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2022 Moderator Election

nomination began
Jul 25, 2022 at 20:00
election began
Aug 8, 2022 at 20:00
election ended
Aug 16, 2022 at 20:00
candidates
3
positions
2

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. 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?

[Answer 1 here]

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

[Answer 2 here]

  1. Do you think that user participation on Chemistry Meta needs to be increased? If so, how would you encourage this?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. Being a moderator is time-consuming. Which of your activities on Chemistry Stack Exchange would you have to dial back to make time for moderating?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. Are you sure you're patient, level-headed and good-tempered enough for the job?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. As a moderator you will probably have to mediate arguments on this site and its chat rooms. Have you ever yourself been in an argument with another user (on this site)? If yes, how did it come about, and how was it handled in the end? Have you ever flared up on this site? If yes, how did it end? As a moderator how would you handle an argument/someone being rude if it came to your notice?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. Consider a situation where you see a reasonable and potentially useful question with slight flaws and negative score that had been closed by the community. The question is possibly a duplicate of an existing question, and it has gathered nontrivial potentially useful answers with negative score? Since the roomba would eventually remove the post, what would you do as a moderator? Move on to more important tasks? Continue searching for duplicates for this question? Upvote the existing answers and vote to reopen? Other? How might this more generally reflect your "moderation philosophy"?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 8 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 9 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

[Answer 10 here]

Safdar Faisal

I was just one of the many people who stumbled across this site (albeit 3 years ago), learnt a lot of chemistry and as passion and interests change, started focusing on chemistry less and more into other disciplines. However, when it comes to moderatorial standpoint, I believe I can contribute yet again in terms of the work behind the scenes that aren't directly related to topics out of my expertise.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

In my past moderatorial experience in servers outside Stack Exchange, it is great to have active members participate, even better if they are good at what they do. However, as a community, you need to be able to get along with the community as a whole. Therefore, I would look into the flags and see what the issue is.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I would talk to the moderator involved and ask for why they took the decision they did. Under most conditions, the moderators here have proper reasons to close/delete. If not, they are willing to understand why their decision was flawed. This was the stance I took last time I nominated myself and I still stand by this choice.

  1. Do you think that user participation on Chemistry Meta needs to be increased? If so, how would you encourage this?

The Meta sites on Stack Exchange are for "meta" discussions. I do not think that the activity here needs to be encouraged. It should be something natural.

  1. Being a moderator is time-consuming. Which of your activities on Chemistry Stack Exchange would you have to dial back to make time for moderating?

Not much really ( I'm embarrassed to say). I haven't really been active for a while since I had other activities to focus on.

  1. Are you sure you're patient, level-headed and good-tempered enough for the job?

I am confident in my ability to deal with issues with calm demeanor and I believe so yes.

  1. As a moderator you will probably have to mediate arguments on this site and its chat rooms. Have you ever yourself been in an argument with another user (on this site)? If yes, how did it come about, and how was it handled in the end? Have you ever flared up on this site? If yes, how did it end? As a moderator how would you handle an argument/someone being rude if it came to your notice?

I have been in one argument with a user before. They generated a lot of drama on this site and it felt like it was actively ruining the site itself. I confronted the user on multiple issues with the content of answers and their attitude leading to some heated arguments. However, after discussing the issue, we came to an understanding without the need of the moderators. I am not afraid to be put in the middle of an argument which threatens the ideals of this forum. I shall attempt to everything I can to solve the issue and help both parties involved come to an agreement. I have not flared up as far as I recall. (From my previous nomination), I have not had incidents after and my stance has not changed.

  1. Consider a situation where you see a reasonable and potentially useful question with slight flaws and negative score that had been closed by the community. The question is possibly a duplicate of an existing question, and it has gathered nontrivial potentially useful answers with negative score? Since the roomba would eventually remove the post, what would you do as a moderator? Move on to more important tasks? Continue searching for duplicates for this question? Upvote the existing answers and vote to reopen? Other? How might this more generally reflect your "moderation philosophy"?

