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The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.


Mathematics Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election next week, 2021-11-08. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until 2021-11-08 at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

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

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The following two questions are guaranteed to be included:

    • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
    • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
  • The community team may also include the following three questions if the community doesn’t supply enough questions.

    • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
    • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
    • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. We exclude any suggested questions that are negatively scored.

    • We will post the final questionnaire on the Election page. Candidates will have the option to fill out the questionnaire, and their answers will appear beneath their intro statements.
    • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

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  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Why is there an election? Is someone standing down or are more hands required for the workload? $\endgroup$ Nov 1 at 22:01
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @PeterPhipps A comment from one of the mods here $\endgroup$ Nov 1 at 22:09
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar, thank you. $\endgroup$ Nov 1 at 22:11
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ More hands make quicker work, or so I've heard. $\endgroup$
    – davidlowryduda Mod
    Nov 2 at 5:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think there should be female moderators and also, there should be more than $100 $ moderators on Math.SE for better user experience, development and improvement of this site. $\endgroup$
    – jasmine
    Nov 5 at 2:30
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @jasmine 100 is too many! It is a select job and requires a tight knit team, which certainly wouldn't contain 100 at a time. Female representation is an important point to raise, and I think has been raised in previous elections as well : if someone could write up a great question about that (something like "how would you increase female participation on site?" or something like that.) I'm leaving this here so if someone can phrase it well they can try and write a question , else I'll write one myself looking at previous versions. $\endgroup$ Nov 5 at 7:20
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @jasmine: This is why this is a self-moderating community. Diamond moderators are not supposed to do all the moderation tasks, they are supposed to just deal with the exceptions. How many exceptions do you think we have? And how many of these users do you think are very active anyway? $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Nov 5 at 8:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'll create a chat room on Monday, yes, @amWhy $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Nov 5 at 16:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The election does not start next week, it's just the nomination @maths $\endgroup$ Nov 6 at 10:45
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 20:00UTC, as the election page and this post denote, @Maths $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Nov 8 at 11:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JNat probably too late to talk this over with other CMs. But, given a surprise post here, with a question not as amenable to review and discussion for includsion in the questionnaire, I have reason to worry that that strategy will be used, like it was in 2012, for self nomination, a couple ours before literal voting began. Will there be at least a 24 hour gap between the deadline for self-nomination, and the start of the primary/election? Users need time to digest a last minute nomination, ask questions re: their questionnaire answers, and hopefully chat in the mod election chatroom $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 8 at 16:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ ... to make informed decisions and request clarification on stated candidate summaries, their answers, etc. I seem to remember this "break", given the fallout after a mod candidate tossed their hat in the election at the very last minute. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 8 at 16:35
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ There won't be such a buffer period, no, @amWhy. There's a deadline for nominations, and any valid nomination made up until that point stands. You can still request clarifications during the voting phase, and vote (or edit your choices) up until the voting deadline. $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Nov 8 at 16:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is quite unfortunate, because this site won't have a two weeks to ask, because there will not be twenty candidates. I would have thought SE learned from the abuse in 2012. But I think you weren't here then. In any case, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 8 at 16:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy: I'd suggest reading this MSE post from April 2021 about the new questionnaire UI for mod elections. It makes it easier for CMs to generate the questionnaire, easier for candidates to answer it, and easier for voters to see questionnaire answers alongside the candidates' statements, all on the election page itself. The MSE post includes some screenshots showing how it'll look for nominees, as well as how questionnaire responses look for voters (you can also see it in action on the election page, now that someone's nominated themself). $\endgroup$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Nov 9 at 5:43

15 Answers 15

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Do you agree with the enforcement of quality standards? Do you think more or less is needed? What are your reasons?

The linked meta announcement is a recent attempt to deal with the repeated behaviour of answering poor questions. This issue is important in light of the ease at which students can get full answers to questions on their assignment/test even when they show no effort, but more generally poor questions contribute to a poor-quality Q&A site and also a poor impression of the site to the wider mathematical community.

