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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.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as one of our back up questions for a total of 10 questions.

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. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

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

  6. There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

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

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

  9. 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?

  10. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

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Dawny33

  1. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

Mods have a sledgehammer privilege (as you mentioned), which means a question gets instantly closed, if we vote it close, irrespective of the number of close votes on it. So, this is what I do:

  • If the question is blatantly off-topic or code-only, I close it down. If it is a new user, I often leave a helpful comment
  • If not, I would suggest edits which can make the question salvageable and leave it to the OP to accept or reject the edits. If they reject, then the question would be closed down. So, I believe in giving a chance for posts with salvageable quality.

Recent data says I have 63% close votes and 37% do-not-close votes. I dont consider cose votes as unwelcoming. It is a very crucial tool/part in site moderation.

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?

I'd probably pack my laptop and go home if SO was down for a day. Jokes aside, I visit SO and DS site almost every day, unless on a vacation or some health issues.

Effective moderation requires a desire to generate high quality content. One aspect of quality contcent 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?

As mentioned above, edits are very important, so important that they can make a post salvageable, thereby helping users understand how to better structure their posts and ask better questions + I consider editing/contributing to tag descriptions also very important.

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?

A solution which worked for me was, taking them into a private chat and understanding their issues and trying to address them, and help them understand the Code of Conduct. Private chat, cause putting yourself in their shoes would help understand their behavior better.

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

Happens quite often than one might think. We have a chat group for mods. We take it up there. Again, tell your point of view, listen to their point of view. Then, decide.

There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

My health has not been great throughout the last quarter, which didn't allow me a lot of internet time. However, I haven't seen any clogs or blockages in the review queues. This was when I was convinced that we have a very active, responsible community, who are more than willing to put their hand up and contribute to the review queues.

I keep receiving 'unhelpful' or 'abusive' flags by new users against active users, once in a while. In most such occasions, it was when an active user gives suggestions like: 'Please go read the theory before trying to implementing' (which I concur 'cause with the hype of ML and data science, new comers tend to dive into implementation before understanding theory, which isn't very helpful for them), so very few such flags were held valid in our site's history, which again speaks for the welcoming nature of our site.

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

This is my favorite answer. Why? Because, it is still one of the best explanations for explaining columnar databases + the way Franck explained it with pictures, which helps understand the text.

If we are looking for a recent such example, then have a look at this answer. Such a good explanation. An instant delight for the OP.

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

One cannot expect the low-quality traffic to decrease while the popularity and size of the site increase. We should continue doing a good job with the review queues and moderation in general, so that we keep weeding out the low-quality posts and ensure having high quality traffic.

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?

Ref to my response of the difference between the sites: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/266996/302377

I don't see a huge difference between moderation styles for these sites. Except that, CV and DS have very clear off-topic boundaries, but AI doesn't. So, that'd be a problem while scaling up.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators are users who are elected by the community to deal with situations which are disruptive in nature, like a clash of opinions, abusive/rude behavior, etc. In addition, they work along with the regular contributors in keeping the site sane and welcoming for new users and new posts.

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Ethan

Out of deference to those who do not enjoy reading long posts on the site I tried to keep my responses as succinct as possible. If anyone would like further clarification to any of my answers please feel free to comment below.

  1. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

I fully support removing posts from the site through the use of close votes. For posts that blatantly display a lack of refined effort, clarity, or do not follow the guidelines for asking thoughtful questions, I believe immediate closure is appropriate. I also believe however, that users that make questions of salvageable quality should be encouraged to make edits and improvements or be put on hold (see my recent Meta comment about this). Overall, I would continue to vote to close posts which clearly stand out as unacceptable, but would leave others open to encourage improvement or to the discretion of democratic vote from other reviewers.

Since this question seemed to place an emphasis on a quantitative component to this answer, I did the following calculations on my recent voting history for convenience:

7% were Leave Open votes

30% were Skip Post votes

63% were Close votes

Ultimately, most questions that populate the close queue arrived for a legitimate reason. So I don't see these statistics changing that much with moderator privileges, however, perhaps less closure votes.

