16
$\begingroup$

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. Not every question was compiled - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us.

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. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

  2. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

  3. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

  4. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

  5. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

  6. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

  7. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

  8. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

  9. 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?

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

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for handling the election questionnaire and for the easy to use format. Copy/pasting the questions made my life much easier! $\endgroup$ – stack reader May 9 '17 at 6:55
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Let's try to keep the answers at an even score. The primary is when we vote up and down on the candidates - it's generally accepted over the network to try to keep the questionnaire answers at an even score. It also prevents the snowball effect. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 14:46
11
$\begingroup$

stack reader

Nomination

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

    That's called a trend. People are just enjoying themselves and will get bored of it in time.
    If so many people are making them, it means many people enjoy them, so it is not necessarily a bad thing.
    It is unfortunate if the regulars don't like them, but they are not any more entitled than the newcomers.
    It would be important to keep an eye out for lack of details/quality and duplicate flags though and lock the questions until corrections are made when required. Lack of quality will happen due to newcomers not being used to our community, we must be patient, post helpful comments to teach them and treat every questions case by case.

  2. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

    The votes for the closing/deletion of contents will be very rare. Such votes will only be made when faced with obvious spam or content that has been unanimously rejected by the community. I am not a god, and my opinion is only but one of many. I would feel very uneasy about deleting something just because I "felt like it".

  3. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

    Our community is indeed an odd one out. And many things mentioned in this question have been hunting me for a while too.
    One thing for sure is that the wording of the help center and the web site in general is odd and confusing when it is adapted to puzzling. Also, one of the things I have always thought is that reputation awarded for questions should be higher than the answers because the puzzles are the vital part of our community unlike others where the answers are truly desired.
    Whether or not the power of a moderator is sufficient to bring such changes or not is another matter altogether however.

  4. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

    I spend about 10 to 12 hours a day in front of my computer during the week and 2-3 hours per day during the weekend. The puzzling tab is always open and I go look every time I see an alert of a new question or edit.

  5. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

    I really love this question. It got me thinking quite a bit.
    I would like to believe that most of my past posts and comments were good and just, but one can't help but think... what if? If I become a moderator, it will be very important to be exemplary in everything I say and do(including grammar...) and I intend to do so. Let's just hope I had no slip ups in the past when the pressure of moderating was not present.

  6. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

    Established user or not is irrelevant. Rules are rules, preferences/conventions and just that... preferences. If someone starts brainwashing newcomers with such strong words as "rules", a comment to explain the real facts to the newcomer and to warn the perpetrator will be posted.

  7. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

    Even if I feel there might not be an answer to the puzzle, it doesn't mean there is none, but might simply reflect my personal lack of puzzling skills.
    However, if the puzzle go on for a quite a while, and there seems to be no progress at all, I would post a comment requesting confirmation that the OP got an answer for his puzzle and also request some hints if possible. If more than 1-2 days pass after the comments without an acceptable response, the question might be put on hold. I do believe however that these cases tend to be handled quite well by the community itself.

  8. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

    This is not easy but I believe that it is simply best to lead by example.
    I would post my own, helpful yet kind advice and hope people do like me in time. Publicly shaming people in the comments for being rude would mostly just bring animosity. I am however not beyond reprimanding someone openly when they are being straight out rude and start bashing on newcomers who quite rightfully so knows no better. I have done it 2-3 times in the past already, I might not have been a moderator in the past but I couldn't just ignore such cruel behavior

  9. 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?

    Valuable answers or not, if he is polluting our nice community, something must be done. Probably in the shape of warning messages.
    I doubt someone would be such a big nuisance and go as far as to ignore moderator warnings, but if it comes to that, perhaps stronger methods might me required.

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

    If I feel strongly about it, I would probably just have a friendly conversation with the mod and inquire about his reasons and explain my worries until I understand the situation or come to an understanding.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Regarding question 8, note that as a moderator you would be able to simply create a private chat room, and tell the user what the problem is - public calling out (especially by a mod) isn't really good, as it could create a Witch-hunting situation. Just my 2 cents :) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 9 '17 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir thank you for your 2 cents. If the case is recurring and serious I suppose it could be worth to go to such length to have a "private conversation". If I do correct them in public, it would be quite a charismatic and polite reminder to go easy on newcomers. To show other bullies that they are being watched :). Last thing I want is to start a fight. Especially as an authority figure. $\endgroup$ – stack reader May 9 '17 at 7:06
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "Lets just hope I had no slip ups" -- don't you mean "Let's just..." ? ;) $\endgroup$ – Ankoganit May 9 '17 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Ankoganit wait....did I just ....slip up? Well that was fast >.>. Thanks :) $\endgroup$ – stack reader May 9 '17 at 9:19
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ We pedants thank you for your devotion to proper grammar! (But I don't think that's really important as a moderator, as long as you're able to communicate effectively.) $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 9 '17 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain but the irony there was too strong to ignore. XD $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 9 '17 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ Going to one question about flags. What if people are just arbitrarily flagging someone for no good reason and everyone is doing it (like 50+ members) just because they can. There's no actual reason for it. Would you punish the user for somehow magically creating conflict or would you punish the 50 users making false accusations. Assume that the flags do not match the user's content at all. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 9 '17 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck obviously no actions would be taken before any investigation. If someone went on a flagging spree, it should be easily detectable and punishable accordingly. If someone get flagged by more than one user then some investigation and proper actions may be taken. $\endgroup$ – stack reader May 9 '17 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ @stack reader but who would be punished in the case of several dozen users all making the same false claim. Would you just accept the democratic nature of stack exchange and just tell the user they are no longer welcome here or would you punish or even ban that many users to stop the flagging. I'm going under a pretty unlikely scenario: of the entire puzzling community just universally deciding to try to basically remove a user simply because it felt like it. We can assume the user has either been largely inactive or completely civil in all interactions with none of those people reporting them $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 10 '17 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ I am probably going to an extreme here but I'm curious as to what extent the stack exchange's philosophy of democratic community choice can be pushed in terms of a user being banned. In essence, can the community "vote a user off the island" simply on a random arbitrary whim. I'm honestly not sure how that would play out. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 10 '17 at 2:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck such a case is seriously unlikely. If it were to happen, it would require all the mods to have a serious conversation together and come up with an adequate decision. As I said, an investigation would be needed but I find it hard to believe so many people would bash on one user without a proper reason. Either way, rather than a ban, suspensions are more likely to happen. Unless some users have very low rep which would make it quite likely that someone made this account for the purpose of causing chaos without getting a ban on their main account. $\endgroup$ – stack reader May 10 '17 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ Well, there are such things on other websites coughyoutubecough where a long history exists of people abusing the flagging system en masse simply to try and remove content that they don't personally like. I suppose on puzzling it would be like if half the community decided to start trying to ban any user that posts riddles "because they aren't *proper puzzles". I admit as well that it is astronomically unlikely to occur but it's good to keep in mind as websites grow. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 10 '17 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ On another note, here's a good question that is somewhat relevant. What would you do if a user/individual external to stack exchange claimed that a user "plagiarized" their puzzle (with proof). Is there any current rule about such activity or would it just be considered in bad taste but not in any rule breaking or ban worthy? $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 10 '17 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck if there was proof, then I would require the poster to post his sources, and if the owner of the puzzle requested it, perhaps go as far as taking down the puzzle but I would have to search about it first though. I doubt most puzzle out there are copyrighted, and us puzzlers don't really get money so I don't think any laws are being broken. But the very minimum is to get the source mentioned in the question. $\endgroup$ – stack reader May 10 '17 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck (cc stack reader) - plagiarism has established rules here for how we take care of it. If someone can show, definitely, that it's plagiarized, then it gets deleted and the user gets warned (and then the mods have to go through every single one of their posts to check for plagiarism. If we can't tell, and the accuser doesn't provide where it came from, then it's left up. (At least, that's how I understand it.) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 5:05
11
$\begingroup$

I'm Marius.
Here are my answers and I stand by them:

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

My answer: (sorry, but I'm addicted to spoiler markup)

I would do (almost) nothing. This website is mature enough to filter out low quality content, and like any topic everywhere it will eventually end.
The only thing I would do is to act like a regular user and up/down vote the puzzle. And maybe cast a close vote (but I will always make sure I'm the 4th or 5th and not the first close vote).

.

  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

.

I'm already a moderator on magento.stackexchange. I rarely touch the close queue there. I let the community do the job. But from time to time I go there and clean up but most of the times I make sure I have the last vote so my action will count as any other user's.

.

  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

.

I don't think it's up to a moderator to support or not any kind of changes. Faced with the SE network a moderator and a non-moderator have the same power (close to 0).
I honestly doubt that someone will ever bend the rules just for PuzzlingSE. That's why my focus is not in this direction. Let's just take the SE rules as the laws of physics that we cannot bend and do the best we can with these.

.

  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

.

I'm in front of a computer minimum 8h/day. (and around 1h during the weekend). I have a tab opened with PSE all the time. And it's not like moderating requires constant attention. A refresh from time to time an a few minutes when required is enough. (speaking from experience)

.

  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

.

Money or diamonds will not change me. I will continue to be who I am. If I represent the ideals of the community, the voters will decide.

.

  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

.

As in the real world, I like to live in a society where the ethics is discussed, negotiated and approved by the community. If these "rules" are agreed on by most of the community, then I see that as education from old users to new users. If something seams wrong in the "old user" behavior... take it to meta.

.

  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

.

I believe in education over destruction. Yes, I would comment and I guess that eventually I would close the question (again, as a 4th or 5th vote) after making sure that all constructive measures that could be taken were taken.

.

  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

.

(I will lose the election for this, but I'll be honest). As long as no verbal violence is involved I would do nothing. Passive-aggressiveness and snarky responses are 2 of the ways you can tell someone they are wrong.
And honestly, If you are easily offended by some sarcasm, you will have bigger problems in life than just feeling uncomfortable on a website.

.

  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 think there should be a difference between "user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers" and a user who doesn't. Don't moderate the person, moderate the content. For a while I would handle the flags as any other flag. Then contact the user privately and, if needed, I can resort to temporary suspension.

.

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

.

Classical moderator election question.
Talk it over in the chat to try to understand each other's reasons and if we still don't agree... take it to the meta.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Going to one question about flags. What if people are just arbitrarily flagging someone for no good reason and everyone is doing it (like 50+ members) just because they can. There's no actual reason for it. Would you punish the user for somehow magically creating conflict or would you punish the 50 users making false accusations. Assume that the flags do not match the user's content at all. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 9 '17 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck. 1/2 First of all, that never happens "for no good reason". 50+ people doing something for no apparent reason, it means there is a reason. But the good part about the SE network is that you don't actually need to do much in this case. Let's work under the assumption that "there is no good reason", a moderator can just dismiss the flags and the SE software will temporarily take away those 50+ users' right to flag stuff if each has enough consecutive dismissed flags (don't know the exact number). $\endgroup$ – Marius May 10 '17 at 6:12
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck 2/2. If they do it "smart" and they don't get their privileges temporarily suspended, I would take this to meta. In the extreme case that this does not stop, yes I would temporarily suspend 50+ users for misconduct. But I would leave an annotation on the "victim" for later tracking of their activity. $\endgroup$ – Marius May 10 '17 at 6:14
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Why 'spoilers', why why :P $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter May 14 '17 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ To show my dedication and addiction to the website. And to make you click if you want answers. $\endgroup$ – Marius May 15 '17 at 4:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've asked a follow-up question in chat! $\endgroup$ – Aza May 16 '17 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ I couldn't resist peeking at your solution, Marius, but promise not to tell anyone. Seems like your (mmmmm) approach might be copied from a duplicate puzzle. It did make me realize, in any case, that I too could feel like a moderator in my very own kitchen just by waiting to cast votes until they'd be decisive and final. (Translation for anyone who might not be Marius: The wait-until-4th-or-5th-vote approach is indeed a neatly considerate way to moderate a moderator's finality.) $\endgroup$ – humn May 16 '17 at 19:46
11
$\begingroup$

Here are my (Glorfindel's) answers to your questions:


  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

The generic tooltip on the downvote button 'This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful' means 'This puzzle is not interesting and/or low-quality' here, and our regulars are aware of that. Most of them are friendly enough to explain why they downvote, especially when dealing with new users. I'd continue to do so, whether I'm elected or not.

  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

The community already does a good job of moderating this site. Questions and answers are usually closed/deleted quite fast (if necessary) and without much discussion. My job as a moderator would be mainly to guide that, and not make unilateral decisions, unless strictly necessary. A ♦ moderator is a representative of the community, not a ruler. This also means I'd be Skipping more reviews.

  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

I'm afraid this is an uphill battle. I know, from personal experience as an ICT consultant, how difficult it is to support the same product running in many slightly different configurations, and especially not breaking it once you decide to make some changes. Stack Exchange is no exception to this. I'll do my best to represent our interests network-wide, but there's nothing I can guarantee.
Note that the community has already adapted itself to some of these issues; the amount of upvotes on questions (relative to the total amount of upvotes) is higher than on most other sites on the network, which partially compensate the effort in writing a good puzzle. Also, on StackApps you already get +10 reputation for an upvote on a question so there's no reason why we can't have it too (except that it would cause a massive reputation shift).

  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

On average, I spend two hours a day on Stack Exchange (actively) throughout the week. Not all of that time goes or will go into Puzzling, of course, but I will reduce my activities elsewhere on the network if you decide to elect me.

  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

Yes. I always try to Be Nice to all people, even if I think they have bad ideas or opinions which I can outright refute. Respect is the keyword for building a community where everybody is welcome. I have certainly made some mistakes in the past, but that only proves I'm an elf human :)

  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

I'll try to convince them in a respectful manner that they're wrong, citing from the Help Center and well-established Meta topics. If they're still not convinced, I'll invite them to open a Meta question about these "rules", and let the community decide.

  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

It depends. Some puzzles which don't have a solution are very interesting; Euler more or less invented graph theory to prove the impossibility of the Seven Bridges of Königsberg puzzle. For any such puzzle which isn't useful, we have the downvote button (+ an accompanying comment). New user or not doesn't really matter. I'd not quote the help center:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

(emphasis mine) because it doesn't really apply here.

  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

The "Be Nice" policy implies assuming good intentions. This holds for the regulars, who need to be patient while a new user learns the site rules, and our quality standards. But this also holds for the new users themselves. Dismissive comments can always be flagged and reposted (with attribution) keeping the constructive bits. A new user should be welcomed, but at the same time made aware of the rules in a respectful way.
If this would become a frequent pattern, I'd post a (featured) topic on Meta addressing it.

  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?

Be Nice is very important to the success of Stack Exchange; more important than posting good answers. Especially in this community, where other people than this user should be able to post a good answer (or else the puzzle is too hard). I'd remind this user (in a polite but strict way) to change their behaviour or face the consequences in the form of a suspension.

I understand this question is copied over from elections on other sites, but my answer would hold as well if it would have said valuable questions instead of valuable answers.

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

I'd discuss this with them in a private chatroom. I might bring in a third (or fourth) moderator as well if I feel we need to make a tough decision, so that it can be a decision of a majority. There's no need doing this in public and risk harming the trust the community has in the moderator team.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Going to one question about flags. What if people are just arbitrarily flagging someone for no good reason and everyone is doing it (like 50+ members) just because they can. There's no actual reason for it. Would you punish the user for somehow magically creating conflict or would you punish the 50 users making false accusations. Assume that the flags do not match the user's content at all. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 9 '17 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck If people are flagging for no good reason, they'll get a flag ban (not automatically; the system doesn't work that way for comment flags). It will be tricky if three users decide to gang up against a single user; three comment flags are enough to delete a comment without moderator intervention. But moderators can see deleted comments, so I'd guess we'd spot such a situation soon enough. $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel May 10 '17 at 6:48
  • $\begingroup$ (about the last sentence of your last comment: they aren't shown automatically. You have to roll over a bubble to see the number of deleted comments, and click on that to see them, so if they aren't using Rude/Abusive or Not Constructive flags (which raise an automatic mod flag if someone is flagged three times in a short while with those), it might take a little while until it was actually detected.) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 15:11
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What a find of a site (StackApps) with 10 pts/vote for questions! There is hope. $\endgroup$ – humn May 11 '17 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ (-1 just to keep the scores even) $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 11 '17 at 23:08
11
$\begingroup$

My (user)name is n_palum and these are my answers:

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

First and foremost, welcome new users to the site. If it happens to be one of the less effort copies, provide some feedback for how they can make it better or unique and point them to examples of similar, but better received versions. Otherwise, no action should be taken and this doesn’t require any mod action as our community does an effective job of weeding out puzzles that are significantly lacking or otherwise do not belong here. While HNQ and popular puzzles aren’t always the best, they can be an effective way to draw attention to our site.


  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

I would not vote unless I was absolutely confident in the decision, even then I would wait until a few other people had given their votes. If I were a mod, especially a ‘less experienced’ one, it is even more important that I respect the experience and thoughts of others casting votes.


  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

As much as I would love to see changes, and many other people would, I think based off what we have already raised up to CMs in Meta and chat; it will be hard to make specific changes to our site. We can certainly encourage up-voting questions that are excellent, as well as encouraging bounties. Otherwise, I trust our current mods have done everything in their power to make changes for us. If I were to make changes, they would likely be targeted towards rewording some things that are more relevant to other SE sites but not to ours (Hover tool-tips especially).


  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

At the moment I am on a Co-Op (Paid internship) so I am active on here from around 7:30 AM until 3:30-4:00, and will often be back around 5:00 until 10:00-11:00 PM. That is Monday-Friday, whereas the weekends I frequently spend around a computer and that can be much later (upwards of 2:00 AM) or earlier hours depending on my schedule. Come the fall, I will resume school and those hours would be subject to change (of which I would of course inform people of, maybe on Meta or in chat). However, I also use the Stack Exchange app and get notifications for when I am pinged so I am almost always accessible. – All time is in EDT/EST


  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

I asked this question because I wanted nominees to reflect on their time here. In my short time here I feel I have quickly learned how to better respect other users and to keep my patience as best as possible. (Not that I was disrespectful before). Going forward I will continue to leave as helpful or positive comments as possible, regardless of being a mod or not.


  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

As I imagine most would, I would inform them politely without making a scene. I frequently see our mods give out short, but stern reminders that tend to work quickly in keeping the peace. If it turns out this hasn’t worked, private chats up until minor suspension as a last resort would be the appropriate path of action in my opinion.


  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

I think our community already does a great job with puzzles like this, new user or not. Comments are given to the poster explaining what we think is missing, or lacking and how it can be improved. Chat is a place that these types of puzzles often get discussed as well. Users decide if some of the answers given fit well, but were declined by the OP; making it too broad or otherwise unclear what is being asked. If I feel the need to personally comment, I often do, giving a reminder to the poster ways they can improve the puzzle to prevent its closure. (This is more important for new users as we don’t want to discourage them outright).


