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 - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us plus an additional bonus question.

The bonus question is an extra related in measure towards part of the reason this specific election is being held, and I was technically supposed to add it into the thread to be vetted but did not get to. However, due to its importance, I've opted to include it as an eleventh question, and hope that the candidates will be okay to bear with this slight change in protocol.

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. Oh, and please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written.

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!


  1. 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?

  2. 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? And/or, 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?

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

  4. 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?

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

  6. 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?

  7. 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?

  8. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  9. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

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

B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

Robotnik


  1. 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?

In general, our role as moderators would be to mediate these discussions to the best of our ability and stop disruptive behaviour such as close/reopen wars. Redirecting users into meta, diffusing heated tempers, responding to/removing inflammatory remarks and just generally guiding the conversation so that it remains civil and on-topic are just some of the tasks I expect to be taking on in these situations.

Of course, there may be some cases where a moderator answer or direct intervention is requested or required, especially in cases where the discussions are not reaching any conclusions or the direction of the discussion has tangentially spiraled from the original point. After all, moderators have been elected from the community based on their previous experiences, their understanding of the site and history of level-headedness. A moderator's voice is a tool of moderation just like close votes or other tools available to us all: it should be used as needed in order to steer discussions towards a (civil) consensus.

1.1 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?

Whilst this was only a comment on the Election Questionnaire I feel like I should address it as it's probably (mostly) targeted at me due to not being very active in chat.

Yes and no.

  • Yes, I will be more active due to the nature of being a moderator. I will flick into chat more often and will of course join for important discussions and be available to respond to @ pings as I already do (as covered in the Election chat discussions this week).

  • No, I don't expect to join in the idle banter too much. The Bridge isn't really for me, plus everyone else is generally asleep when I'm active, due to me being based in Australia thus my active times are about 10 hours out from most Bridge frequents from the US and Europe.


  1. 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?

Every 'Identify This Game' (ITG) Discussion There's no one post on ITG that I would call definitive to me, but as someone who was initially kinda supportive of ITG, reading over many of the discussions/stats/answers given made me change my stance completely, and I believe the site is now better off having removed them.

Note that I also agree with our exception of allowing an artifact as covered by LessPop_MoreFizz: "Here is a thing. Look at the thing. Do you see the thing? I would like to know what this Thing is Called." A plea for sanity, and I differentiate between these questions and ITG as I covered here

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?

Should "how do I attack this base?" questions be considered off-topic?

I've never played Clash of Clans, and probably never will. Having said that, I originally disagreed with the removal of these particular types of questions (thinking that they were just general strategy questions) and voted on JonK's straw poll answers as such.

It wasn't until I did a bit of research into CoC in general and into our tag that I agreed that these questions were a bad fit for us, and theBlueFish's answer solidified that stance for me.


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

I feel I have more to offer the site than the 10/20k tools provide me. Anyone can reach 20k without ever participating in site moderation, review queues or the 10/20k tools.

Current (and potential!) moderators have already been shown to have an active presence in site moderation tasks, meta, or at least chat. I believe that a moderator's previous experiences, level-headedness and thorough understanding of policy and how the site operates are key to moderation and the success of the site, and I believe that I tick all those boxes.


  1. 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?

The only use cases I can think of is either:

  1. Needing to contact a user for site-specific reasons who is currently in a particularly bad situation and/or can't reply, such as having their account hacked or being on timed suspension.
  2. In the process of investigating a voting ring/sock puppet situation

I'm sure there are other valid reasons but as of writing I can't think of any other exceptional circumstances where accessing said data would be applicable.


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

In General: Delete inflammatory comments, move extended discussions to chat and redirect users to meta.

In the specific examples you've given:

Overwatch Ultimates ('Too broad' vs having many questions)

If the community deemed an overarching "How do all heroes gain ultimate?" as too broad, and then asked, answered and voted on questions about individual heroes' ultimates one at a time, is that not the system working as intended?

I would question why we "don't want to have 16 different questions" in this scenario. If the topic was 'waay too broad man!' to stand in a combined manner, than the 16 heroes would have enough extensive, varied content to require expert answers to all of them.

However, if the community had closed the broad question, and was now closing the individual questions for some reason, then I would create a meta to the above effect and redirect close/reopen voters to share their views there.

Modded Fallout 3 crash (No Dogs Allowed!)

