Philosophy is scheduled for an election next week, July 24th.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.

Unlike last year, we will be doing the question collection one week prior to the start of the actual nomination phase.

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, July 24th 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 at 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.

  • 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.


6 Answers 6


Any active user will have noticed we have had some flame wars in the past months. Users upset each other (whether on purpose or not) and fall back to plain insults. How would you deal with this? In particular, how fast would you want to resort to measures like banning? Would you differentiate between the initiator, if there is one, and the other party?


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?
  • How would you act in a situation where you have the feeling that the question is definitely within the scope, but you cannot imagine it to be answerable within the format and this may be caused in you not being knowledgeable enough in this particular field/author/work?

How do you define philosophy for the purposes of this SE?


As a moderator, part of the job will entail drawing the 'line in the sand' between acceptable questions/answers/comments and unacceptable. I think most people would be able to point to and agree on the centre of each category, but the moderator's job will depend, not on identifying the centre, but on distinguishing the borderline cases.

Can you describe, or better still provide an example, of a question/answer/comment that you would consider just about OK for this site and then one which you think just about over the line.

  • What is your stance towards putting on hold, especially considering people who are new to this site?

This question tries to adress the problem of newbies being scared away by fast "close". They may not know about it being just "on parole", as it were, and think they are outright rejected. Additionally, the answer should include consideration of the time/circumstances under which one would wait before adding the mandatory vote by a moderator.

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