- 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?
Most of the time when I close a question I add a comment saying why I closed the question. And depending on the reason, I'd tell the asker how to fix the issue. If the user has some good claims why the question should stay open, then I would comment saying that they are correct, remove my close vote and ask others to remove their votes if I know it's been posted in chat.
And so I would do the same if I were a mod. However if they start to insult me, by calling me a power-tripping moderator. Then I'd ask another member of the mod team to handle the abuse. This is as the message 'you're being rude' coming from another user would mean more than from me in that situation.
I like to think I understand the close reasons, 200_success based the current close reasons on my suggestion. And so if I know a question is off-topic without a shadow of doubt, then I'd hammer a question. For example, if a question has no code in it then I'd hammer it with the no code reason.
I however wouldn't hammer a question that's in the gray area.
This is as there can be arguments that the question is on or off topic.
And I won't be a dictatorial moderator that ignores all conflicting arguments.
- 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?
Firstly most of our close reasons have little to do with the actual code.
Ownership of the code, asking for an explanation of the code and there being no code all have nothing to do with the provided code. The other close reasons (code not working as intended, code not written yet and pseudocode), whilst they are about the code, a lot of the time you can know if the question is or is not on-topic from the description alone. And so I'd check the description first to check if the question is on-topic. I'd then check, or at least try to check, if the code is also on-topic.
And so when checking if the code is off-topic I'd check any locations that the description, or comments, made suspect, or check the entire code.
This would mean that I would then learn what the code is doing without a shadow of doubt.
If that requires me to search what some functions are then I'd do that too.
And so when I have checked the code if I find it to be off-topic then I'd vote to close it.
However, if I have some concerns with voting to close it as off-topic, then I'd post a comment summarizing the problems I have with the question.
- 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?
If the flag is correct, then I think there are two ways to handle these, give a warning or delete. If there are no comments on the answer, or there is a reasonable amount of doubt the user has not had the chance to action the existing comments, then I'd warn the user. This would mean that I'd add a comment if it is needed, and potentially a banner. If however this is not the case, then I'd vote to delete the answer.
I personally would treat another moderator's interactions to be the same as a standard users.
- 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?
I try to be a good example, and try to ask meta questions that would be a benefit to the community. I got my first flag decline after only a couple of flags, and thought I had done something wrong. I asked how and if I should improve my flags, and have now had three declined flags and 157 helpful flags. I also asked the final meta to get the new close reasons, meaning we've now removed some of our concerns about the close reasons we've had for a while.
I also try to be fair. For the first couple of months I tried to read as many Meta questions as I could. I've not read them all, but it helped with understanding current rules. It also means I won't ask duplicate questions, and when a user is angry with how their question has been handled.
I know whether they've broken the rules, and can explain why you would or wouldn't be allowed to do something. One example of this is a user recently came to meta about conflicting notions on answer invalidation and fixing closed questions. I tried my best to help them know they weren't in the wrong, and tried to help explain why the question was closed.
And was thanked for my input by the asker.
And so I feel I try my best to do this already, and can't see any reason why getting a hammer would mean I wouldn't.
- 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?
I would check "The 1st Monitor" if anyone has noticed this, and tried to deal with this.
If they have not then I'd invite the user to chat, I'd thank them for their efforts,
and request they spread out their edits because it pushes all the new questions off the front page. Which is unfair.
Otherwise I'd have to learn what disciplinary procedures we have in place for this situation.
- 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?
I'd invite the user to chat, and explain that moderators aren't there to remove copyrighted information, as outlined on meta. Instead they should use a DCMA take down. This has the benefit that the page is also not available to users with 10k+ reputation too.
I changed my answer after [I asked chat if mods can delete questions with accepted answers]. However was going to suggest using a DCMA takedown, but would think it's a bit overkill. And so didn't really know the correct answer. (I left a table I was going to use to compare a standard delete with a DCMA takedown hidden below, check the raw code)
- 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?
I asked this question as I suffer from motivation problems. When I was deciding whether or not I thought I'd be a good moderator for this community, my biggest problem was not would I try my best when I am moderating, but would I moderate.
Another way to look at this is I have about 450 games on Steam. I enjoy playing pretty much all of them, however I regularly don't have the motivation to pick one to play and play it. Meaning that I don't enjoy my games, not because of the game, but because of me.
I however don't think this is the case with Code Review. I regularly check the Stack Exchange app if I have any reputation changes or notifications, when I'm away from my computer. And so I seek enjoyment out of using the network. I also always load up "The 2nd monitor" and the newest python questions page when I start up my computer. So that I'm always contactable when I'm available, and so that I know when a new Python question pops up, so if I feel like answering I know there's something new to answer.
I have also started to like moderating more and more now. And so feel if I found a way to get review notifications and the red circle to appear when there is even one review item, then I'd be more active in those. Where at the moment I normally vet Python questions throughout the day.
- 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'd invite the user to chat, tell them that their comments are generating a lot of flags, and request that they try to not engage in arguments. I've been in an argument or two during the course of my membership here, where it normally starts from a discussion that doesn't have a right answer (Tabs or spaces anyone?).
If the user doesn't reduce their arguments, then I'd have to follow disciplinary procedures. I think this would be a comment ban (if it exists) or a short term suspension. However I may be wrong in these cases.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I feel discussions between users to be heathy and good for the site. I however don't think airing our dirty laundry is a good idea.
And so I'd ask the mod if they think they handled the post the correct way, and give my reasons why I don't agree with the action.
This should stay in "The 1st Monitor" (moderator chat room), however if we can't come to an agreement then asking on Meta would then be the best method in my opinion.
- 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 feel it's my place to bring users into chat privately, saying that the actions they are taking may be problematic. I feel that it's not really my place and there's a negative stigma to this. I'd be a bit confused if a 10k user brought me into chat, I've never talked to them and they're asking me to change my actions.
I also feel I would be a good benefit to cleaning up off-topic questions with hammers. And would be a good user to help keep the site clean. We sometimes have a problem with not having enough close voters, and so a hammer can be a useful tool to keep the site clean. And feel I may be a good user to wield the hammer.