I would explain that - whilst we have a rule against Modded Minecraft crash questions - this does not automatically extend to other games. This quote from SevenSidedDie sums up the situation perfectly, and I would quote parts of it when explaining the situation:

Although that might appeal in a "rules should be rules" sense, it violates the No Elephants Allowed Sign rule-making principle: rules exist because they solve a real problem. Applying rules to non-problems because it's "fair" can cause more problems than they solve, such as unnecessary extra work applying or defending the rule. "Minecraft crash questions caused us problems, so I'm sorry but your simple question about Half-Life 3 crashing is off topic" is a hard stance to defend
- SevenSidedDie: Minecraft crash questions should be made off-topic: yes/no?

Whilst making said point, I would redirect users to open a meta if they felt strongly about banning all modded tech support in general (or for another exception-case game like Minecraft).

Dark Soles 5 (Game availability)

The presedent set by this meta is that: so long as a game is publicly available, even if it is in closed beta or only available to a select few people at the time of writing, you are allowed to ask questions on it. So if this situation came up, I would initially do nothing.

If we get a lot of contention around a particular question/situation however, I would take it to meta. If there is a contentious question that spawned the situation, I would link relevant users (close/reopen-voters, commenters etc) to that new meta, potentially locking the question (if it is in the middle of a close/reopen war or if commenters refuse to move to meta/chat) until the situation is resolved.

Terminology (Is there a term for 'X')

In this situation, I would

  1. Attempt to make my meta answer clearer what the stance actually is.
  2. Link relevant users (close/reopen-voters, commenters etc) to the current meta, requesting they voice their dissenting opinions there.
    • Again, potentially locking the contentious question until the situation is resolved.
  3. Not override community consensus until sure that the first decision to close was the right one. If it wasn't, then I accept the situation of being overruled and move on. If it was, then reclose the question (if it hasn't been in the meantime).

  1. 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?

I want to be a mod because I feel like I can contribute more to the betterment of the site by doing so.

Regarding fielding criticism/complaints: I feel like I do this already, to an extent. I have constantly and consistently fought for questions (and question types/categories) that I feel are within our expertise to answer, ironically enough most of the time with the user who wrote this question :). It's pretty unrewarding, there's no rep in it and often enough the OP of the particular question either doesn't respond at all, or when they do - gets miffed about the discussions happening around them.

So why do I get myself into these situations? Because at the end of the day it's not about Me, or the OP, or @Frank, or anyone else. It's about the content that we as a site are presenting. I have gone to bat for ungrateful OPs because I believed their questions (or the answers they're garnering) were worth keeping around.

Sometimes I'm wrong, sometimes I'm right, and if I'm elected mod I'll approach every situation exactly the same as I always have: remaining calm but firm, debating against the point not the person making them, and deferring to community decisions/precedents on the subject at hand (if needed in the particular situation).


  1. 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?

Take them into a one-on-one chat and explain that the behavior they are portraying is unacceptable. I would make the point that no number of content contributions (fantastic as they may be) make it acceptable to act the way they are acting. The first instance will be a warning, followed by greater consequences if the behaviour doesn't improve, eventuating in a timed suspension if warranted.


  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would discuss their reasons for doing so privately with the mod (or all the other mods). If no precedent / meta exists to back up either side and the post (or it's openness/closure/deletion) is causing a lot of discussions/controversy with no meta being made, I would make an (impartial) meta q and direct all interested parties for or against to contribute their thoughts there.

Whichever way the consensus is reached I would then support that decision.


  1. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

As of writing my stats are 7,721 up, 350 down, for a ratio of about 22/1.

Can I justify my upvote:downvote ratio? I find this very similar to asking for comments explaining votes on the main site, in that everyone's voting habits are different and in general everyone has a different take on when to vote. However, here's my take:

If another action is a better fit from having to downvote, I will do that first. This includes editing, closing, commenting for clarification and so on. In fact, the only action I pair with a downvote is usually a flag. I am more likely to not vote at all if I believe that the post is contentious enough, saving my up or down response for when we have a clearer consensus.

