Hi, I'm Laurel. I'm an active user here on ELL, answering questions and making edits. I am also a native speaker of American English.
What I have to offer includes a lot of experience from other sites (including at least 7000 edits and 8000 reviews). I'm an avid user of Meta Stack Exchange and Meta Stack Overflow (so I know what's happening or about to happen on the network), and I am also a moderator on Writing Stack Exchange and English Language and Usage, two sites that are very close to ELL. As a result, I already work very closely with the current ELL mod team, helping them with any issues that cross sites. I really want to help more, which is why I would like to be a moderator on ELL.
Feel free to check out my Network Account to see what I've been up to.
- 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?
Standard policy for users like that is to start out small, giving the user a chance to correct their problematic behavior. Even a mod message can be effective. From there, for users who continue to have disruptive behavior, it's unfortunately necessary to continue to escalate. I consult with the other mods on the site to make sure we're all on the same page.
Of course, I prefer when I can prevent the behavior from happening entirely. When dealing with controversial posts, a well-timed comment from a mod may be enough, and other times comment-locking works. (I've effectively done both.)
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
I'd bring it up in private mod chat and go from there. It's always possible I missed something and the post needed the moderation. If it turns out to be a genuine difference of opinion, then it's worth taking it to meta for the community to decide.
- On ELL, many regular users continue to post questions that show little to no research and quote expressions and sentence fragments from unattributed sources. As a moderator what could you do to encourage users (old and new) to provide context and greater details in their questions (and answers)?
I would love for users to get specific, targeted advice before posting their question, by using tag warnings and the other Ask Question page customizations. For example, instead of "[p]rovide details and any research" what if it said to provide a source for any quotes and check a dictionary before posting?
Beyond that, we must use the tools we have for moderation (comments, downvotes, and close votes, depending on the exact situation).
- ELL gets a lot of questions that seem to be ones we have answered many times before or which have been asked and answered on ELU or other places on the Internet. Do you have any ideas or thoughts you would like to share about the number of "duplicate" questions ELL gets and how much searching someone should be expected to do before asking a question?
Askers should try to search, but I don't usually expect them to find a relevant answer on ELL, especially with a subject like tenses. This duplication is something that needs to be addressed by the community as a whole rather than any one asker. Let's edit to create better titles and include the most relevant tags. Let's link as many relevant questions together, with comments and duplicate votes. Let's see if we can create more answers that not only answer the specific question asked but explain the deeper patterns.
- Are there any circumstances where you, as a moderator, would delete an on-topic answer that has attracted one or more upvotes?
This should be rare, especially when we have tools like comments and downvotes. Even wrong answers have a place — under the good answers, with the score showing the quality of each answer. Even when a wrong answer quickly gets an upvote, I've seen voting later sort things out.
There are cases where perfectly fine answers need to be deleted, namely when the question needs to be deleted (e.g. when the asker is using a second account to evade a ban). I don't like deleting answers like that, so I hope to close very problematic questions before any answers are posted.
- What is your view on editing a question to correct grammar and style issues? Do you think we should edit answers differently from the way we edit questions?
The consensus on ELL is to minimally edit questions, so answerers have an idea how proficient in English the asker is, and that's the policy I keep in mind when editing questions. This line of thinking doesn't really apply to answers. Having grammar issues may make an answer harder for learners to understand. (Note that I'm talking about answers that have typos or similar problems, and not altogether wrong answers, which should be downvoted with a comment.)
- Have you ever broken a rule on Stack Exchange and did you get caught? If you did break a rule (whether or not you were caught), how does that experience affect how you would go about enforcing Stack Exchange rules and policies? If you haven't broken any rules, do you think someone who got away with breaking a rule in the past (but is currently a member in good standing) should be excluded from being a moderator? Why or why not?
I've never been mod messaged much less suspended, nor is there anything I can think of that I've done that would have warranted that on any site.
It's a judgement call whether or not a user who secretly broke the rules should be allowed to run for mod: If the current mods discovered that behavior within the last year (before the election started), would they have issued a suspension? If yes, then it's not a good idea for the rule breaker to run. I also think that it's essential that the statistics shown during the election are real — voters must make a decision with the reputation the candidate earned, not a number inflated by cheating, for example.
Of course, my own vote would go to the people I trust. There are some users I now respect who used to be belligerent rule breakers before they became mods. On the other hand, there are quite a few users out there who haven't earned my trust that I would not vote for.
- Sometimes people post comments on ELL that attempt to answer a question, in whole or in part. How would you handle these comments?
There are a mix of strategies that I use. I've encouraged people to move their content into an answer when it seems well fleshed out, and other times I've been able to expand on the hints given in the comments and post a more complete answer myself, giving credit as appropriate.
- How well do you tend to get along with people on the site? In particular, what do you do when you feel a comment thread you're involved in is going south?
I get along with others well on this site. I can't think of any major disagreements I've had.
My strategy when I think a comment thread is going south is often to disengage. I find that I've usually already stated my points as best I can by then, and repeating myself won't be effective; we can just disagree and let other users vote on the post.
- Which of your contributions to ELL Meta do you feel best exemplifies your style as a moderator?
Two answers come to mind: