is he re-flagging as flags get deleted? –  Jasper Feb 17 at 21:04
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Thanks, looks like others already vote though. –  Shadow Wizard Feb 17 at 21:05
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@Shadow There's no way to actually stop people from voting, but best not to make the situation any worse. –  Grace Note Feb 17 at 21:06
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I numbered the questions (Q1..15) for easy reference. Feel free to update your answers accordingly. –  smci Feb 18 at 0:50
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@Grace-Note: why can't votes here signify whether the answers fully addressed the questions? (no our personal opinions of them) –  smci Feb 18 at 0:59
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I would like to see a way to get to the individual answers here directly from the nominations; with the random order on the nominations it is a lot of searching otherwise. Also I don't think everybody found this page. –  TheConstructor Feb 18 at 9:06
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Would you have any objection @GraceNote to me editing in a contents with links to the candidates answers in the question, scrolling about looking for specific users is getting tedious –  Richard Tingle Feb 18 at 14:57
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@TheConstructor We can't automatically append things but we can look at doing some fiddling. I've added a link to the election page that brings us to here, and with Richard's help there will be an index at the top here. –  Grace Note Feb 18 at 15:09
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@GraceNote Done and done –  Richard Tingle Feb 18 at 15:22
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@Richard What do you feel about moving the index above the questionnaire? I think that would be more useful so that it's easier to access. –  Grace Note Feb 18 at 19:04
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I preferred the style of the town hall chat digests where answers were grouped by question not by candidate - far easier to drill down to where they differ. –  Flexo Feb 20 at 21:05
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@Flexo I agree that as a reader, it is nicer to see comparisons of that sort. However, I feel that for the answerers, it is far bothersome to have to edit in replies and formatting and all that for all the questions in separate posts, plus the potential for collision between authors who may be working at the same time. In the future we might possibly be potentially looking for a better integration of this system with the election system, and that may allow us to have two "views" that will allow exactly the preferences we like. –  Grace Note Feb 20 at 23:59
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27 Answers 27

Good Luck All!!

An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

First, I would check with the existing mods to see how these situations have been handled in the past. If it was determined that this was proprietary code, then I would see if it was possible to edit the question to remove anything that was proprietary and request that the edit history be removed by dev/community team. If needed, I would see about disassociating the question from the user account.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would delete all offensive and abusive comments immediately, as well as review the history of the users posting the comments. I would reopen that question, if needed, with an comment why it was reopened.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I agree that the close vote queue size is definitely a problem, but unfortunately it is not something that is easy to solve. When I work through the queue, I'm not concerned about how many items are in it, I am just trying to do my part to help keep the site clean with the hope that others are doing the same. I'm not sure a mod review queue would do anything except draw attention away from other areas - flags, etc.


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

First, I would review the edit history for the user. If I determined that the edits were low-quality, then I would contact them and explain what they are doing is not acceptable.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I don't like link-only answers but many times these are the result of a question asking for links, tools etc., so initially I would review the question to see if it was on-topic for the site and taking appropriate action. If the question is on-topic and not soliciting links, then I would comment to the user to expand on the answer providing the content of the link. If they don't edit, then I would convert the answer to a comment.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I don't think my behavior will change especially when it comes to the content that I currently flag or vote to delete. I try comment to the users when I flag or vote to delete their content, I will be better about adding comments to anything that I delete so the users has a reference to what happened. When it comes to voting to close, if there are no other votes then I would be sure that the question met an exact reason since my vote is binding.


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 might request to have a separate chat with the user to discuss their behavior and try to get it in check. If the chat or mod message doesn't seem to help, then a suspension might need to be given.


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

I would contact the mod to ask their reasoning for closing/deleting the question. I wouldn't necessarily go against their decision but that is why we would discuss it to make sure the appropriate action was taken.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I think it is a bit of both. The community can run the site without moderator intervention (flags, voting to delete) but that comes with proper education on how things work. But sometimes the mods do need to step in an cleanup messes, I don't have any issue being a janitor though.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I think chat is great. I already use the chat feature, I can typically be found in The Heap, so my participation will not change.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I have no problem with this, I try to be respectful of all users on site and provide quality content.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

First, I'd review the situation to see if there was anything obvious that I did wrong. If I was wrong, then I would correct my mistake and apologize. If I felt that my actions were justified, then I would respond constructively to the user explaining the reasons.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

We have an overwhelming amount of snarkiness especially directed at new users. We were all "new" at some point and sometimes need to be reminded that being nasty to new users is not the best way to grow the site. I always try to be respectful of new users and I will attempt to get others to do the same.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes, I already spend that amount of time flagging content for the mods. I typically use all 200 of my flags a day and that takes 1-2 hours. I will continue to do the same, except I will cut out passing the work to the mods and just handle it myself.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I do believe that I have the thick skin to do the job. If I feel like a user is getting to me, then the first thing I'll do is step away from the computer - sometimes a little break is all that is needed to clear your head. Once I'm ready to answer, I'll respond constructively to the user explaining my actions, apologizing if needed.

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I, personally, don't believe that the solution to #1 is sufficient. While I realize that everything submitted to the site is supposed to be CC, in this case there's a question of whether or not the submitter had the legal authority to assign such a license. In the case of proprietary code, IANAL (how I hate that acronym...) the submitter presumably does not have the authority to do so, which would mean that SO would now be hosting content in violation of copyright even after being notified that they were doing so. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:05
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And honestly, the idea of leaving it up there if someone's going to be fired over it just seems like a bit of a jerk thing to do. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:06
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@AdamRobinson I wasn't saying that the person was SOL because they posted the details. There are things that can be done including trying to remove/change the proprietary code. My previous employer had restrictions about posting anything associated with them, I had to be sure that I altered code/changed names whatever so it wasn't tied back to them. These are some things that might help the situation, then asking the history to be removed but that involves the dev team because mods don't have that access. –  bluefeet Feb 20 at 21:14
    
If you'd grant that these things might help (but won't definitely address the problem), what would you do in a case where they did not? –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:20
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@AdamRobinson Anything that is outside of what a mod can do would have to be handled by the Dev team, I would contact someone on the Dev/community team to assist. –  bluefeet Feb 20 at 21:22
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Are you sure you're going to still have time finding new things to flag when there's all the stuff that's already been flagged to handle? :) Only a precious few can clear custom flags, but almost anybody can flag. (You also have MSO to moderate, and chat.SO, and chat.MSO...) –  badp Feb 21 at 1:40
    
Could you please explain more about We were all "new" at some point? Anyway I like your answer of this question. thanks. –  Joe.wang Feb 21 at 2:10
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@badp There will always be stuff to flag - whether I'm elected or not there is no shortage of low quality content that needs to be cleaned up. :) –  bluefeet Feb 21 at 2:22
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@Joe.wang One of the biggest problems IMO is the rudeness/snarkiness that the community tends to have - a lot is directed at new users. I think sometimes people need to be reminded that they were a new user at some point, who didn't necessarily understand how everything worked. By putting yourself in the shoes of the other person, maybe the rudeness might minimize. We all get frustrated sometimes but directing users and guiding them to improve question/answer quality is better than being rude. –  bluefeet Feb 21 at 2:38
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+1 Good point,By putting yourself in the shoes of the other person... A new user always want to get more kindly guidance or feedback from the site to help him grow up. I hope the site is not just a place to get some code to work. but also a nice place to have fun. thanks. –  Joe.wang Feb 21 at 2:46
    
@bluefeet, Richard Tingle mentioned about "review the situation" at: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react? –  Babbit Feb 21 at 17:21
    
@Babbit If I review my actions and I was wrong, then I would correct it and apologize. If I still felt my actions were correct, I would explain my reasoning to the user. –  bluefeet Feb 21 at 17:24
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@bluefeet - oh, you know exactly which one I refer to. Across the entire SE network. ;-) –  JoshDM Feb 21 at 22:45
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@AdamRobinson: For what it's worth, I generally give people a first-time exemption on the "no delete" rule. Then I tell them never to do it again. Five minutes after it hits SE's servers, it also hits Google's servers, and it's much harder to get it removed from there. Moral: If you don't want it to be public for all time, don't post it on the Internet. Anywhere. –  Robert Harvey Feb 22 at 17:08
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Ah. JoshDM was joking. Only just saw his smiley. –  smci Feb 25 at 18:51
show 7 more comments

Alright, here comes my take :) Good luck to all candidates.


An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

A user is not entitled to delete his own content once posted on the site. Especially if there are good answers on the question, I'd request a dissociation of the post from his account. That way the question remains, but no connection back to the user.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would exterminate downright abusive/disrespectful comments. If the question warrants, I'll reopen and upvote, as well as write a comment to explain why this answer did not deserve to be closed. This is by the way, the exact same thing I do without a diamond.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I feel that the problem lies elsewhere. Not in the review queue or the number of reviewers, but with education for our new users. New users often expect us to shower them with code on their demand, and when that happens, their question is often closed.

As for what I feel about it, I don't see it as that big of a problem. I believe the problem can solve itself with proper educational and technical enhancements.


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

Investigate said user's history. If indeed I find that he's suggesting a large number of low-quality edits, I'd contact the user privately, explain to him why what he's doing is wrong/not acceptable, and set a reminder to check on him a week (or any relevant period of time) later to make sure he improved.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

Link only answers are tricky. They could potentially answer the question, but in the future, they may not, and no one will be left behind to clean it up. No. I think that they should be edited or removed when flagged. However, feedback to the answerer is important. A comment from a mod prior to deletion gets seen by the user.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

Deletions are tricky, because it's hard to protest (most of the time, the question simply vanishes). Closing is not a problem, a close can be protested easily and even reversed by the community. What I'd do is:

  • Only vote to close if the question obviously needs closing, and has a perfect match with one of the reasons.
  • Only vote to close if the question does not obviously (but probably) needs closing, but already has a 3-4 close votes pending on it, so it's obvious to me that the community agrees with me closing it.
  • Only vote to delete for obvious deformed/abusive/spam questions. Let the auto delete do its thing.

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?

That situation is a bit rare, so I will take him to chat and attempt to have a reasonable discussion with him. If nothing helps, a warning followed by a couple days of suspension is the only course of action. It's not the first time very contributing users were put in the box, wouldn't be the last too.


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

Talk to him. That's what chat is for.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I sternly believe in education and guidance. I believe that with proper education, the community can take care of 90% of the bad content in the system. In that sense, I'll be more of an exception handler. That said, I have absolutely no problems with being a janitor as well, to assist with problems and serve an example.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I think chat is a great feature. It's a fantastic tool to get experience and knowledge from the people around you. I've personally seen and helped shape some very bright PHP developers in our chat room, myself included!

I will definitely spend time in chat, as I already do. I think that chat holds a substantial role in the learning part of the site, because it's often more real-time than the main site.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I'm counting on it! The moderator privileges are important and great, but the real deal is that diamond that gets appended to your name. That's exactly what I'm counting on, and hoping for. I hope to set an example for others to follow.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

Answer constructively, and give good feedback. If you need to raise your voice (or CAPS), you lose the argument. I don't take actions that aren't covered by SE policies.

If by any chance it turns out that I was wrong and the user was right, I will formally apologize in whatever medium necessary.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I feel that the slightly increasing hostility towards new users is the problem. Light cannot exist without the shadow. Without those "noobs", the site will not continue to exist. We should educate instead of driving away, and that's exactly what I'm going to push for.

If we manage that, we can have a healthy community which will help with the maintenance of the site, which would in turn help towards solving all other problems.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I already do moderation in the form of closing questions and review. I already do moderation in the form of moderating the less-volume Anime & Manga. And I am already on the site most of my free time. I believe I can make such a commitment, and I believe I can commit a minimum of 3-4 hours a day. Easily.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Laugh, mostly. I keep my private information private (although, not for that reason). My social signature is pretty low, and I don't mind people telling things on me over the internet. Like I said a few questions above. Answer constructively, defend your actions, and if you were indeed wrong, apologize formally. If the user chooses to take it out of the boundaries of Stack Exchange, and into social media, he can do whatever he wants. I no longer have the power to affect him, and thus there's no point for me to stretch on it. :)

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On the first question, see my comment to Undo. What if the question contains company / proprietary info? Wouldn't you also consider what you may want or need to do in order to hide that information? –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 17 at 21:05
    
@AaronBertrand: Only devs/community members are able to do dissociations. So the final word is not mine. You do have a valid point there. It obviously depends on the answer in question, but if some code refactor is in order for the question to be completely dissociated, yes I'd go through with it. I'd refactor his code/question text if needed to completely dissociate the question from him or his company. –  Second Rikudo Feb 17 at 21:09
    
Q8,12: Arbitrary deletions by mods. When a mod has a history of deletion of valid on-topic questions, what action if any should be taken against them (apologies won't cut it)? How much transparency can the vast majority of us with <3K rep have to know that something is being done about this? (This comes back to my question about (aggregated) metrics on candidates) –  smci Feb 18 at 1:01
    
@smci: I believe mods are clever people. And should not reach a situation where the reach a disagreement over valid question deletions over and over again. If the moderator sees he cannot reach an agreement with the rest of the community or Stack Exchange after a while, he should consider stepping down. It's not about action taken against a moderator, remember that it's all voluntarily. It's about the moderator realizing the job's not for him. –  Second Rikudo Feb 18 at 8:34
    
Madara, since I still don't have 3K rep to tell who did what to who, take a look at stackoverflow.com/questions/11365535/… and tell me (without naming any names) whether you see any wrongdoing, whether the culprits had a pattern of doing it, and whether they did indeed step down or not. It was a perfectly reasonable on-topic question. No reason ever given. Deeply bogus. –  smci Feb 18 at 9:06
    
That's interesting. The question was not closed, and no one seems to have deleted it (I also asked a stack overflow mod, there's no name on it). My take on this, you asked for something that was on-topic, but is considered "evil". That doesn't merit closing and someone downvoted you, then the question was deleted by an unknown assailant. I don't feel as though it should've been deleted. –  Second Rikudo Feb 18 at 9:32
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"A user is not entitled to delete his own content once posted on the site.": While I know this is the site policy, I'm still a bit taken aback with this. Isn't it same as saying "if in any doubt, please please do not post content at SO"? Which, while perhaps true, is awfully close to saying "if you are a non-infallible human with access to non-public stuff, better not post at SO". –  hyde Feb 18 at 15:48
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I agree with others about point 1. "A user is not entitled to delete his own content once posted on the site." I don't think this is true at all, especially if someone's job is on the line. –  Kermit Feb 18 at 15:55
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Which is, like I said, would do everything to assist the user with dissociation his post. If the content is odd high quality I won't delete it. –  Second Rikudo Feb 18 at 15:59
    
I have one question. How would you deal with users like Simon-eQ who go to the PHP chat room and find themselves at odds with other members? –  BiVOC Feb 20 at 14:51
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(Copied from another answer) I, personally, don't believe that the solution to #1 is sufficient. While I realize that everything submitted to the site is supposed to be CC, in this case there's a question of whether or not the submitter had the legal authority to assign such a license. In the case of proprietary code, IANAL (how I hate that acronym...) the submitter presumably does not have the authority to do so, which would mean that SO would now be hosting content in violation of copyright even after being notified that they were doing so. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:13
    
And honestly, the idea of leaving it up there if someone's going to be fired over it just seems like a bit of a jerk thing to do. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:13
    
@AdamRobinson: Like I said, I don't mind helping with dissociation. Since the question has good answers on it, I will not delete it. I will however assist the user with Stack Exchange support and help resolve this on a higher level. This isn't the place for a volunteer moderator to take action, that's why Stack Exchange staff and legal departments exist. –  Second Rikudo Feb 20 at 21:28
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I understand your position, but I strongly disagree with it. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:37
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If it's possible to edit it in such a way that it would make it anonymous and satisfy the spirit of the objection, then sure, that's fine. But if not, then yes, I would delete it. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 23:40
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

Easy: Ask my fellow, more experienced mods first. Remember what they would do. Ask questions, get a good feel for why the case is handled that way.

If I were in some kind of mod-apocalypse and I was the only one left, I would lean toward keeping it. The user did licence it irrevocably to SE, and it's not my job to enforce legal stuff anyway.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would first visit the post and delete any blatantly offensive comments, of course. I would then check the history of the users posting borderline offensive comments, to make sure this isn't a problem for them. Next, I would provide some helpful advice to the user in question (i.e. 'add some code that you've already tried') and compliment them on their first question being otherwise excellent!


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

My take: something should be done. I don't know what that thing is. As a reviewer: I don't really care. I derive some sort of weird satisfaction from doing a small part in a huge queue, so the CV queue is kinda fun anyway. As for the mod queue: I don't know. I plan to go on rampages through the close vote queue if elected anyway, so I'm not sure how a 'stuck questions' queue would help.


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I'll assume this is suggested edits - again, I would ask the team. If they were all sleeping, I would send a suspension-free mod message to the user explaining that their edits aren't satisfactory and they need to improve.

I would also check the histories of the approving reviewers for obvious robo-reviewism.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

KILL THEM WITH FIRE!!! As a programmer, I really hate clicking through link mazes. Also, link-only answers are very prone to link rot - and when that happens, they are worthless. If the link is exceptional, then the answer should be converted to a comment.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I would certainly think more before close voting, but I believe very little would actually change. I only vote to close posts I'm absolutely sure on anyway, so that would most likely stay the same.


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 would send a nice message to the user that explains they need to rethink their commenting strategy. If the do, great! If not, I would consult the other mods, and a suspension may be in the making. I simple can't tolerate offensive comments.


