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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Not every question was compiled - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us. I did merge one of them, though, given the volume and the similarity between it and an existing question.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes. Oh, and please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!


1) What is your view on current moderation policy on this site? Is there anything in particular you disagree with? If so, why? How would you reconcile this with needing to work with existing moderators?

2) As a moderator, how would you respond to learning that a user, or group of users, feels unfairly treated by another moderator? What steps would you take to learn their complaints, validate them, and what would you do with them if you felt they were valid or invalid, respectively?

3) We have a problem here, occasionally, when a new user will ask a question that doesn't quite fit our format, and thus gets put on hold very quickly. This often leads to the new user feeling unfairly targeted and leaving the stack soon after. As a mod, what would you do to help improve these new user's questions while still encouraging them to stay on the site?

4) What presence, if any, do you have, or would plan to have if you became a moderator, on the main Meta? Would you be willing and able to help RPG push for things there?

5) 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?

6) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been? What about if another moderator reopens/undeletes a question that you think should've stayed closed/deleted?

7) Sometimes, we end up with multiple mid-to-high rep users arguing over a question, or a meta policy, or something else that happened on the site. These arguments can often range all over the site: from meta posts, to chat, to the main site. As a mod, what would you do to defuse arguments among users in good standing?

8) What do you want the community at large to do to help you when you're a moderator? What in particular would you encourage us to keep doing, and what would you like us to do differently?

9) What, in your view, is the role of a moderator as opposed to the role of an active, high-rep user? Why would you being a moderator make this site better than you being an active, high-rep user who can lead by example?

10) How will you, as a moderator, react to community consensus that you disagree with? How will you, as a moderator, handle issues on which the community has failed to reach consensus, particularly when you personally favor one particular side in the debate?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I can’t really see much point in voting on answers here, and feel like vote tallies might have an artificial effect on how people vote (though STV does nicely eliminate much of the need to worry about how others vote). Is there any guidance to how one should vote in this kind of thing? Is there any reason we shouldn’t all just agree to not vote on these answers? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 13 '15 at 23:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree, let's just not vote. We have no way to enforce that, but for those who bother to read comments, "don't vote on these answers." \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Apr 14 '15 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ I intend to use my votes to keep the scores on the answers equal. \$\endgroup\$ – Aza Apr 14 '15 at 17:45
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SevenSidedDie

1) What is your view on current moderation policy on this site? Is there anything in particular you disagree with? If so, why? How would you reconcile this with needing to work with existing moderators?

I think the moderation of the site has been good, even accounting for C. Ross admittedly being less active of late than he would have liked. Our comments are on-point and don't devolve into meandering tangents; our open questions are high-quality; and our meta discussion robust.

At some points in the past I've felt that marginal answers had been deleted too quickly; as a moderator I might look at adjusting that. On the other hand, I feel that there are answers that are obviously the poster mistaking us for a forum that get a pass for kinda looking like frame challenges, and I feel that such forum-reply non-answers should be deleted more frequently than they have been. But I'm detail-oriented, and overall these preferences would amount to minor tweaks rather than significant changes in practice, especially since mods do have to roughly agree on how to approach such things.

2) As a moderator, how would you respond to learning that a user, or group of users, feels unfairly treated by another moderator? What steps would you take to learn their complaints, validate them, and what would you do with them if you felt they were valid or invalid, respectively?

Part of the point of having multiple moderators is to share the load of administrative tasks. Part of it though, is to balance each other.

As a mod in that situation, the best I could do is listen. I can't promise action or resolution, as a problem between a user and a different mod is ultimately outside a mod's direct power. But I can hear, and make up my own mind, and let that inform my own actions and what I advocate for publicly and privately.

3) We have a problem here, occasionally, when a new user will ask a question that doesn't quite fit our format, and thus gets put on hold very quickly. This often leads to the new user feeling unfairly targeted and leaving the stack soon after. As a mod, what would you do to help improve these new user's questions while still encouraging them to stay on the site?

I'm going to give the unpopular answer here: not all new users are a good fit for the site, and losing them is an intended design feature of SE.

