# 2017 Moderator Election Q&A - Question Collection

Aviation is scheduled for an election next week, September 18th.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 Monday, September 18th 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.

• 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.

• So we post questions as answers? Just like Jeopardy! :D Sep 11, 2017 at 22:39

How often, on average, would you be able to attend to moderator duties?

There are "mod-only" flags, and all the others. Will you let the community have their say on the latter, or will you handle all the flags you possibly can?

For example, there are "Very Low Quality" or "Not an Answer" flags that would go in the "Low quality" review queue. Will you let the queue review process complete before intervening, or will you handle the flag before that?

I am specifically speaking of those situations where a mod is not required, since the community review process can handle them.

The site can be quite harsh on new users who don't ask "perfect" first questions. (Can we stop downvoting posts from new users?)

How do you think you can help new users prosper at Aviation.SE?

Conversely, some users can't be helped and will continue to post low quality questions, vaguely to do with aviation. What will you do in this case?

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?

Whether you are an aviation professional or not, what skills/experiences/qualifications/etc. acquired in your job do you think might help you in your role as a moderator on this site?

• A lot of our regular users are pilots, but as a hobby, not a profession. Do you definitely want to ask about people's jobs, or do you want to ask about their aviation experience? Sep 13, 2017 at 11:25
• I was thinking about professional job experience, not necessarily in aviation. Like e.g. "in my job I regularly deal with XY which will help me in moderation because of YZ". Note that I don't want to force anybody to reveal one's job if they don't want to. Sep 13, 2017 at 11:39
• @DanHulme we had the same last time: aviation.meta.stackexchange.com/a/2913/1467
– Federico Mod
Sep 15, 2017 at 8:42
• @Federico That question last time is what I thought this one was - about aviation experience specifically - but this one is asking what people's work is, whether in aviation or something else. Sep 15, 2017 at 9:09
• Again, I'd like to point out that I do not want to ask people what exactly their job is, but rather how their professional experience might help them here. It is true, however, that I would like to include people regardless of aviation experience. This is because I think that moderation tasks here are not solely related to aviation, but also to dealing with people/opinions/arguments etc.. and moderators may as well benefit from experience outside aviation. Hope this clarifies my question a bit. Sep 15, 2017 at 9:20

One of the duties of moderators is sending private messages to problem users. Can you think of a situation specific to this site when you might need to message a user?

What moderator experience do you have? (Both on SE and other sites and offline)

You find a question in the review queue which you're sure you've seen before, but you can't find the original to close it. What do you do?

## Proposed Question

What will you do, as a moderator here, to curb the spread of misinformation in aviation?

### Background to this question

None of the questions in the mod questionnaire address the spread of misinformation, which in aviation can be lethal/deadly. I am curious as to why an aviation focused web site fails to address this topic-critical issue in the mod Q&A section. If one doesn't take that issue seriously, I'd say one ought not be a mod on this aviation site. (Which by the way has a lot of great content).

The boiler plate mod election questions are somewhat useful, as are some of the proposals, but as this is an aviation site a question that addresses something of considerable importance to aviation is lacking: that is, what to do about how misinformation gets spread. I strongly recommend that this omission be remedied before the election and question asking of candidates begins.

To restate my point somewhat differently: the spread of misinformation in the internet age goes at the speed of electricity, and in aviation misinformation is potentially lethal.

Aviation.SE must not contribute to it. This community should have an ethos / attitude that transcends the pettiness of the general SE approach, which is the gamification of questions and answers. (The stack being a flesh based sorting algorithm of whatever virtue).

Apparently, the general hive mind of SE doesn't give a flying fart about aviation, as a thing, as shown by the response to Jay Carr's post. That doesn't mean that the Aviation.SE has to not care, it only shows that the SE lords see this site as more SE than Aviation. However, I've noted on a few other site metas the assertion from Atwood and others that mods in a given SE community are expected to be community leaders, which takes us back to my proposed question.