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2
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Worth emphasis: EoQS regulates both "poor questions" and duplicate questions. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 19:07
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Btw, if would be very helpful if not only the mod candidates but also the current mods revealed their views on EoQS. Likely some are more hardline than others, so if some users seek diversity on the mod team then it is crucial to know where it currently stands on these (and other) contentious matters. I don't recall if that info already exists, but I think the community deserves such information (not only for election purposes). $\endgroup$ Nov 5 at 18:18
18
$\begingroup$

Do you think that questions at an advanced level do not require as much context?

There is disagreement over this within the current mod team.

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3
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Have the moderators had public disagreements on this? I don't remember seeing any. $\endgroup$ Nov 2 at 3:15
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson : this is not explicitly declared by mods, but looking at chat messages by various mods over the time has given me this impression. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Nov 2 at 3:27
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Also answers by some mods give this impression $\endgroup$
    – Lobic
    Nov 3 at 4:22
18
$\begingroup$

What do you think about the solution-verification tag?


See this post for some context.

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14
$\begingroup$

Moderators disagree with each other all the time on issues large and small.

How will you deal with disagreement with other moderators? At what point do you reverse their actions?

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1
13
$\begingroup$

Do you have a cause that you would like to focus on as a moderator? Is there a special project that you would like to pursue?

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  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Your question and my question makes same sense but I don't know why mine was poorly received $\endgroup$ Nov 2 at 17:00
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @LalitTolani Mine is a little more general. EoQS is a good example of a mod project, but you could choose something beyond the scope of regulation, such as community building activities, promoting good questions, or bringing in new users. Or maybe someone sees themselves as being particularly suited towards a specific mod activity, like investigating sockpuppets. In this way, I think my version of the question focuses more on the type of moderator the candidate wishes to be, rather than on what views they have. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Nov 2 at 23:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Yes, what at last is important is my thought get published in the answer of yours :-) $\endgroup$ Nov 3 at 2:37
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think we can augment this by also adding "What are two big challenges you expect the community to have to deal with in the next few years". $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Nov 3 at 14:20
13
$\begingroup$

What has your involvement in moderation issues looked like in the past? For example, have you helped maintain particular tags, been active in review queues, or provided help on meta? How do you see this changing as you step in to a more official role?

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5
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is a huge factor; partly revealed in a candidate's score, but nonetheless important. There are a handful of vocal users who criticize the moderating actions of users and mods, but never offer to pitch in and lift a finger to partake in such work. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 3 at 21:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @KReiser. You have taken a serious interest in moderation issues, and are well informed about the policies. Is there a chance that I could talk you into running in this election? $\endgroup$ Nov 8 at 17:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Since you asked.... I wonder if the situation now had changed, so that you might consider retrieving your diamond? $\endgroup$ Nov 8 at 19:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar I appreciate the question and the sentiment. At the moment there are too many other things on my plate. Next year might be better, but I'm not sure. Because I have this tendency not to forget old grudges (against others as well as my past self), so I cannot be trusted to handle EoQS flags. Most of the users that (apparently) have been hit with EoQS-motivated suspensions are on the list of users I also developed a related grudge against. While EoQS is, indeed, a great cure to many a problem on the site, I should not be trusted to handle those decisions because of this history. $\endgroup$ Nov 9 at 8:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JyrkiLahtonen Thank you for the encouragement, but unfortunately I am in the same boat as you with too many other things on my plate at the moment. $\endgroup$
    – KReiser
    Nov 9 at 10:04
12
$\begingroup$

Have you ever been rate-limited (blocked from posting questions or answers, without counting the standard limit of 6 questions per 24 hours, etc.) or banned from reviewing, editing, etc. either on this site or on a different site on the network?

If so, please provide some details.

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8
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I just want to make clear that I think that it is important for people who are voting for a moderator to know whether or not someone was banned from reviews. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Nov 3 at 16:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why is it important to know whether a candidate has been rate-limited or suspended from reviewing/editing elsewhere on the network? $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 17:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheAmplitwist: Why is it important to know if they have been suspended? They are going to take part in moderating activities. If they are unable to work within a good standard for one community, this may indicate that there is somehow less lack of flexibility in understanding how standards can differ or evolve (from the internal one). Of course, the more important bit is about this community. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Nov 4 at 17:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I did not ask why it is important to know if they have been suspended, I specifically focussed on the part “elsewhere on the network”. I think site standards vary widely across the network. Why does a candidate’s reviewing activity on, say, Pets SE, important to determine if they’ll make a good moderator here? $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 17:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheAmplitwist It helps to gauge how well a reviewer-candidate-for-moderator can remain objective in reviewing; because on huge task of moderators is reviewing flags; and if there is reason to the candidate may have had problems with reviewing objectively, they may have problems with reviewing flags objectively. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 4 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ by etc., does that include suspension? $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 18:24
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @TheAmplitwist: Because, as I said, if you get rate limited (or review-banned, which normally requires mod intervention) then it tells us something about being able, or unable, to understand what are the standards of whatever community in which it happened. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Nov 4 at 18:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm sorry, @Asaf. My response above was not an attempt to answer for you. You post just struck me as valuable, and I shared with the user the value I saw in it. It would have made more sense overall if I could fix the typos. Thanks for posting your response. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 4 at 22:47
12
$\begingroup$

The CURED chatroom is extremely active and plays a large role in closing and deleting questions and answers, among other moderation activities.

  1. Are you aware of this chatroom?

  2. Do you think this chatroom is healthy for this site, unhealthy, or somewhere in between? Please justify your answer.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This late entry is a copy (minorly altered) of a question from the last election. I hesitated to suggest it again as I wondered about the continued influence of CURED. However, as I type this there are 10 users in the room (making it the busiest chatroom). $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Nov 8 at 15:13
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It is an extremely important room cleaning the site from posts that try to transform this site into a do-my-homework site. Accepting such posts means supporting laziness and cheating - a not acceptable alternative. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Nov 8 at 17:24
5
$\begingroup$

What timezone are you in? More generally, on what hours of the day do you expect to be online for taking care of moderation duties?

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    $\begingroup$ This is really a good question, even if only for those concerned more consistent coverage during some days/evenings, which could help a user select a choice in the election, say between two or three candidates they support equally. Right now, we have four mods from Western Europe, including England and Ireland. Four from the US, and one from South America, all within the three hour range in time-zones. Often most active and accessible when people in Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands are sleeping! If it doesn't make it on the questionnaire, let's ask it in comments! $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 2 at 16:19
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ To me, this question seems uncontroversial, and yet it has received 11 downvotes. Would anyone hazard a guess as to why this is the case? $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Nov 3 at 17:47
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Joe It is possible that the downvotes are because folks do not consider this question so pressing that it needs to be on the questionnaire—after all, only at most 8 community selected questions can make it. Regardless, as amWhy said, one can always ask this to the candidates in the comments under their nomination. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ For instance, the positively scored posts on this thread all directly concern moderation activities in some way. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 at 18:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @TheAmplitwist I did not say that just to point that out. I have no problem with people not upvoting this if they find it to be as important as other factors. So, like Joe, I'm wondering my people would downvote this post? $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 3 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @amWhy “I did not say that just to point that out” - oh yes, I can see that in your first comment, didn’t mean to imply otherwise in my response to Joe :) $\endgroup$ Nov 3 at 22:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Understood. I just wanted to be clear. You said nothing wrong, nor did you imply otherwise. I think it is important for this site to have a goal of coverage when current mods are all sleeping, but half (likely more than half) of the users are posting, flagging, but have little chance to interact in real time with any mods. I'm glad you asked this question! $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 3 at 22:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think that this is a question which should be answered by all of the candidates. However, I can't quite bring myself to upvote it, as there are only a limited number of question slots, and a question which can be answered with five or six characters (GMT -7) seems like a poor use of one of those slots. :\ $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 6 at 21:09
5
$\begingroup$

Have you ever been suspended from this site of any other site of SE Network? If so, please describe the situation.

