2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. I asked for questions in an earlier thread but we didn't get any new suggestions. Therefore, we'll just use the standard set.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

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?

• You are good to go Jon, I just finished my answers. – jojek Mar 15 '16 at 21:01

                      2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

                                     @datageist


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?

Thankfully, the few situations we've had of this nature were easily handled with mild warnings to the user(s) involved (after moderator discussion). If a situation were to arise that didn't yield to that approach, I'd probably first consult with the other DSP.SE mods and/or defer to the experience of the larger moderator community--esp. to ensure that the way we handle the situation is within the bounds of SE policy.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Either discuss it behind the scenes, and/or open it up for discussion on meta, if appropriate.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Attempt to keep the community running smoothly as a high-quality Q&A resource, in accordance with the SE Theory of Moderation. A large part of that involves handling disruptive issues that wouldn't be resolved quickly enough via community moderation.

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?

Fine, since that's been the norm for me.

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 think being a moderator naturally leads to an enhanced focus on the state of the community as a whole, rather than just your own personal reputation on the site. Even if someone is very community-focused to begin with, it would be surprising if becoming a moderator didn't increase that tendency.

                      2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

                                     @Peter K.


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?

Any user that generates valuable answers is an asset to the site. If a valuable user generates arguments or flags, then I'll try to figure out why and get them (or the other side of the argument) to moderate their reactions. If that doesn't work, I'll try to communicate directly with the person --- in consultation with the other mods --- to see what the issue is.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

If I felt strongly enough that there was value in the question, I'd work with the mod and the OP to see if we could modify the question so that it's acceptable. As @datageist says, a discussion in meta might be a good way to do this if a chat room can't resolve it.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators facilitate keeping the question quality and the answer quality high and on-topic for this site. The aim is to keep things moving freely, openly, and with as little direct intervention as possible. "Soft" touches are better than using some of the options open to the moderators.

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?

I've been a moderator pro tem here for a while, so this is normal. However, it does mean I feel obligated to "set a standard" for others to follow.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

As a moderator, I believe I take slightly more account of the community and how others on the site perceive it than I would as a high rep user. As I was one of the instigators of this site on Area 51, I already have a community attitude towards it; I think being a moderator enhances this a little, but it is only a secondary / small effect.

                      2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

                                     @jojek


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?

1. Take a closer look at the dispute by reading through the comments, also on other SE websites.

2. Trying to understand if the user is too "expressive"/direct, or maybe he is simply arrogant.

3. I would comment on those situations, asking him politely to be nice. I strongly believe that in majority of situations this is enough.

4. If comments would require deleting, then I would do so.

5. If the warning wouldn't change anything, I would consult the matter with other moderators before taking any other serious actions.

Honestly this really depends on a person. I still remember a situation from over a year ago. User got really angry because his answer was criticized (rightfully). In the end he began offending @rbj, who posted his answer on the same question (maybe you still remember that Robert). After raising the flag immediately, I did some checking of his network profile. I realized that he's that cocky and he is constantly arguing with other users. I believe that such person should be banned temporarily. If that wouldn't help, then permanent ban is the solution.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

1. Asking him why that was the case and trying to understand his reasoning.

2. If I still strongly disagree with him, then I am casting the vote to re-open, un-delete the question. We have democracy here after all.

I don't foresee any arguments about deleting/closing questions on DSP SE. In my opinion users here are "community moderating" quite well.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

• Checking flags - 80% of time.
• Reading through some questions and answering - 20% of their time.

I think that, because the community is growing quickly, soon there will be at least 100 flags a day to check. Obviously you should always respond as soon as you can...

On the other hand, moderators have this responsibility to keep the level of this website as high as possible. I've spent a lot of time on various forums, and in the end, 90% of questions were home works without any user input whatsoever (maybe except of rewriting it). On DSP SE we have a chance to keep the level high by poking the OP's to include more details, describe what they did so far, guide them, or eventually close the question and delete it.

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?

Honestly I wasn't aware of the fact that moderators have diamonds next to their nicks. Some time ago I noticed that next to the @datageist username and I simply thought it's some sort of Unicode art...

Nonetheless this fact will definitely motivate me to keep the level high and do my best to represent the DSP SE.

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 might reach it at some point, although my goal will be slightly different. I will be provided with the tools that will allow me to grow this community and guide it.

• Good to see you stepping up! – Matt L. Mar 16 '16 at 9:01
• Thank you @MattL., I appreciate that! ;) – jojek Mar 16 '16 at 9:02
• likewise, jojek. – robert bristow-johnson Mar 16 '16 at 17:13
                      2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

                                     @ r b-j


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?

if there was no personal verbal abuse in the answers (that might be the salient cause of the flags), i would leave the valuable answers as is and just respond to the flaggers.

if there is abuse, i would ask the user to remove it. if the user does not remove it, i would consult the site guidelines for exactly what criteria constitutes prohibited abuse and if the answer qualifies as such, i would delete the entire answer even if there was something valuable in it. if the questionable language does not meet the criteria of prohibited abuse, i might consider editing it like i would consider editing spelling, grammar, or sloppy math in someone's answer. (people will likely complain about my informal internet grammar taken after e.e. cummings or DSPer and windows authority fred harris.)

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

bring it up with him/her. possibly make it a meta question. i would not have an edit war with the moderator. i really doubt i would have such a problem with any of the other candidates here. i know PeterK from the comp.dsp days.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

i will answer that in the negative.

what moderators should not do is follow the example of the moderators at the Christianity SE site. if it is possible, one can check out my experience at that site. i have answered questions honestly, sincerely, and with some knowledge that lies outside of mainstream Christianity. most of my answers were identified as "low-quality" (as they were quickly down-voted) and deleted immediately by moderators although i hadn't attacked anyone (but maybe challenged an answer or gave an alternative way of thinking). i resisted this openly until i was banned for a year. i patiently waited the year out, returned to the site, and the very same thing has happened again. i got no help from the overall SE governance. these moderators at the Christiany SE site are decidedly authoritarian and abusive. it's a very sad SE site and in my opinion (so take if for what it is worth) with a lot of irrelevant and silly questions (and answers) about unimportant and goofy trivia that is usually quite sectarian.

now here at dsp.se, the topic matter is much more objective and if there is something clearly false mathematically or physically (like someone claims his 1 THz DSP chip can process a million 1024K-point FFTs in a microsecond), i will take that on if no one else does. if someone claims that they can do pitch detection of a musical note down to 2 octaves below middle C with a delay of only 4 milliseconds, i will take that on if no one else does. but i won't delete the posts. and if someone offers ideas that are unorthodox and that seem to contradict common practice, those posts should remain and be engaged, respectfully. if someone misunderstands or misuses semantics, i will try to point out what the common accepted semantic is. but i will not delete the post.

so i would let dsp.se be a little more of a free-for-all but not as much as comp.dsp. no blatant commercial advertising in the form of an "answer" (and i have not seen such at all), no blatant personal abuse (i have not seen blatant abuse, but i have seen some people skirting abuse with mathematical dick wagging), blatantly incorrect or misleading answers get engaged (with a correction) but not deleted, and pretty much all else is left alone. perhaps i might offer answers or comments if it's something i know anything about.

moderators should discuss privately moderation issues with involved actors, but never in an authoritarian manner. no one should be banned for offering a bunch of "low quality" answers.

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?

i have almost no opinion. i have never been particularly big on titles like "Dr." or "PhD." i represent myself and my opinions are my own, not those of Stack Exchange. i also represent the organization and any abuse of authority by myself or anyone else with a "diamond" should be dealt with by those who own the site. "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one." this is not my press. it's not my media, i recognize it, and i am grateful for it.

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 doubt i will ever reach 10K or 20K. i'll probably be pushing daisies before then.

define "effective".