This depends on the question close reason. If it is a duplicate and was closed for the wrong reason, then a reopen and close is in order. Good answers are worth saving.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators are the janitors of the system. They keep it moving without any major hitches. However, a lot of the things moderators do is done by people in the community. Handling comment flags is a huge thing they do though.

  1. 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?

This doesn't change who I was. It doesn't really affect me.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Not much changes to be very honest. Even at 6k, the reputation I have right now, I have access to a lot of the functions that can help the mod team out.

Karsten Theis

In my experience, participating on this site is fun, you learn a lot and it is rewarding. As a moderator, my goal would be to play a small part in improving the experience for folks who visit this site and participate in it. I feel like the current and past moderators have done a great job, and I have learned a lot from them. If I can share some of the workload of the other moderators while maintaining their high standards, I would feel I succeeded.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

I would deal with the some of the flags, making sure that other moderators can deal with some of them, too. This way, the moderation does not feel like a personal feud. Otherwise, I would not do anything unprompted. If I get annoyed because of the situation, I would have a chat with the other moderators to dissipate my personal frustration.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I would try to improve the question, and then suggest to the other mod to reopen it. If the question is deleted but someone needs an answer to this type of question, hopefully they will pose a better question which does not get deleted but answered, instead.

  1. Do you think that user participation on Chemistry Meta needs to be increased? If so, how would you encourage this?

I would occasionally link to Chemistry Meta posts in the comments. I think that is how I first became aware of the existence of Meta. The discussions about closing questions, what a "homework" question is, and how to format posts are very useful for understanding what the community conventions and unwritten rules are. If there is a question of implementing or modifying these community conventions, I would try to encourage broad discussion on Meta.

  1. Being a moderator is time-consuming. Which of your activities on Chemistry Stack Exchange would you have to dial back to make time for moderating?

I spend most of my time on this site answering questions. I would spend less time answering questions, and more time on moderator-related tasks.

  1. Are you sure you're patient, level-headed and good-tempered enough for the job?

I am impatient concerning formatting issues, I get mad at claims of not obeying the 2nd law, and I have a quirky sense of humor. However, I have good mitigation strategies, mainly taking a step back for a moment, doing my research to resolve content disagreements, and deleting quirky comments when they offend or don't seem appropriate upon re-reading.

  1. As a moderator you will probably have to mediate arguments on this site and its chat rooms. Have you ever yourself been in an argument with another user (on this site)? If yes, how did it come about, and how was it handled in the end? Have you ever flared up on this site? If yes, how did it end? As a moderator how would you handle an argument/someone being rude if it came to your notice?

Yes, I have had passive-aggressive arguments in the past. I handle these by walking away. The attention span of most of us is short, and the bulk of the attention is on the front page of the site. After a couple of days, arguments are in the background. If I still remember them, I try to improve questions and answers by editing.

As a moderator, I would take a more active role, sharing the strategy of walking away with the individuals in the argument, and using moderator powers as appropriate if I think they would calm the waters.

  1. Consider a situation where you see a reasonable and potentially useful question with slight flaws and negative score that had been closed by the community. The question is possibly a duplicate of an existing question, and it has gathered nontrivial potentially useful answers with negative score? Since the roomba would eventually remove the post, what would you do as a moderator? Move on to more important tasks? Continue searching for duplicates for this question? Upvote the existing answers and vote to reopen? Other? How might this more generally reflect your "moderation philosophy"?

I would trust the community members who are passionate about the question to somehow make it survive. This does not require moderator power or moderator wisdom.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators take out the trash, do the dishes, fold the laundry, feed the dog and put the kids to bed. To elaborate a bit, I would respond to flagged posts and comments, helping to ensure the site remains respectful of everyone, doesn't propagate contra-factual ideas about science and is welcoming to new contributors.

  1. 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?

My name has been attached to everything I say and have said in the past since day 1. The diamond might come and will go, I feel fine about that.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Not at all more effective. I am hoping to make the other moderators a bit more effective by sharing the work for a while, should I get elected.

