15

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.

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!


How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

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

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

  • Discreet (in private) vs. discrete (one at a time). – user1027 Jan 27 '15 at 3:17
12

I’m @alexwlchan, and these are my answers.

Here's a link to my nomination post.

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

I’d probably be more careful about voting, and only vote if I was absolutely sure. If not, I’d leave a comment and wait for a few other people to weigh in before voting, if at all. Look at how I handle close-as-dupe superpowers in the [harry-potter] tag for examples.

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

The only major tag I know nothing about is ASOIAF/Game of Thrones. I have at least a passing familiarity with all the other tags, even if I’m not a domain expert.

It would depend on the nature of the flag. Certain flags can be resolved without knowledge of the topic; on others, I’d probably confer with the other moderators, and maybe do some reading to get some context. This is where “don’t vote unless I’m absolutely sure” comes in – I’d wait for a second opinion before resolving the flag.

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

If it was a well-founded complaint, then I’d give an honest response. I’d try to explain any controversial decisions (within reason, I probably couldn’t account for every action I did, ever), which is about all I feel that I can do. I’d also consider the feedback the next time I was doing something similar.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

I think we can be a bit harsh on opinion-based questions. Often a poorly-worded question that looks wooly will be closed quickly, and then reopened when somebody actually does find an answer. I see the reason for closing opinion questions, but sometimes I think we’re a bit trigger happy. (And I was guilty of this in the past, although I’d like to think I’ve eased off a little.)

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

UK time, so UTC or UTC+1. Active times would be 7–8am and 7–12pm on weekdays, more varied on weekends.

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

Yes.

I’d show you my browser history to prove how much I visit the site, but the frequency would be mildly embarrassing.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

Fairly liberally. If an answer makes even a poor attempt at answering the question, I’d probably decline. Even a single sentence could be enough. The post might be bad, unsubstantiated and get downvoted to oblivion, but it’s still technically an answer.

(The not-an-answer flag is the only flag I’ve ever had declined on this Stack – twice, in quick succession. I’ve given this a fair amount of thought, and subsequent not-an-answer flags have all been marked as helpful.)

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?

It depends on the nature of the arguments and flags. Anybody who makes a good contribution (high rep, low rep, prolific or occasional poster) is somebody I’d like to keep, but it may not be worth the problems.

For a petty squabble (like posting flamebait comments about Star Trek on all the Star Wars questions), I’d message the user privately, explain to them why they’re causing upset, and ask them to stop. It’s not worth losing a user over small things.

But if the comments were more offensive, and making people feel uncomfortable or unsafe – for example, threats or harassment – I’d be much less reluctant to ban them. However good their contributions were, they’re not worth having if it makes other users feel unsafe.

It all depends on the degree of the problem, really.

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

Talk to them privately, and find out why they closed/deleted/etc. Perhaps when I learn why they did it, I’ll agree with them and move on. Or we might agree to disagree (on a minor issue), and not do anything about it.

If it’s a more major disagreement about community opinion, I’d consider taking it to Meta. The rules are based on what the community thinks, not the mods, and if two of us have a disagreement about how everybody else feels, then the best thing is probably to ask.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

I’d probably lighten the rules on list-based questions.

I quite enjoy reading the [big-list] questions on sites like Maths or LaTeX. I wouldn’t want a whole site of them, but I think they can be valuable if the topic is good. It goes against the Stack Exchange ideal of “one right answer”, but we’re already in a grey area, and I think there might be some good questions that are on-topic here and follow that format.

I don’t want to get rid of close-as-too-broad or close-as-list entirely, but I think we could relax the rules and still be okay.

8

My name is Thaddeus Howze and I approve these campaign messages.

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

  • Not at all. I will continue to be impartial toward questions that do not warrant my attention while focusing on those questions or answers which are potentially distracting or disruptive to the site. Spam and spam-like entries will be removed with extreme prejudice.

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

  • I have a wide array of badges in a diverse selection of topics. Furthermore, I have often let questions go unanswered hoping to see new writers, even when I know I could contribute immediately.

