2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Aug 9, 2021 at 20:00
election began
Aug 23, 2021 at 19:55
election cancelled
Aug 23, 2021 at 19:55
candidates
3
positions
3

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Full elections have three phases and an optional fourth phase (Primary):

  1. Question Collection
  2. Nomination
  3. Primary
  4. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. 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?

[Answer 1 here]

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

[Answer 2 here]

  1. As a moderator, imagine you find yourself in one of those disagreements that turn into a bit of a heated argument with someone who is making logical arguments, but throwing mildly irritating namecalling in there that targets you. The namecalling is vexing because - while your skin is thick enough - it detracts from a healthy debate, but you're unsure if it constitutes reprimands. If you reprimand, you might look like one of those power-hungry mods (and you'll hear that one too), but if you let it slide, they may get the feeling that it's ok to escalate namecalling in a later conversation with someone else. "How do you proceed?" is a tough question because it can change. But how do you think you'll proceed?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. What do you consider to be the absolute minimum amount of activity a moderator should contribute to their site as a normal user (e.g. questions/answers/comments/etc), above and beyond their duties as a moderator?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, reviewing, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

[Answer 8 here]

C. Lange

Hi, my name is Cole and I am nominating myself to become a site Moderator.

When I started powerlifting I got a lot of my information from YouTube and Fitness.SE. I still find, and try to contribute, valuable information on this small site and I'm hoping to continue to support it's growth. To date, I have been reasonable active on the site and have identified a couple of meta areas where we could improve.

Although I have never moderated before, I think I have a pretty good handle on the functioning of Fitness.SE and the requirements of the site. Where I fall short, I am definitely open to learn.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

This would be a new scenario for me. I am not sure what the 'flags' entail on the moderator side. I think arguments can be healthy but name-calling or insulting someone directly should not be a part of them. Valuable answers would not put you above common courtesy and respect for other site users.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I believe we'd discuss it? I would state why I feel it shouldn't have been closed and they can say why it should be. There are quite a few borderline line / grey-zone questions that show up but you can always re-open questions.

  1. As a moderator, imagine you find yourself in one of those disagreements that turn into a bit of a heated argument with someone who is making logical arguments, but throwing mildly irritating namecalling in there that targets you. The namecalling is vexing because - while your skin is thick enough - it detracts from a healthy debate, but you're unsure if it constitutes reprimands. If you reprimand, you might look like one of those power-hungry mods (and you'll hear that one too), but if you let it slide, they may get the feeling that it's ok to escalate namecalling in a later conversation with someone else. "How do you proceed?" is a tough question because it can change. But how do you think you'll proceed?

Tough question. I don't think name-calling should ever be allowed but I haven't been in a position to reprimand for it. I am 100% OK with logical arguments. I think I would proceed by asking for help. It's much easier to have an argument stay on track if, say, another user or mod were to set someone straight. If I were reading over someone else's conversation and noticed some name-calling I think I'd offer a reminder that this is a healthy debate, and not to get lost in the ad hominem arguments.

  1. What do you consider to be the absolute minimum amount of activity a moderator should contribute to their site as a normal user (e.g. questions/answers/comments/etc), above and beyond their duties as a moderator?

I think the minimum activity is just participating in the site regularly and clearing out the usual queues. I hear there's a special mod flag queue so I suppose attending to that. I don't think being a mod means I should be answering more or asking more questions. Though, I still have questions.

  1. As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, reviewing, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

This is a big change that I'll have to think about. Currently I throw my vote on questions I feel should be closed and then if the community agrees, they agree. I think if elected a mod, on questions I think should be closed but I'm borderline on, I would add in my personal close vote after 3 close votes. Still vote to close on questions I'm confident are off-topic and then defer to Question 2.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In the Stack Exchange world, I think moderators handle the odd requests. Most everything can be done by high-rep users. There's the odd thing that mods can do, where users can flag and ask for. Move answers to comments, comment chains to chat rooms, and handle edit summaries that should be edited.

  1. 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?

A bit nervous. It seems like my answers will be weighted more heavily when really I'm just a powerlifting enthusiast. I do hope though that answers I post will be vetted more by the community. I think it could be a good learning opportunity for myself.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I don't always have an answer for questions but I still like to contribute to the site. A 10k user is someone knowledgeable that contributes answers in their own way. As a mod I can contribute by keeping the site clean and orderly even more than I already do.

Alec

Hey, I'm Alec. I've been a temporary moderator for this site for a couple of years, and I've enjoyed seeing the site grow out of the beta phase.

As far as StackExchange sites go, it's not among the biggest, but information shared here is important because it helps people start and continue their fitness journey. I like feeling that I'm helping make sure that the site is searchable, discoverable, and on-topic.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

I prefer to judge contributions in isolation. Namecalling and harrassment doesn't become OK just because a user has a history of providing high quality content. Content that disparages others has the potential to discourage others from providing high quality content, so bad content isn't just bad on its own.

If the arguments and flags are less ill-natured, it's more up in the air. People are allowed to disagree and even argue, insofar as long debates are taken to the chat rooms and not posted as monolithic comment chains.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

We duel! But it's not very dramatic. I prefer not to overturn another moderator's decision on a whim simply because I disagree, but rather contact them directly so we can come to an agreement. It has happened in the past that some of my calls were challenged, and I always start by making it clear that my calls are open for discussion.

I expect other moderators to be equally open, but if I feel they are closed-minded in their decisions over a significant period of time, then there is a higher tier of authority that can be brought in for an unbiased opinion.

  1. As a moderator, imagine you find yourself in one of those disagreements that turn into a bit of a heated argument with someone who is making logical arguments, but throwing mildly irritating namecalling in there that targets you. The namecalling is vexing because - while your skin is thick enough - it detracts from a healthy debate, but you're unsure if it constitutes reprimands. If you reprimand, you might look like one of those power-hungry mods (and you'll hear that one too), but if you let it slide, they may get the feeling that it's ok to escalate namecalling in a later conversation with someone else. "How do you proceed?" is a tough question because it can change. But how do you think you'll proceed?

It feels a bit disingenuous to answer a question that I wrote, so I'll keep it short. In clear-cut cases of namecalling and harrassment, I don't care if the receiver is myself or anyone else. Even if I allowed them to call me names and have the comments remain up, they might get the idea that it's ok. And as I stated in response to Question 1, newcomers may see it and be deterred from making content that could end up being very valuable.

And when in doubt, there's a moderator team. If I feel I'm not impartial any more, I ask for a second opinion.

  1. What do you consider to be the absolute minimum amount of activity a moderator should contribute to their site as a normal user (e.g. questions/answers/comments/etc), above and beyond their duties as a moderator?

I don't believe there should be a quota that one must fill. Quotas like that tend to lead to forced and bad content. Questions, answers and comments should come naturally, and not because one remembers that one has a minimum requirement to reach.

  1. As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, reviewing, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

Going into it, I thought that I would throw more votes, but I learned to step back and let the community handle a lot of it. You wouldn't believe how fast spam links get downvoted (and subsequently deleted due to a low score) even without moderator intervention. I'll throw a close vote on particularly clear-cut cases of off-topic content.

The community is small, but we have a very good core of regular users. I'm hoping to see some nominees soon, to be honest.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

It seems to depend on the person. Some moderators are extremely active on the entire StackExchange network. Personally, I've found myself sticking to my little corner on the network. Apart from a time I needed some advice on how to handle a particularly troubling user, I haven't engaged much with the overarching moderator community, but I'm glad it's there.

  1. 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?

As a general rule, I try not to post things I'd be ashamed of if found by someone I know in real life. As such, I'm not particularly worried about the diamond either.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

From a content standpoint, a 10k or 20k user will most likely be producing more than I am.

I suppose some "behind the scenes" moderation work is outside the scope of even the most treasured user, such as finding sockpuppet accounts and investigating voter fraud (because we get those on websites too!).

Thankfully, we haven't had that much of it, Compared to moderators on other sites, the diamond feels almost undeserved on me. But I've been glad to have because maintaining a good site is better than having to fix a bad one.

JohnP

Hello all! As above, my name is JohnP and I am interested in continuing as a moderator for the Physical Fitness site. I have been a member since 2012, shortly after the site launch, and a pro tem moderator since 2016. During that time I have remained as an active user and moderator, and have worked to not only maintain the site but attract new users. I believe that I have a good record of contribution, and hoping to continue to serve the community moving forward.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

Assuming that the flags are valid (Occasionally people get targeted for one reason or another), I take a look at the length of time a user has been on the site. If they are newer, coaching them in acceptable behavior and (if badges indicate it hasn't been done) nudge them to go read the relevant help sections. If they are a more established user, a more direct reminder is in order. If it persists, then perhaps an enforced break from the site is needed. Valuable content contribution does not give a user the right to abuse others in any fashion.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

That is a discussion that is had with the moderator that performed the action, and an agreement about how it should be handled (left as is, restored) should be reached. If a consensus among the moderators can't be reached, another recourse is meta, and asking the community to participate and determine whether a question is suitable/appropriate and what should be done with the question.

  1. As a moderator, imagine you find yourself in one of those disagreements that turn into a bit of a heated argument with someone who is making logical arguments, but throwing mildly irritating namecalling in there that targets you. The namecalling is vexing because - while your skin is thick enough - it detracts from a healthy debate, but you're unsure if it constitutes reprimands. If you reprimand, you might look like one of those power-hungry mods (and you'll hear that one too), but if you let it slide, they may get the feeling that it's ok to escalate namecalling in a later conversation with someone else. "How do you proceed?" is a tough question because it can change. But how do you think you'll proceed?

This has happened before, users can become very attached to their questions and answers, and don't always agree with moderator actions. If I feel that a user is overstepping bounds, I will ask another moderator to take a look and perform any necessary actions. That way it's not just myself and my reactions, but a collaboration among the moderators that "yeah, that's not right"

  1. What do you consider to be the absolute minimum amount of activity a moderator should contribute to their site as a normal user (e.g. questions/answers/comments/etc), above and beyond their duties as a moderator?

Just as much as any user. Some users rarely ask questions or answer questions, but they come in and handle flags, perform tag maintenance/suggestions/edits, edit questions, flag comments and so on. Other moderators participate in their sites quite heavily. It's an important distinction that sometimes gets overlooked, in that a moderator diamond does not mean "Take what I say like gospel I'm a mod!", only that the moderator has site maintenance capabilities that go above what a high rep user has.

  1. As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, reviewing, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators. How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?

I've long since made this adaptation, but my flagging and voting activity actually dropped a while after I became a moderator. As a user, it takes 5 votes for an action to become binding. Moderator votes are effective immediately. Because of this I held back more on my voting until I could see what the community was deciding about the question. (The exception being spam/harmful content and the like).

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators act to maintain the site according to how the community has decided it wants to be run. This is done through meta discussions, where the community decides the policies and methods, and the moderators act according to those decisions.

  1. 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?

I'm fine with this. Most of the community knows me as a moderator already.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Immediacy. I am generally on the site a couple times during the day. I take a look to see if there is anything urgent/pressing that needs to be handled right away. The current moderators are in a couple different time zones which helps with coverage, but I would love to see a couple more moderators from other time zones to get better around the clock coverage/response.

This election is over.