we're having a new election, which means a new round of the moderator Q&A. 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.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, June 6th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure, wow the template was only off by a month), 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.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • At the end of the 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. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, 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 new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

12 Answers 12


As a community, we have our fair share of divisive issues, often hashed out at length in meta and on chat, usually with strong arguments either way. As a moderator, what do you see as your role during these community disagreements?

  • 1
    To add to this: if you don't currently participate in chat, do you see yourself making an effort to do so after becoming moderator as many issues are discussed on chat before meta posts are made?
    – Yuuki
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 14:54
  • 6
    @Yuuki It can be easy to forget sometimes, but those of us who hang out in chat are a tiny minority (albeit an influential one) of the site's users. Usually the meat of the discussion is on meta.
    – fredley
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 14:56

I think this question is very important, so I will borrow it from @GraceNote's list of alternative questions.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

  • An election wouldn't be complete without this question being asked :P
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 6:42

Meta discussions can often be divisive, with two (and sometimes multiple) sides forming differing stances and viewpoints within the same discussion.

  • Can you give an example of a meta (or chat conversation) which made you change your stance on a particular issue?


  • Can you give an example of a meta/chat in which you were originally barracking for a particular side, but since that time have changed your stance on the issue?

If not, why not?

  • 2
    fishing for compliments about the effectiveness of your metas, i see :p Commented May 31, 2016 at 2:42
  • 3
    @GodEmperorDune - haha close, but not quite :-). Answers to these questions will show two things: a) Knowledge of meta policy/Meta participation and b) Willingness/Ability to adapt/change ones opinion of things. Mods need to be able to weigh both sides of an argument despite whatever their own viewpoints may be, and previous experience of keeping an open mind and/or changing a stance based on more experience or new evidence will help to show that. At least, that's my theory :P
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 2:50

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?

A new question appears! It's a little weird and unlike anything you've seen. The community starts flaming discussing how to handle it, and it's both been closed and reopened. What do?

Some examples:

  • Assume that "How exactly do you gain ultimate in Overwatch?" is too broad to be properly dealt in one answer (though it seems that it's not). On the other hand, we don't want to have 16 different "How exactly does this hero gain ultimate in Overwatch?" either. What do you do?
  • A question asks how to fix a Fallout 3 crash when loading the asker's favourite mods. Our meta only speaks about Minecraft mod crash questions. The question has already been answered, but in the meanwhile discussion on it hasn't died down. What do you do?
  • two bugs asks about Dark Soles 5, a game that is at the moment only available to select pro much core gamer streamers only. What do you do?
  • I just posted a long very well received answer on terminology questions, then a terminology question comes, I gleefully close it, but then the community reopens it. What would you have done?
  • 9
    I have a sudden, intense desire to play Dark Soles 5, which I can only imagine is a game about murdering people and collecting their shoes.
    – Sterno
    Commented Jun 1, 2016 at 12:02
  • 1
    @Sterno Actually it's about fishing. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 11:09
  • I feel like you gave us the answer to the Dark Soles one in your answer to the recent meta about that exact situation
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 0:10
  • @robotnik yes, yes I have. Why do you think I have though?
    – badp
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 6:30
  • @badp - because someone thought it was a good enough question to ask in general?
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 7:39

This has come up in the nomination comments, and I feel its a good question for all of the mod candidates to address.

As a moderator, you will have access to all sorts of privileged information that is not accessible to regular users. Under what circumstances would you access users' personal information and why?

  • 2
    Note for those who may be unaware: all access to PII of any kind (name, email address, IP history) by moderators is logged.
    – fredley
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 20:06
  • @fredley that makes me feel safer but I still feel the question is valid Commented May 31, 2016 at 20:27
  • Absolutely. The logging is useful retrospectively, but I do not know if there is any automated system that detects abuse, other than perhaps a high rate of requests.
    – fredley
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 20:28

A question that I feel is important:

Why do you want to be a mod? It's not an easy job, and is actually quite thankless and unrewarding. You'll have to field criticism and complaints from all corners, no matter what you do. How will you handle that?


Moderators' close and re-open votes are binding. If elected, how (if at all) would your close/re-open voting practices change?


I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio, for example Unionhawk with less than 2:1. The average upvote:downvote ratio per user in Arqade, for users with reputation > 5k and #votes > 100, is closer to 5:1.

Although moderators don't directly affect voting, they do have an active voice in meta discussions that can affect voting patterns, and their user profiles present an example for new users.

So in the light of all the above, I think it's worth asking the candidates to share their opinions regarding downvotes. For example:

Can you justify your upvote:downvote ratio? Do you believe downvotes should be used more, or less, than how they are used now? In what cases do you believe a question should get a downvote but not a close vote? Do you expect that being elected a moderator will affect your voting habits?

  • 2
    Interesting question and I definitely have some points to cover on this front, I hope this question makes it into the final list. (Even if it doesn't I'm happy to expand on it a bit if requested).
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 7:21
  • Is this statistic even that useful, considering that votes on deleted posts are taken into account? My "actual" ratio is closer to 2:1 than the 7:1 my profile displays.
    – TZHX
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 8:18
  • How can one see their ratio? Edit: manually checked, 6:1 (up:down)
    – ave
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 12:37
  • @TZHX Are you sure it takes votes on deleted posts into account? But in any case the data query count and the user page's statistics seem to be calculated the same, so we're still talking about significant deviations from the average.
    – Oak
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 13:24
  • @Oak I'm sure it does. But yes, some wide variation there. I for some reason misread that the ratio was downvotes:upvotes -- wow, I'm way off.
    – TZHX
    Commented May 31, 2016 at 13:34

What do you see as the largest challenge currently facing the site? As a newly elected moderator, what will you do about it?


Borrowing from another site's moderator election question collection thread:

How will your moderator practices be shaped by the person in question? Will you change the way you moderate for another moderator, high reputation user, or newbie?


What do you think the purpose of Arqade is? How does it differ from other SE sites, and what should the relationship be with sites that have some overlap, such as SciFi and Fantasy?

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