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Unfortunately, I have to start with a brief disclaimer: I very much dislike how SE Inc. again made another decision (about changing questions weight) that affects the community without consulting the community.

Having said that: I am not here to complain.


So, just to set a different tune for myself, and whomever: yes, I disagree with the management decision, but I am truly (positively!) impressed by the actual execution of that decision, at the hands of the technical folks at SE Inc!

There were just a few minor glitches, the overall transition seems to have worked out just nicely! All relevant aspects were (like correct updates of daily limit counters, and badges) covered.

And most importantly, when people asked questions here on MSE, there were quick responses from SE staff.

Thank you folks, well done!

  • @Rob I gave plenty of comments there already. The one comment where I complained about the "decision making" process didn't make it through "moderation" though. Surprise. And my post here isn't intended for the world "out there", it is simply meant to show to SE staff that not everything on MSE is about bashing SE Inc. And as written: to remind "us", too somehow. – GhostCat says Reinstate Monica Nov 15 at 16:57
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    I think it was a bad decision. I now can moderate sites where I have no knowledge to share simply because I had some questions... – Sklivvz Nov 15 at 21:05
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    @Sklivvz seems like that was already the case. The bigger problem is that we grant privileges based on actions that have nothing to do with the privileges earned. It’s been a problem for a long time. Rep is not an indicator of familiarity with site policy. Never has been. 3k reputation doesn’t mean you know what’s in scope to know when to close. People complain on sites constantly about high rep users answering off topic stuff. – Catija Nov 15 at 21:19
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    @Catija while all you say is true, there's a specific problem in raising rep for questions as the less experienced users mostly ask questions and the expert users mostly answer them. Thus, this change specifically exacerbates the existing problem of non-experts having moderation privileges. – Sklivvz Nov 16 at 9:07
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    @Sklivvz why is that a problem? Moderation requires knowledge of how the site works, not knowledge of the site's subject matter. Moderation is about understanding a site's culture and the rules that define good content. None of this requires subject matter expertise. If you can ask good questions, that's as god an indication that you understand the site mechanics as posting good answers, so you should be equally welcome to have moderation privileges. And being a subject matter expert doesn't mean you know the first thing about the SE model. – terdon - stop harming Monica Nov 16 at 14:07
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    @terdon-stopharmingMonica expert knowledge is fundamental on all sites for real experts (maths, sciences. religions, compsci and -- in its original intent -- SO). For more easy-going sites (workplace, worldbuilding, code golf...), it does not matter at all. – Sklivvz Nov 16 at 20:23
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    @Sklivvz well, I moderate three technical sites (Unix & Linux, Ask Ubuntu and Bioinformatics) and my domain knowledge is very rarely relevant to my moderation activities. It is essential when answering questions, but far less so when moderating. – terdon - stop harming Monica Nov 16 at 21:12
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    @terdon-stopharmingMonica wait, why are you talking about elected moderators? Rep does not affect them of course. For more mundane operations, though, e.g. if you need to cast a close vote,you need to understand the specific matter properly. – Sklivvz Nov 17 at 15:07
  • @terdon-stopharmingMonica I certainly do hope you abstain from moderating posts where you do not have the domain knowledge that allows you to do so effectively though. I am a 10k+ user on physics but I would certainly not vote on questions about PhD level stuff... – Sklivvz Nov 17 at 15:14
  • @Sklivvz I wasn't talking about elected mods. I brought up those three sites because those are the ones I'm most active on, I just happen to also be a mod there. My point was that I can usually tell whether or not a question is answerable, if it is clear and well researched without having the domain knowledge necessary to provide an answer. I just don't see how domain knowledge is even relevant apart from few exceptions where I'm so ignorant I can't even tell if the question makes sense. That can happen, but rarely. Usually, you can tell if a question is good even with no domain knowledge. – terdon - stop harming Monica Nov 17 at 15:24
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    @terdon-stopharmingMonica I... disagree in the strongest terms with your statement. A Nobel prize asks or answers a question on a scientific site (it actually happened). Should a high school student moderate their content? It's clearly a recipe for disaster and don't give me any ridiculous excuse like "they know when something is answerable". – Sklivvz Nov 17 at 17:05
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    The reality is that we have gotten so used to trivial content and terrible moderation standards that we think it does not matter anymore. But it does matter in the strongest terms. People are hating being on SO because moderation is terrible. They complain constantly about it in all venues. I am certainly not comfortable being moderated by a person that knows a just a little bit, and have been mis-moderated multiple times. This is exactly why we lose experts – Sklivvz Nov 17 at 17:08
  • @Sklivvz well, yes. If the student is more familiar with the SE rules, absolutely. In fact, we have some users on science sites who are students and they do a great job moderating content. And having spent several years in academia, including one extremely boring night seated next to a Nobel laureate, I can tell you that having a Nobel is no indication that you're any good at communicating. These sites are all about communicating clearly, and many top notch scientists are very, very bad at that. – terdon - stop harming Monica Nov 17 at 17:09
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    @terdon-stopharmingMonica SE sites are NOT about communication. They are about building a library of quality content written by experts. – Sklivvz Nov 17 at 17:10
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    @terdon-stopharmingMonica perhaps we are talking past each other, but I don't see how you can get quality content when experts are mismanaged and leave. There are tons of examples, how many times it happens that a question is misinterpreted as a dupe, or as an XY problem when it's not? How many posts that are actually wrong (and/or harmful) are left, upvoted and never deleted? Getting this stuff right requires first and foremost expert knowledge. – Sklivvz Nov 17 at 17:25

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