2014 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Jul 1 '14 at 20:00.
Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.

694 voters were eligible, 238 visited the site during the election, 178 visited the election page, and 122 voted

Like Flimzy, I was also not going to nominate myself because I have been only visiting the site casually and not really participating since about March. However, at David Stratton's suggestion and at a new found willingness to perform the moderator duties to the best of my ability, I have decided to nominate myself for this election.

To address my recent lack of participation:

The reason is mostly personal, which I'm sure you can deduce if you scour the chatrooms records from early March. After nearly a year of heavy participation, I guess I just needed a break, or a sabbatical, if you will.

I have posted the remainder of my speech in the election chatroom.

  • I'm glad to see your name in here late or not! For the record: only one of your post flags and a handful of comment flags have ever been declined which is exeptionally good. Your meta participation to date has already been a big help and your focus on helping new folks get their heads around the projet is just the sort of thing we need. – Caleb Jun 23 '14 at 19:23

Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent. All the members of this Stack are called to participate in this mission, but to do this a good moderator needed.

Now is a privileged moment when the faithful of various users engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the non-expert users.

The mine is a nomination of grace and joy.

A nomination of grace, because the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, offers wisdom and strength to those who are obedient to his action.

A nomination of joy, because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, sent to evangelize the world, supports and accompanies my evangelizatory efforts.

This joy of Jesus leads me to propose myself to be moderator bere.

Hence, vote me.

  • 2
    You have 0 helpful flags, 0 answers and it's been 4 months since you've asked a question. If you so rarely use the site, why do you think you would be a better choice than any of the other nominations? – curiousdannii Jun 23 '14 at 2:03
  • 4
    Since the inception of this site we have maintained a pretty solid consensus that the purpose of this site is not evangelistic. As a moderator you would be expected to uphold and enforce this and all other guidelines set in conjunction with the community. Can you comment on why you think you would be suited for this work if even your nomination implies your personal purpose here is expressly counter-cultural in that respect? – Caleb Jun 23 '14 at 9:15
  • 1
    What do you understand the purpose of this site to be? – Monica Cellio Jun 23 '14 at 18:20

Hello friends! I wasn't going to nominate myself, because I have been more of a casual lurker lately, rather than an active poster, but after consideration, I have decided I will, as I think I have some value to offer the community.

I have been active since private beta, and I believe my history speaks for itself.

I am also a Pro-Tem moderator on Spanish.SE, so no stranger to mod tools, or SE policies. (Fear not, Spanish.SE is ver low-traffic, so moderating there won't detract meaningfully from my time here.)

What may be my biggest weakness as a user may also be my greatest strength as a moderator: I don't currently have hours to pour into providing meaningful, well-researched answers. However, what I do have is time to help with moderation, handling flags, and help to guide new users in focusing their questions. I have heard other moderators complain about the number of moderator flags. While this may not be what other moderators enjoy doing, I think I can be helpful in this regard.

I also offer as a simple campaign promise to help drive the addition of a new close reason for truth questions. :)

  • I would prefer a moderator like David Stratton. Someone who actually contributes answers and questions on the Stack Exchange. What makes you think you can relate to answerers? – Double U Jun 18 '14 at 18:43
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    @Anonymous: Well, I do have 89 answers and 73 questions on this site. I'm not a stranger to these activities. It's simply not how I focus my time on this site lately. But you will notice that I still participate this way. – Flimzy Jun 18 '14 at 18:47
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    @Anonymous et all: Flimzy has actually been a pretty heavy contributor, even if much of it was early on. His salient participation in discussion as we got through the initial bumps in the road helped make this site what it is today. Also he has done a lot of editing and review (uncluding recently) and a I just checked his flag history and it looks like virtually everything in there has been spot on. Flimzy is not only actual cantributor but I think he would make a fine moderator that would serve this site well. – Caleb Jun 18 '14 at 19:13
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    I'm not sure who is complaining about the number of flags—I handle a high percentage of current ones and I've been loudly complaining that there are not enough! I'm pretty sure only the SO guys actually have volume problems. That being said, I think your argument about not distracting high rep active answerers from what they already do if there are folks well suited for the review and flag handling things makes a lot of sense. For example I think that's where I'm at over on BH: I understand the field and the site but am better qualified to moderate than answer. I wish you luck! – Caleb Jun 18 '14 at 19:19
  • @Caleb: I think it was waxeagle, and as I think about it, he may have only been complaining about close votes--that not enough users were close-voting, leading him (and by logical extension other moderators) to have to spend a lot more time closing questions than he enjoyed. – Flimzy Jun 18 '14 at 19:22
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    @Flimzy That may be. It would be really nice if more users pitched it close voting and doing other reviews. Closing questions actually takes more time than most of the flag handling because it is hand holding and educating rather that the more mundane cleanup routine. He could also have been complaining about the two weeks one mod was busy with personal things and I disappeared to Africa and he was left with AllTheFlags™. It's nice to be able to share the load around when convenient but it's at a point where if we are ever down a face or two the site suffers. Hence elections! – Caleb Jun 18 '14 at 19:28
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    @Anonymous - For the record, I think Flimzy would be a good choice, too. His contributions have been very good, and he has been active in participating in reviewing/closing questions in the past. He's also on my top X list for candidates. – David Stratton Jun 18 '14 at 23:14

