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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.

As noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us — which means we selected all of the questions submitted by the community, and didn't need to get our backups.

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.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, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

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!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):

  1. V2Blast
  2. Rubiksmoose
  3. JohnP
  4. Linksassin
  5. Sandra

  1. Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile.
    What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. In your opinion, how does the role of moderator differ from the role of a 10k or 20k rep user on the site? What changes to the way that you interact on this site do you expect to have to make when filling this new role?

  6. In your opinion, how active should moderators be on meta sites? Should moderators take a pro-active approach to meta issues or be guided by the community?

  7. How important do you think it is for moderators to be aware of and keep in touch with the feelings of the community with respect to moderation issues?
    If you view it as important, what kinds of ways do you intend to use to try to keep in touch with how the community is feeling?

  8. Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity.
    What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?

  9. 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?

  10. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

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Linksassin - Nomination Link

  1. Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile.
    What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?

While there is not a clear intrinsic reward for being a moderator, I believe that it can be a valuable personal experience. Being part of this community has been a constant learning and self-improvement experience for me. I can only see moderation as another step on that journey.

I want this job because I thrive on responsibility. In my professional life I am a better team member overall when given a leadership role. In gaming I became a better player when I took up the GM mantle. I think my contributions to this community have been good, but if given the chance to moderate, they could be great.

  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 like 98% of this sites policy and believe most of the things I don't like are because I don't understand them well enough. The more time I spend reading up on the history of site policy through old meta posts the more I appreciate the way it works today.

One thing I would like to see change is the removal of topics because they don't fit the model. I believe that topics should be banned by community consensus that they are actively causing harm, rather than just being not that great. I don't disagree with the topics that have been banned and don't wish to reopen any of them. I simply believe that going forward we should give less weight to the "fit" of a topic and more to its overall effect on the site.

I will be able to work with the current moderators on this as I will abide by community consensus. This is just my single viewpoint as a user, if others disagree then it would be my role as a moderator to enact the decisions of the community.

  1. 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?

As with most things in life, jumping to conclusions only ever causes harm. If this situation ever were to occur I would like to learn as much about what happened as possible. I would investigate for past behaviour on both sides to determine if this is a pattern/trend or an isolated case. Then I would communicate with the user(s) to establish an unbiased list of their grievances.

If the complaints are valid, I would then approach the moderator in question and ask for their version of events before making judgement. Engaging in discussion with the moderator, I would present the users issues in a unbiased way and listen to their response. I would then determine the correct course of action, then enact it and communicate it clearly with all parties if appropriate to do so.

If the complaints are invalid, I would seek to explain the reasoning behind the moderators actions in terms the user(s) can understand. I would try to work toward a mutual understanding of how the user(s) actions appeared despite their intentions, and why the moderators response was appropriate.

  1. 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?

A moderators role is to enforce site policy as decided by SE and the community not to drive a personal agenda. My actions in the moderation role must be completely impartial despite my personal viewpoint. In deciding on policy I would have no more voice than any other user, unless the topic conflicts with SE policy.

When the community struggles to reach a consensus on a topic I would attempt to find a compromise solution which encompasses all viewpoints. I recognise this will be difficult and at times impossible, but I will do my best. If required I will open discussion between the moderation team to determine our course of action. If the community cannot reach an agreement than no one moderator should be acting alone to resolve it.

  1. In your opinion, how does the role of moderator differ from the role of a 10k or 20k rep user on the site? What changes to the way that you interact on this site do you expect to have to make when filling this new role?

The diamond alongside your name adds significant weight and responsibility to your actions compared to a 10k or 20k user. Knowing that your voice may drown out others moderators need to be more conservative and thoughtful in their actions. Flippant remarks from high reputation users can be dismissed where they could not when a diamond is attached.

Personally I will be more reserved with my close votes knowing that my actions are binding. I will also need to spend more time considering posts that I would previously have flagged. Flagging means "this might be an issue" while as a moderator I would need to carefully consider if it is an issue or not.

  1. In your opinion, how active should moderators be on meta sites? Should moderators take a pro-active approach to meta issues or be guided by the community?

I believe moderators should be very active in meta sites. They have a dual role there, both as prominent users and as moderators. As a user they should be weighing in on policy discussions and other issues, however their voice should be only as a user here. As a moderator it is important that they are aware of the active discussions in meta and ensure all user voices are being heard.

