11
votes

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Not every question was compiled, but apparently when I posted the original Q&A collection, the self-answer containing our suggested questions failed to be submitted. For this reason, I've opted to collect 10 questions from the community in lieu of the usual selection of 8 plus our 2.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!


A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

locked by ff524 Oct 19 '14 at 23:35

This question exists because it has historical significance, but it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site so please do not use it as evidence that you can ask similar questions here. This question and its answers are frozen and cannot be changed. See the help center for guidance on writing a good question.

Read more about locked posts here.

  • 6
    As of now, none of the answers have been upvoted, which is good. Just a request to everyone to please refrain from voting on the answers, so that they appear in random order each time. – Joel Reyes Noche May 14 '14 at 4:15
  • @JoelReyesNoche looks like my answer needs to be hit with a down vote. – StrongBad May 15 '14 at 19:55
  • @StrongBad Done! Nothing personal, just getting the vote down to zero. – Fomite May 15 '14 at 20:02
  • the election is over.......... – EnergyNumbers Sep 30 '14 at 18:31
  • Locking this question so that it won't be bumped anymore (according to this, anyways) – ff524 Oct 19 '14 at 23:35
0
votes

A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

If it's clear I've made a mistake by not following the community guidelines and SE policy, then I will do my best to correct it, and avoid making the mistake in the future. However, this is not mob rule—a bunch of upvotes against my actions in themselves aren't sufficient unless it's coupled to a good explanation of what was wrong with the original decision.

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

I am already on record as saying that the use of the "undergraduate" tag for off-topic questions is overly used. I maintain that this remains the case. I also believe that questions that are purely undergraduate-related that do not have connections to research probably should remain off-topic, as should questions related to undergraduate admissions.

However, just because a question is asked by an undergraduate (or earlier) doesn't make it off-topic. For instance, a few weeks ago, a high school student asked an excellent question: "How do I prove I didn't plagiarize?". Such questions should not be discouraged, just because of who's doing the recommending!

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

When the situation is clear-cut (spam, duplicates, completely off-topic questions, etc.), I use my full moderator powers. When there is a reasonable possibility of disagreement, I normally wait for a consensus to develop before using my binding votes. In such cases, I generally try not to cast the majority of votes for any action.

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

From my perspective, I don't know if there's much that needs to be changed in the moderating style. If there is a need for changes, I would hope that the community would bring that up (via Meta).

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

In general, I will independently clear only comments that fall into one of the following categories:

  • Comments that are offensive, abusive, or otherwise run afoul of SE guidelines
  • My own comments or comments related to my posts that are no longer relevant.
  • Comments that are unambiguously contentless. (e.g., "+1." or "Thanks!")

Otherwise, I prefer to wait for flags from other users before taking action.

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

The real issue in assessing boat programming questions is if the question is actually relevant to a substantial portion of academia, or if it really belongs to another field. It's not an exact science, but if it's a question that academics might really have to deal with, I'm more inclined to let it be, and let the community weigh in.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

Depends on the level of disagreement—but part of that is the nature of the site itself. When you're dealing with interpersonal relationships, the whole notion of "correct" and "incorrect" answers becomes much harder to define. So we're already deviating a bit from global SE policies!

I think it's too hard to make a global statement what I would do about the community opinion running against an important SE policy. The most likely action, though, would be to bring it up in Meta and get a better sense of what's going on.

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

So perhaps I should make this statement clearer. "Curating" does not mean "constantly tinkering around with." It does involve some heavy lifting in the form of editing and cleanup of old comments, and flagging items that may have become out of date (because of legal changes, changes in community standards, or other new developments).

However, the permanent content, in the form of answers, should only be revised in serious cases (e.g., vandalism, or if they have clearly become outdated, or if they were very poorly written in the first instance).

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

I am currently in Central European time (GMT +0100). I periodically check on the site throughout the day when I am not on travel. My primary work times, however, are mornings (0600 to 0800) and evenings (2200 to 0000).

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

I hope that my record as a moderator speaks for itself. I think it's always possible to do better, though, and I hope that I'll have a chance to do so in the future.

  • Hi @aeismail, as you are standing in elections I want to ask you a question. After being a mod would you strictly follow the SE policies and make this website alike Phys.SE or would you make it a friendly community like Math.SE? – user31782 May 15 '14 at 8:56
  • The users ultimately have far more control over the direction of the site than I as a moderator do. As I've mentioned, I try not to act unilaterally except when there's a clear need for prompt action (duplicates, spam, etc.). Beyond that, I've already stated above that strict adherence to SE guidelines used elsewhere can't work, because the kinds of questions we have here don't fit into a "correct" answer paradigm. – aeismail May 15 '14 at 10:29
  • So, I guess I'd look to achieve something in between: the helpfulness of Mathematics, but also with a focus on good questions. (This site will become very difficult to use if it's overrun with "shopping questions.") – aeismail May 15 '14 at 10:37
0
votes

A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

If there's a lot of well-reasoned support in the Meta discussion for keeping content on the site (and not an overwhelming majority in favor of removing it), I think the content should be kept. (That is: I would undo my close/delete/migrate.)

However, I would also post a disclaimer comment indicating to readers that there was some opposition to the post, that this content is not an exemplar of the kind of content that is generally encouraged on the site, and link to the Meta post.

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

Questions about research, academic life, or conduct in university-level coursework are not off-topic just because the question is posed by an undergraduate.

Questions about undergraduate admissions, undergraduate exams (SAT, CLEP), etc. are out of scope of this site unless they can be (and are) generalized. But, I do think this should be made explicit in the help center text.

Questions like "Help me decide between University A, University B, and University C" or "Which degree do I need to pursue the non-academic career X" are off topic, whether they are about undergraduate or graduate study. In these cases I agree with aeismail that the undergraduate close reason is overused, and I think this is unfortunate because it gives visitors and newcomers a misleading picture of the scope of the site.

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

I would tend towards, let the community weigh in on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately - especially as we don't currently have a huge volume of high-rep users closing questions.

As "what is non-controversial" is itself subjective, I am sure there will occasionally be some disagreement, in which case I am happy to discuss on meta and undo my action if warranted.

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

I think the current moderation of the site is excellent. As the site continues to grow, there will be more high-rep users and the moderators will spend more time on handling flags and less time on things like close votes, which can be handled by the community.

I would like to revisit the issue of the help center text, which I think should be made more explicit with respect to off-topic questions now that we are out of beta and seeing more traffic.

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

Having followed Commentgate and the ensuing discussion, my answer is:

  • If the comment is offensive, OR
  • After the question is no longer active for a few days and the comments are off-topic and/or distracting, OR
  • When the comments are obsolete (e.g., a resolved discussion about suggested edits)

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

"There is no better SE for this question" is not a good reason to keep around a question that is not about academia or academic life.

Similarly, "there is another SE site where this question also fits/fits better" is not a good reason to migrate or close the question if it is about academia.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

This site belongs first to SE, then to the community, and (a very, very, very, very) distant third, to individual users like me.

If my opinion disagrees with official SE policy, I would bring it up on Meta to get a sense for the community opinion. I'm not going to act against SE policy because I, myself, disagree with it.

If there is community consensus on something that is not consistent with canonical SE policy, then I'd respect the community consensus. If SE staff join the Meta discussion and say "You must follow SE policy on this matter," I would have to follow that even if I disagree with it.

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

When I come across content that is obsolete or otherwise "bad," my gut reaction is typically "I hope this isn't the first post a new user sees on this site, because they would get a very bad impression."

So, I am supportive of users who want to remove old content that gives a bad impression of the site.

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

I am based in NYC (UTC-4:00 or UTC-5:00 depending on daylight savings). But I keep very odd, inconsistent hours, and I travel a lot. I can't really commit to any set moderator "shift" at the same time every day.

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

I have only been a part of this site since the beginning of 2014, and a high-rep user for even less time.

But during this time, I have participated in Meta, upvoted and downvoted, edited, flagged (61 helpful flags and counting), and posted high-quality questions and answers more than most users.

I also close questions that need to be closed with comments and cast votes to delete, although I don't have access to statistics on that (my user profile page only shows me those numbers for questions that haven't been deleted).

0
votes

Fomite, formerly EpiGrad:

A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

If the comments and discussion on meta genuinely point out a mistake that's been made, like me closing something that has a clear case for being on topic? I'll return the question/answer/comment to the wild, and wish it all the best.

However, generally speaking, doing something that drastic (rather than making an edit or a leading comment) suggests I had a clear reason for doing something, and "Some people like it" isn't enough reason to keep something on it's own. That kind of popular support means it's possible we need to revisit what the site views as its scope and culture, but if sheer voting was enough, we wouldn't need mods at all.

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

I don't think anything posted by an undergraduate is inherently off topic, but those that are specifically geared toward undergraduates are. I think the best way to describe how I think about these questions is "Is this question about an undergraduate as part of the university culture overall?" Which means questions about authorship, or research, or the like as an undergraduate are on topic - its possible to do research as an undergrad, or be a TA - I was both.

But SAT prep and choosing one's major, which are strictly about undergraduates as undergraduates are off topic.

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

I always treat a close vote as if it's binding, so in that respect my behavior won't change. It's less "Vote as if I were a normal user" and more "As a normal user, I vote as if I'm a mod". It's always been my feeling that a close vote means you think something should be closed.

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

I'm relatively happy with the moderation of the site as it stands. Most of the ways I'd like to improve the site are things that, honestly, can be accomplished as a user - I'd like to see the site get "stickier", with more users and less one-off crisis questions, and hopefully get more questions and answers going on junior faculty level issues.

That does however speak to something that does effect my moderation: I generally heavily favor leading comments and suggestions to downvotes and closing a question, at least at first. I found, when I was getting started on SE sites, that that was far more productive for both improving the question (downvotes easily turn into defensiveness) and convincing me that the community was worthwhile.

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

If they don't add any content - "+1" comments should say what about the question is particularly resonating, abusive comments are right out, and links to other sites, questions etc. should have some justification for why that might be of interest. I'll also freely delete comments that now lack context - for example, editing suggestions that, once taken, no longer make sense with the new post.

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

Well, as an academic... ;)

My stance on boat programming questions genuinely depends on the question. There are some questions that are, genuinely, general questions that have an academia specific answer. For example, there are some programming and code related questions that are fairly academia specific, because as a system citations are valued somewhat more highly than say, GitHub pages are.

But if the answer isn't altered by the nature of universities or academic research, then it should be moved or closed as appropriate.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

I'd divide this into two different questions, about "hard" policy and "soft" policy.

"Hard" policy is official, This-Is-How-The-System-Works stances by SE. There are some of those I disagree with. But for those, the answer is that this is SE's site, and those are the rules.

"Soft" policy is more the unwritten rules of how "the community" of SE sites works. "How things are done around here." In my mind, those should be much more easily influenced by community-level decision making. "That's not how things are done on X site..." doesn't matter, because this isn't X site.

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

My general goal is to get questions to the point where they don't need much in the way of long-term curation by encouraging clarity and the like through commenting. But if people want to do some pruning, they're more than welcome to do so, as long as editing and flagging is genuinely curation, and results in a marked improvement in the content without changing it. Going back and improving posts shouldn't be used to massage them into saying something different.

Personally, I've been trying to collect some tags in need of disambiguation, so that they're easier to find for new users, which is essentially a long-term curation task.

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

I'm in UTC - 5:00, on the East Coast of the United States. My schedule is however fairly dynamic, so there's not a particular time period that I'm guaranteed to be available, though between 1:00 and 5:00 UTC and 14:00 to 17:00 UTC are fairly reliable slots for me.

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

As mentioned in the nomination section, I rarely downvote, as I find it somewhat more productive to either try and salvage a question/answer or just close it. I tend to only downvote when I think the actual content of the post is both not worthy of being closed and I think its wrong.

I'm fairly high on the list of all-time editors for the site, and have been particularly focused on improving the tagging system for the site, as I think it may prove more important here than searching for finding related content, and because there's some rather ambiguous tags.

Whenever I visit the site, my first stop is the review panel, and I try to clear any items there and then check in on the Tools panel to see if anything seems to be going particularly sideways. While I'm on the site, I'll check it another time or two between posts.

I will admit I don't flag much - there are some other users on this site who are faster draws than I am, so I tend to be in the position to add close votes or approve edits more than flagging.

0
votes

A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

The fundamental point is that this site is about the user and I am simply a facilitator. From the question, it is clear that the user has some backing from the community; when this is the case, the benefit of doubt has to go to him/her. With that in mind, I will take further action on a case-by-case basis, which might range from revoking my action completely with an unconditional apology to engaging the user on chat to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

Questions on research during undergraduation, or learning stuff with a view to applying for PhD after completion of the degree are very much on-topic. On the other side of the spectrum are questions on how to clear undergraduate entrance examinations, which I will close with a kind reminder to the user about the FAQ. If the question is generalisable, then I will edit the question in a way that the degree does not play a part.

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

I will step in only when absolutely necessary, that is when a question or answer is unambiguously spammy or offensive. I will let the community decide on subjective issues.

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

The pro tem moderators have done a stellar job of maintaining the site. Besides I have found the site to be warm and friendly to new users, compared to many other SE sites. I simply wish to continue work in the same direction, and also share the burden on exisiting moderators.

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

Say a lot of discussion has happened over the wording of a question, and this has resulted in editing of the question by the user. The discussion comments are now more or less irrelevant, create undue clutter and possibly confound people reading the question afresh. In such a case, I shall delete those comments. Offensive and abusive comments should be delete as well.

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

Though Stackexhange (SE) is a vertical Q&A site, in real world, there is quite some interconnection between different domains catered to by different SE sites. As such boat programming is not entirely avoidable. My take on this stems from the commitment of the site - to serve users who have questions. If the question is of relevance and some utility to the community, and manages to get good answers, then I shall fall in line with the community's decision to let the question stay. If the question stands a good chance of getting better answers on other SE sites, I shall, with the consent of the OP, migrate the Q.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

It is unlikely that I will have a stance that disagrees with SE's official policy. In case that happens, I will post the issue in meta and seek the community's opinion.

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

As programming languages keep getting updated with fresh packages, "correct" answers to many questions on Stackoverflow will change. Does that mean we update the answers to the questions as well? That said, curating is very useful, especially when links in old answers become obsolete, in which case, there is a need to refresh the link or update the answers. We also need to remember that in Acad.SE, we have a lot of opinion-based anecdotal answers. Human beings tend to change opinions in their lifetime based on experiences, but reflecting those changes in the answers is unnecessary.

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

I will pop in intermittently at all times from UTC+8 to UTC+24.

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

I was a very active user during the first year in the beta phase; I have asked many questions, voted a lot and edited questions a lot. I have helped users frame their questions, tagged questions appropriately, and made the questions presentable. I have closed and deleted poor questions as well. I would love to take up more janitorial work for the betterment of the site.

0
votes

A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

The rules of the community are dictated by the community. I would wait until the discussion has ended, typically one day after new answers and comments are being regularly posted, and then act on the majority rule.

In the case of a true stalemate—equal upvotes for all—I would consult with the other site mods (and, if necessary, the Stack Exchange mods) and come to a consensus there. However, that sort of stalemate would likely be highly rare.

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

Questions that relate wholly to undergraduate life—enrollment in undergrad courses, choosing a major, working with advisors—are off-topic on this site.

However, many questions that begin as undergraduate questions are actually very relevant to academics as well. Study methods, teaching methods, motivation, academic integrity... the list goes on. If the question is relevant to academics as well, it should definitely stay.

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

Since I received my pro tem mod designation, I have used my binding vote mod privilege very sparingly. Barring obvious spam or off-topic questions ("how do I fix this C# class?"), I have always posted comments first. This has worked wonderfully in this community, as we have a very active user base who will quickly cast their own close votes. I do not see my attitude on this changing anytime soon.

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

I'm actually fairly happy with how the site works currently. I believe we have excellent community involvement in helping keep the questions in tip-top shape and good discussions on Meta regarding site management.

One change I would love to see is greater use of the community chat room to discuss questions that come up on the site.

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

This was a fairly contentious issue recently, mostly due to my moderation. Since that discussion on Meta, I delete comments if the following are true:

  • The comments are spam/disrespectful/inappropriate
  • The comments are BOTH:
    • ...flagged as "obsolete"
    • ...the comments are part of a discussion which has clearly ended (typically, >1 day old)

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

This is an interesting question, as we've had many of those here. Generally, the community has typically allowed them to stay, as Academia is unique enough for those questions to actually generate useful answers. However, if the question was sufficiently unrelated (i.e., "what type of pen is good, for an academic?"), I would be in favor of closing.

This is not a very specific answer, but the questions vary so significantly it's not easy to provide a single answer.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

My personal opinion is irrelevant to how I moderate; I may leave a comment indicating my personal opinion, but it would be clearly marked as such and intended only as such.

By definition, the community's policy may differ from official SE policy only after a meta discussion, as that's where community policy is set. In that discussion, I would try to help—both as a user and a mod—to define the policy. Once that was set, though, I would enforce the community policy over the SE version.

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

I used to find this extremely irritating, as it generates a ton of work for the mods and high-rep users. However, I've come to find this invaluable, as the site is a far better place because of it. The majority of visitors are coming to our site from search engines to old and popular questions, and the curation of those is critical to the success of the site.

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

Eastern Standard Time, available generally 8 AM-5 PM EST and around 8-10 PM EST.

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

I will let my past behavior speak for itself. I've tried very hard to separate my personal opinion apart from my moderating duties, and I feel I've been quite successful in that effort. I've cleaned up spam and garbage, welcomed new users, helped moderate discussions and police policies as best I can. I look forward to being able to do so in the future!

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A user posts something you find (off-topic/wrong/offensive) and you (close/delete/migrate) the (question/comment). The user posts about it in Meta and the post gets a lot of upvotes. Answers are posted both in favor of you action and and criticising your action; both get upvotes. How do you decide what to do next?

I am not intimately familiar with the mod tools, but I think there are three cases. In all cases I would engage in the conversation about my action and try and build a consensus for the future. Apart from this I would not take any further action except in cases in which my decision cannot be overruled by the community. For example, if a moderator closes a question the community can reopen it so I would not take any additional action. In some cases when a moderator deletes (or possibly closes) something the community cannot deal with it. In these cases, I would undo my action, when possible, and let the community decide.

A quite specific question: what is your position with respect to undergraduate questions? A significant part of my moderator actions have been to arbitrate if a question was on-topic or not, because it was somehow related to undergraduate studies. It can often be argued that some questions can however easily generalise to graduate studies, which would make them on topic. So, what is your position? Some example positions

This meta question of mine highlights my views with example questions. To me the key distinction, as I stated in this meta answer is that undergrad questions that could come from graduate students are on topic.

How will you use your "binding vote" moderator privileges? Let the community weigh in first on most close, reopen, delete, undelete, etc. operations? Let the community decide on things that could conceivably be subjective, but take action on non-controversial matters immediately? Act to deliberately to keep the direction of the site on track? Vote as if you were a normal user, disregarding your role and the binding nature?

As a mod I would try and shape the site with up votes, down votes, comments, meta questions/answers, and chat instead of using close/reopen votes (excluding blatant spam). I would not generally just mod hammer questions, but when the voting is clear (e.g., one or two more regular user votes are needed to close a down voted answer, I would happily hit it with a mod hammer vote).

What change would you like to make in how the site is currently moderated, and how would you go about implementing that change?

I think our pro-term moderators have done an excellent job and I would strive to maintain the excellent example they set. That said, a moderator of a beta site needs to help shape the site with mod tools more than a graduated site. I would hope that I could help move the moderation more into the hands of the community.

Under what conditions will you delete comments?

I really hate comments. I personally think that they should auto delete after a week or so. If the comment adds lasting value then someone should edit it into the question/answer. If it just adds value in passing, then it doesn't need to stick around for ever. That said, I will not go out of my way to delete other people's comments unless they are flagged.

What is your position on boat programming questions? See here for examples.

I personally don't think boat programming questions are a great fit, but there is nothing so pressingly bad about them that they need moderator intervention. I would let the community decide about these types of ambiguous questions (e.g., boat programming and big list). I might speed up the process by bring it up in meta or chat.

How would you moderate postings where your opinion or the community's opinion and official SE policy disagree?

My personal opinion is that the community opinion rules, so it will be difficult for me to be in disagreement with the community. I like to think that the SE policy is that the community opinion rules. If the community opinion is so against the SE opinion, the SE team has moderators who can handle it. If the SE team really pisses our community off, I would go to bat for our community in private (e.g., in the mod only teacher's lounge) and in our public chat and meta.

What is your position on the following statement from aeismail: "In the long run, Stack Exchange sites are not just about answering people's questions, but providing long-term curating of the answers"? We have some very active users who look at old questions/answers, and curate them, for instance by flagging for comment removal (typically because they are obsolete, too chatty, not constructive, etc). Will you support them in this task? Or do you rather think that content should be left unchanged as much as possible?

I think keeping answers up to date is important. I would definitely approve reasonable edits to old questions and handle flags.

What is your time zone? What is the time period you are available for moderating our site everyday? Please specify the answer in UTC format.

UTC+0. I rarely would do moderator type activities at crazy hours (e.g., between 2300 and 0600).

What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

I think I answered this in my nomination statement.

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