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Sorry, I'm late with this question, I'll explain why:

I was undecided whether I should run in this election. I had skipped the last elections, because to me it still felt too much like gunning for Monica's chair. No offense to those who did, this is a personal decision and we do need moderators, so I'm happy someone else felt more positive about it.

I finally decided to put my name up and answered the questions, when I was reminded, that I had been suspended on another site of this network over the last year and was therefore not eligible for election.

So I'm sorry I'm late with this question and it's not an official one, but it did not cross my mind until the system popped the corresponding error message into my face and maybe the candidates have an answer they would like to share.


Question:

Up until 2019, the following quote had been my mission statement. In 2020, I got banned (sorry, "suspended") for saying it out loud. Since the ban was issued by a CM and the globally valid CoC was cited as the reason/justification, I have to assume the same rules go for TWP.

So my question is, if I had posted the following not as a quote but as my actual, current opinion, would you suspend me?

We are here to help other people with their problems, free of charge, in the language we use to communicate, to the latest standard taught in schools today so everybody out there can access our shared knowledge equally.

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  • 6
    Without any supporting context, your quote above has nothing to be worried about, apart from being slightly over-wordy. It's kind of expected that we should communicate in a clear manner so that all users, irrespective of language abilities can understand what we're talking about.
    – Snow
    Mar 17 at 11:49
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    @Neo It does. But I'm not interested in going to the people that suspended me in the first place to beg for a favor. To me, that would only make sense if I did something wrong and regret it.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 17 at 15:08
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    There was a lot of discussion during "the situation" that would seem to be completely innocuous, but that would be cause for concern when looked at in context. Instead of asking "Don't you think it was unfair that I was suspended for this quote?" it would be better (IMO) to ask more directly about the real issue: Where do you draw the line so that innocent people aren't caught in the crossfire when some people are abusing "presume good faith" to post inflammatory things? Handling that sort of trolling is notoriously difficult.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 17 at 15:57
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    If you were eligible, I'd vote for you, despite the fact that we've bumped heads MANY times in the past, I respect you. I've been suspended numerous times myself for various reasons. If you cannot say what you mean, you cannot mean what you say Mar 18 at 15:46
  • 5
    Outside of any context, I'm willing to bet no-one will ban you for that quote, which makes the question somewhat meaningless and, if I'm being honest, it also makes me suspicious of your intentions with posting this. Even within context, I very much doubt someone would be banned for that quote alone, except in very rare circumstances where there's already been multiple requests for people to stop dragging out the discussion further. I expect the comment was more just the final straw in a range of your comments that either crosses the line by themselves or are simply intended to antagonise. Mar 19 at 9:37
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    @BernhardBarker The important part here "standard English as taught in schools today". Doing that is against the current CoC. You are required to speak/write non-standard English upon request, the non-standard part being freely choosable by your communication-partner. I do not want to discuss this and I hope I found neutral words to describe it. I just want to find out if the new moderator would suspend people that decide standard English is our compromise for communication or not.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 19 at 9:38
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    ... To be clear, this quote (as far as I can tell) had nothing to do with your suspension - I can see that you may have vastly edited the quote that did lead to you being suspended to get to this version but this exact text is not what you wrote and the suspension was less related to the specific text and more to your actions in response to its removal. I'm more than happy to discuss the suspension privately if you wish.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Mar 19 at 13:50
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    It doesn't take moderator powers to edit something out of a post. Anyone could have removed it - but this isn't the place to discuss that, unless you would like me to explain the entire situation publicly, here on an unrelated site. And, I'd also ask you to re-read my statement. I specifically said that the actual quote did lead to your suspension but that this watered-down version is not what you wrote.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Mar 19 at 14:29
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    You're accusing me of abusing moderator powers to edit your post. I edited your post a single time with an ability that anyone with 2k reputation on the site could have done - that's... in no way an abuse of moderator powers. I also ceased to have any involvement in the situation after that - the suspension and all of the mod messages you were sent were not sent by me - though I understand you wouldn't have known that. Other than editing your answer, I did nothing and did not abuse any powers as a mod or staff member.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Mar 19 at 14:34
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    I explained why I closed it in my answer ;)
    – JNat StaffMod
    Mar 19 at 18:32
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is about re-litigating a beef from some other stack.
    – mxyzplk
    Mar 20 at 23:36
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    @BernhardBarker If it doesn't violate the CoC the asking of it shouldn't be shut down. Inappropriate is different from offensive. Candidates aren't required to answer any particular question, and they can always ignore it. An answer of "I'm not comfortable answering that question because it's too personal." would be a fine answer in my opinion. Moderators are going to have to handle tough situations and interact with people who are emotional about a situation, and I think protecting candidates from questions is counterproductive.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 22 at 13:03
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    @BernhardBarker Respectfully, who are you to decide what is appropriate and relevant information for someone else to have in order to make their decision on how to cast their vote? Election questions aren't at all similar to questions asked on a main site. I have been a moderator, and this question isn't even close to the trickiest situation I had to deal with. It is very difficult to get a sense of how someone will make the judgement calls being a mod requires. Allowing some portion of the community to suppress a question that a candidate is free to ignore is not constructive.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 22 at 14:27
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    @BernhardBarker "It seems like it has nothing to do with a moderator's ability to moderate." in your opinion. There's no reason that candidates should be prevented from answering a question someone has asked because you don't think it's a good question. If a candidate doesn't think it's relevant or doesn't understand it, they don't have to answer it. "Slippery slope" is a logical fallacy. This question has been around for almost a week now, and I don't see a flood of inappropriate questions being asked of our candidates.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 22 at 20:05
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    @BernhardBarker I think it's fine to ask almost any question of a person who is asking for my vote, so long as it does not violate the Code of Conduct. They can choose not to answer it, but I should be allowed to ask. I asked Snow a fairly personal question, and it turned out they were happy to answer it and I got information that helped my make my decision. If you had your way, I might not have been allowed to ask the question. Can't you see the problem with that? Whose cultural norms get applied to determine what is "appropriate"?
    – ColleenV
    Mar 22 at 21:14
6

Location specific. In general that statement sounds reasonable and I could in no way see it as worthy of disciplinary action. But by the standards of my local schools, no one would understand the statement probably including the English teacher.

6

As I read through your post and the comments below it I find myself struggling to assume good faith, but I'm still gonna try to below, and I'll assume you're not deliberately trying to be provocative — especially because if this is just a misunderstanding, we can easily clear it up, learn something from it, and move on ^_^

If you hadn't preambled your actual question with all the context you preambled it with, anyone reading this question would've taken your quote at face value and probably wondered why such an innocuous statement would ever be deemed as problematic — taken at face value and in isolation the quote doesn't seem problematic, indeed.

However, you did add the preamble. Seeing the statement under the light of the suspension you spent the first half of your post exposing your perspective of, as well as the first paragraph of "the question" section is important, though.

And with that in mind, it seems that you're asking prospective moderators whether or not they'll abide by and enforce the Code of Conduct and all other officially announced moderator and user policies they'd be required to, as per the Moderator Agreement they'd have to sign to get access to moderator tools. To be more specific, it seems that you're asking whether they'd skirt our policy surrounding personal pronouns if it came down to it.

But, going back to the beginning of this post: I'm going to go against my gut feeling and assume that that was not your intention — that would hardly be a constructive question to ask the nominees. If that's not the case, though, I'm left scratching my head at the intention behind the question anyway. So maybe you can clarify what your intentions here were.

In the meantime, I'll close this question as unclear until you clarify how this question brings anything constructive to the table.

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    So let me get this straight, you answered the question at the same time as using your moderator powers to close it?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 19 at 18:33
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    Er, you kinda made his point Mar 19 at 18:34
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    @Old_Lamplighter It's not deleted. Any of the candidates could address this question in their questionnaires if they wanted to. As the question stands, it doesn't ask a question about how someone would moderate TWP. It asks candidates to second guess a CM's decision with a fraction of the context necessary to do that in a reasoned way. Not everyone standing as a candidate was eye-balls deep in the events surrounding the decision that prevents nvoigt from running.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 19 at 21:04
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    Indeed the said "quote" by the OP mislead me too, I had completely forgotten the original post (now deleted). The current post is candy coating what was actually meant.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 19 at 22:30
  • @ColleenV I would assume answering elsewhere could (quite frankly should) be seen as circumventing a moderator decision.
    – nvoigt
    Mar 20 at 6:52
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    what you wrote looks merely like your opinion. And closing this question looks like abusing your power to suppress dissenting opinion. What makes it look even worse is that power you used to suppress this meta discussion comes solely from your position in the company and not from your contributions to this site. Please don't do that
    – gnat
    Mar 20 at 10:17
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    @nvoigt I don’t think a candidate reading between the lines of your question and addressing your concerns in a constructive way would be a problem if they didn’t try to take a position on your suspension. I understand the reasoning behind closing it, but I think it was a bad idea. The post wasn’t generating a lot of controversy until the CM team stepped in and made it about correctly characterizing the previous situation instead of the question being asked. Sometimes it’s better to just ignore a potential provocation and see if the situation escalates on its own rather than forcing it to.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 20 at 11:14
  • @ColleenV I think we could all stand to focus more on the lines than what is in between them. Mar 26 at 14:25
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    @Old_Lamplighter As the question is currently written, it's pointless if taken literally. "No I wouldn't suspend you for that quote if I saw it in your profile in the current environment." says nothing about how a candidate would moderate the actual issue unless the candidate makes it clear they understand the missing context. I understand why people are being cagey about bringing that up again, because it is very difficult to discuss that aspect of the CoC without getting the hammer dropped on you.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26 at 15:01
  • So, here we are wink-wink-nudge-nudging our way through what should be a straight-forward conversation about where a candidate stands when moderating an issue that is very dependent on their judgment, and has significant impact on how comfortable users feel participating on the site.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26 at 15:03
  • @ColleenV Remember what I said about those lines? Mar 26 at 15:03
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    @Old_Lamplighter No, I'm not playing this game. Say what you mean or don't. I have no idea what you are trying to communicate. It took me years of work to get to the point where I could discuss things steeped in soft language and euphemisms without making anyone cry or having them accuse me of being a terrible person. If you can't say something in a way that I can interpret it literally and understand it, you should assume that I don't understand you.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26 at 15:12
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    @ColleenV I don't play games, and I don't read in between any lines. I take things and people at face value. It eliminates 99% of the stress. Mar 26 at 15:20
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    @Old_Lamplighter It also means that you miss half of what they're trying to tell you in my experience. Sorry if it seems like my frustration is directed at you, it's not. We should be able to discover if a candidate is going to tolerate people passively-aggressively refusing to comply with the CoC or if they are going to be on a search-and-destroy mission for any hint that someone might not be a "true believer". I'm confident none of our candidates fall into either of those camps, but I'm annoyed that we're not allowed to ask without risking punitive action.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 26 at 15:28
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    @ColleenV that's why I was such a fan of the "assume good intentions" rule. I'm also an old fart who no longer cares about the games people play. As for my own aggression, it's never passive, I prefer to be highly active in it. That's also one thing I really don't like about the new CoC. It expects people to be mind readers. If, as I suspect, you are like me, you've spent much of your life having your intentions misinterpreted and not reading the intent of others well either. That's why I made the "reading the lines" comment. There is too much of projecting intent that does not exist. Mar 26 at 15:46

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