I know. That's hard to swallow. But it's the first passive defense we have against the ravening hordes beyond the walls, out in the wild internets.

When a new user asks a question that doesn't fit the site, we already know that they didn't read the prominent banner, click through to the tour, or read the how-to-ask advice hugging the question-submission box before posting. That doesn't mean they're going to be a poor fit, but we do know that one way of becoming a well-fitting user didn't reach them.

When a new user gets feedback on their question, they can either respond well or poorly. Some of them will be on the fence, responding poorly to poor feedback and well to good feedback, but the ones not on the fence are already decided: poor and good fits, in a kind of Schrödinger's Box with an unknown user inside. How they respond to our feedback tells us something about whether they're likely to be a good fit for the site or not.

Fortunately, we don't have to be their judge and jury — by design, someone who doesn't like getting feedback that their question has problems will often (but not always) remove themselves from the site for us! That's wonderful. They're hopefully going somewhere else that will suit them better, so that they won't waste their time being frustrated with a site that doesn't suit them.

Those that do respond well are jewels to be treasured, but again — we have to do nothing to keep them, as they see they fit and do the job for us.

We have some small amount of control over what the fence-sitters do. The more inviting our feedback is, the more likely their potential response will resolve into a positive one, and then they're functionally indistinguishable from a user who started out as a clear good fit.

So, that's my probably-unpopular answer: greet them warmly, correct them firmly but gently, and then let this first layer of the SE's filters do its job to identify fitting new users. And ultimately, this is a community job rather than a mod job, so I can only try to lead by example.

4) What presence, if any, do you have, or would plan to have if you became a moderator, on the main Meta? Would you be willing and able to help RPG push for things there?

I am slightly active on Meta.SE currently, with a few questions and answers. I regularly dig through it to find answers to questions I have about SE operations. Featured posts always get my attention, and I tend to also check in occasionally to see if anything interesting is happening, but not nearly enough to have the pulse of the network.

I don't plan to increase the amount of time I spend there just checking in. However, I'll probably see more of it in passing regardless: as a mod I expect issues would crop up more often that I would want to bring to Meta.SE, and I would have more procedural or system questions to research than I do now.

5) 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?

If the pattern is an outlier for the site, I'd bring it to the rest of the moderation team and we'd discuss whether and what to do. That is of course assuming that just dealing with the flags has been insufficient to change the pattern.

The easiest remedy would be asking them into a private chat with the mods, to ask them to re-evaluate their posting/commenting style. The advantage of this approach is that getting official mod attention conveys some of the gravity of the problem, while the type of forum provided by chat allows for a nuanced approach to figuring out the issue and problem-solving cooperatively.

6) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been? What about if another moderator reopens/undeletes a question that you think should've stayed closed/deleted?

The moderation team is a team first, otherwise the site suffers; but I also expect significant disagreements of this sort to be rare. At most it would get discussed behind closed doors, and likely the community wouldn't see anything noteworthy happen. If overt action had to be taken as a result of those discussions, it would be a joint decision presented without fanfare.

Most of the time discussion probably wouldn't even be necessary, since the community's own voting powers are often enough to resolve the issue.

7) Sometimes, we end up with multiple mid-to-high rep users arguing over a question, or a meta policy, or something else that happened on the site. These arguments can often range all over the site: from meta posts, to chat, to the main site. As a mod, what would you do to defuse arguments among users in good standing?

Arguments happen, and frankly it's on the users to conduct themselves with integrity and resolve their differences, and on them if they fail. (Speaking from experience.) The only ways in which it's a mod's job to intervene is where it is affecting the operation of the site (which includes effects on the site due to annoyed bystanding users).

