2016 Moderator Election

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

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

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

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

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!

This election ended Aug 30 '16 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.

2,148 voters were eligible, 946 visited the site during the election, 650 visited the election page, and 370 voted


I'm snailplane, previously known as snailboat, and I've been a member of ELL since 2013. In that time, I've written about 500 posts on the main site and 70 on the meta site, earning over 32,000 reputation. (I've given about 9,000 of that reputation away in bounties to help people get their questions answered.)

I've also been in ELL chat for most of that time, answering questions and explaining things about English to the best of my ability. If you elect me, ELL will have a moderator available in chat on a daily basis.

I have experience with moderation on Stack Exchange. I was a pro tem moderator on Japanese.SE from 2013 to 2015, and I was elected moderator on that site in 2015. Of course, I'll moderate differently on this site – the job of a moderator is to follow the community consensus, and this is a different community with different opinions about how things should be run.

What do I think moderators do? They keep the site running so people can do more important things, like learning and teaching English.

I care about this site and want to see it succeed. That's why I'm volunteering – to help ELL work as best it can.

  • I'm so glad you decided to jump in, although now I don't have any votes left to cast for myself. – ColleenV Aug 22 '16 at 13:48
  • Aha! Now we have a clear front runner! :) – NVZ Aug 22 '16 at 14:41
  • If I had only one vote it'd be for Snailplane knowing who she is. However, I'd feel happier to see Snailboat helping learners learning English firsthand. – learner Aug 22 '16 at 17:13
  • As someone who's been chatting with you since early 2015, there are no words that can adequately describe how awesome of a person you are, how awesome of a mod you already are, and how awesome of a mod you'll be for ELL. – M.A.R. Aug 22 '16 at 18:17

I've been fortunate enough to have visited forty-two countries in my life. Including a spell living in Korea and several trips to India. I have seen first hand the wide variety of problems faced by people learning English. Different problems caused by the different structures of their own first languages - Problems that can arise through misinterpretation of the myriad nuances of English.

I've been active on this site for two and a half years. In that time I have become convinced that ELL is the single best tool anywhere for bringing the difficulties of learners, of all starting points, together.

I would like to play a part in supporting and strengthening this platform for the benefit of all. I feel that my experiences of helping people learn English face-to-face help me to help users here.

A moderator's job is to be moderate. To enact the wishes of the community in as quiet a manner as possible. To keep the site fed, focused and friendly.

I am already a moderator at the Retrocomputing SE site. That is a beta site with less traffic than ELL so I see no problem in moderating both. Indeed, the experience gained there will serve me well here should I be elected.

  • Welcome, friend! :) – NVZ Aug 19 '16 at 16:10

Howdy everyone. I'm ColleenV and I've been puttering around ELL for a couple of years now. I think the ELL community is really special, and because I have enjoyed this little oasis that our existing moderators have helped to carve out of the often harsh environment of online communities, I feel obligated to at least offer to help carry some of the load.

I see my responsibility as a moderator as a mix of a gardener, a guide, and an arbiter. I help keep ELL a pleasant place to while away the time by keeping the pests under control, weeding, and pruning (but if the community thinks that weed is pretty, and it's not doing too much harm, I'll leave it be). When new folks drop by, I help show them around and explain what sorts of activities are accepted by the community that owns the garden. My least favorite, but probably the most necessary part of the job is being a fair arbiter that quickly and firmly resolves issues the community can't resolve themselves.

Those of y'all familiar with me know I can't help but add my 2 cents to most discussions, but when it comes down to it, my personal view is secondary. As a moderator, I would represent the community's interests first.

