2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Oct 4, 2021 at 20:00
election began
Oct 11, 2021 at 20:00
election ended
Oct 19, 2021 at 20:00
candidates
5
positions
3

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Full elections have three phases and an optional fourth phase (Primary):

  1. Question Collection
  2. Nomination
  3. Primary
  4. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. 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?

[Answer 1 here]

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

[Answer 2 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 4 here]

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

[Answer 5 here]

  1. Most of us are experts only in our particular styles. How do you plan on adjudicating disputes regarding a style that you are unfamiliar with?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. Bad information is rife in martial arts. How do you plan to handle questions with bad premises ("How do I perform a technique that will drive my opponent's nasal bone into their brain?") and answers that provide incorrect information ("Since UFC fights have no rules, you will want to fishhook his cheek and gently squeeze the testicles to get him to remove his shoulder-lock...")?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. A common conflict in the discussion of martial arts is the distinction between "practical" self defense or fighting, and traditional martial arts, occasionally coming to squabbles with TMA techniques being accused of being "fantasy" or "dangerous only in that a practitioner will think they know how to fight" and people firing back the other direction that the "practical" styles are focused on fanciful self defense scenarios, or specific sports combat situations. How do you plan to handle such squabbles?

[Answer 8 here]

  1. Due to the combination of low activity and the occasionally belligerent reactions to particular questions and answers, it's common for new users to not stick around. How do you plan on encouraging community engagement?

[Answer 9 here]

slugster

Hi everyone, I'm pleased to tender my nomination in our very first official moderator election! Woohoo!!

I was actively involved when this site was just a concept in Area 51. I have been a Pro Tempore moderator from the day this site launched from Area 51. That launch was nearly 10 years ago, and I am the only original moderator left. I have been an active member of the wider Stack Exchange community for more than 12 years, and have contributed significantly on Stack Overflow, the SO Meta, and the higher level SE Meta. As an existing mod I am also on the ♦ Mod teams site. As an original I was excited when we finally graduated after 7 years, and I'm just as excited now that we've reached this milestone.

I would be glad to serve the community going forward, and I have a solid track record to look back on. Not only that, I look forward to working with whoever the community elects, I'm sure we'll have some excellent candidates.

Questionnaire
  1. 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 treat each flag/complaint on it's merits. While we welcome high quality contributions, those contributions do not give anybody the right to cause trouble. As moderators we have guidelines we agree to work by, if someone transgresses seriously enough then we have established steps we follow. Other than that I prefer to take an education and gentle guidance approach where possible.

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

Fundamentally, we trust each other as moderators, and as such we respect each other's decisions. For anything contentious we usually discuss it behind the scenes before taking action (or immediately afterwards), when this has been done there has always been a consensus.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Quite simply, we are exception handlers in human form. The community can (and should) handle a lot of the quality based decisions, as moderators we make decisions and take actions that are outside of the capabilities of the exception handlers built into the system or the community. For example, as humans we can often determine if something is spam when the system can't; we can also do things like determine if something is plagiarized, nonsensical, or inflammatory.

  1. 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 no issue with that, and I have a history that can be checked :)

  1. 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 10K/20K user, you are privileged but your actions are still limited to making very discrete (usually binary) decisions, or flagging something. As a moderator I have the ability to action something instantly where necessary.

  1. Most of us are experts only in our particular styles. How do you plan on adjudicating disputes regarding a style that you are unfamiliar with?

As a moderator it is not our job to be an arbiter of technical accuracy, normally the wider community can (and should) handle disputes around accuracy.

  1. Bad information is rife in martial arts. How do you plan to handle questions with bad premises ("How do I perform a technique that will drive my opponent's nasal bone into their brain?") and answers that provide incorrect information ("Since UFC fights have no rules, you will want to fishhook his cheek and gently squeeze the testicles to get him to remove his shoulder-lock...")?

As previously mentioned, the role of a moderator is not to act as the arbiter of technical accuracy. So in this case I would exercise my role/duty as a regular member to downvote an answer or question, and in my role as a moderator I would action any flags that had been raised. I would also consider whether I can leave a comment for the author to help them create a better question/answer. Usually this sort of question/answer can be dealt with by the wider community by either voting or flagging.