Then, the usual firefighting toolkit is effective, from mundane to emergency measures:

  • removing inflammatory comments removes the fuel
  • directing disputes over procedure to meta may turn it productive
  • shunting in-chat arguments that drown a chat room into a separate room reduces collateral damage
  • private mods' chat discussion with the users involved, separately or together, may resolve the issue
  • mod messages telling the belligerents to knock it off can serve as a wake-up call
  • timed suspensions, as a penultimate resort, provide users space to think and give the site a reprieve from significant strife
  • the last resort of permanent suspensions save the site from the incurable and cut them loose to find a new niche

Somewhere in that list of escalating responses, users of high standing will step to a personal brink and decide it's indeed time to step back. Anyone of high standing who doesn't eventually check themselves is, unfortunately, someone who has self-selected to stop contributing constructively to the site. I hope I never see it get to that point.

(These things are subject to being schooled in Moderation Best Practices, of course. But these are my untutored instincts.)

8) What do you want the community at large to do to help you when you're a moderator? What in particular would you encourage us to keep doing, and what would you like us to do differently?

  • Flag more clearly-obsolete comments as obsolete! Cleaning up comments is easier (and less controversial) when the community is taking part in deciding what needs to go. We have a very active community and years of comments have piled up that have long since done their job and been forgotten. When you're reading through an old question, consider the comments and flag any whose business is done. Flagging makes work for mods and I know that makes some of us hesitate to send those flags, but handling flags is easier than going looking for old comments manually, and gives us a less-noisy site.

  • Welcome new users and help them learn how to become good users. We're pretty good at that, and I think it's something to encourage. Welcoming gives the site a friendly face, in general. And when it's someone who might be making a mistake, thinking in terms of welcoming them makes it easier to word advice so that it's more likely to be welcomed in turn and acted on.

9) What, in your view, is the role of a moderator as opposed to the role of an active, high-rep user? Why would you being a moderator make this site better than you being an active, high-rep user who can lead by example?

I see the mod team as guides and leaders. Mods also have the responsibility of seeing the site from a high-level, operational view that users are often free to ignore while they advocate for specific questions or issues. There's a bit of a tension there — I think mods should be guiding the community toward better self-moderation, but also need to speak up for those larger operational issues; mods have to see both forest and trees.

So, I rather like the official analogy of mods as human exception-handlers: where the normal community process doesn't work, mods step in to take necessary action. Otherwise, they are just one (slightly louder) voice in the community.

Honestly, I don't think the site will be markedly better with me as a moderator than as a high-rep user. Someone needs to do the job, and I'm willing, but someone else would do it if I don't. I'm well-positioned in terms of time, energy, and willingness for the responsibilities of a moderator though, and few of our high-rep users do want the responsibility — so that's the most significant distinction, for me, between staying a high-rep user and becoming a mod. (Although I am really looking forward to being able to kill spam on sight.)

10) How will you, as a moderator, react to community consensus that you disagree with? How will you, as a moderator, handle issues on which the community has failed to reach consensus, particularly when you personally favor one particular side in the debate?

For starters, there are always at least three moderators, and though the Team might aim to present itself as a unified body, opinions behind closed doors won't always be in accordance. So, my own reaction to community consensus that I disagree with is only a small part of the relevant story. Mods are there in part to balance each other, and I expect I will be balanced as much as I balance others.

If the whole mod team strongly disagreed with an emerged community consensus, I think that would be something of a crisis for the community. I think such an even is unlikely though, and no logjam like that can last forever anyway: either the reasons for acting contrary will become better understood and the consensus will shift, or a "third way" option will come out of some clever user's brain and give us a way to resolve the crisis. We're RPGers: we're creative and good at imagining new possibilities.

What to do about a failed consensus is fairly straightforward: since the status quo is unchanged, there is normally nothing for the mods to do. Cases where something clearly must be done are the exception — but exception-handling is a mod's job in the first place and it's unlikely that such exceptional issues wouldn't be dealt with before they got to meta. In the cases where quick mod action results in the community forming a consensus of dismay, that's a conversation to have after the fact, to see what can be changed for the better now and what can be done better next time.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I strongly believe that voters deserve to hear your opinion on the strong 10:1 message being sent that your personal behavior re: things you imagine are XY problems, and your disagreement on that point. There is a strong consensus on this issue: will you abide by it? Will you treat others violating that policy as you would violators of other site policies? Or will you continue to pretend that you know better than everyone else, and that the community’s clear consensus shouldn’t matter because you disagree? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 16 '15 at 20:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I'm not electioneering on issues, here. In fact, I loathe the issue-mongering electioneering style. My response is "no." You've got a drum, you can beat it all you like, and I don't really care, because I don't really care how the election goes. I find this petty. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 16 '15 at 20:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ However, I must thank you on the other hand: this is well preparing me for the tiresome parts of the thankless job, should I get it. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 16 '15 at 21:00
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Wax Eagle

