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Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is newly scheduled for an election starting next week, July 2nd. In connection with that election, as we've done in previous elections, we will be hosting a Q&A here for 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.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, July 2nd 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.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • 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.

  • At the end of the collection 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. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing (up to) 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.

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    $\begingroup$ It's unclear to me what is happening. Are two moderators stepping down? Is the moderator team expanding because there is too much work? If there's a post about this, I missed it. I don't necessarily need private details but would like the public-facing points. Asking here because it is the only election post that I see at the moment. I can post a question if that's better. $\endgroup$ – Brythan Jun 30 '18 at 5:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Brythan the team is expanding because of a combination of workload and availability (i.e. some people have more limited availability for various benign reasons). We never want to burn people out! $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jul 1 '18 at 18:22

12 Answers 12

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Here's an oldie but a goodie: As a moderator, you'll have to deal with some of the worst content on the site, clean up after users, remain patient in the face of conflict, be subjected to abuse without lashing out . . . you get the idea. Often, moderating can be stressful and not a lot of fun. We're benevolent janitors, not benevolent dictators.

Given the job description, why do you (still) want to be a moderator?

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    $\begingroup$ Could you kids quit spilling quarks and mana all over the floor! Just for one day! $\endgroup$ – James Jul 1 '18 at 2:27
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It's a pretty important topic, and one that is being discussed a lot right now: Where do you draw the line as to whether real world questions are on-topic?

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    $\begingroup$ Glad you added this, so I didn't have to type it up :) $\endgroup$ – James Jun 25 '18 at 23:56
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    $\begingroup$ Hear hear! A terribly important question this. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jun 26 '18 at 0:36
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    $\begingroup$ @FoxElemental Probably because two people felt that this isn't an important question to ask. I'd be curious ask to why, but absent the actual people who downvoted, I suspect that's about the best answer anyone will be able to give you. This is still right near the top of the pile; I wouldn't sweat it. (And downvotes on Meta, except Meta Stack Exchange, don't even cost any reputation for anyone. So there... ;)) $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jun 27 '18 at 9:32
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Good Subjective, Bad Subjective describes what makes a good subjective question -- it inspires longer answers explaining "why" and "how", it encourages answers that are backed up by facts and references, and it's more than mindless social fun. Worldbuilding gets a lot of questions in the gray area here. Some of them get closed as primarily opinion-based or too broad, others are left open and attract 10+ answers, and members of the community are confused about which precedents to follow. As a moderator with a binding close (or reopen!) vote, as well as the usual abilities to edit and comment, how will you handle questions like these, and their answers?

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    $\begingroup$ This is a rerun, but I think it's still relevant so I'm re-asking it. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Jun 26 '18 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ It's not a rerun its more like a track off of Worldbuilding's Greatest Hits $\endgroup$ – James Jun 27 '18 at 18:15
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How will your attitude towards close/reopen voting change now that your close/reopen votes are binding?

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How would you handle a user whose attitude is "I am surely right, it's the entire site to be wrong"?

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    $\begingroup$ I upvoted this. The irony is that no matter how you handle them it generally ends up not mattering because they are obviously right. eyeroll $\endgroup$ – James Jul 1 '18 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ This is a great question, come to think of it, and we've all seen these a lot. It's never an easy thing to deal with. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jul 1 '18 at 21:13
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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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For my last suggestion, I'm putting forth this one from the 2017 list. It's a good question involving thoughts about what could be improved on this site, and how the moderator would go around improving:

A genie appears and grants you one wish related to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. You can change one aspect of the site. It could be something about the community (people post more questions, people post higher-quality answers, people deal with review queues quicker, …), about moderators (they start closing more/fewer questions, …), about the way the site works (some feature request gets fulfilled), etc. The genie adds, “no funny business about what ‘one aspect’ means!”. What do you wish for?

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Let me start things off with a really basic question, but one that I think is important to a lot of users.

  • What time period are you typically most active during, and how often are you active during that period?
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If you could add, rewrite, or delete, one thing from the Help Center, what would that be?

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In your opinion, what is the most important part of moderation and why?

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What is the worst part about being a moderator in your opinion?

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    $\begingroup$ Not sure a user who hasn't yet been a moderator on this site can answer this question. $\endgroup$ – James Jul 1 '18 at 2:26
  • $\begingroup$ @James There's lots of information that active users can see about what it means to be a mod. And seeing what they perceive to be the worst part is quite important in my eyes to see if they fit the mod team, have what it takes to be a mod and fit the current need for new mods. For the information you can look at the description from HDE or look through existing complaints like Closing Policy. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Jul 1 '18 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ You can also look to other sites on the network, like SFF and see the corresponding chat responses from multiple mods from multiple sites to get a feeling about what mods have to deal with. And while some of the stuff probably doesn't apply to worldbuilding there is quite some information that might be relevant. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Jul 1 '18 at 8:31
  • $\begingroup$ For a simple example: I'd love to be able to handle comments in the Sandbox. But I'd hate to have to be patient with known trolls. If mods-to-be stated which parts they are not looking forward to we can get a rough feeling of what things will stay roughly the same as now - and apparently there is a need to be faster in some respects, so that is an important thing to consider. I can add some links I can find from all over the network if you think that's important for this question. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Jul 1 '18 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @James; I think this is something you have to experience to answer. Could make for a fun conversation-starter in chat, though, or maybe a couple of us existing mods could talk about it as nominations start if anyone has questions for us. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jul 1 '18 at 21:12
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What do you believe "Primarily Opinion-Based" means in relation to the creative process and fictional nature of worldbuilding?

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