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

I would ping the mod and ask their reasoning - maybe I learn something! If I don't agree, I would explain my reasoning. I wouldn't override their actions, though, especially if they're a senior mod.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I'd say both. I would spend a great deal of time in the flag queue handling such exceptions, but I would also actively search out missed not-an-answers to delete, for example. I would probably tend to be closer to an exception handler, though.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

Absolutely! I tend to spend a great deal of time in the Tavern already, and I may start frequenting some SO rooms. I would also do my best to watch chatflags as they pop up, and try to let the community handle them instead of mod-hammering them.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I intend to continue being polite and taking criticism with respect. I also intend to continue being open to criticism about any posts I've made that are even close to offensive.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I would first review the situation to make sure I didn't make an obvious mistake (i.e. a misclick in the flag queue). If it looks very obvious I took the right path (i.e. deleting a blatantly offensive comment), I would answer explaining my thoughts. If there is any possibility that I honestly made a mistake (which I will), then I would defer to another mod to review my actions.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The biggest problem... rudeness toward new users. This is something that we need to work on as a community. I wouldn't be able to change it on my own, but I would certainly support and maybe even create initiatives to promote kindness.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes. I'm homeschooled, and I have quite a bit of free time. I'm confident I can consistently donate 1-2 hours to the flag queue and Meta a day, which isn't very far from what I do now.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I believe I do - and I've been carefully developing a skin that's thick enough to take the right actions and shrug off users that go overboard in calling me out, but thin enough to accept criticism openly, and not having a thick skin toward honest complaints.

If the conflict 'gets to me', I would just back off and hand it off to another mod.


I realize that many of my answers here contained 'hand it off' or 'ask another mod's opinion', but that's because mods are supposed to be a team. Over time, I'll learn quite a bit (and be less dependent on my peers), but I don't intend to be a 'loner'. I want to be part of the team, not just have a diamond.

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Regarding the very first question, wouldn't you consider discussing with the asker whether it would be acceptable to simply disassociate the question from their account? It's possible that it's not just the association of that person with their employer, in which case perhaps more could be done to anonymize the post (e.g. if the method name is BigMacSalesCounter() we could probably fix that so McDonald's doesn't come across it), but I think disassociation will often be enough. –  Aaron Bertrand Feb 17 at 21:03
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@AaronBertrand Only devs can perform that IIRC, but it's certainly a good option. Yes, if the code is obviously generic with an obviously copywritten function name or something in it, that can be fixed. But I would imagine that the user would only be complaining if that won't work. –  Undo Feb 17 at 21:05
    
I was somewhat unsure of whether or not to support this post. Then I read your response on link only answers. +1 –  Servy Feb 17 at 21:10
    
Follow up question: Would you be using chat via the web interface or command line? –  Manishearth Feb 17 at 21:11
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I will use chat in the command line from an old Ubuntu Server machine in my closet, @Manishearth. –  Undo Feb 17 at 21:16
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Very wise and honest answers, I would upvote if I could. –  kursus Feb 18 at 3:28
    
Regarding the answer to the first question "The user did licence it irrevocably to SE". If it's a company's proprietary code, the user probably didn't have rights to license it irrevocably to SE, and both the user and SE could get in legal trouble if the content remains. –  Joshua Dwire Feb 20 at 14:29
    
@Josh Possibly, but it's not the moderators' jobs to enforce any legal agreements. –  Undo Feb 20 at 14:31
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"The user did licence it irrevocably to SE, and it's not my job to enforce legal stuff anyway." Nope, it's not about legal stuff, it's about basic usability. Imagine that you had to go through similar hassle every time you wanted to click undo in your text editor. Because, at a basic level, that's what it amounts to. Arguments to the contrary are fundamentally dehumanizing and short-sighted. –  Kuba Ober Feb 21 at 6:17
    
For Link only (Exceptional Links) - How about quoting the most important aspect of the content from the link as "answer", by editing the answer (so that you don't have to navigate to the link maze) and also keep the link in the Answer (in case you are keen enough to navigate through the links)? As a developer/manager, I like research and honestly I do not hate browsing through link mazes to collect bits of information that is helpful for my research. Although, burning with fire could be quick and dirty solution, you may actually deprive the community from the benefits of a really good content. –  Annjawn Feb 21 at 20:41
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

Even though the "Terms and Conditions" states the following but honestly how many of us have actually read it?

Stack Exchange makes no representations concerning any content contained in or accessed through the Network, and Stack Exchange will not be responsible or liable for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality or decency of material contained in or accessed through the Network.

From humanity perspective (since the user may get fired), I will try to edit the question as much as possible to make it acceptable but if the asker is still not happy then I will consult senior mods / site admin / reporting head (Whichever applicable) on further course of action.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

When a new user joins a site, he or she has a very vague idea on how the site functions. They are unaware of various things that they need to take care of. For example, asking the right question, flagging, upvoting, downvoting etc. So in the above scenario, I would do the following

A. I will be patient and hear what the user has to say and finally pacify the user. Yes, this is the first thing I always do in other forums as well.

B. I will delete impolite comments and if required leave appropriate comment.

C. I will educate the user on how to use flags (for those impolite comments)

D. I will educate the user on the importance of "How to ask a good question" and then request the user to re-edit the question.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

As mentioned in my nomination as well, this problem can be addressed by being patient and educating the user. However I don't think that this will really actually address the issue of the 110k though - it might reduce the heap long term.... Most of the users are not even aware on how a good question should be asked! Imagine if we educate the user and the user actually edits the question and makes it acceptable, do you think that question would be closed?


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

The answer is pretty simple actually. If those edits are low-quality edits then I will first amend it and then I would get in touch with the user and the reviewers and educate them. If they still display that behavior again and again after my tête-à-tête with them then I will definitely take necessary action.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

link-only answers can be of two types. The first ones are of the type which direct the users to some knowledge-base article and the second ones are the ones which refer to answers either on the same site or any third party sites.

In the first case, I will leave a comment, asking the user to improve the quality of the answer by giving a description of what the link is all about. I would also recommend including a small (yet important) extract of what that link has so that even if the link dies at any given point of time, the future visitors understand what the solution is all about. If the user still doesn't improve the answer and if I have the time then I will do it else I will move it to comments.

In the second case, if the answer refers to some other answer on the same site then I will move it to comments. And if the answer refers to a third party site then I will follow what I mentioned for the first case.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

Honestly I am not sure how flagging works after I become a mod. But as far as closing, and deleting is concerned, since they will immediately take effect, in the first few days of being a new mod, I will hold on to that bit for a week. And the reason is very simple. I would like to learn how the existing mods deal with these kind of scenarios in Stack Overflow. I have a fair idea but I would still like to be sure so that I don't goof up.


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 would educate the user! As simple as that. And if that doesn't work, follow the necessary protocol.


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

I would take it offline with them and try to understand if I was missing something which they didn't. And if I did miss something then I will learn from it. And if I didn't then I would politely put my point across. I am sure this can be amicable resolved. :)


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Interesting question! To be honest, my moderation style would be a mix of both as it is in other two forums. I would let the community run the site and will step in to handle exceptions but at the same time, if I see a question/answer which needs serious editing then I will do that as well. The reason is very simple. I believe in leading by example. I just don't want to be the mod who tells someone what needs to be done. I will be a part of it as well.


  • What are your views on the chat feature?
  • Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?
  • It's an amazing yet under utilized feature.
  • No doubts about it. I will.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I am not going to do anything different than what I am doing now. And the reason is very simple. I am already a moderator of two well known forums and also an Microsoft MVP and hence I understand the importance of that responsibility.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

If I feel whatever action I took is justified then I would politely explain that to the user. And if I was wrong then I would rectify my mistake and apologize to the user.


  • What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces?
  • If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?
  • As I mentioned below the second question, When a new user joins a site, he or she has a very vague idea on how the site functions. They are unaware of various things that they need to take care of. For example, asking the right question, flagging, upvoting, downvoting etc. The biggest problem as mentioned in my nomination is our attitude towards them. We tend to forget that we were newbies once and there were few kind people who helped us sail through our learning curve. We may have found a cure for most evils but we have not found any remedy for the worst of them all... The apathy of homo sapiens!!!

  • My mantra would be to educate. If I see anyone being nasty or rude to new users then I will try to educate them and if they repeatedly do it then take necessary action.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day.

    1. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
    2. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
    3. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

    a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

  • Yes, I will. As mentioned in my nomination, I work from home so I've enough time on my hands to devote to moderation. However to give you an approximate figure, out of 5-6 hours that I approximately spend on Stack Overflow everyday, I can easily devote 2-3 hours for moderation. The rest will be for answering questions and improving the site.

  • How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

    Not Applicable.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Interesting question! Fortunately, I have never experienced this sort of thing as a moderator in other two sites. However in case any such situations do arise then it depends on two things.

  1. If I am right: If I am right and the community also thinks that I am right then I really don't have anything to worry about. I think, I have created enough credibility as a person and as a mod over the past many years so such frivolous posts/blogs will hardly have any effect on me.

  2. If I am wrong: I am a mere mortal and may make mistakes. If I am wrong then I will rectify my mistake and apologize to the user. If the user is still not happy then I might go an extra mile to make amends. The extra mile could be anything reasonable. If the user is STILL not happy then I cannot do much about it. I will move on.

Please take me to the top

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@sathya: Thanks for the edits. Looks more presentable now :) –  Siddharth Rout Feb 19 at 12:52
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RE Question 1: Obviously im not a lawyer, but I dont imagine you can simply declare yourself not liable for any copyright violations on your servers and expect that to hold up? SE is still hosting that data. Personally I would like to see everything done to make sure the asker doesnt get in trouble.. An SO question is not quite as important as someones job.. –  cowls Feb 21 at 14:55
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A couple of your answers mention taking "necessary action" or following "necessary protocol" but fail to mention, in your view, what those actions and protocols are. Please clarify. I'm pretty sure I know what you mean, but I'd prefer to see it spelled out. –  Tim Gautier Feb 21 at 21:55
    
@cowls: My apologies for replying late. I was out of town. As mentioned in my post above, on humanitarian grounds, I will edit the question as much as I can to help the user. And if the user is not happy then I will seek advice from other senior mods. :) –  Siddharth Rout Feb 23 at 18:16
    
@TimGautier: Every forum has it's own necessary protocols defined. For example it is not necessary that what vbforums/msdn follows will be the same for Stack Overflow. And if you ask me what those necessary protocols are for Stack Overflow then I guess it is too early for me to comment on it. ;) As far as other forums are concerned there are verbal/PM warnings given and then maybe a temporary or permanent ban slapped on the user. Sometimes there is no warning and a direct ban is imposed and hence it all depends on case to case scenario. –  Siddharth Rout Feb 23 at 18:20
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Good luck to all other candidates, and thank you for reading my answers!

An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I would begin by informing the user that I'm looking into it, to help prevent further unnecessary flags. Following this, I'll ask existing, more experienced mods if such issues have risen in the past, and how they were handled.

While all content added to SO comes under the Creative Commons license, I would be open to deleting questions that contain copyrighted/legally handed to someone else code. We really don't want users losing their jobs over this.

If possible, I'll try to salvage the question by editing out any information that may require its deletion.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would firstly remove any impolite/obscene/discriminatory comments, before reaching out to the offending users and warning them against such behaviour. If there are users who have a history of being rude/impolite to newcomers, then I will consider a temporary suspension.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

A new queue for the moderators seems rather pointless to me. There aren't all that many moderators, and they will get overwhelmed pretty soon if left in a queue all by themselves.

That said, the close votes situation is getting worse. I do not think we have much of a solution, short of a community effort to combat it on a larger scale, with more 3k+ users stepping in. The queue is simply too large for any small group, moderators or otherwise, to be able to handle.

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I would review the edits and question, and if they are indeed low quality edits that add nothing of significance to the answer or question in terms of content or readability, I would prevent the offending user from making future edits for a while, or in case of repeat offenders for longer.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

When I joined SO, link only answers were still accepted, and as far as I've seen in the review queues, a lot of the ones getting flagged are left over from those days. I would leave a comment stating our new policy, and give the user who posted it some time to make edits. If nothing is done, I will either attempt to edit it myself, or delete it altogether.

Basically, I will remove the link only aspect of it, but use deleting as a last resort. I would much rather have the content edited into the answer itself, as we are building a knowledgebase and deleting answers doesn't help with that.

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I will be more careful in choosing when to cast my vote, but I do believe that so far my judgement has been fairly accurate. I've raised 2473 moderator attention flags, with 2341 deemed helpful, 80 disputed and 52 declined.

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?

It depends on exactly what is causing the strife. If the user is creating it themselves, then I will speak with them over chat and ask them to deal with situations more calmly. Good content and high rep is not an excuse to be rude to other users or break the rules.

If the user is not at fault, and is being targeted by others (unlikely, but we've all seen cases of some users going on downvote/flagging sprees after having their questions closed etc.), then I will attempt to find the user(s) responsible and take appropriate action against them, whether it be a warning or suspension.

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

I would take it up with that mod on the private chat, and ask them for their reasons. I will then present my own, and request them to reopen it if they agree. If necessary, I will consult other moderators.

However, I am open to being wrong. If it is decided that my view is wrong here, then I am happy to let the question be closed/deleted, as I am in no way infallible.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

One of Stack Overflow's main strengths is the by and large community moderation. My role would be more of an Exception Handler, as I believe the community should govern itself.

That said, I would also be doing some janitorial duties. As voting restrictions for close votes etc. are different for mods, I'll be spending a lot more time in the queues, which are already backlogged, dealing with the everyday workings of SO, something I do already.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I am a huge fan of the chat feature, having used it for a long time and being one of the owners of the Android room (Room 15). I am already literally logged into chat every second I am on my laptop, and will be assisting in its moderation.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I am proud of the content I have contributed so far, and do believe it'll reflect well on the diamond. That said, I will naturally be more careful when posting comments and making statements. The diamond represents the communities trust and faith in me, and I will respect that.

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I would post an answer explaining the reasons for my actions. In doing so, I will also review my own decision, and if a mistake has been made, I will take steps to correct it. We're all human, and we do make mistakes. I'm open to owning up to them and rectifying if I do.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

In my opinion, we have three major problems that all sort of flow into each other.

  1. Our review queues, especially the close votes one, are backlogged and huge.
  2. Some users, mostly new ones, post a lot of questions which will get closed real quick.
  3. Because of 2, a lot of new users receive rude and downright mean welcomes to the site, which drives away a lot of potentially excellent coders. We were all learning at one point or another. Most of us never really stopped. I believe we should help out the new users, even if their first few questions don't really fit in well. We should take steps to help them form better questions, and start contributing to the community.

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I am still in school, so I do not have the burden of juggling jobs and managing the house and stuff like that. I already spend several hours on SO every day, and will definitely be able to commit time to moderating it. I also tend to be online from after school ends till I sleep (which is pretty late), so me being online on Stack Overflow for upwards of 8 hours a day is not unusual.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

The first and foremost thing is to remain calm. Getting into flame wars is not worth it, and I will avoid it like the plague. That said, I've been one of the youngest members of several online communities for years. I started coding when I was 9, and will be 17 in April. Due to this, I have plenty of experience with being called out, and in some cases outright bullied, for a number of things. I have developed a very thick skin to such acts, and deal with them calmly.

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For #2, it's good to address offensive comments, but the other half of the coin is working with new users who might be asking questions very poorly. –  KyleMit Feb 21 at 20:24
    
Best of Luck. The Android Label needs a lot of help, and I hope you make that forum becomes more and more useful for me. –  Dave A Feb 24 at 7:57
    
Good luck, I like some of your answers best! –  Zlatin Zlatev Feb 25 at 13:20
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Good luck all!

Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

Well firstly, a person's job is more important that the existence of a question and some answers on SO. While noting that the code has already "escaped" (someone could have their own copy by now), the best outcome that can be achieved is to remove the proprietary code from the history. Detaching the user from the content may not be enough, since it may spark an internal witch hunt and find the OP anyway. If the question is worth saving (has many views, broader application, good answers etc), the first step would be to try to edit the question to remove the proprietary code but leave the essence of the question intact. If that is possible, then the sanitized version of question can stay - after checking with the user that the new sanitized version is OK. Either way, I would ask the devs to scrub the history on compassionate grounds. It sounds like a rare enough occurrence that the extra work involved would be small in the overall scheme of things. It it become a frequent occurrence, or the time involved to preserve the question is too great, a straightforward removal request is more appropriate. There are only so many minutes in each day.


Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

When it's clear that the user is clueless in the subject domain, their question really is their best effort. Especially when the question is narrow and the outcome clear, that part of the guidelines has been met. I would ask them to repost their question afresh, but I would help them reword it as "professionally" as possible, phrased to ask for clemency, so as not to draw the wrath of newbie bashers. I have noticed that any attempt is usually enough to avoid this reaction, so I would perhaps even offer an attempt at code.

Comments that are bullying are anathema to our site, which should help newbies and welcome new users. I would delete the comment and warn/ask the user to be more helpful and welcoming next time.

As an aside, I have answered many such questions (when in my knowledge domain) when it's clear the user has made their best effort and the question is clear.


Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I too look at the size of the queue and think "there's someone seriously wrong here". I think the answer is not in clearing the queue, but slowing the flow into the queue by helping users write better questions, with the implementation of something like a question assistant. The idea (like a "question coach") would likely not only reduce the number of questions being closed, but improve the general quality of most questions.

Regarding a "stuck" queue, piling more work on to moderators for what is a "janitor" task does not seem like a good use of time for someone appointed to tackle the high value/sensitive tasks of moderation. Time is best spent resolving disputes, keeping the site "G" rated and professional, maintaining quality and usefulness by removing inappropriate but loud/noisy content. Not hosing out the dumpster when rubbish gets stuck to the side of the bin.


Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

There are two problems here: A) The user is suggesting trivial/poor edits, and B) others are approving them.
I would see if there's a pattern of the same approvers being involved and if so ask that they consider more carefully what they approve.
I would also contact the user and ask they read the edit faq and please make edits that truly improve or add value to the post.


Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

Depends on the link. If it's a link to a library that does the job, I'd ask OP to post some code showing how it's used, and/or to verbally describe what the library does. (I would avoid doing that myself because it doesn't teach the OP how to better post)

If it's a link to a code example, I'd ask that the OP copy the code in (with attribution and link).

Whatever the case, the answer must carry value on its own, even if the link breaks. If the answer meets, or can meet, this criterion, keep it. If not, delete it.


Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I already vote with the same care I would use if my votes were binding.


Q7: 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?

The user is valuable, but high maintenance. I would contact the user, thanking them for their contribution and asking that they refrain from making inflammatory comments - referring them to the flagging faq for guidelines on how to comment effectively, and advising that their comments are detracting from their contribution to the site. If the behaviour continues, I would word it more strongly. Third strike, suspension.


Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would firstly respect the other mod's actions. Like parenting, it's more important that moderators back each other up on decisions than it is to be "right" but disagree. If I feel strongly that it shouldn't have been closed, I would contact them with a brief message asking them to reconsider their action and undo it. I would not undo it myself - we can't have mods undermining each other.


Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Primary focus will be to handle exceptions, because a) that is work only mods can do, and b) there are non-moderator mechanisms in place to "clean up" (delete votes, etc). If there were time left over after handling exceptions (unlikely), I would consider pro-active clean up, but it's a dauntingly large task for so few. I'd rather spend more time handling the exceptions better than to clean up - it's a better use of my time and of the position. By handling exceptions well, you are doing future clean up, because (hopefully) you are stopping further mess before it happens.


Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

Chat is conversational and ephemeral in nature (although you can search its historical content), so IMHO if people want to have a flame war over an acceptable topic (eg java vs c# - which is better) then as long as the language isn't vulgar/rasist/hate/etc, moderation is not required. Let them slug it out. However, civility must be maintained. It can stoop as low as parliament (in Australia anyway) - politicians talk about trivial matters in a pejorative attempt to discredit the opposition or score political points (ie behave like 3-year olds), but everyone speaks properly and wears suits.


Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

A mod's behaviour sets an example to the community. I probably would refrain a little from the more "conversational" or humorous style of comments I occasionally make. It might make me a bit more boring, but that's the job. You don't see officials picking their nose in public too often. - it's usually the little things, but when you're in the public light you naturally sensor your own behaviour to be more exemplary. I'll do the same.


Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

If the meta community didn't answer for me (likely) as to why the action was taken, I would consider adding a brief explanation and advice on how to avoid this action being taken in the future, noting that "abuse of power" is not what happened. "Fulfilled the duties of office to the best of his/her ability" is what happened. A mod isn't going to take action for the fun of it. The "power" is there only because it is required for the job. If the meta community thought I had over-stepped the mark I would consider undoing it, but only if the reaction was strong. Otherwise, by reversing the action (rewarding the complaint) you open the door to meta becoming a "complaints department" - that's totally not what we want.


Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

Sounds like a Miss Universe question (change "moderator" for "Miss Universe" and "Stack Overflow" for "women today").

Something that seems to happen continually is "newbie bashing". A new user unfamiliar with how to write a good question, perhaps struggling with both English and a new computer language, tried to ask a question, but is shot down and the question closed. The new user probably goes away, feeling dejected. I still remember my first post, and that's exactly what happened to me. I was trying to contribute, but got stomped on. It was a while before I tried again, only doing so because I was getting so much help from the site I wanted to give something back. I would really try to help as many new users as I could, especially one that are struggling to adhere to our guidelines.

And I don't if it's "big", but a problem is "artificial" voting (drive-by, friend-voting, etc), because it's so insidious. The value of the site relies upon the integrity of "the vote". I would (try to) contribute to the detection of such votes: Because I have pretty good database skills, I should be able to help write queries that help either directly (return suspicious voting patterns) or indirectly (improved data quality to feed some AI code), then help in the action taken against the perpetrators.


Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I currently spend at least that amount of time every day anyway. It would be a matter of changing my site habits to moderating instead of answering. No significant change to my life would be necessary.


Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

There is nothing one can do. By responding, especially outside SO, you only give credibility to their rantings, and probably encourage more of same. You can't please all the people all the time. I would hope most observers would realise that whatever action was taken my me is fairly insignificant in this world, and that the energy expended by the individual over it shows they have "issues".

Regarding "thick skin", you are voting for someone who refuses anaesthetic at the dentist when getting teeth drilled - because I can ignore the pain and it doesn't last for long anyway (btw the upside is my face isn't numb for half a day). If I can ignore the dentist's drill, I can ignore an on-line pest.

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Well, "this idea of mine." is actually my idea. –  Kermit Feb 20 at 16:52
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@fresh well I authored that answer from scratch before I even saw your question. Actually it was as I was entering it as a question/proposal that I saw your question in the duplicates list, so I posted it as an answer instead. However, in defence to your per-existing idea, I have edited my text to be more accurate :) –  Bohemian Feb 20 at 23:05
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May I ask when between Apr 29 '13 and Dec 14 '13 did you author the question? –  Kermit Feb 20 at 23:21
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@FreshPrinceOfSO I said I authored the answer, not the question. I thought about it vaguely for a while (couple of weeks), but I wrote it up ready to ask on the day I posted. I posted the link here to show what my thoughts were about addressing the close vote queue. Is there something more to this that I'm not getting? –  Bohemian Feb 21 at 1:28
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@FreshPrinceOfSO I must be missing something. I have removed any association from here between me and the link, and I've linked to the question (not my answer). Your idea is very good. The site would be improved if it were implemented. –  Bohemian Feb 21 at 1:58
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There are too many times, I see people voting down with no comments at all. These are newbies who need help. This is not helpful at all. You should have seen alot of this. What would you do? –  Babbit Feb 21 at 17:15
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@babbit Firstly, the anonymity of voting (up or down) is sacrosanct. If users wish to downvote, they must be allowed to do so, without revealing their identity. With the UI the way it is, by leaving a reason comment, they identify themselves - so no comments is OK. I did suggest providing an optional and anonymous downvote reason to the UI (but that got hammered by downvotes :/). However, if there is a serial downvoter, whose behaviour seems indiscriminate, I'd tell them that the site relies on votes being real. I'd probably reverse the downvotes too - might check with another mod first tho –  Bohemian Feb 21 at 23:27
    
@Babbit I thought you meant the newbies were doing the downvoting (because they were immature users and "needed help" to correct their behaviour). It seems I completely misinterpreted your question. Now that I understand what you meant (I hope!)... If a newbie has been bashed, I would reinstate the question (if closed), helping to reword it so it's "acceptable", leave a comment to that effect, and see if I could find out who downvoted to ask them to help newbies (not stomp on them). I would try to make the newbie feel welcome (and safe). Anti-bullying is one of my election promises. –  Bohemian Feb 22 at 11:04
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I endorse Bohemian's position on new users. I don't think the presence of code should be mandatory for a question to be accepted on StackOverflow. The user might be unable to even produce a code attempt. If the question is well formulated and SO manages to provide a good answer then the question will be useful for other users in the same situation. Even badly worded questions--as long as understandable--can be useful. I realize one doesn't want to turn SO in a natural-language-to-code translator, but one should try to apply the principle of presumption of best effort as Bohemian suggests. –  user2314737 Feb 22 at 12:00
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

First, I would inform the user that I'm investigating their issue. I would then attempt to salvage the question if possible, by obfuscating any parts possible. If this is satisfactory with the user, the question would remain. We obviously don't want to get someone fired over a mistake. If the user still feels that it could potentially harm their employment, I would most likely delete it.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would attempt to be empathetic towards their situation since everyone using the site has been through this situation. I would explain to the user that there are some members of the community that feel questions require some minimum points. Additionally, I would go through the question and highlight what the user did correct and what they could to improve it. I would encourage the user to try again and not be turned away by this event. Lastly, I would personally add a note on their question that they've made an attempt and deserve a more positive welcome.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

My initial reaction is that there must be a better way to handle these close votes, perhaps by changing the way that close votes are cast (ie. trusted users may have a double vote). Additionally, I would try to examine what type of problems cause close votes. Perhaps there is a trend that we could identify and make the user experience more helpful to prevent votes for particular problems. I don't think it's feasible that any amount of effort (unless we stop answering questions and all users clean the queue) will be able to resolve all the close votes. Aside from manual efforts to resolve these votes, all that can be done is look for ways to prevent close votes and improve content in the future.

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

As I've done in the past, I would make them aware that they've been suggesting low-quality edits and while they're efforts are appreciated, I would encourage them to improve edits by addressing multiple issues.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

The most obvious reason I don't feel link-only answers are complete is that links can go stale and the answers become obsolete. Therefore, these answers should be improved if possible, by including a relevant excerpt from the link.

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

My actions as a moderator would need to be more carefully thought through. If there is an action that I am uncertain about, I would ask for feedback from other moderators.

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 would attempt to notify the user that while their answers are valuable and helpful to the community, that there's been a large number of flags created by their comments. While I would try to understand what is causing these flags, I feel that the best approach is to be empathetic and try to adjust their behavior to be beneficial towards other members of the community.

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

I would first attempt to understand why a mod handled a situation a certain way. If I still didn't agree with a mod's decision, I would try to discuss it amongst other moderators.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I feel that I would attempt to balance both areas. The community should naturally be able to run the site, less moderation tasks such as handling flags and addressing user concerns. However, there will always be "clean up" to do and it should be supplemented with moderation tasks.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I feel that the chat allows members from the community to collaborate or just kick the tires. I regularly spend time in chat and feel that it's beneficial to get feedback on improving content or just for shanigans.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I've seen some moderators that have acted out. I consider myself a seasoned user and understand that moderators can have bad days. I would expect that their behavior represents their status a majority of the time.

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I would try to understand the user's point of view and attempt to respond objectively. If I notice my emotions getting in the way, I'll step away and return when I'm able to respond. I understand that there will be some situations that won't be able to resolved and no amount of reasoning may please a user.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

In my opinion, the biggest problem that SO faces is the stream of low quality questions. These questions make down voting and closing almost reactions. Good questions are then more scrutinized. I would try to work with other moderators as well as the management to come up with solutions to help users improve the quality of their questions (and answers). I've already done this by suggesting tags come with helpful hints.

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why: Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four). The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest). It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots. Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I would guess that I'm currently spending around 2 hours per day during weekdays answering questions or cleaning up.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I haven't been in a situation where a conflict with another user has "gotten to me." I think this is because I'm able to reach out to other community members on chat and it's extremelty reassuring. While there may be times that I'm flying alone on a decision, I would stand behind it and accept that it's part of the responsibility of making these types of decisions.

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"I would then attempt to salvage the question if possible, by obfuscating any parts possible." Bravo - that's exactly what one wishes to hear. Feature req: Ideally, this should be doable without involving any humans other than the asker/answerer. Should someone accumulate too many uses of this feature, a human review would be warranted. –  Kuba Ober Feb 21 at 6:18
    
@KubaOber I suppose it depends on the language. There are some data tools such as SQL Sentry's Plan Explorer that has an anonymize function. It's super helpful when reaching out to the community as it obfuscates the entire execution plan and query. –  Kermit Feb 21 at 14:18
    
+1 for the "Link only Answers" –  Annjawn Feb 21 at 20:46
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Thanks for taking the time to read my answers, and even more thanks if you voted for me!


An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I would message the StackExchange team and ask them to anonymise any critical information in the code (like server IPs, passwords, etc). This is necessary because mods do not have the ability to anonymise individual posts, nor can they change the revision history of a post, this has to be completed by an SE employee. Wherever possible the question should be kept - it may need to be changed up a little, but it shouldn't be deletede unless there is a compelling reason (is being fired a compelling reason?!).



How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

First I would encourage them to flag their post – while I could treat the complaint as a flag I would prefer that a flag is raised so that there is an audit trail in case changes (deletions) are made to the post. If they were reluctant to flag I can still check the post and comments in question, and remove comments that are out of line. As a mod I cannot reverse votes, the user is stuck with them. While I have the user’s attention in chat I would suggest ways to improve the post, if necessary sticking around while they did it. Ultimately I want the user to come back. But let’s also consider the flip side – if the user is full of complaints but won’t do anything about their question (and there are those!) then I would edit the question directly if it was salvageable, or close it if it wasn’t.



The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I’ve done lots of close vote reviews. I’ve also mentioned in the past that it is the most mind-numbingly boring task, so I tend to use the filter.

As a moderator what can or will I do about it? Not a lot to be honest – the queue is generated so it will fluctuate in size. There are no miracles that can be performed on this queue, any candidate who promises otherwise is making a silly promise that they cannot keep.

Perspective is important. This queue causes some concern periodically, but it shouldn’t. It isn’t out of control – these are just the questions that have active close votes against them. It doesn’t mean that these questions are of concern and must be cleaned up now now now! As close votes age off those questions will fall off the queue – it doesn’t mean the vote (or flag) was valid to begin with. Remember that this site is community driven. Like it or not, if the community exhibits apathy towards a situation then that is implicit acceptance of that situation. I will continue to work in the close vote queue as time permits, but as a moderator vote is binding I will be even more discerning about where I cast it – moderators shouldn’t unilaterally close questions unless it blatantly needs it.



How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

This does happen on occasion. Moderators have the capability to message individual users, although this is reserved for serious situations. There is nothing to stop moderators (and normal users with edit privileges) from rolling back edits. If the user is causing sufficient mischief then they can be blocked from suggesting edits.



What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

My previous approach to this has been to check the profile of the person who answered; if they have been active on the site recently then I will leave a message on the answer asking them to expand on it as per the site policies. If they ignore the message or are not active then I will flag it as NAA, it will then get converted to a comment. As a comment it isn’t “lost” at all, but we also shouldn’t be keeping it around as an answer – the internet moves around and links die and rot (making the answer useless). I recall flagging an old answer from Jon Skeet for this very reason – lots of us have left link only answers at some point.



As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

As a pro tempore diamond moderator on the Martial Arts site I have already had to adapt to this. Where I used to jump in to cast a close or delete vote I now abstain unless the question clearly needs it. It is the responsibility of the community to drive these votes, and that responsibility should never be taken from them, nor should moderators short circuit that process except in obvious cases. This is further accentuated by the fact that moderator closed questions cannot be reopened by the community, likewise they cannot undelete mod deleted questions. This means moderators have to be more discerning about how and when they vote.



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?

Each situation has to be individually evaluated, there could be a number of reasons for the activity. If it is the user’s fault because they are lashing out at other members then they can be messaged and eventually put into timed suspension. If a user is trolling others, the same applies. Having a steady stream of valuable answers doesn’t excuse them from the basic rules of civility and respect. Of course in these situations it may not always be obvious who is at fault, or fault may lay with several parties. If comments are actively pruned then a lot of this can be avoided – if one person trolls another but the recipient doesn’t see it then they won’t respond. If there is any doubt with what action to take, moderators can chat with each other to get advice.



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

If it was done by a mod I would message them and discuss it. Mods work as a team and respect each other’s decisions. Occasionally mistakes get made, if it is clear that this is the case then I would reopen the question. If it wasn’t clear then it would stay closed/deleted until I got confirmation of the reasons.



If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Because some candidates are confused about it and the likelihood is that some voters will be too, let’s also be clear about what a moderator is not: they are not a super charged janitorial machine on a one person crusade to clean up the detritus around the site. They are not a wrecking ball arbitrarily closing questions because they are not up to a certain standard. They are not a vigilante dispensing justice summarily once the sun has gone down.
In three words, they are exception handlers and enforcers. They take care of business that cannot be (or isn’t) handled automatically by the system. They judge the merit of flags and take the appropriate action. They also investigate dodgy patterns and determine if users are operating within the policies of the site. They even do some really boring stuff like merge answers or convert them to comments. All they ask for in return is that you love them, because deep down they are nice people.

So, I will be an exception handler. I already do a good amount of janitorial work and will continue to do so, but as mentioned previously I will not suddenly turn into the Hulk and go on a rampage if I get a diamond. Regular janitorial work needs to be executed even more carefully once you have a diamond next to your name.



What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

Absolutely. As an example I am one of the few candidates who has been active so far in the election chat room, answering questions where possible.



A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I have absolutely no issue with that! I have nothing to be ashamed of - I've even got a couple of negatively voted answers that I've left up.



How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

If it is raised on Meta I will post an answer explaining why the actions were taken – frequently the reason is already listed in the close banner but the user missed it or failed to understand it. I have no issues with explaining any actions I took, and everything a moderator does is audited. If a user persisted in being angry at me I would stop handling any flags related to their posts for a while to avoid any perceived bias or conflict of interest. I can always be summoned to chat as well to explain things, and that would be my preferred option as it is a bit less formal – users usually want to state their case and doing that on Meta can be a scary and unfulfilling experience, especially if someone is new or already upset.



While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. [snip] Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I can easily dedicate that amount of time. As an IT worker I am connected anywhere from 12 to 16 hours per day. I do edits and reviews using my smart phone while on the train in the mornings - so I'm never far away.