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    $\begingroup$ Just mentioning that any user who was suspended at any time during the past year on any site in the network is automatically excluded from nomination (see meta.stackexchange.com/a/135361/196432). $\endgroup$
    – Martin R
    Nov 3 at 10:25
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @MartinR A notable consequence: many users who disagree with the current EoQS policy cannot run for mod because many have been given recent "short" suspensions due to EoQS violations. This is probably not fair (and probably not intended), though it may have little impact since it may be unlikely that any of them would run. But it is something to keep in mind about the impact of such "short" suspensions. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 18:43
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy AFAIK EoQS suspensions progressed from 1 day to 2 days etc. If I were still a mod I would not be comfortable with an initial 1 or 2 day EoQS suspension blocking someone from running. I have always been a proponent of striving to have the mod team be diverse enough to faithfully represent the wide diversity of views in the community - esp. on contentious topics. That may not be possible on the EoQS topic because of such suspension blocks. I thought that worth emphasis since it may not be obvious to many at first glance (possibly including the mod(s) issuing such suspensions) $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 23:13
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Prior to the suspension was Xander's post, then about three messages from users linking users answering PSQs dated only after the post from Xander, to Xander's post, then a mod warning, so any suspension issued came after about five warnings in some shape or form; many more heads up than other users were given for other infractions. I think you are minimizing the importance of the EoQS, and minimizing the role users suspended have played in fostering and enabling askers interested only in getting homework done for them. I'll allow you the last word. I'm done, and will not reply to you. :-) $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 4 at 23:31
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy We don't know how many warnings users received (e.g. some users never read meta, and likely some don't bother reading comments before posting further answers). That I am a proponent of diversity on the mod team does not imply anything about the "minimization" claims you make. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 23:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy Only a a mod can confirm that every user was warned at least 5 times before EoQS suspension. I highly doubt that is true. In any case this is tangential to the main discussion on mod team diversity. $\endgroup$ Nov 5 at 18:04
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Diversity of opinion is always welcome on the mod team. What is not welcome is-- just as an example-- a mod who advocates his opinions by belligerently overturning the decisions of other mods, rather than seeking internal consensus. Excluding users from candidacy who do not know that they must adhere to site rules even if they disagree with them goes a long way to preventing such situations. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander Gruber Mod
    Nov 5 at 18:46
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @TeresaLisbon If you review the long history of the site you will learn that the views on (contentious) policies always shift over time, and usually the views on such policies differ even among mods. The point of my remarks above is merely to raise awareness of a potentially unintended consequence that might inhibit the site from being managed democratically - i.e. in a way that fairly represents the diverse views in the community. It seem some readers are reading (much) more into the remarks than was intended. $\endgroup$ Nov 6 at 17:32
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ In particular, it was not meant to be a criticism or EoQS, or the (current) mods, or anything but the specific matter mentioned. I should also stress (for newer users) that I have always strived to advocate for (democratic) fairness in such matters - even to the point of defending the rights of users whose views differ strongly from mine. So one should not attempt to derive inferences on my personal views on specific issues from such general arguments. $\endgroup$ Nov 6 at 17:42
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ When one opposes a policy enacted by authorities, one can choose to fight that policy either by flouting it, or by working within the system to change it. Those who flout such a policy have generally made a choice to work outside of the system, and have (to an extent) given up the right to assume the mantle of authority and change the system from within---those who willfully ignore a policy have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to enforce community standards, and those who negligently ignore a policy have demonstrated that they are too out of touch to be given greater authority. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 6 at 21:02
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ As such (and as a particular example), I do not think that it is problematic that users who have been suspended for posting answers to low quality questions (which typically only happens have the moderation team has issued a warning) are ineligible to run for a moderator position. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 6 at 21:04
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Xander But it seems to be very little known that (EoQS) suspensions would block running. Did you inform users about that in your warnings before suspension? If not, then your argument is fallacious. Please show some empathy. Imagine if your views were on the other end of the spectrum. $\endgroup$ Nov 7 at 18:28
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque If a user is so ignorant of how Stack Exchange operates that they do not know that you cannot run for moderator if you have been suspended in the last year, then I think that candidate is too disengaged from the site to be a qualified candidate. As I said above: "...those who negligently ignore a policy have demonstrated that they are too out of touch to be given greater authority" $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 7 at 18:30
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Xander Do you realize that you have just deemed "ignorant" the majority of our community? Even many longtime users are not aware of many of the subtleties of the SE platform. To exploit that for political gain is highly unscrupulous. $\endgroup$ Nov 7 at 18:32
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: you have raised an important point here and I am sure that many who were suspended due to EoQS would not have thought about its implications for an election. But at the same time I don't think the EoQS policy was designed with the view to block people from running in an election. In fact this point of elections never turned up in the meta thread for EoQS. $\endgroup$
    – Paramanand Singh Mod
    Nov 8 at 1:05
4
$\begingroup$

