2012 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Click the tab for each phase, below, to read a description of the phase in the right-hand sidebar.

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting. Note that votes can be changed after they are placed, so long as voting is open.

This election ended Jul 24 '12 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.

275 voters were eligible, 123 visited the site during the election, 92 visited the election page, and 68 voted

Stats: I am consistently at the top of Mi Yodeya's participation ranking and my reputation, badges and most importantly my 190 helpful flags indicate that I have been participating in line with community expectations.

Style: As a mod I hope to continue doing what I do now: close and downvote low quality posts, upvote high quality posts, discussing the value of a post and/or position, removing extraneous comments and managing tags. I will try to always let both sides be heard and be willing to change my opinions, always incorporating the community's thoughts as appropriate. I hope my patience matched with persistence in past discussions has shown a willingness and interest in discussing all positions without compromising on the rigor that I believe is required for a public forum such as ours to function effectively.

Skills: decent understanding of Hebrew and English grammar; decent grasp of available tags and possible duplicates; often have an eye on the site at the more unusual times of day

Signoff: This page is full of high quality individuals who are more than capable of representing this community. I humbly request that you consider me among them.

I have qualified myself for this position by making my many contributions to this site, as well as the education I have obtained, which is evident from some of the things I have written here in questions, answers, comments, and the chat room (V'dibarta Bam). I have been an active member of Mi.Yodeya for more than six months, and I want to give back more to the community. This should be obvious, because I always try to be enthusiastic to contribute. I have also made some proposals in our Meta site that are of benefit to our community. In addition to moderation duties, if you elect me, then I will also pledge (bl"n) to increase the brainstorming of ideas how we could grow our site and the implementation thereof. I guess it is selfish, but I do these things because there is a mitzvah in the torah of v'ahavta l'reyacha kamocha, loving your fellow as yourself, which I desire to uphold to the utmost. I view all of my contributions on this site as acts of lovingkindness because our users want opportunities to learn and teach, and my becoming a moderator would enable me to give more opportunities for talmidim to learn and chachamim to teach, because these things are what I also love doing.

  • Sorry to campaign outside of my nomination post, but even though I haven't raised as many helpful flags, I would still do my best to react positively to all pressing issues that other users bring to the table. – Adam Mosheh Jul 13 '12 at 21:39
  • chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/5353557#5353557 My reaction: I do have language knowledge. I speak English natively, as did some of the great- and all of the grand-parents of mine. I have studied the Hebrew language for many years now, with advanced studying and Talmudics recently, but I began learning the Alef-Bet when I was only 5yrs old! I am only fluent in English, but. I studied Spanish for at least 13 yrs, including taking an AP Spanish Language test my senior yr of HS. Also, 4 yrs of Latin (AP test on Vergil's Aeneid) and 2 yrs of French. Also an Esperanto enthusiast. – Adam Mosheh Jul 13 '12 at 21:52
  • Regarding knowledge of language (above^^^): I am also OCD regarding grammar and whatnot, be it English, Hebrew, or any language. I like to get technical, as is evident from some of my contributions to our site, which can be a good quality for a moderator to have. – Adam Mosheh Jul 13 '12 at 21:55

I have been an active Mi Yodeyan since the start of the (2.0) beta 14 months ago, contributing regularly on main and meta and in chat. I have a permanent MY browser tab open. I'm also active in several other SE sites, including English Language & Usage, Biblical Hermeneutics, and User Experience. My professional background is in technical writing and designing software interfaces; both emphasize attention to detail and precision.

I've been on the net for a long time (cough) and while I'd be new to SE moderation, I'm not new to the dynamics of online media and the challenges that lurk there. I strive to always remember that there is a human being on the other end of the online handle and act accordingly. As a moderator I hope to take the smallest action that solves a problem. I strive to give the author of a post a chance to correct problems that have been pointed out. That said, if a situation calls for more-immediate action, I'm ready to take it.