  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

I would likely inform the ones leaving comments somewhere else, if the tone was not productive. Otherwise, I would do my best to help explain the comments and criticism to the new user so that they can hopefully apply the critiques to improve their puzzle. As I said before, we don’t want to ostracize new users, but my intervention would only come if the community had not already explained themselves to the OP. If this was a frequent pattern, I would potentially create a Meta post addressing these instances, and build a place where we can reference how to give constructive criticism without coming across as rude or disrespectful.


  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?

Regardless of how exceptional your posts are, being rude, disrespectful or otherwise offensive to other members of the community is not okay and you are not exempt from the rules. I would begin with polite but direct warnings, and gradually become sterner if they are unresponsive. This can lead to suspension eventually as a last resort if the problem is unresolved.


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

I would discuss it with them in the mod chatroom. If we disagree, my assumption is simply misinterpreting a question or answer. If we have confusion about a policy, that can be brought up to Meta(s). I would never override another mod, especially given that the current moderators have much more experience than I. This would also provide a good opportunity to see what experience they drew on to make their decision.

$\endgroup$
11
$\begingroup$

Gareth McCaughan

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

If what we have is a wave of new users each posting their single variation-on-a-theme, there actually isn't (so far as I know) much we can do. Downvote bad puzzles, comment on them to explain why they're bad, and wait for the storm to pass. The users we're talking about, though, are not going to look over past puzzles and see the critical comments and downvotes. They're not going to look at anything we control. And we're not allowed to kill 'em; I checked.

So, I respond with a weary sigh and a bunch of hopefully-useful-but-probably-futile comments and downvotes. Hopefully the situation would resolve itself after a week or so.

We had a riddle sandbox for a while. Reactions to that were extremely mixed. If we had a bad enough storm of bad new puzzles, it might be worth resurrecting something like it as a temporary measure, but it might be difficult to get a clear enough idea of the community's opinion quickly enough to be useful. (What might be possible, though, is to establish during bad-puzzle-storm #1 how the community feels about temporary sandboxing as a defensive measure -- and then react with greater agility when bad-puzzle-storm #2 comes along, if it does.)

Another desperate measure that might be worth considering if things get bad enough: perhaps it's possible to establish a rep threshold for asking questions. That would obviously be pretty hopeless elsewhere in the SE network, so maybe it's impossible, but if the flexibility to do it exists then we could turn the threshold on temporarily when there's an influx of bad puzzles from new users. (I'm pretty certain we wouldn't want it on all the time.)

  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

As a regular user, I think of my votes as providing information to a process that, once enough evidence has accumulated, closes/deletes things. As a moderator, I would no longer be able to do that; instead I would have the ability to take action. Obviously the bar for doing so is higher: something would have to be worse to make me delete it than to make me suggest deleting it.

(I think pretty much everything I've voted to close has in fact ended up closed, and pretty much everything I've voted to delete has in fact ended up deleted. So I'm not terribly worried that having extra power would lead to bad decisions. The bigger problem is that it circumvents the process of getting consensus. And it looks worse when something is zapped Because A Mod Said So rather than because lots of people independently thought it was bad.)

  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

It would indeed be good to be able to change a bunch of wordings, modify our close-reasons, tinker with the rep system, change what's selected for HNQ, and so forth. But all these things have been apparent for years and they haven't changed; I am sure the reason is that Stack Exchange as a whole quite reasonably isn't interested in introducing extra flexibility that's needed only by one atypical niche site, and I am not so arrogant as to think my election as moderator will change that.

So here's what I would do. It doesn't sound like much, but it's all I can honestly promise. I would look back at past discussions of such changes, and try to understand what arguments were made on each side. I would consider whether there are strong arguments that haven't been raised or weren't engaged with when raised, and whether anything's changed that would or should make a difference to the answer. And if it looks as if there's something genuinely new to be said, I would consult with other mods and raise the issue again if we agree it's worth a go. But if so, I would do it with the understanding that there are strong reasons for not changing how SE works just for the benefit of Puzzling, and with no expectation of success.

  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

I'm not sure what counts as time actively moderating. Am I "actively moderating" if I'm browsing Puzzling with an eye open for trouble, or only while I'm actually bringing down the banhammer on users who ask difficult questions (bwahahahahaha)? I'm usually around intermittently (and sometimes not so intermittently) from roughly 11am or so to 1am or so, UK time. How much of that time is "active" varies greatly; perhaps it averages an hour or two a day. How much of it would be "actively moderating", I don't know.

(The fact that I can't say anything like "Several hours every day, with nothing else to do but improve things here" is in my opinion the strongest reason for not voting for me as moderator.)

  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

There is one ideal of this community that I have conspicuously failed to represent: I have not posted any puzzles. Other than that, I'm pretty comfortable with how I have acted. I would be a little bit more careful with the diamond attached -- I would, specifically, be extra-careful about jokes that could be interpreted as planning or condoning moderatorial abuse -- but I'm quite careful already.

(Readers who are concerned that that sounds slapdash are invited to look at my actual record. I hope they will be reassured that this really is more "I'm careful already" than "I don't think it's necessary to be careful as mod".)

  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

Step 1: respond in the same venue (pinging both users involved). "Actually, there's no rule against answering your own question here, and sometimes it's the right thing to do. It's usually best, though, to leave it a bit longer than you did, and to offer some hints before revealing the solution outright." or whatever.

Step 2: if the user persists after this has been done once or twice, make things more explicit. "Actually, there's no rule against answering your own question here. @InevitableOpossum, I see that you've continued telling people there's such a rule despite being told otherwise by a moderator. If you think there should be such a rule, the thing to do is to post a proposal on meta. Then we can talk it over and see what the community thinks."

(Note: before advancing to Step 2 I would want to check extra-carefully that the problem isn't actually that there's a rule I have missed out on noticing.)

Step 3: if they still persist, this is now in the category of active misinformation and it's time to get heavier. "@InevitableOpossum, there is no such rule. We have talked about this before and you've been invited to propose it in meta but have instead chosen to carry on spreading misinformation. Please stop. If you are unable or unwilling to stop, we'll have to impose a short ban."

Step 4: if they still persist, ban 'em. Short period at first; the goal isn't to kick them out but to find some way of getting it into their head that they don't get to set the rules unilaterally. Escalate as appropriate.

Somewhere around step 3, if not before, I would discuss with other mods. I'd be new to the moderation game and would want to check whether there's existing lore from people who have faced similar situations before.

I would firmly expect escalation from each step to the next to be rather rare. I don't know of any case in the past when it's actually got to step 3 or 4 -- I'm not sure I can even think of one that got to step 2. So please don't interpret the above as being keen to swing the banhammer. In practice, a few polite words of correction are probably enough almost all the time.

