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

English Language Learners is scheduled for an election starting next week, April 27th. 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 27 April 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

9 Answers 9


A frequent user with a lot of questions sometimes posts multiple questions in a short amount of time. A few of their questions tend to be of low quality, gathering downvotes and close votes, but an occasional upvote keeps the asker from a question ban and the user has amassed quite a few reputation points from them already. They ignore the advice on how to improve their questions and their newer questions suffer from the same flaws as some of their old.

This has been bothering a few venerable answerers of high reputation, and often leaves the front page in a low quality mess of questions with zero or negative score.

Would you intervene? How would you handle this situation as a mod?

  • 2
    N.B.: I did not have anyone specific in my mind when I posted this, but anyone who's been to ELL's front page a couple of times can say it definitely happens, and is not a one-off instance. For me at least, the barrage of 0 score on the /questions tab has been extremely disheartening.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 22:42
  • Nice. This is a question that is of interest to perhaps many (especially reviewers who have attempted to help and correct the said user). Here is a relevant question by CJ Dennis with 5+ upvotes: New user asking multiple low quality questions about the same source material.
    – AIQ
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 2:08

Sometimes people post comments on ELL that seem like answers. How would you handle these comments?


How are you going to protect yourself from ill-treatment by StackExchange themselves?


Here’s a question that I think is very relevant to a specific issue I think our site has: that of voting for good questions. We tend not to be very good at that. I know the system is geared towards answers being upvoted more than questions, but I still find it disheartening when I see a zero-score question that is something worth asking. So:

  • What are your criteria for what makes a good question? That is to say, what kind of question would you upvote? Why?

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

  • I have taken to using square brackets under the question and providing the correction,hoping the OP will make the correction themselves.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 18:06

User participation is crucial to the success of an online community. As regards spurring greater participation from old and new users:

  • We often see backups in the review queues. This leads to delay in getting spam/abusive posts removed and other issues. What would you do as a moderator to address this issue and encourage people to get more actively involved in reviews?
  • The Stack Exchange community and the ELL site have recently lost some experienced members. As a moderator what do you think could be done to attract more users to the site or make it easier for old and new users alike to participate?

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?

What is your view of extended discussion in comments under a question? Do you have a different view of comment discussions under answers?


What do you think is the most important issue that the ELL community needs to work on, and what would you do as moderator to address it?

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