11

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Not every question was compiled - as noted, we selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us. But then I saw a particularly nice question that I'm told is particularly relevant to the community as well, so I decided to staple it on as an 11th question.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes. Oh, and please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written.

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!


  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

  2. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

  3. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

  4. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

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

  6. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

  7. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

  8. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

  9. 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?

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

  11. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

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6

Madara's Answers to your questions

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

I think that identification questions are something we need to do very very carefully, if at all. We need to set a time and gather some real feedback from the community with regards to what we want and what we don't want. Identification questions are gaining popularity and traffic faster than other tags, it's a trend we need to pay close attention to.

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

This is indeed a problem. There are some cases where an answer may appear as though it doesn't answer the question at all, or is attempting to troll, but is an actual answer.

When in doubt, I will not handle the flag, and depends on the context, I'll ask my fellow moderators or even users in chat who are more familiar with the series in question.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

For starters, I personally do think that the policy should be changed, but let's leave that aside for the moment. The mods can push for changes, they can start meta posts, and talk in chat, and begin cleanup operations. But the bottom line is, unless there's community consensus, policy changes are no-go.

So, personally, I would let my fellow moderators know that my opinion is that the policy should not change, but if they wanted to, they should push for it in the normal channels. If the community accepts their proposal, I have no problem following.

If I feel strongly enough about the subject, I will also provide rebuttals to the chat discussions/meta posts opened, and will present my own arguments.

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

This is an issue. And the solution should come from both the mods and the community. If you notice a policy that had been forgotten or not implemented, flag it, or alternatively, try to spark the discussion (add an answer, edit the question, etc).

As for the subject of policies being scattered: Our core policies are in the help center, where they should be. I have no problem with our policies being all over meta, as long as they are searchable and there are no unmarked duplicates. We have work to do in that regard, I've noticed conflicting meta posts here and there.

  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?

I think a moderator is a normal user with elevated privileges. However, a moderator is also perceived to be a role model in the community, someone who can be trusted enough to do things others cannot. Being a high reputation user is certainly helpful, and we need more of those users, but I think a moderator is about leading, because people look up to you and what you do.

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

I don't think we're too strict with anything at the moment. We're pretty laid back, and when new topics arise, we're willing to open up and give it a try. I personally think we aren't strict enough with identification questions and NSFW content and franchise.

Identification questions are slowly taking over the site (see link in answer #1), we need to tighten our grip, for population control if nothing else.

NSFW content and franchise are technically on-topic on the site, however, we need to tread very carefully. There is no other site so willing to accept questions about adult content, and the subject of web filters is looming above our heads. While I don't think we should ban it completely, we definitely need to get some clearer guidelines up and running, and begin implementing them.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

I think the main problem here is that we aren't voting enough. The Stack Exchange model is successful because when you start, you get privileges left and right and are challenged to get the next privileges. By the time the game stops being interesting, you're hooked and are an active member.

This only works when the community is actively voting on things. Our search engine traffic is excellent, we just need to make sure that the users who do register get voted enough, quickly enough to get them hooked.

It goes without saying that we shouldn't vote for the sake of voting. We should vote on good content as always, but we need to be more active about it.

As a moderator, I can only push others and serve as an example.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

Firstly, if I was wrong, I would apologize. Secondly, if the user has been polite and raising legitimate arguments, but I think I'm still right, I would respond to stand behind my actions. If the user is trolling and ranting, responding publicly is likely only to make things worse. The user likely doesn't care for the response, he's here for the sake of arguing. Ignore, or in more serious cases, contact privately and/or suspend.

  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?

Pull the user into a private chat room, explain the situation. If the behavior persists, we can escalate to private contact or a short suspension. Being a contributing user isn't an excuse for being abusive to others.

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

Communication is the key. Undoing another mod's action without prior discussion will only confuse both users and mods, and relays unprofessionalism. Moderators have a private chat room to discuss such things. And if we can't reach an agreement, posting the question on meta for the community to judge is the best course of action.

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

Despite how we're perceived, we are not elected leaders. We are elected exception handlers/janitors. We can definitely push, and ask, and speak up, but we shouldn't enforce policies without a consensus. If one feels strongly about a policy change, bringing valid arguments and stats which support your claim is the way to go.

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5

Nominee: Toshinou Kyouko

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

I think the issue behind this is our confusing Meta site. We have many re-openings of topics (especially on Id-requests) making it hard to figure out which ones are current. As part of this, I would like to make a definitive question on Meta where the current policy will lie. This should be the only one linked in closure reasons, tooltips and referred to for discussion. We can then update this one true source on any changes. I think @Torisuda's question on peripheral topics is a good example of this.

This will lead to more informed reviewers - keeping bad questions off the front page and better questions from users. We're starting to see this slowly take shape at the moment as reviewers are somewhat getting more strict on enforcing closure of under-specified requests.

As for my actual stance on the questions, I'm not a big fan of the questions, but I do see value in keeping them. I think a strong bias on this issue wouldn't serve the community as a whole well.

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

Personally I think this isn't an issue for 99% of what moderating is about. I don't watch One Piece, but I can tell when a question is opinion-based, offensive or generally off-topic.

That being said, my weakest area of anime/manga would be Ecchi or Hentai anime. Shoujo & Seinen (non-ecchi) are my genres of choice - particularly love triangle dramas.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

I asked this because I think this is very relevant for our upcoming moderators. If ID requests remain, the protesters will also.

I would bring up the issue with my moderators in a group chat and have a final discussion about the issue in order to appease the other moderators. Perhaps there is a smaller section of the issue that is a valid point. However, I'd have to draw the line there and require they bring the chat to Meta if they have any more issues - in which case, any repeated points will be marked as duplicates to the existing policy (provided it is relatively recent).

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

I talk about this in my first post. Definitive versions of topics need to be made or for minor topics, closure by duplication (closing the older post in favour of the newer post). If a new post is close temporally to an old one, it should be closed instead.

  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?

I have no doubt that I will reach 20k rep with my ongoing commitment to the site and I'm not particularly attracted to the increased privileges (moderation tools) that Moderatorship provides.

Instead I feel that it is simply a higher progression of my auditing. Instead of flagging posts for moderators, I can handle the posts myself as I know what should be done with them. I already regularly clean my review queue several times a day, post suggestions on Meta, et cetera. This is simply letting me have more influence on the community than before.