I actually submitted this question and I did so because on other SE sites I visit there are moderators who have not made a meta post unless directly addressed for months or years. I don't believe that a moderator that is not active in the meta is capable of doing their job correctly. Or they are showing that they do not have enough passion for the site to be a moderator anyway.

  1. How important do you think it is for moderators to be aware of and keep in touch with the feelings of the community with respect to moderation issues?
    If you view it as important, what kinds of ways do you intend to use to try to keep in touch with how the community is feeling?

This question relates a lot to the one above. I believe it is very important to remain aware of the community sentiment and current issues. If a moderator is not aware of the issues how can they effectively moderate them?

As a moderator I would keep in touch with the community be remaining active in meta and chat. As well as continuing as a high contribution user on the main site. Posts such as our "How is the Community doing?" meta are vital to maintaining a healthy site. As a moderator I would be open to any user approaching me with issues and I hope that users would be willing to do so.

  1. Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity.
    What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?

Honestly I am concerned about making a mistake that I cannot recover from. I will do everything I can to avoid it but I am only human. If I loose the respect of the community then I have failed as a moderator. To prevent this from happening I will begin slowly and take a conservative approach to moderation until I learn the ropes. I will be open to learning from other moderators and any material provided by SE.

I am looking forward to the challenge of the opportunity. Stack exchange has helped me grow as a person and I can see the benefits in my life outside of here. I hope that moderation can help me to continue that growth.

  1. 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?

Community standards need to be enforced equally regardless of user. No one users contribution can be so great that we lower our standards for them. Doing so would only open the door to a lower quality site overall, one that I don't think I would want to be a part of.

An experience users with many quality answers should be able to learn from our policy metas. I would approach them an remind them of our standards, if they continue to fall below it I would enforce site policy the same way I would for a user who never posts anything.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

This question relates a lot to #3 and much of want I said there stands. Jumping to conclusions is not a good idea. Additional a mod-v-mod close/open war is the last thing the site needs. I would open communication with the moderator and try to understand their reasoning. If after explanation I still disagree I would involve a third mod or open a meta to gather additional opinions. Acting single handedly would undermine the other moderator and potential undo important actions without the full context.

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V2Blast — nomination link

  1. Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile.
    What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?

I've done it before, and I believe I'm good at it... But more than that, I want to help ensure that RPG.SE remains a high-quality resource for asking and answering questions, and serve as a valuable resource to those in the hobby, whether they've spent years (even decades!) playing RPGs or are just starting out.

I've participated in many communities for D&D and other RPGs, but RPG.SE keeps me coming back. The community, including the diamond mod team, does an excellent job of "moderating itself" - the users are able to work with the mods to make the site both an excellent resource and a friendly community. I'd like to help it continue to improve.

  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 have no major problems with current moderation policy. By and large, the diamond mods handle things with a light touch, specially intervening only where necessary. Any major changes to existing policy are usually discussed in meta, and only implemented after such discussion.

If I have an issue, it is merely one of communication. Occasionally, there have been instances where I have thought a diamond mod has come off somewhat brusquely - presumably due to repeat interactions with or complaints about a particular user. Such conversations might fare better with a gentler tone, even if it is not always reciprocated. I've found in my time as moderator elsewhere that occasionally even disruptive users will apologize and behave constructively once they have cooled off, as long as you continue to treat them fairly.

That said, I've only rarely seen such disagreements on RPG.SE, so those cases are really more of an exception rather than the rule.

  1. 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?

As mentioned in my answer to the previous question, communication is key. In this case, it's important to discuss the issue both with the user, and with the moderator in question. I would try to first elicit the relevant details from the user (or group of users), as they are the one(s) making the complaint.

How I validated the complaint is largely dependent on what the complaint is. If it's about a specific comment or chain of comments, it would be fairly simple to just look at the comment(s) myself. If it's something broader or more nebulous, such as a general perception of bias against a playstyle or point of view, this becomes much more tricky; as such, it'd help if the user were able to point out specific instances of this perceived unfairness.

Once this information is solicited or gathered, it would help to discuss the issue with the other moderators as well. Ultimately, the moderation team is a team, after all. If the complaint of unfairness is about an individual moderator's actions, we can discuss it as a group and consider whether the complaint is justified, and how to proceed.

If the complaint is about the mod team as a whole, we'd still need to discuss it, of course - but in such cases, we might need to do a little more introspection on whether there is any subconscious bias - and perhaps more importantly, we need to consider how we can communicate to the user(s) that we are handling (or will handle) the situation fairly.

