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In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, June 15th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • At the end of the phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

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16 Answers 16

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What is your opinion on the various types of homework questions and how they should be handled?

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  • $\begingroup$ (Note that this is not necessarily how you will be handling these questions; that gets decided by the community; but it's nice to know where everyone stands) $\endgroup$ – ManishEarth Jun 8 '15 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I hate those homework question!! They don't even try to do them. I wish this problem will be solved. $\endgroup$ – Simon-Nail-It Jun 10 '15 at 13:17
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Do you think that a moderator should close and delete a scientifically relevant on-topic question for "legal reasons", because it touches the field of scheduled or controlled compounds?

With other words: What is your stance on legal and moral concerns vs freedom of information?

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You are invited on a prestigious mission to Mars to explode — ahem run tests on — the soil there. Clearly, you won't be able to moderate this site from there, and must reluctantly step down. Which, if any, of the other candidates would you recommend your voters go for, and why?

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    $\begingroup$ Whoa this is a controversial question! +1 $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Jun 8 '15 at 21:49
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As the site grows, inevitably more time must be spent on moderation duties, and it should be taken into account that Chemistry.SE is young and may see high proportional growth in the following months.

Would this significantly impact the way you currently contribute to the site? Do you feel this change in focus may potentially affect your overall enjoyment of the site and how much do you care for it? There is a large difference in contributing where you want at your desired pace, and being on call to solve problems.

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What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this question is quite good. If the three moderators are at three different (UTC), they can help the site at all time. $\endgroup$ – Simon-Nail-It Jun 10 '15 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think it's critical to have complete coverage, but on an international site, I do think it's important to make sure we don't have everyone in one time zone. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Jun 10 '15 at 14:51
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Have you ever been in an argument with another user? Have you ever flared up on this site? If yes, how did it end?

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  • $\begingroup$ Great question. However, would you care to clarify what you mean by 'argument'? I have a feeling you're directing this at me (which is totally fine) but to answer I'd like to clearly understand the question. $\endgroup$ – LordStryker Jun 15 '15 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ @LordStryker Argument as in something where two users had a go on each other on something that contradicted between them. Anything where one loses his/her temper. And this is not at all directed towards you since I intended to know whether there were some dark moments in their time over here and how did the react to it. $\endgroup$ – user223679 Jun 19 '15 at 20:08
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Effective communication in the chemical sciences, technology, and education relies on extensive internationally standardized terminology, nomenclature, quantities, units, symbols, and typography.
How seriously do you take conformity with these requirements with regard to this site? If applicable, what do you consider to be the roles of the moderators or other users in achieving conformity with the requirements?

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Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

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

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • 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?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
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  • $\begingroup$ I specially love the first question; since a similar scenario just took place a while ago. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Jun 8 '15 at 21:47
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Do you have any specific focus in moderation duties (or otherwise!) you intend to bring to the table?

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps a good addendum to this question is: how do you feel the Chemistry.SE community can help you perform your duties and reach your goals? $\endgroup$ – Nicolau Saker Neto Jun 8 '15 at 21:22
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What activities on the site suggest that you would be a good moderator? If you are currently a moderator, do you believe you've carried out the role effectively?

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Similar to ManishEarth's question - how would you deal with a user who consistently ignores the community and posts homework questions without attempts?

essentially, how would you deal with homework vampires?

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    $\begingroup$ This is a great question considering we seem to get such users often. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Jun 9 '15 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ I love homework vampires $\endgroup$ – Simon-Nail-It Jun 10 '15 at 13:28
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If there is a question witch has a lot of votes and views, will you close immediately or wait for a while and see its progress then decide? Why?

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Is there something you think the current mod team is doing wrong, and what would you do to fix it?

(Affirmative answers will not invoke my burninating unilateral metal fist, so rest easy :P )

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    $\begingroup$ Speak for yourself. ;) $\endgroup$ – jonsca Jun 12 '15 at 22:56
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(This question deals with people other than mods pro tem)

You're a mod now. Your votes are binding, meaning that if there's a question that needs closing, your close vote immediately closes it.

Mods usually don't close all of the questions that deserve closing, mainly because they wait for the community to decide. In other words, questions other than blatant homework drops, too broad, opinion-based or even seeking medical help ones, mostly are never closed by a mod; as the questions enter the "gray area of decision".

So, how do you define this gray area? In other words, when are you going to let the community decide about the fate of a question?

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Some questions attract a lot of attention. They're either $\color{brown}{\mathrm{really ~popular}},~\color{red}{\mathrm{specially~ complicated}}~or~\color{blue}{\mathrm{just~very~interesting}}$. Most of the times, specially if they deal with everyday chemistry, they end up attracting low quality answers.

So, do you plan on keeping an eye on them? If so, how? In other words, how will you be cooperating with the mod team to protect these questions before they attract unnecessary low quality answers?

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  • $\begingroup$ As a side note, protecting questions happens after they've attracted a bunch of VLQ answers. But as soon as it's clear that they do, they should get protected, because after a certain period of time, it will become a burden for moderators and participators to clean all the mess in the specific question. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Jun 10 '15 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ I just learned, that three deleted answers will autoprotect, so this might not be an issue here. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Jun 11 '15 at 13:22
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Q: What would your reaction be when a new user with a bad question receives impolite comments?

Imagine that a new user posts a homework 'trash', literally. Then another user posts a not constructive comment. (being critical is different from not constructive) What would your reaction be?

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  • $\begingroup$ This happens mostly on other sites than chem.SE. But who knows? As our community grows we may encounter people like that...And then, we must have a clear mind on this. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Jun 11 '15 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ Hmmmm this sounds familiar $\endgroup$ – user15489 Jun 12 '15 at 11:08

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