  • If a question has a problematic nature, I am confident I can recognize them. Of the most popular questions on this site: Star Trek, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, comic books, and a variety speculative fiction and media, there are rarely questions I cannot answer. I am an excellent researcher and certain I can contribute, in a team setting, toward ensuring high quality questions with the help of other moderators. "-Teamwork makes the dream work."

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

  • By hearing out their complaints and doing my best to understand the problems caused by my moderation. Surely with the support of the other moderators, I would hope no such events would come to pass.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

  • My only complaint with rules moderated here is the speed at which some questions (which have legitimate answers) are closed. I would like to think we would as a whole not just close questions before being sure answers did not exist.

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

  • I live in California (-8 UTC). My initial moderation will be in the morning and then scattered through the day depending on my work schedule. Since I am a professional writer, I keep very late hours, I will likely provide moderation overlapping several moderators during the course of the day.

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

  • I already have made such a commitment. 1210 days, 821 consecutive days in a row. I check the site easily 3-5 times daily, both to look at new questions and to see what has transpired over the course of the day.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

  • Determine, based on my knowledge of the material, whether such flags require moderation and if I cannot conclusively make the decision myself, I will confer with other moderators for their opinions. I rarely have a problem recognizing a good answer from a comment or spam.

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?

  • Discretely. People who are providing high quality answers are desirable but not at the price of alienating new members. I am confident the community of existing moderators and I will be able to find a way to effectively regulate undesirable behavior without taking extreme action.

  • Not that I am opposed to doing whatever is necessary, but I recognize the mindset prone to participate in wikis and other content management systems may be a more challenging personality and thus requires a light touch for everyone to find common ground.

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

  • As with all community efforts, communication between members is essential. The site offers plenty of means to speak to other members via comments, meta or chat. Disagreements should remain a rarely experienced event if everyone communicates effectively. I am an ex-military veteran used to working in teams toward a larger mission or purpose.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

  • My goal as a moderator is to heed the words of Futurama's Galactic God which offered Bender some advice after a failed period of godhood: "You have to have a light touch. Like a safecracker or a pickpocket." (Bender replies: Or like the guy who burns down his bar for the insurance money.) Galactic God agrees and sagely closes with: "If you do things right, no one can be sure you've done anything at all."

Good moderation should be like that. Effective and invisible to the naked eye. All visitors should see is a great site. I can do that.

8

I'm phantom42, and I approve this message.

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

Less than it would have even just a few months ago. Anyone who obsessively watches my review habits would notice that I've actually been skipping more and more review items lately. Not because I'm trying to shirk my duty, but because I've only been reviewing things that are very black and white to me. If it's a gray area, I've been skipping it to allow it to go to other users who hopefully feel stronger than I do.

As a moderator, I would follow this line of action, allowing the community to largely police itself, stepping in with a binding vote if there is absolutely no question in my mind.

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

Thanks to the Internet, I'd never say that I'm completely ignorant of any tag or work that comes up on the stack. That said, I (and I admit this knowing that it may hurt my chances of being elected) am not a personal fan of Doctor Who, and I have not watched/read the Game of Thrones books (though, we have Season 1 sitting on our shelf to be watched in the near future). For questions on such subjects, I'd do what I do whenever I don't know something - some quick research. If after some basic research I still don't know enough to make an informed ruling, I'd check with other mods and the group in chat who are often able to help out with such things.

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

First, converse with the user to truly understand what it is they're upset about. Explain my own position as best I can in hopes that we can at least come to an understanding. I'd also double-check with the other mods to make sure my understanding of policy and protocol was correct. If necessary, I'd take it to Meta to find out if the community believes the policy needs to be reconsidered.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

While I'm generally one for closing dupes, I believe we should let non-confirmed Story Identification questions lie until we can truly label them as confirmed duplicates.

While subjective questions are often treated correctly, I personally find the exception to be "suggested order" questions which I feel are too subjective and feel that they should be closed. I do not, however, vote to close them, as current policy is to leave them open.

List questions tend to be to quickly shut down regardless of how finitely scoped they really are. It's certainly a fine line sometimes, but I feel a lot of people are a little trigger happy with them sometimes.