A perception of unfairness or bias is still a problem; the more widespread the perception, the bigger the problem. It's all about facing that issue head-on, and making sure everyone's on the same page - both the diamond mod team and the community.

  1. 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?

Consensus, by nature, requires widespread agreement. As the diamond mods are members of the community as well, most of the time, the diamond mods are likely to agree with that consensus. Of course, there will be cases where I or another diamond mod disagree with the majority. In such cases, I will endeavor to understand their point of view - and I will try to explain my own. Hopefully, if we understand each other better, we will be able to find a solution that addresses most people's concerns.

If the community fails to reach consensus on an issue, it means there's no clear conclusion that can be drawn on the matter, for whatever reason. Often, this signifies that each side is not understanding the other's perspective; if that's the case, there needs to be better good-faith discussion to reconcile differing perspectives. Being a diamond mod won't eliminate the need for conversation here.

Of course, lack of consensus can also just mean that the community recognizes a problem, but isn't sure how to solve it. (Consider long-running debates over the use or intended use of certain tags, or over the appropriateness of certain types of questions on the site.) In these cases, it's worth trying out different solutions in order to allow a diversity of opinion on the site - but sometimes nothing works. Not every type of question is a good fit for the site's format, and that's okay.

  1. In your opinion, how does the role of moderator differ from the role of a 10k or 20k rep user on the site? What changes to the way that you interact on this site do you expect to have to make when filling this new role?

As discussed in earlier responses, the RPG.SE community does a great job of moderating itself - so mods rarely have to intervene directly, especially in ways that high-rep users can't. I think the key difference is that diamond moderators can act single-handedly, e.g. opening or closing questions with their 1 vote alone instead of needing to wait for 4 others.

In this way, I suspect I would be more careful in casting such votes (than I already am), essentially needing to meet a higher threshold of confidence before I take such an action. On the other hand, it would also mean I could more quickly close overly broad or unclear questions before they attract low-quality answers, and help guide the asker to improve their question so it can be reopened.

The other important distinction between diamond mods and other high-rep users is that the diamond icon accompanies their username on every action they take on the site. To an extent, they represent the mod team no matter what they do. Obviously, this means that diamond mods should ensure that they always uphold the principles of the stack, and watch how they communicate with other users - but I believe I already do this, so it wouldn't be much of a change.

  1. In your opinion, how active should moderators be on meta sites? Should moderators take a pro-active approach to meta issues or be guided by the community?

By and large, moderators are both caretakers of and curators of the community. As a result, I think mods serve an important role in guiding discussions and addressing important issues. That said, I don't think their opinion is necessarily more important than anyone else's. They should participate in discussions on policy and other matters, feeling free to make their own thoughts known, just as any other user does.

  1. How important do you think it is for moderators to be aware of and keep in touch with the feelings of the community with respect to moderation issues?
    If you view it as important, what kinds of ways do you intend to use to try to keep in touch with how the community is feeling?

I think the word "communication" might have started to lose meaning at this point for readers of this answer, given how many times I've said it, but I think that answers the first question pretty clearly. It's very important! Users won't always agree with mods (and vice versa), but I think a healthy community must have a good working relationship between mods and other users.

I don't think diamond mods get any special tools for communicating with the community at large, but it is definitely more important, once they become mods, for them to have a finger on the pulse of the community. This includes all the standard methods of communication on the site - primarily meta and chat. It's not just about talking, but about listening. You need to consider what users have to say, whether it's justified, and what you can do to alleviate any concerns.

  1. Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity.
    What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?

I've done this sort of thing often enough that I'm not exactly worried - but I don't want to let the community down. Mostly, I'm not exactly familiar with any diamond-mod-only tools I haven't used before (though, for the most part, they seem like extensions of existing high-rep privileges) - but that's not really something non-mods can help with.

I suppose the main thing non-mods can do to help new mods is to assume good faith, communicate honestly but politely, and be willing to work with them rather than against them. (I considered writing "us" instead of "them", but it felt a little presumptuous...)

  1. 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 think it's important to help the user understand the site's rules/policies, so that they can continue to provide great answers without adding toxicity or cluttering comments. Extended on-topic discussions can be moved to chat; we can also remind users that comments are for asking for clarification and suggesting improvements to the answer, not for simply disagreeing.

That said, sometimes there may be conduct that is simply unacceptable. No matter how many valuable contributions someone provides to the community, it doesn't make them exempt from the rules - and making exceptions for toxic behavior will only lead to more of it. In these cases, it's important to put a stop to such things, and clearly explain to the user why that conduct is not allowed here.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would talk to them and the other mods. It's important to first understand why they did what they did (this may or may not be obvious from their comment on the question, but it's always good to get more details and hear their explanation in their own words). I might end up agreeing with their logic, in which case the problem solves itself and the mod action stands as-is.

