I was reading the answer to this question and I find it very useful, agreeable and constructive: How can I get my question reopened as someone answered in the comments?

ChrisF states very clearly what an user of this community should do. But it's completely on the user side, there is nothing about what the moderators should do.

Of course this is given as understood, treated in other places, and moderators here are doing a great work! But since this community is very ambitious, mature and tries to improves itself I would suggest another point.

Moderators are working hard, are doing their best, but this is an ambitious, technical community which tries to be constructive and scientific. And psychology and sociology have clearly studied the attitude of people to consider their own opinion as true. And not really put it into discussion.

Being aware of the limitation on our objectivity is an important step for someone who is called to administer "objectively" and supposed to be fair.

So as we find what users should do, I think it's fair to find what moderators should do. And work on their psychology, on their human-physiological bias could be important.

Do you think moderator should make an effort and read these 2 articles?



(ps: this discussion may be probably seen as polemical and OT, but - true or not - if this adjective becomes an excuse to avoid taking it into consideration to make a work on ourself, this is a perfect example of rationalization: finding an excuse to justify our behavior, to confirm our ideas, to avoid putting ourself into discussion and putting effort in something which we don't like)

1 Answer 1


Moderators are supposed to be human exception handlers. If there's something on the site that you as a regular user can't deal with - either alone (e.g. by editing) or in conjunction with other users (e.g. voting to close) then that's the time to flag it for moderator attention.

That's all there is too it.

The specific moderator who handles your flag might not handle it to your satisfaction, but we can't please everybody all of the time. If you really think that the moderator got it wrong flag it again or raise the specific issue here on meta. Don't forget to address the issue (e.g. "this post really is spam") not the moderator.

I don't see how things like confirmation bias and rationalisation come into it.

  • If moderator / high-rep user could close a question only when the question is already flagged and only to solve problems arised by users the bias influence would be strongly reduces. The problem arise when a moderator thinks: "I'm closing this question since it's against the rules of the community and my action will serve and improve it". Also on the following discussion with the user which is complaining for the moderator action. The moderator is biased to consider his action as correct. Being aware of this bias is a good first step to try to consider deeply our actions.
    – Revious
    Oct 7, 2014 at 10:53
  • "The fact itself that you could not even realize the influence on cognitive bias on moderation is a good proof of what I think".. This is my opinion, but at the same time, you probably don't share it. It's another example of cognitive bias on my side. It's really hard to consider facts objectively and from the other's side point of view. - marketing and communication expert plays to avoid this kind of errors.. I hope this discussion was a bit useful to give a seed to think of.
    – Revious
    Oct 7, 2014 at 10:55
  • @Revious The mere fact that you are just scoring nebulous "points" for your "side" makes me think you ought to be the one reviewing Confirmation Bias. The main idea behind this post is that, while a very real phenomenon that we deal with on different levels, CB really isn't part of the equation of mod duties: moderators are elected or appointed based on the trust the community or S.E. Inc. has in their ability to make judgment calls in the best interest of the community when such need arises. When the community disagrees with their judgments, meta can discuss them on a case-by-case basis.
    – Caleb
    Oct 7, 2014 at 11:38
  • @Caleb: I don't understand completely your comment. Especially when you say: "CB really isn't part of the equation of mod duties" what you are really saying is: "I believe..."; and so the question simply becomes: "why have you got this belief?". What you wrote is a perfect example of confirmation bias and even more of rationalization. We can discuss in chat if you like, it could also help me to communicate more easily on this kind of topic.
    – Revious
    Oct 7, 2014 at 12:03
  • 1
    @Revious If you have something specific to suggest that you think would improve the workings of this site please edit it into your meta post above for the community to review. If you have some question about philosophy of moderation in general try Community Building.
    – Caleb
    Oct 7, 2014 at 12:34
  • 3
    @Revious If you want to start a chat discussion on existential qualities of moderators or the merits of some conspiracy theory about how SE moderators avoid topics they don't "like", you'll have to find another chat partner because I've been down that road before. Until you show that you've done your homework and demonstrate and understanding of the extant duties of SE mods there isn't much reason to believe you've found better road rather that just more of the same pointless rhetoric.
    – Caleb
    Oct 7, 2014 at 12:35
  • @Caleb: maybe I should try on Moderators.. but however it's not so important. It's just my point of view. I opened this discussion since I was a bit annoyed by one of many mods which seems to me very professional and competent but also very narrow minded on their "truth" (maybe I am as well). But psychology clearly states that if you push to get something the others will push against. Also your words made me think on some errors I often do..
    – Revious
    Oct 7, 2014 at 13:37
  • @Caleb: not to bother you, but this moderator is the first which has admitted his part of error. The first in months and months. codereview.stackexchange.com/questions/65000/…
    – Revious
    Oct 7, 2014 at 16:29
  • @Revious are you claiming that moderators are something other than human and possibly fallible?
    – user40980
    Oct 7, 2014 at 17:06
  • @MichaelT: doesn't matter.. sorry for opening the question. Delete it if you prefer.
    – Revious
    Oct 7, 2014 at 20:33

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