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2015 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 Feb 3 '15 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


3,039 voters were eligible, 1,442 visited the site during the election, 866 visited the election page, and 505 voted

I volunteer as tribute!

I'm Phantom42. You may remember me from... well, all over the SF/F Stack.

I'm a fairly heavy user, and have been for just shy of three years now.

I'm also a regular in chat, often discussing how we should handle questions/answers that come up, and active in Meta.

Despite the fact that I disagree with certain rules and policies (get outta here with your shopping questions!), I always try to guide users based on the current rules determined by community consensus. When consensus has been hazy in the past, I've taken the issue to Meta to try to help us find a path. I may even have a new Meta question or two brewing right now!

While it's been years since I was an official moderator on any message board or anything of the sort, I did spend a few years teaching, and have worked in management. I've got plenty of experience dealing with people who I don't see eye-to-eye with, and in not letting personal issues get in the way of the bigger picture.

And if you don't vote for me, I'm going to tell Slytherincess my mom!

  • I'd like to give you my vote just for the first four words :-) – Rand al'Thor Jan 25 '15 at 22:18
  • @randal'thor I'm kind of surprised no one else said it. – phantom42 Jan 25 '15 at 23:53

I have been reading science fiction and fantasy for almost 40 years now. While I'm not rushing out to answer every question that I possibly could, I am active in the community and in chat. Though I have firm opinions, I am also easy going and try hard to get along with everyone.

Unlike many of the other candidates, I actually have experience as a moderator on Astronomy. I would appreciate the opportunity to make a greater contribution to this site.

  • Are you currently a moderator on the astronomy stack? If so, how to you propose to balance your time between the two and still maintain the quality of both? If not, then why no longer and what implications does this bear on your ability to moderate this exchange? – xXGrizZ Jan 24 '15 at 20:02
  • Astronomy is a fairly small stack, and moderation doesn't really take that much of my time. Besides, moderation is more of a team activity, and I am fairly confident that I "work well with others". – Donald.McLean Jan 24 '15 at 20:12
  • Glad to see your nomination. You'd be a great mod. – Kevin Jan 24 '15 at 20:35
  • I was thinking the same thing yesterday, I was hoping you would nominate yourself;-) Good luck! – PearsonArtPhoto Jan 24 '15 at 23:08
  • Another great candidate! – Beofett Jan 25 '15 at 9:09

I am pretty new to this site; however, I have seen when people can classify ones question as "not worthy" to answer or pass it off as something that should be closed rather than answered. I would have to look up all the rules and such, but I believe any question is game. Of course, you have to keep the hypothetical and opinion based away; however, I will try really hard to allow questions that can be answered through facts here, up, as long as possible.

You cannot have mods that take advantage of their position and think they know what is right, cancel questions on what THEY think is right and you cannot have a mod that is super lenient either (keep out spam). I believe this site will become stronger, through the people who ask questions and have a say and maybe a second chance to fix their question, before it is totally removed.

That's all I have to say.

Thanks.