Otherwise, I would then present my perspective to them and explain my own point of view. If they agreed with me, then the mod team could act as a united front; if possible, the initial mod could reverse their own action and explain that the change in decision was made after discussing it with the mod team, or another mod could do it on their behalf.

Ultimately, whatever action ends up being taken needs to be agreed upon as a team. It's generally more valuable to come to a consensus on an issue than repeatedly and publicly disagree with one another.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am appalled that this answer accrued down votes. Thanks for your thorough treatment of each question. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 3 at 12:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast - The downvotes are not indicative of approval or disapproval. The up and downvotes are intended (in this phase) to keep all the players at the same level, to try to avoid early bias (As I understand it). \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Jun 3 at 14:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast - See rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9154/… \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Jun 3 at 14:31
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JohnP — nomination link

  1. Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile.
    What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?

I have long been a fan of "giving back", and paying back the people that came before me to enable me to do the things I do. When I first started on Stack Exchange, the moderators on the various sites helped me learn the ropes, what was acceptable and what was not, and helped me grow as a user. This is my chance to give that back on another site on the SE network.

It was suggested in chat that I can be a little more forthcoming on one detail. I currently moderate on three beta sites on the network, Medical Sciences (Where I also helped guide the site through a scope change from Health), Fitness, and Martial Arts.

  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?

This is one of the best stacks on the network imho, simply because the community has agreed on a set of standards, enforced them fairly and ecumenically, and the moderation team simply helps enforce those standards. The challenge for me in the early days would be to learn the nuances of the scope that I am unaware of, and seek help when and where needed. This means working closely with the remaining moderators.

One of the biggest challenges is that the moderation team will have two new users, which is a large portion of the team. It will be very important for whoever gets elected to be in close communication with the more experienced moderators to not go stomping all over the site.

  1. 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?

These are sensitive items. There is a need to understand what the user(s) are feeling, and why they are feeling that way, and then compare that against the actions the moderator took and how that compares to the previous standards that have been set by the community. The next step is to communicate with the fellow moderator to find out why they took the actions they did.

If it is a simple reason, and we can point to similar actions taken in the past, then it can hopefully be resolved with a quick chat, or discussion on meta. If this isn't the case, or the parties can't agree on what was correct, then it might necessitate asking one of the SE Community Moderators to step in and mediate.

Whatever the situation, constant contact is key. As this is not a real time resolution, communicating the process and where you are in it will help prevent the feelings from festering, and building a "oh, they just want it to go away" attitude. Both of these will be contrary to actually finding a solution.

  1. 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?

This is one of the key points to being a moderator, is being able to administer policies even if you don't agree with them. I have participated in these discussions both on the "for" and "against" side of the debate (Especially on Medical Science, which started out as Health and changed scope). The main point to always remember is that moderation is not enforcing your own standards but rather enforcing the community standards.

If I feel strongly that a policy is in error or needs to be changed/tweaked/added, that is exactly what meta was made for. The question gets raised on meta, the community participates in the determination, and then policy gets set and enforced. If I don't agree with that decision, that's where I have to put on my big person pants and simply do it, as that is what the community has indicated it wants.

Where there is no consensus, then it becomes a matter of picking an option and moving forward with that as the standard. If it becomes apparent that the option picked is not working as people had hoped/anticipated, then you revisit and go with option B (or C, etc). Moderation is not set in stone, it is a living breathing entity.

  1. In your opinion, how does the role of moderator differ from the role of a 10k or 20k rep user on the site? What changes to the way that you interact on this site do you expect to have to make when filling this new role?

The only difference in a moderator position is that they have the option to unilaterally close/delete a question. (Which in the case of gold tag badge holders is also an option). This should be reserved for questions that are obviously off topic, or actively working to harm the site (malicious links, spam, etc). I don't expect a lot of changes to the way I currently interact on the site if I were to get moderator status.

  1. In your opinion, how active should moderators be on meta sites? Should moderators take a pro-active approach to meta issues or be guided by the community?

Moderators should be active on meta, as that is where community consensus on policy should be determined. And as policy is not always set in stone, the response is both. The moderators should be familiar with policy questions being discussed by the community, and in some edge or new cases, raise the question themselves for discussion.