I have been an avid student of the Scriptures for many years now. Scripture study and research has become an obsession of mine. I have delved not only into many numerous topics within Scripture itself, but also the history of the church, the Hebrew and Greek texts, and many different denominations including Catholicism and Mormonism.

I believe that knowledge of the Scriptures is important and sites/networks like Stack Exchange provide an avenue for not only gaining knowledge, but also provides an avenue for understanding the knowledge that one gains as well as helping others in their pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

I have been an active participant in many Stack Exchange venues now for a long time and have come to be familiar with the process and the operation of the various Stack Exchange networks.

  • 11
    Avid student of Scripture or not, my observation is that you have been a less than avid student of how this site works. You have 5 times more declined flags than accepted ones (and not very many of those) and no meta participation to speak of. Your post and comment history (esp deleted) don't show much evidence that you understand or accept how this site works. Those are normal for very low participation member but not for a prospective moderator. On what basis would this community want to trust you with enforcing guidelines that you have not shown a propensity to follow yourself? – Caleb Jun 17 '14 at 17:17
  • The guidelines I have followed. It's the personal opinions and personal theological doctrines of others that I have not followed, nor can I follow and that is the reason for flags. Not because of anything I have done, but rather because others have disagreed and had the power to flag. Moderators are not here to change opinions or force their own opinions on others. So your point is irrelevant. – The Duke Of Marshall שלום Jun 17 '14 at 18:03
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    I was not refering to other poeple flagging your content (although there has been plenty of that). I was refering to the large number of flags you have raised that have been declined as they were not in alignment with this site's guidelines. – Caleb Jun 17 '14 at 18:17
  • Again, most of my posts have been within site guidelines. Those that were not were either edited to align or removed. What you're really referring to is that my posts are not in alignment with the personal preferences and beliefs of moderators. This is egregious and this site needs moderators who are actually impartial even to those who they may disagree with on a personal level. I haven't seen that here yet and why I nominated myself. – The Duke Of Marshall שלום Jun 17 '14 at 18:32
  • And how would you feel about being expected to mainain and enforce policies that you did not agree with (including having to impose them on others in the form of enforcing question/answer scope guidelines)? How would you handle NAA flags on answers that do not match the scope of questions? – Caleb Jun 17 '14 at 19:23
  • The scope of an answer would depend on the framing of the original question as posted. Given the varying background, experiences, and knowledge of the respondent, one could expect any number of answers posted in varying formats. Immediate flagging, blocking, and/or deleting of posts by a single moderator would be premature and immature. Counsel from many moderators would be appropriate as well as contact with the respondent if there were questions about an answer. Simply disagreeing with an answer that someone posts does not mean that their answer is against site guidelines. – The Duke Of Marshall שלום Jun 17 '14 at 19:34
  • My feelings and personal agreement/disagreement with a post are irrelevant when it comes to the site guidelines. – The Duke Of Marshall שלום Jun 17 '14 at 19:35
  • 7
    I'm calling your bluff here. As a case study your answer to "How do Trinitarians explain X" said basically "Trinitarians are wrong". You reposted the same answer after we deleted it citing how it was a miss-match for the question scope. That is not «The guidelines I have followed.» That is not "current moderators deleting based on personal disagreement"! That is you not respecting site guidelines. As a moderator you would be expected to uphold such guidelines including deleting answers that are blatantly out of scope in response to flags. – Caleb Jun 17 '14 at 20:01
  • I'm glad you brought that up. Your comment here and the post you brought up explain exactly what I've been saying. My answer was completely within the scope of the question as posted, it answered the question to an even greater extent than most of the other answers, and was completely within site guidelines. It also illustrates my point that current moderators will delete posts/answers they do not personally agree with and don't want to have in the light of day. We do not need such moderation. It is unethical, unprofessional, and unbecoming of the Stack Exchange networks standards. – The Duke Of Marshall שלום Jun 17 '14 at 20:06
  • 1
    I'd like to point out that you haven't written a question or answer since January. You may have good intentions, but I don't think that shows much interest in the site. – curiousdannii Jun 18 '14 at 1:49
  • 3
    If you believe any post has been deleted unfairly, take each and every one to the Meta. – curiousdannii Jun 19 '14 at 0:31
  • 3
    Links or it didn't happen dude. Calling your bluff round two: your meta profile has zero deleted posts so there is not conspiracy to suppress your concerns about the site there. Moderators are not able to eradicate content either on meta or main even if we wanted to. We can mark it deleted but it still exists and high rep site users can still review our actions. Protip: steer clear of falsifiable statements when running for office. – Caleb Jun 19 '14 at 16:35
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    You appear to have ignored the difference between the main and meta sites. I am not twisting words, I used them very precisely. On main you have 6 deleted posts (and lots of deleted comments). On meta (which is where you should have posted if you had really tried to petition the site in regard to a concern about guidelines or moderation) you have zero deleted posts (and zero deleted comments). Why have you not availed yourself of the proper venue to air out a concern about this site and the handling of your posts? And having not done so how can you say "it's been done"? – Caleb Jun 20 '14 at 10:19
  • 2
    There are only four mods but lots of other sympathetic people. If you can show that the mods have made a wrong decision then not only will you get a lot of people like me arguing for you, but you could get lots of other people to also appeal to the Stack Exchange staff for you. But if you got elected to be a moderator without doing that all it will do is make lots of disagreements with the existing moderators. – curiousdannii Jun 21 '14 at 1:39
  • 2
    Lets say—for the sake of the argument—that what you say about lambs and wolves is true. In such a case there would still be a lot more lambs in the fold than wolves and would not any lamb worth his salt (mint jelly?) be interested in speaking up and joining forces with the other lambs? The SE platform is designed for just that! What does your lack of initiative on meta to date tell the other lambs about your interest in reforming this community? How could you even know if meta was censored seeing as how nothing you ever said there has been removed? – Caleb Jun 21 '14 at 8:01