I vote up when the question/answer is:

  • A post that I believe can benefit others
  • Shows effort on behalf of the asker/answerer
    • Gives insight or experience backed up with facts, references and data.
  • Clear and to the point (doesn't waffle)
  • I enjoyed reading it

I vote down when the question/answer is:

  • Unclear (when editing will not solve this).
  • Blatantly off-topic as per our close reasons (unless it's already closed, no point in beating a dead horse)
  • An answer makes sweeping claims and does not provide sources/references/data to back them up.
  • An answer is link-only, straight up wrong, not useful, commentary or in general should be removed.

In what cases do you believe a question should get a downvote but not a close vote?

It's not often, as I've covered I'll either edit myself or request clarification before downvoting. The only scenario I can think of is if the question shows little to no research effort (and it isn't a language barrier that's preventing them finding the answer themselves)

I also make a point of reversing/removing downvotes if the poster or interested third party makes an effort to fix up the post (and I believe the fixed version now justifies removal of a downvote)

I don't expect becoming a moderator will affect my voting habits much. I might find that I downvote slightly more due to it being a 'safer' action in regards to moderation that doesn't override community consensus like close/reopen votes.


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

Unless the post blatantly fits into one of our core on/off-topic reasons I would delay my voting until 3 or 4 votes in so as not to short circuit the voting process.

Everything else I would expect to do the same: linking to relevant metas, editing posts to be clearer, explaining to the OP/interested parties why such decisions are made, guiding the OP into rewording to fit our site better or to remove contentious points.


B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

Having earned both Enthusiast and Fanatic (and consistently re-hitting the requirements) I feel that I can be active on most days.

On average I expect to be available 1.5 - 2 hours a day, at a time when most mods are asleep or working due to my local timezone (GMT+10). I am generally active in small doses throughout my day, with larger peaks of activity in the mornings and evenings. Weekends are more difficult to plan around but I generally still have around the same amount of time to spend per day.


I hope these answers shed some light onto who I am, what I do and why I'm here. If anything requires clarification, please don't hesitate to ask :)

  • What do you consider "community consensus"? A difference of 5 upvotes on competing answers in meta? A Bridge discussion between a handful of people? Sometimes it seems obvious where one view is highly upvoted and the other downvoted into oblivion, but a lot of cases it's hard to tell if there is any consensus at all. And if meta scores are the barometer, what happens when they change over time? – Troyen Jun 7 '16 at 21:03
  • 1
    @Troyen - Generally speaking, if a meta calls for an action to be made, and said action is controversial, then I would opt to do nothing. 'Consensus' has to be an agreement that the action should be done. Take my recent meta on Overwatch sub-tags, which we have 'Don't do it', 'Don't do it yet', and 'What about class/role tags instead of hero tags?' as options. The question is at +7, -7 score. Due to their being no clear consensus, there is no action that should be taken – Robotnik Jun 7 '16 at 23:18

Wipqozn

  1. 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?

In this situation (and any situation, really) I'd have two roles: Community Member and Site Moderator.

As a community member my voice should carry no more weight than anyone else, and I should freely contribute to the discussion, letting my opinion be known.

As a moderator I need to help maintain order and civility in the discussion. If some folks are getting rude and breaking the all important "Be Nice" rule then I'd need to act accordingly: remind folks to be civil, delete comments, and, if necessary, hand out suspensions. Eventually it may reach the point where my fellow moderators and I may need to take on the role of an "exception handler", where we'd need to have a secret private mod discussion about what we'd need to do, and act accordingly (for ITG this meant the moderators holding a vote).

The key thing here is that I need to be able to keep these two roles separate. What this means that if I'm heavily involved in a discussion, and things are started to get heated, then I eventually may need to remove myself from the discussion as a community member and then either start acting as a moderator (i.e. warning, suspensions, et cetera) or let another moderator step in and handle it (if I'm too close or involved in any drama then I probably shouldn't be the one to start handing out warning and suspensions).

  1. 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? And/or, 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?

I actually provided an example of this in my nomination, which you can find here. The tl;dr is I thought some questions about Starcraft 2 build orders should be closed as being too broad or primarily opinion based, but @LessPop_MoreFizz convinced me that I was being a big silly face and so my opinion changed accordingly.

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

Aside from exception handling, I believe the main things I can do as a mod which I can't do as a regular user is dealing with comments and problematic users. Although users have some tools to deal with those issues, they're not fully equipped to. And, in the case of problematic users, I personally don't think regular users should be getting too involved, and should just let moderators handle it.

  1. 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?