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

I think there is a split between particular users here. Whilst I can't pick anyone out (nor would I want to), I feel sometimes users can be heavy handed with new users - especially id-requesters. Whilst id-requests have their infamous history, we should treat all incoming visitors as potential recurrent members. Conversely, I feel we occasionally are too soft on id-requesters that show little effort. This has been markedly improved after more clarity over our guidelines and I'd like that to continue.

I feel others are too soft on what counts as PG13. There have been several questions that haven't been instantly removed despite flags and close votes. We have to consider sensibilities that are different to our own.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

Once our site is graduated we have a certain security in the investment SE has made on our behalf. As such, I think trying to coax users in isn't as big an issue as it may have been previously.

I'm not saying we shouldn't try to attract more users, but I believe that high-quality content (and a few baity questions of course) are going to get us more natural viewers and more importantly higher-quality users. Stack Exchange is elitist by design .

As a side-point anime & manga (not the site) 's main userbase is young males from all over the world. This means immaturity, transience and ALL CAPS QUESTIONS. This should be taken into account when detailing user retention and other statistics about our site.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

I welcome the criticism. If the user is particularly rowdy however, I will invite them to a separate chat room to discuss their issues with me. I'm fairly open to change and apologies if nessicary.

If they persist, they aren't only being offensive to me - they're disrupting chat and other users experiences of the site.

Comments are not a place for user-based discussion. I would again ask to talk about this in chat and remove their previous messages.

If they feel this issue is being dealt with incorrectly, or I cannot satisfy their inquries, I would redirect them to another moderator to deal with as an intermediary.

  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?

This is a good question, and being one proposed by Grace, I imagine it's a relatively unsolved problem(?). I think this could be managed somewhat by SE to be honest - tighter restrictions on flags and tighter for newer users.

But I have to answer this not them. :P For one, the user should not be punished. Perhaps if their answer contains biases (possibly prompting the flags/arguments) these could be asked to be edited out. High-repped users can also protect the question to limit discussion on the questions.

Part of moderation is handling flags. Just because a user is controversial, doesn't mean they aren't valuable. Moderators, including myself should just suck it up for the most part - and deal with outstanding answers with either of the above suggestions.

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

As a general user I usually will reply in the comments as to an incorrect closure/deletion and vote to reopen. If I am not confident with reopening, I'll open a meta post to discuss the issue.

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

Continuing from an above answer, A moderator should be representative of the site as a whole. Not just who is online during the hours of chat discussion. They need to take into account the fastest-gun problem and also the tendency of users to upvote long posts and not read them, assuming the answerer knows what they're talking about.

This also highly depends on the majority consensus. Changes to policy need to be reasonable, and unless something is clearly of benefit / detriment - a strong case needs to be provided, not just strong voiced opinions. This is why meta posts such as our statistics on ID-requests are valuable. (Although as a note, we shouldn't rely solely on these type of data posts as decision makers)

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5

Krazer writes a bunch of things, again

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

While I don't enjoy some of the id-reqs we get, I am tolerant of them. These types of questions are bound to come up with when asking question about anime and manga. Instead of disallowing them, I feel that it's more efficient in the long run to have a set of guideline in place to maintain quality standard to the site is not overridden with them.

Right now the problem we have with id-req is that the users don't tend to read the guidelines we have in place for these questions. In order to curb the somewhat rampant growth of these questions users have been encouraged to downvote and close questions that do not at least fulfill the minimum amount of detail specified by our guidelines. This is intended to be more of a stop-gap measure until we can find a better solution to better educated the new users asking them.

My current solution to dealing with this issue is to focus our attention on other parts of the site and community. If we continually dedicate the bulk of our resources to dealing with id-reqs, we will get tunnel visioned and forget about the other parts that need attention.

It pains me to see our front page littered with id-reqs as there are many other times of worth question out there on the Internet and on our site that could user attention. This is why I'd like to ask users to focus on asking other types of questions so that these tags will overshadow id-reqs, this will show new incoming users that we're more than just a site for id-reqs and encourage them to ask different varieties of questions. I don't necessarily want to get rid of them, but I don't want users to focus too much of their attention on them and forget about the rest of the site.

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

While having the highest rep count in the community, it doesn't necessarily mean I know it all. I have a passing knowledge of a majority of the major tags on the site. For those that I do not, I would most likely find some time to get to know them. Think of it as doing a bit of fact checking. Sometimes the OP might be mistaken, sometimes you might. Sometimes you might even stumble upon something they missed that might subsequently answer their question.

Sometimes these series are long and catching up to them for one scene in one episode might not be efficient, but I will at least make an attempt to do so.

We can't all like the same things, but it's important to be respectful about them. While there are anime that are regarded as better (or worse) than the rest, it's important to get to know what other people like so that you can get understand what they're looking for when they ask a question of give an answer.

While I don't frequent media from shoujo genre, there are times that I find myself-interested it them. You might not find that you like something until you've actually tried it.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

The key here is to offer a compromise. Both sides should be heard on the matter about their key points. To me the community's opinions are the most important, but the experience and advice of veteran users and moderator have the same weight as well. Sometime boths sides are right, sometimes both sides are wrong. The importance here is to minimize the potential for strife as it will divide the community and make negotiations less productive. If no decision can be made after extended discussions and debates, it's best to find a temporary compromise to satiate the major parties involved (like the stopgap measure I've proposed for id-reqs) for the time being until we can work on a better solution. It's better to work with each other than against each other.

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

Admittedly, the Mods and I, myself in particular have been a bit neglectful with keeping up to date and clarify certain site policies.

If elected, I will work with the other mods to find a place on meta to provide a clearer explanation and work out the any inconsistencies we have with the any of current and past policies. Additionally, I'll try to provide better guide to help newer users to how our site guidelines work (or work differently) with Stack Exchange's existing policies. Especially the ones on explicit borderline content and the topic of "hentai" in general.

  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?

I feel that a moderator should do more than clearing queues, handling exceptions, and handling other administrative tasks. A good moderator is like a good narrator or GM, they should, in addition to their administrative duties, seek to help build a better users experience for their community (narrative, campaign) and users (readers, players), so they come back for more.

I have tried hosted a gift exchange (with the help of the other moderators), hosted anime watching sessions, done flavor of the week events for questions, all in an attempt to boost user engagement. While some of them had modest gain while others failed spectacularly, it was all to make the community seem like a friendlier place to be.

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

Id-reqs and the enforcing of borderline explicit content have been something that's been in a state of limbo for a while. Dealing with these topics can be quite time consuming, especially if you're looking to satisfy the majority of users involved. Just as they say Rome wasn't built in a day, the policies that make of the foundation of the community need time to be develop and settle in before we can build more on top of it.

If something is not being handled appropriately in a matter as one would I would ask the users what they find most unsatisfactory and listen to their feed in order to find a satisfactory solution.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

Currently our bounce rate from our analytics stats is very high, which means that most users don't stick around and look at other questions.

In addition to efforts to engage current users, such as anime viewing sessions, community exchanges, and potentially some sort of technical users group to work on anime and manga related project, I would like to get new users interested in our site by advertising our more well-developed questions across other recreational SEs as cross-community ads (E.g., "Have you ever wondered why nosebleed are so common in anime?").

Upping the effort to drawing attention using social is something else I would like to make a regular effort to do. Although search makes up ~90% of our traffic, we can't forever be reliant on our Google Search on it to carry us. The purpose of developing more community activities is to promote more interaction to intrinsically motivate users to participate in the community.

I want to users to here to have a good time and stay awhile and get to know each other. The better we know each other the more likely we'd recommend the site to our friends. Sure we might have a bit of a issue being seen as elitist by new users, but we can get past this with feedback from current users and their friends and users outside the community as well.

Just pushing buttons and being satisfied with the status quo won't be enough. In addition to efforts already made, I'd also like to look for feedback from the community about where they would like to us go and what to focus on. As more users participate and help build the community we'll grow and become stronger has a whole.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

This has happened before. When this happens I will try to approach the issue objectively and offer my explanation of what happened, what I did and why I did it. The intent is to offer to them my side of story and then deal with any follow-ups that user may have.

Sometimes a user is obstinate on a certain viewpoint. If there is merit in elaborating on it, I will make an attempt to dissect the issues and pinpoint the area of conflict and work in it a matter that the user can relate, such as using simple analogies to commonplace things.

I will typically listen to what they have to say first before giving my own feedback. If I am wrong then I will admit that I am and acknowledge it. I make an effort to treat all issues objectively with as little prejudice as possible.

  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?

Many users have many different ways of expressing themselves, I'm very lenient about that how they go about doing it as long as they don't intentionally antagonize other users or violate any core site rules (e.g., the content policy on explicit media).

Rather than admonishing them, I'd try to first find out the source of these flags and issues and talk with the user to better understand why this is happening and perhaps encourage them to channel their efforts to something more productive. It doesn't matter is the user is new or old, each user is equally important and should be be encourage to channel their efforts where they best fit.

Bans and suspensions to me are a last resort. I don't like waving them around like a bat, unless absolutely nothing else can be done.

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

Generally I would trust in their judgment, but sometimes their feeling might get the better of them. I would ask for their reasoning behind it their action/decision, if I feel that there is merit and that the situation was sufficiently explained to the user, I will leave it at that.

If however I see some fault, I will attempt to negotiate with the other mod, unless there is an overwhelming outcry from the community against the decision, I'll leave the final decision of whether the action was just up to the mod that made the decision.

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter?  As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

As a mod of a community it's up to us to represent and enforce the interests of the community and not push our own ideals upon then. A well-developed community should be able to act upon and itself to an extend, without the direct intervention of the moderators. I feel that it's important for the moderators to not just help the community make decisions but also promote cooperation between users. I believe that no one individual's opinions should outweigh that of the community. If a mod believe that the community is headed in a wrong direction, it's up to them to inform and guide them to a right one by promoting consensus. Sometimes a mod may be right, while other time they may be wrong, it's up to the community to come to the final conclusion.

XX. As a bonus, I'd like the brief address @seijitsu questions and comments from the comment to this answer

If you should give an example of how a question and answer using such tags will for, so we can deduce how feasible it would be to add these metatags to the site. I'm reluctant to use genre specific tags they are only intended to be used as accessories to other tags. I'm fine with allowing publication specific tags, but but I'm a bit afraid that adding genre tags may lead to senseless bickering (e.g., can this really be considered ). However if you can present a practical example from of a question from an expert of the subject, I'll consider making an effort to help you promote them.

It's a given that sometimes even the most knowledgeable ppl can miss out on the simplest inaccuracies in common everyday things. While we can't forcibly change any accepted answers, we can at least make an attempt to rally the community in upvoting the better answer and downvoting the opinionating one. You can bring this to this to our attention by leave a comment, casting your vote, and letting other people know in chat. We'll do what we can to rectify the situation.

One of the efforts in particular I want to focus on particular in regards to user engagement is to sit down and have a personal dialogue with prospective users, though current users to find out what they like and don't like about the site. SO I would like to invite you (@seijitsu and any other users interested) and anyone who they might think would be interested for an extended open dialogue (on a platform/service of your choosing) on what we lack, what's not working and what you think we should do about it.

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  • question 9: Is banning/suspension an eventual possibility for the user in your opinion? – Toshinou Kyouko Aug 18 '15 at 20:59
  • @ToshinouKyouko If there is no other reasonable discourse. – кяαzєя Aug 18 '15 at 21:01
3

Killua (Eric) answers your questions

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

Currently, identification-request questions seem to be seen as a problem for our community. However, they are not as big of a deal as they are made out to be; currently, thanks to diligent voting and closing, our front page has less ID-requests than non-ID-requests, and those that are there are generally voted up, not down.

ID-requests are an excellent way for users who are not experts in anime to be able to ask questions, and they allow people who are not experts in any particular anime to be able to answer questions. They have brought in a handful of new users, and I believe that they do not actively harm our site in any way. Thus, I see no reason to get rid of them as long as we encourage active voting, commenting, and close-voting (when necessary) to deal with the low-quality questions.

Right now, I'd rate our guidelines as a 7/10, but I believe that at this time, changing them is not necessary. What we have now is sufficient, and should let us close off the majority of poorly written ID-request questions. Instead of laboring over this, we should be focusing on improving other areas of our site and user experience.

Should they become an issue in the future, policy changes may be required to ensure that we are voting and closing for the benefit of the community. To this end, I do have some ideas about how to improve them, including determining helpful versus unhelpful details given. However, as stated above, I do not believe changes like this are currently required.

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

Yes, I admittedly have little experience with and . However, I do not anticipate any flags that will require a detailed understanding of the series to respond to. Flags should be used when moderator attention (or intervention) is required, and generally deals with spam, non-answers, poor quality, or abuse. Two of these four has some element of knowledge required about the series, but generally quality can be determined without knowing the correctness of the material (simply how it is written, if it's poorly cited, and so on).