  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

I would comment, first asking whether the questioner knows the/a solution, and maybe pushing more depending on how they answer. Next step is to air my suspicion that the problem is insoluble (in comments and/or TSL chat) and see what happens. After a while, if no sort of defence is forthcoming from the poster and no one is getting anywhere with finding a solution, I would explicitly invite them to post a solution and suggest that otherwise the puzzle might be closed. If they continue to be entirely unhelpful and no one offers good reasons for not closing it, close it. (In many such cases I would expect it to be closed by community consensus without needing mod action.)

New users are different in two ways. More likely to be posting really bad puzzles and/or not reading any of the followup; but also more likely to be innocently unaware of local conventions and more likely to be scared away by harsh criticism. So I would be quicker, more explicit, and more careful to couch my comments in language less likely to offend.

  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

A one-off bit of imperfectly-tuned constructive criticism doesn't call for any particular response unless the target seems particularly upset by it. But if there's any hint of a pile-on (multiple people being a bit too snippy at a single target) or a consistent problem with tone (one commenter being a bit too snippy at multiple targets) I would probably want to say a few words. Perhaps along the following lines: "@UniqueWombat You're making some good points, but please bear in mind that @NaivePuzzler is new here and be nice. @NaivePuzzler I'm sorry some of these comments are rather tactless. This isn't a bad puzzle. But I think your critics do have a point: [nicer constructive criticism here]. Again, everyone, creating puzzles is hard and accepting criticism is hard; please go out of your way to be nice when offering criticism."

There are three different ways this could become a problematic and frequent pattern. (1) A single newish user keeps posting low-quality puzzles. (2) A single critic keeps posting snippy criticism. (3) Lots of critics keep posting snippy criticism. Of these, #1 is best addressed by constructive criticism (which they're apparently getting, even if it's a bit rude) and downvotes. The longer they go on not improving, the less I mind if the criticism is a bit rude. (But no moderatorial action needs to be taken against them unless it starts to seem that they're flooding us with bad puzzles on purpose.) #2 needs some, er, constructive criticism directed at the critic himself. "@UniqueWombat I've noticed that you're offering critiques of a lot of new users' puzzles lately. It's great that you're trying to help improve the quality of puzzles here, and many thanks for that, but the tone is a notch or two too harsh; could you try to be gentler in future, please?" (With appropriate escalation if they won't listen.) #3 is a cultural problem and harder to deal with. Maybe put something about it on meta pointing out the problem and soliciting advice, and link to it from problematic discussions.

  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?

Step 1: gentle request to be nicer (or whatever it is they're failing to do that produces arguments/flags). Step 2: slightly firmer request to be nicer, coupled with acknowledgement of their valuable contributions. Step 3: not-so-gentle admonishment and warning that we will unfortunately have to take action if they are unwilling or unable to improve. Step 4: suspension, short at first but getting longer if necessary. The rate of progression through these steps would depend on just what it is they're doing and how they respond to each step. I would very much hope to avoid getting to step 4, and as with Q6 above I would expect getting there to be really rare.

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

I understand there is a separate mod chat room. I would discuss the matter there. I wouldn't bring it up anywhere more public. (Possible exception: if I thought they'd done something spectacularly improper. Even then I would not expect public airing of grievances to be a useful first step.) If specifically asked my opinion, I might give it (but not necessarily; if I thought there was much chance that the other mod would persuade me they'd done the right thing, I would until convinced or definitely unconvinced give noncommital responses along the lines of "We're actually discussing this elsewhere, and I'm not going to comment on it here right now".

If after all possible discussion I still thought the other mod's course of action was badly wrong ... well, at that point I would expect the other moderators to have weighed in too, and what happened next would depend on the outcome of the whole discussion. Most likely we'd agree to disagree. Extreme cases might end up with appealing for arbitration from the SE community mods (is that a thing?), or resigning in a huff, or something, but once again this is an extreme outcome I would expect to be extremely rare.

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I don't agree with 1. Rep thresholds sound too similar to the sandbox. And most new users find their way out by asking questions(Puzzles, in this case) and then slowly getting into the community. $\endgroup$ – Sid May 11 '17 at 18:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The election chatroom might be a better venue for this discussion, but briefly: (a) I propose it only as a desperate temporary measure to consider if there's an onslaught of bad puzzles, (b) I don't think many people have arrived as part of an onslaught of bad puzzles and ended up staying and making good puzzles instead, and (c) the sandbox was by no means all bad and "similar to the sandbox" isn't all that strong a condemnation. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 11 '17 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ Given your rep, candidate score, and so on, I was pretty sure that you were going to win from the moment you nominated yourself. So I'm very glad to see such outstanding answers to the questionnaire from you; this, together with what I know of you from chat etc., reassures me that you're one of the best candidates here by real behavioural measures as well as unreliable quantitative measures. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 21 '17 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ Special question for you, as the only 20k+ candidate here: how do you feel deletion patterns on the site as a whole will change if you're elected mod? There are still very few of us who have enough rep to VTD but don't have binding delete votes, and by standing for mod you threaten to reduce that number even further. In your opinion, will this result in fewer deletions, more use of modhammers, or doesn't it matter? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 21 '17 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ I would try (approximately) to minimize the difference it would make to the number of deletions. Tough to do when, as you say, there are so few non-mod VTDers. The good news is that there are a number of other people approaching 20k rep. The bad news is that one of them is Rubio, who stands an excellent chance of being elected mod in this election :-). To answer the specific questions: perhaps slightly fewer deletions, probably slightly more modhammers, and I hope the differences will be small enough that it doesn't matter. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 21 '17 at 20:57
11
$\begingroup$

Rubio

Greetings, Puzzling friends! Here are my answers to the questions for Moderator nominees.

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

Puzzle types "so simple anyone can make them!" will always pop up and attract new posters and, inevitably, result in some low quality puzzles. But the community does exactly what it should in response - good puzzles will be upvoted, and poor ones won't be (or will be downvoted into oblivion if they're truly bad). Genre fatigue will also set in if we're seeing too many of one type of puzzle, resulting in minimal upvoting or, eventually, reactionary downvoting. I think it would be a mistake to preempt the community's self-moderation by taking any response beyond what I'd do for any puzzle on the site - up/down-vote, and VTC/VTD if appropriate due to low quality, overbroadness, etc.

If it's a small number of users flooding the site with inferior puzzles (of ANY type), a word to them might be appropriate, but beyond that I would prefer to let things run their course. Numerous examples show that eventually the rash of low quality imitations dies off when it is no longer rewarding to the posters; I'd just let it do so.