  1. How important do you think it is for moderators to be aware of and keep in touch with the feelings of the community with respect to moderation issues?
    If you view it as important, what kinds of ways do you intend to use to try to keep in touch with how the community is feeling?

It's very important. Moderation is not done in a vacuum. This means knowing not only what your fellow moderators are feeling, but what the community is feeling as well. For me, this means being more active in the main chat room, as well as being active on meta and reviewing old meta postings to see how policy has been shaped previously.

  1. Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity.
    What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?

I have moderated in several discussion forums online over the years, as well as being a current moderator on other SE sites currently. My biggest worry about being an RPG moderator is learning the full scope of on and off topic. I don't want to tromp all over the site, but at the same time I don't want to be fearful to act. It's a balancing act, and balance takes time.

There are currently excellent resources available through moderation tools, fellow moderators and high rep users. All of these together should be consulted before taking unilateral actions that might not be obvious.

  1. 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 honestly feel that this is one of the biggest challenges to ANY SE site. Someone that has valuable contributions, but feels that the minor rules are not really applicable. In this case, fairness and not letting personal bias influence actions are absolutely paramount. Pointing to established policy, discussions with the user on how their actions are contrary to policy and the health of the site are the main starting points.

Unfortunately, it may be that the contributions of the person eventually get outweighed by the negativity that they bring. In that case, it may be time for the user to step away from the site for a bit, either voluntarily or not. Nobody is above site policy, no matter how much they have contributed to the site and/or the policy themselves.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Talk to the moderator, and find out why. It may be that there is a standard I was unaware of, history that isn't apparent, or another valid reason. It may be that the other moderator read it wrong. In any case, it is a team discussion, so that the team can present a united front. If it is a disagreement that doesn't produce a viable resolution between the two of you, then you involve the other moderators. As stated above, none of this is done in a vacuum. Moderators do not shout down from on high, they are merely more equal pigs in the community, charged with the ultimate enforcement of the community decided standards.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While there are no requirements for nomination, it may help if you discuss your involvement on RPG.SE as your most recent Answer is one from January, but otherwise your last activity for voting hasn't been since 2015. Why weren't you active? Why are you active now? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 28 at 19:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch - I'm....not sure where you are getting your data? While I am not prolific in my voting, I have had pretty consistent activity on the site: rpg.stackexchange.com/users/3958/… \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP May 28 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ That link gave me a 404 and I very much understand I may have erred. But when I look at your Q&A history, I'm only seeing one Question and one Answer since 2015. Doesn't mean you're not actively voting/getting previous Q&As voted on, but it does seem like you haven't actively answered or asked anything beyond those two. If this isn't appropriate or the right place, I can also delete the comments. It was just something I wanted to ask you to clarify. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 28 at 20:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JohnP: Here's your mainsite profile. We can't see things like your voting activity or other forms of activity on RPG.SE; all we can see (for the most part) is your questions and answers. The newest ones visible are this answer from January 2019, followed by this question from Jan. 2018, and then the next most recent activity we see is a pair of answers from June 2015. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 28 at 20:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast - Ah, that's right. You can't see voting. I have consistent voting, I just am not a prolific ask/answerer. Generally if I have a question, I find it's been answered, and since most of my gaming is 3.5/Pathfinder, there are very few questions/answers that are needed. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP May 28 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch - See ^^ \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP May 28 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Alright, just something I felt was worthy of discussion (activity of voting vs activity of asking/answering). If you don't, that's totally fine :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 28 at 20:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch - No, it's absolutely a valid question, and I can see how it visually appears. :) \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP May 28 at 20:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the interests of throwing some information out there, it is possible on JohnP's profile (in the "Impact" box) to see that they've cast 750 votes. For some frame of reference, the ten users who bracket JohnP in the reputation league have voted {648, 160, 149, 625, 113, 135, 337, 72, 284, 1385} times. I don't know if there's a conclusion to be drawn from that, but enjoy the numbers! \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 May 28 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60: Those are certainly some numbers! :P \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 29 at 10:31
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Rubiksmoose — nomination link

  1. Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile.
    What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?

The simple reason is that I want to help — I love to help. Dealing with the bad stuff to help this community is honestly its own reward for me.

And someone needs to do the job. For a community to function properly, there has to be someone who takes care of the issues and people that are preventing things from running properly. I think that I am able to do that well, and I am certainly willing to if the community sees fit to give me the chance.

  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?

Currently, I agree with most of the moderation on this site. However, I think there is always room for improvement and I'd never say that I'm 100% satisfied with the way things are because of that.