  1. 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?

I visit the Stack Exchange Data Science site frequently. Generally, at least once a day but sometimes up to three times a day. I also visit Stack Overflow as well just less frequently. I believe that being active as a moderator is critical to helping resolve issues promptly and keeping the site clean. My current streak is 23 consecutive visits (I am trying to get the fanatic badge).

  1. 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?

As my comment explains above, to me, editing is more defined and less of a grey area. Either a question is exemplary in its spelling, phrasing, and clarity or not. Overall, I enjoy editing posts. In the last quarter, I edited 34 posts (I think this is a fairly significant number relative to the size of our site and frequency of new questions asked). I would edit more posts with immediate edit privilege.

  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?

While thoughtful answers prove invaluable to the success of our site, they should not come at the expense of our basic Code of Conduct. Ultimately, everyone represents the site - especially those with high reputation. In this case, I would talk to the user privately to try to resolve the issue or at least discuss it in a preliminary attempt to resolve the issue amicably. If displays of rudeness or repeated flagging persisted, I would suggest enacting a temporary ban to further convey the importance of respectful behavior.

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

Ultimately, the moderators of a Stack Exchange forum all share unique expertise related to their respective forum. If a moderator decided to close a post that I disagreed with, I would respect their decision to do so. I would however, seek clarification as to why it was closed so that I could make any necessary edits or understand why the particular question was closed. Ultimately, moderators should trust the judgment of their peers but sometimes mistakes can happen.

  1. There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

Since gaining access to the review queues, I have been very active in them. Most frequently, I review posts in the close votes queue and the first post queue as these are often the most pressing to address in a timely manner. I also occasionally frequent the open vote queue and the late post queue, although admittedly, less than the other two. If there are any users which seem like they may be interested in participating in review tasks I would actively encourage them to explore them. Users who recently cross the reputation eligibility thresholds may also not be familiar with their access to the review sections; therefore, I would make sure to let them know about this feature.

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

It is difficult to pick a definitive favorite for a post/answer on this site however, two that stood out to me were the following:

This recent question by Brian. I like this question because it is clearly very well thought out. It also adds an explanatory preface, acknowledges current progress, and clearly states the question. Further, it asks for working code examples and benchmarks which could be useful to future readers.

I also like the top answer here because it has very clear visualizations. Sometimes answers can be best expressed in pictures, animations, or formulas rather than always in text format. To me, answers which utilize each when appropriate greatly enhance their overall effectiveness.

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

The best way to preserve a well maintained and welcoming community is to help new users learn how to craft high quality questions while simultaneously filtering out low quality questions. I believe that leaving comments like "welcome to Stack Exchange Data Science, please consider adding more content to help better explain your question" can be helpful for new users; but, for questions which are not appropriate for the site, even coming from a new user, they should be removed. This answer shares some similarity to Question 1.

  1. 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?

While this site is similar in structure to other sites like Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange Data Science is unique in that it is much less developed. As a result, I believe that moderation for our site in particular, should be centered around fostering the growth and development of a community focused on generating exceptionally high quality content. Overall, this should be its largest distinguishing factor. I am not an expert on the specific protocol for Cross Validated, but to me, its has always seemed to be more focused on mathematical and statistical explanations to particular machine learning topics rather than broader conceptual explanations. Additionally, just from browsing its top tags, in comparison, it seems to place a greater emphasis on the use of regression based techniques and models.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators uphold basic organization of a site in addition to mediating conflict. They should also act as leaders on the site. Beyond the tasks outlined in the elections post, moderators also work to maintain administrative aspects of the site such as review queues and cleanliness. They also act to be community leaders and ultimately lead by example.

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D.W.

  1. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

I prefer to think that there are two paths: (1) putting a question on hold temporarily; (2) closing a question.

