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Moderating Physics.SE is clearly a lot of work. We attract a lot of off-topic posts and crazy crackpot theories. I don't see a lot of thanks or appreciation going to our moderators either. Thank you to all of our hard working moderators for handling all of the work our site creates!

That being said, if we had more moderators the load would be better balanced. On of our moderators, mbq hasn't been active in quite a while. Even if we don't need to increase the total number of moderators, it seems reasonable to discuss shifting mbq's moderator role to a more active member.

Clearly I think we should look into increasing our number of active moderators. I don't have any data to back me up and I can't read our active moderators minds to know how burnt out they are but I think we should consider reclaiming at least on moderator role and possibly adding another.

What does the community think? Do we need to do anything? Should we?

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  • $\begingroup$ Looking at mbq's network profile, he seems to be pretty active at Cross-Validated $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 26 '14 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos yeah I didn't mean to pass any particular judgment regarding his activity here. Moderating is strictly voluntary. I simply used mbq as an example option for helping to balance the moderation load. We could also increase our moderator count and leave mbq as a mod should he choose to come back and participate more. $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Feb 26 '14 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't trying to pass judgment either, my point was that he hasn't disappeared entirely, he's just be less active here than elsewhere on the SE network. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Feb 26 '14 at 2:34
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    $\begingroup$ @mbq have you seen this ? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Feb 26 '14 at 18:05
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I certainly wouldn't mind having an additional moderator to reduce the load, but I don't feel a pressing need to add someone to the crew either.

To me, the bigger need is for more 3k users. We have reasonable policies on what sorts of questions to put on hold, and we have a community which is able to revise those policies and create new ones as needed; where we seem to be lacking is having enough people to enforce those policies in a timely manner by casting enough close votes within the first minutes or hours of a hold-worthy question being posted. Of course having an additional moderator would help with that, but the better solution to this problem is more responsible users with more reputation.

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    $\begingroup$ The danger is that a new mod would come from the active 3k+ users list and we are finally at a critical mass to get things done with that crew. Removing one from the pool might do more "harm" than good in the community-moderation sense. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Feb 26 '14 at 0:38
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    $\begingroup$ That said, I wouldn't mind having another moderator and would put my name in the hat for that. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Feb 26 '14 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ Setting bounties which drops rep seems to take abilities away, am I right? That doesn't really make sense to me. $\endgroup$ – Nikolaj-K Feb 26 '14 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidZ why was my comment saying that the question should be featured for people on the main page seing it in the right side bare too deleted, may flag saying the same with a O815 moderator comment declined ? Are discussions about moderator elections not important and far reaching enough for moderators to ensure that the whole community sees them and can take part in the discussion? What am I missing here? $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Feb 26 '14 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ @Dilaton yes, and when we have an election, the relevant posts will certainly be featured in the sidebar. $\endgroup$ – David Z Feb 26 '14 at 21:15
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I dont agree with this at all, community moderation has increased a lot in the past months and I often got the impression that some reviewers (in particular close voters) are even a bit too eager at times. There is no need for more moderators on the site. And I personally think the last few days with moderators refraining from unilaterally closing non obviously bad/spammy/offensive etc questions have done the site a lot of good. If mods only clean up obviously bad things and leave everything else to the community, there is no need to increase their number for them being able to reduce their workload.

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    $\begingroup$ I have run out of close votes almost every day this last week. Granted I VTC more often than most, but at least when it comes to close-votes, I don't think we have enough 3k members to fully rely on them yet. Obviously I don't know what the flag queue looks like but my guess is that it's pretty long too. $\endgroup$ – Brandon Enright Feb 25 '14 at 23:02
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    $\begingroup$ I deleted the tangential discussion, feel free to pick up with the last undeleted comment. $\endgroup$ – David Z Feb 25 '14 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ @BrandonEnright The 10k flag queue is, from my experience, pretty mild. I rarely see more than two or three flagged posts that I can handle, though they can be trickier than close votes at times. The moderator flag queue, on the other hand, is probably another kettle of fish altogether. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Feb 26 '14 at 8:19
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    $\begingroup$ Community moderation has certainly improved a lot, but I don't get the impression there has been much difference in the closing of questions. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Feb 26 '14 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie so...? Why do you think there should be a difference in closing questions? Increasing the number of closed questions or the closing rate does not automatically improve the level and quality of the site. More important is that the right questions are closed and good questions are left alone. If the number of incoming bad questions decreases, it can even be good to decrease the closing activity accordingly. IMHO it is a misconception that the quality of moderation is directly and positively correlated to the closing rate always by definition as many people think here. $\endgroup$ – Dilaton Feb 26 '14 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ Nobody thinks that. However, we do see that questions needing closing are taking too long to get closed, and that is an indication of a point for improvement. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Feb 26 '14 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ I very rarely vote to close. It is evident that I view naive questions with lenience, particularly those coming from young people below 18yrs. If a good answer exists, as in this recent (change in the profile 94 to 14 imo) physics.stackexchange.com/questions/101067/… I think why not let it stand, the answer is good and the young fellow will not be discouraged by an inimical front. $\endgroup$ – anna v Feb 27 '14 at 5:09

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