As hinted recently, the Workplace Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election starting next week, May 14th. In connection with that election as we have done in previous years, 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, May 14th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT 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.

  • Feel free to check out the previous runs of the Q&A for questions asked in previous years. 2014, 2014 Summer, 2015, 2017

  • 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.

Note: We are looking for two (2) new moderators.

  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question because the questionnaire is live and no further questions can be considered. However, issues concerning the community can be posted as separate meta questions and handled independent of the moderator election. – Masked Man May 20 '18 at 10:26

12 Answers 12


The Workplace gets a lot of hot questions on provocative topics. Sometimes the questions seem so incredible that people question whether they are genuine. Sometimes the questions seem genuine but evoke strong negative reactions. Either way, these questions attract a lot of attention, comments, flags, and discussion in chat. How should questions like these be moderated?


We occasionally receive complaints, especially from the relatively new users, that this site is too hostile. What can we do to reduce the perceived hostility?

  • 7
    They should try stackoverflow first, then come to us. ;-) – Neo May 10 '18 at 13:52
  • @MisterPositive sir, it is not yet time for candidates to start answering the questions. ;) – Masked Man May 11 '18 at 1:29
  • To me this site is mellow compared to some others. IMHO cooking is hostile and much of it comes from moderators. And heavy handed moderation. – paparazzo May 15 '18 at 17:33

What do you think about comments?

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    Could you be more specific? I think is needed. It's like asking "what do you think about questions" or "what do you think about Workplace?: – Chris E May 11 '18 at 18:32
  • @ChrisE ... or What do you think about downvote stalking? :) – Masked Man May 12 '18 at 5:15
  • @ChrisE I intentionally meant this to be vague to see what actual thoughts people would have. – enderland May 13 '18 at 20:43

Where it comes to new users asking (by our standards) bad quality questions, how do you see yourself maintaining good quality for the site while still being welcoming to these new users?


This site has been dominated by the IT industry. What can we do to encourage more diversity?

  • 1
    Similar: workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/a/5195/325 . Maybe you two could get together and merge these? (I prefer the other formation, but I voted on this one before that one came along and my vote is locked now.) – Monica Cellio May 13 '18 at 3:43
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    @MonicaCellio I agree. Richard's question is closer to what I meant to ask. A certain discussion from about 6 months ago left an impression on me (which just amplified what was already a pet peeve of mine before then). I guess that's why I went with this choice of words. I will think about how we can merge these two together. It is also fine with me to drop this altogether and go with Richard's question. – Masked Man May 13 '18 at 3:51

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 significant proportion of our new questions get put on hold. Do you see this as a problem? If yes, what can we do to improve the situation?


How do we motivate new users to actually search for an existing answer to their questions? It seems to me a lot of our new users ask duplicate questions that end up getting closed.

  • I don't see the harm in just marking a duplicate. – paparazzo May 15 '18 at 17:17
  • @paparazzo There is no real harm, but after a bunch of those won't there be some un-necessary clutter? – Neo May 15 '18 at 17:24
  • 1
    For sure I don't want to delete and give them a negative experience. It does provide a additional search path. If you have an answer great. – paparazzo May 15 '18 at 17:28

A moderator's vote is binding in most things; you can instantly close, reopen, delete, and undelete, and you do not have the option to cast a non-binding vote. How do you see yourself using these powers? (How) does your answer change if the community is conflicted about a particular case, such as a closed question that has both reopen and delete votes?


How can we be welcoming to blue collar and other workers who are not considered "professionals" or office workers?


Our tags are kind of a mess. We have far too many single use only tags, some heavily overused/misused tags, and several tags without a tag wiki. What can we do to bring some order to our tag situation?


When is it appropriate to DELETE a question and when is it not? There seems to be a lot of duplicate/junk questions that hang around.

  • I think the community (not moderators) should do that. You can still use your delete vote as a regular user but I would not like moderators to preemptive delete unless the question has some serious problems. – paparazzo May 15 '18 at 16:51
  • @paparazzo Agreed. – Neo May 15 '18 at 16:54

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