What can you do to significantly reduce the number of pending posts in the close votes queue?

Although I don't have the privilege to cast close votes, I can see that it is a lot.

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9
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A lot? Stack overflow used to be above 100k. 683 is not a lot. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 at 16:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am sorry, I have no idea about the number of pending posts in Stack Overflow. I am still a new user and I have don't have an idea about it. $\endgroup$
    – soupless
    Nov 3 at 17:26
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Although 683 is a lot smaller than approximately a hundred thousand, that doesn't mean that it is not a lot compared to the other queues. $\endgroup$
    – soupless
    Nov 3 at 17:27
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ @Ekadh You're comparing apples with oranges. It is huge "too many" when there are 500 or more such posts in the queue on this site. This election is will ask questions of users who want to moderate math.se, not SO. Questions in the close queue, taken proportionally to the amount of traffic each site gets, and users each site has, and you'd have to eat your words. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 3 at 21:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @amWhy Math gets close to half (if not more) the questions of SO. 683 isn’t half of 100k. Not even close. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 1:06
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica The size of the queue, at >600 and growing, is an issue. It is a bigger issue on other sites, sure, but it is still an issue. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Nov 4 at 11:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica Again, you are comparing apples and oranges. According to this page SO has over 22 million questions, receives over 10 million visitors per day, and gets over 5,000 new questions every day. By contrast, Math SE is at around 1.4 million questions, receives fewer than 900k visitors per day, and accumulates around 500 questions per day. I would expect that the close queue at SO would be larger, as everything there is larger. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 6 at 15:36
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Moreover, your claim that the close queue is over 100k is wildly exaggerated. The current queue size is around 5,000 posts. The last time it was anywhere near 100k was almost 7 years ago, before the system was changed so that close votes age away. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Nov 6 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson looks like I forgot to look at the time stamps on those meta posts, my bad. $\endgroup$ Nov 8 at 17:31
4
$\begingroup$

Do you think Math SE moderators should delete objectively bad mathematical content? (E.g. an 'answer' based essentially on a claim that "dividing by a nonzero $x$ and adding $x^2$ can make an extraneous root") Why or why not?

