In a private beta of a site, If a user was noticed for plagiarising contents and was reported to a moderator. The user then apologized to the moderator and then promised to be of good behaviour and not do so again.

Is the user still fit for a Pro-Tem moderator?

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    Depends on how long ago it happened, I guess. If it was just a few weeks ago, probably a disqualifier. – animuson Oct 14 '13 at 21:09
  • @animuson Thanks – Walker Oct 14 '13 at 21:11
  • @animuson Can the user still be a moderator on the site later? – Walker Oct 14 '13 at 21:17
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    There are no hard and fast rules for this. How does the community feel about it? If the community feels OK about it, then I don't see a problem. If the community is uncomfortable with the degree and length of plagiarism, then the person probably shouldn't be a pro-tem. – Robert Harvey Oct 14 '13 at 21:18
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    @PreciousTijesunimi Sure. The decision for protems is solely up to Stack Exchange. If they feel the user was honest in their apology, and has obviously improved their conduct since then, why shouldn't they be considered? – yannis Oct 14 '13 at 21:19
  • Was it just the usual unattributed wikipedia copy&paste in tag wikis? Or was it in an answer? And where was it plagiarized from? – CodesInChaos Oct 15 '13 at 9:06
  • @CodesInChaos On answers and from random blogs – Walker Oct 15 '13 at 9:13

It would depend on the circumstances surrounding SE staff needing to contact someone. Remember, the Stack Exchange community team are the folks that moderate new sites before pro-tem moderators are appointed.

Copyright is hard, especially in areas of the world where the concept doesn't really exist. Sometimes folks go and grab and post external content in the spirit of being helpful, not realizing that attribution is required, or how to properly attribute an excerpt to begin with. I would not call that a strike against someone.

Moderators are, however, expected to judge the quality of a post within a certain knowledge domain, and the quality of any candidate's posts need to demonstrate that they meet the standards that you're going to need to enforce.

In short, to be considered as a pro-tem moderator, make sure that:

  • Your interactions with the community are positive and helpful
  • You show an interest in community governance and helping new users on your meta site
  • Your questions and answers are of decent quality, and primarily written solely by you

If everything above is covered, then there shouldn't be anything to worry about. When we look for pro-tem candidates, we examine their activity overall. If it looks like you are patient, friendly, helpful and have the domain knowledge needed to judge the quality of other contributions, then we'll definitely consider you!

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    Oh, so "My friend is considering..." – Robert Harvey Oct 14 '13 at 21:26
  • and some people come from countries with strict copyright laws and probably jump on perceived and real infringements from a great height – Yvette Colomb Oct 15 '13 at 14:29
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    @Skippy That does happen. It's such a horribly inconsistent system throughout the world that we basically assume behavior to be benign if someone is obviously trying to be helpful. Most folks quickly understand why we need attribution and original composition and adjust. – Tim Post Oct 15 '13 at 15:49

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