The one broad complaint I have is that sometimes I think some moderation comes across as too brusque and stern, mechanical and impersonal. This has a lot of factors including the SE system itself, but I'd like to put a friendlier face on it with my moderation approach, especially as it pertains to new users (more of whom I'd like to see become regular active members of the community). However, this won't affect the cases of misbehavior on the site where sternness and serious action are proper and necessary.

None of these would put any strain between me and the current moderation team. Though in the future if at least one of the moderators and I would disagree about something, we'd work through it just as any community member would: through reasoned discourse, listening and understanding the other person's views, and compromising as necessary for the good of the community.

  1. 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?

Obviously there's not going to be any straightforward flowchart for how any possible interaction could go down, but the broad strokes of how I would approach it are as follows:

Listen and investigate: The first step I'd take would be the same first step that I'd take with any kind of concern or disagreement: listen. Listen to all the details they have and understand where it is they are coming from and what may be the root cause of the complaint.

If the complaint seems invalid, and seems like it would be easily explained in a way that wouldn't be hard for the user to accept, I'd tell them what I was seeing and try to teach them about why what occurred seemed like unfair treatment but actually was consistent with how this site always works. If the user still feels like they were treated unfairly, I'd encourage them to go to Meta with the information they have told me and allow the community as a whole to publicly weigh in.

If the complaint seems valid, I'd likely proceed to talk to the moderator in question, find out their side of the story, and if the complaint continues to seem valid, present them with how I see things and what I've found. Hopefully the mod in question will recognize their error and make amends or amends can be made in other ways. If not, and the infraction was serious enough, the rest of the mods and/or the CM team could be brought in.

  1. 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?

I believe the mod's role is to enforce community guidelines when those exist.

Before a consensus is made, I'll do as any normal community member would and try to understand the position of the other answers and offer a better viable alternative in my own answer (or support another who aligns with it) if I can.

If the community comes to a consensus I disagree with, my job as a mod is to learn, understand, and enact that decision unless it conflicts with SE rules and philosophies.

If there's no clear consensus from the community, I'll do as each community member already does and use my best judgement for what actions are best.

  1. In your opinion, how does the role of moderator differ from the role of a 10k or 20k rep user on the site? What changes to the way that you interact on this site do you expect to have to make when filling this new role?

I ascribe to the idea that mods on SE are there to be human debuggers. In other words, they are there to pick up the slack where the system fails. Thus, hard moderator action should be rare and selectively applied because we do a good job of self-moderation most of the time. Mods also do some of the work cleaning up detritus (read: comment cleanup). Essentially, mods are there to help the community help itself.

Thinking back I've cast lots of close votes, many of which were easy unequivocal things that needed to be closed. but each time I learned more about the site and how to effectively manage it. If a mod had instead gotten there and closed them before me, I wouldn't have been able to reach the level of experience and confidence such as I have now. As a moderator I want to act in such a way to give users this same opportunity and experience, to create and foster experience and expertise in the community as opposed to simply imposing my own.

The fact that moderators can single-handedly vote to open or close something means that I will using those tools more carefully (and likely sparingly) than I am now (just like I adjusted after getting the gold tag dupehammer). I'll also have to learn when to use the other tools, like locking posts, as I go.

I tend to flag things quite a bit as a normal user, that mode would have to shift to dealing with flags instead of creating them. I'd also have to figure out a comfortable threshold for how I deal with flaggable things I notice before the community flags them.

Other than that, I expect to keep answering and editing mostly as I do now, but paying extra attention to the fact that the diamond next to my name means that more eyes will be on me and make that much more effort to represent things well.

  1. In your opinion, how active should moderators be on meta sites? Should moderators take a pro-active approach to meta issues or be guided by the community?

I think moderators are basically normal users (with access to extra information) when it comes to how their opinions should be weighted on Meta discussions. They are still part of the community. I don't think the mods need to purposely hold back in order to hear the community, in general. If it becomes clear that mod opinions on Meta posts are drowning out (or stifling) minority opinions, we should certainly address that, but it doesn't seem to have been an issue in my time here.

  1. How important do you think it is for moderators to be aware of and keep in touch with the feelings of the community with respect to moderation issues?
    If you view it as important, what kinds of ways do you intend to use to try to keep in touch with how the community is feeling?

I think it is very important for mods to keep their ear to the ground to hear what the community thinks and keep an eye out for coming trouble. In this way, you might be able to catch issues before they get bad instead of only hearing about it on Meta when things boil over. Seeing as the mods represent the community's will, it is doubly important to be aware of any shifts in opinion on those matters particularly.