  1. What is your view on current moderation policy on this site? Is there anything in particular you disagree with? If so, why? How would you reconcile this with needing to work with existing moderators?

    • Generally in agreement. The biggest thing I've had issues with over the past several years has often been the tone (at times rude/condescending) of moderation rather than any specific decisions (though there are times where I've disagreed withe moderators, most of those have been rather minor). This is something that's a personal choice, but I think that simply having more and more active moderators will help the overall tone of moderation here.
  2. As a moderator, how would you respond to learning that a user, or group of users, feels unfairly treated by another moderator? What steps would you take to learn their complaints, validate them, and what would you do with them if you felt they were valid or invalid, respectively?

    • This is a difficult problem. There is a balance to be weighed and measured, and in some ways the situation will dictate my actions. However, I am a generally conciliatory person and am sympathetic to people who feel wronged. I try to understand problems like this and explain anywhere that is unclear in what has happened. I'm active in chat and on meta, and would use both of these as vehicles for helping to make sure that voices are heard, and complaints are registered. We have a strong community here, but this is a subject that can be very contentious. I have a lot of experience dealing with contentious subjects (I moderate a stack about religion), and we have had an amazing amount of success dealing with very touchy subjects in a way that makes the internet a better place. I hope I can bring more of that experience to bear on the moderation side here.
  3. We have a problem here, occasionally, when a new user will ask a question that doesn't quite fit our format, and thus gets put on hold very quickly. This often leads to the new user feeling unfairly targeted and leaving the stack soon after. As a mod, what would you do to help improve these new user's questions while still encouraging them to stay on the site?

    • This may seem odd, but I strongly believe that one of the best gifts we can give to a new user is a rapid close with a strong comment about what can be fixed followed by a rapid reopening. Yes, we can scare new users off with our friendliness and adherence to site policy at times, however, we can also get a user who is just off track right on very quickly if we can get to them early, get their question closed, edited and reopened in a few short minutes. It's important in these situations to communicate both site policy and how to repair a question quickly and concisely and to pair that with decisive action (Both on the close side and the reopen side)
  4. What presence, if any, do you have, or would plan to have if you became a moderator, on the main Meta? Would you be willing and able to help RPG push for things there?

    • I have in the past (and will in the future) had spurts of strong activity on the main SE meta site. It's a place where we need both our moderators and regular users to be active and involved if we are going to get engine changes that we care about. We need users there with cache with the rest of the SE community so that our voices our heard and we need our moderators active both there and in the moderator chat rooms (which I am also already active in). You can see my existing MSE involvement on my profile.
  5. 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?

    • Users who contribute valuable answers are fantastic, and should be encouraged to keep doing so, however, no one user is greater than the whole. Users who make the site miserable for other users need to be dealt with. The first and easiest move is to make sure that argumentative comments are dealt with swiftly, the second is to send a warning message. Hopefully this is enough to keep the user from continuing down that same path, however, argumentative or disruptive comments should be dealt with and suspensions can and should be used in cases where a user is not receptive to other types of warnings.
  6. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been? What about if another moderator reopens/undeletes a question that you think should've stayed closed/deleted?

    • Generally, whether a question should be open or closed, especially if the moderators disagree, it should happen on meta. However, in a case like this, a quick back channel communication between the moderators can usually resolve the dispute. A "hey, that looks like it should have stayed closed, what are you seeing that I'm not" can usually resolve it without needing to take it to meta. Generally though, the types of question that should be open/closed should be directed by the community, which means that there should be a pretty consistent understanding across the mod staff.
  7. Sometimes, we end up with multiple mid-to-high rep users arguing over a question, or a meta policy, or something else that happened on the site. These arguments can often range all over the site: from meta posts, to chat, to the main site. As a mod, what would you do to defuse arguments among users in good standing?