Being quite active in our site chatrooms, I am more than happy to talk with members of our community about the applicable question. So, in such an edge case where canon-specific material is required to make a judgment on a flag or issue, I will without hesitation contact someone who has a higher level of knowledge about the specific canon than I do.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

I communicate. It is frequently the case that one or more people will push an issue because they strongly believe that it is necessary (or at least beneficial). I want to hear about why they think such changes are beneficial, and why the current changes are not beneficial enough. It will obviously vary by case, but simply being able to sit down with the other two moderators and talk out the various issues will work wonders for finding a solution that as many people as possible are happy with.

To be clear, it is rarely if ever possible to please everyone. But getting multiple points of view on a situation is the best way to ensure that the most informed, beneficial decision is made in the end.

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

This is absolutely an issue. Even as an experienced member, I've had a hard time finding current policy information on meta before. Imagine being a new user.

Elected or not, I plan to personally go through meta with this in mind, and invite anyone else who would like to join, to help. (Being a moderator here would of course be helpful, but not necessary.) We need to go through every thread, close old policies as duplicates of new policies (and edit if necessary, to show that they are obsolete), and make our current guidelines clearer. We need to format our posts to be easy to read, because not everyone has the time or motivation to sift through walls of text.

If we want meta to make sense, something this drastic has to be done.

  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?

Tasks like the above are greatly aided by moderator abilities, such as being able to close a question without further votes. Any time a policy change is made (tag changes, closing mass amounts of questions, reopening newly accepted question types), it is much easier for a moderator to make a broad sweep instead of requiring five close votes (or tag synonyms, etc.).

As someone who has raised flags, I also feel like these are cases in which I can make a difference; instead of having to wait for moderator or community intervention, I can take immediate action.

And lastly, I believe that simply having a diamond by one's name can increase the likelihood that people will follow your example. This means that the example I set will be one that people will actively notice, more than simply seeing my reputation count.

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

Honestly, I feel like our site has hit a nice equilibrium with its enforcement. The only issue which I feel we were not strict enough on is the questions that are essentially questions about real-life, using an anime as an example. However, these questions are not harmful to our site, and still get decent answers, so I'm not too worried about the lax enforcement.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

My first "plan", which is not really a plan at all, is to actively encourage our existing users to participate in normal site activies: voting, commenting, coming to chat, and so on. Having more users participating around the site will encourage newcomers to do the same, and help us establish a trusted user base of people who want to participate in our activities.

Additionally, I was responsible for running the social community pages for a long time, before eventually they became too time-heavy to continue maintaining with our organizers' schedules. While they were effective at getting the word out about our existence, they didn't drive engagement much. People were more likely to upvote or click on our cat pictures than our featured questions.

However, I think these social sites are a gold mine if we do them right. We've previously organized things like gift exchange, anime watching sessions, and so on, and the social sites are a prime way to draw attention to these (as long as they have cat pix).

In the long-run, we still have to "toss things at the walls to see what sticks"; there's no getting around that. Things like an off-site blog might be highly benefical to us. But I think we have to use our existing tools (like social sites and engaging users) to make these ideas work, rather than try them once and discard them.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

Talk to them. I want to hear their opinion about what I did, why they didn't like it, and so on. I would probably try to bring them to chat (Maid Cafe or otherwise) so that we're not filling up comment threads on meta. But one of my prominent statements in my campaign is that I'm not a perfect moderator, and I expect to make mistakes. I want to hear from people when they think I've made a poor judgment so that I can deal with it and come to a better resolution.

While "Be Nice" is an official Stack Exchange policy, sometimes "calling [someone] out" can get quite heated. If necessary, I would bring in other moderators for opinions. While things could escalate and result in an aggressive user, I do not anticipate this happening often; in general, being able to talk through the issue with the user would be sufficient.

  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?

Again, this is all about talking to the user. This user is obviously capable of producing good content for our site, so they are genuinely interested in helping and sharing with the community. As mentioned above, "Be Nice" is an official policy (<3), and the user needs to be made aware of this. I would advise this user that they must at least be respectful of other users, regardless of their own opinions, and make an active effort to keep their discussions as civil as possible.

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

I would ask them why they did. The question clearly is an actionable question; that is, a decision needs to be made about whether the question remains closed or is reopened. Having a collaborative effort with that other moderator is the best way to get both points of view on the question, and then decide how that applies to our specific policies. I will have no qualms about voicing my opinion on the matter, about what should happen to the question and why, and I expect the same of the other moderator.

In the rare case that we are unable to come to a conclusion, there will be at least one additional moderator who can offer perspective on the matter. Through this kind of arbitration, I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to comfortably decide the fate of the applicable question.

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

This honestly seems quite a bit like question #3, though from a different angle. My actions strive to reflect the course of action I believe most beneficial to the community and site as a whole. If the community is split on the matter, there is obviously merit to both sides, and under no circumstance would I exercise an "iron fist" to get what "I" wanted. There is no "I" in "community". (Oh, wait... crap baskets.)

Both strategies above are sound: I will do my best to both represent the community, and to make good decisions for the site. In the case where the community simply cannot agree, then (like #3) I will make an effort to find the most beneficial solution for as many members of the community as possible. If necessary and agreed upon, we can run it on a trial basis; experimenting is a common practice for finding the best solution, and I believe that applies here as well.

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Hello, senshin here.

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions?

Here is a distillation of my views on them:

We (as a site) have actually already basically agreed that ID reqs are bad, because they are actually out-of-universe list questions in disguise. That is, they are of the form "Here are some features of a thing. Please tell me the thing(s) that have these features". Note the following:

  • The fact that we can establish time bounds on them (i.e. the thing must have existed prior to OP asking the question) does not change this fact - we don't allow questions like "please list all the romance manga from 2014 and earlier".
  • The fact that OP thinks he's only looking for a single anime barely helps. OP is ever-so-often wrong about this - he may be describing many anime, or none at all, and we may not even be able to tell!

I also oppose the position that views identification requests as some sort of "reputation welfare", in which we permit their existence on grounds that they allow more people to participate in the site. Participation in the site is not a thing to be incentivized in and of itself. Rather, it is the generation of valuable content for the site that should be incentivized.

I further take the following stance: even if we accept that ID requests are not inherently bad, we all agree that there are some of them that are bad. I do not think it is possible to filter the good from the bad in a way that is both 1.) articulable (i.e. not "I know it when I see it") and 2.) sensitive and specific. Our current policy is articulated, but I can easily construct degenerate examples that are bad-but-identified-as-good, and good-but-identified-as-bad. I anticipate that any policy we construct will suffer from the same issue.

Finally, I argue that users brought in by identification requests add little to the site (on average), so you shouldn't be too sad about getting rid of them anyway. I have posted about this in a number of different places; if you genuinely are unaware of what the data show, I can try to track it down again, but please don't add extra work for me just for the sake of it.

If, in an alternate universe, the site had decided back in private beta to forbid identification requests, I honestly don't think we'd see so many people actively advocating for us to permit id reqs on the site. I'm pretty sure there's a heavy dose of status quo bias going on here. It would be nice if people who currently defend ID requests would consider the following: "If the site never permitted ID requests to begin with, would you advocate for permitting them as strongly as you currently advocate for keeping them?".

What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

Now, changing perspectives: given that we are in the situation of having identification requests, what can we do to make things better? I offer the following non-exhaustive list of possibilities:

  • Adopt an Arqade-style policy in which we permit only those questions which contain an image, a video, a piece of audio, or some other concrete thing. This goes a good ways towards dealing with the "out-of-universe list question" nature of ID reqs.
  • Kick all ID requests into the close votes queue, so that they are guaranteed to be actively evaluated by users (this would require a little bit of shenanigans, a la this post by Gilles). This would, hopefully, at least do something about inconsistent enforcement (which is valuable insofar as it reduces controversy), and ensure that all posts pass some kind of muster (whereas, currently, I get the impression that some posts fail to undergo review simply because nobody has bothered to kick the process off). Bonus side effect: more Reviewer/Steward badges!
  • Encourage users to downvote heavily, as I do, so at least they fall out of sight quickly. (This isn't really a "policy", but more a cultural shift that needs to be engendered.)
  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

Of course, the reason I proposed this question is that I happen to have virtually no knowledge of Naruto, One Piece, Fairy Tail, Bleach, or Dragon Ball (which are 5 of the top 12 tags, and 5 of the top 7 series tags), since I am not a fan of zillion-episode-long shows. While I can obviously identify things that are blatantly nonsensical/spammish/etc, I have often found it difficult to detect answers that are "not even wrong" in these tags.

Currently, if there are questionable flags in one of these tags, I generally leave them alone for Krazer or Madara to deal with, since they both know more about this stuff than me. Hopefully, we can continue doing this in the future. If, somehow, we elect no moderators that know anything about these tags, I suppose the thing to do would be to hop into chat and gather opinions from people in there. We have enough expertise on these tags sitewide; just not in my head.

Of course, since our site thrives on the long tail, there will always be topics that none of the moderators - and perhaps nobody on the site at all at a given point in time - know anything about. In these cases, and absent an explanation for why the flagged post ought to be removed/etc, I tend to err on the side of leniency - perhaps what a user has posted makes no sense to me, but with knowledge of the context, it might be a reasonably good question/answer.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

I figure this question implicates me as one of the moderators who would repeatedly bring up discussion of change, but the question is framed as though I'm on the other side of the table, so I'll answer as such.

Is it a problem that a moderator repeatedly brings up discussion of change? If it gets to the point where it's disrupting or overwhelming meta, sure, I'd tell the other moderator to tone it down. This is the same response I would have to a regular user posting too-frequently about some given issue.

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

Now that this issue has been brought, I do agree that yes, it's an issue.

That said, we don't have all that many policies. Broadly, there's

  • What topics can I ask about? - Torisuda's recent post, basically.
  • In what ways can I ask about them? - so no "future unannounced events", no "out-of-universe list questions, and all of those things
  • What about identification requests?
  • And then a bunch of minor peripheral things, like:
    • How do we handle tag synonyms?
    • Why don't we use (e.g.) anymore?
    • etc.

I don't think it would take a dedicated person more than a couple of hours to collate all the relevant information. I guess I could be that person; it just hadn't occurred to me (prior to this question being proposed) that this specific issue existed to begin with.

(In retrospect, this is one of the fundamental issues of co-opting a Q&A system for meta-discussion purposes - this is the kind of thing that requires ongoing maintenance, even though a better system would allow us to just stick all this information on a wiki-like static page. Oh well.)

  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?

This is, in my opinion, the most important question here. I reiterate from my nomination post:

  • As the main guy who posts analyses of site data, access to deleted:1 search to supplement SEDE is enormously helpful, particularly when we're talking about issues with posts that may have differences in deletion rates relative to other posts.
    • Concomitant to this, access to site traffic data is also reasonably helpful. While moderators are not to share the details of this data with the userbase-at-large, I can extract generalizations and broad trends from these data and share them with the rest of the site.
  • Nobody was actively creating tag synonyms before I was appointed pro tempore. I have been doing a lot of that: https://anime.stackexchange.com/tags/synonyms. Since our site is small, moderator action is necessary to get this done.
  • Somebody needs to maintain stuff like the tour page, the help center, etc. I have pushed for this kind of thing since before being appointed, and have continued to do so afterwards (cf. revision histories one, two, and so forth).
  • It's been a while since the last time I went on a tag-wiki-editing binge, but the next time I do (and I probably will need to, soonish), being able to view the text of orphan wikis will be immensely helpful. (The last time I did this, some time in 2014, I didn't know that the text of orphan wikis was saved off for moderators to view; this resulted in quite some time wasted.)
  • Among the candidates, I am the most active on Japanese.SE, which is our most common migration target (aside from our own meta; tied with SF&F and M&TV). This makes me best-suited to determine which questions need to be migrated there.
  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

As I mentioned above, our current policies on identification requests (which are inherently defective and cannot be otherwise) are inconsistently enforced.

Other than that, I don't think there's been much in the way of over- or under-strict enforcement. We (Krazer, Madara, and myself) have mostly been getting rid of crud that is uncontroversially cruddy and leaving non-crud alone.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

I don't see either of these things as moderatorial responsibilities. Moderators should certainly be receptive and helpful to users who want to do things that improve user retention and so forth, e.g. by -ing posts, creating chat events, etc. But that's as far as it extends.

(This is not to preclude moderators from engaging in these activities if they so desire; merely to suggest that these are not things moderators ought to feel obligated to do.)

Personally, I am largely unconcerned with site promotion (since the bulk of our traffic comes from search engines anyway). I have no ideas for improving user retention. I don't think it's all that great a metric to begin with (I know how to improve it - expel id-requestors, who are mostly one-and-done!) - the better thing to measure is the amount of (good) content.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

If they bring the issue up in comments, I would ask them to post about it on meta. Once the issue is open on meta, I would ask another moderator to examine my action and see if it was reasonable. If the other moderator deems it unreasonable, I would probably reverse the action and apologize. If the other moderator deems it reasonable, I would explain the reasoning that went into the moderatorial action.