I've been active in the site since the early Beta, and was active in first opposing, then once I understood them, championing the site guidelines. I've been involved in the site during some rough times, and played an active role in supporting the exiting moderators in ensuring that the site made it out of Beta.

My main focus these days is assisting in helping people, particularly newcomers, understand the site guidelines, and what makes this site different from your typical discussion forum. I'm not at all interested in scoring reputation points. All I care about in reference to this particular site is protecting this site from degenerating into what it could have become - just another "Christian forum" where endless debate over "who's right" is the norm.

I've been both supported and hated for the role I play, but as my history shows, I've been nothing if not consistent in my quest to explain, support, and enforce the guidelines that protect this site from that fate.

I see that as the role of a moderator. If elected, I intend to continue operating exactly as I have. If not, I'll still continue. My history is your best view into how I'd serve as a moderator.

  • 14
    Your avatar does not do the bulk of your contributions or the role you have played here justice. I think fully 1/3 of all reviews have been done by you and your prolific comments and meta posts have been profoundly formative for users both new and old. I would be thrilled to have you join as a mod—although you would leave some shoes to fill in the user ranks! – Caleb Jun 17 '14 at 5:28
  • 4
    My only concern about putting a diamond to you is that you already have so much influence as one of the best users on the site, I'd hate to see you feel restricted. You are amazing, and I am grateful for what you do. – Affable Geek Jun 17 '14 at 14:16
  • 2
    I like David Stratton's good sense of humor and keeping the inclusive spirit. I think he would make a great moderator. – Double U Jun 17 '14 at 16:43
  • As my original bio said before I had to remove it due to the pesky 1200 character limit, I would vote for David Strattion before myself - this guy rocks! Plus... the credible Hulk avatar... outstanding. – Dan Jun 18 '14 at 13:36
  • 1
    You are the first man on my list. – Mawia Jun 18 '14 at 13:50

Hello, my name is Dan! I believe in promoting great answers to great questions.

Reasons I would make a good moderator here:

  • I'm a moderator at BH.SE. I frequently check the Review tab. My questions and answers have been well-received here and I regularly participate in chat.

  • I'm Eastern Orthodox. My presence on the moderation team would contribute to its diversity. Even so, I won't allow my religious convictions to interfere with moderation.

  • I will enforce guidelines that the community clearly supports even if I disagree.

  • I have strong opinions, but I'm pliable. I will operate under a well-defined set of guidelines, but when presented with a cohesive argument, I'm quick to re-evaluate my own perspective.

  • I've previously contributed content to the Eschewmenical blog (when it used to be more active).