    • I love chat, but it's not meta, and main isn't meta. Site policy discussions need to make their way to meta. And the meta discussion have to be complete. We can't have contextless meta posts that are driven by things that are happening in chat. Chat is relatively low visibility. However, chat is a much better real time communication tool than meta and as such, a lot of things can happen in chat in a very short time that would take a lot longer on meta. However, if site polity things get discussed in chat, it's very important that they get fully summarized and described on meta. Honestly the best use of chat re: site policy is twofold: 1. organizing site cleanup efforts and 2. formulating posts. Ongoing discussion of policy needs to be on meta.

    • As far as diffusing arguments, that's pretty easy on the main site. Comments can be scrubbed, and if necessary posts can be locked and users sent to meta. More importantly though is understanding what the argument is about and why it is happening. Chat arguments it's usually enough to tell the parties to knock it off or move the discussion to a different room where it will not be disruptive (we have done this several times in our main room). Meta is the place for arguments, though if civility cannot be maintained then that has to be addressed. This is a place that should be welcoming, we can disagree, we can even dislike each other, but if we are going to stay and continue to have a place in this community we need to get along and be nice.

  8. What do you want the community at large to do to help you when you're a moderator? What in particular would you encourage us to keep doing, and what would you like us to do differently?

    • Post, Edit, Vote, Flag and be involved in meta in that order. Moderators are not super human, and they can't read every post on the site, we also can't answer every question on main or meta. SE sites are community moderated that means that everyone with a flag can play the role of moderator to some degree or another. Posting good content, editing to improve it, voting and flagging to curate it and discussing on meta to guide it are the things that make SE great and are the things that will keep RPG.SE going for years to come.
  9. What, in your view, is the role of a moderator as opposed to the role of an active, high-rep user? Why would you being a moderator make this site better than you being an active, high-rep user who can lead by example?

    • To be the better garbage man. The big change from current high rep tools to mod tools is access to flag handling, I don't know how many flags this site gets, but I'd love to do my part (and probably encourage more flagging). Perhaps the most impactful change is that moderator close and delete votes are binding (close votes can be overridden by the community, but deletes cannot be), so this will actually cause me to be quite a bit more careful about where I use my close votes (it's important for the community to close where we can). Comment cleanup is also a major part of site policing that high rep users cannot be involved in that I would be able to help with if elected.
  10. How will you, as a moderator, react to community consensus that you disagree with? How will you, as a moderator, handle issues on which the community has failed to reach consensus, particularly when you personally favor one particular side in the debate?

    • Great question, and a good one to end on. The policies of the site are the policies of the site regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them (though it's much easier to enforce policy you agree with). If community consensus is reached on a policy I disagree with, I will be happy to enforce that policy. However, I do not believe that moderators should be fully beholden to the community. Yes, we are elected by them, but our duty is to making sure the site is as healthy as possible, and sometimes that means that you have to make a decision that is not popular, but that you wholeheartedly believe is the right choice. In cases like this it is especially important to communicate clearly the what and the why and to acknowledge that it's not the most popular course of action even though you believe (As a team) that it's the right one.