The only reason I can think of where I'd need to access PII information is because the mods and I suspect a user is using sock puppet accounts to vote on their own posts.

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

Assuming users already haven't then I'd encourage them to either continue the discussion in chat and meta. If the question has been closed and reopened a few times already I'd lock the question until the community has hashed it out in meta. Once community has hashed it out in meta I may step in to cast a close/reopen vote if necessary, but otherwise I'd avoid casting a close or reopen vote at all.

However, if the discussion is just going around in circles and it doesn't look like there's going to be any decision reached by the community then I'd ask all the moderators to meet up in the secret Arqade mod chat to discuss the question, and decide if we need to take any action, and if so, what that action was.

  1. 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?

Honestly, as lame and generic as it sounds, I just want to help the site to maintain the high quality it's known for. Arqade is a great place for gamers to go to for help, but maintaining that quality is a lot of work, and requires a strong set of community and diamond moderation to maintain. I believe I have the knowledge, skillset, and availability to be an excellent moderator so I'd like to take on that additional responsibility so I can help the site in ways I currently can't.

  1. 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?

I'd deal with them just like any other user, where I'd hand out warnings and suspensions as necessary. Just because you contribute a lot to the site doesn't mean you don't need to follow the rules. Honestly the only difference I could really see in how I handle the situation in a such a user versus one who contributes a small amount of content is that I'd likely try a lot harder to get them to change their behaviour, since I'd hate to lose a valuable contributor to the site.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Ideally I'd want to ping them in the secret Arqade mod chat and ask them why they took the action they did before acting. However that may not always be possible (i.e. I know they're at work for the next 8 hours), so depending on the situation I may act sooner (i.e. community is upset, the question clearly falls within our scope, and it's already acquired a few reopen votes).

  1. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

My upvote ratio is about 3 upvotes for every downvote, which I don't think is unusual. There's nothing special about how I vote, really. When I see good posts I upvote, and when I see bad posts I downvote. I'm more hesitant to vote on posts regarding games I'm not that familiar with, though, since it's harder for me to judge the quality of the post. If elected mod I highly doubt my voting habtis will change, since I don't see how my current voting habits would have a negative impact on the community (and, honestly, if I thought they did I'd have changed how I voted by now).

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

Questions which clearly fall outside of the scope of the site (or in the scope, but was closed anyways) I'd willingly cast a binding vote on (i.e. game rec, ITG without an artifact). For questions inside the scope site, but should be closed (or reopened) for other reasons, then I'd only cast a vote if it already had three or four votes.

If a question had a debate or controversy around whether it should be open or closed then I'd hold off on casting any votes at all until folks have hashed out the discussion and arrived at a decision. Although if there's been a close-reopen war going on then I'd likely step in, lock the question, create a meta discussion and tell folks to hash it out in meta before casting anymore votes.

B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

If elected my plan was to set aside 15-30 minutes a day to deal with moderator duties. I'd set aside time in the morning, afternoon, and evening to just focus on going through the moderator flag queue (likely around 10AM UTC, 6PM UTC, and 11PM UTC). I'd be available and on the in-between those times (I'm in chat most of the day), but I may just be hanging out in chat, and not actively going through the moderator flags queue. However, since I will be in chat, if anything crazy was going down I'd be available to deal with it (i.e. someone is posting a bunch of spam answers, a user is harassing other users in chat, et cetera).

  • 5
    As a community member my voice should carry no more weight than anyone else - your name would have a diamond against it, and it will carry more weight. – fredley Jun 7 '16 at 7:25
  • @fredley Maybe I'm just being naive, but when I look at posts like this one and this I don't think the community is giving the opinion of badp anymore weight than anyone else. They agree and disagree with him just like they would any other user, and vote on his posts based on that – Wipqozn Jun 7 '16 at 10:30
  • (@badp not to single you out, but you were the easiest mod to find two posts for, one highly upvoted and one highly downvoted) – Wipqozn Jun 7 '16 at 10:31
  • Being pedantic, whether you are right or wrong doesn't affect the 'weight' of your posts :P – fredley Jun 7 '16 at 10:34
  • @fredley That's true, and maybe it's naive to say I can take part in a discussion without my voice having more "Weight" than other members. I just know from my own experience on the site, and working with other mods, that when our mods take in a discussion about site policy that they're not saying "This is way this is happening" but "HEre's what I think". Folks will consider and dismiss what they just like any other user, although maybe they'll listen a bit closer to the mod than someone else. There may be times when mods do need to step in and toss downt he law (ITG vote is an example), ... – Wipqozn Jun 7 '16 at 18:37
  • .. but when they do take those kinds of actions they make it clear that they're now stepping in as a moderator to say "look, this is what the site policy is" or "this is what's going to happen." – Wipqozn Jun 7 '16 at 18:38

Unionhawk

  1. 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?

