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Moderating is a very subjective activity. Some candidates may feel that they can uphold the programmers.se charter, but do it in a way that differs from the way that the incumbents do it today.

Specifically, if a candidate spots a troubled question, they may endeavor to understand the intent behind the troubled question, rather than rapidly choosing to close that question.

With this in mind, do any of the moderator candidates intend to moderate differently than the incumbents?

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    There's a place where you can comment on the nominations. If you have concerns or questions about some of the candidates, post comments under their nomination. This is kind of an awkward place to ask; it's not linked to the election, and some people may not be aware that this question is here. – Robert Harvey Jan 25 '12 at 21:57
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    @RobertHarvey According to the 2012 Community Moderator Elections post, Meta is indeed an appropriate place to ask such questions. I don't necessarily agree with that, since it only seems to be very temporal, but yeah. – Thomas Owens Jan 25 '12 at 22:07
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    -1 for the loaded question. I've seen the mods do that plenty of times. It can take a lot of time to analyze and correct bad questions, users should be doing that if they care enough, mods already have plenty to do. – DKnight Jan 26 '12 at 3:37
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Moderating is a very subjective activity. Some candidates may feel that they can uphold the programmers.se charter, but do it in a way that differs from the way that the incumbents do it today. Specifically, if a candidate spots a troubled question, they may endeavor to understand the intent behind the troubled question, rather than rapidly choosing to close that question.

My personal goal is to minimize the times when a post is closed by one or two users and a moderator. It's not that the decision to close those questions is wrong, as I usually agree with it. If I don't agree with it, I've voted to reopen or raised the concern on Meta. However, I think it looks really bad to see questions closed by one or two users and a diamond mod and it looks worse to see it closed by just a diamond mod, especially if it's a very new question with a low view count.

Preferably, I'd like to give the community a chance to salvage the question, and I'd be more than happy to help with that effort. That could be asking for more information in comments and encouraging the asker to work more details in. It could also be taking comments attached to other answers and working them into the original question so it's easier to understand and read. Or it might just be cleaning up the spelling and grammar. Regardless of what it is, I'd like the community to have a chance to work its magic before I would close most questions.

Now, I said most. Questions that are blatantly off-topic - I wouldn't have a problem closing them. People trying to avoid post restrictions on another site, hoping for a migration - I wouldn't have a problem closing them without a migration. Helping to move a question to the appropriate site so it gets good answers soon - I'd move it if it was appropriate to do so.

In general, I'd like to see the community begin to stand up on its own in terms of closing and cleaning up posts. I'd support them in any way I could, but I don't want to act as an individual unless it was absolutely necessary to ensure the health and awesome of the community.

With this in mind, do any of the moderator candidates intend to moderate differently than the incumbents?

I'm not going to generalize our current moderators into one group. They are all individuals and should be treated as such. They just happen to work together to support this community. As a moderator, I'd support the decisions of both the community and the Stack Exchange network staff. Above, I described how I would moderate. If you have any questions, please ask for clarification on this post, or ask me a more directed question on my nomination.

  • +1: Awesome answer! – Jim G. Jan 25 '12 at 22:36
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Specifically, if a candidate spots a troubled question, they may endeavor to understand the intent behind the troubled question, rather than rapidly choosing to close that question.

This is something all members of the community could be doing. Anyone can suggest an edit, those with 2K reputation don't need approval. Anyone with over 50 reputation can comment.

If a question is unclear then you should be doing one (or all) of these:

  1. Comment - ask for clarification, highlight what's wrong with the post.
  2. Edit - make the post better. Fix grammatical and spelling errors, remove any unnecessary back story.
  3. Vote. Up-vote good questions, down-vote bad.
  4. Vote to close. If you have more than 3K you can and should do this. Closure is not the end of the road for a question. It does mean that no new answers can be posted, but that's a good thing. If the question is improved it can and should be reopened.
  5. Flag. If the question is irredeemable and needs to be closed or even deleted straight away let the moderators know.

Note: the moderators are there at the end of the steps that you, as a high reputation user, should be taking first. We are the exception handlers. I don't want to be closing questions all day. I'd like to answer a few from time to time.