A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I've done time in the military, being called all sorts of names does not affect me! I've been round this community for a number of years now. Before that I frequented other communities, and at some stage I've been active on newsgroups. I've seen it all, and at times moderated some of it. My self esteem is fine - users like that do not get to me.

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FWIW, the hard part isn't altering the revision history (in those rare cases where this is even necessary) - it's revising the question such that it no longer embarrasses the asker but still reflects the original question. –  Shog9 Feb 17 at 21:54
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First "close vote queue" answer that makes sense to me--"perspective is important!" I got quickly burned out on the close vote queue after failing an "audit" question. I felt like "why waste my time looking at these if the system doesn't even think I"m doing it right?" –  Ogre Psalm33 Feb 19 at 3:01
    
"Is being fired a compelling reason?" Um, yes. That seems a rather silly question. We're talking about a single question on a Q&A site with literally millions. –  Adam Robinson Feb 20 at 21:40
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@Adam Sorry, a bit of humour :) Basically the question should stay unless there is a very compelling reason to remove it. Frequently people will lie or confuse the issue, especially when it is something like a homework or exam question. –  slugster Feb 20 at 22:50
    
Good answers, however the close vote will not automatically shrink at the moment. Things only get automatically aged from the close queue once they have had X views. A lot of the ones filling it at the moment though do not get that many views... –  Tim B Feb 21 at 13:26
    
slugster, my condolences for not making it to the final stage of the election. I would've voted for you. –  mikeTheLiar Feb 21 at 20:50
    
Thanks @mikeTheLiar, maybe next time.There's always a bunch of good candidates - there were four diamond mods from other sites competing (including myself), and another who just got awarded a diamond in the last day or two, this is on top of some excellent regular candidates. SO elections are competitive :) –  slugster Feb 22 at 9:09
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I consider this to be an interesting situation. I can't see how proprietary code could be posted mistakenly, but that's beside the point here.

Anyway, this would have to be different depending on the exact situation, but if the post appears to be a duplicate, it may be possible to remove the question, and migrate its answers to the duplicate. If on the other hand, there isn't anywhere reasonable where the post's answers could go, I'd probably say that the best course of action would be to disassociate the user from the question, and sternly warn against creating a similar situation in the future.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would immediately remove the impolite comments and apologize to the user for the less than desirable first experience. However, I will explain to the user that we expect a demonstration of research effort in questions here, and show them where information on the topic can be found, and that they can still salvage their existing post through edits.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I agreed that the close vote queue is huge problem, and I'll do my part in working through these questions but I believe we need to be doing more to stop these problems at the source. Of course I mean by educating new users on how to ask proper questions here so that they aren't close voted in the first place.

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

Inform them of the error of their ways and explain how they can make better quality edits in the future. Then the key part in this; checking back later to make sure that they've actually taken the advice.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

Link only answers really get under my skin. I don't believe anyone deserves any amount of reputation from simply copy-pasting a link and hitting submit. This is of course in addition to the risk link-only answers have of becoming useless if the link is ever to break.

My personal policy on this will be to remove any and all link-only answers, regardless of how many links they contain. I will be fair though. If the user who posted the answer stands to lose reputation from the post being deleted, I will warn them via a comment that their post will be deleted if they do not improve the quality of the post, and allow them adequate time to make the necessary changes.

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I don't think I'll have to make that much of an adjustment. I always try to think hard about whether or not a post completely falls within the domain of a close vote reason before I cast my vote, as far as flagging is concerned, I've usually erred on the side of caution when it comes to flagging posts for moderator attention. I've never wanted to bother them with an additional flag if it wasn't necessary.

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?

First remove all argumentative comments, then tell them to cool it. Some times users need to be reminded that they're here to help others, not to bicker in non-constructive comments.

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

Ask them why they did it. One of us has to be wrong, and if who that is can't be easily determined between the two of us in private discussion, then it should be determined on meta by our peers.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I'd like to think of the duty as an exception handler as opposed to a janitor, but I suppose the job is a little of both. As an exception handler, you need moderators to be responsible enough to step in and break up arguments, without ever falling into them themselves. But, at the very same time, moderators have much more power when it comes to janitorial duties, which allows them to make a larger impact as far as cleaning up the site goes. (Namely, the darn close vote queue again)

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I recognize chat as a valuable tool, but I've never personally utilized it much. That being said, I know I didn't nominate myself to not have any new or different experiences here, so if moderation requires usage of chat, then chat I shall!

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

Via a lot of review. I would love to be able to say that 100% of what I've written on Stack Overflow in the past is excellent material, but I can not. I plan on auditing my own history (under a microscope) here starting from account creation and working forward, to remove or edit any material that isn't up to Stack Overflow's standards.

I'm not anywhere near as concerned about future content I provide. Just seeing a diamond next to my name, I feel like I'll be much more apprehensive before posting content here.

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

Personally, when I receive a down-vote, the first thing that runs through my head is something to the effect of, "Oh-no, what did I do wrong." And I believe that I can carry that attitude to this situation as well. I've made more than my fair share of mistakes, and I'm perfectly willing to admit to them because I can quickly learn how not to make the same mistakes in the future. If I ever wrong a user, I'll do anything I can to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I think the obvious answer is the close vote review queue, but that isn't news to anyone, and I think we all know that the only way that can be dealt with is by brute force.

That being said, handling the queue is my secondary mission. My first priority will be to attempt to educate new users on how to use Stack Overflow effectively by (attempting to) encouraging them to demonstrate the research effort we require in their questions.

This would probably help the close vote queue situation as well, now wouldn't it?

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I wouldn't have nominated myself if I wasn't ready to commit the necessary effort. :) Anyway, I can easily achieve more than the minimum daily moderation time. I'm currently a sophomore in college, and other than my classes, Stack Overflow is pretty much the only other thing on my to-do list. In the past, I've spent a little more time answering questions then performing moderation duties, but I see no reason why I can't do both considering I'm here for well over an hour every day.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Absolutely. I understand this as a risk and burden of carrying a diamond around with me and am perfectly capable of dealing with that. After all, irrational people on the Internet aren't exactly rare.

If however, I did think that I was starting the loose my cool, I would cease communication with the user, and if necessary, ask another moderator for help.

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but are you on drugs? –  user252829 Feb 20 at 9:57
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@user252829 See this for my answer: youtu.be/eCLH7Rx1yW8?t=24s –  0x7fffffff Feb 20 at 13:35
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Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

Politely explain SE's CC BY-SA approach to Q&A but bearing in mind we all make mistakes occasionally look to see if it's possible to anonymise the question such that it remains on-topic, answerable and makes sense in the context of the given answers. The user can be disassociated from the question if that's a cause for concern. Anything else is best left to the community team to decide/act upon.


Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

If they're impolite to the point of abusive/spiteful (etc) I'd clear them up and have a look at the owners' histories to see if there's a trend in behaviour that may need addressing. I'd also explain to the user that like life, SO has a mix of people with the right to vote, but not everyone will vote in the same way - or sometimes even in a way that makes any sense... It happens, take it on the chin, move on pep talk...


Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I admire the effort of all those trying to whittle it down - it's certainly at a size that discourages efforts to combat it. If a moderator only queue were to be created as that was the only way to shift certain things from it, the fine - I'd do my share - however, I think it's best left to the community to decide and I suspect if it wasn't for the current backlog, this wouldn't actually be an issue.


Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I like to believe that the majority of suggested edits are made in good faith and that part of the issue here may be that if a user repeatedly has their edits approved it re-inforces the impression they're doing something right and should carry on doing so. If the reviewers reject edits correctly then eventually this issue will sort itself out but if a user is making repeated "nuisance" edits, that can also be addressed.


Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I recall seeing a couple of (several years old) link-only (accepted) answers to official language documentation that was exactly the answer the original (arguably poor) question was after. For those, given the risk of link-rot is low and their age I left them be. Certainly, for newer answers I would encourage the OP to explain "why" that link will help and a suitable excerpt/summary.


Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I tend to only vtc when I'm sure it needs closing and isn't salvageable via edits/a well formed comment suggesting what needs to go into an edit. However, my approach would be to remember to take a step back and let the community exercise their decision on it - I'd step in where something needs to happen now.


Q7: 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 everyone has their quirks, nuances, has a bad day now or again or is facing an additional issue of trying to overcome a language barrier. Also, some people perceive offense where none is intended etc... If this user is repeatedly posting material that is blatantly rude/offensive then I would take them aside and explain that while their technical brilliance is obvious, if they want to do even better they there are some social skills that could be addressed.


Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I think a casual "I'm not sure why XYZ?..." via private means would be fine. Could be an innocent mistake on their part, or it could be something I'm not aware of/not grokked on my part.


Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Addressing the community's concerns about things that need to happen now, or need to happen soon is priority. SO is a big site, and it has its little sub-communities that are passionate about certain tags etc... From my experience they tend to self-moderate or flag accordingly things that they have concerns about and that can potentially only be handled by a moderator. So I would have to say if I spot a few bits that need a bit of janitorial work on my travels, then I'll spend a moment doing that, if not - the community and their concerns are key.


Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I'm an avid chat user - I was IRC Admin/Operator/Channel Services admin in the 90's so might be a bit biased though. I think it's a sadly under-used feature of the site that enables those unsure of how to ask a question, or those with very simple - "I'm sure there must be something that does..." like questions, or sometimes just nice to "hang out" and discuss opinions/run ideas off each other/inform others of questions that might want attention... have a laugh - be part of something etc...


Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I've always conducted myself in a manner suitable for the site and continue to do so.


Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

After asking another mod to check I hadn't done something completely wrong, I would then reply explaining my reasons for taking said action. If humble pie needs eating, I'll eat it...


Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

As a "potential future moderator" I don't really have any. As a user, I have a few things I think could be better, but I can see both sides of the coin as to how it might make others things worse...


Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I'm normally about 8-10 hours most days - if not in chat, then trying to find some nugget of information I wasn't aware of, or just looking at recent questions. Robert's suggestion of time spent seems perfectly reasonable.


Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

If someone wants to persue some private vandetta, then so be it... they'll only end up being ignored - doesn't phase me at all. If they were that serious about receiving constructive feedback then they should have accepted the Meta posts...

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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

Add some explanatory comments. The user probably isn't aware of SO's licensing, etc. I'd let them disassociate the post, however.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

To me directly? In that case, I'd ask the user what exactly they're upset about. Is it the downvotes? Then I would explain why the post got downvoted and hopefully teach the user about our rules. Is it the rude comments? If there really are rude comments, then I'll go ahead and delete them after pinging the rude commentors, but typically from my experience, these are essentially helpful ones, such as "why do you want to do this in the first place"? Then I would explain to the user that the commenters were trying to be helpful and why (in this case, the XY problem).


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

a.) Yes, the CV queue is a big problem. b.) Terrible; it makes it extremely disheartening to go in and start reviewing, and questions take way too long to be closed. c.) That'd be nice; I'd use it extensively. (overall) If I do become a mod, I'll be sure to review often, but I will still be careful with binding votes....


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

Suggested edit ban. Also, looking through the approved edits in search of robos (and banning them too). This is a serious problem on SO.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

KILL THEM WITH FIRE! Although not without first leaving an explanatory comment and giving the user a chance to fix the answer.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

Certainly less close/deletevoting and more comments. I'll try not to be too heavyhanded, but as I said in my nomination, I still want to make SO a better place.


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?

This is a tricky one. I don't like to say this, but until I'm more experienced, I would probably mention it to other mods and let them handle it. I know that sounds kind of lazy, but I wouldn't want to be too heavy-handed or dismissive.


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

Discuss it in the Teacher's Lounge. Perhaps I'm wrong; perhaps the other mod was wrong; either way, we should both learn from it.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Both. I mentioned in my nomination that I would be a janitor, but I'll also handle those rare cases when a moderator is specifically needed.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I'm already active in the Tavern (meta's main chatroom). I'll probably be active in the Teacher's Lounge too, to discuss things with other mods and learn how to moderate more effectively.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I hope everything I've said and done in the past is diamond-worthy, and I believe that to be true. I will continue to post as normal (although perhaps less often what with all the mod stuff), and that should be sufficient.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

This was actually my post ;) I would most definitely attempt to reason with the user, and figure out what exactly (s)he is misunderstanding (or what I am misunderstanding). I will try my best to completely resolve the issue, and not leave anything hanging or unsaid.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I don't think there's one specific biggest problem with SO. It's probably a combination of the queues (flag/close), somewhat low quality of posts in general, robo-reviewers/robo-suggested-edit-ers, etc. As I said in my nomination, a vote for me is a vote for quality.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

At least an hour a day, yes. I have more time on weekends, so I can help more there as well. I usually have about 30 minutes of free time before school, and I can devote that to moderation instead of sitting around doing nothing. :P


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Come on, it's the Internet. That kind of stuff happens all the time! Ignore it.

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To your second question, resolving problems such as that is exactly what you're elected to do. –  Servy Feb 17 at 21:15
    
1) Dealing with inappropriate comments is absolutely a task of yours. 2) Explaining to a user who had a difficult first experience how the site works, what they did wrong, what they can improve, etc. is certainly a part of your responsibility. Ignoring problematic behavior, and dismissing well intentioned user entirely is certainly not acceptable behavior for a moderator. –  Servy Feb 17 at 21:22
    
The question never said that the question even was closed, or that it wasn't answered; just that it was downvoted and that there were impolite comments. It never said that the user was asking you to answer the question, or that they were asking you to reopen it. It says that they were upset and that they were complaining to you about the impolite comments and downvotes. –  Servy Feb 17 at 21:31
    
@Servy Alright, sorry; I should have read the question more carefully. I'll edit my response (and delete these comments). –  Doorknob Feb 17 at 21:32
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I really like your response to the suggested edits question, but the ones to the first two questions raise some red flags. The post disassociation response seems far too flippant, and essentially says "content stays, unedited". It expresses no concern about the user (though it's their job to ensure they have rights to the content before posting), makes no mention at all about anonymizing the content, and doesn't even acknowledge potential legal issues for SE. –  Esoteric Screen Name Feb 18 at 17:31
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Regarding the warm welcome question, I find it troubling that you don't seem to think that rude comments don't happen often, because they do. A lot. Comments like "That's nice, how much will you pay me?" are both rude and happen with significant frequency, and this is a huge turn off to new users. Not just the asker, but casual browsers too. The intentions are to get the user to show some effort in asking a question, but sending the message in this way is like delivering a telegram by punching the recipient in the face, then giving the finger to bystanders. –  Esoteric Screen Name Feb 18 at 17:33
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I'm not sure if there is a de-facto way for handling this sort of situation, but my preferred action would be to try and remove enough of the offending code to make it acceptable. If this was possible, I'd then contact the community team to permanantly remove the older revisions.

If it wasn't possible, I'd most likely delete the question. However unfortunate it is that some useful answers (and reputation) would be lost by this, I would hope the answerers would understand some unicorn dollars are easier to regain than a new job for the OP... and hey, the next person looking for a solution to the problem can ask another question... hopefully this time without any proprietary code ;).

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I'd apologise to the user for the harsh welcome, but suggest to the user that he may need to do more research into a problem next time he wants to post a question, to avoid the same reception. I'd review the offending comments, and see whether the question needs to be re-opened/ closed.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I explained my stance in the comments of my nomination; "I've publicly slated the CV queue as being grossly ineffective at performing the task it was designed to do". Whilst I'd like to see SE doing more to make the queue more manageable through better designed processes and tools, I also understand the complexity of the issue, and have no better ideas how to fix it myself.

In the form it was posed in the question, the moderator queue doesn't seem viable for me; with only ~16 moderators, if this is a large number of posts it will overwhelm the moderators. If it's a small number of posts, it won't dent the size of the queue.

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

If the complaint is valid, I'd contact the user and tell them to stop, identifying what they've done wrong, and informing them how to suggest better edits in the future... I'd also slap any users who approved the low-quality edits in the suggested edit queue.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

As I said in my nomination, I see Stack Overflow as the definitive source for programming help, and will not let link-only answers and other low-quality posts be detrimental to that. They will die, perish, and be deleted. Comments which are just links are usually nothing more than noise, so in 99% of situations I'd like to see link-only answers deleted. This is due, not-least, to the fact that Stack Overflow is lucky enough to be in a situation where someone usually takes the time to answer each question sufficiently; a link-only answer can therefore usually be deleted, with some solution to the question still existing (sound familiar?).

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

Sounding like a stuck record, "as I said in my nomination"; "I will try and leave the community to solve as many issues as it can. I do not like seeing binding-votes being widely used, and will only step in as an exception handler where necessary."

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 would contact them and thank them for their contribution to the site, but I'd request that they calm down during the situations which are leading to the arguments.

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

I'd try to contact the moderator directly and explain my point of view to them. If they are not available, I'd try to discuss the question with other moderator(s). That way, a consensus could be reached as to whether it was the right or wrong decision; rather than me potentially being all gung-ho and reversing an action that was right all along.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Jeez, have you even read my nomination? "as I said in my nomination"; "I will try and leave the community to solve as many issues as it can. I do not like seeing binding-votes being widely used, and will only step in as an exception handler where necessary."

That said, whilst I will allow the community to converge on opinions (voting to close, suggested edits etc.), I will still help to clean up the site in ways such as editing posts and the like.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

In all honestly, I'm not a big fan of the chat tool. I will make a solid effort to be present in the Teachers Lounge to make myself available to the other moderators, but I'll likely shy away from the other chat rooms. That doesn't mean I won't answer for my actions though; I'll still be contactable through meta.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I'm proud of the contributions and actions that I've made, and I'm confident they'll remain positive whether you inspect them under any form of light (low-level and ultraviolet included).