  1. A common conflict in the discussion of martial arts is the distinction between "practical" self defense or fighting, and traditional martial arts, occasionally coming to squabbles with TMA techniques being accused of being "fantasy" or "dangerous only in that a practitioner will think they know how to fight" and people firing back the other direction that the "practical" styles are focused on fanciful self defense scenarios, or specific sports combat situations. How do you plan to handle such squabbles?

Disagreements will always arise. If there's extended discussion, a moderator has the ability to divert that to a chat room. If there's nastiness in the discussion then I will look to edit the comment or remove it. In all cases I expect the participants to respect each other, and if they have a point of view then they should illustrate it with references or examples, rather than making unsubstantial or subjective claims.

  1. Due to the combination of low activity and the occasionally belligerent reactions to particular questions and answers, it's common for new users to not stick around. How do you plan on encouraging community engagement?

I've already had to deal with this sort of thing several times. If a new user leaves an answer that is attracting some negative attention I will look to leave a comment that will help them to improve their post. As a moderator I also have the capability to immediately remove any comments that are nasty or unnecessarily unkind, although that is something I've seldom had to do. Community engagement also carries through to answering questions on Meta.

Noufal Ibrahim

Hello everyone. I'm Noufal. I've been a long time user of stack overflow. Most of my work has been on the [main site where I have a decent reputation](https://stackoverflow.com/users/229602/noufal-ibrahim). I've been active on the site for a long time and have contributed not only answers but also enjoy refining and editing content for form and usefulness.

I'm particular in my attention to detail and because of my real life role as a community organiser for the Python programming groups in my place of domicile and a leader at my own company, I feel I'm suited to handle the kinds of human issues that come up during issues with moderation.

I'm also a long time practising martial artist so I have some knowledge of the domain and can, to some extent, know when the rare situation to take sides presents itself.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

My job as a moderator in this situation would be to act as a bullshit filter. This community is small and the voices of experienced people in the answers would greatly benefit the site. The "cost" of that is the argumentative nature of these people and I'd take on the role of policing such discussions to make sure that they don't get out of hand while sending clear messages to the participants that while their contributions are welcome, their rude arguments are not. I can't say I have a one size fits all formula to deal with this. It has to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

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

I would chat with the the other mod about it. Disagreements are common and not really a big problem. However, if it degenerates into a pattern which is affecting the quality of the site, I'd have to escalate it.

I realise that the site is more important than me and a big part of being a moderator is putting myself aside for the site.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I think good moderators are like janitors or maintainers of infrastructure. Knowledgeable in things that the general public doesn't really care or want to know. They do their jobs best when they're invisible and silent. The overall site works better for everyone when they do their jobs properly. Their presence is rarely felt or seen but their absence hurts everyone.

  1. 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'm perfectly fine. I don't like to get emotional about anything on public fora and I'm completely fine with signing my name on every message I put out on the stack exchange sites.

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

Reaching 10k or 20k is more a matter of subject knowledge than a matter of managing the site. I don't think I have the depth of knowledge than many people on the site have regarding martial arts. However, many of them don't have experience handling an online community. I have a decent grounding in martial arts and experience with online communities which gives me the skills to serve as a moderator.

  1. Most of us are experts only in our particular styles. How do you plan on adjudicating disputes regarding a style that you are unfamiliar with?

This is a role for an adjudicator rather than a martial artist. I can't say that I'd be perfect but I think listening to what the individuals involved in the dispute and then making a judgement call would be the thing to do. A big part of this is keeping an open mind about the various points of view and listening to other moderators. Then synthesising all these inputs into something that makes sense and attaining consensus.

  1. Bad information is rife in martial arts. How do you plan to handle questions with bad premises ("How do I perform a technique that will drive my opponent's nasal bone into their brain?") and answers that provide incorrect information ("Since UFC fights have no rules, you will want to fishhook his cheek and gently squeeze the testicles to get him to remove his shoulder-lock...")?