The goal of putting a question on hold is not to shut it down forever, but to put it on pause to give the poster a chance to address feedback or clarify the question. I think that many questions can be handled through this path. In particular, the path I see is to put a question on hold, and leave a comment explaining how the question can be improved and that the decision can be reconsidered once the feedback is addressed. The idea is to give the poster guidance on how to make their question suitable and share our community's norms and expectations. Assuming the original poster returns to revise their question, it can be re-opened once it is clarified. So the goal and hope is that this leads to a question that is ultimately open, not closed.

Closing a question is necessary in some cases, where no amount of changes can make the question suitable -- e.g., where it is simply off-topic. But my experience is that the majority of cases are better handled by the "on hold" process.

I think we can put questions on hold while being welcoming. There is some data to suggest that one of the most discouraging responses is radio silence, where the poster receives no response or engagement. I suspect constructive feedback is far better than silence.

So, in short, I suspect some of the discontent about closing questions can be addressed by using the "on hold" process. Of course, the underlying mechanism we have (vote to close) may look the same for both, but we can explain the difference in comments.

I expect that I'd only use moderator powers to close a question unilaterally when I am sure it is unsuitable. Otherwise, I'd leave a comment (e.g., "this looks like it might be too broad to fit our site format; any community votes?").

  1. 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?

I usually visit Stack Exchange about once a day. I'd expect to visit Data Science at least every other day.

  1. 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?

I agree. I regularly edit questions and answers. I usually also try to leave a comment, to teach the poster about our expectations, in the hopes that they will learn to do this themselves in the future.

I've made 27 edits on Data Science.SE, and 2,487 edits on CS.SE.

  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?

This requires looking at the nature of the arguments and flags. If the user is rude or violating our be nice rules, they need a mod message or suspension explaining our requirements to participate on the site; those rules are mandatory, and producing a steady stream of valuable answers does not provide a "get out of jail" card. However, I also recognize that just because someone receives many flags does not necessarily mean their behavior is problematic. Flags are a signal to look closer, not a basis for drawing conclusions in their own right.

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

I'd either chalk it up to a learning experience and try to learn from them about site standards, or I'd talk to them about it. I would not unilaterally override another moderator's decision without talking to the team about it.

  1. There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

So far, I have focused my reviewing effort on CS.SE, where I am a mod.

Folks without review privileges can be very helpful by making edits, leaving comments, and flagging.

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

Oh gosh, there are so many that I've found helpful. I really appreciate this one:

How to decide neural network architecture?

So many users come here wondering how to get started on choosing a neural network architecture, etc., and this provides great guidance on the lay of the land.

I also have a fondness for What are deconvolutional layers?, because that is a topic I personally found confusing, and the explanations there helped me more than anything else I found anywhere on the Internet.

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

Moderators can't do that; that's up the community. Moderators hopefully provide leadership, by setting a good example -- this is the soft side of moderation, and it is arguably as important as the day-to-day handling of flags.

  1. 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?

There is obviously a significant amount of overlap between these sites, and a healthy debate about their relationship. The way I see it is that a site is defined by its community as much as its scope, so I see this as something for the community to work out.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

The standard Stack Exchange view is that moderators are exception handlers: they handle the exceptional cases that other community members can't handle on their own. I also like to view moderators as akin to butlers: their job is to serve the community, try to anticipate their needs/preferences, and act on their behalf.

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These answers are provided by I_Play_With_Data

  1. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

I definitely think that a closing vote is unwelcoming. I am slow to use the close option because it just doesn't set a good tone for the community and will ultimately hinder our growth. I understand that this may result in some questions that will require extra moderation. But we have to accept the current state of the data science field and work with it, not against it.

  1. 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?

I have been a member here for more than 2 years and I visit on a near daily basis. My participation has mostly been in (1) answering questions and providing help to new users and (2) helping out in the moderation cues, including the tag wikis (can you believe we didn't have a "pip" tag!?!? I added that). I will also add a question from time to time but nearly all of my reputation score is from helping others on this site.

  1. 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?