  • No need to apologize for your 2¢ -- it's always been paid in exceptionally strong currency worth at least two bits on the exchanges! And I've always valued the reasonableness you've consistently brought to our occasionally over-heated exchanges. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 19 '16 at 1:31
  • Thanks @StoneyB, that makes me smile :) – ColleenV Aug 19 '16 at 2:45
  • I'm glad you've decided to put your oar in here. I think you could do a fine job, so good luck! – Nathan Tuggy Aug 19 '16 at 4:31
  • I figure that the figure you've given figuratively (re: accumulation of 2 cents) is about a hundred bucks! Good luck! – shin Aug 19 '16 at 6:03
  • Nice! From what I can tell, your appearance, commentary, reviews etc. on the site were all g̶o̶d̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ modlike. I hope you get your own well-earned position. – M.A.R. Aug 19 '16 at 7:33
  • @ColleenV Nice to see you here. :) – NVZ Aug 19 '16 at 10:52
  • Thanks for the kind words StoneyB, Nathan, shin, NVZ, and DEAD. They're always sweeter when they come from folks you respect. – ColleenV Aug 19 '16 at 11:51
  • @ColleenV ColleenV was nice enough to compliment me on my first answer when she edited it, to explain why she was editing it, and to tell me I should feel free to revert the edit if I thought it didn't belong. It was a very favourable first interaction and it was the very first comment my (so far) very few answers have received. I have read in meta lots of comments about scaring away new users. ColleenV's approach elicits the opposite effect which I'm sure we all agree is important for the well being and usefulness of this website. – Smartybartfast Aug 20 '16 at 1:34
  • @Smartybartfast Welcome to ELL! I hope you don't think that I hand out compliments willy-nilly. It was well deserved. You did a much better job with your first few questions than I did with my first ones :) – ColleenV Aug 20 '16 at 2:11

Hello everyone! I'm Nathan Tuggy, and I'd like to be your moderator. I already spend a lot of my time in site moderation — I have almost twice as many reviews as anyone else, and I'm one of the top five editors as well. If you elect me, I'll have more flexibility in handling truly terrible posts quickly, as well as managing users who are causing problems, or who are having trouble getting used to the site. I'll also step back a bit and let others vote whether to close or delete the posts that aren't so clearly bad.

I believe in balancing the rules we have, which are intended to be best for everyone using the site, with individual askers who may not be able to help others very much yet. One key to that is comments, and I'll post even more comments than I already do. Another key is flexibility and careful thought, and I'll use my best judgement, not blindly apply rules where they don't fit. Good judgement is what a moderator is elected for.

If you elect me, I'll also work on spending more time in chat, as I already do on meta, being available to talk to and joining in from time to time.

ELL needs more good moderators like we already have. I believe I can be one of them.

  • "I have almost twice as many reviews as anyone else, and I'm one of the top five editors as well." - My question is, "Do you even sleep?" Kidding. It would be a loss for ELL if you don't win. (Well, I think you'd still continue even if you don't win anyway). Talk about dedication. Good luck! I hope you win. – shin Aug 17 '16 at 7:06
  • @shin: Thanks for the kind words! Yes, I will continue with a similar level of activity whether or not I win. If I am elected, though, that dedication will also be applied to diamond mod activities like flag handling. – Nathan Tuggy Aug 17 '16 at 7:08
  • Awesome. I'd love to see you as a mod, considering how much you've done for this site. You're the pinnacle of ELL's moderation. – M.A.R. Aug 17 '16 at 8:39
  • @DEAD: I very much appreciate the endorsement! I'll try to live up to your expectations. :) – Nathan Tuggy Aug 17 '16 at 8:48
  • I'd love to see you as a mod, considering how much you've done for this site.(thanks for the copy paste, DEAD). Good Luck, Nathan! – Usernew Aug 17 '16 at 13:18
  • I'm really glad you decided to toss your hat in. Good luck! – ColleenV Aug 17 '16 at 16:21
  • By way of corroborating the above accolades I'd like to point out that according to the numbers on the Review page, Nathan has in his one year's presence here carried out one-eighth of all the reviews performed on ELL over its three-and-a-half-year history. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 17 '16 at 21:15
  • @Usernew: Thank you for your endorsement! I'll keep doing what I can! – Nathan Tuggy Aug 18 '16 at 4:19
  • @ColleenV: Thanks for the well-wishes! – Nathan Tuggy Aug 18 '16 at 4:19
  • @StoneyB: That's still a surprising number to me. Thanks for putting in a good word, and for the ridiculously good job you do answering! – Nathan Tuggy Aug 18 '16 at 4:20

I'm a high-activity user on ELU i.e. 2900+ helpful flags, 11400+ reputation, 3600+ reviews, 1000+ comments, 300+ posts edited, 2400+ upvotes, and 1200+ downvotes. I have all the moderation badges there.

