4
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There has a meta post on Who should our moderators be? in meta. I would like to ask the nominees some questions to understand the candidates better. Feel free to answer this. Your answers will help the community to understand you better.

  1. What do you think the main job of moderator is?
  2. Do you have any previous experience as a moderator?
  3. Our site is a very new one. We can expect a lot of posts that are broad, but are about practical problems faced when learning a language. What is your opinions on such questions?
  4. If conflict between users erupts in comments/chat, how will you handle that situation?
  5. Some users who post great answers may not agree with the community's consensus on the site's scope. For example, they may ask a question which was previously agreed to be off-topic and may want to include such questions as on-topic. How will you deal with such users?
  6. You come across a question you think should be closed, but the majority of the community disagrees. What will you do?
  7. If a fellow moderator disagrees with you, how will you handle that situation?
3
votes

Here are some answers to your questions:

here has a meta post on Who should our moderators be? in meta. I would like to ask the nominees some questions to understand the candidates better. Feel free to answer this. Your answers will help the community to understand you better.

1. What do you think the main job of moderator is?

A moderator should be like a lifeguard at a swimming pool, keeping a watchful eye on things, blowing the whistle for minor infractions (running at the pool, "flaming" on the site), and intervening, or calling for help in more serious situations.

2. Do you have any previous experience as a moderator?

I was asked to be moderator on the History SE site in 2013. I declined in order to the resident "fixer" of the large amount of content generated by "newbies" with good raw ideas, whose questions needed to be improved to meet site standards. I felt this self-appointed role would have been a conflict with being a moderator. Here's an example of a question I fixed and saved from closure:.

3. Our site is a very new one. We can expect a lot of posts that are broad, but are about practical problems faced when learning a language. What is your opinions on such questions?

I would welcome "broad" but practical questions, because they add value to the site. I might use the experience described under 2) to make minor fixes to narrow the question.

4. If you users fight over each other in comments, etc... how will you handle that situation?

I would first warn, then suspend, if necessary one or both users. Long discussions can be moved to chat rooms, personal attacks are unacceptable.

5. Some users who post great answers may not agree with the community. For example, they may ask a question which was previously agreed to be off-topic and may want to include such questions as on topic. How will you deal with such users? We surely don't want to loose such users and their good answer.

I would do my best to fix the question, if necessary, so that fundamentally good content that was (initially) flawed can remain on the site.

6. You come across a question which you think should be closed. But major of the community people say the opposite. What will you do?

I would go with the majority unless there were an overriding reason (e.g. profanity). As a practical matter, I am somewhat on the "lenient" side on other sites vis a vis closing, so I would understand how the community feels in this type of situation.

7. If a fellow moderator disagrees with you, how will you handle that situation?

I respect my peers and under ordinary circumstances would try to come to a consensus with them. Only in extreme situations (e.g. profanity) would I take the discussion to the "top."

  • Thank you for your response. And thanks for sharing your prev experiences. – Kolappan N May 25 '16 at 17:06
2
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What do you think the main job of moderator is?

Well, community moderation is a thing here, and that's awesome. Like it says in A Theory of Moderation, community moderators do... "as little as possible", because the Stack Exchange site pattern is mostly "self-regulating".

In addition to the functions of a normal user, dealing with flagged posts, unique situations, etc., are the responsibility of moderators, but so is helping in the very growth of the community.

As it says here:

A Moderator is the site's representative to the Network.

  • On a local level, they make sure their members have the means to work through local issues where they can.

  • They elicit help from us, and their moderator peers on the same site and within the network, as necessary.

  • If there's a feature request for a specific site, it's up to that community to vet the idea in their own meta. If the idea has merit, the Moderator would bring it to the Stack Exchange team.

Do you have any previous experience as a moderator?

No.

Our site is a very new one. We can expect a lot of posts that are broad, but are about practical problems faced when learning a language. What is your opinions on such questions?

Too broad

If they're too broad, they're too broad, and deserve to be closed. Otherwise, they can be edited to make them not too broad.

If you users fight over each other in comments, etc... how will you handle that situation?

I'd handle it on a case-by-case basis, mostly, but fortunately, the moderators have guidelines for these situations (from A Theory of Moderation):

Your goal is to guide the community with gentle -- but firm -- intervention. Respect your fellow community members at all times; demonstrate fairness and impartiality in your actions.