I think that edits are a double-edged sword. While this site is in English and many users are based in the US, we cannot allow ourselves to have a narrow view. Quite frankly, some of the edits that I see in the cues are disrespectful to non-English speakers. So, I think that editing requires a measured approach with the understanding that data science has people from diverse backgrounds working in the field.

  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 would give them increased responsibility on the site. The responsibility for this site also brings accountability and focus. If the knowledge of the user really helps the site, then the answer isn't to admonish them, the answer is to create more accountability so that their actions can help the site in a positive manner.

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

I would encourage all mods to close questions only under the most extreme circumstances. Closing questions leaves a "bad taste in the mouth" and that is a user that we are unlikely to get to participate again. Be friendly, be helpful, be an active participant - closing a question is an act from a non-participant, a passive member of the site, which a moderator cannot be.

  1. There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

I have been a consistent, active participant in the review cues as my privileges have been added. I am also an active participant in addressing questions and comments from newbies and welcoming them to the site.

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

I will freely take credit for starting the trend of people starting posts to newbies with "Welcome to the site!". I started doing that last year because I want to be helpful and all of us were once new to data science. So I like that others are using that same greeting now and anybody that chooses to start their post with that is amazing!

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

What is a low quality question? There really is no single way to quantify that. But we can certainly quantify how many people we lose with an unwelcoming reply to questions and we simply can't allow that to continue or this site will never grow.

  1. 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?

I disagree with the premise that we need guidelines for this. I think that those items will take care of themselves over the long term with any number of factors coming into play. For example, the AI SE is sponsored by IBM - in other words, that SE isn't going anywhere. There's simply too many items in play for any single person to do something about it. The only thing I can focus on is making Data Science the best SE possible and everything else will take care of itself in the long run.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators provide a combination of representation, leadership, mentoring, guidance and overall help. Yes, of course I'm willing to participate in the editing cues, just as I always have. But if a moderator isn't willing to accept the added roles that come with being selected then this site just isn't being properly served. I'm willing to be one of the leaders that will make this site grow as much as it can.

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    $\begingroup$ So to paraphrase some of your answers here: 1) You do not believe in close votes. 3) You think edits are not a good idea. 5) Voting to close is in fact a non-participant activity, 8) There are no low quality questions. and 9) what would be the point of having different sites be different? Given all that, what do you think we need moderators for? $\endgroup$ – Stephen Rauch Mar 26 at 3:12
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    $\begingroup$ Can you please clarify what you mean by edits being a "narrow view" and some being "disrespectful to non-native speakers?" To me at least, editing seems more rigid and less of a grey area. Either the question is exemplary in its spelling, phrasing, and clarity or not. $\endgroup$ – Ethan Mar 26 at 3:14
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oW_

  1. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

I understand that some feel closing questions is unwelcoming, in particular because a lot of first time questions are subject to close votes. However, I think it is important that low quality questions are closed consistently and also quickly. For first time questions, I try to leave comments that explain the reasoning or could help reopen the question.

Most questions that get closed are either too broad or are not well researched. I think it is now accepted among most active users that these questions should be closed, see e.g. here, and I think it is important to remain consistent.

Other questions are just very simple and could be quickly resolved by an online search. In my opinion, these questions should also be closed quickly because they attract activity ("easy reputation") that dilutes what separates this SE from other sites and makes this SE less attractive by setting bad examples.

I reviewed 487 close votes so far.

  1. 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?

I visit the site and the review queues daily (with exceptions).

  1. 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?

A question should show good grammar and clear formatting (within reason) even for non-English natives (like myself) because it shows respect towards the other users who you rely on for answers. I approve even small edits to grammar. I don't think it is offensive as long as it contributes to a higher chance of encouraging a response.

I reviewed 337 suggested edits so far.

  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 don't see this as a big problem on this SE (so far) but I would try to approach the person in a private chat. If no solution can be found, good content should not give a free pass to comments that are offensive and continue to violate the site's standards.

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

I would encourage the mod to share her reasoning with the user so the question can be edited accordingly (if possible). If I can understand the reasoning behind I would not object to the vote even if I didn't completely agree with it as long as the user as a fair chance to remedy the problem.