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

I'm on the East coast (UTC-5) and am at my computer from 8:30am to 5pm EST (13:30-22:00 UTC) on weekdays aside from short breaks. During this time, I almost always have the site and chat open in a set of tabs. While I am less active in chat afterwards, I check in frequently through the evening up until usually 11:30 or so. Weekends are a little more sporadic and less standardized depending on weekend activities, but I am stopping by to check on the site and review queues anytime I am near my computer or have time to kill on my phone.

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

I came awfully close to a 365 day streak of logins, being broken only because of a work trip that kept me away from the site for too long. I'm married, but have no kids. The SF/F stack is one of my personal hobbies that I always enjoy coming back to.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

Even reviewing these as a non-mod is difficult for me. To me, if the answer is technically an attempted answer, but just really low-quality, it should remain, and a comment should be left trying to encourage the user to improve it. Answers which are just comments/replies with no attempt or indication of an attempt to answer it should be removed.

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?

Discreetly.

Chat with the user privately to explain why the behavior is problematic and why/how it is causing issues. Try to find a happy medium so the user does not feel unduly burdened or restricted from having fun, but does not incite other issues.

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

I'd message the other mod to try to get an understanding of their thought processes. If, after discussing with them and other mods whether or not the action was correct, it may be time for a wider community weigh in on whether or not policy needs to be addressed.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

My two pet peeve types of questions are suggested order and shopping questions. I don't feel either are good fits for the main site. I'd also burninate decades tags. They're never used to any useful end.

6

I’m Richard, and I'd like to be your Community Moderator.

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

I have gold badges in two tags ( and ) which means that I already have some insta-close privileges for duplicates. I'm well aware of the potential for annoyance if these are used without consideration and as a mod I'd look to use these new abilities only where there was a clear and obvious need, either because other users have already highlighted an issue or where I felt there was little or no room for argument.

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

There are no major tags with which I have no affiliation. That said, there are still plenty of lesser-used tags where I'll confess to having limited/no knowledge. In those circumstance, I'd defer to other mods who do have existing subject-knowledge (if one exists) or spend some time researching the tag until I was happy to make a judgement call on my own.

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

One of the main duties of a site moderator is to enforce the existing rules. I'm of the opinion that if anything, "active and avid" users should be more aware of the site's policies than those that have recently arrived (especially rule #1 "BE NICE!"). I'm not looking to be a behind-the-scenes moderator and I expect to remain highly visible and approachable if people want to vent about my decisions.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

As a community, I think we're probably a bit too quick on the draw when it comes to closing "scoped list" questions, especially those that are definitively answerable.

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

I'm in the UK. I generally have the site open (in a tab) from around 9AM UTC to about 1AM. I'd be most active as a moderator from about 8PM to about 1AM.

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

I'm delighted to make that commitment. I presently log in at least 3-4 times per day and I've logged in daily for the last 397 days. I like being on the site and keeping up to date with chat and Meta.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

I must confess that I find this one of the simpler flags to raise and my flagging history (out of the last 100 "not an answer" flags I've raised, zero have been declined) shows that I'm pretty much in tune with the other moderators. As far as I'm concerned, if an answer attempts to answer the question then the flag should be declined.

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?

These users need to be made aware that their contribution is valued, but not at the cost to others enjoying the site. Beyond that, the wider SE community has very clear guidelines for dealing with users who abuse others or intentionally generate arguments for their own amusement.

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

I'd look to discuss it with them privately. My experience is that almost all decisions can be made unanimously if you can understand what the other party is thinking.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

If I had absolute authority (insert maniacal evil-villain laughter here) I'd seriously consider reinstating the "Vote to close as general reference" close reason. Questions that can be instantly answered by merely googling the question title are of limited value to the site.

  • 2
    chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/18475242#18475242 So you waited to get so popular that you couldn't help but win, and then ran for modship? ;-) – Rand al'Thor Jan 28 '15 at 10:27
  • @randal'thor - I thought quite hard about whether or not I should run. My main gripe with the site is that I spend a fair amount of time waiting for another mod to approve my actions. – Valorum Jan 28 '15 at 10:36
6

They call me Jack "The Nimble" Nimble. It is somewhat repetitive.

