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2020 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jul 20, 2020 at 20:00
election began
Jul 27, 2020 at 20:00
election ended
Aug 4, 2020 at 20:00

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!

I discovered StackExchange in 2017 and Math.SE was the first site I participated in. At the start, I knew little of what moderation actually meant and I was mainly only interested in answering questions and asking questions.

But as time went by I became immersed not only in the content that this site offers, but also with the general community; editing and voting posts, and curating content through the review queues.

Next month will mark my third year on Math.SE, and I believe I am capable of taking a bigger role here.

As a moderator, I will seek to resolve disputes and flags arising from comments, chat and meta, and in doing so, I will listen and try to understand the viewpoints of all those involved before I intervene. I will continue with my moderation activities of closing and deleting posts, and will of course continue to ask and answer questions. I will treat users fairly and respectfully, as I have always done.

My answers to your questions.

I have decided to throw my hat into the ring.

I have had an account on Math SE for just under three year, but I have used Math SE as a resource for almost a decade. In particular, I am not sure that I would have gotten through graduate PDEs without this site. I mention this history not to unnecessarily inflate my level of involvement (I was not highly involved until more recently), but rather to help explain my view of Math SE works best: for the vast majority, questions here simply "pop up" in search engine results when one is looking for answers.

Since becoming more active here—both as an answerer and as a janitor—I believe that I have been fairly consistent in trying to put forward that vision: Math SE should be a repository of knowledge. It functions best when it is searchable; most users should never need to ask a question, or even open an account, because the answers they require will be delivered to them by the search engine.

If I am elected, I expect that my general approach will remain much the same: I hope to help steer the community some, but expect to spend most of my time on the janitorial tasks of clearing flags and burninating spam.

In the recent past I visited meta threads often and saw a lot of heated discussions in comments which indicates a lot of tension building in various users.

Reducing tensions in meta is one of my long term goals. Also I want to get more involved in the activities related to maintaing the site. The site gives high rep users some powers to help maintain the site so why not keep doing the same as a regular user instead of running for this election?

I think that being a moderator makes you more responsible (I noted this when I switched from a developer role to a managerial one in my job) and less error prone in your actions. So there is more discipline and seriousness and the experience which comes with such a role.

The above is mostly my motivation for running in this election, but what's in there for you as a voter? Well, here is a candidate who

  • is ready to admit mistakes and improve on them
  • is ready go an extra mile trying to ensure fairness
  • believes the users here act in good faith and with good intentions
  • wants to inculcate 'listen and be nice to others' attitude in every user here.

My Answers

I think I would be a useful moderator to have in that I represent a significant number of users on the site who do not necessarily have issues with many questions that are currently being closed and deleted. While anyone would agree that a question requires sufficient "context" to be answered, there are differing views as to what "context" means. To some users, "context" is something of a euphemism for some additional details that are not always required to give an appropriate answer to the question. I think that if a question is not a duplicate and is sufficiently clear to be answered then users should be allowed to answer it. I think that if a question does not meet your quality standards but is clear, answerable, and not a duplicate, and not closeable for lack of focus, etc., you should downvote it, not close it.

As a moderator I would, of course, handle flags, but would do minimal closing and deleting. I would especially avoid deleting questions and answers (except for things that everyone agrees should be deleted, such as spam) because this cannot be reversed.

My answers to the questionnaire

With some reluctance, I submit myself for nomination for this role. To be brutally honest:

  1. I am unsure if I actually want to be a moderator. There are other qualified users who would be better suited, but they have not been nominated or been willing. More to the point, however, is the notion that, in becoming a moderator, one would need to be more neutral in balancing the different considerations of various disputes among opposing points of view.

  2. I am far from perfect. There have been times when I've been impatient with other users. I do not claim to have always been helpful to others. My faults and flaws are visible in my history of activity on this site and by nominating myself I'm opening these to more scrutiny.

So, why do this? Because the questions being asked in this election are important and I would like to address them as clearly as possible. I also want to provide users with a choice to vote for someone who has a relatively long history with this site and is transparent about their shortcomings. I can’t promise to be a great moderator, but I will do my best; and I would step down from the role if I feel I can no longer do so.

This election is over.