  1. There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

I visit the review queues daily. If there seems to accumulate a backlog of review tasks I would raise the issue with the community and ask for their support. I would also consider approaching active users who have not yet visited the queues. During the last year the number of regular reviewers, however, seems to have only increased, fortunately.

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

Don't have one.

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

I prefer quality over quantity because I believe this will ultimately make this community more successful in the long-term. However, I think the first time experience for new users could be improved by providing better feedback and make some clarification for what's on topic and what's not.

  1. 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?

An important point is to closed duplicate questions on stackoverflow, which, in my opinion, is easiest to distinguish from this site (e.g. debugging, simple R or pandas questions). Also, when closing questions as off-topic, we need to explain better why they are off-topic, if not obvious.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They provide guidance when there are conflicting opinions in the community on how to handle questions of moderation. They set good examples. And they are also responsible for some mundane janitorial tasks like dealing with flags of abusive comments etc. that come with additional privileges.

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Candidate name: Tasos

Nomination link: Link

  1. 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: How do you expect you will use the moderator close vote power? Will you visit the close vote queue regularly and vote to close those questions that need closing? How many close votes have you done in the last year? How many close vote reviews have you done in the last year? Do you consider closing a question unwelcoming?

Closing a question is one of the hardest tasks to do. Of course, there are questions that don't have a place in a Stack Exchange site, but others that don't meet the rules 100%, however, they have an added value for those that will visit the site later. In 2019, I have 6 closing votes (with 16 in total), but in most of the times, I prefer to leave a comment and give the chance to the OP to improve the question, rather than close it without a warning.

  1. 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?

StackExchange is one of the browser tabs that I have opened all day (at least when I am on my working desk). I could say that I visit the site daily, some days more than once looking for nice questions and answers.

  1. 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?

In Open Data SE, where I was really active the last few years, I had 86 Suggested Edits reviews and 25 edits directly on the question. I prefer to ask the OP to edit the questions in comments, but if there is not response, then I get my hands dirty.

  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?

Any feedback is valuable feedback. If she has a valid argument against a question, I am ready to read it. However, if the argument is not valid, I will try to explain to him what is wrong on his report and how he could improve it in the future.

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

I believe in teamwork. If I will be in the moderators' team, I will propose to have a Slack or similar channel where we can communicate easier. If I see such an action, I will ask him there what was the intention. There is a chance that I missed a detail that she didn't. If not, I will present my arguments to reopen it.

  1. There are many moderating activities that the someone who is not a Diamond Moderator can do such as voting, editing, flagging, and 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? How do you see yourself fostering a helpful community of people with review queue privileges (who aren't mods)?

In StackExchange in total, I had more than 250 review actions. I don't see any other way to engange the community on the review process rather than asking on the comments section, on chat and on Meta. I believe, mention that they can contribute here with only a few minutes every once, is the most safe solution.

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

It's hard to find one question and answer. Nevertheless, the question I liked a lot is this one What is dimensionality reduction? What is the difference between feature selection and extraction?. I am a Data Science Workshop Instructor and I hear this question almost every time. As for an answer, I like this Imbalanced data causing mis-classification on multiclass dataset because it combines a little bit of theory, code and practical, real-life hints.

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

This is also similar to my closing approach. If users see that an official moderator asks from a newcomer to improve his question, maybe with some suggestions, they might tend to do the same. I was always against the aggressive behaviour of voting down without giving a feedback.

  1. 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?

When I was super active in Open Data, I used to take a short "walk" on similar SE to find questions that might fit better on Open Data. Was also my way to promote that site. However, the difference in DS, AI and CV is too thin. If it was in my decision, I wouldn't have all 3 of them. But since it's not, my intention is to keep any question that is relevant to DS here.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my opinion, moderators represent the community. If they always overreact, then the community will do the same. If they are not active, the community will do the same. They are not Grammar Nazis, but people that love what they do and want to help each others.

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