Or something like that.

  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?

At least at this stage in the site's development, I would err on the side of refraining from punitive measures towards the user - valuable content is worth the time it takes to clean up arguments in comment threads. This is not tenable at scale, but we aren't "at scale".

Telling the user to knock it off (in comments, or in chat) would probably be as far as I'd go; I can't imagine we'd run into a user who would be so disruptive as to warrant anything more than that.

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

Probably post about it on meta or something. But the current mods generally don't unilaterally close/delete except in "extreme" situations, and I imagine future mods wouldn't either.

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

How split? If we're talking a 50-50 split on a binary issue, I'd be inclined to leave things as is. User discontent is the fastest way to kill a user-governed site like this one, and overriding the will of the userbase by fiat is the fastest way to generate discontent. (Anyone been on Reddit lately?)

If, on the other hand, we're talking about a situation where there's just a minority faction in favor of position X, while a considerable supermajority of the community favors position Y, and position Y hasn't become "official" for whatever reason (inertia, laziness, nobody to take point, etc.), sure, I'd be willing to make position Y "official", whatever that means. I think this something that is legitimate for a moderator to do.


One other thing that I feel I should mention that doesn't fit anywhere else - I refuse to look at any questions in the tag. I have been religiously avoiding (post-anime) spoilers for that series and have been almost completely successful so far. No way am I breaking that streak for anything.

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Nominee: Dimitri MX

  1. What is your stance about Questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from these requests?

ID-Requests should be enforced more strictly. As ID request do profit the individual user but are of less importance to the site overall. Disallowing them in total would be a bad move, but preventing bad content from slowly seeping into the site by enforcing our set criteria more strictly should help regulate such behavior and correcting the user where possible.

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

I have a pretty all round knowledge, especially in the largely known and mentioned series, but in the event I will always find someone or someway to obtain the required knowledge. I would always try to get people's opinions starting with the other mods. And if even they lack the knowledge in this area, I would research to see if I can somehow get enough knowledge in this area to judge, through either our community. Or external sources like picking up a series, or researching it. As if something is questionable to the point that I can't certainly say it's good or bad. It most likely will not be able to bring intermediate harm to the users and/or site, allowing me to take some time to be able to judge it. In the end ill always try to judge fairly.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

In this case I would come with fact driven answers as to why I think such a change is unnecessary/redundant. If after such a scenario we still can't come to a conclusion. I would suggest to let the community join in on such a decision, as in the end, the community still is the deciding factor of such decisions.

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this

Yes I feel this is a issue, and would certainly like to clean/see it cleaned up someday. Personally I got a nifty little list with the most important meta posts (in my eyes) such as the Id request criteria. But as the meta is meant for the community to ask questions regarding their doubts, or practices on the site. I think it is fairly important that meta posts come to a definite/conclusive answer and preferably as fast as possible.

  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

It will allow me to perform large scale maintenance, and act fast in cases of spam, profanity and a like situations. I tend to lurk on the new/main page for several hours a day.

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough

personally I feel like the ID-requests are not enforced enough by both the mods and community. This might be due to the fact the SET rules surrounding them have only be kind of set, with no definite foot hold. But this could definitely use some improvement. I think profanity, Spam and the like is being handled correctly and with reason, allowing the user to correct their mistakes where possible, and act in accordance with the ToS and set rules on A&M

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

As I recommend the site allot whenever I go to conventions and cosplay meetings, I also get allot of feedback regarding the site and why or why they don't which to use A&M Taking their opinions into account can certainly lead to a more pleasant user interaction for both new and old users. I also think that more social media interaction can lead to allot of less user retention And, whenever our personal design comes will probably help quite a bit as well. As I personally find plain white pages quite repetitive as well.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

If a user feels like I handled Incorrectly I would love to speak with him, preferably in chat if they want to critique or want me to clarify my actions. Neither would I mind explaining why I handled in a meta post, if this is reasonably made that is. I would prefer to avoid extended comment discussions, so if I do get called out as such, ill kindly request them to come visit the chat room, or post a meta post about it if the user is still unable to join the chat I do expect decent behavior from such a user. Profanity and the likes will not be appreciated, and if after 1/several warnings the user still is unable to converse in a decent way consequences might follow along with their shout out.

  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 don't think there is a ready solution for this besides just handling them. It seems the user finds the need to convey something to the moderators, and who are we to not listen to such demands. When it does really go beyond scope we can always make the user aware of this in reasonable way.

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

I would ask for clarification on why the other mode closed/deleted this particular question. And discus why I feel this should not have been closed and why he taught it should have been. And if possible edit the post to a point it can be suitable for the site. Or if we as mod's can not manage to decide, making a meta post to ask about the community's opinion is always a option

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

If members are split I would prefer to first let them judge, giving them points as to why we think such a change would improve the site, and allow them to respond with either agreement or disagreement Based on that I would judge, and in the rare cases a overruling opinion is required of me as mod. I would most certainly be able to. But like the site says itself. SE is ruled by its community, being a mod only allows me to act on serious matters with more speed. And guide the rest of the community in the correct way, will still being one of those community members myself as well!

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2

HAHAHA! You may have stopped me in the nominations, but you can't block my gifs here! GO!

NiceTry


Candidate Matt reporting in for the Q+A session:

Here we go:

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

To be honest, at the moment (especially after our recent clampdown after the attention it's recieved) we're getting on top of the bad posts more or less as they come in, closing and downvoting off the front page those that aren't up to scratch, and even upvoting those that have had some more effort put into them. The first thing to do is keep up this effort, or be even more vigilant if anything - let people know we aren't willing to take their rubbish lying down.

For the future, a review of our information would be best. Most newcomers (and even some veterans) haven't read the tour page, and even ʞɹɐzǝɹ's beautifully written guidelines aren't getting the attention they need until after the storm, so to speak. There's been some talk of a 'fun format' of the rules that sounds pretty good - a series of 4koma's to address certain rules that should pique the interest of new users somewhat more than a wall of text. I too wouldn't mind doing this, and will likely be making some (horribly animated) educational gifs on the same subject matter after the elections, regardless of it's outcome.

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

Aside from a small amount of One Piece, none of the major ones! Personally, I have more of an interest in shorter series that I can get involved with and finish quickly (relative to those 4, anyway). That gives me a broader range of topics to cover, even if it does mean less questions overall. There will be large a number of users that enjoy the big ones, but those slightly out of the spotlight like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei are where I can stand out.

