There is absolutely a kernel of truth in what you say. I have expressed this already in this discussion, but consider for a moment this:
- What makes Stack Exchange unique is its crowd sourced moderation
- Your ability to moderate the website comes from the reputation that you accrued
- You gain reputation by asking and answering questions in one specific Stack Exchange vertical
- There are a few ways where your reputation in one site affects what you can do in other sites
- When you hit 200 reputation in any one website, you gain 100 reputation everywhere. That's enough to vote up and comment, but not to vote down.
- Chat privileges on chat.SE are based on the sum of your reputation points across the network
- That is it
ChrisF, who has been a moderator in 5 different websites, isn't automatically trusted to the system to vote to close here. He can vote to close, but only because he's got 8k reputation and he's earned it.
Similarly, Jon Skeet's 869k reputation points do him little good on Arqade. If he signed up now, he'd have 101 repuation points, same as everyone else, and the system would trust him just as much.
Why is it that people who are clearly so well in-tune with network policies, site policies, or how to do Q&A properly, are so little trusted across websites? The only way to get a diamond across all SE sites is to be an employee, isn't that strange?
Well, no, that's not strange. Jon Skeet's written the book about C#, and timezones, and many other things, but that doesn't translate into knowledge about videogames. He is just not trusted on this subject matter. So he doesn't get to vote.
But you, oh reader, you probably are trusted on the subject matter. What does this trust mean? Basically it says, "since I know that you're sorta knowledgeable about videogames, I'm going to let you make some moderation calls." The whole grant of trust is based on the assumption that you generally can understand what the hell it means to ward the jungle so mid can't gank the carry.
So the implication here is that if you don't actually know what the post is about, even if the site gives you the buttons, you should not use those buttons.
You are not expected to be able to make a call, whether it is an upvote, or a downvote, or a close vote, or whatever, on every single question on the website — this is why moderation is outsourced in the first place.
We would simply identify people who have such an ability and make them moderators and that would perfectly cover all of our moderationery needs forever.
But that's not how we roll. Moderators are elected because we as a community especially trust them to both refrain from making a call when they don't have a clue and do enough research and thinking to make a call even when the rest of the community doesn't have a clue. We don't just touch very few questions on the website because of fear of the next "a mod closed it so heres vote to reopen lol" comments some people have been enjoying littering the site with.
And we ask our community to try and exercise the same amount of restraint. If you don't know what a question is about, think if it is really up to you to cast a vote to close, and if you cannot trust the rest of the community to make a more informed decision than you would.
The system trusts you, why can't you trust the system?
This is one of those things that we can't and won't enforce. We won't ask people to give up proof of ownership of a game. It is perfectly acceptable to answer a question based on your independent research, even if it's just some google searching or some youtube videos. This post is entirely about the moderation side of things. It is up to those who own the game to see if the answer is actually correct, for example.
We trust the system that most of the time the correct decision will be reached by the community at large, and that when this fails to happen, we will be alerted through flags (and chat, and whatever else). And if you're found to be abusing the trust that the system affords you, we may have to take action. :)