As far as how to listen there's no one good answer except maybe "listen to the community where they are":

  • Chat is the place I'm most likely to hear the most from community members because I spend a lot of time there and we do a lot of talking. However, only a tiny fraction of RPG.se users ever visit chat and even fewer speak there. It can be a good sounding ground if you take into consideration the limitations of your audience.
  • Mainsite offers a surprising amount of information I think. I'd look for friction points in policies usually breaking out in the form of comment chains (which we eventually have to clean up anyways). I'd especially look for friction points from new users. Finding where people are getting confused or frustrated tells me that something might be able to be improved.
  • Meta, obviously, is the centralized location for opinions. A small fraction of mainsite users come here, but more than chat.
  1. Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity.
    What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?

I'm excited about the potential new role and I'm confident that I can do it in a way that will make the community better. However, I know that I will always be learning here and that I will make mistakes. My biggest fear is that I'll act in a way that bothers or upsets the community but nobody tells me.

Please, if you have any feedback about my behavior or anything else, contact me. I promise I'll be happy you did and use it to improve. (This goes for me as a normal user as well by the way, but it would weigh even more heavily on my mind as a mod.)

  1. 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 a user is breaking site rules and causing chaos, moderator action is needed. This would start with comments or chat messages telling them what the community expectations are and how they are disrupting things. If the bad behavior and flags continue, then the responses will escalate using mod tools that I don't really know much about now (suspensions etc.). It doesn't matter how much good content you provide, all users must adhere to our community standards. The site can handle one fewer expert answerer if it absolutely has to come to that.

Likely, most cases shouldn't come to any hard action. I'd start by talking and understanding and teaching. After that, it depends on what they do with that information.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
  • Talk to them, if possible: Either by comment or mod chat (if appropriate), I'd ping them to ask them to explain why they closed it. I'd think that listening and understanding will clear up a substantial number of cases because I've often found that different users can have very different, but valid takes on a post. And everyone makes mistakes of course. The key is to listen and learn from their perspective so that you can be better at it next time, even if you think they are in the wrong. If it's simple and either they or I agree that the other was in the right, we'd adjust the course of action together. If we don't agree...
  • Use best judgement what happens in the case of a disagreement is going to be extremely case-dependent. This also applies if I would be unable to reach a mod to find out their reasons. Many factors can influence this decision including time pressure to open or close, how sure I am that the decision should be reversed, how the rest of the community feels about the issue, etc. Whenever possible, I'd give the mod the benefit of the doubt that they saw something I didn't and let their decision stand. I think that focusing on being a team is going to be more valuable than any one action's reversal could be. Only in the case of aligning of several factors would I see it as worth it to undo it.
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Being a moderator is a customer service/public relations job for which there is little to no extrinsic motivation. You will invest hours of your free time dealing with the worst the internet has to offer, and we expect you to do it with a patient demeanor and a smile. What is your motivation for candidacy, or in short - why do you want this job?

I usually answer questions over at Story-Games.com and they're closing down so I thought I'd try another site.

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?

Stack Exchange is known for being strict, and a lot of people don't like that, but I do. If you want change to a more slack or lax policy I'm not the right pick.

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?

Emotional validation is great♥

If I felt the complaints were legit:

I want to know what the expected procedure is. Maybe the other mods could show the new mods the ropes on how we can undo calls or however it works? This is something that might come up quite a bit.

If I felt the complaints were not legit:

I'd try to explain it in a different way but then drop it. You can't win them all.

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?

Ouch, this is always difficult and demotivating. At school I was elected representative of the linguistics department and I had to rep positions where I strongly disagreed. That was harsh. That's how elective democracy works, you have to do it that way, but if the community consensus is consistently going against your own values, that, of course, makes you want to quit.

In your opinion, how does the role of moderator differ from the role of a 10k or 20k rep user on the site?

I'm sorry, I don't understand the technical details of how this sites work well enough to answer that question properly.

What changes to the way that you interact on this site do you expect to have to make when filling this new role?

I guess I'll become more patient; more like a mom than a sister... if that makes sense?

In your opinion, how active should moderators be on meta sites? Should moderators take a pro-active approach to meta issues or be guided by the community?

Moderators are community members too, and if they happen to have an active, even pro-active personality, they can engage in the meta issues. As community members, and not in their moderator role.