But oftentimes, it's not necessary to understand a series to respond to a flagged post. Unless it's a flag regarding a very technical point of an answer, an expansive knowledge shouldn't be incredibly important. The options for flagging should be, 90% of the time, easily discernable without watching the series in question. In the event of something requiring additional clarity, discussion with either a fellow mod, or an impartial party with knowledge of the series would be useful to make a solid decision I could have confidence in.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

Moderators have the final say in a lot of matters, but topics that the entire community has a say in aren't something that can be dictated by two people, or even three, for that matter. If the community is truly split on something, the situation should be left as-is until a majority solution can be decided on, even if that does conflict with the opinions of the mods at that time. We're a democracy after all - this is one of the reasons we have meta and not a changelog filled in by the mods.

As an ambassador of the community, I'll uphold the above value to the best of my ability.

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

Yeah, LoganM (shout out) has brought this up as an issue that could do with sorting out. So far I know both myself and Gao (there may be more) have had a start of looking at this, but with issues like employment and whatnot we've both had to put a hold on it after around 30 or so questions reviewed.

What I'd propose would be gathering a group of people willing/interested in clearing up the old posts, and organising them into a more efficient workforce that can get through the lot in a relatively short amount of time. Then we'll have a much clearer idea of what we have where, and we should be able to begin to make singular posts from our old, scattered material that concisely cover specific questions for future reference.

  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?

It's a great honor to be a community moderator - you've been elected by the community to wield obsolute power over them, and that power allows you to do everything and more a high rep user can do, with enhanced speed and efficiency. I've already jumped to 13th overall in the First Posts review queue after my short time here, and being a mod would enable me to perform these reviews (among other tasks) with celerity.
Being a moderator gives you that recognisable status to the rest of the users, and I'd love to lead by example.

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

Of course, remaining vigilant in our crackdown on ID-requests is important, but while we're tough on the questions, it's best to remain helpful to the users as best we can. When closing, always try and post a message explaining why, and provide tips for improvement in the future. We were all a 1 rep newbie at some point, so think on how others might find it difficult to adjust to our site's slightly different format of asking and answering.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

This is something I covered in the chat debate we had the previous weekend. I'd like to see more community interaction, basically. There are a lot of us in chat that get all the interaction we could ever wish for, but a lot of people don't use that resource. So,

  • We should increase the visibility of chat. It's only 20 rep on any SE site to talk, so I'd really love to see more people involved in it. For me, it's the biggest reason I've got involved with this site as much as I have - the aquaintances I've made there have played (whether they like it or not) a huge part in encouraging my interest in our community.

  • Something outside of chat to encourage community interaction. Something like a weekly poll stuck in the sidebar where StackEgg was. This would be something interesting that might get people to tune into the site every week, and it could even lead on to discussion in chat.

  • A quarterly (or every two months, idk) mod post on site issues and the like. It could spotlight the best posts of the previous timeframe, bring up current issues (much like voting is at present), give information on upcoming community events and review previous ones. Not only this, but it helps get the mods out there in the community and having a presence, which is a good thing in my book.
    If elected, I'm more than happy to do this. If not, I'll be very pleased if somebody else takes it on.

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

First you have to remember this was something that the moderator you has to answer for - it's not a personal battle, so don't let emotions cloud your judgement. First, you'd remove any comments or call-outs that don't abide by the "Be nice" policy. While it's fine to ask for clarification or dispute an action, there's ways and means of going about that properly.
Then, you review your decision - what do they believe you did wrong? Can you understand where they're coming from? Mods are human, after all, so they do make the occasional mistakes, just like the rest of us, so if I'd made an obviously wrong decision, I'd be more than happy to overturn it if required. In a more unsure situation, I might consult with the other mods to see whether they thought I'd made the right decision.
If I was being unfairly challenged, I'd bring in all the evidence I could to support my actions, and explain with detail why I'd taken the moves I had. That would hopefully be enough to resolve the situation, but no further action would be necessary unless the user began being disruptive. As a mod, you have to be able to take having one or two users disliking you on the chin, and that's no cause for concern as long as they're keeping that dislike to themselves.

  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?

Regardless of how long a user has been around, if they're causing infractions, that's a separate incident. When reviewing hostile behaviour, it shouldn't matter whose name is next to that comment. If there are 50 gold badges or 0, 50,000 rep or 50, that's irrelevant - if a flag was raised about a comment, it's your job as a moderator to look at that from an impartial viewpoint, and take the appropriate action.
The first step to take would be deleting any comments that don't abide by our policies. From that point onwards, the actions taken against the user themselves would be directly proportional to the severity of the infractions. Account deletion is a very end-game punishment that I hope I will never have to resort to, but there are many other ways of imposing sanctions on a user if they do grow into too much of an issue. If the user is significant enough, there will likely be discussions between all the mods on a site to discuss the best course of action.

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

Well, of course, I wouldn't play God and just reopen it - they would have had a reason for closing it in the first instance, after all, and I wouldn't want to start a deletion war between two mods - we're the most powerful in the community and should know better. If it's not that big of a deal, I'd (♪) let it go (♫). There's more valuable things to be doing with my moderation abilities than arguing trivial deletions.
If I felt the delete carried more weight and was still unnecessary, that's when I'd have a chat with the deleter to find out why they did it - they might even convince me into their reasoning! Coming to a common understanding and result is the best way of dealing with this kind of situation.

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

For this, I'll basically repeat my answer to #3:

While mods are the most powerful in the community, when it comes to community decisions, they're only another user. Do mods get extra votes for mod elections? No. Do they get extra +1's for each question? No. Is a mod star in chat worth 5 regular stars? No. Mods have certain priveliges, but at the end of the day, they're still community members.
I have no issue going against a group majority decision if it's for "the greater good", but if it's an issue for the whole community and not a selection, it's the community's job to come to a decision, whether the mods agree with it or not. Like I said earlier, this is why we have meta and community voting, and not a mod dictated changelog.


I may take things rather un-seriously a lot of the time, but hopefully the above has shown you all I can take a more rational approach to things if I have to :)

The perfect mix of work and play; gifs - and a Q+A

As a final note:

votepls

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Nominee: Memor-X - The Lily Rose Knight

  1. What is your stance about identification request questions? What should be done to improve our guidelines and requirements from identification requests?

At this point in time my current stance is for Identification Requests as they can be a good entry level question for a new user in which it wont be closed as duplicate when done correctly

I believe the current guidelines are good enough but the problem lies in just who is taking the time to read them? some new users come here and post an id request but use the wrong tag (such as or [tag: mangaka]) thus they wont get the pop up about the guidelines, others i believe are probably not seeing it as because they add last.