    • In the interest of giving an example, I'll give one where I was on the other side of the fence. A long time ago there was a question about gnomes and physics (as related to water and handy haversacks). Some of the older hands around here may remember. It was closed as not a real question by the moderators, the community rallied and reopened it, and the moderators reclosed it. It was discussed on meta, and despite some popular support (mostly driven by angry users (of which I was one at the time)), it was ultimately and reasonably closed (And eventually deleted). Ultimately, this was a situation where the moderators saw that what the users wanted was foolish, this question (and questions for which it would set a precedent) were not good, they really weren't answerable. The moderators realized that this was not a healthy line of questions of the community and over ruled the angry mob. I remember being angry about it at the time, but, in hindsight, it was the right move and the moderators did their job, making sure that we didn't harm ourselves.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Re: 10, I know that it does give me some pause. It may be useful to voters if you could give an example (though given the nature of the question, that may be difficult). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 14 '15 at 2:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Re: 1, I think this answer would be more helpful if I knew what you perceive the current tone to be. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Apr 14 '15 at 2:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DCShannon addressed briefly, I really don't want to get into too many details as I'm not sure there's much to be gained from it. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 14 '15 at 2:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle Thanks, that's plenty. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Apr 14 '15 at 3:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman is it? I was under the impression that it was a reference to the situation around this: meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/3291/…. I will edit to include bits about defusing arguments too. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 14 '15 at 3:28
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Joshua Aslan Smith for Moderator

1. What is your view on current moderation policy on this site? Is there anything in particular you disagree with? If so, why? How would you reconcile this with needing to work with existing moderators?

In general I am pleased with the overall moderation of RPG.SE. As a whole (both moderators and high rep users) however we could improve our friendliness toward new users. Sometimes we can scare them away as a result of our quick and efficient moderation. This is not due to anyone (mod or user) being malicious but rather a lack of tone awareness which is a problem that can occur in any text-based medium, but especially on the internet. We have been progressing in this area recently and its been a topic of discussion and consideration in chat and on rpg.se meta so I feel we simply need to continue to iterate and we will keep improving.

2. As a moderator, how would you respond to learning that a user, or group of users, feels unfairly treated by another moderator? What steps would you take to learn their complaints, validate them, and what would you do with them if you felt they were valid or invalid, respectively?

First and foremost I would ask the user(s) for specific examples of this behavior on questions and answers and in the chat logs so I could examine the exchanges first hand. Even if that is not possible, (it is very time consuming proposal) I would still hear out their complaints and bring it up with the moderation team as a whole to discuss in private. I cannot give a concrete response as to what actions or decisions would follow, as it would depend on the issues at hand, but I can say I would act in good faith toward the users and fellow moderators to help resolve the issue.

3. We have a problem here, occasionally, when a new user will ask a question that doesn't quite fit our format, and thus gets put on hold very quickly. This often leads to the new user feeling unfairly targeted and leaving the stack soon after. As a mod, what would you do to help improve these new user's questions while still encouraging them to stay on the site?

Often these quick-to-close questions stem from an inherent misunderstanding of our site's focus & scope or of the nature of Stack Exchange as whole. In the ideal situation these users end up stumbling into Main chat and we get to amicably teach them before they start posting multiple, low-quality questions or answers on the site, but usually that is not how it goes. I feel very strongly that it is important to close very low-quality questions asap for the benefit of the site. Other new/infrequent users will answer low-quality questions without hesitation and take none of the steps that the rest of the community would take to improve the question leading to string of answers on a low quality question. The user gets what they need, but leaves our site with a very poor question that does nothing to help other users, present or future. Whenever possible a low-quality question should be put on hold, but with helpful comments explaining why we are doing so and explaining how we can help them get their question up to our standards so it can be reopened for answers.

4. What presence, if any, do you have, or would plan to have if you became a moderator, on the main Meta? Would you be willing and able to help RPG push for things there?

Currently I don't participate on SE's main Meta at all, beyond referencing it for general policy questions or reading the blog for news/updates (such as Good vs Bad Subjective questions in the amazing Gorilla vs. Shark post). However, if elected Moderator, I would become an active participant seeking to make sure the needs of our community are met as well as helping to push RPG.SE projects forward. I was very active on our own meta as a user. I helped figure out our strategy for 5e's release which resulted in our drive for questions and associated raffle contest. I would seek to be bring that same kind of activity and initiative to the SE's meta for the benefit of our site.

5. 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?

I would invite said user to locked and private chat room and mentor them about their comment actions. I would emphasize the value of their contributions to the site and illustrate how their comment activity ultimately detracted from their valuable answers, appealing to their sense of propriety. Finally I would leave them with a warning letting them know I would not hesitate to delete offending comments by them ASAP in the future if their behavior continued.

6. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been? What about if another moderator reopens/undeletes a question that you think should've stayed closed/deleted?

I would privately chat with all of the mods and discuss the issue hoping to reach a consensus. However failing that if it were closed I would let it stand for the community to reopen via votes. If it were deleted and I truly disagreed I would likely raise a meta question to discuss the issue with the community.

7. Sometimes, we end up with multiple mid-to-high rep users arguing over a question, or a meta policy, or something else that happened on the site. These arguments can often range all over the site: from meta posts, to chat, to the main site. As a mod, what would you do to defuse arguments among users in good standing?

I think a healthy debate can be quite good for the site, but have personally seen and participated in discussions where everyone let their passion get the best of them. First and foremost any arguments in comments would be deleted (comments are not for extended discussions) and a comment would be left saying so and suggesting those involved discuss things in chat. If users were to argue within the text of their own answers I would edit those parts of the answer out leaving an explanation that answers are not meant to reference one another, but should, on their own, directly answer the question. As to chat itself, I suggested once during such an argument in Main chat that we needed something like a bar to air our problems without disturbing the site. BESW created the Not a bar, but plays one on TV chat room for that express purpose and we now direct users there and actively shunt sprawling or flaring topics over there so they do not disrupt the site as much. In addition to all these mechanical approaches, I would try to chat with those involved in the dispute in an attempt to cool their ardor. As an absolute last ditch measure, if a user refuses to calm down or take a time out a temporary ban would be instituted for the benefit of the site.

8. What do you want the community at large to do to help you when you're a moderator? What in particular would you encourage us to keep doing, and what would you like us to do differently?

By and large keep doing what you are doing. Users are very active on question and answers as well as meta. I would prefer if users would be freer with downvotes and editing other's questions & answers. There is an inhibition there which I completely understand as I shared it myself for a very long time but I think a lot of headaches over quality could be resolved by users making use of these options. While questions and answers are in a sense owned by the users whom created them; we have a duty beyond helping those users to help future users of the site by editing questions to make them more understandable and easily searched for. Beyond that more users should drive by the review queue more often and resist the temptation to leave long comments or multiple comments on questions and answers whenever possible.

9. What, in your view, is the role of a moderator as opposed to the role of an active, high-rep user? Why would you being a moderator make this site better than you being an active, high-rep user who can lead by example?

Moderators exercise their unique privileges to help keep the site working like a well-oiled machine. In practice high rep users can effectively take care of most of the moderation of the site from closing questions to editing tags to flagging inappropriate comments. Where I would step in as a moderator is to handle those tasks that high rep users will never be able to handle such as deleting comment strings, deleting spam or otherwise wholly inappropriate content. As a user I take care of as much of this as I can, but often times there are things happening when I am active 730am - 5pm EST/EDT (USA) that I cannot currently address. There may be a question that needs closing, but I cannot do so by myself and there are not enough high rep users on. I may flag something that needs to be deleted, but none of the current moderators are available or active so it sits there for a long time. Tied in with this would be a more cautious use of close votes by myself on questions as I would be able to close a question at any time.

10. How will you, as a moderator, react to community consensus that you disagree with? How will you, as a moderator, handle issues on which the community has failed to reach consensus, particularly when you personally favor one particular side in the debate?

If a consensus is reached on meta it should be implemented regardless of my own opinions so long as it does not conflict with our site's guidelines or SE's guidelines. Ultimately we are are a community-driven enterprise and I believe it is best to rely on the community to help shape the direction of RPG.SE whenever possible. In cases where consensus is lacking I would err on the side of caution letting existing policies stand until the community can find a consensus. Hypothetically if there were a situation where a policy change must be implemented, but the community is unable to reach consensus, I would work with the other mods to pick the option we thought best with the caveat that we know we are making the decision ourselves in the absence of consensus. Afterward the community can and should review the action taken by the mods to decide if we made the right choice. If we did, great keep it going, but if not, then we as a community go back to the original issue and try a different approach hoping to find consensus again.

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