Hopefully the newcomers will stick around long enough to see the glut of similar questions, understand that the later ones get diminishing returns, and will be motivated to try something less formulaic for their next puzzle.

  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

Today I VTC/VTD when I see something deserving of it, because I know it takes multiple votes to be effective and I try to contribute to community policing of our site. Often, posts deserving VTC/VTD get addressed before I even see them, so the community handles these quickly and appropriately. If my vote were binding, I would trust the community to keep doing what it already does so well, and would reserve my vote for cases where it is the last vote anyway, or where action is not discretionary (e.g. questions from a competition — off-topic by policy) and need not wait for community consensus. A Moderator's vote should represent, not replace, the will of the community that elected them.

  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

In honesty, I feel like PSE is so different from how Stack Exchange normally works that there are parts of our site that operate in spite of, rather than because of, the way SE is designed. I've spent some time reading through old requests for some of the changes I think would help us tailor the site to better meet PSE's unique aspects and have to say I've come away from that experience feeling uncertain that our community as a whole, and the Moderators that represent it, even have enough of a voice to effect those changes. So I have two thoughts here.

One, we're making it work regardless: even if we're forever fated to have to live within the constraints of the larger network's design, at least we know how to reward the more epic puzzle postings by upvoting "Wrap-Up" posts, or getting around verbiage deficiencies by adding our own more relevant comments where appropriate, and so on.

Two, it seems like the issues of more reputation for questions or more tailored verbiage have already been discussed at length, the community's opinions on these matters seem clear, and yet no change has yet to materialize; and I daresay it's not for lack of motivation or effort by the current Moderators. I would like to understand better some of the apparent inconsistencies in the tone and message of the responses to these requests to date, to see if the powers that be are telling PSE to merely frame the requests more completely, or if they're telling us it's not going to happen.

In any event, our site is a question-answer format, it just happens to be one where in most cases the purpose of a question is not to solicit information or a solution unknown to the poster, but rather to pose a challenge to the other members to solve the puzzle. It's true that this is not how most of the rest of the network operates, but we've already adapted what the network provides to make its format work for Puzzling; I don't see why our unusual makeup should automatically preclude us from being able to ask for changes to site mechanics that we could then repurpose to suit our unique needs. I want to see the greater effort needed to pose quality, interesting, challenging puzzles be commensurately rewarded with greater reputation, and would like to see us have greater control over verbiage so we can better tailor our help pages and our VTC/VTD reason text to reflect how PSE works.

  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

I spend a lot of time here. PSE has become a permanent fixture on my browser, I'm probably on here to one extent or another a good 80 hours a week, and I generally keep current on new posts and active in chat when I'm on (and catch up after I return). I'm most active from about 3pm to 4am UTC, with somewhat less regularity on weekends. As a Moderator, everything I do would have "the diamond attached", but I would be ready to actively moderate any time I was on. I regularly look at review queues currently (several times a day, plus any time the review indicator is displayed or when I see something questionable), and I'd be as diligent with Moderation activities.

  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

Both here and elsewhere I always hold myself to a high standard, and I truly hope the past record of everything I have said and done here reflects this. While I make no claims of perfection, I cannot recall making any post or comment I wish I had not made, and believe I have not given anyone cause to accuse me of being a poor representative of this community, or of not upholding its ideals. As a Moderator I would be even more conscious of my duty to exhibit helpfulness in the face of confusion or inexperience, professionalism in the face of unreasonableness, level-headedness in the face of turmoil, all due transparency in the face of uncertainty, and accountability at all times to the faces of the community at whose pleasure I serve. I would be the representative I would want representing me, so as not to tarnish that Diamond.

  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

This is something that, hopefully, no Moderator would have to deal with; there's nothing stopping any member of the community from challenging misinformation being spread as fact, and I would hope that would happen here as well. In any event, a response to the misinformed statement, politely pointing out that the "rule" this person is proselytizing about is in fact not a rule, should suffice; and if written policy or convention exists to contradict their position, I would cite it. If the person believes they speak for the community, but cannot show that they do, I would invite them to raise the question on Meta to find out what the community actually thinks. If they persist to the point of being divisive, I would probably raise the issue on Meta myself if it hadn't been yet. If the community decides against them, or forms no clear consensus for their position, then that person would be out of line in continuing to agitate for their so-called "rule" and Moderation escalation would be the next step, as it would be in any case where a user is disrupting the community.

As a final comment, someone being "established" does not make their opinion count more than anyone else's, and an argument of "I've been here for three years, I know what the rules are!" would be quite unavailing; if anything I would expect a long-time member to be more amenable to gentle correction or redirection to Meta, not less.

  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

There have been many puzzles I've seen here that, at first look, I didn't see any way to solve. But I would be a fool to assert that if I can't solve it, it must have no solution. I would do what I do today - nothing, initially. If the puzzle gets no answers, or all the answers are rejected, at some point I would (again) do what I do now - add a comment suggesting it may be time for a hint, or to give some feedback to the answerers to help guide them to the intended solution. If this is a new account and/or the user's first question, I might make those comments a little earlier or provide more detail (example links, or if appropriate, links to "What (Not) To Do" posts), but this wouldn't change my action significantly. Most puzzle setters want their puzzles to be solved, so will tend to add hints or provide more feedback when prompted (or, often, without prompting) — or else if they don't get an answer quickly they abandon their question and move on. Either way, short of the completely inappropriate action of closing/removing the question as presumed unsolvable, I don't think there's any action that could, let alone should, be taken.

  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

Most puzzlers, I think, want to get better. and are eager for honest but constructive input on their puzzles. I've often heard it said that we're all here to improve, and I think most of the people leaving comments have good intentions at helping others improve the quality of the puzzles they post, but not everyone is equally adept at the constructive part of constructive criticism, so a well-meaning person might well leave a really off-putting comment.

I would want to avoid having the feedback to the puzzle-setter be overwhelming, either in tone or in volume; we've seen that happen, and had a Moderator suggest the torrent of well-intentioned commentary be scaled back, which is exactly what I would do as well. It's not very welcoming to a new poster if they feel the entire community is telling them that they or their puzzle are inferior — let's not let that happen!

If the same user is consistently coming off as abrasive in comments, I would try to reach out to them privately to suggest they observe the wording other people use when responding under similar circumstances, and suggest they try to similarly constructive — perhaps by adopting and adapting some of those responses for their own use. If the user persists in posting unsuitable comments, thus straying into "No effort to learn and improve over time" territory, Moderation action would be called for; see also my answer to the following question.

  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 a steady stream of valuable content might provide some context as to whether or not a user should be given the benefit of the doubt regarding a questionable post or comment, nevertheless each submission to the site should be viewed independently. This cuts both ways; we judge the post, not the poster, and thus sometimes undelete content that is worthwhile even if the poster is deleted for cause. We should similarly judge the post, not the poster, if they post a comment that is at odds with the fundamental Stack Exchange model of Be Nice. The Penalty Box is explicitly there to address "patterns of problem behavior" including all the points under the Disruptive behavior heading of the Penalty Box page, pretty much all of which would be on point in this scenario. Moderation shouldn't be an immediate escalation to penalizing bad behavior; the goal is to educate the user. I would follow what I understand to be a fairly typical progression - commenting directly in response to problematic comments, if appropriate; removing abusive or blatantly non-constructive messages; trying to address the concerns with the user in private; formal Moderator warning messages/email; and then, if problems still persist, using the Penalty Box.

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

Moderators are supposed to represent the community in their actions. If I felt someone was not doing so, or if I questioned the reasoning behind one of their actions, I would seek to discuss it with them, to understand why they took the action they did. Of course, Moderators are ideally well-established, conscientious persons who act with care and deliberation in the best interests of the site, so by default I would be looking at their action in the light most favorable to them, as their action was in all probability well-intentioned and likely made based in part on facts I'm unaware of. Especially if I was a new Moderator, I would want to learn from the situation, to understand why the Moderator believed their action was appropriate.

Regardless, Moderator actions are not absolute, nor infallible, nor permanent; well-established members of the community can collectively act to reopen or undelete messages, within certain boundaries, so if the community disagrees with an action by one of its Moderators they have some recourse. And there will always be, hopefully minor, differences of opinion about what to do with certain posts. But I think in general, the Moderators should be reacting to the requirements of site policy and to the consensus opinion of the community, not acting of their own volition; assuming all the Moderators are broadly following that philosophy, there shouldn't be a compelling reason to create divisiveness over a difference of opinion about an isolated case here and there, so I would be greatly disinclined to make a mountain out of a mole-hill. (If there was a pattern of such disagreements, that would be a different matter.)

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I think your answer to Q8, while eminently sensible, is missing much of the point of the question -- which, as I read it, is not so much "what if anything would you do about the person who made a not-very-good puzzle?" as "what if anything would you do about the people who are being a bit too mean in their response to that not-very-good puzzle?". $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 15 '17 at 20:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Hm. I think you're right, I missed that as the point of the question. I've updated my answer accordingly. $\endgroup$ – Rubio May 15 '17 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ "I'm probably on here to one extent or another a good 80 hours a week" - you need to get a life :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 21 '17 at 12:15
10
$\begingroup$

I'm Mithrandir, and these are my answers.

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

I don't think that any mod action would need to be taken here. If a type of puzzle becomes extremely popular, then we will get lots of questions of that type. And then, eventually, it will die down. This is like what happened with riddles - we tried to do something to stop the flow of bad riddles, and it turned out to be... a mistake. And the flow did stop - we aren't getting flooded by bad riddles anymore.

  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

It'll change my voting basically how it changed it on Literature - I won't vote unless I'm sure, as my votes will be binding.

There's also the effect of 'well if a mod closed it they obviously can't be wrong', so that's also worth taking into consideration when voting.

  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

There's actually not much more that could be done, IMO - we've already raised it on meta, and you'll end up bugging the CMs if you ping them too often. I'll certainly do whatever I can without bothering the staff, but I'm not quite sure how that would be done at the moment that the current mods haven't already done.

  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

I'm usually active from 10:00 AM (Israel time) to some point between 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM. I'm never active on Saturday, but I'm here almost all other days.

  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

...this was a tough one. I don't think that I've said anything that I'd be ashamed of; I have tried to leave helpful comments. That won't change - I'd actually be doing that more often, especially to confused new users.

  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

I'd inform them, politely, quietly, without making a fuss, that those are actually not the rules. I'd start with a comment replying to the statement, with a polite explanation of how they are mistaken about the rules. If they continue, I'd up the level - first with a private chat, ad then, if they absolutely refuse, a mod message. If they keep intentionally misleading other users, then they might need a short suspension - but that's a last resort.

  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

I would comment, certainly :). I don't think anything else really needs to be done immediately - it could just be that nobody can figure it out. If, after a few weeks however, they don't provide an answer, we would consider putting it on hold as 'unclear'. This may also be worth putting a meta question up about.
I don't think that this would change if it was a new user or a veteran.

  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

This would require talking to the commenters, and making them aware of the effect that their words have, and maybe suggest some ways that they could improve their comments. I'd also leave a comment to the OP, making sure that they know that no offense was intended, and that please don't take it as such.

  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?

Good content is not an excuse for bad behavior. Ultimately, bad behavior drives other contributors away, and we lose more good content. This hypothetical user would get warned, gently at first, and get steadily more severe, if they don't stop. Eventually, it could result in a suspension - again, as a last resort.

(Of course, if the asking for the ability for mods to ban from commenting gets implemented, that would solve the problem too...)

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

I'd discuss it with them in the mod chatroom. If the mods aren't agreeing on something, that most likely means that either one of us misunderstood something, or that the policy is unclear, in which case it should be brought to meta.
In any case, I would not unilaterally override another mod's decision without talking to them first.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 I like every answer. Fair minded and clearly guided by a lot of experience. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers May 9 '17 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ Going to one question about flags. What if people are just arbitrarily flagging someone for no good reason and everyone is doing it (like 50+ members) just because they can. There's no actual reason for it. Would you punish the user for somehow magically creating conflict or would you punish the 50 users making false accusations. Assume that the flags do not match the user's content at all. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 9 '17 at 23:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck - if the flags have no backing, they'll be declined. If people are abusing flags, then they will get flag-banned and quite possibly suspended. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 4:44
  • $\begingroup$ For question 7, you said wait a few weeks to wait for an answer, however, the nature of that question suggests it is not a well made, but hard puzzle that a solution cannot be found for, but a question (probably poorly made) that lacks an unique solution. These don't seem to last 'weeks' before on hold decisions are made. Would you be encouraging people to wait more before putting it on hold? What kind of comments would you provide? $\endgroup$ – n_plum May 10 '17 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @n_palum - I interpreted it as a 'probably not well made and nobody can find anything' puzzle. If it lacks a unique solution, and that is demonstratable, then yeah, that would be too broad and it would get closed as such (not necessarily by a mod), with an explanation to the OP: 'this appears to lack a unique solution, in the future please make sure that your puzzles have a unique solution. Thanks'. If I'm confused, tell me :) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 15:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithrandir by unique solution they don't mean several possible solutions but rather a lack of ANY logical solutions. The puzzle simply has no solution. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 11 '17 at 0:34
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck - yes, that's how I answered it in the post. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 11 '17 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ The phrasing in your other comment indicated unique as in "several answer solve this puzzle". To be frank, if a puzzle is posted it better have a solution unless it's a blatant troll. $\endgroup$ – The Great Duck May 11 '17 at 9:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck - yes, because that's apparently how the commenters were interpreting it. To be clear: If it doesn't have a solution, and we're pretty sure, it might get closed as unclear (not necessarily by a mod). If it has several equally possible answers, that's too broad. (There! Got all interpretations in :P) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 11 '17 at 9:13
8
$\begingroup$

