2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Question Collection

In connection with the moderator elections, 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:

• During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, March 21st 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.

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

• At the end of the 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. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

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

• How does nomination work? – SMS von der Tann Mar 14 '16 at 21:02
• One heads to the election page and provided they have sufficient reputation, they may nominate themselves. It's self-nomination, one of the requirements is that candidates must nominate individually (shows they actually want the position) – Grace Note Mar 14 '16 at 22:53
• Do you have any suggestions on how to alert others that they should consider running? – Jay Carr Mar 15 '16 at 12:02
• @JayCarr The typical thing some sites do is that they'll host a thread calling it a "nomination thread" but the basic purpose is for users to throw out names of folks they think should consider running (if they have not yet done so). Granted, this doesn't directly notify others of it, but for those who do watch meta, it's the kind of flag that tells them they have community support. – Grace Note Mar 15 '16 at 19:02
• @JayCarr: If you can find them in chat, that also works. – Nathan Tuggy Mar 16 '16 at 19:29
• @NathanTuggy Ooooo I'm doing that to. We eventually harassed Voretaq7 into nominating himself, so I guess it worked :) – Jay Carr Mar 16 '16 at 19:55
• @GraceNote Where can I find more info about what happens in each phase of the election process? – Farhan Mar 19 '16 at 3:48

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?

If elected as a moderator you will receive a Diamond of Unlimited Power1: Many of the actions you used to vote on (requiring 4 others to agree with you) can now be taken unilaterally.

• Under what circumstances would you unilaterally close or delete a question?
• Under what circumstances would you wait for community consensus before taking action?

1 - Power of diamond actually greatly limited. Marketing department insisted on name, legal department insisted on disclaimer. Do not eat iPod Shuffle.

• Here is an Upvote of Unlimited Agreement*. Use wisely. – Nathan Tuggy Mar 16 '16 at 19:30
• *agreement may not be strictly unlimited. – Nathan Tuggy Mar 16 '16 at 19:30

What is your background in aviation, both in and out of the cockpit?

As a pilot, if you are one, what aircraft have you flown, what ratings do you hold, and how many hours, and years, of experience do you have? Do you fly currently? Do you have GA, corporate, Part 135 or Part 121 experience? Military experience? Single seat? Crew aircraft? Flight instruction? Other experience (gliders, seaplanes, rotary wing, etc)?

Outside of flying the aircraft itself, what other experience do you have in aviation, such as work in aircraft design or production, dispatching, airport operations, and so on?

• There's nothing wrong with these questions, but I think we should be careful about how we react to the answers. Specifically, we shouldn't create the idea that mods must or even should be pilots, or have certain aviation experience, or whatever. Moderation is mostly about communication and an enthusiastic and articulate 'amateur' could do a great job. It's just something to think about when considering what different candidates can contribute. – Pondlife Mar 16 '16 at 17:46
• Agree -- these aren't intended as "minimum qualification" questions at all, but simply a matter of getting to know the candidates. – Ralph J Mar 16 '16 at 19:18

Was told by a moderator to post the following here: The current climate that I have experienced in this community is one of hostility. I am concerned about where stack exchange is moving in general. The moderators, I feel, are very quick in shutting down questions. My two cents.

• I know this question can be unpopular at times, but I feel like it's a pretty common concern that should be addressed. – Jay Carr Mar 15 '16 at 12:31
• I just want to point out that the closing is generally done by users through the review process, not moderators. The only moderator "shutting down" that I have personally witnessed is deletion of obscene or rude comments. – J Walters Mar 15 '16 at 12:59
• Oh my, sounds like we need to review that process as well then. There are quite a few very valid and interesting questions posted that are shut down, put on hold or whatever phraseology that you want to use on this site that might be beneficial to the community. I'm concerned that questions can be shut down so quickly. – Yogwhatup Mar 15 '16 at 13:06
• @JonathanWalters This is very true. But, moderators can at least help by explaining why a question was closed in greater detail if the original question asker is confused. I think questions often can be re-opened if they are reworded and clarified (I know because I've helped with that on several occasions.) I feel like the mods could take the lead on that. – Jay Carr Mar 15 '16 at 13:19
• I've come across a number of questions that are poorly worded and closed as such. Usually if I can see through and guess what the OP really intended to say, I would edit; if I'm only 50% sure I'd leave a comment. I think the "quick shutdown" has to do with the relatively short review queue on our sites though. – kevin Mar 15 '16 at 13:59
• Do you have any examples of questions you feel should not have been shut down? That might help candidates answer your question in a more informed way. – egid Mar 15 '16 at 16:29
• There are quite a bit if you look. One that is recent asked the question why are video and voice calls prohibited on commercial flights. This question is on hold currently. It is said that this needs to be in the travel section. I am relatively sure that it belongs in this section. Either way the question should be answered. – Yogwhatup Mar 15 '16 at 16:48
• This is just the closest one to the top. I am sure there are other examples that would fit in here as well. Either way I am sure the community would want to chime in if they feel the same way I do. It honestly makes me want to stop asking questions. My questions are consistently edited put on hold or closed. I do not believe that that is the intent of this space. – Yogwhatup Mar 15 '16 at 16:49
• @Yogwhatup Don't be discouraged! The high bar of what is accepted on this site is what makes SE so great! You've asked some good questions. Personally I also think too many good questions get closed. Understand the other side though: this site has some standards. Read through aviation.stackexchange.com/help. Learn how to ask a question in a way that is conducive to the Q/A format. Become a regular participant on the site and you can help change it to what you want it to be. I used to have a similar attitude to you, but with experience I now see both sides and work to balance them. – digitgopher Mar 15 '16 at 17:46
• Why are videos call and voice calls prohibited on airplanes? was closed by regular users, not moderators. It actually has 4 reopen votes currently, but it is still almost certainly better suited for Travel.SE than aviation, because that community is going to be more familiar with airline policies. It's actually pretty rare for a moderator to close a question – Bret Copeland Mar 15 '16 at 18:22
• If there are specific decisions you think are questionable listing them out and asking how moderator candidates would handle each one (and more importantly what their decision-making process would be) might be illuminating - it's something I would like to hear from all the candidates. A blanket statement like The current climate that I have experienced in this community is one of hostility. is really hard to address meaningfully though: It becomes a matter of dueling examples (the community was "mean" here but "nice" there, etc.) – voretaq7 Mar 15 '16 at 20:14
• Just to add to voretaq7's last comment, if you have specific examples that you disagree with, please please add a new post here on Meta with a specific question about why a specific question on the main site was closed. Either you will get the reason why with a significant number of up-votes which will explain why the community in general feels differently than you, or you will find that most people agree with you and the question will be reopened. Each closed question is unique though, and may have different reasons. – Lnafziger Mar 19 '16 at 3:00
• Also, I see that you are relatively new to the stack exchange network. We do have different standards than a lot of different other sites on the internet (particularly forums). Please look at How to Ask for some more details, and What topics can I ask about here? for topics specific to Aviation. – Lnafziger Mar 19 '16 at 3:03
• I do not agree with the hostility allegation about this community in general. There are some handful users who act like that, but generally speaking, I feel that Aviation.SE has a culture of friendship and respect far more than other SE sites I have experienced. People are more willing to help and tolerate towards new members and try to improve not-so-good questions before deciding to close them. – Farhan Mar 19 '16 at 3:38
• Please rephrase this answer in the form of a question. – Alex Trebek Mar 21 '16 at 20:29