Reasons why you might not want me as a moderator here:

  • I nominated myself (like all of the other candidates) :P

  • I have made mistakes and will do so again. Your grace and forgiveness are essential for serving you as a moderator.

  • 1
    This was originally over 3600 characters. The system forced me to get it under 1200. I can be quite verbose :) – Dan Jun 16 '14 at 22:52
  • 7
    Dan has been an outstanding user on BH. As he says, he is willing to prioritize what's good for the site over what's good for his own faith (which many users there are not). He works relentlessly to help an oft-contentious community move toward consensus. He understands the difference between a supported answer and a truth claim. He cares about quality and also cares about people; he wants every interested user to have a good experience, and he does his best to help them get there. I'm not a mod on his site but I am on others so I've seen him "behind the scenes"; I think he'd be great here. – Monica Cellio Jun 16 '14 at 23:14
  • 2
    Dan's flag count here may be low but I can say from handling them that they are always spot on. In fact his declined flag count is lower that my own ;) He clearly grasps what things are actionable issues, and from my experience with him on BH I know how much effort he invests in communicating to bring the community on board. I would be pleased to work with him here too! – Caleb Jun 16 '14 at 23:41
  • 4
    I'm glad to see you in this one. You're one of the ones that "get it." Good luck to you! – David Stratton Jun 18 '14 at 5:38
  • Dan, well, think you get it, and I propose a new nick form for you: Daп =) – Малъ Скрылевъ Jun 18 '14 at 12:29
  • @DavidStratton my original bio (before I had to cut it to 1200 characters), said in my 'cons' section that I'd vote for you over myself - and I wrote that before you were a candidate (or at least before I saw it) :) – Dan Jun 18 '14 at 13:32
  • @МалъСкрылевъ haha awesome – Dan Jun 18 '14 at 13:33
  • Have you a chat account to talk? – Малъ Скрылевъ Jun 18 '14 at 15:51
  • @МалъСкрылевъ I am in the Upper Room almost daily, and I will also be in the related election room as much till this process is over. Or did you mean elsewhere? – Dan Jun 18 '14 at 15:55

While I am not super active asking and answering questions, I am a regular participant in the chat room and a long time veteran of the SE network, including acting as a moderator on both Video Production and Sound Design.

I have a solid understanding of Christianity and the topic of this site as a secular resource for answering questions about Christianity. I know how to keep a level head and deal with complex moderation issues dealing with this potentially sensitive subject matter.

As a moderator, my policy goal is always to understand both sides of an issue and try to bring peaceful resolution to issues when possible, while also dealing quickly with issues so that they don't have a chance to fester in to a larger problem.

I believe the most critical thing for moderation on Christianity is to have a clear understanding of what a Truth question is and why they are not answerable here. Not only knowing this concept, but being able to explain it to others is key to preventing arguments over theological correctness while maintaining a resource that provides clear information about the various religious sects and denominations which identify as Christian.

  • 6
    So I know you know how SE works from your other experience and I know sort of what kind of chap you are, but 1 helpful flag? What have you to say for yourself? Surely I havn't declined a couple hundred others on you. How are we to know your are really interested in taking out our trash if the dumpster has never seen your face? – Caleb Jun 16 '14 at 21:49
  • 1
    I agree that the biggest weakness in my nomination is my low helpful flag count. I have been active on meta, but less so on flagging due to having multiple sites where I can help clear review queues. The most bang for my moderation time (whether high rep or official) comes from helping keep review queues clear, however I haven't yet reached sufficient reputation on C.SE to access the most helpful queues. I would gladly yield to a candidate who has a solid grasp on the site, moderation, and has invested time in both meta and flag/review handling though. – AJ Henderson Jun 16 '14 at 23:31
  • 1
    It's great to know that you are a moderator on both Video Production and Sound Design. Your reputations on other sites are also very high. I admire your achievement. However, I am a bit worried that you might be overburdened by moderating three sites. Are you sure you are ready for this? – Mawia Jun 17 '14 at 5:27
  • @Mawia moderation really isn't a huge time commitment as long as you are available regularly to deal with any issues that come up. There are multiple moderators with four or more sites including ones far more active than this. – AJ Henderson Jun 17 '14 at 6:44
  • 1
    Fair enough. If you are ready to get your hands dirty with us, I welcome you. Good luck. – Mawia Jun 17 '14 at 7:55

I would like to say that I have a good understanding of the StackExchange system, I know that I don't have a lot of Reputation on Christianity but I think that I have a good understanding of the site to where I could step in if things get crazy, and that I could keep things clean and readable.

