Academia is scheduled for an election next week, March 5th. 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.

Unlike last time, we're hosting the question collection a week in advance, so that not only can folks start prepping questions in advance, but also potential candidates can think about nominating themselves and seeing the questions they'll have an opening to answer.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, March 5th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure, I think this is my last sweet day to use EST), 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 currently.

  • At the start of the nomination 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.

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

7 Answers 7


As a moderator, I find that comments are a tricky thing to deal with. Under what circumstances will you delete comments?

  • 2
    Personally, as a non-moderator, I had no idea how many comment flags were raised. I would answer this question very differently now as a mod, having seen that!
    – ff524
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:58

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? How have you used the moderation tools available to you at your current reputation level?


A user posts something you consider off-topic/not-an-answer/offensive and you close/delete/migrate the post. The user takes the issue to Meta and the question as well as answers supporting and opposing your decision get a lot of upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

This is essentially this question from the last election.


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?
  • 5
    Why didn't you simply post the bottom three as separate questions that we can up- or downvote individually? Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 21:00
  • Mostly because the intersection of "Sites with enough submissions to warrant culling" and "Sites who actually want one or more of those three questions" is few in number, and splitting them off absent of that intersection is pretty much just clutter. Either it makes the submission list look padded if it's otherwise empty, or it just adds undesired extra space. This method allows them to only share space if they're actually wanted and the split off becomes necessary.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:27

What question or answer of yours on meta best exemplifies your philosophy on moderation? Why do you feel this is the best example?


What is your field?

I think it's important to have moderators that aren't just mathematicians or experimental scientists (for example)

  • 2
    Why do you think that the scientific field matter for moderator activities?
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 11:00
  • @Wrzlprmft well, off the top of my head, it would let them better engage with new folks from that field and help them improve their question if it's off topic or something Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 16:48
  • 3
    Yes, but that’s not a typical (diamond) moderator activity. Everybody can do this and there are no moderator privileges that help with this. (The ability to comment and edit a question without review help, but they are available to everybody with 2 k reputation.)
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 17:35
  • 1
    @Wrzlprmft Okay, well, don't worry about it when you go to vote, then. Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 17:44
  • 2
    It’s not only about considering this in the vote, but also about making your question clear to the candidates and getting a good answer from them. If you elaborate why you consider it important that moderators should be diverse in respect to their field, a candidate can answer to your underlying concern, otherwise they can only bluntly answer with their field or guess.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Mar 1, 2018 at 13:06
  • 2
    I think that "diversity of field" is potentially important for moderators - and beyond that, I wouldn't mind the humanizing question or two.
    – Fomite
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 20:27

The site has a large number of answers, and partial answers, in comments. As a moderator, what is your stance towards these?

  • 1
    Do you know that you are a bit late to the show? The questionnaire has already been compiled.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 6:32
  • Yeah, I just noticed.
    – Tommi
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 8:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .