2012 Moderator Election

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.

See a theory of moderation for the typical roles and abilities of a moderator. Once elected, moderators may hold the position as long as they wish, unless they become inactive or exhibit gross misbehavior.

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

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Depending on the number of nominees that enter, and the number of moderator positions to be filled, in some circumstances the election may skip the Primary phase and proceed directly to the Election phase.

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


This election ended May 15 '12 at 20:00.

Download the election data and use OpenSTV to audit the results.


2,559 voters were eligible, 1,299 visited the site during the election, 677 visited the election page, and 394 voted

9 Candidates

I've been active on general-level math forums for decades. General-level math forums have very complex dynamics due to their extreme diversity. One cannot help but have learned something about such after having been actively involved in such forums for such a long period. I hope to use knowledge gained from these experiences to help MSE prosper - to ensure that we avoid many of the pitfalls that caused similar forums to fail.

My views on moderation: Fairly represent the entire MSE community - all branches of math. Understand diverse opinions and mediate compromises. Ensure meta discussions remain on meta. Let the community make decisions vs. use superpowers. Be a role-model: I'll adjust my (meta) behavior personal->professional. Be impartial (if I disagreed with you personally on a subjective meta-issue, as a mod, I'd do my best to hear you out and fairly represent your view). And I believe we can find acceptable resolutions to various contentious meta-issues, but only through carefully listening to the concerns of the entire community, so that fair compromises can be devised and carefully implemented.

link | history
meta questions: 37 / +330
meta answers: 49 / +566
helpful flags: 16 of 29
2  
With 4 minutes to spare! –  The Chaz 2.0 May 7 '12 at 19:56
    
@TheChaz It was much longer, but I had to edit it at the last minute since I had no idea it was limited to 1200 characters (it doesn't warn you till you try to post it). –  Bill Dubuque May 7 '12 at 19:58
    
Oh... that's good to know for future reference! –  The Chaz 2.0 May 7 '12 at 19:59
1  
Here's what got edited out: I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for generously contributing their precious time to help make MSE one of the best general-level mathematics forums on the web. Please keep in mind that elections provide prime opportunities to learn not only the views of the candidates, but also the views of the entire community. Please do not hesitate to speak up and let your voice be heard. The better that the moderators understand the community, the better that they can help it to run smoothly. –  Bill Dubuque May 7 '12 at 19:59
    
And this: Best of luck to all the candidates. I look forward to hearing your viewpoints and sharing mine. –  Bill Dubuque May 7 '12 at 19:59
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

I am undergraduate honors mathematics student at the University British Columbia, currently on exchange at École Polytechnique in Paris. I return to Vancouver in September to start my fourth and final year at UBC.

I joined math stack exchange a little over 15 months ago, and have been using it regularly since, actively participating on Meta. The community here is one of the healthiest online communities I have seen, and as I already spend so much time reading answers and questions, browsing through both the meta and main site, and typing out my own answers and questions, I would like to go further and volunteer my time to become a Moderator.

I am also active on Math Overflow, and regularly browse several tags along with the Meta section of the site. Here is a link to my account.

In short: I would like to be given the chance to be moderator to help this website and this community.

link | history
meta questions: 7 / +121
meta answers: 36 / +554
helpful flags: 46 of 50
    
I was wondering whether or not you would join in the last day again. If I recall correctly, it's just you and me running for the second time? –  mixedmath May 6 '12 at 19:07
6  
Too many good candidates now :( –  Dylan Moreland May 6 '12 at 22:03
5  
@DylanMoreland Sholdn't you be happy? –  Pedro Tamaroff May 6 '12 at 23:43
5  
@Peter: Makes choosing harder, tho. –  J. M. May 7 '12 at 11:46
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

I would like to moderate the site. I visit the site on a daily basis, and I'm quite the patient person, not minding to dedicate some time to fix a mistake (thanks Dylan) or help, and avoid the site from being spammed or misused. I tend to fix titles that are not really good for the question, fix typos and help new users learn a little about how things roll here in math.SE.

Recently I started using the flagging system which I wasn't really aware of, plus I tend to comment or ask for a change in the question or answer before mindlessly flagging. I enjoy helping people when it comes to learning, specially mathematics. I usually help students in high school levels for exams, for support in terms or for make-up exams.

Answers to questions: in meta. I answered Asaf Karagila and Phira's questions today, 05/04/12. (thanks Kannappan)

link | history
meta questions: 20 / +250
meta answers: 8 / +34
helpful flags: 201 of 213
    
@DylanMoreland We can delete now. –  Pedro Tamaroff May 7 '12 at 19:05
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

I'm a computer-science graduate who loves mathematics. I have applied to a mathematics institute recently, to study for a master's degree. I got accepted to MPIM, but I intend to ponder all the alternatives before acting.

Being a moderator will help me learn more. My job is such that I need to be online. Consequently, I'm nearly always online and available, except when I'm eating or sleeping of course.

I promise to keep MSE a pleasant, relaxed place where people can come to discuss maths or learn more about maths; and to act appropriately when people post questions or answers that don't match the goals of MSE.

For what it's worth, I was a top user on "German Language and Usage" and I'm familiar with moderator tools.

My time zone is UTC+03:30. I'm active during the day on chat, and I check the main site regularly.

link | history
meta questions: 9 / -4
meta answers: 1 / +6
helpful flags: 24 of 27
23  
Do you think that calling other users "narrow-minded" contributes to a pleasant atmosphere? (Not saying that I'm not narrow-minded...) –  The Chaz 2.0 May 2 '12 at 20:39
    
I am not yet a moderator, after all. –  Gigili May 2 '12 at 20:51
5  
What do you mean by «being a moderator will help me learn more since I wasn't that active on the main site recently except when I had a question»? –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 3 '12 at 15:32
11  
(You are not a moderator yet «after all» as you say, but what other indication is there about your future actions apart from your past actions? You could probably elaborate your answer to TheChaz a bit more :) ) –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 3 '12 at 15:33
    
We talked about it @MarianoSuárezAlvarez in the chat room. I explained to him that I didn't know people might get offended by it since a native English speaker called me so a while ago there, I thought it was a normal (!) word meaning one didn't consider all aspects of something. There are discussion also in the meta thread about the election. I really don't think it's that important. –  Gigili May 3 '12 at 17:34
    
The only thing I've heard by far was asking about calling @TheChaz narrow-minded and why I did it or is it what I would do as a moderator. I'd say no, I will call none of you "narrow-minded" when I become a moderator, don't worry. If it's all that matters, I have nothing else to say. I think this has been overplayed. –  Gigili May 3 '12 at 17:37
    
Also, I did elaborate to him. But you told us to clean up the comments, So they're deleted now. –  Gigili May 3 '12 at 17:43
    
I meant when I have a responsibility, I'll check the main site more often which helps me to learn more and since my job is so that I have to be online during the day, I think I will be available 24/7 except when I am sleeping, of course. –  Gigili May 3 '12 at 18:28
10  
I totally believe that you used the word in good faith, but I still think that it is problematic if you don't know words like narrow-minded. What will you do when people flag phrases you cannot evaluate? –  Phira May 3 '12 at 20:54
3  
@Phira: If someone uses a word that I don't understand, I will either: Ask for advice from a friend who speaks English better than I; or Use a dictionary, if it's the middle of the night and there's nobody around. I honestly don't believe that the fact that English is not my first language will affect my ability to moderate this site; but I'm happy to discuss it with you if you think otherwise. –  Gigili May 4 '12 at 5:53
5  
I have based my comment on the fact that you jumped to conclusions about a word that you did not actually know and that is fairly frequent. Since I don't follow you around, I cannot compare this to your other contributions. I have not said anything about non-native speakers as moderators in general and I am not happy that you spin it that way. The issue is not so much that you don't know everything but that I just want to see a sign that you are aware of the problem that you might think again that you understand a word. –  Phira May 4 '12 at 8:51
3  
@Phira, it seemed to me like you were implying that native speakers of English would do a better job of moderating than non-native. Interestingly, a huge number of the sites here are moderated by non-native English speakers, and moderated extremely effectively. The example that springs to my mind is Reg Dwight, on English.SE. If I (a native speaker) understood your remarks in this way; it doesn't seem unreasonable that Gigili did too. To answer the point in your last sentence, yes, it's possible that Gigili would unknowingly misunderstand another word - but that's possible for anyone at all. –  user22805 May 5 '12 at 10:14
    
@DavidWallace No, the fact that you are a native speaker is not a good argument with me, because I don't use this criterion, obviously you do. And no, the point of my last sentence is not that Gigili might misunderstand another word but that I would have liked to hear that she's someone who reflects on misunderstandings. And no, not all people are equally likely to misunderstand words. And no, this issue is not central, but the content (and the timeliness, BTW) of Gigili's reactions is. You may now continue to defend Gigili against your preferred interpretation of my comments. –  Phira May 5 '12 at 11:41
2  
@Phira, I never claimed that all people are equally likely to misunderstand words - please don't put words in my mouth. However, I can honestly assure you that Gigili and I have discussed this particular misunderstanding at length. To say that she has reflected on it is an understatement. I hope that's what you wanted to hear. –  user22805 May 5 '12 at 12:00
3  
@Phira: I was a 4k user there (the 6th user or so, as the site is on beta and quite new) but deleted my account due to some unexpected events. –  Gigili May 5 '12 at 21:13
show 1 more comment

I have been an active member of math.SE for about 9 months, posting on the Q&A and participating in the chat daily.

For the most part, the membership of math.SE does a good job of taking care of most disputes and maintenance issues via votes, comments to the Q&A, and discussions on chat and meta.math.SE. When something arises that can't be handled using one of these methods, moderators need to be flagged.

Aside from periodic maintenance, moderators should only need exercise super-user abilities sparingly, to handle special circumstances and occasional disputes.

I enjoy participating in the Q&A and chat, and I would like the opportunity to help handle the responsibilities of moderation, as well. I trust that my behavior has shown the patience, fairness, and respect to others expected of a moderator. As when one of my answers is questioned, I would show the same graciousness and interest to improve when one of my actions as moderator is questioned.

I am on the US West Coast (UTC-8, UTC-7 for DST). I am on chat almost continuously, but I do go afk occasionally.

link | history
meta questions: 16 / +130
meta answers: 157 / +1,140
helpful flags: 36 of 37
1  
afk?${}{}{}{}{}$ –  Gerry Myerson May 2 '12 at 5:58
5  
Away from keyboard –  Chris Taylor May 2 '12 at 6:05
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

I'd like to toss my hat into the ring as well.

I've been a member of this site for a bit over a year now. I'm not the best educated, nor do I write the best answers. My name is David Lowry (which I've associated to my blog, mixedmath, which I've associated to here; so I guess it's no secret), and I'm finishing my first year as a grad student at Brown University.

As far as moderation goes, I've been a moderator pro tem at Philosophy.SE since it got into the public beta, so I think I have a pretty good handle on many of the things that come up. But Phil.SE is very small compared to MSE, and there are significant content differences. I nonetheless think that the experience would help me. At least I know what I'm getting into.

In short, I think that this site runs pretty well. I agree with most things done by the current moderators, and it's not as if I would change the day-to-day running of the site were I to become a moderator. Instead, I would try to keep this site running well, lightening the load on the current mods.

I should mention that I'm on the US East Coast time zone. But I tend to check MSE a few times a day.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

link | history
meta questions: 14 / +230
meta answers: 66 / +498
helpful flags: 380 of 392
    
My first question ("Are you running for moderator?") has been answered! Now for the real one: $$\text{How do you anticipate the demands of being a mod for MSE will differ from the demands at PSE?}$$ –  The Chaz 2.0 May 1 '12 at 18:59
2  
@The Chaz: I think the biggest difference will be the primary type of issue that comes up. At PSE, it's easy for people to become subjective and argumentative. As Zev once mentioned in a meta post, most flags here are about comments being posted as answers, accounts being merged, etc. The issue is (seemingly) the volume of the flags. And that will take some getting used to. In addition, PSE is still working to define itself. MSE doesn't really have that problem- we even have some habits that don't agree with other SEs, e.g. our treatment of CW. –  mixedmath May 1 '12 at 20:22
5  
The volume of flags is somewhere between 10 and 15 on a busy day. –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 1 '12 at 20:30
    
@Mariano: That's a good stat to know. Do you also think that the current mods are kept busy? –  mixedmath May 1 '12 at 20:45
    
Not really. I mean, I waste time here, but on days when I don't want to spend too much time at MSE, I can deal with all the flags that have piled up overnight (since I apparently wake up the "earliest" of all the mods) in about 35 minutes. –  Willie Wong May 2 '12 at 8:15
3  
(Though the person to ask really is Zev, since he is the beast when it comes to flag clearance.) –  Willie Wong May 2 '12 at 8:17
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

Great , just saw this moderator election thing, and I decided to apply,

I would like be a moderator(great) because

  1. I love this site a lot.
  2. I spend a lot of time on this site.(its somewhere near addiction)
  3. I would love to improve answers questions, direct new users in a right direction and prevent bad questions and answers (because I remember when I was new here I had a totally different notion about this site, which changed with time, and a lot of new people are joining this site,(and this growth is exponential,the internet population will double in the next years,and so will the MSE population (most probably)) which calls for vigilant moderation, so as to retain the trademark culture of this site that distinguishes it from other similar sites. )
  4. because my mom would be so proud of me. :-)
  5. and I would like to be a moderator also because its my first time to be a moderator.

Thanks for reading.

I live in India, my time zone is UTC + 5:30

link | history
helpful flags: 0 of 0
22  
Notice that moderators do not «improve answers»: this is up to site users. With time, you'll gain enough reputation to edit other people's posts to fix things, though. –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 1 '12 at 8:30
15  
Dear Saurav, your candidness is refreshing and I was moved by your point 4. I don't know how your reasons will be received by other users but I'm happy to have read them. Good luck! –  Georges Elencwajg May 1 '12 at 19:25
    
Thank you MarianoSuárez-Alvarez and @GeorgesElencwajg . :-) –  Tomarinator May 3 '12 at 5:53
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

I'm highly active, visiting the site most days and often answering questions. I'm also active on Stack Overflow. More recently I've switched from answering questions to making edits to improve formatting, language and clarity, so moderation seems to be the logical next step.

My feeling is that the community here already does an excellent job of self-moderation when it comes to deciding what is and isn't appropriate. The role of moderator should largely be an administrative one - migrating questions, acting on questions that have sufficiently many close or delete votes, protecting questions and cleaning up/expanding tag wikis. More invasive interventions should only happen when they are clearly necessary (moving off-topic questions, removing abusive comments etc.)

My timezone is UTC.

link | history
meta questions: 2 / +2
meta answers: 8 / +98
helpful flags: 26 of 27
    
Chris, UTC what? It usually comes with a time. –  Pedro Tamaroff May 1 '12 at 21:36
11  
UTC=UTC+0 :) ${}$ –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 1 '12 at 22:00
1  
Wait, really? UTC? You live in a timezone with no summer time? –  Willie Wong May 2 '12 at 8:19
4  
Yes, Reykjavík. No, not really. I live in the UK. –  Chris Taylor May 2 '12 at 8:25
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

That will be a pleasure to participate of this community, be a moderator will be an opportunity to participate in conscious process of choosing new topics about ethics in the community. Also it is important to protect the newbies from gross behaviors as well help to maintain the high quality content of this community!

PS:My time zone is $UTC-3$.

link | history
meta questions: 2 / +6
meta answers: 1 / 0
helpful flags: 1 of 6
15  
It would be useful if you explained what «gross behaviors» newbies are being subjected to! –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 1 '12 at 8:33
3  
When newbies ask a fool question then comes the downvotes pushing them away from the community. –  checkmath May 1 '12 at 12:21
3  
And you would protect them how? –  Michael Greinecker May 1 '12 at 13:41
2  
Good intentions may destroy even a united community, if we don't care about the newbies even experts that are new in site may flight away! Protect as moderator over looking the obsessive downvoters, the gross commentaries as well the answers with big lacks or mistakes. –  checkmath May 1 '12 at 14:11
6  
@chessmath I am afraid your last comment does not answer Michael's question. FWIW, I am not quite understanding what you mean when you say downvotes pushing them away from the site --will you please clarify this one? and then protect them overlooking the obssessive downvoters. I downvote posts that are not well written (and in most cases leave a comment) and most of them happen to be from newer members of the community. So, would you classify me as an "obsessive downvoter"? Or, more generally, who do you classify as a obsessive downvoter? Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards, –  user21436 May 1 '12 at 14:54
1  
Well, @KannappanSampath the works as a moderator is not to punish people from miss behavior, but to serve the people to avoid the bad content while maintain the prime quality of the community. About the downvoters I against the policy shot first ask later, i.e., the downvote should come after a comment or a question if it is really necessary! –  checkmath May 1 '12 at 15:07
11  
How do you propose to implement this? I am not aware of anything I can do as a mod to stop people from downvoting before commenting which a user who can add comments (50 points are required to do that) cannot do. Similarly, dealing with bad content is mostly handled by voting to close and to delete, but as a mod you can do that less that a regular user because your vote becomes binding. –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 1 '12 at 18:43
12  
The issue of binding mod votes is important to raise. To those who may not know: if a mod votes to close then the question is closed immediately, even if it has not yet received 5 close votes. Some of us (including I) think that such binding votes should be used only in extreme cases (e.g. spam) that are unarguably not welcome. For all other cases the community should decide, not one member. I think all mods should state whether or not they agree with this, since following this community-minded policy avoids much tension. –  Bill Dubuque May 1 '12 at 23:22
6  
@BillDubuque You should raise that in the meta thread if you want all candidates to answer it, rather than in the comments on one user's nomination. –  Chris Taylor May 1 '12 at 23:35
    
@Chris Indeed, it's on my list of thingsI plan to discuss there. –  Bill Dubuque May 1 '12 at 23:39
9  
@Bill: Why don't you nominate yourself for this position? I can't speak for the whole community, but I would support your nomination wholeheartedly. –  user5501 May 3 '12 at 13:15
    
For more clarifying see this nice question on meta meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/4113/25077 –  checkmath May 6 '12 at 17:20
1  
Along with the important observation made by Bill that mod votes are binding, one should observe that precisely for that reason mods have historically abstained from voting to close and to delete except in the most extreme cases (and except when their vote would be the last one, thereby effectively removing its final power). That is why the potential problem described by Bill has not actually occurred in practice. This self-retraint is something that should probably be maintained by new mods, to keep the situation that way. –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez May 7 '12 at 5:47
comments disabled on deleted / locked posts

This election is complete.