...

In the case of serious disputes, communicate directly with users via email to help mediate and resolve those disputes.

Some users who post great answers may not agree with the community. For example, they may want something to be included in our site which was previously agreed to be off-topic. How will you deal with such users? We surely don't want to loose their good answers.

It sounds like a... unique... situation where a user would be considered problematic for providing good answers that are still somehow off-topic. If the answer is off topic, yet still a good answer, I'd suspect the question was off-topic as well.

But...

I'd communicate with them. Explain the reasoning for certain things being on- or off-topic.

You come across a question which you think should be closed. But major of the community people say the opposite. What will you do?

Communicate with the community, and with other moderators, especially. If it isn't off-topic according to the community, then it isn't off-topic.

If a fellow moderator disagrees with you, how will you handle that situation?

Communicate with them. Attempt to understand their reasoning, and present mine. Disagreement should be resolved diplomatically, and should hopefully be infrequent.

  • Thank you for your response. – Kolappan N May 24 '16 at 7:27
1
vote

1. What do you think the main job of moderator is?

Primarily, facilitating constructive community participation within the site. This can mean directing meta discussions, guiding question clarification, and promoting community initiatives.

A minor part of the job is also the daily minutiæ of responding to flags, deleting old comments, etc.

2. Do you have any previous experience as a moderator?

Yes. I have been a pro-tem moderator on Spanish.SE since 2011 when the site entered public beta.

3. Our site is a very new one. We can expect a lot of posts that are broad, but are about practical problems faced when learning a language. What is your opinions on such questions?

This question itself is too broad to really be answered. As with all SE sites, a question ought to be specific enough that there can be a reasonable expectation that it can be answered with a single, normal-length answer.

4. If you users fight over each other in comments, etc... how will you handle that situation?

SE has pretty good expectations and policies on how to respond to these situations, from contacting the offending users privately (via email or chat), up to temporary suspensions. These situations, fortunately, are very rare (in the last 5 years, I've only been involved in a single temporary suspension on Spanish.SE).

5. Some users who post great answers may not agree with the community. For example, they may want something to be included in our site which was previously agreed to be off-topic. How will you deal with such users? We surely don't want to loose their good answers.

I don't understand this question. Are you asking about questions or answers?

Questions which are off-topic are off-topic for a reason. At the risk of sounding curt, if a question is off-topic, it's because we don't want those answers.

If an answer is off-topic, but the question isn't, then it ought to be flagged as "Not an answer" and deleted.

6. You come across a question which you think should be closed. But major of the community people say the opposite. What will you do?

This is exceedingly rare, precisely because the community actually decides what is on-topic. If the majority of the community wants something to be on-topic, by definition, it is. :)

Far more often, a vocal minority of the community wants something to be on-topic. In these cases, the solution is to explain (on meta) the historical reasons that the question is off-topic. Occasionally, this leads to a re-evaluation, and the community as a whole can decide whether to change the criteria.

7. If a fellow moderator disagrees with you, how will you handle that situation?

Talk to them. We have mod-specific chat rooms for this sort of thing.

It's pretty rare that mods disagree on something especially important, though.

  • Thank you for your response. – Kolappan N May 23 '16 at 15:40
1
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1. What do you think the main job of moderator is?

A moderator should be a leader first and foremost, someone that the community should look up to and admire. A moderator has the job of gently but firmly guiding the site in the right direction, while resolving interpersonal disputes and off-topic debates along the way.

2. Do you have any previous experience as a moderator?

No, I'm not a moderator on any other SE site. However, I think that I've been around the network long enough to know more than the basics so I am very familiar with different moderation tools.

3. Our site is a very new one. We can expect a lot of posts that are broad, but are about practical problems faced when learning a language. What is your opinions on such questions?

I definitely would not turn away these users and their questions, as denying them on the spot is like a frigid blast of cold air; it pushes the user and any potential contributions to the site they had away. Rather, I would help the user reform their question into something that can have a less narrow scope, thus making the question far more answerable and welcome on Language Learning.

4. If you users fight over each other in comments, etc... how will you handle that situation?

I would take a firm stance against harsh arguments and fights in comments or chat. I would first warn each user involved in the argument privately in a chatroom, then if the troublesome behavior continues, I would suspend the user(s). First and foremost, there is a person on the other side of that screen.

5. Some users who post great answers may not agree with the community. For example, they may ask a question which was previously agreed to be off-topic and may want to include such questions as on topic. How will you deal with such users? We surely don't want to loose such users and their good answer.

We don't want to lose these high-rep users, but at the same time, just because they've been around a while doesn't mean that they can get away with changing the scope of a site. The site's scope of on-topic questions has been agreed upon by the community, so if I did see a high-rep user repeatedly asking decidedly off-topic question, I would try to revise the question to fall within the scope of our site. In addition, I would try to collect feedback/thoughts of the user on the site's scope. If there is a valid point in changing or slightly modifying the scope of on-topic question, I would start a meta discussion and see what the community thinks of the suggestion.

6. You come across a question which you think should be closed. But major of the community people say the opposite. What will you do?

In this situation, I would generally agree with the major members; after all, (almost) everything about this site (including the scope) is decided and agreed upon by the community. As such, in this case, the community's decision is my decision.

7. If a fellow moderator disagrees with you, how will you handle that situation?

I highly doubt that this will ever happen, as most of the people on SE sites are very good-natured and cooperative. If such an argument did happen though, I would have a civil discussion with the moderator in question in a mod-only chatroom so we can come to a consensus. If things get really out of hand, I would pass it up to the Community Managers to take care of.

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and views. – Kolappan N May 26 '16 at 1:31
1
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1. What do you think the main job of moderator is?

I think the main job of being a moderator is to be an example for other users and moderate and lead the site. A lot of times when a moderator leaves his post as moderator for some reason, there always seem to be a very sad feeling through that community for a few days as they will miss that user as moderator. Why? Because that user has left such an impact on the community through his actions in that community and being such an amazing role model for newer users to follow.

2. Do you have any previous experience as a moderator?

No. Though I have participated in multiple betas and have been a very active users in lots of them, I refused to join as a moderator as I was young and quite new to SE at a time (I am only around a year and nine months old as a member).

3. Our site is a very new one. We can expect a lot of posts that are broad, but are about practical problems faced when learning a language. What is your opinions on such questions?

Our site is run by popular sovereignty not a dictatorship via mods thus I would raise the issue on meta. A lot of times moderators can't really decide the issue themselves and knowing their actions would have a huge impact on future questions, they see it best to raise the issue on meta to redefine what types of questions are allowed and see if the debated questions can stay or not. After users cast their opinions, moderators can then exercise their actions upon the questions appropriately.

Of course, a clearly too broad questions needs to be immediately closed without further ado. Raising the issue on meta should really only happen with borderline questions as well.

4. If conflict between users erupts in comments/chat, how will you handle that situation?

I would immediately intervene and warn the users involved. The offensive messages, maybe even the whole conversation, will be deleted and I will have to remind the users that offensive and personal attacks to other users will not be tolerated. If this becomes repeated, I will happily suspend those involved.

5. Some users who post great answers may not agree with the community's consensus on the site's scope. For example, they may ask a question which was previously agreed to be off-topic and may want to include such questions as on-topic. How will you deal with such users?

I would have to close the questions as off-topic. Users are users and should be respected as equals. Even those with high rep and stats must follow the rules as made in meta and SE. I would them leave a comment telling them that they can try to make these types of question on-topic again by raising an issue in meta where the community can decide once again. I will also watch the meta question closely though as arguments and fights may erupt.

6. You come across a question you think should be closed, but the majority of the community disagrees. What will you do?

If the community disagrees, I will try to locate the meta question that deemed the question subject to being closed and read the reasons behind the decision. If I find the reasons reasonable, I will let the question go. If I disagree though, I will talk to other moderators about in chat. Then if needed, I will ask on meta specifically about that question and might broaden it to similar questions. If the community still disagrees, I will just have to go with it.

7. If a fellow moderator disagrees with you, how will you handle that situation?

I will talk with that moderator in chat and may involve the other moderators to help as well since they have a neutral standpoint and may have a compromise in mind for me and the mod that disagrees with me. Of course, I will stay calm and avoid arguments or any hints that the situation is getting hot.

  • Thank you for your response. – Kolappan N Jun 12 '16 at 16:45

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