As a moderator, obviously it becomes my duty to make sure the discussions remain civil, especially in the comments. "Be nice" is one of the single most important rules there is, and ultimately meta is where things often have a tendency to get heated.

However, my role as an experienced member doesn't simply stop by becoming a moderator. I intend to voice my opinion as I normally would, with the understanding that it is not my status, but the community that ultimately decides if my viewpoint is the consensus. And to that end, I will honor that decision, as I have honored the decision to ban questions pertaining modded Minecraft crashes. I do not agree with it, however, I don't go around casting reopen votes in defiance.

  1. 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? And/or, 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?

Honestly, I cannot think of a particular instance where I changed my mind on a particular issue. I was never around for ITG or anything like that, so there is no real memorable issue that I have changed my mind on. I merely accept decisions like modded Minecraft crashes as the consensus of the community.

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

Becoming a moderator will allow me to more effectively serve the site. It will allow me to perform moderation tasks that I already perform in the queues more efficiently, and allow me to deal with spam even more quickly than I can now. Additionally, it will allow me to better perform chat moderation tasks

  1. 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?

Honestly, with the possible exception of sockpuppet investigations (for which as far as I understand, there are special tools to deal with), there aren't really any situations that I can think of that having access to this sort of information will help serve moderatorial purposes. So really, that's the only situation that I can think of that I would use it.

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

I would encourage the community to continue to hash it out in meta or chat, working through my opinions, and searching for any sorts of relevant meta decisions that might apply in the case.

Obviously, this is all situational, but relates heavily to my answer to point 1 above. Ultimately, I will let the community discuss, and, where appropriate, I will provide my expert opinion as an experienced member of the site.

  1. 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?

I want to be able to help out the moderation team. Plain and simple. Yes, the blue name and the diamond are nice perks to that, however, I want to help the site more than I can as a 17k user now.

  1. 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?

First of all, I would deal with the comments as they pop up, obviously. Then, I would confront the user about their comments while cleaning some of them up. It is important to retain high quality users, but it is also important to make sure they are following one of the main tenets of the network, "be nice". It is important to make clear to these sorts of users that while their contributions are greatly appreciated, their behavior is not appreciated in any way.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would talk to the closing moderator to get their reasoning behind why the decision was made first and foremost. From there, I would talk it out until we come to some sort of agreement.

Ultimately, moderators reversing other moderators decisions without any sort of explanation or discussion is not productive, and can create a sense of distrust between members of the moderation team.

  1. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

The original version of this question in the question gathering topic mentioned me in particular, which is actually surprising to me, because I have been told by certain users that I should use downvotes more.

Ultimately, while 1000 of my 3000 votes are negative votes, 800 of those are votes on deleted posts. So the reasoning behind my ratio is simple: when I flag a post as NAA, VLQ, spam, or offensive, I also downvote it. This serves two purposes: number one, it allows delete votes to be cast sooner, and number two, it causes that post to be removed from the front page or greyed out faster.

I believe that both up and down votes serve a purpose. Upvotes serve as the carrot: to let users know that what they are doing is good, and also to let others know that a particular post is good. Downvotes, on the other hand, are a shovel. They do serve a purpose of letting users know that they aren't quite up to par, but they also serve to mark a particular post as not good, and in general, deserving of burial or deletion.

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

My voting habits would have to change out of necessity, for this obvious reason. If elected, my close and reopen votes would be reserved for obvious cases, like if someone is literally asking us what game they should buy, and for fifth votes.

If, on the other hand, there is some controversy as to whether or not a question should be closed, I'll refrain from voting, again, unless my voting role is simply casting the fifth vote, which is binding for all 3k users.

B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

I'm pretty much available to help with site moderation all EST day. Fortunately for me, gaming.stackexchange is not blocked at work, so I'll have the time and resources to handle things as they come up, and as people in The Bridge will tell you, I am around pretty much all of the time.

