In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Town Hall Chat session 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. I will be working with candidates to determine a time for the event.

The Town Hall Chat took place Wednesday the 27th at 02:00:00Z UTC. A digest can be found here.

Here are the details so far:

  • I would like to schedule this towards the beginning of the primary phase. This means that I am looking at the 25th-27th of February. As soon as I coordinate with the existing moderators and candidates to find a best fit based on availability, I will edit this post with details on the "when".
  • The Town Hall Chat will be a one-hour event using our chat platform. I will update this post with a direct link to the chat room once the event is scheduled.
  • The format will be an open discussion. Users are encouraged to pose questions to the candidates regarding their thoughts on moderation.
  • Priority for scheduling is generally towards the greatest number of candidate openings as well as the earliest. Candidates who cannot show up during the live event will still be able to answer all questions posted, they will just do so at their earliest convenience.
  • If you can't make it but have questions you wish to pose to the candidates, please leave them here as a response, and I will ask it on your behalf.
  • After the chat session, a digest of the event will be permanently linked here.
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2 Answers

I'm a programmer but hardly visit Prog.SE because it has too many low-quality highly-voted questions and answers. What do you propose to do to improve the overall quality of the site?

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I see that one candidate hardly ever downvotes, one candidate wants to close less, and one candidates cumulates the two. If you're so set against cleanup tasks which are part of a moderator's job, what makes you think you'll be a good moderator?

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I thought a moderators job was to be an exception handler, not a janitor. It's up to the community to keep their site's clean, with moderators only stepping in when the community is unable to handle it. –  Rachel Feb 27 '13 at 13:07
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@Rachel The two are not contradictory. A large majority of the exceptions (by number, not by handling time) caught by moderators are raised by clean-up routines. Closing is one of those. Downvoting isn't, but a dearth of downvotes shows a lack of concern with the kind of low-quality posts that moderators are often called on to close or delete. –  Gilles Feb 27 '13 at 13:12
    
Hrrm I thought the town hall thingy was tonight, not last night. Oh well. As I explained in chat here, downvotes (or lack of) does not make you a good or a bad moderator. I can see your concern about close votes, but I don't think Prog.SE has a lack of willing close voters so I don't really see a problem. I would actually like moderators to be more conservative with their close votes, as its far better to see a question closed by 5 community votes than a single moderator vote. –  Rachel Feb 27 '13 at 13:31
    
@Rachel A downvote to go with the comment on a bad answer is more constructive, because it is a bigger incentive for the author to correct or remove the answer. FYI, Prog.SE is close to a median down/up vote ratio: see this query, which seems to be broken right now but I have cached results from a few months ago showing a ratio of 0.059, ranking 22/35 among graduated non-meta sites (min=0.006 on TeX, med=0.48, max=0.126 on Wordpress). –  Gilles Feb 27 '13 at 13:50
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