Biology is scheduled for an election next week, March 20th. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, March 20th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • At the end of the phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.


4 Answers 4


Several posts in meta have raised the possibility that our closing policy is inconsistent and applied too often. However, no clear consensus seems to exist. Do you think this is an issue on this site and, if so, what role should a moderator have in resolving it, if any?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That has nothing to do with moderator elections. If you think some mod misuses their power and closes legitimate questions then you can raise an issue. Alternatively, if you think you can do this job in a better way, then you can contest in the elections. In any case this is not really an answer. Queries, related to the mod election process, should be posted as comments, as mentioned in the question. $\endgroup$
    Mar 15, 2017 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ Are you referring to mod closing or community closing? $\endgroup$ Mar 15, 2017 at 12:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You're correct that it's not an answer, it's a question. I want to know what potential moderators think about this issue, which has been raised by many people. I'm referring to both moderator and community closing. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 15, 2017 at 13:57
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG "Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates." $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Mar 15, 2017 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause well, yes if this question is intended for candidates. However, we all have to first agree that this is really an issue. Only then we can think about how we can or how future moderators can solve it. For e.g. we had the "homework issue" as a point in the previous elections because we have discussed that issue several times in meta. $\endgroup$
    Mar 15, 2017 at 14:14
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The question is clearly for the candidates. Related meta posts have been numerous recently and there haven't been any agreed upon answers. Clearly the question betrays canadianer's opinion but a candidate who disagrees can definitely choose to answer "I don't see this as a problem for mods to address - let the community decide." In any case, I don't think the place to litigate the question is in the comment thread of the list of questions post. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Mar 15, 2017 at 14:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have edited the question to be more diplomatic, so to speak. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 15, 2017 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ I also think this may be more of a specific agenda point for a potential mod, instead of a general question. Remember users can ask specific questions to a mod. I agree with @WYSIWYG that I personally do not think it should be on the common list of questions for all mods to answer. So yeah, -1 on this one... $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Mar 15, 2017 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD I'm not sure I understand your comment, but if you're saying that I personally have an agenda with a specific person, you would be incorrect. Certainly I do have an agenda, which is that I think we have an inconsistent and rather aggressive closing policy on this site and would like to know the opinion(s) of the candidates. Also, I noticed you left a second comment earlier with a different formulation of this question. I don't remember it exactly what it said, but if you think this question can be asked in a better manner, please let me know. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 15, 2017 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding agenda - Oh no not at all. I think the aim of the question proper is to pose questions for a general list. I just don't think your answer is suitable on that list. Your proposed wording is fine though and the fact that mod closure has been executed too often is true imho. In fact I'll remove that - 1. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Mar 15, 2017 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD Thanks for the clarification. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 15, 2017 at 23:14

Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

What are the things about you that can make you a good moderator and those that will prevent you from being one?

$-$ Inspired by an entry of an elected (then nominated) user of Chem SE. (Election 2016)


Have you previously held a moderator-like position for another community, and if so, what aspect did you find most challenging?

(old question from the 2015 election, originally posed by user dd3)

  • $\begingroup$ I think you missed the deadline. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Mar 21, 2017 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ @canadianer Yes, you are probably right. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2017 at 15:47

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