50

Oh, wow, I hadn't realized this was going on :) I first just wish to apologise to the community, both Chem.SE and Physics.SE, for my lack of activity. I'll shortly explain what happened, but I also just feel bad for causing this conflict, and think I could have handled this better. Sorry about that. So a bit of background: Around 2014 I started getting ...


23

Absolutely My take on the Code of Conduct (AKA the Be Nice policy) is that it is not just a matter of what the two people directly involved in the conversation think about the language used. It also has the purpose of making our site look welcoming and consistent to readers. If someone isn't familiar with this site, and they read a question and see people ...


16

A good moderator will be someone who does the behind-the-scenes tasks like editing, flagging, and leaving helpful comments, even when it gets in the way of answering. A good moderator knows the community well enough to know who is knowledgeable and who isn't, and use the former people's comments (along with input from other moderators) to guide decisions. ...


15

Meta participation and flag counts are there for informational purposes. Believe it or not, moderating a Q&A site on The Internet is not a particularly glamorous job. You don't get money for nothing, or chicks for free. You might get a branded Sharpie. You'll probably get insulted by folks who don't see 90% of what you do and think you're hanging ...


15

The fault here is mine. I didn't take enough care in checking the match between the post and the proposed source. I can only offer by apologies and delete the accusatory comment on the post.


15

I volunteer at the county jail on Saturday mornings. In the jurisdiction I live in, trials are generally open to the public, there are detailed records of the proceedings and, critically, it's easy to find out if a prospective employee has a criminal past. More than false or sketchy convictions, the bigger problem inmates face is finding work after serving ...


14

What is community moderation, and why should I care? Community moderation is the "cleaning up" of the site by users like you! It involves flagging, closing, commenting, editing, and sometimes deleting posts. It also involves "implicit" moderation — not doing anything considered inappropriate for this site (e.g. getting involved in long comment ...


13

Questions about perpetual-motion machines should meet a stricter-than-usual bar in terms of clarity and prior research to get on HNQ. Questions about perpetual-motion seem to have a particularly easy time hitching a ride on the HNQ list (this is one recent example), and it's easy to see why: they are instantly appealing to a lot of people, they are ...


12

I wonder whether I've been a moderator here for long enough (four months now) that I can talk about our decision-making process in aggregate, without revealing anything untoward about any particular suspension. How big is the Physics Stack Exchange community? Well, there are several answers to that question. I'm not a database person and you're probably ...


12

Such hyperbolic language, i.e. "censorship, political correctness, and moderator brutality", isn't appropriate on this site. If someone used that type of language directed at a non-moderator, it'd probably lead to an immediate suspension for violation of the "be nice" policy, on at least points 1 and 2, if not also 3. (This is rude and belittling [point 1], ...


11

I'll post this as an answer since it seems there's disagreements and it's important to get a feeling for folks' responses to this. For one, I find that a particularly useful tool for gauging moderation activity is the All Actions tab on the Activity profile page, or at least a reasonably zoomed-out view of it. If you look at any given active moderator's All ...


10

Your rant about your personal experiences here and on PhysicsOverflow is in no way an objective answer what the differences and similarities between Physics.SE and PhysicsOverflow are. Comparing your anecdotal evidence to the other answers to the question (which do a good job of being rather objective and level-headed even if their authors are not "neutral")...


10

I saw that comment. Even if it didn't bother you, we don't want stuff like that hanging around. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory


9

I would say that moderators get it right most of the times. But sometimes they err, in which case I can think of four routes you can take: Vote to reopen. If the question is very clearly on-topic, it should get reopened rather fast. I agree with your point that it is much less likely to happen than it being closed by Reviewers, because there is an ...


9

Just a quick note about the moderator perspective on this: as far as the duties of moderation are concerned, it doesn't really matter to us. After all, if someone is not regularly acting as a moderator, whether they have a diamond or not doesn't make any difference in our ability to carry out those duties. And if something is causing a problem, we have ways ...