Fluttershy

  1. 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?

Regardless of my position, whether I have a diamond, or a ton of rep, or room ownership in one of our many chatrooms, I will always be, first and foremost, a community member. To that end, I will always voice my opinions on these divisive issues, even if I may not fall on the same side as the majority. Should the need arise, however, I will always be ready to try and calm tempers, soothe frustrations, and try to keep the discussion civil.

That said, I will always support the majority consensus within the community, and will enact any moderation to that end, as I have done with my close and down votes since I was granted those privileges.

  1. 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? And/or, 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?

I can actually give a perfect example of a time that I’ve ended up changing my stance on a particular issue. The specific issue being our allowance of questions. I was vehemently against this, specifically ones that were just trivia for the sake of curiosity. I felt they added no value to the site. It may actually be my most downvoted anything on Arqade. I’ve since come to my senses, though, and see the value in lore questions.

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

As someone who is here almost daily, and active in the chat as often, I feel like it would be easier for me aid the existing moderation team than I am able to at my current reputation, or even 20k reputation. Flags can be handled more effectively, our nightly “Natural Enhancement” spam can be removed quicker, and overall site clutter can be removed more efficiently.

  1. 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?

Aside from the previously mentioned sock puppets, the only other reason that comes to mind for even potentially needing to access a user’s private information would be in the event we had another giveaway wherein another 50,000 people win flat screen TVs. Though, I believe that’s mostly handled by SO employees, and not Arqade moderators.

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

Assuming no consensus has been reached, either in chat or on meta, and the Close/Open war was continuing, I believe the best course of action would be to lock the divisive question citing a content dispute, and take the issue to meta. It’s where we define the bulk of our policies, and is a place where discussion can occur without the potential distractions/derailings of our chatrooms.

  1. 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?

I’ve been a member of Arqade for almost five years now, and have met several great people in my time here. In all honesty, I want to be able to give back to the community who, I feel, has given me so much. At the risk of sounding sappy, this community has gotten me through some pretty rough times these last few years. I want to show my gratitude by helping to keep the site a great place for new people, so they can experience it and the community as well. Generally, I can handle criticism fairly well, and will always do my best to resolve any complaints that are within my ability to resolve.

  1. 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?

Much like Wipqozn said in his answer, quality does not outweigh toxicity. If the user is indeed a problem user, they would be issued warnings and suspensions regardless of the quality of their content. Toxic users are a problem for any community (just look at LoL as an example), and a problem that needs to be handled as swiftly as possible.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

This is a situation that would be best handled between myself and the closing moderator. I feel that if I were to undermine the other moderator, it could be more problematic in the long run, and could put users at odds with other members of the moderation team. If we can’t trust each other to do the right thing, why should the community trust us?

  1. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

My up:down ratio is currently sitting fairly close to 2:1, so I don’t personally feel that my voting is unusual. That said, I don’t feel that being elected would affect my voting habits. I would continue to vote along the same lines I always have: question/answer quality, research, usefulness, and clarity. A close vote should never be used as a super downvote, and this is even more true for a moderator, as their votes are binding.

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

I don’t feel that my close/re-open voting would change much from what it is currently. I would continue to use my personal judgment, and my knowledge of the various meta policy discussions to vote accordingly. I would continue to vote accordingly on things that were blatantly off-topic, however. Fringe questions can be a decent indicator of community consensus on some topics, so I would likely do what I do now, and catch up on comments before I make a decision.

B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

I plan to be as active as I can be. Like many others here, I keep The Bridge, Arqade, and Meta open in my browser at all times (I’m still grumpy that I somehow broke a 500+ consecutive day visit streak). Additionally, many members of the existing moderation team can reach me on Steam or other messaging services, like our Discord server, or Slack! I will allot time each night (central time) to work on moderation. I will continue to be active in the chat, and on the site proper, and will continue to try and improve my meta activity.

Finally, if you’ve stuck with me this far, thank you for your time!

  • Ugh, I broke a 364-day streak thanks to a weekend camping :/. I know them feels well. – Robotnik Jun 7 '16 at 7:41

Nominee Dragonrage's answers.

  1. 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?

As a moderator, my role in any disagreement is to make sure things stay civil and on track. Disagreements are fine, and are bound to happen. Everyone has their own opinion and they aren't always going to align perfectly, and working through these disagreements is how we become better as a community. However, to resolve our differences of opinion people have to be respectful of each other and listen to each other, and getting overly emotional is detrimental, and resorting to insults is never a way to solve a problem.