How important do you think it is for moderators to be aware of and keep in touch with the feelings of the community with respect to moderation issues?
If you view it as important, what kinds of ways do you intend to use to try to keep in touch with how the community is feeling?

It's kind of difficult, isn't it? There are things you feel would be important if they were possible, but if they're not possible...

It's hypocritical for a moderator to pretend that they understand the community; it is vital for a moderator to try to understand the community.

How to translate that to a concrete & actionable plan: just read, listen, try to separate anecdata from larger trends, try to separate the difference between the loudest opinions and the, uh, right or most representative opinions. A classroom where someone loudly shouts "Naw stfu there's no bullying here" isn't being serviced by the teacher going "oh, ok, thanks".

Users are generally really good at seeing problems but not as good at seeing solutions, isn't that a good old adage? Via Mark Rosewater but I'm not sure he coined it originally, he might've.

Becoming a new moderator can be daunting, but is also a big opportunity.
What are you worried or fearful about in your transition to becoming a moderator, and is there anything you're looking forward to? Is there anything we can do to help support you in those areas should you be elected as a new moderator?

As you can tell from these answers, if I'm the pick there's gonna be kind of a steep learning curve. I'm kinda clueless on how a lot of this works.

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 personally generally value flags higher than answers. If a user is being cruel to other users or to readers, that's a bigger factor in my evaluation of them than the amount and quality of their answers.

Of course, there's a value bias there and that's why values and personality---as much as we strive for a neutral point of view---is part of this too. If someone would be like, uh, racist or w/e I'd be more inclined to take a harsh view on them.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Guessing from my experience with other interviews that the expected "right" answer here is to side with your fellow mod & keep it closed. But that doesn't sit super well with me. I'm curious to learn what the consensus policy is around issues like that because my instinct is to reopen it (if that's possible, technically).

Or if it's not possible, technically, and the question instead is about how to metamoderate your fellow mod and bring it up to them, that's kind of an easier q, isn't it? Just explain to them why you didn't want the question closed and that's all you can do, isn't it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ "I don't understand the technical details of how this sites work" - Don't you think this is a prerequisite for the job? What are you doing to fix this? Not trying to put you down just curious how you plan to overcome this. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jun 1 at 5:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ (Thanks for that last sentence, really helped put the rest of your comment in context, much appreciated.) If you guys need me as a mod, then I'd have to learn all that stuff. If you guys don't need me as a mod, because you've got lots of other good mods, then I can just chill & read comics♥ \$\endgroup\$ – Sandra Jun 2 at 6:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin Not being a mod, how could she know those technical details? Sandra is familiar with how SE works, I suspect, given that she's been a member for 6 years. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 3 at 12:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have a slight concern over the wording. If you consider the current mod tone to be "harsh", that can imply you don't really agree with it. Do you mean "Strict" instead? And your addition of "if you want more lax I'm not your girl" implies that you are not open to change if the site agrees on it. Can you clarify these points? \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Jun 3 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ I had hope for a second there might be a candidate who wasn't lock-step with the current regime, but it appears no one who disagrees with the status quo is foolish enough to join the moderator team here. \$\endgroup\$ – Dronz Jun 3 at 20:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have heard from people discussing on other site that "man, over at stack exchange they are so strict" and I'm like "uh, ok, sounds like my kinda site!" If that's what you don't want then at least its good that I got that out up front right away, right? \$\endgroup\$ – Sandra Jun 4 at 10:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sandra one of the appealing features of SE sites (at least some of them) is the favorable signal to noise ratio. If strict is the only way to do that, well, it meets the design spec. :) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 4 at 17:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Sandra, you might be interested to know we have a policy to not signal edits in text. The idea is that edit version of the post should represent the best version. Therefore you can integrate your edits as though they were there all along. People can use the post revision history if they are curious. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jun 5 at 1:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Much appreciated, thank you. I treat the normal answers that way; sorta like a wiki, but here I thought people would find it disingenuous since it was more of an "interview", albeit asynchronous. I folded the edits in. Thanks again♥ \$\endgroup\$ – Sandra Jun 5 at 5:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dronz You might consider running yourself sometime. But really, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree: your problem isn’t with the mod team. A change in mod team won’t ever deliver what you want, because it’s not the mods’ decision. You’ve always wanted the site to be open to hosting interesting discussion posts. Your objections to the mod team are only because we/they have prevented you from campaigning for that in mainsite comments. (You can still start a meta about that, if you’re ever serious about discussing it in the place where decisions are made and campaigning is okay.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 6 at 15:11

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