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Data Science is scheduled for an election next week, March 25th 2019.In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until March 25th 2019 at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at currently.

  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, typically containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

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For a small site like ours, often it is difficult for 5 members to visit the close vote review queues in a reasonable period of time. As a moderator your close vote is binding. So, voting to close will close the question regardless of how the community at large has received the question.

Many people think that closing questions is harsh and should only be used in the most extreme cases. Others think that closing questions that meet the closing guidelines is one of the main methods to keep question quality high.

So this question centers on discussing how you will use your moderator close vote powers and how you have recently used the powers you currently have. Please discuss your views on this. Points that should be addressed include:

  1. How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power?
  2. Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing?
  3. How many close votes have you done in the last year?
  4. How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year?
  5. Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?
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  • $\begingroup$ I think this is a really great point. On that note, perhaps an underutilized tool on our site is the use of "putting on hold" for questions that are of salvageable quality but should be reviewed for further edits. $\endgroup$ – Ethan Mar 19 at 2:57
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One of the most important responsibilities of a moderator is being on the site regularly. Moderators are expected to visit the site regularly and go to the moderator queues and then maybe also the review queues. How often do you visit DataScience or other StackExchange sites during a day or week?

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Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • 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?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
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What role do you see moderation playing in differentiating this site from stackexchange sites like stackoverflow, ai.stackexchange or crossvalidated and what guidelines are you following to achieve it?

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How do you ensure a community welcoming to new users while preventing a high number of low-quality questions?

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Effective moderation requires a desire to generate high quality content. One aspect of quality content is clear grammar and formatting. To that end, editing is an important activity. Please discuss how you approach the task of content editing. Some things to consider:

  • How many edits have you done on the site (or on other SE sites) in the last year or two?
  • How many suggested edits have you reviewed on the site (or on other SE sites) in the last year or two?
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There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do. Among others these include:

  • Voting on posts
  • Editing posts
  • Flagging posts
  • Visiting the reviews queues

Visiting the reviews queues is the activity farthest removing from visiting the site simply to ask or answer questions. In the last year or two, how active have you been in the review queues?

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As a follow on to Stephen's post on review queues:

  • How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

And rather separately/less formal:

  • What's the most helpful post/answer you've seen on this site? What makes it stand out as an exemplary post/answer?
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