I know about the Theory of Moderation and that it involves rather a laid back approach to some things and a more direct approach to other things.

I am online, somewhere, on the StackExchange Network most hours of the day (US CST), so I can be reached right away via a ping in the chat room.

I call myself a Christian, but see that there are many views on what that means, so I enjoy reading the answers to questions here to see the different points of view (from the differing religions) and to find new material to read.

I haven't had much participation here on the site because there are a lot of areas of Christianity where I don't have enough knowledge to give a good answer without heavy research on my part, but I can evaluate answers based on their(the Post's) content(following links and such).

  • 6
    You have just 1 helpful flag, 1 review and virtually no experience on our meta site. If you haven't been doing any of the janitorial and community service related things you already have access to what makes you think you are really interested in this position? And more importantly, how are we to trust that you know how this community works and how best to deal with our sometimes unique problems? – Caleb Jun 16 '14 at 21:47
  • the flagging is because most of that was being done almost instantaneously for a while. but I do see your point of view. and I do have access to moderator tools on CodeReview, I know that isn't here on Christianity, but I still know what is on-topic and what is off-topic and I have read through the help topics. I would still have other moderators to bounce things off of if I need to as well. I am no stranger to how things work in the StackExchange. – Malachi Jun 16 '14 at 22:07
  • 1
    Our review queues almost perpetually have items in them. And you'll never convince me (of all people) that everything that needs to be flagged is getting flagged. Without ever participating on meta, how much are you aware of our long standing discussions over the issues with framing questions and the various things we've done to mitigate common issue, both failures and successes? Also just a suggestion, but is «other candidate X is worse off than me» really the platform you want to run on here? – Caleb Jun 16 '14 at 22:19
  • to your last question, that isn't what I was saying, you said I only have one helpful flag, I am saying I am just as qualified by that criteria. I probably should have said that a moderator might not have enough time moderating more than one site. it was more of an observation that I probably should have left to myself, so that it didn't seem like I was attacking another candidate. although all I feel like is that I have been attacked as well. I have shown participation, and I have read Meta posts and I have read questions and answers. I may not bee seen, but I am still here. – Malachi Jun 16 '14 at 22:24
  • 2
    1 flag and 1 review just doesn't count as «showing participation»; that was what I was commenting on. Asking candidates to respond to areas of apparent weakness or uncertainly is par-for-the-course in elections. You're asking the community to put you in a position that requires extra trust—expect some probing along the way. Besides, having a diamond after your name is like having a bullseye on your back: you will be first in line for all the worst criticism of every disgruntled site visitor. How gracefully you weather a bit of criticism now is telling of how you might handle being a moderator. – Caleb Jun 16 '14 at 22:39
  • I don't have access to the Review Queues here is the reason why I only have 1 review (it came from my own answer being edited if I remember correctly), otherwise I would have more than my share of reviews. I see how it is hard to give meaning with text, so one should also be careful how one would post their questions and answers. Meaning that it is difficult to get a broader point across in a short amount of text. – Malachi Jun 16 '14 at 22:47
  • and by that I mean myself, reading and understanding different points of views would be a necessary thing on all sides of every fence. – Malachi Jun 16 '14 at 22:48

I don't know the answers to many questions, but do endeavour to keep civility alive and well in the community as "merely" a high-rep user.

You should vote for me precisely because I can't answer everything - I know my knowledge limits, and prefer to learn than try to answer what I don't know.

  • 2
    Dealing with the sort of issues that regularly come up on this site—particularly with the ongoing influx of new users that don't get our scope—takes some serious hands on action and sometimes even hand-holding. Everything I've seen leads me to believe you're a decent sensible fellow and could do the job, but your lack of participation on meta to date make me wonder how interested you are in that aspect of this job. Care to comment (or expand your nomination with why you are interested in the role)? – Caleb Jun 16 '14 at 23:27
  • 3
    @Caleb - I read meta.C.SE relatively often, but since losing beta quasi-admin rights for being a high-rep user, I've found that most questions get answered before I have a chance to say anything :) – warren Jun 17 '14 at 14:14
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    I'm glad you threw your hat in as well. You're one of the ones at the top of my list of people whose judgment I trust here. I do see you active in the review queue, and I also think you demonstrate excellent judgment. I get the loss of rights when we left Beta. It's a lot easier to be influential when you've got the rep, which gives you access to more cool tools. There were several who were very helpful/influential in Beta that lost that ability when the site graduated, and you're one of them. Good luck to you! – David Stratton Jun 18 '14 at 5:47
  • thanks, @DavidStratton :) – warren Jun 18 '14 at 17:48

This election is over.