The first bullet point of our model is to be nice, and as a moderator, one of my primary responsibilities is to make sure that people are being nice, and to take corrective measures against those who aren't.

While my main focus as a moderator is to keep things civil, I also will have the responsibility to try and help guide policies to better the site by offering input I have that I can bring to the table during discussions. While having a diamond next to my name may give my opinions more weight, it also gives me the responsibility to lead by example and show other users how to calmly work through a problem until the issue is resolved.

  1. 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? And/or, 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?

Not long ago, we had a large discussion both in meta and chat, about term for x questions, which I initially wanted to do away with, as I personally did not feel like they were a good fit for our site. To me, they seemed much too broad and generated a lot of low quality answers. However after much discussion and fanfare, @badp post this answer I had not considered at all, and after reading it over a few times I found I rather liked it as it addressed a lot of the problems I had with those types of questions. It took the questions I felt were too broad, and limited the scope to something I felt was reasonable eliminated much of the bikeshedding problem.

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

As a 10k or 20k user, I would have access to most moderator tools in relation to content and some other things. However, as a moderator I would be dealing with users and their actions and not just the content of the site. While some users can try and help correct some behavior, I find that it is best left to moderators who have the proper tools to deal with it.

  1. 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?

I would only access this information when required to do my duties as a moderator. I have held several jobs, and a moderating position on another (non SE) site where I had access to a lot of the same personal information (and possibly more sensitive) that I would have access to here. Other peoples' data is not something to joke about, and under no circumstances should it ever be divulged to others, nor should it be accessed unless absolutely necessary.

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

If it has already been closed and opened and shows signs of this happening again, I would probably lock the post until we decided what to do with it. Constantly reopening and closing a question creates chaos which makes it more difficult to keep track of what exactly the state of the question is. Chaos is never helpful when trying to make a decision, so I would attempt to get people to take a step back and then work together to come to a solution. If no meta thread has been made for this question yet, I will go and make one and try and guide the community into making a consensus, and once one is reached, I will do to the question whatever the consensus was, whether it is leave it open or close it.

  1. 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?

As many others probably would say, I would like to be a mod to try and help this site to the best of my ability. I do agree that it is not necessarily and easy job, but I would not call it thankless nor unrewarding. Yes, you do have to field criticism for most all of your actions, but I have grown accustomed to this from my 3 years of experience as a moderator for my Halo clan. Criticism can be helpful in making you into a better moderator, and show you that you are not considering all possible sides to an issue and help broaden your prospective. Being able to help a community you believe in become even better is rewarding, and I think that my experience as a moderator can help make this site even better than it already is.

  1. 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?

I would deal with them in a relatively similar manner to anyone else. Sure, they are generating a lot of good content, but one cannot play favorites. Having a steady stream of good content does not cancel out the steady stream of bad content, and generating flags on comments, especially if they are directed insults at other is not something to be brushed aside simply because they have provided good answers. Personal feelings towards someone will make you biased, and a moderator should seek to be impartial when making judgement calls.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

My first step would be to try and reach out to them and ask for their reasoning. Most of the moderators for this site are pretty active in chat, so pinging them there and then discussing it in private should be the first course of action. If we cannot agree on it, then we should ask for opinions from other mods, or the community itself. Either one of us could be right or wrong, or we could both be partially right and/or partially wrong. Moderators are not omniscient, so seeking other opinions is always a good idea if we cannot resolve the issue between the two of us.

  1. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

My upvote:downvote ration is about .6:1 currently, though it was lower than that before. When I first started using this site, I noticed a habit of mine that indicated to me that I was favoring certain people that I knew over others, and I did not want to do that, so I simply stopped voting as much while training myself to make sure I was viewing questions objectively. This meant I upvoted less, and I used a lot of downvotes, specifically on off topic questions and bad answers. If I take a glance through most of my downvotes, a large majority of them are on posts that were deleted or closed.

I think more people should be using downvotes a little bit more, as negative reinforcement is a good tool when used right, however in conjunction to using downvotes more, I think people should recheck questions they downvoted more often to see if the problems they downvoted for were addressed, and if so to remove their downvote.