If you want to be a mod, what as a community leader are you going to do about misinformation in Aviation? It matters, whereas in a lot of the other SE's it really doesn't.

• Who'll decide what is good and what is wrong information, when things are a bit more complex than the flat Earth? Some examples to clarify would be helpful.
– mins
Sep 19, 2017 at 20:58
• I agree with you that misinformation should be dealt with, especially if it's safety related. I'm just not sure that's a moderator function. If something is demonstrably wrong, and not just your opinion, the way to deal with it is to a) comment on the answer indicating that it is misinformation, then b) flag it as "should be deleted." That will put it in the review queue and if enough ppl say to nix it then it will be gone. No mood needed Sep 20, 2017 at 19:43
• Personally, if I'm going through the queue and saw a comment that it was incorrect or unsafe I'd dig into it to see what was up and if was wrong I'd vote to del Sep 20, 2017 at 19:56
• @TomMcW I see your point, and find your approach to have merit, but I note that no such policy is current at this stack. Sep 20, 2017 at 21:45
• @mins I can't take your comment seriously. Sorry. Sep 20, 2017 at 21:45
• @TomMcW Please leave this comment up. I am going to ponder for a bit, and maybe start a meta, and may use your comment as the anchor. Not sure. My last few inputs were not well received, and I'd rather not urinate into the wind. Sep 20, 2017 at 21:47
• "I can't take your comment seriously", do you mean... you don't have examples to clarify? Or there is no need to clarify? Because "the spread of misinformation in the internet age goes at the speed of electricity, and in aviation misinformation is potentially lethal" is absolutely not clear to me.
– mins
Sep 20, 2017 at 21:57
• @mins If you don't understand that sentence, then we don't have a basis for conversation. As I mentioned to Tom, I am going to sit on this for a bit. I am not comfortable with some of the philosophy behind this particular SE site, since it covers something deadly serious. Sites like History SE or SciFi SE can afford to be careless. The subject matter doesn't matter. Aviation does. Sep 20, 2017 at 22:04
• Misinformation is one of the biggest challenges society faces in the internet age. I support any effort to combat it. In most discussion groups or comment threads the idiot has the same voice as the expert with no good way to temper it with reason. In your standard forum thread all you can do is try to shout them down. SE provides a means for community consensus to counter the idiocy. That's why I like the format better than others. Of course, if the idiots begin to outnumber the experts it breaks down, but with diligence we can prevent that. Sep 20, 2017 at 22:28
• My soapbox for today :) Sep 20, 2017 at 22:30
• "If you don't understand that sentence, then we don't have a basis for conversation", now I see better how you can sort the good grapes from the bad. But I don't support it. No other comment.
– mins
Sep 20, 2017 at 23:08
• I once posted a comprehensive and reasonable solution to this exact issue to Meta. It didn't go well: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/259241/… Sep 22, 2017 at 17:17
• The moral is, they are a little locked into the "wisdom of the crowd" mode here. And while I'll acknowledge that works in cases where the theory is easily tested (like programming), it raises huge issues in areas where the only way to test the theory is to try it and see if anyone dies (like here). Despite all of this.... I don't think there's any will to do anything about it. Sep 22, 2017 at 17:18

Should the on-topic guidance in the help centre be expanded beyond its current scope? The target audience is now defined as pilots, mechanics and controllers, but not for instance aeronautical engineers or aircraft design professionals. Aerodynamics is a field of physics that is applicable to aircraft, but so is:

• Flight dynamics
• Thermodynamics for the jet engines
• Structural engineering to keep the wing attached
• Fluid power for the flying control deflections
• Electrical power generation for control surface deflection on newer aircraft
• Material science

Other non-pilot activities such as airport logistics etc. may be considered on-topic as well.

Guidance about being on-topic if not specifically specified as off-topic might also be considered.

• +1, why not link the related post?
– user14897
Sep 18, 2017 at 17:06