This is more a role for a martial artist than a moderator. A serious discussion on this topic between multiple people who've spent several years actually learning martial arts and practising it can prevail over an enthusiastic person who puts out answers like this. The only caveat is to identify trolls who we have to handle.

  1. A common conflict in the discussion of martial arts is the distinction between "practical" self defense or fighting, and traditional martial arts, occasionally coming to squabbles with TMA techniques being accused of being "fantasy" or "dangerous only in that a practitioner will think they know how to fight" and people firing back the other direction that the "practical" styles are focused on fanciful self defense scenarios, or specific sports combat situations. How do you plan to handle such squabbles?

This is just a question of knowledge. A lot of people who are interested in really learning about this understand than many of the "fantasy" techniques are a pedagogical method. I have a position on the topic which I can articulate and the people who are interested in engaging can. If I'm participating as a member of the site, I'd state my point of view. If I'm moderating (especially when I see that a "discussion" is getting out of control), I'd be more interested in managing the high tempers rather than trying to convince people of a position on the matter.

  1. Due to the combination of low activity and the occasionally belligerent reactions to particular questions and answers, it's common for new users to not stick around. How do you plan on encouraging community engagement?

Emphasise the positive. I'd go out of my way to thank new contributors and sometimes ask minor questions to encourage discussion.

I have been a member of the Martial Arts SE for over 7 and a half years, including over a hundred days consecutively, gaining me the Fanatic badge. I have a positive voting record, as well as, I feel, a good record in the community queue given the usual site traffic. I have experience with a fairly wide variety of martial arts, and I am always happy to learn more about others. I like to think that I've been a good voice of reason during some of the more heated discussions on the site, and I've been doing my best to keep the current chat room from freezing due to disuse as the previous one did.

I also nominated myself a few years back for a pro-tem moderator role. :) Didn't get it, but I was willing to throw my hat in the ring back then.

Questionnaire
  1. 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 reach out to them with a gentle chiding that, while their input is valued, their behavior is getting problematic, and emphasize that people are treated equally no matter what their reputation.

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

First step, take a deep breath and reread. It's easy to react in a kneejerk fashion, so I always try to take a moment to try to understand the other person's perspective. Then, I'd probably reach out with a message. Past that, I'd just work within the system unless I feel that they're actually violating community standards, in which case I'd escalate.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

To a large degree, they serve as a combination of the final line, and as a reasonable authority figure that can step in when democracy is failing or to be blamed for a sensible but unpopular decision.

  1. 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?

It will probably result in my second-guessing occasional jokes, but overall, I'm not too worried.

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

Truthfully, I'm not certain how much of a difference it will be. Theoretically, it will mean being able to intervene more decisively when things go wrong, but traffic is low enough that that does not seem to be an issue.

  1. Most of us are experts only in our particular styles. How do you plan on adjudicating disputes regarding a style that you are unfamiliar with?

Google. :) I do a lot of research when I encounter a topic I'm not familiar with.

  1. Bad information is rife in martial arts. How do you plan to handle questions with bad premises ("How do I perform a technique that will drive my opponent's nasal bone into their brain?") and answers that provide incorrect information ("Since UFC fights have no rules, you will want to fishhook his cheek and gently squeeze the testicles to get him to remove his shoulder-lock...")?

If information is actively dangerous, or is giving advice of sketchy legality, I think it's good to step in and intervene, although honestly, I can't think of many cases where mods would need to step in versus just high-rep users.

  1. A common conflict in the discussion of martial arts is the distinction between "practical" self defense or fighting, and traditional martial arts, occasionally coming to squabbles with TMA techniques being accused of being "fantasy" or "dangerous only in that a practitioner will think they know how to fight" and people firing back the other direction that the "practical" styles are focused on fanciful self defense scenarios, or specific sports combat situations. How do you plan to handle such squabbles?

Everyone is on their own journey. I have a firm belief that one can disagree without making it personal, and that you can find the good in just about anything. As a moderator, I would have to be ready to step in more decisively when things do get personal. Disagreement should not be squashed, even if they are disagreeing with me, but we can all be polite without things coming to blows.