I think having a mix of backgrounds and perspectives among the moderators strengthens the site, and I think I can offer that diversity.

  • 7
    Monica is one of my favourite participants on Biblical Hermeneutics, where she must deal with people who are frankly rude and abusive at times. She always handles these situations with pose, profesionallism, and grace. I can't think of a person with a better temprament for moderating your site. (On the other hand, I oppose this nomination as it will give Monica less time to answer questions on BH.SE. ;-) – Jon Ericson Jul 13 '12 at 17:13
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    Monica should be seen by all Yodeyans (thanks for using that term, BTW:) as an example of how to behave courteously, respectfully, and productively in an online community. You can see from @Jon's comment and from her profile that she's active on many other SE sites, and I'm sure that she's making a similar Kiddush Hashem there and is also picking up best practices. She's also done a great deal to both maintain and promote Mi Yodeya and made many thoughtful Meta contributions. I would expect these patterns to be enhanced should she become a mod. – Isaac Moses Jul 16 '12 at 17:35

I appreciate all the contributions that the current moderators have made to the site, and I especially appreciate their time commitment. I do, though, also feel that it is a good idea to bring in new moderators to bring new perspectives, both to the moderation process and to the moderators themselves.

It must be very enlightening and enriching for the moderators to go through the site and read questions and answers they might have ignored if not for their job to review them for quality. In addition, refreshing the process with new moderators' perspectives on things will make the site more vibrant.

Although it doesn't have to be a site policy, I'd like to see voluntary term limits for moderators, and without taking on any Halachically binding oath or vow, I intend to serve a limited term (not lifetime) as moderator if elected, and I encourage others to follow suit.

I have been a member since nearly the beginning.
I participate on every level.
I have very strong grammar skills.
I am sympathetic to other perspectives.
I uphold the Torah and Mitzvoth.

  • Re "I intend to only serve one term as moderator if elected": If I'm not mistaken, each future election will add to rather than replace the set of moderators. – msh210 Jul 11 '12 at 18:38
  • @msh210, then why are you required to run? I thought there are only 3 moderator positions. – Seth J Jul 11 '12 at 18:49
  • I'm a moderator pro tem. Moderators henceforth will be permanent (unless they drop out or are removed for some reason) if I'm not mistaken. – msh210 Jul 11 '12 at 18:52
  • @msh210, I do not see that anywhere. I see that there is a difference between a moderator pro tempore, but I do not see anything indicating that the regular moderators are permanent. I assumed, since this is a democratic process, that there would be regular terms with moderators standing for re-election on a regular basis. – Seth J Jul 11 '12 at 20:10
  • @msh210 It does sound that way. – WAF Jul 11 '12 at 20:10
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    The accepted answer to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/111464/… indicates that moderator appointments are for life, as does meta.stackexchange.com/a/111467/179. – Isaac Moses Jul 11 '12 at 21:02
  • @IsaacMoses, I see that now. I will reevaluate my self-nomination and decide whether or not to continue to seek election based on this new information. – Seth J Jul 11 '12 at 21:04
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    @SethJ Just because the term is for life doesn't mean you can't retire at any point and call for an election for a replacement. You could even run again a few elections later. – Double AA Jul 11 '12 at 23:22
  • @WAF, out of curiosity, are you planning on seeking election? – Seth J Jul 12 '12 at 1:13
  • I am open to discussing voluntary term limits, how long a limited term might be, and encouraging more participation among the community members. First thought is to serve until the next election, but that may prove to be impractical. Perhaps serving through next Elul? Ping @msh210 – Seth J Jul 16 '12 at 14:40
  • Pinging @IsaacMoses. – Seth J Jul 16 '12 at 14:41
  • Pinging @WAF... – Seth J Jul 16 '12 at 14:41
  • 1
    @SethJ, The time to institute voluntary terms limits is probably after mods have been elected, such that they can volunteer to retire. Unless you're trying to get all or most candidates to agree to such limits ahead of time as a campaign promise, in which case you should probably post requests on their individual nomination posts or perhaps bring it up in the Town Hall Chat. Note that forcing more frequent elections would place additional burden on SE, which runs them, and on the voting community. – Isaac Moses Jul 16 '12 at 14:46
  • @IsaacMoses, I'm neither making a request nor trying to force more frequent elections. I'm assuming that elections are run on an as-needed basis (based on what I've read) and not at regular intervals, and as such I'm trying to clarify my purpose for everyone who has asked questions. – Seth J Jul 16 '12 at 14:57
  • @SethJ, My point is that if a mod retires, that would force elections to be needed earlier than they would otherwise. There could be all kinds of good reasons for this, including possibly to bring in new blood, but it's important to recognize the organizational impact. – Isaac Moses Jul 16 '12 at 15:03

