So... there might be some kind of news stirring. Stuff and things and such. In light of these recent events, Code Review is scheduled for an election next week, March 26th. 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.

Unlike last time, which was quite a while ago, we're hosting the question collection a week in advance, so that not only can folks start prepping questions in advance, but also potential candidates can think about nominating themselves and seeing the questions they'll have an opening to answer.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, March 26th 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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can we answer the questions without committing to running? \$\endgroup\$
    – user34073
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 20:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Hosch250 at this stage no one answers the questions - we're just collecting questions to ask the would-be candidates. Feel free to prepare answers for all questions though, if you're planning to run. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know. I mean once questions start being answered. And no, I'm not planning to run ATM. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34073
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 20:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Hosch250 once the Q&A is up, it's for the officially-nominated candidates to answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 21:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to reaffirm - please do not post answers to the questionnaire if you're not actually planning to run. \$\endgroup\$
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 3:19

8 Answers 8


Question closure / dealing with upset users

Suppose that you closed a question, which angers the original poster, who calls you a power-tripping moderator. How do you respond?

The implicit question is, under what circumstances would you use your moderator privilege to close questions, bypassing the five-vote process? Why?

Borrowed from 200_success in 2015


Language you aren't familiar with

You may sometimes happen upon a question containing a language you are unfamiliar with. You may be needed to make a determination as to whether the question is on-topic. What can you do to ensure you don't make too many mistakes in this situation?


Not an answer flags

An answer in the style of "This is my approach / This is what I ended up with: (Code-dump)" is flagged as "Not an answer". What do you do? Is there a difference in how you respond if you see that the answer has a post notice (set by another moderator) on it?


Community Building / Leadership

Moderating on SE is much more than just wielding a mighty hammer, zapping spammers and wearing a cool hat. As a moderator, the community will be looking up to you, and ideally following your footsteps - you'll be some kind of a role model here.

Are you planning to take a leadership role in the continuous building of this community, keeping it active, vibrant, appealing to reviewers / would-be reviewers / reviewees?

If so, how? If not, why?


Sensitive Posts

A question is flagged: Please delete this question - my boss has seen it and says it contains confidential code - he's freaking out and wants me to remove it, but I can't delete it

The question was asked 3 days before, it has 2 answers, one is accepted.

How do you respond?

Borrowed from rolfl


Edit flooding

You notice a user has decided to start removing some fluff from posts (such as "thanks"). However, you soon realize that the user has already pushed most of the previous questions off the front page and may not have stopped. You also feel that these edits are nice, but are also way too trivial to warrant such a destructive editing spree.

How do you approach this situation?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Uhmmm ... Jamalized is a bad thing? ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – rolfl
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 1:14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, to be fair, even I wouldn't do this. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 1:45

What drives you to be a mod?

Having something to drive you, means that you'll stick with it for longer but also that your work will be great. Our previous mods were driven to getting the site through graduation, and truly done some amazing stuff.

What drives you, to keep coming back and to produce great work, as a mod?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the last round helped get the site through graduation, but the site was graduated by the time they were elected. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34073
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Am I missing something or is this question mostly handled by Community Building / Leadership? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hosch250 I may be wrong, but I thought there was a lot of graduation stuff going on afterwards too. Design and privalages are things I can think of \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MathiasEttinger Kinda. I feel I'd try my best to be a great leader. But I may not be as driven as others to actually come on to the site to be a great leader. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pretty sure we got our design and priv changes before we had an election. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34073
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 15:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Hosch250 Design happened around Nov 25 '15, where the election ended Jul 14 '15. So design happened 4 months after. As for rep I don't think there was an announcement. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peilonrayz Mod
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Reputation changes happened at the same time as the design. Those were coupled back then, but they had decoupled the rest of the graduation process. The first announcement of the graduation was here: codereview.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2545/31562 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Point conceded. \$\endgroup\$
    – user34073
    Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Getting a site through graduation is more than just the actual graduation, but there's aftermath too. Increased visibility brings more content and post migrations. The rep threshold changes meant fewer user-moderators, for a while. It was more than just "done, beta label dropped, enjoy your facelift" ... \$\endgroup\$
    – janos
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 17:33

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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