  1. Due to the combination of low activity and the occasionally belligerent reactions to particular questions and answers, it's common for new users to not stick around. How do you plan on encouraging community engagement?

I think the most important thing is that, while there definitely is such a thing as a stupid question, no one should have their question treated as stupid even if you have a moment of "what kind of an idiot would ask that?". People should be given a chance to respond when clarification is needed, and whenever a question is closed, the moderators ought to let them know why, and explain the process of editing to make the question more appropriate.

JohnP

Hey, everyone! I have been a moderator on the site since 2017, and I am excited to put in my nomination to continue serving the community in this role!

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

Assuming that the flags are valid (Occasionally people get targeted for one reason or another), I take a look at the length of time a user has been on the site. If they are newer, coaching them in acceptable behavior and (if badges indicate it hasn't been done) nudge them to go read the relevant help sections. If they are a more established user, a more direct reminder is in order. If it persists, then perhaps an enforced break from the site is needed. Valuable content contribution does not give a user the right to abuse others in any fashion.

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

That is a discussion that is had with the moderator that performed the action, and an agreement about how it should be handled (left as is, restored) should be reached. If a consensus among the moderators can't be reached, another recourse is meta, and asking the community to participate and determine whether a question is suitable/appropriate and what should be done with the question.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators act to maintain the site according to how the community has decided it wants to be run. This is done through meta discussions, where the community decides the policies and methods, and the moderators act according to those decisions. There are also immediate situations (Spam, rage quitting and defacing content, redacting content when necessary) that need a higher level of attention.

  1. 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 am fine with this. A lot of the community knew me as a participant and again as a moderator, and as I am currently a moderator on multiple sites I am comfortable with the role.

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

Immediacy and availability. I am generally on the site most days, a few visits a day. This allows me to view spam alerts, respond to needed interventions (The above mentioned rage/defacing, unapproved content and similar), and while rarely used, the option to suspend users for a period of time for continued offenses.

  1. Most of us are experts only in our particular styles. How do you plan on adjudicating disputes regarding a style that you are unfamiliar with?

Style disputes are kind of an accepted way of life in the community, and it's really not the role of a moderator to dictate which is better. (TKD by the way :p). What the moderators do is enforce the method. Comments to refine the question or answer, side channel debate can be removed to a specific chat room that gets linked to the question/answer. Other debates can freely go on (civilly) in chat. We don't decide the winner, we just make sure the rules of engagement are followed.

  1. Bad information is rife in martial arts. How do you plan to handle questions with bad premises ("How do I perform a technique that will drive my opponent's nasal bone into their brain?") and answers that provide incorrect information ("Since UFC fights have no rules, you will want to fishhook his cheek and gently squeeze the testicles to get him to remove his shoulder-lock...")?

We have had questions like this before, and the community pretty well enforces what should be done through the voting system, which is what it is designed for. Downvote bad answers, comment how it can be improved, and provide better answers. In the case of bad questions, they can also be downvoted, commented on how to be improved. In rare instances of obviously wrong and dangerous answers, they can be removed.

  1. A common conflict in the discussion of martial arts is the distinction between "practical" self defense or fighting, and traditional martial arts, occasionally coming to squabbles with TMA techniques being accused of being "fantasy" or "dangerous only in that a practitioner will think they know how to fight" and people firing back the other direction that the "practical" styles are focused on fanciful self defense scenarios, or specific sports combat situations. How do you plan to handle such squabbles?

This is very similar to the answer for #6. The rules of engagement are already there, comment to improve/refine questions and answers. Offensive content gets removed with a warning to the user. Extended side channel removed to linked chat rooms, and the Be Nice policy enforced.

  1. Due to the combination of low activity and the occasionally belligerent reactions to particular questions and answers, it's common for new users to not stick around. How do you plan on encouraging community engagement?