I feel like it is perfectly appropriate to downvote a question you do not feel is not useful or lacks any real research effort, but are still on topic for the site. I do not feel as if becoming a moderator would change how I vote much, rather, I think that simply using the site more and my views possibly changing would be more likely to change the way I vote.

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

If I were to become a moderator, my close/re-open votes would become more judicial. I would vote when the question is unequivocally off topic, but if the content was more borderline I would either attempt to help the user address the problem with the question rather than outright closing it, or wait for others opinions on the subject before moving ahead on my own.

B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

I tend to be on the Arqade throughout most of the day every day except Sundays. I generally always keep a tab open for The Bridge, Gaming.se, and Meta.Gaming.se on one browser whenever I am on one of my desktops and I have the app installed on my phone with push notifications enabled.

I already check the review queue and new/active questions regularly during the day and am happy to include whatever other queues and duties I need to as a moderator, as well as dedicate some time during my lunch break (1pm PDT) and after I get home (8pm PDT) to do whatever needs to be done. Monday through Friday, my schedule is pretty much fixed, and Saturdays and Sundays are somewhat fluid when it comes to schedules, but I will almost always have time to dedicate at night if I do not get a chance to do so during the day.

John the Green

  1. 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?

I see myself giving my own opinion, or more likely backing one already given, and then enforcing the community decision either way.

  1. 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? And/or, 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?

I can't give an example of myself changing my opinion because as I have noted in my nomination post I tend to take the time to read both sides and be certain of myself before posting.

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

10k rep can't instantly delete spam posts or non-answers. 20k can't delete spam users.

  1. 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?

I don't expect to be accessing personal information very much at all, but if I had to, I would imagine it would be related to restoring ownership of an account, or if I for some reason needed to contact a user.

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

New, weird question with community discussion already? Time for Meta! If no one already has, I'd make a meta post about it and try to determine a policy.

If I came across a situation where the community was voting against established Meta policy (like in one of the examples), I would probably do similar to what the revision history states. Sit back and let the community vote. Votes are here for this purpose. With only one close and one reopen vote per person the question should settle down reasonably soon. If the community is going against meta policy, maybe it's time to revisit that policy.

  1. 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?

As I mentioned in my nomination post, I want to be a mod so I can keep contributing despite not having the resources to play (and ask/answer about) all the latest games.

I'm not terribly worried about criticism or complaints. I seem to get along well with most people, and baseless complaints are going to inevitable with any sort of leadership position, I think. That said, I plan to double check my actions with other mods if I start receiving excessive criticism.

  1. 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?

I would remind everyone to be nice and if the problem continues possibly talk to said user in private emphasizing this further or seeing if there is a deeper problem (such as a user vs user dispute that expands beyond one question).

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I actually had this situation come up very recently on another SE site. I pinged said mod in chat asking him why he deleted the post, and I provided some indicators that the post shouldn't've been deleted. In this case he agreed and undeleted it, but in the case that I were a mod and another mod disagreed I would do nothing to the post until we could seek out another mod and reach some kind of agreement.

  1. I've noticed some of the candidates have unusual upvote:downvote ratio. 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. 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?

I have a ratio of roughly 10 upvotes for every 1 downvote I've cast. I think downvotes should be used carefully. I think right now downvotes are used just about the right amount. They don't seem excessive, but serve to clearly identify what the community views as problematic posts.

Most of the time my downvotes are for questions where the asker displays little or no effort whatsoever (i.e. Googling the exact title of their question gives them a wiki with an obvious answer as the first result). Said questions may very well be on topic and otherwise not deserving of a close vote.

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

I expect being a moderator to change my voting habits very slightly. I will still upvote and downvote about the same, but I might end up casting fewer close/reopen votes on cases that aren't clear-cut. Currently as a normal user I can vote as I please and trust that if I'm wrong, the other voters will sort it out. As a mod, I wouldn't have that luxury.

B. A major reason for this Arqade election is to deal with moderator load - one moderator has been handling the majority of it, and what we need above all else is activity out of the new moderators. How active do you plan to be in handling the moderation? What times can you reasonably be active, how consistently will you be able to commit time to keeping the site in check?

My schedule is...unpredictable, so I would be around at various hours depending on the day. On an average day, I expect to be able to be on the site for a reasonable amount of time 2 or 3 times. If elected, at least one visit daily would be my planned absolute minimum.

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