2022 Moderator Election

nomination began
Aug 1 at 20:00
election began
Aug 8 at 20:00
election ended
Aug 16 at 20:00
candidates
3
positions
2

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!

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. 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)?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. Are there any circumstances where you, as a moderator, would delete an on-topic answer that has attracted one or more upvotes?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. Sometimes people post comments on ELL that attempt to answer a question, in whole or in part. How would you handle these comments?

[Answer 8 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 9 here]

  1. Which of your contributions to ELL Meta do you feel best exemplifies your style as a moderator?

[Answer 10 here]

David Siegel

I was for some years an active Admin on the English-language Wikipedia. There are some similarities between what an Admin there does, and what a mod on a SE site does, as best I understand that. My Wikipedia user page is at and from that anyone interested can get an idea of my activities there. I have also dome some moderation of a couple of email lists in the PASR, Which again is not entirely unlike what an SE mod does

I became active on Stack Overflow almost 9 years ago., but was never very active there, I became active on Law.SE about 3 1/4 years ago. I have been rather active there, earning the Legendary badge on Law for gaining 200 rep on each of 150 days, and the fanatic badge for logging in on each of 100 consecutive days. I have been a fairly regular;r reader and poster here on ELL for a bit more than three years.i have posted to ELL meta on several occasions, although I have not been as active as on Law.Meta. I think on both Meta sites I have been a voice o reason and calm most of the time, althogih of course I have and express firm occasions from time to time.

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 would gently draw the poster's attention to the problems, and try to convince him or her to avoid a style of communication which provokes issues, while retaining the valuable content.

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

I would open private discussion with the other mod, but if there seemed to be a significant policy issue, I would start a thread on ELL.Meta to get community inpit, as policy is set by the community, not the mods.

  1. 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 remind users of the need to attributes quotes and sources, and when a quick google search makes the source clear, I might add attributions myself, as I have done a few times, that does not take moderator powers. I am not as concerned with the "lack of research" issue.

  1. 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?

[I am not too concerned about duplicates, I think SE's format makes them inevitable. Creating and linking to canonical posts can help, but sometimes one must just keep answering.]

  1. Are there any circumstances where you, as a moderator, would delete an on-topic answer that has attracted one or more upvotes?

[Well if it contained spam, clear rudeness or abuse, but I would be very reluctant to delete an upvoted answer in the absence of obvious clear cause.]

  1. 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?

[I think we should edit questions for format issues, but should correxct grammar in a comment or as part of an answer, not by editing. This has been discussed on meta and I have expressed my views there. Answers I think we should edit to remove grammar issues]

  1. 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?

[To the best o my knowledge I have not broken any rules on any SE site. Once on law a discussion got a bit heated and a mod asked me to tone things down, I withdrew from the exchange. I would prefer to address policy issuews by reminder, not deletion or banning, except in extreme and clear cases.]

  1. Sometimes people post comments on ELL that attempt to answer a question, in whole or in part. How would you handle these comments?

[I would not delete them. I might encourage the poster to convert suxch a comment to an answer. I have left such comment myself.]

  1. 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?

[Mostly fairly wqell I think. I either try to make reasoned responses, clearly supported by rouses, when a thread becomes a problem, or else I drop the issue.]

  1. Which of your contributions to ELL Meta do you feel best exemplifies your style as a moderator?

[https://ell.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5727/answer-needs-to-be-undeleted/5729#5729 brought a policy and treatment issue out for discussion, which I think was a good thing.]

Jesse יִשַׁי

I'm running as the first nominee for the sake of the community.

I'm a moderator on Biblical Hermeneutics. This would be my second site.

I have my own ELL curriculum at write.pink, developed through 13+ years of ESL experience in Asia.

I have over 1 million words available in print at amazon.com.

So, with that ESL background, I know the difference between an ELL question and an EL&U question.

ELL is where many people turn, and I'm thrilled to see it having grown since I first joined years ago. I'm pretty busy, I didn't originally want this. But if elected, I promise to be awesome, work, consult other mods, and handle questions gently, keeping the site friendly and high quality—it can happen.

I made the same promise on BH.SE and kept that promise. Moreover, I think it would round me out and make me a better moderator on both sites.

IMHO, the common advantage that candidate David Siegel and I both bring is diversity: many moderators across SE with fewer sites per moderator.

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?

Same as I do elsewhere: gentle comments, guide the user in the right/needed direction, step by step.

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

I would try to learn. In the moderator chat room I'd ask, "Can you help me know why that was closed?" From my experience, the answer would probably convince me.

  1. 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)?

Best way: Ask for a real-life example. I might also ask for a "not asking about this" example, if it really needed clarity.

  1. 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?

I don't hate dup questions if they are rephrased so a search would find the dup, but not the original. I like to look at whether good answers for the proposed dup could also answer the original question. If not, then it's not really a dup. Most of the main users for ELL might not know how to search, so similar questions should be welcomed more than on other sites like EL&U, the dup flag should be used less, and true dup questions should be closed very gently.

  1. Are there any circumstances where you, as a moderator, would delete an on-topic answer that has attracted one or more upvotes?

If it was off-topic and/or truly needed to be migrated—and truly would be accepted on the site it was migrated to. But, I would try to edit the question or leave a comment to keep it focused on the topic.

  1. 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?

Always stick to the original meaning when editing. I focus on style, grammar, and spelling. Editing is good, re-writing is a no-no.

As per the discussion that wrong grammar in a question from the OP indicates further need for how the OP may need help with English, I'll go back to the issue of "staying on topic". The OP's question is not about the errors in the question itself, but the intended, up front question. However, the matter of inspiring new questions from errors in the original question's wrong grammar could be described in a comment for the user to post a new question. That would be the simplest and most efficient way to handle this without opening a can of worms. Beyond that, editing itself is a kind of teaching tool. So, in summary:

  1. Editing is a teaching tool. If the OP wants to also wants to learn from corrected errors in the original question, the OP could look in the edit history if needed, or just see the question worded properly. I have had this experience in the ESL world.

  2. This is what comments are for. If a reviewer sees that a grammatical error by the OP could fuel a new question, that reviewer should edit the question, then leave a comment for what the new question could be, or leave a link to a question that addresses that issue also.

  1. 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 don't believe I've broken any rules. We all learn from mistakes. One man cost his company $1 million and the CEO wouldn't fire him, saying, "Fire you!? We spent $1 million on your tuition; you're too expensive to fire." I don't throw people under the bus for proving that they are human. The need to learn is why SE is here in the first place.

  1. Sometimes people post comments on ELL that attempt to answer a question, in whole or in part. How would you handle these comments?

Suggest they write an answer that can be voted on.

  1. 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?

Suzette Haden Elgin: when communication breaks down, restate your core purpose and wait.

  1. Which of your contributions to ELL Meta do you feel best exemplifies your style as a moderator?

I haven't, honestly. That's my weakness as a candidate. But, I wouldn't add any at this point either. I think the site has a good direction and just needs someone to gently handle the load of the moderator queue. I'd be glad to if elected. Keep up the good direction and gently help the quality and morale to keep an upward direction.

The site really has good morale and isn't very toxic for new users. Keeping that welcome-helpful ethos is very important, the primary responsibility of these two new moderators.

Laurel

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.

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?

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.)

  1. 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.

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.)

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Which of your contributions to ELL Meta do you feel best exemplifies your style as a moderator?

Two answers come to mind:

  • One answer about closing questions, which shows my thought process around closing questions for lack of research.
  • Another answer about editing. This is a fairly old answer, but it still reflects how I approach editing on ELL. And I'm always editing.

This election is over.