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The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.


The Workplace is scheduled for an election next week, March 15, 2021. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the 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.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until March 15, 2021 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.

  • 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.

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

  • At the start of the nomination 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.

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

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  • Hi JNat, in the recent election at Electrical Engineering SE, a lot of people found that these short time-windows lead to a low turnout in the number of people nominating themselves. For example, if a person is not available in the week during which the nomination period takes place, then they can't nominate themselves. I understand that it may be in the CM team's interest to get these over with as fast as possible to minimize the amount of work you have to do, but could the nomination and question collection period not be extended to 2 weeks each instead of just one week each? It's important. – user1271772 Mar 9 at 2:55
  • By the way, it seems that you have the critic badge despite not having the minimum 125 rep to downvote. I suppose that as a CM you can downvote without 125 rep? I thought maybe you'd written a post at some point and earned enough rep, then deleted it, but you don't have the corresponding badges. Please don't take this as an attack, I'm just curious to learn how the system works. Is there a Meta.SE post about this? I searched and couldn't find it (don't even know what I could search to find it). – user1271772 Mar 9 at 3:03
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    Please refer to the announcement post here for some info on how we arrived at the need for 2 slots in this election and advice to any would-be candidates. – Lilienthal Mar 9 at 7:46
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    The periods for q-collection, nominations, and voting are all the default length for all sites across the network, @user1271772 — if there are not enough nominations at the end of the nomination week, we'll extend that period for one more week (again, as is the default on any other site). – JNat Mar 9 at 12:44
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    Chatroom created here - 2021 Workplace Moderation Election Chat. Please post any questions and election-related flimflam there. – Snow Mar 10 at 15:36
  • @Snow FYI I believe JNat usually creates a chatroom when the nominations start as that's the "official" start of the election. Don't know if it's a special type, if not I guess you saved him some work. :) – Lilienthal Mar 11 at 20:24
  • I’m just that kinda guy! – Snow Mar 11 at 20:49
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Taken from last year, but still relevant:

We get a good amount 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?

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    Just want to point out that this is more relevant that some might think. – Neo Mar 9 at 15:06
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An old classic (probably originating here), but important nonetheless:

In your opinion, what is the biggest problem/challenge The Workplace is currently facing? How would you propose to solve it?

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  • Yes, very important. The problems/challenges we face change from time to time, so it's good to consider and have a notion on the current state of things on TWP. – DarkCygnus Mar 10 at 1:44
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A user has been posting valuable content for a while but at the same time refuses to follow the site's guidelines with a consistent pattern of bad usage of comments, unkind if not rude remarks to other users, angry rants, etc.

How would you handle such a user?

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There are two posts on meta that describe what it's like to be a moderator and what their daily activities are.

Have they affected your decision to nominate yourself? Do those match your idea of what a moderator should be? Has anything in particular given you pause or made you think you'd approach things differently?

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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?
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  • Split off the first sample question to this, though it's rephrased/expanded there. – Lilienthal Mar 13 at 22:20
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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?

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What is your take on the Hot Network Questions concept?

Moderators are able to remove questions from Hot Network Questions, do you see yourself doing this often?

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    Isn't this sort of asking "Will you do your job?" – Joe Strazzere Mar 14 at 11:46
  • @JoeStrazzere Removal from HNQ isn't really a core part of the job and guidelines on use of this feature are vague at best. I use the option very often, perhaps more than some might prefer. It's a question I would ask the new mods when they join mainly to get a sense of their take and whether our current approach needs review. I admit I'm not sure if people would find an answer to this useful when evaluating a candidate. HNQ can be a divisive topic. :) – Lilienthal Mar 14 at 19:44

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