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20
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    $\begingroup$ I think your question is good, but your explanation is almost like an answer ("in this situation, it should be deleted"). Maybe it could be rephrased to be an additional question: "For example, what would you do when a thread...". $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Nov 3 at 13:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Sure, but a weak or impressionable candidate might simply follow the suggested path. Give them room to show their weakness...... (Conversely, give the good candidates room to show their strength.) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Nov 3 at 15:49
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ -1. The point of moderators is not to judge technical accuracy. This has been mentioned hundreds of times on meta stack overflow and meta stack exchange. $\endgroup$ Nov 3 at 16:34
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica: Just because something is the norm on other SE sites does not imply anything about this site. The question is whether the candidate thinks that moderators should remove blatant mathematical nonsense. $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Nov 3 at 16:37
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica I don't think your point here invalidates the question. Basically, you and user21820 disagree on the answer. In my view, this make is a good question, as it means you can find and vote for those candidates which you agree with. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Nov 4 at 11:42
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Alas, the question is meaningless with a precise definition of "objectively bad mathematical content". There lies a big can of worms. While we may all agree that spam satisfies that definition it may be difficult to get the community to agree on much more. Which is probably why the SE guidelines are as they are. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 19:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: Well, there's the clear-cut nonsense and the clear-cut mathematics. No doubt people will disagree on the middle cases, but the question is about the clear-cut case. Obviously, we can't elect mathematically untrained moderators if we want it to work... $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Nov 4 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ It's not always clear what is "nonsense". As a historical example, many folks thought arguments using infintesimals were complete nonsense. And even nowadays some wrongly believe that arguments using formal power series are nonsense, e.g. see joriki's comments and deleted answer here. While I sympathize with the problems you seek to solve, I think the wisest choice is to have the full community involved in such judgments - not only a single person. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: Well what I mean by clear-cut nonsense is that it is blatantly false. I'm not sure what to make of the comment you linked; presumably joriki was simply complaining that it's misleading rather than outright wrong. And that's precisely the kind of middle cases that do not fall under "clear-cut". I would actually agree with you on not relying on a single person if the voting system actually worked. Unfortunately, ... In any case, posters of blatant nonsense could always complain on Meta, which would let all ≥10k-rep users see whether moderator deletion is correct, right? $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Nov 4 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ @user21820 Please read the linked thread more carefully. It gives a recent example where one (high rep) user wrongly believed that correct math was nonsense. Things like that occur not too infrequently. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: Oh I missed the deleted answer. But I was actually talking more about really obvious falsehoods, than perceived ill-defined notation. $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Nov 4 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ @user21820 Replacing one fuzzy term ("objectively bad mathematical content") by another ("really obvious falsehoods") is not progress. No doubt most readers not familiar with convergence of formal powers series would describe it in those terms (as I mention there - even some professional mathematicians published such incorrect claims). $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ More historical examples: some called category theory "abstract nonsense" in the early days - and it was no joke to some. And Ritt denigrated finite fields (and $p$-adic methods) as "monkey fields" (but his student Kolchin showed how powerful local methods were in differential algebra). We cannot always expect a single person to make wise judgments - even if they are experts in one field. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ To be clear - my primary objective was to raise awareness of the difficulties inherent in such matters - not to express any personal viewpoints. But surely it is worth knowing candidates views on such matters. $\endgroup$ Nov 4 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: I of course understand, and thanks for your participation! $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Nov 4 at 23:24
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Do you think burnout will be a problem for you?
Why or why not?

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What new reform(or rule) as a moderator you would like to introduce(if any) that would make MSE better?

As an example, our current moderator Xander Henderson(after consensus from all mods) introduced the concept of Enforcement of Quality Standards to cope up with the issue of PSQ's.

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preamble:   The EoQS is half a year old; currently, the observance and enforcement of Quality Standards is perceivably uneven across the MSE website—perhaps due to uneven distribution of resources (different tags attracting readership with differing views), and perhaps because, depending on a question's area and level, reviewers require different amounts of “context” and have different judgments about duplication.

Do you think the EoQS benefits from a significantly clearer elucidation of what constitutes “context” (please elaborate)—perhaps even reference examples of delete- and close-worthy questions—so that enforcement can be more consistent, upholding QS feels less of a shot in the dark, and the community's vision more homogeneous? What are your ideas on how, down the road, the EoQS may be understood and applied more objectively?

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    $\begingroup$ Instead of asking "What are your ideas on how, down the road, the EoQS can understood and applied somewhat less subjectively", can you ask a more open-ended question, like "Do you think EoQS are objectively enforced"? $\endgroup$ Nov 2 at 22:54
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @Arctic for suggesting that more-constructing-sounding tweak; I've edited accordingly. $\endgroup$
    – ryang
    Nov 3 at 5:01
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    $\begingroup$ Please don't make questions your personal editorials. The nonopinionated version of this question has already been as an answer to this post. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Nov 3 at 14:32

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