So what needs to be done is to make the guidelines more visible such as possibly finding a way to add them to the Tour, maybe in the off topic section as we have a Off-Topic Close reason for when they don't contain enough information. something under the lines of

Identification Requests if they do not meet out guidelines

But this only helps with new users who take the time to go though the Tour and many don't even do that. ideally what would like to do is see a new feature implanted that brand new users (those with 1 rep) have to press [Post your Quest] twice, the first time bring up a pop up similar to what the id quest tag, with that we can redirect them to the tour or to the guidelines. this functionally gets removed once the user has met the rep requirement for Participate in Meta

the reason why i have yet to suggest it on Meta.SE for the SEx Gods to implement is that i have yet to figure out how it can aid other SE sites

  1. While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, it often helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no experience? What will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise? (This is particularly important to our site since a large fraction of our questions comes from long-running shounen series like , , , , etc. Since all these series inhabit the same genre/demographic, it is very possible that prospective mods who don't like that particular genre/demographic may have no knowledge of these series whatsoever.)

It's going to be problematic if all 3 elected mods don't know anything about them however looking at the kind of flags that can be raised knowledge in a particular series is not required, after all a mod should be just as easily be able to tell when a question/answer is spam, clearly violates the content policy or is rude and/or abusive.

For custom flags there should have enough details to help the mod know what the user believes is wrong is a post but ofcause flags saying "this answer is wrong" or citing why it is wrong will be marked as not helpful (or whatever the equivalent is when a flag is rejected) as that is not what flags are meant to be for.

  1. You have been elected moderator of A&M SE, with two other nominees. The other moderators are heavily pushing a new change to the site policy, such as to id requests, but the community itself is split on the issue. You personally don't think the policy should be changed, but the other moderators are insistent it must be altered and repeatedly bring up discussion of change. How do you deal with this situation?

i would ask for reasons why the policy should be changed beyond "I just don't like them" and that every other alternative has been implemented and shown not to help. beyond that i would want to see a Meta post with the community citing as to why they do/do not want the to change beyond "i like/don't like them" or "i get a lot of rep if this changed/remained"

  1. With A&M, there has occasionally been a tendency for some posts on Meta to fade into obscurity and be forgotten / never dealt with. Also, our meta policies are scattered among many Meta posts from various dates, making it hard for users to know what is current. Do you feel this is an issue? How would you deal with this?

i dont personally find this all that big of an issue however it would explain why we were discussing why Avatar and RWBY should be on topic again when i remember on the Meta it being said that they are still on-topic

I mentioned this on the Chat once that we could create something like a table of reference Meta post where each answer would be the results of a ruling (ie. is Avatar on-topic, is id requests on Fan Made AMVs on-topic, the id request guidelines) plus listing the discussions that took place. if the decision on this changes we can update the answer

Ofcause it was noted to me by Logan M that there is a shit ton of Meta Questions and a metric shit ton of answers, not all of which would be about site policy. if there is far too many then i would like to see Revision questions made where we get the general feedback of the current policies in place and use them as a basis, obviously people who posted before can re-post/cite their answers of their stance has changed. after that it's just a matter of making sure the post is exposed enough

  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?

*keeps staring at the fancy diamond by Krazer's name*

oh right, question. going on by what is describe on this SE Blog Post there are 2 things that i can't do now and that's cast binding votes so i don't have to wait for others to vote to close or delete and seeing more stats of the site and really aside from the latter i do everything else so to be honest if made a mod i will just be doing more of what i have already been doing and seeing results quicker as i wont be needing to wait on other high enough rep users to wake up for posts that are clearly in need of moderation

  1. What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

to me every seems to be fine however my one beef is that some users with id requests just post up a name and that's it, sometimes with a link to My Anime List or the like and sometimes the summary of the series but never why it matches even if it happens to be the correct answer. ofcause the only thing that can be done with this answer is downvote them and undo this when the user updates their answer.

  1. Site promotion and (new and old) user retention has been an issue we've struggled with since the site's inception. Occasionally, we toss things at the walls to see what sticks, but that's not an effective long-term strategy. As a candidate, do you have any prospective (long-term and/or short term) strategies or ideas the deal with this issue (both within and outside of the Stack Exchange community)?

When a new series airs the awarding of bounties for the first month or so after the series for has finished airing for new questions that receive a minimum score (ie +3) but to do this every time will be problematic without a good supply of rep, also offering bounties to old unanswered questions to promote them.

of cause in both of these id requests should be made exempt because we don't want out featured list to get full and we want new users to see that there is alot more to the site that id requests

  1. A user has an issue with an action you, as moderator, took; calling you out on meta, a chat room, comments, or otherwise. How do you handle this?

Pistol, 6 chambers, 1 bullet, whoever dies looses, in case if the shot isn't fatal the gun is reloaded. oh and this immortal fox girl is my stand in.

to be serious i would point them to the rules which i am enforcing with my action and ask them what it is they have an issue to see if i can clear up the misunderstanding. if i have myself misunderstood something i will defer to the other mods for their opinion on how they would have acted in the same situation and if i am incorrect i should be able to reverse my action.

  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 would see what kind of flag they seem to be attracted and suggest an alternative course, as a mod i should be able to see who is flagging them so i see if that person has flagged anyone else, if all of their flags have been a single person while other people have been flagging other i would like to inquire why they are targeting one user

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

I would ask the mod to explain their reasoning while making sure they understand what my reasons for disagreeing with their decision hoping that we can some to the same understanding somewhere

  1. How would you attempt to change policy if you and the fellow moderators agree on an issue but other members are split on the matter? As an elected representative, should your actions strive to reflect the wishes of the community, or were you entrusted by the community to act against the majority consensus at times for the sake of the greater good?

explain to the community why we want a change so they can understand what is going on and why there needs to be change along with what we believe to be the future benefits of such a change, given of cause the benefits vastly outweigh the consequences. but if the change isn't a "must happen or the site will die" then i would rather see the community vote on it

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    I was aware of the old posts on Avatar and RWBY. I made a new post because there was a group of users voting to close all the Avatar questions in spite of the original meta posts, and I thought it was worthwhile to reaffirm the community's opinion or find out if it had changed. See the discussion here. In my opinion, our new discussion helped alleviate the confusion in our meta by offering concrete policies and practical guidelines instead of starting another argument about whether Avatar is anime. – Torisuda Aug 20 '15 at 8:35

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