Example Situations with another Moderator
For the "another moderator" questions I'll first answer what I'd want to happen if I were the moderator. As I go into most situations thinking what would I want if the role were reversed.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I'd want the moderator to undo my action and let the situation be handled by unelected moderators. We can then see what the community feels is the correct course of action. Sometimes I'm wrong, so a quick ping in the 1st with a short explanation may clean up everything. Otherwise, if I still think the action should be taken, I'd then have the option to comment on the post explaining why.
I think escalating to meta should be a last resort. As the situation can be handled without meta.
If the current situation is the first disagreement between me and another moderator I'd want to establish a sort of policy. The aim is for us to discuss how best to handle conflicts taking into account each other's quirks. I'd then follow the agreed upon policy.
In the very unlikely case we can't build a policy, I'd ask for another moderator's opinion. We can then resolve the situation however the majority decides. If we still can't decide on a resolution then meta seems like the only viable option.
You notice that a moderator on Code Review is not active very often, or when they are active, they do only the minimal amount of moderation, they do not participate often in
codereview.meta.stackexchange.com and may not even have visited the meta site in some weeks.
Is this a concern? What, if anything, should be done to get them to "pull their weight"?
I take breaks from Code Review every now and then. We all need breaks as we can all get fatigued. If site activity increases whilst I'm on a break, unless I have a life situation currently going on, a ping may get me back and ready to go.
One thing I've learnt from previous moderators is; moderators come in all shapes and sizes. As such I think division of labour based on everyone's interests and skills is good amongst the moderator team. As such if another moderator is not active on meta when I am, what's the problem?
Yes. I'd be concerned for the well being of the other moderator. For the most part I wouldn't want to make a scene, so I'd leave things for time to fix. However if the moderator team is currently being stretched thin; I think the moderator's duty to the site are more important than the problems a difficult conversation could create.
Ultimately I'd want to be understanding of life situations. And would prefer to have an amicable solution if possible. For example; could we pick up the slack or could we get an additional mod?
Moderators have a role that is much closer aligned to Stack Exchange as a corporation than the role of "just another high-rep user". This can mean enforcing policies that you'd like to see implemented differently, lobbying for change in those policies or any number of interactions that are not available to "your normal everyday user".
What do you think of that prospect?
If you could change one policy (be it SE-wide or CR), which would that be and why?
I have opinions on everything and anything. If you post a question on meta; I will magically have an opinion. Some of my opinions are good, some terribly bad. And meta is there to filter the best opinions into policies.
However being opinionated doesn't stop me from following policies. Doesn't matter where the policy came from or my opinions, just as long as the policy exists. If I have an opinion I should go to meta.
I've pioneered a few policies before. But if I had to propose a new one I'd try to solve the following situation. Sometimes Mast and I discuss some of the more boring topics - say tags. After a discussion we design a tagging scheme. Unfortunately a moderator isn't around to make the scheme a reality. Which leaves me a little disheartened.
As such I think a concrete policy for raising meta issues to moderators would be helpful. Whilst chasing in chat is possible, I feel icky afterwards. As such I'd be interested in building a policy where any user could add [meta-tag:mod-review] to a question to raise a meta post for me to handle. At the current time I think some soft 'rules' around the tag would also be a benefit. Rules allowing maximum feedback from the community, and to reduce confrontations around how I handle a post.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
On main having moderator privileges would allow me to quickly handle situations like a bad question going hot, obsolete comments, handling non-answers and suspicious user activity. Having moderator privileges would only really make the outcome of my actions happen faster. For the most part I would still have the same effect on the site.
However looking at meta I'd be able to raise issues to Stack Exchange, edit moderator only parts of the site and make the outcome of meta discussions a reality. Sometimes I can't get a moderator to use these privileges. So being a moderator would open the door to more possibilities for me. And I'd hope [meta-tag:mod-review] would allow me to open the door for non-moderators too.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
To me a moderator is a normal highly active user who looks after the site. And just so happens to have a privilege to handle exceptional circumstances.
The moderator team is then a diverse set of such users. Who individually try to look after the site in their own unique ways. Whilst being a core part of the community.
Moderating on SE is much more than just wielding a mighty hammer, zapping spammers and wearing a cool hat. As a moderator, the community will be looking up to you, and ideally following your footsteps - you'll be some kind of a role model here.
Are you planning to take a leadership role in the continuous building of this community, keeping it active, vibrant, appealing to reviewers / would-be reviewers / reviewees?
If so, how? If not, why?
Yes, I'd continue acting in the leadership role I already have. As a user in the top 10 for [meta-tag:discussion] I have; put forward and debated policies with other users, helped guide users on what our rules mean and have explained why questions are off-topic plenty of times before. I believe meta greatly effects the site as a whole. And I hope having a moderator who's primary focus is meta can help revitalize meta after the blow to activity we've had since COVID-19.
- A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
I've been told on a number of different occasions I post thorough and great answers. So for the most part I feel great! Whilst I try my best to be my best all the time, sometimes I, like everyone, fail. I understand well the light a moderator's actions are seen in. So I'd like to spread the positive ones as much I can.
Moderators on Code Review automatically become moderators on the Stack Exchange chat system. The chat system includes Code Review and all Stack Exchange sites except Stack Overflow.
A user on chat has posted a message that has been flagged as rude or abusive on a board related to the hypothetical, but obviously "controversial" or "polarizing" site flatearth.stackexchange.com.
What actions do you take?
Same thing we always do Pinky.
Try to take over the world! Try to get people to disengage. When I have the chance to act on 10k chat flags my current workflow is;
- open the transcript of the chat,
- mark the flag however I think is best,
- read the transcript for context,
- ask the users to disengage, and
- monitor the chat for a period of time.
I plan to treat mod chat flags and 10k chat flags the same way I currently do for 10k flags. At the current time the only way I'd like to change is to get better skills at getting emotionally charged users to disengage.
In practice, I've gotten to 4 once. As many other users handle chat flags faster than I do.
- 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?
The example is really situational. An (elected/unelected) moderator generating lots of "No Longer Needed" flags should probably be fine.
Personally I think Code Review has a high duty calls factor. If you know two languages you probably know at least two different styles. The best case I've seen when comments turn into an argument is the two users agreeing to just stop and cleaning up the comments. So in my opinion most arguments can just be nuked from orbit.
Additionally if the user is breaking any rules or the CoC I'd have more work to do. If I think the user is being rude I may need to double check with another moderator, as I don't want to overreact. If the user has a pattern of being rude a private chat may be enough to fix the problem. If the problem continues then other moderator privileges would have to be used.