# 2019 Moderator Election Q&A - Question Collection

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

Chemistry is scheduled for an election next week, April 29. In connection with that, 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.

Here's how it'll work:

• Until the nomination phase, (so, until April 29 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.

• If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

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

• At the start of the nomination 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.

• Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, typically 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 process, feel free to post as a comment here.

How do you balance being welcoming to new users bringing "easy" questions with maintaining a repository of research-level questions that appeal to more established members of the site?

Right now, what do you think is/are the biggest challenge(s) the site faces? Do you have any (brief) ideas as to how they might be addressed?

As a moderator you're expected to mediate during (heated) arguments. Have you ever been in such an argument with another user and how was it eventually handled? Alternatively: How would you handle the situation if you would find yourself in an argument with another user?

What is one area in which you would like to see some improvement from (or bring some improvement to!) the current moderator team?

• I ask this not to trap people or to pick fights, but because I think it is very important to always strive for improvement and be aware of things that we are not getting right. As much as we believe we are doing our best, nothing is ever perfect. As such, I would be grateful for any criticism or suggestions for improvement from the community. This is true even if you are not planning to run in the upcoming election. – orthocresol Apr 25 '19 at 22:47
• Completely agree, have a chance to get more feedback. – Martin - マーチン Apr 27 '19 at 8:59

We have had several attempts at defining how much effort is required to avoid a homework closure. However we have yet not had any edits to the homework FAQ post in that direction. Questions which are not a blatant copy-paste of textbooks still get closed as homework (examples: 1, 2, 3), and are sometimes reopened (example). This situation causes confusion to both close voters and askers alike: what exact criterion to use when close voting a question? Do you see this situation as a problem, and if so, how do you intend to tackle this situation as a moderator?

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?

Someone flags a well-established user's comment as being rude. What are your criteria for evaluating whether to delete the comment or preserve it?

Is an answer using "crackpot" science still an answer to the question? (i.e., should it be marked as NAA or VLQ)

• That may actually also be quite a good general discussion. – Martin - マーチン Apr 27 '19 at 9:00
• – user7951 Apr 27 '19 at 9:10

We have a homework closure policy by which we close down questions that fail to "demonstrate some effort to understand the underlying concepts."

Now, questions may also come from people with non-chemistry backgrounds. Such people are more interested in knowing what to do/what would happen given a particular situation involving chemicals, rather than knowing how it happens chemically. They may also lack the chemical expertise to be able to understand any chemical concepts of the situation at hand.

Would you let the question be open for the benefit of the general public, or close it down in favour of the site's current policy?