This is enforced through the use of the Be Nice policy, and gently pointing new users to the help sections and the about pages to learn more about how the site works. Often a note of "Hey, glad to see you here! Your [q/a] isn't being well received, and it could be because of X or Y. Have you seen our tour and help pages? If you have any questions, you can always comment on your own post or ask in chat when you have enough reputation". If experienced users are being unwelcome and rude, those comments can be removed with a warning to the user. This is not the norm for this site, but it does happen occasionally.

mattm

I am currently one of the three appointed moderators, and I believe the most active in posting and flag handling.

  • I can disagree with you on issues civilly.

  • I feel no need to convince you that you should train the martial arts I happen to train.

  • I have trained a variety of martial arts and appreciate the breadth of viewpoints and ideas from them.

  • I am the only user awarded the research assistant badge for working on the site's tags.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

As in many areas, disagreement is natural in martial arts. The presence of arguments and flags alone is not an indication someone is behaving badly. The question for a moderator is whether users are doing this respectfully.

When any user behaves badly, I delete comments and posts. It does not matter who wrote them. On our relatively low-traffic site, this has been sufficient to resolve matters. Suspensions would be the next escalation to give users a cooling-off period.

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

The first step is to consider the other moderators point of view and reconsider how my initial reaction relates. If I still feel the question should be handled differently, there is a moderator-specific chat room available for discussions of this sort. Like an adult, you talk about your disagreements and come to a resolution, even one that you may not be totally satisfied with.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators on the Martial Arts Stack Exchange have two primary responsibilities:

  1. Take out the trash. There is spam, junk, and other things no one wants to see.

  2. Help keep disagreements civil.

  1. 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?

As a current moderator, this does not apply exactly. I do feel that I am afforded greater deference as a moderator than previously, but I do not believe I have behaved differently than before or abused this deference. I am a volunteer with non-martial arts employment, and I have no financial interest in this site.

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

Moderator privileges provide access to tools that can help identify problem users that use multiple accounts. This assists with taking out the trash.

  1. Most of us are experts only in our particular styles. How do you plan on adjudicating disputes regarding a style that you are unfamiliar with?

The moderator role is not to cast judgement on the correctness of parties in a dispute, but to keep discussion civil between users so it is informative for future readers. It's not necessary to understand the details of a style to understand when someone is not behaving nicely or respectfully towards others.

  1. Bad information is rife in martial arts. How do you plan to handle questions with bad premises ("How do I perform a technique that will drive my opponent's nasal bone into their brain?") and answers that provide incorrect information ("Since UFC fights have no rules, you will want to fishhook his cheek and gently squeeze the testicles to get him to remove his shoulder-lock...")?

These are not situations that require moderator powers. Questions with bad premises are best answered, if possible, to correct the misconception. If this is not possible, then commenting is second-best. The solution to answers with incorrect information is to first correctly answer, which any site member can do, and then to downvote.

  1. A common conflict in the discussion of martial arts is the distinction between "practical" self defense or fighting, and traditional martial arts, occasionally coming to squabbles with TMA techniques being accused of being "fantasy" or "dangerous only in that a practitioner will think they know how to fight" and people firing back the other direction that the "practical" styles are focused on fanciful self defense scenarios, or specific sports combat situations. How do you plan to handle such squabbles?

This is not a situation that where we expect agreement, but we hope for a stalemate where everyone understands the factual viewpoints of the participants.

Martial arts has an eternal problem that training cannot safely look like combat, and it's natural that every generation will look at the contemporary situation and try to improve. It's also natural for people to disagree about the best way to do this, and it's probably best if multiple research avenues continue are explored.

  1. Due to the combination of low activity and the occasionally belligerent reactions to particular questions and answers, it's common for new users to not stick around. How do you plan on encouraging community engagement?
  1. I answer questions, to the best of my ability when I feel I have something to contribute. If someone takes the time to use our site, I want them to get something useful from it.

  2. I vote. This is a little thing, but not everyone on our site votes. Seeing the little green numbers tells users that even if I cannot help them directly, I find their contribution worthwhile. No one wants to feel they are shouting into the void.

  3. I ask questions. I do not believe I know everything, and the backbone of a question and answer site is questions.

  4. I take out the trash. This is a publicly available site on the internet, and we get our share of trash. No one wants to see this, and someone has to do the dirty work to remove it.

This election is over.