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I believe one of my qualities is that I can always be reasoned with. I would reply to the user in a constructive manner, and explain the reasoning behind my decision. If I get called out by my actions by another user/ moderator, I would not be afraid to accept that I was wrong and apologise.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I believe the "moderator-only" flag option has a backlog, so I'd try to reduce that as much as possible. I'd also try to make meta a more friendly and approachable place; something I outlined in the comments of my nomination. I'd do this by removing unnecessarily snark comments and being an example to other users how posts and other "with-the-best-intent" questions should be handled. I'd also not be afraid to point other users out for their behaviour, should it come across as brash.

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes. Except when I go on holiday, although unfortunately that isn't very often. I have been known for reporting SO bugs from the poolside whilst in Marrakech, however.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I think I do. I have a lot of patience, and don't let many things get to me. If anything did, I'd step away from the computer... do something else, speak to other people (I know, it happens), and then come back more relaxed.

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+1 with note: Happy with everything except #1. How can you determine conclusively that a member is being genuine, without opening SO/SE to liability in past/future cases where proprietary code is shown? See NDA discussions etc for info on this, and the opening of possible legal problems for SE by selectively modding up some and not all. Otherwise, great answers and I hope you do well @Matt! –  digitalextremist Feb 18 at 18:04
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I'd be more inclined to give the user the benefit of the doubt, rather than having to prove conclusively @digitalextremist. However, like I said; I'm not sure of a de-facto process for handling this kind of situation, and should there be a different process, I'd adhere to it, of course. IANAL, so aren't too sure of the legal problems, but I wouldn't have thought going above and beyond our legal obligations (as laid out in our TOS) in some cases, would come back to bite SE in others (given the TOS clearly stipulate the legal stance). Thanks again for your support :). –  Matt Feb 18 at 18:24
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To counter the first comment, I for one am rather happy about #1. The majority opinion here seems to be "contributors should not make this kind of mistakes, and woe to them if they do, because SO wants their content now, even if it stops their future contributions and has a chilling effect on anyone wanting to ask help in a real-world problem." I find this a bit baffling. When ever a contributor can plausibly claim their own contribution is harming them, then fixing the issue, even with deletion if nothing else works, would seem basic courtesy. –  hyde Feb 18 at 18:29
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I can be persuaded by @hyde giving the long term impact argument, and hearing your view here. So I am agreed then, with the caveat that if obfuscation or dissociation solves the dilemma for a poster, that is best compared to total removal of content. I like your style of diplomacy and hope you win a seat. Thanks again for your time. –  digitalextremist Feb 18 at 21:39
    
I personally think that deleting revisions and editting it to acceptable is the perfect answer for proprietary code, and anyone not following this imo is missing the point of the issue. –  Doomsknight Feb 21 at 15:59
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I'd advise the user that, once posted, it's our policy not to remove content, especially once it has obtained quality answers. If the user is still insistent I would offer to disassociate the question from the user's account, something I understand moderators are able to do.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

Clean up the impolite comments and advise the user (kindly) that they're just downvotes. They're imaginary internet points, and they're a totally normal part of using Stack Overflow. They're not personal, but they are an indication that their question isn't being well-received by the community. Explain to the user that their question demonstrated a lack of effort or baseline understanding on their part, and that the community considers it very important to you at least be able to attempt a solution to your problem before asking a question about it here. If you don't have the level skill needed to even attempt a solution, you won't be able to understand whatever answers are posted, so this becomes less of a give-and-take and more of a pure-take on their part.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I don't see the size of the queue as being a particular problem. It just takes time and people to beat it down; we have a huge community, if every body with the rep to do so decided to review a few per hour, it'd be down to zero in under a day. I think some messaging would help focus efforts on it, the same way it helped cleanup the homework tag and others.


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I see this all the time, typically I track down the user's most recent post and leave a comment asking them to stop. I might also rollback any of the especially bad edits. As a moderator I imagine my process would be much the same, though I could directly contact the user rather than resorting to comments. One of the things I'd have to learn is how often it's appropriate to directly contact users in this way; I've never personally received a direct communication from a moderator, though I gather that such a system exists.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

They should be removed; they add little value and are a link-rot liability the second they're posted. Answers should reproduce enough of the linked resource to answer the question. Links to off-site resources are for supplementing answers, not for being the only useful content of an answer.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I've been here long enough to see the community's standards on what is and isn't on-topic change. I know the importance of allowing the community govern itself, and I would restrict my binding votes to those questions or answers which were most egregiously off-topic, or obvious instances of spam.


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?

Clean up comments when they get out of hand, remind the user that being polite isn't a suggestion, it's a rule. I would need to deal with the actual content of the comments on a case-by-case basis; I use a relatively succinct and formal tone when answering and commenting on Stack Overflow which can sometimes be perceived as rudeness, I'm sure I've generated such flags in the past.


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

I would ask them privately about their justification, and hopefully be convinced that they are in the right. If we don't agree, I'd ask a third party (hopefully longer standing) moderator to make a decision.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

A little of both, depending on which part of the site we're dealing with. I think exceptions, by definition, do not happen often enough to fully occupy a moderator, and I believe strongly in cleaning up the off-topic cruft that clutters some questions, so there is necessarily a good deal of janitorial work to be done. Long threaded conversations really don't belong in the comments of a question, that sort of thing. I also spend a lot of time editing posts for quality, though I'm slowly sliding off the front page of the all-time top editors.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I think it's very important for moderators to be available; I would be on chat any time I sat down to perform moderator duties on Stack Overflow.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

While I'm very open to admitting there's a lot I don't know, I tend to strongly defend opinions once I've formed them, especially in the tags I frequent (JavaScript, Rails, Ruby, etc). I would relax my tone when arguing technical points (or abstain from argument altogether) and spend more of my time focusing on the quality of content and let voting reflect my opinions on the technical accuracy.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

As I've seen most moderators react: I would explain my justification for the action taken, citing the rule or post from meta on which the decision was based. I would be open to reviewing my decision, and would let the user know exactly what I think needed to be done to fix their submission (assuming this is about a question or answer) and would gladly invite other members of the community to weigh in on the meta post.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I have a real problem with the volume of bad content flowing into Stack Overflow, both in the form of questions and answers, but also unwarranted upvotes on such low-quality posts. There's nothing for it but continued day-to-day effort by our established users. I have no changes to propose, the system is completely reliant on its users to sort the good content from the bad, and I've been doing my best to contribute to that effort, and I will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of the election.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I spend upwards of an hour a day on Stack Overflow already, even during the periods where I'm busy and not able to devote my usual level of attention to it. I would have no problem giving it a solid hour per day, and would probably spend significantly more than that depending on how crazy my work/life schedule is.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I'm pretty secure in my life at this point, if somebody wants to write mean things about me in their blog it's not going to bother me. That kind of petty childishness happens, the rest of us go on with our lives and jobs and hopefully the author eventually comes to realize being vindictive on the Internet is pretty silly.

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If they're "Just votes" when why are they used as the basis of user rights? You can't have your cake & eat it too. –  Vector Gorgoth Mar 14 at 22:58
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Here's how I'd deal with the questions set out. If you have any further questions about specific details of my responses, you can always ask me for clarification.


Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

It depends on what type of thing is involved. If it was just a homework question, school assignment or code that isn't particularly "private", I'd just perform the appropriate moderation action (may be nothing).

Assuming they have claimed that this is actual proprietary code (and not just homework or a school assessment) and that it wasn't a simple typo question, I'd first delete the question and provide the questioner with a link to their deleted post -- this minimises the chances of a user taking the code away.

I'd then ask them to make a general code example of the issue (presuming that they now understand the issue from the good answers received) and to replace the proprietary code with that example.

Once that's completed, I'll ask a community manager or developer to delete the original revision and undelete the question, if the question and answers are of high enough quality that there isn't a similar-level explanation elsewhere on Stack Overflow.

Of course, I'd only use this where I'm certain that this wasn't meant to be deliberate and isn't part of any "silencing" tactics. For example, if a 2 year old post was suddenly asked to be deleted, with a whole bunch of others, I probably would simply inform them of the terms of posting to our site, and how they govern the license of any code contributed.


Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or Meta. What do you do?

For the question itself, I'd treat the same as if they had never explicitly complained. I'll delete any rude or offensive comments (under our "be nice" policy), provide my own comment in regards to the rude comments, and welcome the user here. I won't give a "sympathy upvote" in response to the downvotes though (unless the question really wasn't bad).

If they had complained in chat, I'd move the discussion to a separate room and discuss for a few minutes about what was wrong about their post and how they could have improved it. I'd also note that not all users are as "rude" as what they'd seen.


Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

This is a fundamental issue with user mentality about the close queue, and how it works. If a quarter of the people with over 3k did just 5 reviews each day (4994 people as of writing), it'd be cleared in just 5 days.

About a moderator queue for stuck reviews, that's really passing the buck onto moderators to do the job, which is what they already do -- no need to load them further.

I actually think that instead of only letting 3000 rep users vote to close, we should allow users with at least 1500 reputation to have a vote too, but with less weighting.

For example, let's say that a count of 15 is needed to close a question. The lower-rep users votes will only count as 1, while "proper" close vote users get 3 votes (to make it in line with the previous threshold). Of course, these numbers would be subject to variation and they're pretty much arbitrary.


Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I'd first roll back any edits that could be constituted as defacing the post, and edit the post. Then I'd find the most egregious edits to show to the user and demonstrate the difference between their edit and what should have been done.

If they continue or someone has already notified them of their poor quality edits, I'll suspend them, but definitely not before they've had a chance for them to be notified of what they've done.

This issue is more to do with reviewers rather than the user -- if they don't know what's right and wrong, how are they going to learn?

Also, I'd recommend it if users were notified if their suggested edit was rejected -- without actively looking for it, it's hard to notice. I'd even venture a guess that some suggesters don't know that there are publicly viewable rejection reasons.


Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

As I've already said in my nomination, I'd remove them if they aren't fixed up in a day. If they are particularly useful and they have more than 50 reputation, I'd convert it to a comment straight away -- they can always add another answer.


Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

This won't significantly affect the way that I vote to close/delete or flag, however I'll be more inclined to explain my perspective when using this privilege. Apart from that, you should be doing the right thing from the start and if you're already doing that, there's not much you need to do to change.

Letting the community solve issues which can be trivially solved by them is also useful from time to time, to make the community understand that it's not the moderators who run the site, it's them.


Q7: 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?

Stack Overflow has a "be nice" policy for a reason. Sure, their answers might be useful, but in the end if people are leaving in droves because they don't find it beneficial to be part of a community with such "rude" people, then this user really isn't benefiting our community.

What I'd do is use (in increasing order of severity):

  • Comment that they're not being respectful of other users
  • Bring up their behaviour specifically through a moderator message
  • Place them on timed suspension
  • Disassociate all useful answers and delete the user

Of course, the latter options are last resorts and while I'd hate to have to remove a user that's providing answers, if they're not positively contributing to the community as a whole, then that's not someone that I'd like on the site.


Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Those instances are rare enough that it's likely that some users would also agree with my position, so I believe that it's best to bring it up on Meta and ask the users (and the moderator who closed the question) why they believe (or don't believe) that the question should have been closed.


Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

The ideal moderator (in my opinion) is both an "exception handler" and a "janitor". Having said that though, I see myself as more of the active type of person, though if there is already an explicit way of doing things without moderator attention and it's not a matter of urgency, I'll let the community take care of that. Of course, I'm not going to do everything (nor should I!) -- for example, there are specific tools (such as reviews) which empower the community to do things which would otherwise be left up to moderators, and these should be employed wherever possible.


Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I already spend a bit of time in the Tavern and the JavaScript chat room, and I don't intend to change the amount of time I spend in the chat room (I usually don't close that tab, ever). Of course, I'd have to check over chat flags, but I think I can fit that into what I usually do in the chat.


Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

Inevitably, some of my previous posts/comments will not necessarily have been to a standard of such attributed to a moderator, mostly due to a lack of experience. In those cases, I'll edit or delete the relevant posts/comments.

Going forward, I'll continue to ensure that I'm representing the Stack Overflow community in the best way possible, by continuing to ensure that others in the community are respected and that all users are treated fairly.


Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

Users should be able to question the actions of moderators -- if such a question popped up, I'd respond to the question by stating my point of view, and clarify any issues raised by the person involved.

Closing or locking Meta questions such as that would be against what I believe in, and I don't believe that's the correct course of action. If my opinion seems to be negatively viewed by the community, I'd ask another moderator to check that I haven't gone crazy and if they'd like, post a comment/answer on the question.


Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The biggest problem that I believe Stack Overflow faces is the divide between established users on the site and users at the bottom of the ladder. That's not to say that all users are hostile towards each other, but there's most certainly a different mindset to approaching the site between the two sides and that'd be something that I'd like to work on if I get elected.

Some of the things I will do to help tackle this issue include the use of moderation tools to find key questions that can be used to demonstrate our policies easily to new users, to help them understand why we do something a particular way. For example, if a new user comes along and posts a "what's the best X" question, we can help by providing a short introduction to the site, and an example of how recommendation questions aren't suitable for the site, without the need for comments like "hey, do you f**king know how to google crap? ever tried "free X tools"? thats not even a question, gtfo".

Also, possibly involving community users to help guide specific users which seem to be trying to positively contribute, but getting stuck along the way might be something that we can work towards in the short to medium term.


Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I'm easily able to make such a commitment -- the only time I'm away from Stack Overflow is if I'm not able to access the internet (e.g. vacations, hospital trip, camping).

As I already mentioned in my nomination, I currently spend at least an hour on Stack Overflow every day (more than 4 hours most of the time).

If you're dealing with flags for an hour each day (and you take a 2 minute break every 5 minutes), then 100 flags means taking an average of approximately 25 seconds per flag, which isn't that difficult to achieve.


Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

This is similar to question 12, but in this case it's slightly different as they've posted this outside the Stack Exchange network. Due to the large variety of Public Venting Bins™ out there, any actions would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

However, let's say that they've posted a response on Reddit, and I still believe that I've done the right thing. In that instance, I'd post a quick explanation of what I did, how Stack Exchange works and how my actions were justified, referencing Stack Exchange policies and previous community consensus. However, there isn't much to be gained beyond that, including discussions outside the community which could potentially be negatively biased.

Having said that, it's inevitable that one might disagree with what I've said. Really, if it's clear that the majority of the Stack Overflow community believe that I'm not upholding the community beliefs and the other moderators don't seem to disagree with the community, that's something that would make me consider whether I'm doing the right thing or not. Even though I've seen my fair share of rude comments (both here and in real life), if it gets too much really that's probably telling me that perhaps I'm not really suitable for the position.

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friendly reminder, A4 is incomplete. ...their poor quality edits, I'll –  Wayne Feb 20 at 8:19
    
@Wayne: yes, indeed! Thanks for actually reading my answer. :) –  Qantas 94 Heavy Feb 20 at 12:05
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First of all, Good luck all of the candidates. Second, I would especially want to see any Android-er on moderator board to manage Android tag, Good luck Android-er too.

An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I have seen many users post questions with proprietary code, which is supposed to be not posted in public. Current scenario is user can't delete questions if answers are posted already.

Here I would suggest SO to introduce a feature by which user can un-linked their profile and we can maintain the original question anonymously. Otherwise bad solution is to remove that proprietary code but if we do so then it will make that question a low quality.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

First of all I will leave a "Welcome to Stackoverflow" message with proper guidance to new users (like what are the things he is lacking with in his question), this is what I do always. Second, I will delete all the abusive comments and ask all the community members to support him as he is new but he has attemped to ask a neat and clean question with his defined requirements.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

"Queue" is not an issue here only but elsewhere too. Doesn't matter whatever the size of Queue is, I always and will focus on cleaning "Android" queue especially and make site cleaner. I am not sure but moderator should divert their attention and give more priority to manage close vote queue instead of flags, etc.

BTW, I posted and raised this concern on Google+ too :)

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I would check and review the edit said user's edit history. If I find that he is suggesting a large number of edits, I'd contact them privately and make him understand what he/she is doing wrong and not acceptable. I would check his improvements again after a week to check whether improvement is done.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

First, I would check if link is of self blog/site promotion or it's posted for any marketing/promotion purpose, if it's so they I would directly remove it and warn user to not to post such content.

Second, I would ask user to include eseential part (like code, image or anything else) of the annswer into the question which can support his answer. If user won't include anything after notification then I would delete the answer and post it as a comment on the question.

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I am already used to Moderator tools provided to me and always think before taking any action. Yes after being a moderator, I would certainly think more before deleting because it will take immediately and thread will be vanished.

If I would take closing action then I will check existing close votes and reasons given by the close voters. I will leave a comment while a closing action, which would notify users what exactly went wrong!

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?

Sounds like a crazy but as I don't have any experience of doing so, I would consult other experienced moderators for the first time. But for me, good contribution is not above all the rules so we should warn those users, if already warned then they should be placed "suspension mode".

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

After all we are all human being so sometimes mistakes are done by us, acceptable. I would talk with that moderators what's went wrong and why.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I would be managing both. As far I know, it's moderators primary responsibility to be an exception handler first if certain things aren't being managed by community properly and requires moderator's intervention. And proper guidance and education would allow us to run the site without any exceptions. I don't mind to be a Janitor too.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

a) Yeah, chat feature is indeed a good feature which allows users to solve their issues quickly without posting any questions/comments on site. b) Frankly saying my current job doesn't allows me to be online in chat and spend time in chat room continuously. I will try to be online after job time.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

Whether I have diamond attached to my profile or not, I will be posting as of currently and will be supporting community as same, but yes I will be more careful if I will be elected.

