# 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.

Physics is scheduled for an election next week, April 22nd 2019. 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 22nd 2019 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.

• I'm voting to close this question because the questionnaire has been posted. – user191954 Apr 29 at 14:04
• I vote for leave open, because being done is not a close reason. The closure would mean, that this post is off-topic. It is clearly not off-topic. – peterh Apr 30 at 6:14
• I don't think we've closed such threads previously, no reason to do so now. – Kyle Kanos Apr 30 at 14:17

Describe the current challenges specific to the PhysicsSE community.

• I think this is an important question. I've been "away" for a year, and in that time PhysicsSE has really gone downhill. – John Duffield Apr 24 at 8:02

Can you highlight some of your posts on Meta that have been received poorly, and describe what information you've gleaned as a result of those discussions/experiences.

Do you have any Meta posts that you're particularly proud of, or that you feel best demonstrate your moderation style? (source)

Alternatively, do you feel that you've contributed significantly towards some other aspect of site maintenance (e.g. reviews, flags, related/possible-duplicate comments)?

What, if anything, would you do with a user who posts a steady stream of answers that derail questions to talk about their own personal theories, while not technically breaking any civility rules?

• Here's a controversial idea: the homework policy isn't actually controversial. – Emilio Pisanty Apr 18 at 18:32
• @EmilioPisanty the fact that we disagree about whether or not it is controversial seems to indicate, to me, that it is in fact controversial =) However, I feel the homework policy is worth bringing up merely due to the number of words expended on meta about it. – heather Apr 18 at 20:40
• @EmilioPisanty Actually, the homework policy and the dysfunctional way in which is enforced is one of the things that mostly keeps me away from this site. So, yes, I think it too controversial ;-) – Massimo Ortolano Apr 19 at 7:36
• @Massimo One day it'd be good to hear you pin down what aspects of the policy and its application you dislike. Probably not here and now, though. – Emilio Pisanty Apr 19 at 12:30
• @EmilioPisanty I think I've already commented about the homework policy and various moderation policies here in various posts and directly when affected. An example is this comment. – Massimo Ortolano Apr 19 at 12:57
• @Massimo Thanks for the link. – Emilio Pisanty Apr 19 at 13:07

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?

Revived from the last questionnaire:

How much time do you expect you can commit to moderating the site? (A couple hours a month? Ten hours a week? Ten hours a day? Take a good guess) Also, do you anticipate any reason why that amount of time would significantly decrease in the future?

Chat: How actively will you participate in chat (H Bar) moderation? Do you believe that it needs some more activity from Physics moderators?

• a lot of suspensions seem to have been issued wrt physics hbar chat room over the years over various issues by misc mods, some from physics and some from outside. any comment(s)/ reaction(s)/ idea(s) on that? current mods tend to reject discussions of the suspension policy, insisting that it relates to SE policy that mods cannot discuss suspensions, and there is much in the transcript that relates to that, and this is enforced very strongly in some cases with suspensions for attempts to discuss the suspension policy. would you carry the same policy? how much should mods manage the room? – vzn Apr 23 at 22:54

Revived from the last questionnaire & also split off from the "filler" questions because I think it's important in its own right:

A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments and chatroom messages. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. Do you feel like all the material you've posted on the site reflects that you would be a good moderator? Will becoming a moderator induces significant changes in what you do—and refrain from doing—on the site (outside the obvious addition of moderator duties)?

Have you been a moderator, or served in a role that is functionally similar to a Stack Exchange moderator, in another community? (Whether part of SE, elsewhere online, or in real life) If so, how long did you serve and what was the experience like?

Effective communication in the physical 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?

• I don't see why it'd be up to a mod to enforce any such conformity of posts; that's really up to the population of editors & community as a whole to discern & implement. – Kyle Kanos Apr 15 at 21:10
• We do have a number of meta posts about nomenclature and notation. There does seems to be a strong consensus that common vocabulary and notation are good, a modest consensus in favor of providing SI values when other unit system are used, and much less interest in trying to enforce specifics. Links: physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/15 physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/740 physics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/10284 – dmckee Apr 16 at 2:26
• @dmckee Sure, but why is this a job for a mod as opposed to community editing? – Emilio Pisanty Apr 16 at 13:24
• @EmilioPisanty In light of that meta history I generally haven't felt that any diamond powered actions were appropriate in this vein. I can construct a hypothetical where I would use a mod power (I would lock an edit war between add standard terms/units and get rid of them in the added state) but it is moderately far-fetched. – dmckee Apr 17 at 3:33
• This comment says that Physics mods will "deliver sharp indications" for users who repeatedly refuse to use mathjax. I think that mod powers are relevant in the discussion of making sure that people typeset answers instead of always leaving large amounts of editing work for other people. People may take requests to typeset their posts more seriously if they're informed by mods. – user191954 Apr 17 at 7:08
• @Chair This kind of sharp indication ought not to be delivered only by to mods. – ZeroTheHero Apr 17 at 12:10
• @Chair "sharp indications" for those not using MathJax at all. This answer is specifically talking about uniformizing MathJax already existing in posts. – Kyle Kanos Apr 18 at 0:54