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History is scheduled for an election next week, October 19, 2020. 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.

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 October 19, 2020 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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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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As you may be aware, Stack Exchange moderators have some special abilities that go with the role. One of these is the so-called 'super-vote', such that:

Moderator votes are binding. Any place we have voting — close, open, delete, undelete, offensive, migration, etc — that vote will reach the threshold and take effect immediately if a single moderator casts a vote.


The general advice to moderators is:

When you see a post you think should be closed, close it. When you see a post you think should be re-opened, re-open it. If you're not sure, don't do either. We've entrusted you with the ability to perform both of those tasks instantly - so use them judiciously.

Clearly, obvious troll posts and spam should be closed (and deleted) immediately. However, the question of whether posts should be closed is not always that clear. In recent years, moderators on History:SE have generally used a lighter touch, and preferred (where possible) to allow the community to decide.


So where do you think the line should be drawn?. How proactive do you think moderators should be in closing posts which may be off-topic, based on the criteria in our help centre?

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    I'm not going for moderatorship but have to give my 2 cents. I think the community must decide but in the end the moderators are chosen by the community. The most able and trusted members will be voted (by the community) moderators and I think the way the moderators act now works. Sometimes mistakes are made, mistakes are human and in the end we are all human and therefore fallible and moderators are no exception to this. I look forward to the election and wish any candidates the best of luck. – Tom Sol Oct 16 at 20:23

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