In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

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

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, August 22nd at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

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

  • At the end of the 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. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

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

  • Here is a link to the questions from last year for inspiration: meta.ell.stackexchange.com/q/2562
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 13:26
  • If I don't know, I am sorry, none of them, then still, is it better for me to cast a vote?
    – user17814
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 2:57
  • @KentaroTomono: If you feel you can use your best judgement to determine which of us would do best at the job, go ahead and vote. In this particular election, I don't think there's too much of a risk of a candidate hiding some dark secret or otherwise turning out really badly. Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 23:39
  • @KentaroTomono Also, if you have a question that you would like the candidates to answer so that you can get to know them a little bit, you could post it as an answer to this discussion.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 11:58
  • Possible duplicate of 2016 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire
    – wythagoras
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 20:11

7 Answers 7


What is your view on editing a question to correct grammar and style issues? Do you think we should edit answers differently from questions?

Some users believe that questions should only be edited for clarification, and errors which do not impede comprehension, left alone. In this way, the community has a better understanding of the asker's level of English.

Other community members believe that we should correct questions (excluding citations) and answers because correct English is easier for learners to translate and may help learners become more fluent. They may also believe that a site that claims to help learners improve English, has a responsibility to ensure the language used is, at least, always spelled correctly.


The chat system of SE has repeatedly proven useful in coordinating site and meta activities and it's a versatile medium for friendly chat. Some sites have even taken a step further and made ask-anything-from-mod chatrooms; e.g. Super User. However, unfortunately there are currently no active mods in ELL chatrooms. Do you wish to participate in ELL's chatrooms if you get elected?


Some community members believe ELL's tagging system needs a lot of improving. There has been attempts before from some meta users to rebuild the tags so they serve their purpose better, but it hasn't achieved ultimate success. Do you believe there is a problem with tags on ELL? If so, should anything be done about it? If so, what are you willing to do about it?

  • Perhaps more to the point: if ELL visitors ask questions here because they are still getting to know the English language, and picking canonical tags requires some familiarity with the language, what would the mod candidates recommend to help them select appropriate tags?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 23:25

What action, if any, do you think moderators should take related to comments that are answers rather than discussion or clarification of the question?

I think most of us agree that answers in comments aren't desirable in general, so do you think the issue is serious enough on ELL that there should be moderator action taken, or do you feel that the community is already handling it well enough?


Would you personally intervene (i.e edit) if a question migrated from EL&U was, objectively speaking, low quality but had some potential? What is your position on the quality of questions that have migrated from EL&U so far?


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

A newcomer asks a typical learner's question. There is no evidence of any research, and its answer is easily found by Googling. If you were a moderator, what would you do?


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