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In connection with the moderator elections, 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, August 10th 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.

  • 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 new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Election Questions from Mathematics: 2014, 2013 $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 5 '15 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ I took questions from the elections on Biology and Chemistry. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ Does this mean we will be out of beta soon? $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Jan Aug 9 '15 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Hendrik, see preparing for graduation. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 10 '15 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh Ah, good news! Sorry totally overlooked that one, thanks. $\endgroup$ – Hendrik Jan Aug 10 '15 at 21:31

20 Answers 20

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What is your take on "problem dumps", "check my work" and "hint-only answers", respectively?

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8
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Comments are starting to build up on a question. A commenter asserts that the question makes no sense and should be closed. The asker maintains that the question is perfectly clear. You have no idea as it's about a domain of CS that you know nothing about. What do you do?

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  • $\begingroup$ Uh, that's a tough one. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael But a highly relevant one in my experience. $\endgroup$ – Gilles Aug 6 '15 at 16:52
7
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Assume the community acts differently than you would have, or directly rescinds one of your actions, e.g. closing or reopening. What do you do?

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7
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If you have not been a moderator on CS.SE, have you been helping in moderating the site (edits, close/reopen votes, flags, setting site policies through meta discussions, etc.)? What are your three most important contributions to moderation on the site as a member of the site's community?

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  • $\begingroup$ Note that the first question can be answered by any motivated party, at least as far as numbers and posts on [meta] go. The candidates' own takes on their involvement can be interesting, though. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 13:54
7
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What do you think this site's biggest challenge is? (E.g. post quality or quantity, too many/few closures, bad tools/guidance, etc.) What do you think should be done about it (by anybody: moderators, users in general, Stack Exchange staff, ...)?

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6
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What do you see as the mission of cs.SE? Should we be a Q&A repository, a (self-)teaching tool, a homework service, ...?

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5
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What are your plans to engage the community in moderation?

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4
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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?
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  • $\begingroup$ Would it make sense to have the last three questions in individual answers so users can vote them up in the sense of "please ask this!"? $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 4 '15 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ If y'all want to, that's entirely the proper approach. $\endgroup$ – Grace Note Aug 4 '15 at 14:16
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What are your areas of expertise in computer science? In which areas of the scope do you easily understand typical questions? In which areas of the scope do you have difficulty in understanding typical questions?

Do you hold a university degree in computer science?

Do you have any teaching experience in computer science?

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel like this should not matter, but maybe it does. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 7 '15 at 9:23
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During what times of the day (in UTC) would you be moderating site?

If you can not make any promises more specific than "when I'm awake", what timezone do you live in?

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3
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Are you a person who is patient, fair, and respectful at all times? Do you lead by example?

Can you provide examples (on the site or elsewhere) demonstrating these virtues?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Another question for which the "right" answer is obvious. I'm not sure how the candidate can provide convincing proof themselves; it's more a question of overall behaviour that's tough to prove with a few examples. What's more, most particularly tough exchanges will already have been deleted (for being obsolete, or because the related posts were deleted). $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 13:59
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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 would be the added benefit for the site of you becoming a moderator vs. remaining a regular user?

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2
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Assume I don't want to give you my vote; which candidates do you recommend and why?

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2
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What do you think about A theory of moderation and Who are the site moderators, and what is their role here?

Is there any part you do not like or think needs an update?

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  • $\begingroup$ Good one. Sneaky, too. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 13:57
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Have your behavior regularly claimed to be nonconstructive by moderators on any SE sites recently?

Have you ever been suspended in the past three years?

If yes, explain the situation, and if you have learned any lessons from the interaction.

How would you handle a user in a similar situation if you become a moderator?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Since we can not verify any claims here (and it's quite clear that "yes" is probably the wrong answer), I don't think this question is very helpful. The question would make sense for people with known history, of course; "explain why we should no longer view you as a troll" would be a valid question. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael, see the discussion about the similar question on math. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Aug 6 '15 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ This one? If so, I agree with Robert Harvey: what a user did at some time in the past on some site is mostly irrelevant. If a user has (recent?) history on this site anybody feels strongly enough about to have serious concerns about the eligibilty of the candidate, there's the possibility to add comments to nominations. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 6 '15 at 16:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael Claims made here can be refuted by someone who was a witness. I admit that the chances of the right person noticing the nomination here might not be so high. But there are certain users who are notorious across Stack Exchange and whose appearance in any election raises bells. “Have you ever been suspended” can be verified easily by Stack Exchange staff. $\endgroup$ – Gilles Aug 8 '15 at 10:31
1
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Questions; quantity or quality?

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Are or were you a moderator on another SE site? If so, how did that turn out?

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that's a very useful question (even though I'd surely benefit from it). Everybody who is now a moderator was a new moderator at some point. Sure, prior experience can help, but it's by no means required. $\endgroup$ – Gilles Aug 8 '15 at 10:29
-1
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Do you plan on being active in Chat?

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  • $\begingroup$ or at least visiting occasionally! $\endgroup$ – vzn Aug 5 '15 at 17:09
-1
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What is your favorite feature request on meta.SE?

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CS is a very strong field in the academic and industry areas these days. enrollments are spiking in universities. multibilliondollar companies like facebook and google are growing rapidly and utilize massive amounts of combined CS talent. (have collected much supporting material on this, but will hold off on the effort of linking it in here for the moment.)

yet, while a great resource, this overall site seems somewhat "sleepy" sometimes. there is little activity in meta even as acknowledged by mods, not so much chat activity, and the site has grown rather gradually. high voted questions occur but are not that common, and some days no high voted questions show up. it took several years to reach site graduation.

any comment on this? is there some way to (re)orient the site scope/ direction so that it seizes more effectively the very substantial external momentum/ energy of the field? are we scaring away natural users/ advocates? obviously while not sacrificing the all important quality metric what can be done to make the site more engaging and "sticky" and build up "eyeballs" in silicon valley parlance?

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  • $\begingroup$ We are looking for interview-style questions, not essays. $\endgroup$ – Raphael Aug 8 '15 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ who is "we"? the original question is by se mgt not a site mod. site mods do not dictate the election questions. the question is longer form but would regard short answers are acceptable. but from the downvotes, apparently nobody else cares about the issues raised here, or "whatever." $\endgroup$ – vzn Aug 9 '15 at 0:33

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