Compared to that, my contributions to ELL are much smaller i.e. 48 helpful flags, 333 reputation and 100 upvotes. I'd like to change that.

I'm better at reviewing and moderating, than answering posts. I'm very familiar with ELL's culture and I visit often. I also know very well the similarities and differences between ELU and ELL.

If I'm elected, I promise to be as neutral and objective as I can, and help this community grow strong.

I'm a non-native English speaker from India, aged 24, and I've recently completed a master's degree in Construction Engineering and Management. It would also benefit the site to have a mod online to handle flags while other mods are probably asleep.

While we wait for Q&As here, you can learn more about me from my answers to ELU's Q&A.

  • What will you do if you happen to be elected as a moderator at ELU? Do you really think it's possible to be an effective moderator of two different sites? (The timing of this election is highly unfortunate in this regard.) – Martha Aug 17 '16 at 3:03
  • @Martha I've seen users successfully moderating more than one possibly unrelated sites on SE network. So, I think, "IF" I get elected to be a moderator on both ELU and ELL at once, it'd be relatively easier, since the two sister sites have so much in common. (Yes, timing of election is unfortunate) – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 3:33
  • @Martha But unfortunately, I think users vote for high-rep users only, and I might have just a slim chance. – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 3:36
  • I couldn't care less about reputation, NVZ. What I'm concerned about is how much ELL and ELU cultures are different. You're someone who's coming from ELU. Do you know ELL enough? – M.A.R. Aug 17 '16 at 7:26
  • @DEAD I've been shuttling between ELU and ELL for quite some time. I know enough, I believe. But I simply didn't participate here much. – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 11:29
  • Frankly speaking, ELU and ELL are very different. But if you don't mix the two, you can be a good moderator here. – Usernew Aug 17 '16 at 13:21
  • @Usernew Thank you. Here's a great answer by J.R. that helps define the differences between ELL and ELU. – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 13:36
  • @NVZ Anytime! But I was referring to the different environment here and there. – Usernew Aug 17 '16 at 13:50
  • @Martha many moderators moderate more than one site... Several have 3+ sites that they moderate so I don't really think that is important here. I do agree with DEAD, though, that having a candidate score here of zero doesn't instill much confidence in the user's familiarity with this site, regardless of participation elsewhere on the network. – Catija Aug 17 '16 at 14:32
  • @Usernew Yes, I agree. No two communities have the same environment. I intend to uphold the distinct qualities of ELL that makes it more welcoming for learners. – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 14:47
  • @Catija I'm aware that my zero-score is a big downer. I'm fully capable of answering some questions here to gain reputation and trust of ELL's users. And whether or not I'm elected, I intend to contribute to ELL more in the future. And perhaps, by the election time next year, I'll be ready with a great candidate score. :) – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 14:55
  • I don't doubt that you would be a fair moderator, but I would really like to see more how you interact with ELL specifically before I would be comfortable voting for you. There is a lot of overlap between the EL&U and ELL communities, but there is a very different attitude here about how certain things should be handled. You don't have a single participation badge or review here, which concerns me. From what I've seen on EL&U, I would love to see you more active here as a community member, but your participation on EL&U doesn't necessarily qualify you for moderator here. – ColleenV Aug 17 '16 at 18:10
  • @ColleenV Thank you, and yes I understand that fully. :) – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 18:21
  • BTW NVZ elections don't happen on a yearly basis. They only happen when mods say they need more help. – M.A.R. Aug 17 '16 at 19:22
  • @DEAD Thanks, and I knew that one, too. Hence, my futile attempt now. :) – NVZ Aug 17 '16 at 19:22

I like long walks in the park and romantic evenings at home ... oh, wait, wrong kind of profile.