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

First, I would review the situation to check if I did anything wrong. If I made any mistake or did anything wrong then I will correct my mistake and apologize for the same. If mistake is from user side then I would respond to the user to make him/her understand the reasons behind it.

After all, We all are human being so some times mistakes are being happend by us. That's obvious thing, no one can avoid it!

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

  1. Close vote
  2. Warm welcome to new users

I have a problem with above two issues. We need to educate users by guiding and giving them proper suggestions. We need to focus on welcoming new users and guide them, if we do so then there won't be making any mistakes and there by we wold be able to manage site without much interventions.

Agree that there are rules and help page developed by Stack overflow but most of users don't care to read it so proper guidance and suggestion are required at their starting phase.

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I already do moderation in the form of reviewing and closing by using moderator tools. Regarding time, as I have mentioned in my nomination that I can manage moderator job during Indian time, that's my commitment.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Ha ha ha, that would be a fun! It's part of community and online life. I have already been managing a developer community so I know sometimes I have to be ready to accept negative feedback/reviews and listen to participants/users. That won't be any issue for me, I would manage with my thick skin.

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Down voters, you should leave a reason in comment if you down vote any thread! –  Paresh Mayani Feb 19 at 11:14
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"Down voters, you should leave a reason in comment if you down vote any thread!" Shouldn't your position on using the comments to complain about down voters not giving a reason be that it's off topic and discouraged? –  cookie monster Feb 20 at 4:08
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@cookiemonster SO it self telling that use comments to get information or to suggest improvements. Paresh asking for the same(information) and ready to improve his post with that feedback :) –  sᴜʀᴇsʜ ᴀᴛᴛᴀ Feb 20 at 4:30
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@cookiemonster It's not any kind of discouragement but a standard to ask for any reason of down voting if any do so, I mean to say, where me or any one has posted something wrong or this question/answer is lacking with. Over and all, it's standard to get reviews/comments (if anything is really wrong) to improve post. –  Paresh Mayani Feb 20 at 4:58
    
@sᴜʀᴇsʜᴀᴛᴛᴀ: Pretty sure the intent there is for readers to get information from the poster. –  cookie monster Feb 20 at 13:56
    
That's what exactly. –  Paresh Mayani Feb 20 at 14:17
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i didn't like your first answer. You cannot keep a proprietary code associated with a question when a user (generally freshers) posted it in SO but later they found problem with posting proprietary code in general forum. Posing an anonymity for that question is no good as an important piece of proprietary code is lying out there in open. I believe SO mod should avoid any possibility of future contention. –  Manish Shukla Feb 21 at 8:58
    
@ManishShukla not to worry, cheers! Yeah I posted about keeping content anonymously which one of my colleague was experienced 3 years back but yes you are right that it won't be better to keep even proprietary code. Over and all, it depends on the situation and proprietary code. –  Paresh Mayani Feb 21 at 9:02
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Many of the situations addressed here I have already dealt with in my time as a moderator. I know not only that these questions are not merely hypothetical, but also that I have the thick skin, knowledge, and resources to deal with them.

An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

If it's just a fairly simple matter of a username/password/server url/etc, or reasonably easy to anonymize/distill to the problematic code, I'd do that or ask the poster to do so and ask the team to delete the revision with PII. Otherwise, I'd ask the team to disassociate the post.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

First, explain politely that there's nothing we can do about downvotes, but that I'll look into the abusive users' behavior. Then actually do so, seeing if there is a pattern of behavior from any of the negative users that warrants a warning or mod message.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

As a reviewer, I hate seeing the queue as large as it is. As came up a couple times on the comments on my nomination, normal users, with nonbinding votes, only get effectively 8 question closures (40 reviews / 5 CVs to close) a day. That's 15,000 reviewer-days to clear the questions in the queue now, and it's growing, not shrinking. Mods, with their binding votes and unlimited reviews, can make more of a dent in the queue, but most of the time they have more important things to deal with - flags, troublesome users, etc. A mod-close-review queue sounds interesting, but I think the mods already have too much work on their hands and having an extra review queue is not the best use of their time. At most, I would advocate a sort-by-votes-needed feature to give the mods (when they have time for the close queue) the questions with 0-1 active votes, to maximize the effect of their binding vote, but ultimately I think the flushing of the review queue will ultimately have to come from normal users.


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

Send a mod message to the user, explaining why their suggestions are bad and telling them they need to fix it in the future. Then go through the reviewers who approved said edits and see which of them need to be review-banned.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

The user who posted the answer should be asked to include the relevant portions of the linked page in their answer. Depending on the usefulness of the link and other answers to the question, I may leave it and come back later to see if they have updated, or just delete it and tell them to repost as a proper answer.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I am already used to this from moderating my other sites. I will be a little more meticulous about my actions, but I already put a lot of thought into all flags and closures.


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?

Warn them, or if they have already been warned, suspend them. Good contributions do not put them above the rules.


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

That depends entirely on the situation. If it was clearly closed or deleted in error, reverse it. If it's more of a judgement call, post about it here (on MSO).


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

When there is exception handling to do, i.e. things that the community cannot do on their own, I will prioritize that first; that is a moderator's primary responsibility. However, when the workload allows, I will do janitorial work.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I already spend most of my day in SE chat. I obviously can't be in all rooms at once, but once I get an SO and MSO diamond, I will keep at least one SO and one MSO room open so I get the chat flags there.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I strive always to act like a moderator should, and so most of my content should already befit the diamond. If I find some old content of mine that doesn't fit with moderation, I will rectify it appropriately.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

Calmly explain why I took the action I did, and let the community decide whether it was the right course of action.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The close vote queue. As a moderator, I will encourage 3k users to do their duty and take on the queue, and as time permits I will use my binding vote and unlimited reviews to clear what I can.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes, I can and do commit to an hour a day of flag-handling (less a few days on summer and holiday vacation, of course), and I will likely give more time most days.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

A situation like this has already come up. It happens, I have a thick skin and a level head, and minimal online presence.

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Summary: I've been around for a while, and have the skin and devotion to moderate this site. I often come up with creative solutions to the problems that SE as a whole faces, feel free to look at my meta answers just to get an idea of what I commonly do. I hope you will trust me with your vote, and look forward to serving you!


An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

First of all, I would take a look at the question, and see if it really had enough detail where it could be sensitive. Sensitive or not, I would send an email to the community team, detailing what I believe should be done with the question. Deleting it wouldn't remove the content, only the community team can appropriately manage the response. If it was sensitive, I would try to desensitize it and ask them to remove the key portions, if it was not really all that sensitive I would ask that the question be de-associated from the user, and remove any possible identification.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would clean up the comments, and explain to the user how to make their question better, in a manner as politely as possible. I would try to help the user feel welcome.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I am quite concerned about the size of the closed queue, and have posted several suggestions as to how to manage it. See post 1, post 2. I personally have reviewed 800 questions, and try to keep the process running as often as I can.

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I would contact the user, inform them of what appropriate edits are, and if they persist, ban them from making edits for a period of time. If needed, I would contact the SE community team for support.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

The community has formed a consensus about said questions, which is to delete them if it makes sense, but they can sometimes be useful. I would take this in a two step process. If I see a question with no comment about it only being a link only answer, I would post a comment requesting that they include more detail. If such a comment has already been posted and around for a while, then I would delete it. Too many times I've found an old answer with a dead link, and we should be keeping that from happening more. Link only answers might be acceptable in the rare case that they are pointing to a very stable source (Android documents, for instance).

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I wouldn't change the way I manage closed questions at all, or flagging. I use my own judgement and community practices with my current voting/ flagging/ closing regime, and would continue to do so as a moderator.

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?

As a current moderator on several sites, I've already managed this task. The trick is respectfully informing the user that their behavior is not acceptable, and if required using banning as a tool to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.

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

I would discuss the question with the moderator. If we weren't in agreement still, I would take it to meta for further discussion.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Exception handler, by far. I would work on managing tasks users have already done, but let's face it, no one has the time to clean all of SO up by themselves! This is consistent with how I have moderated on other sites.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I already spend plenty of time in chat rooms, and would be more active after being elected.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I intend to handle the diamond attached to my name as I always have, to make sure I am honoring the responsibility given to me by the community.

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I would calmly and respectfully look at said comment, and see what merit it has. If it has merit, I would take appropriate action. If it doesn't, I would explain to the user why it doesn't.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The biggest problem SO faces is keeping the high standards it has found intact. I would help by quickly managing the incoming flow of flags, and doing my best to honor the work of the non-moderators who work to make the task of moderating SO possible.

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I can commit to moderating SO for an hour a day, 7 days a week, as I'm already monitoring the site for that length of time each day.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Not only can I manage the task, I have managed the task of not letting someone get through my skin in the event of personal attacks due to a moderation task. I've actually had similar issues happen in the same day where I was too loose and too tight in my moderation. I know there's a fine line, and if the community elects me, it's because they entrust me with said capacity. I take it very seriously, and would not retaliate in any way against an attack. In fact, I have had non-personal attacks made against me from moderating other sites, and have handled it just fine.

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You're talking about link-only questions in your answer to the link-only answers question, is that a typo or am I missing something? Also, IMO even if a question is completely answered by a link to a stable source, I'd still not keep it as a link-only answer - SO should be a collection of actual content, not a collection of links. And almost all of these questions are RTFM material anyways... –  l4mpi Feb 20 at 17:57
    
Fixed. If it was completely up to me, I'd do as you mentioned, remove link only answers, but the community has decided otherwise, so... –  PearsonArtPhoto Feb 20 at 17:59
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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

The first course of action would be to determine what the user's problem is exactly: having this code out in the open or having it linked to him. If it is the former we could look into options to disassociate it with his account.

The next step in the process would be trying to anonimize the code in a way that would put their mind at ease. This can be done by removing certain parts that characterize it for them or by instead providing an abstract representation of the problem. If nothing seems to cut it then I would agree with deleting the code after making sure that the user understands that this is a one-time exception for them.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I can sympathesize with the user so my first reaction would probably be something along the lines of "I'm sorry you had such an unwelcome reception" after which I would continue by explaining how he can improve his question.

Once I have done this I'll look at how the user responds: should he indicate to me that he will work on his question then I would suggest that he adds a comment telling the readers that he's working on an improvement. In the meanwhile I will monitor the question to re-open it should it have been closed before he fixed it.

It shouldn't have to be said that any inappopriate comments will be removed swiftly. Negative content doesn't help anyone.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

All considered I believe the close vote queue to be the least important one. Questions that are being voted to close usually garner the least traffic of all review queues and are also the least pressing: suggested edits, reopen votes, first posts, etc are all pertaining to questions and answers that are often active in the last 24 hours.

That being said: I don't mean to put the CV queue aside either. It should be used as a constant backlog of work that can be done when other sources of moderation aren't as active. The order in which this done doesn't really matter and I don't think a specific moderator-only queue is necessary.


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

If the complaints turn out to be justified then I will contact the user in question, describe what is lacking with their edits and point to some reading material. Afterwards I will follow up on this user (there's a special place in my bookmark folder) and see how they have improved.

Likewise: should these edits get approved, I will look into the approvers and see what their track record looks like. The same approach will go for them. The key to this entire process is constructivity: every exchange should be done with the improvement of the user in mind.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I believe there is a very useful feature for this: convert to comment. It is my belief that only links that are the exact answer to a question (e.g.: 'where can I find ' - should this have been a valid answer).

What I do not agree with is a link-only answer to the actual answer. If it's a link to the docs: provide the method signature and its description; if it's a link to an article: provide an interesting excerpt. When I see a link I want it to be as a way of optionally finding out more information, not as the primary source of information.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I haven't flagged/closed/deleted without believing it was the correct course of action so in this regard I will not change much. I usually give some time to improve the question/answer before I perform any action on it so this time will also be used to verify that the post itself is actually in need of an action.


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?

If the user is the cause of this, a one-on-one talk in a chatroom would be the good way to go here. I'll explain them that people take offense to some things being said and provide advise on how to avoid this in the future.

Should this behaviour persist then we'll have to look at it from case to case and take the appropriate measures. Once more constructivity is of the utmost importance: we're both doing what we do because we want to improve the site. Problems should ideally be faced as a team and worked out together.


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

I would ask the other moderator in a chat channel for his reasoning behind this particular course of action and go from there. If he convinces me of his action then that's the end of it, if he doesn't then I will present my point of view.

Should he agree with me then I would suggest he undo's the action (a moderator undo'ing another moderator's actions doesn't look good to the outside world); if he doesn't then I will not touch the question. Further action depends on the severity of the case: if I feel very strongly about it then I might ask a third party their point of view, otherwise I will leave it be.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

It would be a bit of both. As I have mentioned in my introduction: I want to work on the suggested edits queue (both reviewers and submitters). This is a queue I will heavily monitor and aside from that I will leave most in the capable hands of the community.

I have found that the flag-queue is usually of very high quality: incorrect flags are often dealt with by the community and generally spoken most flags with a few votes on it are correct. I will still watch the newest questions and do the things a moderator does, but this site is built on the community and I deeply appreciate the strength that comes with this.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I am already present in the meta-chat (I'm mostly a lurker, but I read a lot that passes by) and will make sure I'm always available there. The chat is a nice place for more casual contact with other users and it provides an easy platform to contact others so I definitely see the benefits of it.


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I don't think I have misbehaved myself at any point during my time here on SO so I believe that this shouldn't bring up any negative things. One thing that's playing on my mind though is the fact that I consider answering a question to be the most valuable way to learn. I learned a tremendous amount of what I know (relatively much) through researching things for an answer.

By forcing myself to look the specifics up and read about it, I learn a lot and I can help others. This also means that even though I answer the question, I'm not always as experienced in the field. Adding this diamond will add another level of legitimacy to my answers which means I'll be making 100% sure that I don't post anything ambiguous.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I do not believe it is my place to handle such a complaint. I will add an answer with my point of view and an explanation of my actions. If the user accepts this and considers his problem resolved then that will be the end of it.

If he doesn't, then I will not engage in a discussion but ask another moderator to handle the dispute. If I am deemed wrong then I will re-evaluate my position and apologize either way. If I still believe that I was right then this is an internal discussion that should be had.


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

As I might have indicated already: suggested edits. If you would like to read more about my particular point of view I strongly encourage you to read through my posts here and here. Should you have any more inquiries then I would be happy to provide more insight.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes, I would. I already spend that much time on Stack Overflow and most of my time is spent improving the site in some way: casting flags, improving posts, etc.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Once I have explained my actions and other moderators have deemed me correct then my job is done if the user does not take a constructive stance. I have plenty of books left that I have to finish reading, this might be a good time to get started.

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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I probably wouldn't delete it. It moreof depends on the situation: if they had posted only a small snippet of code that was proprietary, editing out and then asking the team for a revision history destruction would be good. If it was more, I'd probably end up telling the user that they could disassociate their account from that question, so that they wouldn't be involved with it.

However, I'd probably also ask either the team or someone in the Teacher's Lounge about it, as there may be a different way to deal with it that I don't know about it.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

Kinda depends on the situation. If the comments are rude or offensive, I'd delete those to start. I'd also try to be productive in solving the problem, asking for more clarification on the problem. I'd also try to see if there was anything they had tried and hadn't worked, so the asker could receive more help.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I'd agree that the Close Vote Queue (CV queue from now on) is a problem. In fact, since I've gained 3K rep I've been actively helping out by doing my 40 reviews for the day. As a mod I'd like to help get the queue lower by closing bad questions and leaving good ones open. I'd hope that would help with the numbers, so I'd probably make this a daily task (at least 40 every day, if not more).

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

Well... first I'd look at the edits they've been doing. If they were bad, I'd contact the user with a mod message to tell them that these edits are low-quality, and shouldn't be done. There is no way for a mod to stop a person from suggesting edits, so I couldn't do that. But I would make sure that they stopped doing these edits; if they continued I might end up messaging them again, and then possibly even suspending them.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

BURN THEM!!!! Most link-only answers don't add anything to the question. They just tell you to go to that link. However, if the link does provide some information to the question, I'd first comment to the answerer to clarify the link with some info from the link, and then provide the link as reference. If they don't do that... there's a reason we have fire. If it's an amazing link, converting to a comment may be an option. But very rarely would that happen.

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I don't think my style of flagging and voting would change. If something I see is off-topic, if something I see is Not-An-Answer, I'd delete it. I probably would be a bit more careful, by looking twice at the post to make sure it really is bad before closing or deleting it.

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?

The first thing I'd do is look through their comments and delete any rude, offensive, or simply off-topic comments that they commented. Then, I'd send a mod message to them telling them that this conduct was not acceptable at the site, and to please refrain from doing this. If the behavior kept going on... possibly a suspension.

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

First I'd contact the mod to ask them about that post. I'd like to get another viewpoint on it before doing anything. If we both look it over again and decide it's really a good post, but they just made an accident, then I'd unwhatever the action. If I realize that it really is a bad post, then I'd keep it closed/deleted. If we still disagree, bringing in a third person would be nice to see if we're still sane people. :P

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Probably both. I would actively review flags and items in the queues, to make sure that those posts which the community feels are bad or good are dealt with. I'd also seek out bad posts and bad content for deletion, and delete those. If I see something bad, I'd deal with it. I just can't see something bad and wait for the community to deal with it.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

Um... CHAT CHAT CHAT! I love chat. I'm active in the Meta room, Tavern on the Meta pretty much the whole time I'm not busy. I'd be active for people to talk to me about things, deal with posts, etc.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I'd keep doing as I have been. I have tried, and believe I am, to be a not rude person. I've always made sure that my comments and posts are nice. I would make sure that I'm nice to people, and representative of SO as a whole.