  • +1: Thanks Chris. – Jim G. Jan 25 '12 at 22:36
  • I'd upvote this twice if I could. – Adam Lear Jan 26 '12 at 3:20
  • Maybe after closing a question, if the question is edited, the closure voters should be notified. – Gulshan Feb 1 '12 at 10:35
  • @Gulshan - this has been brought up on Meta SO before. – ChrisF Feb 1 '12 at 10:38
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do any of the moderator candidates intend to moderate differently than the incumbents

Well to me above is not of a major importance thing. My primary expectations of moderator actions are as expressed in one of the answers at "big" Meta:

something that a mod needs to develop by themselves - quick, competent and independent judgement of a situation

Compared to above, consistency plays rather secondary role. I mean, as long as moderator is capable to justify their decision in the face of community review (eg here at Meta) I wouldn't mind if this decision has a personal touch.

  • With above said, I would also like to make it perfectly clear that I am against total dismissal of consistency expectation. I believe that in (rare) cases when moderator actions fail to meet primary expectations - in cases like that concerns of consistency, shared understanding, majority agreement and such can make a perfect ground for respective corrective actions.
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    Thank you for linking to a meta question where the first comment is me suggesting we should screw up with the moderators, while I'm actively seeking to be elected as one. I think you just lost me the election! :) – yannis Jan 26 '12 at 12:04
  • +1: Outstanding. – Jim G. Jan 26 '12 at 12:37
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Well, let me start by saying I voted to close this question as "not constructive".

You are implying that there is something wrong with how our current moderators and asking the candidates to confirm your opinions by saying what they would do differently, or alternatively paint a huge bullseye on their backs by saying they are satisfied with things as is. It's a rant in disguise, by definition. But I'll play along, since it wouldn't be a true election without those.

I have written a rather extensive nomination stump, and I think it's evident that I'm largely satisfied with our current crop of moderators. There would be absolutely no way I could have done the work I've done in the non-rewarding aspects of the site if I was somehow dissatisfied or disgruntled.

That said, there's always room for improvement. Every one of us, if elected, will bring something new to the table, that's only natural. But the role of the moderator is to intervene only when absolutely necessary, and there isn't much room for differentiation.

We will all be bound by the Stack Exchange vision and rules, the scope of the site and, of course by the community. As I wrote in my nomination stump, I realize that the role is clearly defined and largely restrictive, and that if elected I will need to take a step back and stop acting autonomously.

Lastly, I don't see any point in answering to the specifics of how I will handle closing questions. I have voted to close quite a few questions, participated in a number of clean up efforts, and I feel that the question is sufficiently answered by my participation. At the same time, I am the top editor amongst the candidates, while being relatively new to the site. Improve first, close only when necessary, is an approach I feel all the candidates and the moderators share.

I'm particularly proud to be part of the process, and amongst such fine company. All of us are extremely active and dedicated to the site and the community, and our participation speaks louder than anything else. Let's keep politics out of it.

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    I agree. This is not about who would be a "different" moderator or a moderator who's most like me or anything along those lines. Moderators work as a team, so there will be a period of adjustment after the election regardless and any new moderator will bring new perspectives to the table. – Adam Lear Jan 26 '12 at 3:19
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    What's the point in an election if the question "what would you do differently than the other candidates" is closed as "not constructive"? – user281377 Jan 26 '12 at 8:36
  • @ammoQ The point would be something along the lines of: "Please assemble a list of 20 closed questions that you feel are representative of the current moderation, and ask us how we would have dealt with those, instead of having us arguing hypotheticals & rhetoricals". Furthermore, my close vote is non binding. If I get elected, that would be the first thing I'll miss :) – yannis Jan 26 '12 at 8:48
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I don't believe any of the candidates are looking to be too completely different, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Our moderators have been doing a great job. I'm sure there are things that some candidates, and even I, want to change, but there would be nothing wrong with not completely changing our ways. In fact, it might be a bad thing.

If you look at any of the candidates, most of them have something(s) different they want to do. That's great! But specifically changing the ways we moderate would not drastically help, if it helps at all.

Looking at ChrisF's answer to this question, I agree, and I plan to follow a similar approach.

If you have any questions, please see my nomination

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    I don't believe any of the candidates are looking to be too completely different - Thanks, but this is precisely why I asked this question. – Jim G. Jan 26 '12 at 18:45

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