I'm not sure how long I've been active on this forum, must be a year or two by now, I've built up a rep of over 30,000 which must take a while. Not that being an active poster or even a good poster is the same thing as being a good moderator, but at least it demonstrates an interest in the forum. I'm not going to be elected a moderator and than never show up again.

My philosophy of how moderation should work is basically: Err on the side of tolerance. If we're considering, say, whether a question should be closed, I say, give the poster the benefit of the doubt. If someone asks, "Who is the best punter in the NFL?", obviously that's off-topic and should be quickly shut down. But if a question is debatable, I say, leave it. The goal should be to help people struggling with English, not to maintain some abstract standard of purity of the board.

In general, I'd say the goal should always be helping people with their English, and not rigid adherence to a set of rules that somebody wrote down and that most visitors will never read.

  • Awesome. I worried that none of our 20k'ers would show up. Thanks for this nomination. – M.A.R. Aug 16 '16 at 19:30
  • Another deserving candidate! – Usernew Aug 17 '16 at 13:23
  • "Err on the side of tolerance" - "Help people struggling with English" -- that's been Jay's humane and liberal attitude for more than three years here. ... And he's walked the walk, too: only four members have higher rep than Jay, and two of them are mods already. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 17 '16 at 21:48
  • What StoneyB just said. Also "Err on the side of tolerance" - " The goal should be to help people struggling with English, not to maintain some abstract standard of purity of the board." <--- You've got my vote. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Aug 18 '16 at 13:24
  • Thanks for the nice comments. @stoneyb I never looked at lists of top rep-getters, I didn't realize I was in such exalted company. Now when I apply for a car loan and the banker says, "Yes, but what is your rep on stack exchange boards?", I can point to this. – Jay Aug 18 '16 at 18:40
  • And you can put all those points up for collateral, too! – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 18 '16 at 19:38
  • "My philosophy of how moderation should work is basically: Err on the side of tolerance. If we're considering, say, whether a question should be closed, I say, give the poster the benefit of the doubt. " You are my best friend! – learner Aug 20 '16 at 11:15
  • You are really a deserving candidate! – Kirti Aug 21 '16 at 7:30

Hi all. I'm MAR/TIPS. My new chemical is called "DEAD", and that's both unfortunate and allowing for many puns.

I haven't engaged in answering and asking as much as I could have; but meta, chat and moderation activities are my thing. I've accumulated around 2,500 flags network-wide and 7,900+ reviews in two sites which shows that I know my way around. The main reason I'm nominating is that I know I can help, and I have the time to.


  • I'm usually there. Even if you don't see me chatting or commenting, I'm doing something on the site.
  • I'm an active chatter. I also engage in meta conversations often, so I'm easily accessible.
  • I know how stuff works around here, more or less.
  • I'm here to help. I don't see moderator positions as prizes. Being a mod is a thankless task for the most part. I'm lending a hand, not hunting for jobs.


  • I'm young. There are some SE mods that are younger than me, and an SO mod.
  • There are far more knowledgeable people than me on this site.
  • There are people that have devoted their time to this site more than me.
  • ?
  • Since you're "allowing for many puns," I'd say a major con for that question mark is that you're DEAD. – WBT Aug 17 '16 at 1:03
  • On the other hand, his post-living status may render him less partial in resolving earthly affairs. – Jim Reynolds Aug 17 '16 at 3:24
  • And DEAD people tend to have fewer outside responsibilities, so they can devote themselves more fully to the forum. – Jay Aug 17 '16 at 4:27
  • By 'killing' MAR and TIPS, technically, you are DEAD. Good luck! :p – shin Aug 17 '16 at 7:08
  • Cons: You are DEAD. – Usernew Aug 17 '16 at 13:22
  • I'd like to remind folks that this Candidate-Formerly-Known-As-This-That-and-the-Other has been since his arrival here one of the trio of happy presences who have led in welcoming visitors to Chat. And he's the guy who had the energy and zeal to drive the only serious effort we've made to attempt the Sisyphean labor of fixing the tag system ... – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 17 '16 at 21:24
  • I hate to kill this punfest, but honestly, I think you would be an excellent moderator. You have a passion for the site, combined with the perspective of a fluent non-native speaker, not to mention the best chat involvement of any of the candidates so far. Good luck! – Nathan Tuggy Aug 18 '16 at 4:18
  • What are you gonna do if you have exams on old bean? – Araucaria - Not here any more. Aug 18 '16 at 13:37
  • @Arau what's funny about this is that I already do have exams, but I've dedicated some of my daytime to SE. That would be put to better use if I ever become a mod. (Don't worry BTW, I'm doing excellent at them) – M.A.R. Aug 18 '16 at 18:05

