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Of the various Stack Exchange communities I'm on, there is one that has rather obvious outlier moderation habits. It's a smaller community with only 3 moderators listed. At least one of these moderators comments on nearly every question and answer posted on the site. Answers which would be permitted on other sites are deleted much more aggressively, and in a much greater proportion, than in any other community. This seems contra-indicated by the Stack Exchange Theory of Moderation:

The ideal moderator does as little as possible. But those little actions may be powerful and highly concentrated.

A few (hopefully) related questions:

  • Is there any expectation that moderation will be of similar philosophy across different sites?
  • If moderation is wildly askew for one site, is there any remedy for that?
  • How can we find what the schedule is for moderator elections? (A search failed to find it for this community.)
  • Is there any way to trigger a recall or new election for moderators?
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    I have seen such a moderator in one of the small sites who was annoying and act as if he owned the community. Write the meta post with details of his wrongdoing on the site and ask him to stop it. That should be the first step. You can ask for resignation of the said moderator on the meta, but you need to be very convincing. A community manager will see your post and if it is convincing enough, they might take a necessary action. Another way is to contact a CM team by e-mail. Good luck. – Rathony Oct 4 '16 at 7:56
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Folks always seem to skip over the "as possible" part of that quote. And ignore the entire second sentence...

So with that in mind, are you sure these actions are unnecessary? Given it's a small site, there's a good chance there are fewer normal members around to handle guidance to new users, comment on problematic answers, etc... These tasks often get left to the moderators on small sites, simply because they're the only ones around to do them.

Don't tell me; I'm asking you up-front for your own benefit, to save you a lot of time reading further if you've misjudged the situation.

Still here? Ok; read all of these, along with all of the answers:

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    Thanks for the links. Without addressing the "necessity" question, my focus was on the exceptional nature of the comments/deletions; answers permitted on any other SE site I visit (by both moderators and large-user communities) are aggressively deleted on this one site. As one example: Answering with links, without summarizing the contents (exactly as you did here), would be immediately deleted. – Daniel R. Collins Oct 5 '16 at 0:23
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I am concerned that you may be imposing an evocative description of aggressive onto someone who may simply be a mod who cares a lot about the site they moderate, but to answer your questions:

  • Is there any expectation that moderation will be of similar philosophy across different sites?

Similar philosopy, yes but similar implementation, no. I moderate two sites, one medium and one small, and while I adhere to the same philosophy on both, the way I moderate the two is very different.

  • If moderation is wildly askew for one site, is there any remedy for that?

Yes, raise it on that site's Meta, but do so respectfully, around one issue at a time.

  • How can we find what the schedule is for moderator elections? (A search failed to find it for this community.)

Ask on that site's Meta. There won't be a set schedule but if the mods feel like they or one of them is getting overloaded then they can ask SE staff to run an election for some additional moderators.

  • Is there any way to trigger a recall or new election for moderators?

Yes, use the Contact Us button at the bottom of every page to contact SE staff, but I suspect you would need to make a very strong case which includes having already had a respectful discussion with the moderator involved on that site's Meta.

-11

This mod behavior seems to me uncommon. This is not how the sites work.

In most cases, if there is a hostile atmosphere on a site, it doesn't happen by the mods directly, but by a set of induvidual users. They have to be enough strong (by their reputation and by their meta activity and by their voting) to influence the site policies and they have to work actively to expel anybody out of their circles. We can call them as "Inner Circle".

Although the rationality behind this is unclear to me, most of the internet sites are going into this direction everywhere, and the SE system can provide only a partial defense against the phenomenon.

If there is a rampaging mod, first check if his actions are really harmful. If he is active also as common user tasks, well I think it is possible, but uncommon and dangerous (for him). If yes, he does harmful things, then check if he has the support of the community. Is he has, then the community is the bad guy, more exactly its "inner circle". Probably this is the reason.

If the mod doesn't have the support of the community, then this mod won't have diamond too long any more.

Mods can have secondary accounts to make things on the site without compromising or over-using his diamond. Without it, their diamonds would harm their communication as normal users and they couldn't enjoy their site. Note, having multiple accounts is perfectly legal in the SE system even for non-mods, only misusing them is forbidden.

Please, double-check if he is essentially only a good-hearted mod trying to vitalize the site. If you have the same goal, I don't think there is a real problem.

