When preparing to send a moderator message, all moderators see this:

I'm talking about the last line:

If in doubt, please refer to the Teachers' Lounge and ask your fellow moderators.

Now... the TL is for all moderators on the network, some 566 people, plus Stack Overflow Inc. staff members. But that link goes to https://<site>.stackexchange.com/users?tab=moderators, which is a much smaller pool of people... ranging from 2 to 25.

Now, most sites have a per-site mod chatroom for having discussions related to the moderation of their site. That's where you usually go for getting the opinion of your site mods; the TL is for getting the opinion of the network mods.

Go to [place] and do [thing] implies that you'll be doing [thing] in [place]; in this case, that's talking to your fellow site mods in the TL.

I'm assuming that this is actually supposed to mean get the opinions of your local mod team or head to the TL and get the views of the mods around the network, in which case the "and" should probably be changed to "or".

The other interpretation is that the "fellow moderators" link should go /about/moderators, which is actually a list of who you can find in the TL.

In any case, this is slightly confusing and misleading.

1.) What is this actually supposed to mean? "and" or "or"?

2.) Can this please be changed to something less ambiguous?

See also the TL transcript.

  • How 566 people is even remotely related to "Stack Overflow Gives Back 2017"??? Looks like you pasted wrong link? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Feb 1 '18 at 9:10
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    Because that's where it lists the number of moderators? /about/moderators doesn't have a number; that blog post does. – Mithical Feb 1 '18 at 9:12

Go to [place] and do [thing] implies that you'll be doing [thing] in [place]

I disagree. The context here is "if in doubt, please do X and Y". That doesn't necessarily mean X and Y are part of the same process; they might be (and indeed are) two different things you should try doing.

If, as a moderator, I'm not sure how to handle a flag, my first ports of call to get help will be to ask for advice in TL and to consult the other mods of my site (usually in our private chatroom, possibly by raising a mod flag on-site myself). Notice how I used the word "and" in that sentence? :-)

Also, there's no reason you can't consult your fellow site mods in the TL. They're not mutually exclusive; if it's not a private thing involving PII or a very site-specific issue, you might just as well chat to the other mods from your own site in TL. That way, other sites' mods might be able to chip in if they have useful advice, or learn something if they don't.

TL;DR: I think this is .

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  • That doesn't mean it can't be improved. Not the most important issue, of course, but some of us read it how Mithrandir reads it, some don't, could certainly clarify. – Cascabel Jan 31 '18 at 20:58

Site's mod room is not mandatory and the TL is supposed to be a common place to discuss things.

Indeed if there's a long talk about a site specific thing opening a room sounds a good idea to avoid filling the TL for a 2 or 3 person talk.

All in all linking to the TL doesn't really harm and I'm unsure it needs rewording. If it was to be said another way I'm afraid it would turn in a complex and too long sentence or a too large paragraph for the place it is displayed in.

I didn't see it causing problem so I feel it's an over optimisation.

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There's usually communications methods, both official and unofficial, in addition to TL - for example there's private chat room for mods, or even chatrooms for similar sites to share their experiences.

TL is one of many places where moderators can communicate, and there's certain things that you probably should be talking to site mods, not network mods.

The fact that TL is sometimes a good place to pick on the brains of a small subset of the collective moderator experience, and that mods on other sites sometimes have good insights to share dosen't mean that the primary source of mod-advice is the folks on TL...

So - the and seems appropriate, and refers to site mods to me.

Also, there's only a small subset of mods on anyway? Pretty sure TL hardly hits the hundreds let alone 500+ users at once

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