- You (a moderator) and another community member both answer a question (not on Meta). The other answer is well written but (objectively) incorrect, and has gathered a similar amount of upvotes to yours. What do you do?
Voting posts up and down is one of the basics of curating content on Arqade and the Stack Exchange network as a whole. As such, I always vote up or down on posts that are part of my gaming expertise, and this example would be no different.
I would downvote the incorrect answer and, if the answer seems well-intentioned but is stating a common misconception or is using incorrect logic or maths, I would edit my own answer to address this wrong solution, and eventually comment on the incorrect answer that I've explained why it doesn't work. If the answer is easily verifiable as incorrect by playing the game, a simple downvote would suffice.
- A relatively new community member has shown misgivings about an established site policy and has a suggestion to change the policy. Their suggested change (posted on meta) isn't being well received by community regulars and the debate appears to be drifting in an unfriendly direction.
How do you approach and respond to this situation?
A debate on its own is not unusual on Meta, and not necessarily something that requires moderation. If the tone of this debate is turning unfriendly and users are starting to lose their cool and a breach of the Code of Conduct seems likely, then a comment reminding everyone to be respectful would be appropriate. If the situation keeps deterioriating, it might be necessary to delete unfriendly comments and give a more stern warning.
From my experience, either the debate dies down after that, or people go back to discussing in a civil manner. If the discussion is still heated after a second warning, normal escalation of punishments - such as a short timeout - might be appropriate, depending on the specific circumstances and words being used.
- The Bridge, our main chat room, is one of the most active on the network. Do you see the moderation of Arqade's chat rooms as part of your duties? If you're not active in chat currently, would you consider it part of the job to keep an eye on what's going on there?
As a lurker of the Bridge, I would consider it part of my duties to keep everyone civil in chat; if I were not already a member of the Bridge, I don't think I would join it specifically to keep an eye out. If I didn't have a reason to join the chatroom, I would find it hard to be vigilant, and Room Owners would probably be more active and familiar with the chat than I could be.
For those reasons, I would not join other chatrooms for the explicit purpose of moderation, such as This Is Fine.
- Moderators are not selected because they are domain experts in certain tags, but it so happens that you are an expert in one such tag. You see that several members of the community have elected to close a question as a duplicate, but you see that the duplicates don't actually answer the question as stated, nor do they provide a useful signpost for the asker. How do you proceed?
This might be the hardest question of the ten.
Without mod powers, it'd be a simple choice to vote to reopen, and post a comment explaining what I believe is wrong with the marked duplicate. The Reopen Vote queue would then bring the question to the attention of the rest of the community.
As a moderator, I wouldn't want to use my unilateral reopen vote to step on the toes of the community, but a wrong duplicate can be useless or harmful to the asker, especially if they're a new user and not yet familiar with how our Q&A site works. First I'd seek confirmation of my assessment of the incorrectness of the close votes, by asking in chat other users who have experience with that tag (which on Arqade typically means those who have played a certain game).
If that causes another user to cast a reopen vote, I'd leave the question alone for now, and maybe cast my own, final reopen vote once the question has gathered 3 or 4 already.
Should I not find any users who know about the tag, I would ask the asker if the duplicate has answered their question. If not, I would reopen and explain in more detail why.
Depending on how confidently I feel that the duplicates don't answer the question, I might skip some steps and reopen and comment sooner than I would for other questions.
- There is a high-rep user who is very active on the site, but frequently uses strong language which violates the Code of Conduct in their comments. When you warned them, they replied stating that the questions are of low quality which is why they left those comments. They also threatened to quit the site. Despite the warning, they continue to post similar comments. What steps, if any, will you take in order to address this situation? What if the comments were on Meta instead of main? Does that change your approach at all?
I have been on the receving end of this! Minus threatening to leave the site.
In my case, even a warning in a mod-PM didn't help me realize that my tone was too aggressive, which made a suspension necessary. After the suspension, I have been more careful with my language, so I would probably mimic those steps after consulting with my fellow moderators, if they deem it necessary as well. If this high-rep user would rather leave the site than be respectful, their contributions will be missed, but the more positive atmosphere on the site will encourage more new users to stay, who might in turn become high-rep users with many useful contributions.
I don't think Meta should allow any harsher language than the main site, if anything the opposite might be true. Since Meta is supposed to be a place for discussion and often disagreement, it is even more important for everyone to keep their manners civil. I would follow the same steps if these unfriendly comments were posted on Meta.
- We have a very active chat community, but at the end of the day, it is a very small part of our actual community. Sometimes, people discuss site policy in chat as if ruling decisions can be made there, instead of moving them to meta. How would you deal with this? How much value do you place on chat as a place of community consensus?
I have, as a regular user, asked people discussing site policy in chat to post their opinions on meta, where they've found more reception and feedback. It is easy to start a discussion in chat and get carried away, but chat is not and should not be the place for these matters. That said, chat is useful to get a quick idea of the community's feelings on a certain matter, but any new suggestions and decisions should be posted on Meta.
- 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?
On its own, an argument isn't necessarily bad, but comments might not be the best place for it. If an argument is proceeding along without any strong language and while being respectful, it might be necessary to move the comments to chat.
On the other hand, if the comments are unfriendly and using strong language, this becomes a similar situation to question 5. Again, both a healthy atmosphere and having good questions and answers are important for the site's growth, so the best outcome is for the user to realize that their contributions to the site do not outweigh the detriment they bring when they post harsh comments.
As in question 5, I would take the usual steps, with the agreement of other moderators: warning, suspensions of increasing duration, eventually permanent.
Just like post bans exist to show users who have posted low-quality questions and answers that we value good posts, suspensions exist to show users who have violate the Code of Conduct that we value a respectful atmosphere.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
How do you react, in particular, if nobody has communicated with the moderator regarding this action, or disagreed with it through voting, posting on meta, or any other means?
I would avoid taking any action until I've heard the moderator's reasoning for their decision. Then, if we're still taking different stances, I would most likely post on meta to bring the community's attention to it, and go along with whatever action is decided there.
Since this doesn't seem like a situation that requires special mod powers, it is better to avoid using them.
- 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?
Maybe not all that different than simply having high enough reputation. Whether we like it or not, high-rep users already carry just a bit more weight in their posts and comments, moderators just more so.
In the case of questions or answers, the fact that they were posted by a moderator wouldn't really feel all that different from a regular user. I already use my comments sparingly, so I don't think a diamond should make much of a difference. Additionally, it's usually easy to tell when a moderator is speaking as a moderator (warning commenters to be more calm or to not post answers in comments), and when they're simply requesting additional information like a regular user would.
- As a moderator, would you use your binding vote to unilaterally approve and reject suggested edits, or would you leave these to the community review vote?
I think it's helpful to let the community moderate content and learn from it, even in the case of very simple actions like rejecting spam or approving a fix to a typo. That said, I would most likely still hang around the suggested edit queue, but probably choose to skip a lot more than I do. I might use my vote to reject edits that deviate from the user's intention, as it's a type of edit I'm particularly careful with.