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    If, and I think it is a big IF, "Many mods have secondary accounts to make things on the site without compromising or over-using his diamond." then I (as a mod on two sites - one small, one medium) think that they will be pursuing an unwise path. As mods we have a diamond attached to everything we do and once we are doing any/much of that through a sock puppet I think it would seriously undermine our credibility for fair and transparent moderation practices. I agree that the mod described in the question is more likely to be caring rather than aggressive. – PolyGeo Oct 3 '16 at 23:04
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    "Many mods have secondary accounts" [citation needed] – Michał Perłakowski Oct 3 '16 at 23:07
  • @Gothdo I made the text more accurate, I can only hope it is already acceptable :-) – peterh Oct 3 '16 at 23:08
  • @PolyGeo It seems it is not easy to formulate anything to be not considered harmful by anybody :-) How about the current version? – peterh Oct 3 '16 at 23:12
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    The only time that I think it is acceptable for a mod to use a sock is to test a function from the perspective of a new user. Personally, I have never found the need to do even that. A mod using a sock to "masquerade" as a normal user at arm's length from actions taken using mod powers is not moderating in what I believe to be the spirit and philosophy of SE moderation. – PolyGeo Oct 3 '16 at 23:27
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    @PolyGeo Ok, but isn't it annoying that you can't do anything without having the diamond behind your name? You can't vote as a simple user without overriding the votes of many others. You can choose to not vote. You can choose to not comment. You can choose to not doing anything. But how could it be enjoyable? It is imho quite normal to have a secondary account for this things. And mods tends to be surprisingly inactive in normal user things, I think it is obvious that they are using normal accounts for the ordinary user functions. – peterh Oct 3 '16 at 23:32
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    @peterh "You can't vote as a simple user without overriding the votes of many others." What do you mean? When a moderator votes on a post, it doesn't change the votes of the others. – Michał Perłakowski Oct 3 '16 at 23:34
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    @Gothdo Up/Downvotes don't, any other mod vote is binding. Thus, if he votes for close/reopen/del/undel, he overrides the votes of many others with it, what can be their goal only in exceptional cases. The result is what is very visible checking the activity history of any mod: they aren't very active as ordinary users. What is quite reasonable, considering, for example, the question below that we are commenting. – peterh Oct 3 '16 at 23:37
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    @peterh If a moderator is sure that a post should be closed/reopened/deleted/undeleted, they can do it unilaterally (i.e. with a single vote). If they are not sure, they just don't vote and leave the decision to other users. – Michał Perłakowski Oct 3 '16 at 23:41
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    You may "think it is obvious that they are using normal accounts for the ordinary user functions" but I have never suspected that any of my fellow mods are doing so, and if I did I would call them out on it in the relevant mod chat room. I think the reason some mods become less active in non-mod tasks is that they are volunteering their time and have to try and fit both into their "budget". – PolyGeo Oct 3 '16 at 23:49
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    In response to you asking "how could it be enjoyable?", I would say in the same way that any job or volunteer work can be, which is by taking pride in doing a good job in what, at times, can be challenging circumstances. – PolyGeo Oct 3 '16 at 23:52
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    I'm not sure what you are asking with "if a mod has also a secondary account, although it is possible on the SE customs, it is considered against the spirit of the SE?" but my understanding is that the use of secondary accounts by anyone is not in the spirit of SE, is explicitly not allowed when used to advantage themselves or another user, and is only tolerated when used for testing purposes. Even for the last category some level of transparency would be expected like naming it "PolyGeo-sock-for-testing-new-user-experience" to make clear who created it and why. – PolyGeo Oct 4 '16 at 0:26
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    I'd forgotten about some of the edge cases mentioned there but, all the same, the problem I have with your answer here is the insinuation that moderators are using socks to operate in two modes (normal user and moderator) on SE sites. I don't see any evidence for any moderators using socks to distance themselves from their diamond and would be very disappointed if any were doing so. – PolyGeo Oct 4 '16 at 0:36
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    I recommend not assuming the intentions behind downvotes and using that as the basis to comment upon the integrity of anyone exercising their right to downvote here. – PolyGeo Oct 8 '16 at 20:27
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    If anyone thinks my answer to the question is not useful then I have no issue with them downvoting it. I downvoted your answer because I thought when read as a whole that it was not useful, and I commented as a courtesy so you would know why I thought it was not useful. – PolyGeo Oct 8 '16 at 22:38

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