Official moderator and user guidance here says (excerpts):
The ideal moderator does as little as possible, but those little actions may be powerful, visible, and highly concentrated.
If you have questions about the reasoning behind a moderator's actions, bring them up for discussion on meta.
We generally expect that moderators:
- are patient and fair
- lead by example
- show respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
- are open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions
I've been feeling troubled by a moderator who seems to be the opposite.
How so? Why? A pattern of behavior. As I see it: The mod claimed an answer that cited sources hadn't cited any, then ignored questions I posed while claiming I had made accusations I had not made, and continued to attack and even delete my answer, and then continue to wildly critique every aspect my answer afresh even though it has many citations now. Answers from others who disagree could be attacked in the same way, but two wrongs don't make a right, and it's telling that the mod's critiques I've seen are consistently aligned with a particular political leaning. Mod then even claims that source reputation doesn't matter in order to find a way to critique a strong argument. I'm trying to see the mod's conduct as constructive criticism, but it's leaving me feeling very unwelcome. I don't feel safe even questioning the mod's behavior directly, given how threatened I felt by their repeated hostility and wild accusations made against me for merely raising a concern and unwillingness to respond to questions. If you're a moderator who finds the mod's behavior concerning and would like to take action if they can be substantiated but would like specifics, please contact me privately.
I recall seeing the mod edit other users' questions in ways that consistently favor the same political ideology, though I haven't gone looking or kept records.
I feel like the mod's every interaction with me is a combination of a smear and a direct attack, or one or the other.
I'm trying to see the mod's comments in a positive light. I feel that they are, rather than doing as little as possible, waving a big stick frequently. I think frequent stick waving is inappropriate in general, and that the individual waves indicate bad judgement call after bad judgement call. Maybe the mod doesn't realize they're waving a big stick around. But it sure feels intentional, even calculated.
Wondering about whether to start a private chat with the moderator or comment publicly and if the latter, whether to identify them/point to the publicly viewable (and deleted) evidence. I have a hunch it would lead to more hostility, but want to be optimistic. Or I could email Stack Exchange. I'd rather reinterpret their actions myself and/or have the mod do better than try to have 'em removed or trouble Joel & co. I'm seeing confusing information about what's appropriate. As I recall, this questioner (not me) did "bring them up for discussion on meta", yet the question has been deleted, so I'm confused as to what's appropriate to post here.
I can't find a standard PM (private message) facility, and chat.se doesn't seem to allow me to make a chat private either. Only public and gallery (which is public) are options. (Seeking to follow the general advice to praise publicly and criticize privately...) Where's the functionality on-site for private discussion?
So to recap and expand my question: How best to question / resolve a mod's questionable actions? That is, which ways are acceptable? unacceptable? (Be sure to cite your authority, even if you're a mod!) Which do you think are best? not so good? Why (most important!) ?
Please don't search or ask for specifics outside a private conversation.