Having been a mod for only 5 short months (about), and a user for just twice that, I am by far the most junior of the Pro Tem mods. But I hope that in that time I've been an effective moderator, policing politely, commenting constructively, etc. I would like to continue doing that, G-d willing.

About my moderating: Most flags and issues I handle on my own, but I often consult with the other moderators, and the community, about the more iffy issues. While I often act on flags, I try to do a lot of moderating while browsing as well. I'm a daily visitor to the site, and nearly always have a M.Y. tab open, no matter where I am, so I see most things that happen on the site.

I tend towards inclusion, and try not to delete things that have any redeeming qualities. I am more likely to close questions and ask the owner to fix (or fix them myself), and to convert answers to comments, than I am to delete them.

I always try to give users the benefit of the doubt, whether in their flagging or their posting. Politeness is something I'm very passionate about, and I try to go out of my way to be polite and respectful even when dealing with difficult users (not too many of those, thank G-d!)

  • 6
    Policing politely, commenting constructively, editing edifyingly, closing clearheadedly, and deleting deliberately. – msh210 Jul 10 '12 at 22:03
  • 3
    When we asked SE to appoint some extra help in the mod pro temp corps, HodofHod was a natural choice. Before and even more so after becoming a mod, he has done a tremendous amount of work for the community - editing, flagging, discussing on Meta, and effectively promoting to everyone he interacts with what Mi Yodeya is all about. In addition to all of the great work that people see here, he also handles a great deal of communications with SE staff and mods from other sites. He is a great asset to the community. – Isaac Moses Jul 16 '12 at 12:19

I've been a moderator here for some eighteen months and I think I've been a good one, taking decisive, unilateral action when appropriate but sometimes first seeking community (or another moderator's) input. Even when taking unilateral action, I have always been open to being convinced I was wrong. (Just about every moderator action is undoable.)

I tend to clear chatty or obsolete comments quite a bit, which is effective as a moderator (otherwise, I could only flag them for moderators' attention). Also, I have created a bunch of tag synonyms and merged tags, again something moderators can do effectively and others can't.

My four-year experience as an administrator (something like a moderator here) at another site should stand me in good stead here. There, I've tried to be firm but helpful and patient with those who don't understand the site mores, and just plain firm with those who flout them. (Thank God, the latter has not been much of an issue here yet.)

  • Just curious, what is the URL of your Wiktionary user page? (Assuming that you have one.) – Adam Mosheh Jul 12 '12 at 22:47
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    @AdamMosheh en.wiktionary.org/wiki/user:msh210 – msh210 Jul 12 '12 at 23:44
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    From when he first showed up on mi.yodeya to today, msh210 has been a constant source of wise action and counsel. Well before he became a mod, he was putting a great deal of work into improving the site, including many retags and suggested tag merges. As a mod, he's been an absolute pleasure to work with and an excellent leader and representative of the community. Time and again, his experience on other sites within and outside of the SE network has shone through as well-considered moderation here. – Isaac Moses Jul 16 '12 at 12:09

This election is complete.