Here is a link to my nomination

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

Insta-close would affect my voting habits. Unless obviously bad, I'd wait to see if a few other people also felt it should be closed.

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

I essentially know nothing about Doctor Who. I've watch an episode here or there, but I really only know that I favor the Dalek side of the war.

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

As best as possible. I'm usually able to defuse situations with a little humor.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

Other than believing 'Is X a Timelord' is too loosely tolerated I think the current moderation that happens from both the mods and the community is good right now. I have no real complaints.

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

US, Mountain Time. I am typically on from 8-5 on weekdays, and then intermittently on the weekends.

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

Yes, I feel like I already check it at least that often on weekdays, and usually 1-2 times on weekends. If elected I can certainly check in more frequently as required.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

Each of these have to be taken on case by case. You can't paint everything with the same brush (the brush will run out).

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?

As this likely isn't a new thing, I'm sure there are historical things that people have done in this situation. If you can't appeal to the good nature of person by explaining the issue with their comments greater action may need to be taken.

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

Usually these are appealed in meta and decided by the community. If enough high rep non-mods vote to reopen it, the other mod should respect it. If they don't, then I need to respect the decision to close it.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

I don't believe I would rashly change any community policy just because I disagree with it. That would defeat the purpose of the community. There is always going to be a discussion of what is on-topic and what isn't. As long as the discussion is happening, there shouldn't be a need to rule with an iron fist of dictatorship.

4

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

The major differences are:

  • Vote-to-close: since mod votes are the big hammer, sometimes mods need to let the community decide if a given question is on or off topic

  • Blatant violations: as mod you just lower the hammer, rather than flag the problem

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

I've had Futurama on my hidden tag list since the beginning. That's why we have four (six?) mods - so that we can handle areas where the other mods aren't as strong.

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

I'm a very laid back person, so I will always try listening first. Do I understand their complaint? Do I need them to clarify? Next, establish the facts, and the relevant policies. If I made a mistake - fix it. If I didn't make a mistake, then help them understand why. Be civil, be polite, be professional. If the situation escalates, call in another moderator or a community manager.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

I can't say that I've seen anything terribly troubling either way.

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

US, Eastern. I am often on-line during normal business hours and randomly available at other times.

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

If I wasn't prepared to make the commitment, I wouldn't have nominated myself.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

Every case is different. These are probably the most common flag on Astronomy, so I've seen the gamut. Usually though, either the flag is spurious (often because flagger disagrees with the answer), the "answer" should have been a comment - often because the poster doesn't have enough rep to comment, or the "answer" is some kind of random graffiti. Generally, if the answer in question isn't clearly a comment, or graffiti, it should be left alone, and users can downvote it if they don't like it.

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?

There are procedures in place for dealing with such users, with escalating measures to encourage them to rein in such behavior.

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

Already has happened. I love a good debate, but in the end, SE policy sets the standards, and the user community decides what is/is not on-topic. I don't have to like it, but isn't my job to set policies, only to apply them as consistently and as fairly as possible.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

There are "fantasy" stories such as The Life of Pi, where the fantastic elements exist only in the dreams or hallucinations of one or more characters. I would rule all such stories off topic. If the fantastical element isn't real within the confines of the story, then it isn't fantasy.

1

I'm SSumner, and here are my answers:

How, if at all, would your new insta-close powers affect your current voting habits or activity?

I will be careful to cast close votes on borderline questions, or questions there is not a meta consensus on. Some questions are objectively bad or against site policies - e.g. ones that are excellent examples of the descriptions for close reasons. Those I will happily cast instant close votes. However, there are some questions that seem to be disagreement over. These questions include duplicates that are a bit unclear, questions from topics that seem to be written in satire or some other way that obscure whether the question is actually unclear or too broad. Those I will close only as the 5th close vote, working as a "normal user" instead of a mod.

While you don't have to know the subject matter to be a mod, often it helps. Are there any major tags with which you have little to no affiliation with, and what will you do in the event that a questionable flag was made in an area where you have little expertise?

