The Workplace Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election starting next week, January 30th. In connection with that election, we will be hosting a Q&A here for candidates. 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:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, January 30th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), 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.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • At the end of the collection 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 (up to) 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 process, feel free to post as a comment here.

  • We already got excellent moderators? Are we sacking them and replacing, or just adding some more?
    – Kilisi Mod
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 8:50
  • @Kilisi Nobody's Sacking current moderators. The process to remove a moderator against their will is not public and very rarely applied (and usually only in cases of extreme misconduct). Moderators are elected until they step down by themselves. Maybe some are retiring voluntarily, though.
    – Magisch
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 13:05
  • 4
    @Kilisi No one is stepping down - they simply requested additional hands.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 13:28

14 Answers 14


You notice a question that is likely not something that we can constructively deal with. It is also a popular hot button topic and in the first few minutes attracts a few up-votes and answers that are of questionable value. As the day progresses the comment discussion starts piling up under both the question and the answers.

What if any action do you take? At what point do you feel it is your duty to step in and stop the spectacle? Do you wait for flags to take action or do you step in preemptively?


Recent discussions on meta and in chat have raised concerns about rudeness and other non-constructive behavior on The Workplace. Do you think we have a problem in this area? If so, what will you as a moderator do to address it?


How do you deal with flaring tensions between answerers and commenters with widely differing opinions?

  • 1
    @IDrinkandIKnowThings My question is more about de-escalation tactics then rudeness in comments as a whole.
    – Magisch
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 9:13
  • If the commenters commented on the answers rather than what they think the answer is, that would help. I've received comments that showed the commenters were not thinking things through and I've had had from commenters who clearly had not bothered to read the references that I had supplied. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 8:07

This site periodically gets high traffic questions (via Hot Network Questions) that straddle the border between controversial and trolling. Both when it's not clear if the poster was intending to troll; and in cases where they were but a legitimate question is tangled in the mess. How do you think they should be handled.


As a Moderator what would you do differently, that you haven't seen other Moderators do so far?


With respect to reopened questions that again attract close votes. What do you feel the moderator's role is in questions where the community is divided whether they are on topic?


What is something new and/or unique that you can bring to the moderator team and/or to the site? (e.g. active at unusual times, familiarity with a certain topic, past applicable work experience, extreme love of waffles, etc.)


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?

What do you think the key traits of a moderator are, and how have you demonstrated them thus far in your activity on the site?


What is one thing about The Workplace "culture" that you want to change or improve? As a moderator, how would you go about doing it?


You visit an answer having moderator notice.

You observe that it has been edited after the notice but you are uncertain if the edit addressed the issues pointed to by the notice or not. How would you handle this?

What if the answer has negative score (and, say, delete votes from 20K users)? What if it has high positive score?


How would being a moderator here be beneficial to you?

Explanation: As against how the site/community would benefit from you being a moderator, we want to hear what you expect to gain, in your career or personal life (or elsewhere).


As a moderator, would you spend more time with the community? Or will you spend the same time as before, hence reducing Q&A time to focus only on moderating job?

Please explain to us how you will spend your time here as moderator.

  • I don't think this is a very good question. Activity in general depends on many things, and it's not like anyone could give a blanket answer to that.
    – Magisch
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 14:05
  • 1
    I asked a similar question in a prior election. Consider the way I approached that; instead of just asking a yes/no question I asked how activity would change. Feel free to cannibalize if you think it's helpful. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 14:21

I am irritated at those moderators who indiscriminately delete my comments among others. I see it as a form of vandalism. What's your opinion?

  • 1
    Comments are ephemeral and temporary. This is totally expected behaviour of a moderator doing their job, and I think this question is just a veiled complaint about existing moderation practise.
    – user53718
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 8:15
  • This conversation has been had MANY time already.
    – David K
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 13:30
  • 6
    Comments removed. Ironic, I know. We almost never delete stuff on meta, but that doesn't mean we'll allow personal attacks and other rudeness to stand. You're welcome to appeal to SE by using the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page. Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 3:17
  • 1
    I wont lie. I would actually like to see this question answered... Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 20:42

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