ELL Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election starting next week, July 9th. In connection with that election, as we've done in previous elections, we will be hosting a Q&A here for candidates. Unlike the previous iterations on this site, we will be collecting questions one week before the nomination phase. 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:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, July 9th 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.

  • 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.

  • At the end of the collection 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 (up to) 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.

  • This was supposed to have gone up yesterday, but when I woke up this morning and checked my machine I noticed that I had everything drafted out but the Submit button was never hit. Oops.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Jul 3, 2018 at 10:26
  • 1
    Why exactly is ELL "scheduled for an election" in 2018? This doesn't seem to follow a pattern: there was one in 2015, and one in 2016 – so why is there one in 2018? Is it because that one moderator's gone AWOL?
    – user3395
    Jul 8, 2018 at 1:38
  • 2
    @userr2684291 There is never a pattern. Moderators are generally added when the moderation team feels they need help.
    – Catija
    Jul 8, 2018 at 1:41
  • @userr2684291: We probably would have had an election in 2017, except that we had an extra mod added in the 2016 election. Jul 8, 2018 at 3:08
  • 2
    @Catija - What you say is true, and we did have a moderator step down. However, in this case, even though the mod team feels like we are handling things pretty well, we've decided to have an election before we need additional help.
    – J.R. Mod
    Jul 9, 2018 at 19:44

6 Answers 6


Sometimes people post comments on ELL that attempt to answer a question, in whole or in part. How would you handle these comments?


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


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?

It is quite often that questions from ELL show up in the Hot Network Questions section and attract quite a lot of (new) visitors. Do you think it is a good thing for the site? What would you do to improve its impact in the form of comments, answers, etc?


What is your view of the draft of the new Code of Conduct? What impact (if any) do you think the change will have on ELL and your responsibilities as a moderator?


I would like to ask the candidate how they feel about comments.

  • When is it justifiable to sanitise a comment? I am not referring to vulgar or offensive language, in those cases it is right that comments be deleted, and the user be given a formal warning. I am referring to comments that some users may find disagreeable (not offensive). Do you believe that a user should be informed when a comment of theirs has been redacted or modified in some way?
  • 1
    I left this as a comment in the first version, and I think it’s worth rementioning now: SE does not have a mechanism for easily contacting individual users. I’m not against the idea of notifying a user about a modified comment, but there isn’t a practical way of doing so.
    – J.R. Mod
    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:16
  • 1
    @J.R. And now comments get deleted on meta. If there is one place where civil comments should remain it's on meta. This is the place for discussion, a place where differences of opinions should be aired, civilly, without thinking comments are going to be deleted. I'm actually surprised all the comments (4 or 5) have been deleted. As long as they're civil, who cares if they're "not nice". People have the right to feel annoyed or pleased, to agree or disagree, to criticise or defend their ideas/opinion in a comment, on meta.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:51
  • 5
    One reason comments get deleted is they become obsolete. If a comment says, “Hey, isn’t this three questions, and not just one?” and someone else replies, “Okay, I’ll edit and combine them into one,” then the leftover comments seem like more of a distraction than anything else. Aside from seasoned SE users who might think to look at the edit history, people seeing the first comment might think, “What are they talking abut? This is just one question like the rest of them!” Such comment deletion isn’t meant to be punitive; it’s more about keeping the site tidy.
    – J.R. Mod
    Jul 8, 2018 at 17:23
  • 3
    It's worth repeating that the question is focussed on those occasions when a word or an entire line is deleted from a comment. It is unnerving to find one's original comment shortened, modified or made less confrontational, etc. especially when the reason behind the modification can be seemingly inexplicable.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 9, 2018 at 13:20

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