JonMark Perry

  1. A puzzle becomes tremendously popular, spawning many similar, easily-reproduceable variations. New users flock to the site, eager to post their own version of the puzzle, but some regulars feel that the new wave of puzzles are too simple and of low quality. How do you react and how do you respond? To give a more concrete example, imagine if we were getting 10 of these a day, some better than others. It could be that none of them are too broad, but it's evident for many of the newer ones that the poster didn't put in much thought/effort when constructing them.

If they get up-voted, I see no problem. If the lack of effort becomes too irritating, point this out to the OP, and close as 'too broad' (the usual problem with low quality puzzles).

  1. As a moderator, your votes are binding - close, delete, tag synonyms, etc. How will this change how you usually VTC/VTD?

I will take more care in deciding a posts' outcome.

  1. Puzzling is very different from most sites on the network. What do you think should change to reflect this difference in the way the site actually works, rather than just the way we use the system that's already there? (E.g. the ability to reward questions more than answers, changes to the wording of the help centre, etc.) As a moderator, with an improved level of access to Stack Exchange employees, how would you seek to bring about such changes?

I like SE's structuring just the way it is. Bulk questions might work with Puzzling - questions need better insurance against DV's when they have answers - these questions can't be deleted by the author.

  1. How much time do you think that you will be able to spend actively moderating every day? What is your usual activity pattern over the week?

2-3 hours as a minumum, although I spend most of my days on my computer (every day with the odd day/s off).

  1. With the diamond attached to everything you've said in the past, do you think you have represented the ideals of this community? And will you continue to do so in the future as you are held to a slightly higher/different standard?

Of course.

  1. Not every user is well-informed about site policy, and many things on this site are not policy, but rather convention. What would you do if an established user began telling newer users (in comments or in chat) that they need to follow certain "rules" that are not in fact rules (either contrary to policy or simply convention)? Keep in mind that the established user probably believes (for whatever reason) that these are in fact "the rules".

Find references to official SE policy, and point these out to the Established User.

  1. Suppose someone posts a puzzle that you, and maybe a couple other users, don't think has a solution. But you also can't prove the absence of an answer, by definition. (Assume that, if you comment, the user isn't responsive or helpful. But please do mention if you would comment.) What do you do in this situation? Suppose the user is a new account, and this is their first question - does your action change?

No puzzle is beyond resolution of some form.

  1. Suppose you observe a new user post their first attempt at creating a puzzle. The response is lukewarm, and the comments are helpful and posted in good faith. However, they're a little naive to the tone of constructive criticism, and as a result, come across... a little bit degrading and dismissive. (And maybe in your fair judgement, the commenters really are right: it's not bad, but it's not a great puzzle, and needs a bit of work.) There are a couple questions: How do you react to this situation? Do you respond to this situation at all? Suppose you see this becoming a problematic and frequent pattern. What do you do? I ask this question, because I do see this happen, and it's a situation that's always made me a little bit uncomfortable. I now know what I'd do, but it's taken me a while to figure it out, and it's definitely a personal stylistic decision.

Being a moderator, I would moderate, and hopefully resolve the comments into a meaningful statement for the OP.

  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?

Point this out to them, with a suggestion of how to improve their comments.

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

Respect their decision as binding.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For question 7 - are you never going to close a question, comment to get a response etc? Or are you just going to try and edit puzzles? Some users don't want to try and 'save' questions with no solution, and all vote to close it, do you still try to fix it? $\endgroup$ – n_plum May 10 '17 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Q7 is very open - the exact nature of the problem is not defined, different problems have different solutions. I would react based on what I felt the problem was. $\endgroup$ – JMP May 10 '17 at 12:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why would you regard the other mod's action as binding? You would have the same amount of power as them, and as a mod it would be your duty to do what is best for the site - which includes making sure that stuff that shouldn't get closed doesn't, and vice versa. If you believe that the other moderator has done something that you feel goes against that, why wouldn't you speak up? $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 14:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think that the first question is talking about puzzles that aren't off topic or too broad, they're just... Uninteresting/low quality. Would you close every boring question as 'too broad'? (Consider a case where we're getting flooded with ciphers that ignore the' here's what not to do' post.) $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 14:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Regarding question 7, the question is talking about where it quite possibly doesn't have a solution. I could go post a riddle that is unsolvable, because I wrote it to describe two completely different things as one - there is absolutely no way to solve it. But you can't prove that; that's just what you suspect. Why would you say that all puzzles must have some solution? $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 14:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by 'I would moderate' in question 8? $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ On question 9, how would you suggest that they improve their comments? $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir May 10 '17 at 14:56
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ As @Mithrandir's plethora of questions implies, your answers are very terse, and don't provide a lot of information, in most cases. You might want to consider expanding your answers to provide more detail. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 10 '17 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ is it right for me to answer another candidate's questions for him? $\endgroup$ – JMP May 11 '17 at 4:47
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @JonMarkPerry Well, to me its okay if Mith questions you. He is a fellow community member just like everyone. And may become your fellow partner as well :) You can also answer the question in the election room if you want. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot May 11 '17 at 7:53
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @JonMarkPerry I think it's irrelevant that Mithrandir is another candidate. And whether you directly answer Mithrandir's questions, expanding on your answers could only be helpful. As it stands, this is like walking into a job interview and answering all the questions with a terse "yup" or "nope". It doesn't give a lot to work with, and doesn't give the impression that you've carefully considered the questions or your answers to them. $\endgroup$ – GentlePurpleRain May 12 '17 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, Trovolta, yes :) $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter May 14 '17 at 23:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .