2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Aug 16 at 20:00
election began
Aug 23 at 20:00
election ended
Aug 31 at 20:00
candidates
2
positions
1

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

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

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

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

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

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

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

[Answer 1 here]

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

[Answer 2 here]

  1. How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of a clearly defined problem statement, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What would you do?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

[Answer 7 here]

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

[Answer 8 here]

Nimesh Neema

Hello everyone, I am Nimesh Neema from Indore, India. I am a big fan of well-designed products. My favourites Apple products are my 2013 15" retina MacBook Pro, and Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8.

I consider myself to be the newest amongst the highly active members on Ask Different. Ask Different was my way of getting introduced to the network of Stack Exchange websites, and it is here that I learned how the network sites function and gets moderated.

While I don't feel qualified enough to hold the diamond tag, I have the zeal to assist the moderation team and further my community management skills.

I feel I would make a decent moderator as I have:

  • experience with Ask Different for about 3 years and 5 months.

  • helped contribute about 1,044 answers and 45 questions.

  • earned around 40.8K rep, currently ranked #15.

  • earned majority of Q&A, Participation and Moderation badges.

I sincerely believe that everyone is a moderator here. I wish to help the community grow further by contributing my part and thereby grow in the process.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

I'd be curious to learn the pattern behind what's causing the comment and how to address it such that it won't occur.

I remember having gone through a couple of similar instances where the mods have helped me in gently understanding the behaviour and help me understand what was going wrong.

If I get on the other side of the table, I'd help the user(s) understand if they violate any of the rules of the community by pointing them to the appropriate help documents. And if need be, I will consult with other elected moderators in understanding what's the best course of action to take, and thereby further learning in the process.

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

I have been in this situation before.

My first instinct would be to trust the judgement of the moderator and try to learn what's missing from my understanding regarding such handling.

After having a better understanding of what caused the question to get closed/deleted, I'd work with the user, responding to any of their comments regarding the same, and assisting them with making necessary changes. I'd also point the user to the relevant help topics so that such behaviour can be avoided in future.

  1. How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of a clearly defined problem statement, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What would you do?

I'd engage with the user, first of all lending them an ear, making them feel that their voice is heard.

Next, I'd help them understand that the downvotes and comments are not personal remarks and what is it that's possibly causing them.

I'd also point them to any relevant help documents so they can edit the question to fit in more with the format of the site.

  1. How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

I have observed that sometimes users tend to suggest edits that don't significantly improve a post just for the sake of reputation boost.

The system in place does a decent job at not allow low-rep users to directly edit a post as well as by limiting how many posts they can edit within a time duration.

If I as a moderator was to observe such behaviour by a user, I'd chat with them, and start by helping them understand the rationale behind allowing the post edit feature and how they should judicially exercise it.

I remember from my own experience which I gained after a while that how a stream of edits can alter the active question queue. A new user may not be aware of this. I'd also help the user understand this aspect so that they can make a better judgement regarding making edits.

Also, there's always plenty of scopes to gain reputation quickly by posting good questions and answers 🙂.

  1. How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

Again, this may be a not so uncommon occurrence.

I understand such are not personal remarks and, thus, should not be taken that way. I'd need to politely and level-headedly respond and help the user understand the reason why the post and was deleted.

It would be helpful if links to relevant help topics or a meta post can be included to help them understand why the deleted content is undesirable.

I'd make sure to engage with the user and make myself available for further discussion and help them with any further queries they may have.

It's worth mentioning that everyone is a moderator on the network sites, and the moderators are endowed with a few additional tools and facilities to ensure the healthy functioning of the site and to assist other non-diamond moderators.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I have been reminded on multiple occasions by the elected moderators that everyone is a moderator on Ask Different and it's with the help of the combined efforts of the whole community that makes Ask Different what it is.

So, in essence, moderators help with the smooth functioning of Ask Different, keeping posts on-topic, curtailing undesirable behaviour and helps in maintaining a healthy platform.

In my understanding, Diamond moderators are endowed with an entirely different set of tools or privileges. They are assigned a few additional privileges that enable them to ensure a healthy and on-topic platform for engagement.

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

Honestly, that's the first thought that struck me when I realized how things could change if I end up becoming an elected moderator.

While it's crucial to realize that I have to be extra cautious in whatever I say and/or do on the website as my words and actions would set an example for what's acceptable behaviour on the platform. I'd also have to be very thorough with my understanding of what is and what is not acceptable on the website basing both on an understanding of help topics as well as from my experience interacting with other more experienced users.

While I may have certainly done and said things otherwise in the past, I would have to own up to any such behaviour and learn from experiences.

  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 understand that diamond moderators does not simply have vastly different set of tools and priviledges then high-rep users.

While I still consider that I have a long way to go becoming a model moderator, setting an example of exemplary behavior, I think the I'd become more effective by setting an example for other non-diamond moderators and future diamond moderators in setting and raising the bar of how Ask Different should be moderated.

I'd be enabled to lead by example, but I also understand that the power comes with a huge responsibility which has to be very carefully exercised.

fsb

Hi, I'm Frank, otherwise known as fsb. You can see from my gravatar that I'm a die-hard fan of the Chicago Cubs, that's a baseball team for those of you outside the US, but please don't hold that against me 😁.

I've been on the SE network for almost 7 years (and have been a lurker for long before that). For the majority of that time, I've been hooked on Ask Different and visit almost every day.

Why me?

  • I've been an active member on the site for almost 7 years (6y, 11m) with ~3,400 close-votes, 372 posts edited, and 1,700 helpful flags.

  • 20,839 reputation, 635 questions answered, top 0.33% reputation, ranked #30 on this site.

  • 13 gold badges, 50 silver badges, and 77 bronze badges.

I'm not a jerk, don't have a big head, and know I absolutely don't know everything about Apple and their products. This community has increased dramatically since I started here! I want to help it continue to grow, by helping, educate, and, hopefully, learning more by interacting with new and experienced Apple product users.

Questionnaire
  1. How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

My first instinct would be to find out why the user is getting the comments. Sometimes this can be caused by a user injecting their own biases or prejudices into an answer. There's plenty of other outlets on the internet for a user to vent on a variety of topics, Ask Different isn't one of them.

I strongly believe that Mods should discourage specific problem behaviors, not discourage the individual users. I'd always look for ways to stop the behavior that's causing the arguments & flags. If I believed the user was violating the rules of the site, including expected behavior, I'd first reach-out to that user in chat and explain the issue. After that point, if the behavior continues, the Mod has a duty to follow the escalations detailed in the penalty box because doing so protects the other users of the site. If it becomes necessary to suspend someone, and I'd have discussions with the other Mods first, I will do it because it's in the best interest of the users and the site.

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

I've experienced this exact situation a few times so I know what the user is going through when it happens! One of this site's strengths is the totality of knowledge that each user and Mod bring to it. I'll be the first person to say that I don't know everything about Apple or its products. Another Mod might have seen something in a question that I missed or they have a history about a user or type of question that encouraged them to close it.

I'm not so proud that I wouldn't chat with another Mod and ask why it was closed. Heck, I might even learn something from it :-) ! It all comes down to doing what's right for the user, the question, and the site. If closing/deleting it is the right thing to do, I'll learn from it and move on.

  1. How would you handle situations involving less than warm welcomes given to new users? For example, a new user posts a well written first question consisting of a clearly defined problem statement, admission of a high level of domain ignorance, and a request for the proper solution methodology, but no actual attempts to tackle the problem. Said question receives many downvotes and impolite comments. The asker gets upset about the situation and complains to you directly on chat and/or meta. What would you do?

Like all users, new users are not exempt from following the guidelines on questions and answers. Sometimes, new users become angry or confused about the problem they're having. They don't want to know about the question guidelines or they don't care to know at this point. They just want their darn problem solved and "these other people" are giving them a hard time about the way their question is written!

We've all been there. We've each experienced the first time we tried to reach-out to others for help. I distinctly remember the first question I asked on SO and how I got shot-down by several users because of a situation similar to this question!

Remembering all this, I'd chat with the new user, point out our question guidelines, and, if necessary, coach them on rewriting their question to match the guidelines. I'd also add a comment to the question pointing out what I did to help the new user, reminding the other users that they must also follow the 'be nice' guidelines or they risk being put in the penalty box. I'd delete the impolite comments. If a comment isn't being used to ask clarifying questions, help improve the question (in a polite manner), or add small bits of additional info to help obtain an quality answer, then it doesn't need to be there.

  1. How would you deal with complaints about a user successfully suggesting a large number of low-quality edits?

The key here is the word 'successfully'. While looking at examples of the edits in question, I'd ask myself if questions/answers improved, even a little? I'd look for a pattern of making edits just for the small reputation boost. You can almost always spot these if you're looking for them.

I don't automatically think users have bad intentions when making edits. I'd chat with this user to simply ask 'why?'. If the changes are just for rep points, I'd kindly advise them of other ways to gain rep that would actually help the community and guide them on this path.

  1. How would you handle a single user that is upset at a moderator action you have taken? For example, if someone posted on meta "This mod deleted my [question|answer|comment] and he is abusing his power," how would you react?

We've all seen this exact situation take place on Meta. I actually like these types of posts! We have great Mods here already and they don't shy-away from explaining to the user why a specific action was taken.

I learn from these interactions. I have a thick skin and understand that many times attacks like this simply come from a place of frustration and misunderstanding. I would ignore the personal attacks and respond simply and clearly, why it was deleted. I would offer to reinstate the question/comment/answer if there's more info but, otherwise, I'd let the delete stand.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

It's seems simplistic but I believe the primary role of the Mod is to help the users.

A Mod is like a sports referee; you shouldn't see or hear them unless there's a violation or someone needs help. As it's laid-out in the SE Theory of Moderation, the Mod is the human exception handler.

The great success of the SE sites, in my opinion, is that it's everyone helping everyone else. As long as the users play by the rules, the Mod needs to monitor and keep quiet. The Mod keeps the playing field level so everyone can have the best experience possible and get the help they need or offer their knowledge to help others. Ok, enough sports analogies for one answer!

  1. A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

Honestly, it does scare me a bit. It's a weight that a person needs to understand in order to carry properly. We've all seen people who have achieved tremendous heights in their field, only to be brought down by nothing but their own poor judgement.

I don't want to be a bad example for people to point to. I'll do my best to be open, honest, and worthy of the trust this site and the users would place on me.

  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 enjoyed helping people on this site as well as being helped with problems I faced. If you spend enough time on this site, gaining reputation isn't difficult.

I'd like to use my time on this network more effectively. The current crop of Mods are fantastic but they can't last forever. I have a desire to help move this site, and network, forward. One of the ways I can help is guiding new users to write better questions & answers. When people have a good experience, they're more likely to return and engage. More people active on the site, it translates into a greater overall knowledge and experience where everyone is benefitting. I want to be part of that!

This election is over.