One of the biggest things that moderators do is handle flags. I'm not entirely sure how this could be done, but it would be really interesting to have moderator candidates take a look at real flags and state how they would have handled them. Maybe this could be accomplished by linking their close review queue managing, or otherwise, but it seems like it would be a good way for the community to know what was proposed.

Obviously some work would be required to ensure that there isn't anything confidential, and that the use cases are appropriate. The current moderators could review a candidate list of questions and make sure they are all good candidates for the candidates to look at.

  • No idea. I'm just talking about abstract moderator elections, SE wide. – PearsonArtPhoto Jan 6 '14 at 20:17
  • We do something similar to this in the town hall chats. We commonly present generalized things that we see in flags, and we ask the candidates how they would respond to those situations. There's already a lot of info on the moderator election pages, so I'm not sure where we'd hide this. – Brad Larson Jan 6 '14 at 20:26
  • Is there a need for this? I have yet to see a mod that was poor at handling flags, and when there's a doubt, they come into the Teacher's Lounge for guidance. Post a meta question prior to the election, if you really need this sort of guidance. – user102937 Jan 6 '14 at 21:20
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    I've definitely seen poor flag-handling, but it only comes out when they actually handle them. I think what-if scenarios have limited utility. – Monica Cellio Jan 6 '14 at 21:27

There are (at least) two ways to ask questions of candidates: via the meta survey, and via a town-hall chat (if your site is doing one of those). In addition, reviews are public information so anybody can look at how any candidate handled reviews.

Meta survey: On one recent election the community was surveyed to collect candidate questions, and then a com-team member posted a questionnaire that all candidates were invited to answer. If concerns about flagging are important on your site, you can work to include a question about it on such a questionnaire.

Chat: It appears from that election that the questionnaire has deprecated the town-hall chat. However, nothing precludes a site from setting up its own chat, either live and real-time like that or open over a period of time. Again, given a venue, you can then raise whatever questions are most important on your site.

Reviews: Almost everything a person does on Stack Exchange (votes and flags excluded) is public information available on the "activity" tab of the user profile. You can filter this view to look just at edits, or reviews, or comments. This doesn't tell you how the person has handled flags (if he's 10k and thus can handle some), but it gives you a sense of how he performs other site moderation. Any individual can inspect this data for any candidate(s), and perhaps a community-minded volunteer would compile it into an easier-to-review form for everybody else.

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