Tyberius

I have been a bit less active on SE and Chem lately, but I have always enjoyed the site and have wanted to provide whatever help I can as thanks for all the great help other users have provided me and the great learning resources users here have developed. I have run as a mod here once or twice and currently have a mod position on Matter Modeling SE, which I feel has had a very good working relationship with Chem SE.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

To me, the value of a site like this is having a dedicated community. If someone is constantly abrasive to the point of pushing away new and existing users, that can quickly outweigh the content they have provided.

I would chat with the user and encourage them to not start/carry on conflicts with other users. If repeated warnings didn't stop the behavior, a suspension would probably be warranted.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Serving as a mod on Matter Modeling, I have been on both sides of this. The simplest thing is just to ask why; the mods here are all very approachable. It could easily be that I missed something about the question that warranted closure or that they missed something and a simple explanation would get it reopened.

  1. Do you think that user participation on Chemistry Meta needs to be increased? If so, how would you encourage this?

I think the site runs a lot more smoothly when there is more Meta participation. Discussions here make it clearer to mods and reviewers what users like and don't like about the site and what sort of actions they want to see taken to encourage certain behavior or address certain problems.

I'm not entirely sure how to drive more Meta participation. Across SE, Meta tends to be a small fraction of the sites user who are really invested not just in the subject matter, but also the community and resources provided by the site. I guess just continuing to be welcoming to new and existing users will hopefully lead to more of them growing invested enough in the site to participate on Meta.

  1. Being a moderator is time-consuming. Which of your activities on Chemistry Stack Exchange would you have to dial back to make time for moderating?

This is probably my weak point at the moment in terms of becoming a mod. I have been a lot busier lately with work and have spent less time than I used to one the site. However, the time I have been spending has lately been more focused on reviewing and editing questions/answers, so I really wouldn't have to cut back anywhere to do mod duties.

  1. Are you sure you're patient, level-headed and good-tempered enough for the job?

I think I'm generally pretty good natured. I think I have done pretty well on Matter Modeling at defusing conflicts and not getting frustrated by misunderstandings.

  1. As a moderator you will probably have to mediate arguments on this site and its chat rooms. Have you ever yourself been in an argument with another user (on this site)? If yes, how did it come about, and how was it handled in the end? Have you ever flared up on this site? If yes, how did it end? As a moderator how would you handle an argument/someone being rude if it came to your notice?

I can't say I have a flare up on this site. My general advice around these chat room arguments comes down to two points.

  1. It's very difficult to determine tone from a written comment, so don't assume the worst.

  2. In cases of miscommunication, its very rarely the other person's intent to will fully misunderstand. Assume people are being earnest in what they say and that there isn't some hidden intent.

  1. Consider a situation where you see a reasonable and potentially useful question with slight flaws and negative score that had been closed by the community. The question is possibly a duplicate of an existing question, and it has gathered nontrivial potentially useful answers with negative score? Since the roomba would eventually remove the post, what would you do as a moderator? Move on to more important tasks? Continue searching for duplicates for this question? Upvote the existing answers and vote to reopen? Other? How might this more generally reflect your "moderation philosophy"?

It somewhat depends on the age of the post and how much it differs from existing posts. If it's fairly old and very similar to an existing post, I might just migrate the possibility useful answers to an open duplicate and be done with it. For something more recent and more unique, I think working to clean up small flaws can have a big impact, both in leading to posts with interesting questions/answers as well as encouraging users who may not know the mechanics of the site well, but who could develop into valuable contributors.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I would say a mods job is to help cultivate the site. That can include basic tasks like editing posts and removing spam, but also more far reaching activities like serving as an emissary between users and SE. I think mods should try to develop and enact policies that help achieve the goals of the community, whatever those goals might be.

  1. 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?

I'm fine with it.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I don't know if it will change my effectiveness too much. There are some site features like reorganizing tags that I feel I could help with and which are a lot easier to do with mod powers.

This election is over.