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

First, I'd let other moderators assess the situation. For my first bit as a mod, I'd probably let them handle it. If I reassessed the situation, and realized I was wrong, I'd reverse the action. If I still felt I did the right thing, and I felt I could write a good post on why I did what I did, I'd write an answer coolly and calmly on the situation and why I did what I did.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I feel like the major problem SO faces is that we have some rude comments or posts. Some people just aren't very nice to new programmers. I would like to prevent some of that hostility by actively removing rude and offensive comments from such questions (like RTFM). I'd also like to post positive comments on such questions, helping the asker to fix their problem.

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes, I can. As a student, I have plenty of time on my hands. I like to flag stuff, and so I'd like to help out in the flag queue. I'd probably be in the flag queue at least 45-60 minutes a day, helping out my fellow moderators. I'd also be in the CV queue and other queues helping to review items.

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I would be able to shrug off this criticism. However, I'd also check if it's deserved criticism, or just an angry user. If I did do something wrong, I would improve based off of that criticism. If not, I'd probably just leave it be, and possibly ask another mod about what I should do. I wouldn't want to aggravate the user more by deleting or locking their post. If they want to criticism me, that's their choice, as long as they're nice about it and not doing anything that SE doesn't allow.


I would like to learn more from other mods on certain situations. In these situations, I would ask other mods what to do. However, as I have been an active user and talked with several mods, I do know the system pretty well.

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Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I would reach out to this person and discuss what good options are. Is anonymizing the question good enough? Have others found it valuable? Is modifying the question to remove the proprietary parts good enough, and expunging the edit history? It's a tough thing to balance, and will always require looking through things and options - I don't think there is One True Way to resolve this problem. The asker needs to keep in mind that the moment they posted it, the content belonged to the community and they have rights as well.

Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I would tell them to not get discouraged. While some people can be "aggressive" in their way of approaching things, the advice taken at face-value is generally good, just worded poorly. If the person were being mean for no reason, that's a different matter. I'd encourage them to improve their question to something that the community feels is appropriate: includes a minimal code example if needed, a clear explanation of what the code should do, and what it is actually doing. I'd also review any comments on the question for anything that doesn't add value.

Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

There is no possible way to handle 110k close votes, and the current model will never scale to that. One option to consider is a new moderation model - we don't have to be stuck with what we have now. People with a certain amount of reputation in a particular tag could be given additional closing power for questions with that tag. The specifics of it (or even if it's a good idea) I would leave to a meta discussion. That's just a suggestion, it's not something I'm anxious to implement, but something needs to be done if the community considers the size a problem.

Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I would talk to this person and discuss why they think their edits are valuable, and if they think they are appropriate and add value. This is usually just a case of "I didn't know, I'll improve my behavior. Thanks". Otherwise, I would discuss with the other moderators.

Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I think there are a few cases to consider here. A real link-only answer might indicate other things. For example, is the question on-topic? Would closing the question as "off topic" for looking for an offsite resource be appropriate? If the link contains information to fully answer the question, I would encourage people to edit the answer and improve it to contain relevant information. If the link is a half-hearted attempt to answer it, I would remove it.

Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I try to adopt this behavior already, I'm not sure I would change a whole lot. Even if my votes are non-binding now, you need to be careful with them. One close vote might lead to other people to follow example. I think a moderator candidate should already exhibit the good behaviors of flagging, closing, deleting, etc. For things I am uncertain of or a gray area, I would leave the community to come to the decision.

Q7: 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 would discuss with the moderators what actions and solutions have been tried in the past. If this person has never been contact before, I would do that first and suggest a few ways they can improve their commenting behavior, or reminding them if they have shown improvement but slipped. If they are a repeat, "I don't care" person, I would push for a timed suspension. This is part of the problem where newer (and even seasoned) users feel bullied, and I don't think that is what a community should be. It also sets poor example. You don't want broken windows.

Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would of course, talk with them if I felt strongly about it. Given that I would be fairly new at the role, they can probably teach me a thing or two. Regardless, I'd discuss it with them and find common ground.

Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I'd try to strike a balance. Being an exception handler doesn't do much to ease the burden on other moderators, but dictating to the community what is good/bad is not a good idea either. If something clearly needs action because the community has historically decided that is the correct action, I will take it. If it is something that I am unsure about (technologies I don't know well, etc) I'll leave them for other moderators and the community.

Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

A) I'm not a particularly chatty person when it comes to the chat - usually when I do get involved in chat it's on meta. B) I would be happy to participate in moderating it once I am familiar with the mechanics of it.

Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I will take it seriously, but in a down-to-earth manner. Being a diamond moderator does not necessarily mean you are the foremost expert in a subject, and I've made mistakes when writing answers in the past. I'd done what I can to address these already (since they didn't provide any useful value). I'm human (surprise!), and we're all capable of mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. I don't plan on making a lot of mistakes though.

Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I'd see if they can state the actual problem. Complaining I'm abusing my power is not a helpful complaint. However, if they can explain they are upset because I took an action they thought was wrong, and explained why, I'd be more than willing to listen / reconsider. Otherwise, I would lean on the other moderators to back my decision up, or tell me my decision was incorrect.

Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

A) The increasing perception that Stack Overflow is not a community for beginners. I would work towards not slamming the door in people's faces. If they ask a question that needs improvement, an avalanche of down votes with no communication on how to improve it is not very welcoming. I think this will have to be a culture shift that takes place by talking to people, getting people's buy in, and setting a good example on how to do so.

Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four). The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest). It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots. a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I can commit a few hours, 7 days a week, without much problem. I do take some vacations, and sometimes things come up, but I wouldn't have applied for the position if I didn't have the time. I would coordinate with other moderators on schedules as well, and I can usually give a few hours on holidays (Thanksgiving, etc).

Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

This has actually happened to me as a non moderator. A user posted several questions that were identical to get their (poor) question answered, and I voted to close all of the duplicates. The user then decided to contact me on my blog, call me lots of bad things, and even looked up my phone number. I've also been a moderator in other communities for some time, and it's no different there. I would keep an eye on the person to see if they start directing that behavior to others.

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Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

SE/SO respects DMCA. If I receive a copyright violation notice from an asker, I will takedown the proprietary content and send a notice to the SE Team.

Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

If the question receives really too many competing up/down votes I would lock it for some time. Insulting comments will be removed. If the issues are minor (can be fixed) I will give hints to the asker in the comments, so that person can fix those issues. If no reasonable fix is provided, or an asker reacts inadequately, I will take down that post (by that time it will receive enough close votes).

Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception atthis question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

It is inhuman to approach this problem via brute force. It is a design problem of SO. Conditions which allow automatically close of questions should be relaxed.

Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

There is a difference between vandalism and low-quality edits. Low-quality is subjective. I will send a message, explaining the problem, to the user. I it does not help I will open a meta discussion to secure a quorum from other trusted users and I will act accordingly.

Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

A naked link is so close to spam. No, I will kill it with fire. A link is like pointing somewhere silently. If you want to help, say a couple of words about where are you sending me.

Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

Why should it? I already do flagging and voting very seriously. I will be polite and open to criticism.

Q7: 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?

The value of this site comes from answers, which means the users producing valuable answers are the cornerstones of SO. But sometimes it maybe reasonable to lock such posts for a while.

Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Depends how much I believe the other mod was wrong. Anyway, if in doubt - a quorum on meta will help.

Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

The site is enormous and the community is already doing the titanic job of bringing it in order. The best a moderator can do is to help the community on this difficult way and unnoticeably handle all possible exceptions.

Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

Yes, when it is necessary.

Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I’m already doing the reviewing and voting very seriously, and I will do my best to make it stay that way.

Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I will provide an explanation behind my actions, so other members of the community can pass judgement on it.

Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The size of the close votes queue sometimes makes me scared. But this is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is bringing new users to SO and making them happy with the answers. As a moderator I will take more responsibility in evangelization of SO.

Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why: 1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day 2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four). 3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest). 4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots. Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I already do a lot of reviews and edits in a day. I have the capacity to do more than that. I’m sure.

Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Any public activity involves these, ehh, side effects. There is nothing you can do about it and you really should not care that much. It is a by-product of doing your public job and doing it with an excessive zeal.

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Nu sergey davaj =) –  Малъ Скрылевъ Feb 21 at 12:32
    
@МалъСкрылевъ: Spasibo! :) –  Sergey K. Feb 21 at 12:41
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The way it's currently going, it doesn't look like I'll make it through, but here's my answers nonetheless.

Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I don't think I'll ever delete it (unless told to do so by a more experienced moderator or Stack Exchange staff member, whom could presumably do so themselves).

I would perhaps try to edit the question in such a way as to remove the proprietary code without invalidating the answers (or ask the user to do this, and check how it goes) (and clear the edit history, if a moderator can do that).

If this is not possible, I'd probably just tell the user that I am unwilling to delete the question as the good answers to it would be lost (and that, by posting it on Stack Overflow, he/she implicitly agreed to the licence agreement, which doesn't require that we delete content on request) (I realize that he may not have had the right to post it in the first place, and the licence agreement might not hold, but I'll leave that part out). I'd also mention that I'd be willing to anonymize the application question(s), if so desired.

Either way, I'll also tell him to stop posting proprietary code in the public domain.

Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I'd look at the said impolite comments, and perhaps other comments by those users (to look for a pattern). If I find these claims to be justified, I'd take the appropriate action (not sure what that is, since I haven't been a moderator yet - perhaps issue a warning?).

Then I'd tell the user that he/she should keep in mind that Stack Overflow has very specific guidelines and there's a lot of questions that don't conform, so users tend to get a bit riled up. If applicable, I'd then tell them that I took the appropriate action against the offending users.

Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I definitely consider it a problem. A long backlog of (possibly) bad content takes its toll on site quality. I would definitely try to focus more on dealing with the queue if elected.

I think a moderator queue might be a good idea, although 'stuck' should perhaps rather be defined by how many times it has been skipped and/or questions that constantly accrue a few votes which expire (and never gets closed) (not sure if this is mentioned in the linked post) - with 100k+ questions in the queue, there's a ton of questions that has been there for quite a while, all of these in a moderator queue would either just shift the problem to somewhere else, or create another problem.

Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

If I find the claims to be justified, I'd message the user (directly, if possible as a moderator, or via chat, or @-comment) and mention that suggested edits require manpower to approve or decline, so suggesting low-quality edits probably do more harm than good. I'd then ask them to either stop making these edits, or try to improve more things in the post.

Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I think they could be useful, but they hurt site quality. I'd take one of the following actions: (I already do one of the first two)

  • Copy some information from the link into the answer myself (I'd mainly do this if the user hasn't been online in at least a few weeks).
  • Post a comment mentioning that a link-only answer is not appropriate and either that the user should post a comment instead, or elaborate. I may then wait a while to see if the user does anything. Then I may downvote it (if nothing changed). Then I may delete it.
  • Convert the answer to a comment.

Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I currently already don't take voting lightly, so my voting habits won't change all that much (though I may be a little more cautious with my votes). I'd flag less since I'm able to deal with almost any issue (I'd rather ask in moderator chat or somewhere if unsure).

Q7: 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'd ask them to be a bit nicer (or whatever the issue is) in their comments, as we want Stack Overflow to be a friendly place where people feel welcome (if they stick to the guidelines, but, even if they don't, we don't have to be mean about it) - well that would probably vary a lot depending on what exactly the issue with the comments is.

Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I'd ask the mod why the took the action they did. If I don't find this to be justified, I may post a Meta discussion or something about it (not making it known that it's a disagreement about the correct course of action). If the community disagrees with the action taken by the mod, I'd privately inform them about it.

Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

Both. Given the way the site works, there are certain things only moderators can deal with (e.g. custom flags). But I think moderators, in general, have the responsibility to aggressively try to "clean up" the site and they certainly also need to deal with moderation tasks (such as dealing with users' concerns and taking appropriate action against offending users).

Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I'm not particularly big on chat, though I do pop in occasionally.

I'd probably spend more time in chat if elected. I'd assist in its moderation if required.

Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

It most likely won't make a big difference to me. I don't think I've ever said anything you'd be particularly surprised to hear from a moderator.

Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

If I think I've made a mistake, I'd post an answer with an apology (and probably revert my action if possible).

Otherwise I may ask another moderator (or two) for their opinion. If they agree with my action, I'd ask them to post an answer saying that my action was justified. If they don't agree, we may discuss my and their reasons and, if I end up agreeing that it wasn't justified, I'd apologize.

It may get a bit more complicated, but let's just leave it there.

Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The number of questions in the close vote review queue and users not conforming to site guidelines (these two may really be the same issue).

I plan to spend quite a bit of time reviewing close votes (I don't think there's much more a moderator can do here), and I may put a bit of focus on the "How to ask" page - perhaps post a Meta discussion or two with suggested improvements or discuss this elsewhere (which a non-moderator can also do, but, as a moderator, I'd feel more responsible to tend to this).

Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.
Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes, I should easily be able to spend an hour handling flags (probably quite a bit more, possibly not every day, but I'd make up for it on other days).

Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

Yes. I certainly don't try to make enemies, but I'm not particularly concerned what a misguided few may think about me.

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First, it should be said that none of these questions should be answered in isolation (we don't want different moderators with different, arbitrary guidelines). There should be clear set of guidelines that the moderators should follow (and their failure to follow agreed-upon guidelines should be grounds for continued moderator status). With that caveat, I'll describe some of my thinking on these topics.

Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

  1. Make sure that this was a first-time offense and not pattern that indicates willful abuse of S.O. Also confirm that it's truly a question of proprietary code, rather than someone who got help with homework and simply wants to remove traces of the fact that they cheated.

  2. Edit the proprietary content out of the question, while still providing enough context for the several good answers to still make sense. Review answers for any that may have incidentally repeated the proprietary information and remove any of that information there, too.

  3. Delete revision history so any traces of the proprietary code is removed from S.O.

  4. Leave comment regarding the removal of proprietary information and reminder of the cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required license of S.O. so they don't do it again.

  5. Remind the user that despite what we do on S.O. the content may have been picked up by any of the third-party engines and let them know that is outside of the control of S.O.

Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

  1. Remove inappropriate comments.

  2. If necessary, leave comment reminding everyone regarding what is and is not appropriate for comments.

  3. In meta, make any suggestions appropriate for improving the question (if possible within the constraints of the OP's limitations) and encourage them to take the down-votes in stride.

Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

Frankly, I'm not familiar with this suggestion and would have to review it before making any concrete suggestions. But clearly a queue of 110k items represents systemic dysfunction, and some structural change is called for (not just "put your shoulder to the grindstone").

Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

  1. Review those edits to see if they were indeed low-quality.

  2. Assuming they were inform the user of the guidelines.

  3. If they continue to make low-quality edits, proceed with the standard remediation/escalation process used for any inappropriate user behavior.

Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

Convert it to a comment (thereby deleting the answer).

Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I'm a big believer in standards. I will actively refer to Meta for currently accepted practices if I'm unfamiliar with best practice for particular situation. If I do not find any such discussion, I will either create a discussion in meta (if appropriate) and if not appropriate, in a private moderator chat room.

Q7: 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?

It depends. If the comments are warranted, then I would probably counsel the user in question accordingly, escalating if they fail to remedy it. Just because the user provides technically valid answers is insufficient. They must conform to Stack Overflow guidelines.

But if the arguments/flags are inappropriate, then I might be inclined to follow up with those individuals.

You would have to provide an example to make any meaningful suggestion.

Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would either engage the moderator directly, or perhaps better, in the private moderator forum (e.g. the teachers lounge). Without seeing that forum, it's hard to comment on the dynamic. But I've worked in organizations whose members were composed of nothing but highly dominant alpha-types (notably a CEO roundtable where everyone at the table was used to being "the boss" with final-say on all matters), but with a few elegant organizing principles, the discussions were incredibly constructive and fruitful nonetheless. I hope the moderator forum already has embraced that sort of culture that allows for constructive interchange, but I know, from experience, that this sort of environment can be cultured if not already in place.

Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I believe it's unsustainable to have moderators act as janitors (or if you do, you need a whole lot more janitors than just the few moderators that are currently contemplated). This has to be community-driven with organizing principles that govern the day-to-day clean-up of the site by the community itself. In my opinion, moderators should be handling exceptions, discipline, and arbitration of unresolved disputes. Anything else is a huge waste of resources of what is presumably a team of very mature, experienced professionals.

Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I am a fan of chat, and I like the moving discussions only loosely related to the original question off to chat. There are refinements that could be made there, but as a general principle, I think it's a great tool.

In terms of spending additional time in chat, I certainly think the teachers lounge sounds like a promising forum in which to engage. But, I don't think that simply trolling chat for potential issues is a constructive use of a moderator's time. Again, there need to be good mechanisms for escalating issues to moderators rather than wasting time pouring through chats looking for issues.

Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I have tried very hard to ensure that all of my communications here on stack overflow meet a very high standard of professionalism, respect and courtesy. As such, I'm pretty proud of what I've done in the past and I think much of it will stand the test of time.

The moderator's diamond does demand a more authoritative response than is generally socially acceptable between peer community members, though. In the past, where I might have merely suggested best practice, as a moderator it is my job to ensure that unacceptable behavior is corrected.

Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

If my actions or intent were unclear, I'd make sure to articulate my position, but I would, first and foremost, ensure that the user had a chance to present their case to the best of their ability. I would then monitor the responses to the meta post to see if any change in my approach or procedures was warranted.

Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The biggest annoyance for me is the cultural hostility to new users. We should not tolerate snide or insulting tone from anyone in the community. Fine, point out unacceptable behavior on the part of new users, but we should be able to do so professionally. The infantile responses by some tarnish the reputation of the entire community.

A close second biggest issue is that certain Stack Overflow workflows are obviously unsustainable. Given that there are 110k close votes pending suggests that this process is entirely dysfunctional.

Neither of these suggest simple answers (or else they'd be fixed by now). But I think they both require systemic changes, or else we'll never address either of them.

Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

I simply don't accept the premise of this question that the burden should rest on the shoulders of the new mods because they've got a learning curve or because the existing moderators are "burned out." There should be a single, sustainable standard to which all moderators should conform (or lose their moderator status). If the 30 minutes per day that was originally proposed when we all nominated ourselves is insufficient, we either to reduce the moderator workload (e.g. reduce the number of "janitorial" duties that they are responsible for) or add more moderators.

Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I understand the question, but having run a large organization, I've dealt with far worse than anything you've contemplated above. Let me just say that in the vast majority of cases, one should let the disgruntled party go, comfortable in the realization that the more that individual complains, the less credibility they enjoy. To you point, you simply need thick skin and never engage with the individual.

If you're sensitive, you shouldn't be a moderator.

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Best of luck to all candidates (SO friends). May the best 3 win :)


Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

A1: I would check if there are any similar thing done. If it is there, then either I would ask to change the proprietary code to his own custom code (which should do the similar thing, by changing variable name, method names, loop etc). As deletion of question with answer will remove some of good handwork and help to others.


Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

A2: If I see his R&D, searching and his question is of good quality to be here, but due to lack of something, he gets impolite comments. I would remove those comments and give one up by asking to change the question by showing some of his R&D in his question and give what he tried, and where he failed.


Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

A3: As the size of the close question is getting higher and higher and there is no way to make it Zero. Reasons behind is that, the number of users, tags, questions is also getting higher and higher. What we can do is find the duplicate and unclear questions and then target to first close them. I have seen many duplicate questions floating in the site and both of them are having many up votes. We also need to target them or merge them to form one question, since answers may be different.


Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

A4: In this case we should take a call and send his a message "please do it carefully, your edits are low-quality. Don't go for Quantity but for Quality, as Stack Overflow is for you, for us, for entire community". I will give him 2 or maximum 3 changes before I get the complaints for new edits.


Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

A5: This should be removed as the link may get broken or already it is broken. While removing the answer, I will send a message to the answerer to post a new answer having complete solution, and link can be given only for further information.


Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

A6: After becoming a Moderator our duty becomes manifold higher than now. Mistakes are not allowed for Moderator, it will give bad impression between users and will effect badly. So we need to do carefully before doing any things as mentioned above.


Q7: 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?

A7: This should not happen generally. No one targets any user but this may happen due to some personal grudge between users, if this is the case, a message to them will do the trick. Even if I find it happening I will try contacting other Mods for their help and suggestions, this may look in-experienced but doing something wrong is worse than asking help.


Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

A8: Every mod has some idea behind doing these thing. We should respect his work. We should not interfere with his work. After all he has become mod by the community voting!!!


Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

A9: This is a tricky one. I would like to float in between both. Sometimes a mod needs to be aggressive. And it depends of what you start feeling on daily basis and what kind of questions, answers, flags you get.


Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

A10: Chat feature is really good one to have. Many users have doubts and need some online help. As I spend 10-12 hours, I would like to be in live chat for solving their doubts for minimum of 3 hours daily basis.


Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

A11: Many of my questions and answers may not be of good quality. As as a human I do mistake, I did many, but will try to not to make anymore. If someone points me as saying your answer/question is not unto the level of a mod, and need to be removed, or he points to some thing which should not be here, then I will take an action to sort the things by either updating Q/A.


Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

A12: First of all I would like to tell the user that, mod is not against you. He is for you, choses from us. He does what is good for the community. You are also a part of community, so you should don't take this in that way. And his is not abusing his power, he is just doing what the users want here to be dealt with your Q/A/C, as there may be something missing/incorrect there.


Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

A13: In Stack Overflow the biggest problems are : Duplicate questions, Unclear questions, Q/A formatting and improper use of tags. All these are mostly by new users. For them I would suggest to read the Dos and Donts.


Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four). The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest). It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots. Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

A14: Yes I make a commitment to give time. I can definitely give 12 hours a week. Currently I use Stack Overflow for reading, gaining knowledge and sharing my knowledge and I give 70+ hours in a week time. I admit that working as mod will not be a cake life. I will need to take care, precaution etc. Also need to learn many things about flags and deleting Q/A, but I am confident to say, "With new power, you get new responsibility and new aim to work".


Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

A15: This happens even in day to day life. Personal to Professional, we all face similar situations now and then. If I did a mistake, people will shout on me and I should humbly accept my fault and promise them that I will not be repeating the same mistake again, and excuse me for that. And we need to have thick skin.

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An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I would inform the user that they need to be more careful in the future. That doesn't mean I wouldn't try to help them. I would ask them to see if they could edit the post to remove anything that could get them fired. Then I'd contact a higher up to get the edit history deleted.

If the post couldn't be edited, I'd ask a higher up to unlink the user from said post. That way he wouldn't get in trouble if the boss found out.

How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

First, I'd remove the rude comments from the question. I'd then try to explain to the user why that happened (and that sometimes people are just mean). I'd work with them to help formulate a question that won't be as badly received.

If the question received too many downvotes, I'd tell the user that it's not the end of the world. I might also suggest deleting it and posting a new question.

The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I feel this is an issue, but it should not be something the moderators need to be dealing. They have enough other work. The community needs to be in charge of what stays opened and what gets closed. I think we just need to encourage users to review posts more often than they are.

Maybe we can suggest they review a post or 2 (with similar tags) after they post a question or answer. Maybe give them badges for it ;)

How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I don't think this is too much of an issue. The community will reject the edit if it's bad, so the problem will take care of itself.

If there were enough complaints I may talk with the user and explain how editing works and when/why you should edit. I won't yell at them, only educate.

What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I feel link-only answers would be better as comments. The only way I feel they would make good answers is if there is some explanation involved.

If it's explained why the link will help, and if some code samples are added (since posts should be self-contained), then it would be an OK answer.

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

With great power comes great responsibility. I would make sure that closing/deleting was the right course of action before doing it. I would leave a comment suggesting to the user to fix their post first (which is something I already do).

I'd let the community close the question and only use my binding vote when it's 100% necessary.

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'd first try to figure out why this user was being flagged. Are they being rude? Are they putting false information?

I'd look over their posts and if necessary, talk to them. Tell them that they are being flagged and what proper behavior on this site is.

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

I'd ask the mod (either in chat or meta) for their reasoning behind it and explain my opinion. I hate arguments, so I'd like to have a civil discussion about it and come to an agreement.

If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I think the community is capable of keeping thing running smoothly. If I see something that needs cleaning up, I will fix it, and I will do my best to run through the queue, but I feel mods are here when the users find something they cannot fix.

What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

I like the chat feature, I think it's a great resource. Questions on the site need to be specific, but with chat, I feel users can get support when their question would be a bad fit on the site.

I would definitely plan to be in chat more often and I would help moderate.

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I'd like users to think that I am just like them. I don't want them to think I'm special just because I have more power. I will participate on questions just like I already do. :-)

How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I would calmly explain my reasoning behind the action and ask that the user do the same. I would want to have a civil discussion. I am willing to admit that I may have been wrong and would be happy to set things right.

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

I feel that the community doesn't always give new users the welcome they deserve. I would like to try to educate new users about this site before letting them post. Inform them that this is not a forum and show them examples of good questions.

I'd also like to inform other users that a post is a users' first and to not post mean comments, but to instead help them to improve their question. We are all friends here, let's encourage everyone to participate. :-D

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

Yes. I already spend that much time on the site, so it would be no problem. ;-)

A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I used to let things like that get to me. When I was younger, I was bullied in school, and I'd get really angry about it. Now that I am older, I am growing more content with people's opinion. If someone wants to try to publicly shame me, so be it. I'm more mature than that. I can ignore it and I'll be fine.

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Sorry to have trampled your suggested edit, by the by. –  Grace Note Feb 19 at 15:34
    
@GraceNote: No worries. I was just trying to add myself to the main post, which you did, so it's all good :-) –  Rocket Hazmat Feb 19 at 15:36
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I’d like to say this feels like the longest piece of homework I ever had, and I see myself answering them even though I have a ton of homework myself.

An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I wouldn’t believe them and think they just want their rep back (if it was a bad question), but I wouldn’t delete the question because the good answers are by people who probably will hate the site if I delete their answer. Seeing that I can’t prove that their lying, I would analyze the question and see if it is a good question. If it was a good question, I’d take a look at the code and only include part of it in pseudo code. If the user isn’t happy because people would be able to see the code in the timeline, I would delete it.


How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

Comment-ban the users who made him angry for that question only and tell the user to include some coding attempts.


The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

The close vote queue is a huge concern for me, and I think users should lay off minor closing to help the mods. I’d also make it clear that each user should read the FAQ before posting posts that would most likely get closed. I think moderators have too much of a job already, and moderators who want to do this should get a filter under the Close Vote section under review for “stuck reviews” instead (maybe it should be a ~10k thing, too?).


How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I’d check the edits that were accepted myself. If they really were low-quality, I’d pm the user in chat and tell him to suggest better quality edits, and if he continues I’d ban him five days from editing every two times he successfully suggests a low-quality edit. The robo-reviewer (or terrible reviewer) who accepted them would most likely get themselves taken care of with review audits stopping them.


What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

If it answers the question, they should get a comment telling them to give information that the link provides. I don’t know about them being removed, they should at least get a chance to edit their answer.


As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I’d definitely confirm my actions with a friend I know or other mods if I’m unsure of myself.


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’d have a conversation with him addressing the issue. If they need to be suspended, so be it. Sometimes I do things that I may not want to do, but I know I have to do them.


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

I’d unclose/undelete/unetc the question after a talk with the mod asking why he closed/deleted/etcd.


If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I’m a janitor, this site is continuously vandalized by different users.


What are your views on the chat feature? Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation?

Definitely, Stack Exchange isn’t a social site, but it’s always good to be in the chat; it’s like Stack Exchange’s news feed (I know they have that, no need to remind me).


A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

I can’t do anything about the past, because I respect the site’s rules. I would, however, be responsible for how users act because of my actions. It’ll definitely make me think before each and every action I take.


How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

Tell him exactly why I did that and tell him that I wasn’t abusing my power


What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

The amount of posts being closed and flagged. I’d definitely make sure people read the FAQ to prevent more of this happening.


While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why:

  1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day
  2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four).
  3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest).
  4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots.

Would you be able to make such a commitment? How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

On a school day, I can commit about 30 minutes to an hour (more if I moderate on my phone in free periods), on weekends I can definitely commit at least an hour. Yes, I’d be able to handle about 100 flags a day. I also get many days vacation from school.


A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I wouldn’t care much unless it ruins my real life, off cyberspace. It also doesn’t seem like much of a deal that could really effect me that much, because lots of people would be on my side, anyways. If it got to me, I wouldn’t go to their house and murder them, no… my cyberspace skin is much more thick than my real skin.

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I just wanted to thank you for showing that you are serious about your nomination for the role. Your original nomination sounded a little too frivolous for my tastes, hence my comment on it. You've revised and even rewritten your nomination more than a few times during the course of the election, and IMO it now does a better job of telling us why you feel you would fit the role, which is what we're looking for more than pure wit. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 20 at 7:45
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What @BoltClock'saUnicorn said - I didn't expect you to be this serious about it. Nontheless, the answers to these questions confirm my initial impression that you would currently not be suitable for a moderator position, as I feel you're lacking the required maturity. Still, you seem to be passionate about SO and are definitely on the right track to reapply in a few years. –  l4mpi Feb 20 at 17:28
    
@l4mpi It's now logically impossible for me to become a mod this year, but I hope 14 is mature enough and not idiotic teen subspeciesish. –  The Wobbuffet Feb 20 at 22:09
    
@TheWobbuffet For what it's worth, Minitech became a moderator at 15, so it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility. –  Anna Lear Feb 20 at 23:28
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The answers you posted to the first few questions (specifically "I wouldn’t believe them and think they just want their rep back", "Comment-ban the users", "users should lay off minor closing to help the mods", and "tell him to suggest better quality edits... ban him five days from editing every two times" are enough to indicate to me that you're not quite ready to be a moderator. (It's a "quick to flex my mod muscles" impression to me, I'm afraid.) It has nothing to do with your age, but perhaps has to do with insufficient experience at SO. –  Ken White Feb 21 at 6:40
    
If someone wants their question deleted, it should be deleted. I'm not sure why it isn't an option for users in the first place. Have we actually had an issue with people deleting good questions with good answers? –  Brad Feb 21 at 19:36
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Q1: An asker repeatedly flags their own question and says that they need to delete it or they'll be fired, because they mistakenly posted proprietary code. There are several good answers on that question. What do you do?

I'll ask him to remove the proprietary code, not the question. Because it contains several good answers. Also I'll help in editing the post and I'll remove the proprietary code and put dummy code similar to the actual one.

Q2: How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of clearly defined requirements, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual code attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What do you do?

I'll remove the impolite comments and help the user to improve his post. I'll explain him about the flaws in his current post

Q3: The community considers the size of the close vote queue a problem, as indicated the reception at this question - what's your take on these concerns? As a reviewer, how do you feel about size of the queue reaching over 110k? What do you think of the suggestion for a moderator queue for stuck reviews?

I voted 1500+ times for closing questions. I'll do the same in future also. But the increasing number of close vote queue is a major concern. We have to do something on this. 1) Increase the number of close vote privilege of users
2) Apply some kind of policies for questions 3) If a post is marked as duplicate by 3 different users, close it. Don't wait for 5 votes

Q4: How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I'll rollback the edits, will talk with the user who is doing this low-quality edits. If he continues the behavior I'll suspend him.

Q5: What's your take on link-only answers that get flagged for not being answers? Should they be removed when flagged, or are they worth keeping around if they answer the question?

I'll make these answers as comments. I had seen several issues with link only answers, Several link only answers were accepted but when I selected some of them, either I get a 404 or redirecting to somewhere else.

Q6: As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I'll think twice before casting any such votes.

Q7: 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?

In StackOverflow all community members are equal. So Will talk to him first, if he continues the behavior suspend him for a short time.

Q8: How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

If I feels it is wrong, I'll post a question on meta and ask what should do in such situation. (I didn't see any such situations in StackOverflow till now, hope that won't happen in future also)

Q9: If you became a moderator, would your actions be more like an Exception Handler or a Janitor? To put it in other terms, do you think your moderation style will be more focused on allowing the community to run the site and you will only step in to handle exceptions, or do you think your style will be more focused on aggressively trying to "clean up" the site?

I'll work in both modes. Both are needed for our community.

Q10: a) What are your views on the chat feature? b) Do you plan to spend time in the chat once you're elected and assist in its moderation ?

a) Chat is a wonderful option to get answers and valuable feedbacks from community members without posting questions or comments.

b) I'll actively participate in chats, if I elected.

Q11: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do (and have done) will be seen under a different light. How do you intend to handle that responsibility?

It won't make any change, because till now I'm taking this community very seriously. Think twice before doing anything on this site. (I won't like to disappoint or harm anyone in this site and I'll make sure that in future also)

Q12: How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

I'll reply him with the reason. And I'll listen to the comments or feedbacks got for that post in meta.

Q13: a) What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Stack Overflow currently faces? b) If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving these issues?

a) Increasing number of close vote queue, Spam posts and low quality posts

b) As mentioned in the above questions, I'll spend a lot of time for cleanup the site

Q14: While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. One of the current moderators suggests that a new mod should prepare to commit to devoting one hour per day, 5 days per week to handling flags in the flag queue, for the first year. Here's why: 1. Stack Overflow raises somewhere between 1000 and 2000 flags per day 2. During any given time, only about 25% of the mods on Stack Overflow are actively moderating (we currently have sixteen mods, which means our active base is four). 3. The period of maximum productivity for new mods seems to be the first year. After that, a certain degree of burnout sets in (let's be honest). 4. It takes about an hour to handle 100 flags, once you gain some experience. The top performers handle 200 to 300 flags per day. Currently, we need to be processing about 200 more flags per day, and there are three open moderator slots. Q14 a) Would you be able to make such a commitment? b) How much time can you commit to the job, if not?

a) Definitely

b) I can spend 2-3 hours daily

Q15: A user calls you out on Meta, screaming bloody murder over an action you felt was completely justified. They probably get some responses from the folks on Meta before you even learn there is an issue, but even if the community agrees your decision was perfectly fine, the user will sometimes be disgruntled and move on to other places (their blog, Reddit, Twitter) calling you all sorts of terrible things, and by your full name. (And if you were actually mistaken in your decision, then may God have mercy on your soul.) It will most likely happen to you. There is no way to avoid it, no matter how carefully you moderate. This aspect of moderation takes a certain amount of thick skin. Do you have it? What would you do if a conflict with a user "gets to you"?

I'll ignore his behavior, because the community agrees that mine was a good decision.

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share|improve this answer
    
What do you mean by your last answer? The question states a situation where you feel to be justified in your actions, and even raises the possibility that 'meta' agrees with you. So there's no fault to be accepted or faced. Instead the question is about how you react to the conflict-seeking behaviour of the user. You're getting called out on Reddit and it is having an effect. So how do you react? –  Nanne Feb 21 at 10:23
    
@Nanne: My fault, I edited my answer. –  Midhun MP Feb 21 at 11:17
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