8

I was in a similar position during the time of the Chemistry pro tem moderator appointments. I clearly stated my unease with not having more than an advanced high-school level understanding of Chemistry, and I was told (repeatedly) that it wouldn't matter much. As far as my experience moderating Chem goes, not being familiar with the ins and outs of Chem ...


8

Being a moderator of another SE site I might be able to tell from my experience. A moderator has to make some difficult decisions that cannot be handled by the community: find users who are trying to cheat the system (multiple accounts, voting rings) handle flags contact users privately if there are any problems that cannot be solved otherwise The most ...


8

My view is that the h bar should be a place where the users of Physics SE can hang out and discuss any topic under the sun with other users of Physics SE while maintain respect for one another. Physics is likely the most commonly discussed topic, but I don't think topics that aren't physics related should be deemed off topic and I also welcome controversial ...


8

This is really a comment, but it got a bit long for the comment box. The going in point that everyone needs to understand is that the chat rooms are not a bastion of free speech and you have absolutely no rights there. The chat rooms are provided (for free) by the Stack Exchange, and what they say goes. If you are suspended by a community moderator then you ...


8

Disclaimer: I'm not a moderator so I can't say exactly what happened in this particular case even if I wanted to. For example I can't see the deleted messages. However as a room owner I've been party to various discussions involving moderators from lots of sites (not just our mods), and including the SE community managers such as Shog9 and Ana. What I can do ...


7

Write it in a post. The reliable way to insure that what you have to say is not removed as a noise comment is to write an answer to the question. The only official use-case for comments is to work toward improving the post they are attached to. Toward that end, comments are transient and subject to removal. If what you write is not a throw-away comment, ...


7

The fundamental rule of moderation is: Moderators can never win¹ If they don't close egregious homework questions the moment they are posted we moan and if they're over zealous about closing homework questions we moan. The best moderators can do is try not to lose too often, and I'd say they do that pretty well and deserve a hearty round of applause for ...


7

I am trying to say precisely what I wrote there. I am referring, among others, to this policy about salutations, taglines and links to your own stuff not directly related to the question, which you have been informed about before in this earlier comment. Continually calling upon people to contact you and leaving your own website's address in everything you ...


7

Said moderator logs in from time to time, so we cannot say for sure whether he's actually doing any actual moderation or not. The two options are He does not moderate at all, or He does perform some actions occasionally, but leaves no trace. In either case, I'm not too happy about the situation. If this person is not doing any moderation, then the logical ...


7

If two questions are not duplicates of each other and yet their titles only differ in capitalization, then the title is bad and should be changed (preferably on both questions) to a title that is more specific to the individual questions. See How do we write good question titles? for, well, how to write good question titles. Everyone is free to edit other ...


6

Let me expand upon the argument that I first put forth in the comments on that question. Why the homework policy applies The first sentence of the homework policy specifies what sorts of questions it applies to: A "homework question" is any question whose value lies in helping you understand the method by which the question can be solved, rather than ...


6

In terms of keeping the site clean, I think the current situation does just fine. In terms of solicited deletions, then I think the example you give is pretty much the only contentious issue - questions with upvoted answers which the OP would like to delete. In particular, in this situation the accepted answer represents 20% of its poster's rep, so you are ...


6

I would be very annoyed to be presented with test questions. I put a lot of effort into answering people's questions because I would have loved someone to do that when I was a spotty kid interested in physics¹. The thought that all that effort was just to prove a point about the suitability or otherwise of question subject matter is not a welcome one. ¹ ...


6

If you have time to waste, you may want to read this guide I wrote to helping moderate the site. However, if you already are commenting/flagging things and going to /review, then you probably have that covered. You may want to try editing posts to improve grammar/formatting as well (I think you already do this too) I guess the best thing to do is look for ...


6

To your first list, I'd like to add another point: Chat is a third place: When it comes to effort, the primary focus should be on keeping the main site looking its best. The secondary focus is meta, where site policies and norms are crafted. Chat, as the place for social and informal gathering, should not require much, if any, moderation work. In the last ...


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