I've been a part of ELL for the past 8 Months. During this time, I have been able to answer over 200 questions, among which, the most notable one being:

Use “him” or “her” in this sentence about a hypothetical gender switch?

And had asked a few questions, the pick of the lot being:

Why is a 'ph' or 'gh' used instead of an 'f' in commonly used English words like Elephant and Enough?

I've also made myself useful in the Meta ELL community by answering a couple of meta questions. During my time here, I have earned a total of 36 distinct badges. I have been involved in 514 Closed Post Suggestions, as of now. Also, I've reviewed over a hundred Suggested Edits.

I'm still learning, everyday, every second. I still make mistakes. But I make sure I don't make the same mistakes over and over again. I log into ELL everyday and unfailingly review posts. I believe I could be a very handy moderator.

~Varun KN

  • Good luck Varun! The mod team surely could use some of your enthusiasm. One thing though, as a moderator candidate, you need to demonstrate your moderating skills, not your contributions. Mods aren't necessarily knowledgeable, but are good curators. – M.A.R. Aug 16 '16 at 17:03

I have been a member of ELL for a while now and I very much enjoy working within it. My time on here is particularly special as I know I am helping those who really need it and might not be able to find the answer elsewhere.

I am extremely passionate about the English Language and I always do my best when answering a question.

Despite not having the dazzling 20k rep that other moderators and nominees usually have, I believe that my qualities make up for this.

I am a huge believer in fairness and I always put this into practice on the site. Additionally, I am respectful of others and I do not participate in "flame wars".

I'd also like to humbly bring to attention my editing statistics. As a grammarian, I like to see that all questions are neatly formatted and grammatically correct and that any questionable posts are flagged. As a moderator, I would be able to continue this duty more effectively.

I'm not sure how many of you have seen me hanging about, but it would be a great honour to wear the diamond with pride.

Please excuse my very similar wording to my ELU nomination, but I feel that it is no less relevant here, and it is still 100% truthful.

  • What will you do if you happen to be elected as a moderator at ELU? Do you really think it's possible to be an effective moderator of two different sites? (The timing of this election is highly unfortunate in this regard.) – Martha Aug 17 '16 at 3:06
  • @Martha A very valid concern. In the case of such an event I would be willing to retract my nomination if the community so desired. However, I think any chance of a double up is rather remote! – Dog Lover Aug 17 '16 at 4:56
  • @Martha No offense intended, but I don't quite understand why your question is relevant. Why mightn't a person who is willing to volunteer his time on two sites be effective? If it's a matter of time, then we need to define how much time is required, and ask things like whether a person really thinks it's possible to be an effective moderator when he's holding down two jobs and raising four kids or whatever. So, are we vetting volunteer moderators for how much time they're willing to volunteer, or are we vetting them for whether we think they will do quality work? Am I missing something? – BobRodes Aug 20 '16 at 7:09
  • @BobRodes: it's very much a matter of time, yes. But also, it's one thing for an experienced moderator of one site to take on moderation of another site; it's another thing entirely for someone to be dropped into two deep ends at once. – Martha Aug 20 '16 at 22:39
  • @Martha I see your point now, thank you. – BobRodes Aug 21 '16 at 4:39

This election is complete.