There are a lot of tags that I have not provided any questions or answers, but I've been around long enough to have received a good bit of knowledge from all the good questions and answers that have been posted here. That being said, in most cases it is obvious how to handle the flag. not-an-answer flags are usually clear because they commonly are very tangential or clearly comments. spam or offensive flags are completely irrelevant to the question's topic at hand. So only custom flags in very niche cases would cause issue, and I would err on the side of rejecting the flag, chatting with the user who raised the flag if possible.

Sometimes people may become unhappy with the moderators (on this site or other sites on the stack), these people may even be active and avid members of the site. If they become unhappy with your moderation and start voicing their malcontent, how will you handle the situation?

If it is just a single user, then I'd ask to discuss the issue in a private chat. If the issue becomes more widespread, then I'd open it up to a more public chat or start a Meta post about it.

What current policies do you believe are too strictly enforced (either by mods or the community)? Which do you believe are not enforced strictly enough?

I don't think any. I'm not saying this community is perfect - we've got hundreds of users from all sorts of backgrounds here, and that does cause disagreement, and occasionally, adverse behavior. But I think that the StackExchange model works very very well, and the current site policies back that up. There have been minor changes here and there over the last couple years, and only a few major ones, but I'd say that we've ironed out a lot of the kinks, and our policies work pretty darn well.

What time zone do you live in? When (UTC) would you be active on the site, moderating?

A typical moderator on a Stack Exchange website commits to checking in regularly with the site, managing sometimes difficult decisions, for a period of several years. While they can take breaks, and occasionally receive help from the community team, most of the time it is up to you and the other moderators. This usually requires checking in to this site for moderation purposes around 3-4 times per day, on most days throughout the year. Are you prepared to make that commitment to this site?

I'm gonna answer these two together. I live in UTC-0600, and I'm on from about 0700 local/1300 UTC to about 2200 local/0400 UTC, with a +/-3 hour variation depending on when I have to be up if work is different. I'm usually active all throughout that period, checking in every 1-2 hours, sometimes more if I'm not super busy. I am active all throughout the year, and haven't missed a day in about 6 months. So yes, I am already constantly on here, and more than happy to make that commitment to this site.

One of the most difficult flags to manage is the "This is not an answer" flag for answers. How will you manage these flags?

As I alluded to in one of my above answers, in many cases it is fairly cut-and-dried for this type of flag. However, in the cases that it is not, I will carefully compare the question, answer, and any other answers to determine the accuracy of the flag. There will be some cases where I really don't know, but in those cases, I will err on the side of rejecting the flag and leaving the answer there.

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?

It depends on the arguments and flags that were being raised. If he's being too chatty, then I would admonish him to move his discussions to chat. If it's causing heated discussion, then I'll look at why. Most of the time, I'm just going to contact through chat and explain to him what's happening and why and try to get him to change. The only time I'd implement a timeout is when the user appears to be intentionally causing unnecessary disagreements or is being rude to other users. But I would always talk to the user first.

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

The first action I would take would be to contact the other moderator and get their reasoning. Sometimes there may just be some reason I missed, and that's why they closed/deleted it. But if after that, I still disagreed with it I would have to look at the content. Unless I felt that the other mod was overstepping his bounds and being completely unreasonable, I would not publicly disagree and cast a binding reopen vote or push for reopening in comments. In the case of reopens, most of the divisive questions tend to have a strong reopen push from the users here, so I might cast a fifth reopen vote, again acting as a regular user. Since deletions/undeletions are less obvious, I might undelete if I felt the other mod was completely off-base. But the priority would be presenting a unified front to the community. We're here to help, not rule, so we need to be together as a group to be effective in that.

Given hypothetical absolute authority, what current community policy/policies would you reverse or otherwise change (regardless of community consensus)?

As I mentioned above, I think this community is in great shape. I think the users here do a great job of changing the site through Meta, and I wouldn't want to be the one to unilaterally overrule that. We've got a great group of users here, and I'm certainly not wiser than the collective. To keep this great community going, we've got to work as a community.

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