  • In over two years you've asked 14 questions and posted 4 answers. You have raised no flags and suggested no edits. You have no activity whatsoever on meta, and you don't have enough rep to access any review queues. I'm not saying you'd be a bad mod, but with so little previous activity to go on, I think you need to extend your presentation quite a bit to convince anybody to vote for you. – user36119 Jan 23 '15 at 15:52
  • Well that is my platform. I do not intend to raise flags unless the question warrants it. The whole point of giving people a second chance is to not red flag them; rather, inform them that they will be able to make needed changes before I do. Many MODs do not offer that. Even with edits, it is not my responsibility to edit "others" words. They should be able to say whatever freely and me trying to "edit" them takes words out of context. Many MODs have edited my questions, over the last few years, and they have become totally not what I wanted to ask. – Wanting Answers Jan 23 '15 at 16:05
  • Then again, just like any election, you have two sides that get A LOT of followers and I am sort of a third party. I am more for the people that really want to keep this site "extremely" independent in terms of their own posts. Think Libertarian. lol – Wanting Answers Jan 23 '15 at 16:07
  • Just to be clear, I think your points are valid, and that's why I even bothered to comment. A full discussion on how flags and edits should be used is beyond this comment section. Suffice it to say, I do believe editing and flagging serve a purpose, but that they may sometimes be overused. – user36119 Jan 23 '15 at 16:39
  • Honestly, I think you don't understand the purpose of flagging, editing, and moderating, especially in the context of a Stack Exchange site. – user1027 Jan 23 '15 at 19:02
  • You say the site would be stronger if people had a second chance to fix questions before they are totally removed? I'm with Keen: it honestly doesn't sound like you understand the system very well. The whole process is designed around seeking to improve questions that are borderline or just outright need improvement. Its great that you want to help improve the site, but some meta participation would probably be a better start than just jumping right in to a moderator election. – Beofett Jan 24 '15 at 3:48
  • It sounds as though you wish to be the type of mod to take an extremely hands off approach. If you were made mod, would you just decline every flag? If you just ignored them, another mod would just come in behind you and clear it however they see fit. This sort of begs the question of why you want to be a mod at all then. Just to slow down other mods? – phantom42 Jan 24 '15 at 8:21
  • Honestly, it sounds as though you really wish to convince the userbase to change its mentality and behavior. I'm not sure a mod position is the best way to go about that. I'd suggest starting with discussions in meta, or even just chat. – phantom42 Jan 24 '15 at 8:23
  • "The whole process is designed around seeking to improve questions that are borderline or just outright need improvement." Many times a mod has edited my question because THEY thought it did not make sense to them in whatever context they wanted. There is a lot of bias. I want to change that approach. It's not about what a MOD thinks, it is about what the site thinks. The powers of mods should be the extension of enforcing the rules on the site, NOT putting decision making in terms of opinion. – Wanting Answers Jan 24 '15 at 8:31
  • In terms of flags, I would see to it what the flags were about and probably comment on the question to allow the user to change the question and/or alter. The individual asking the question would obviously know what he wants to ask. I would not take it upon myself to figure it out and put my thoughts of what it should be. – Wanting Answers Jan 24 '15 at 8:34
  • Phantom42: Well yeah...I would BE the CHANGE. – Wanting Answers Jan 24 '15 at 8:36
  • @ArvinGBorkar - you're confusing moderators with high-rep users here. High-rep users also have the ability to edit questions, close them, etc. It's easy enough to become a high-rep user too - just participate in the site. – user8719 Jan 24 '15 at 13:12
  • But obviously nothing is done to regulate high end users. I am sure mods have ways to regulate them because they are mods. – Wanting Answers Jan 24 '15 at 14:49
  • This reads a bit like a rant about the current state of moderation. If you feel that the site is so desperately in need of change, then why have you never voiced your concerns on Meta or in chat (for example)? – alexwlchan Jan 24 '15 at 16:37
  • Mods can roll back edits made to questions and answers - but so can any other user. If you had such a problem with edits to your own questions, why didn't you roll them back and explain why you did so? – phantom42 Jan 24 '15 at 19:08

I wasn’t sure whether to run, but @phantom42 and @Slytherincess persuaded me to try.

I’m probably most well-known for my presence in the [harry-potter] tag, but I’ve also been active on both Meta and in Chat. I’d like to think I make a good contribution to the site, not just in my answers, but also with my flags, edits and reviews. I’m not the most prolific user, but I’m proud of what I’ve been able to do thus far. I’d hope to continue that quality of work as a moderator.

Since October, I’ve had binding close-as-dupe votes in the [harry-potter] tag. I think they’re a good indicator of how I’d moderate: with a soft touch. I don’t close-as-dupe unless I’m absolutely sure; otherwise, I wait for other members to weigh in before deciding if, and how, to vote.

This is the first election since I started using the site in earnest. I’ve nervous, but also quite excited about the whole process.

May the best candidates win!

  • Glad to see you're running! You'd be a great mod. – Beofett Jan 23 '15 at 1:31
  • How fares your familiarity with topics that extend beyond HP? Personally, I feel someone with a broad, basic, knowledge of various topics would be better suited to the task than someone who exceeds in one topic regardless of his expertise in said topic. – xXGrizZ Jan 24 '15 at 20:09
  • @xXGrizZ I’d say I have at least a passing familiarity with most of the major topics on the site. (Game of Thrones/ASOIAF being the only notable exception.) I don’t answer much in those tags because it’s harder for me to write a good answer – since they aren’t my speciality – so most of my time in those tags is spent reading, reviewing and voting. – alexwlchan Jan 24 '15 at 20:18
  • Glad Slytherincess was successful. You're a strong candidate! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 25 '15 at 2:25
  • +1 for not being familiar with GoT/aSoIaF ;-) I think my votes will go to you, Richard, and phantom42 (in some order), although Arvin G Borkar is tempting too. – Rand al'Thor Jan 25 '15 at 22:35

I would like to be considered a candidate for a Moderator position.

I admit I am not as vocal as many of the participants here in the online chat but I have an abiding interest in the continuing quality and efficacy of the Scifi.stack.exchange.com.

  • I'm a regular participant in the site having been a member for 3 years, 4 months, having visited 1205 days, with 816 consecutive days (a little over 2.23 years). I have the second highest reputation score (114,291) and the highest reputation-to-answers given ratio.

  • I admit to not being much of a badge hunter, I am here because I enjoy answering questions and in my tenure I have answered over 1200 questions of a diverse nature. Not as high as some, but showing a degree of accountability to the site and the quality of my work.

  • I read the meta regularly though I rarely answer questions there. The existing moderators seem to do a fine job and I only participate as needed.

  • I only edit questions and answers as needed, believing less is more.

I am confident that I have shown my dedication to the site and would consider serving here as a moderator an honor and my duty to give back to this excellent community.

Thank you.

  • Wow. My vote goes to you. – I Love You 3000 Jan 23 '15 at 19:39
  • Hmm... do we get to vote twice? I think you and Richard would make a good tag team. – Omegacron Jan 23 '15 at 20:17
  • @Omegacron - My understanding is that it's a "1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice" deal using the Single Transferable Vote system. That means you can choose your preferred candidate as your #1, your next as #2 and any other as #3. In the event that your first choice gets knocked out, your 2nd choice vote goes to whoever is still standing, etc. – Valorum Jan 24 '15 at 1:51
  • You have very little meta participation, and very few flags of which a relatively high percentage have been rejected. Care to elaborate on that? – PearsonArtPhoto Jan 24 '15 at 2:58
  • What are your specialties? While your reputation to answer ratio is certainly admirable and can't be questioned, I, myself, am unfamiliar with your work. Are your answers contained to a specific category or am I just oblivious? – xXGrizZ Jan 24 '15 at 19:52
  • I don't participate in meta (or in any activity) where people are already providing adequate answers or support. I find I rarely have anything useful to add to already competent answers there so I may comment IF I think it is necessary. Less is more, in my opinion. If I thought an answer was wrong or incomplete, I would elaborate as necessary, if necessary. – Thaddeus Howze Jan 24 '15 at 22:52
  • I was raised in the East (Japan) and have some difficulty "bragging and promoting" my work. Until Richard's arrival, I was one of the leading poster of comic-related answers. Despite his appearance, I believe the quality of my answers have few equals no matter the topic. In recent months, I have made an effort to accommodate the previous complaints about my work, refining them to give quality answers and reference for readers to both enjoy, answer their question and continue their research elsewhere if they desire. – Thaddeus Howze Jan 24 '15 at 22:56
  • As for standard high-rep moderation which all users are capable of, I have participated with mixed results. If an entry is made and a moderator has decided it was too much or the OP decides they do not like it, I accept their decision. It is what moderators are for. I am not in competition with anyone here, for edits, or for reputation. I enjoy the act of creating useful information to be shared, nothing more. If I can help the site improve and share what we do with more people, which I believe my efforts have, then I have done what I set out to do here. – Thaddeus Howze Jan 24 '15 at 23:00

I'd like to volunteer myself for the position of moderator.

Why you should vote for me?

  • I'm a vigorously active user. I'm the single most prolific answerer of questions as well as top editor.

  • I've raised over 630 flags with just 22 rejected (3%)

  • I'm one of only two users to hold two gold tag badges ( and ) and I'm well on my way to holding gold badges in all 6 top categories. I know my stuff.

  • I've visited daily for the last 394 consecutive days, usually checking in multiple times per day. Oh, and I always check the edit queues first.

  • I'm an active participant in both chat and Meta.

  • I'm the third highest spender on bounties. My opinion is that rep cuts both ways, you also need to give some back.


Those that speak to me in chat know that I'm approachable, helpful and friendly. I'll defend my position but I'm open to criticism and will readily admit (and make changes) when I'm wrong.

As a moderator I'd seek to use a light touch to ensure that the site remains a fun place to ask interesting questions. With great power, etc

  • To me you are the most obvious person for this role good luck :) – Dreamwalker Jan 20 '15 at 8:13
  • You've always seemed pretty fair to me. Good luck. – Jaydee Jan 20 '15 at 10:08
  • My gut said vote for this guy, but my head said read the other two first and give them a chance. Afterwards my head knew my gut was right. – Mike Rouse Jan 20 '15 at 11:21
  • While there were times when I strongly disagreed with you, I still find the vast majority of your answers being of a premium quality and your input extremely valuable. You're an obvious choice for a moderator in my opinion and, frankly, I'm surprised you ain't one already... You would have had my vote even if your why should you vote on me? field was why? because, that's f***ing why. IMO a person should be known by his actions, not by his declarations, and you're a role model for this statement, IMO. – vaxquis Jan 20 '15 at 12:15
  • Aside from your ridiculously high resourcefulness, as a new user you helped me a lot through your edits and comments and such, and I can't think of anyone better. Good luck! – Mac Cooper Jan 20 '15 at 12:42
  • I think it's funny how both of us posted flag counts that don't exactly agree with what our review history states. Maybe certain types of flags are not counted by that counter? – The Fallen Jan 20 '15 at 13:49
  • @SSumner - I think it's because I haven't counted disputed flags as those that were rejected; i.stack.imgur.com/nZDrf.png - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/95275/what-is-a-disputed-flag – Valorum Jan 20 '15 at 13:52
  • In all seriousness, this biggest problem this SE site faces is the fact that good quality, but late, answers are rarely recognized. I have quite a few answers that are much higher quality than the accepted answer, but they often languish in obscurity. Spam isn't the issue, getting people to come and engage with this community is. What can you do about this? – Django Reinhardt Jan 20 '15 at 16:04
  • @DjangoReinhardt - I've personally tried to raise visibility for some late answers by posting bounties and notifying "the gang" in chat that I've seen something worthy of upvotes. Beyond that, it's simply the nature of the beast that later answers often get less attention. – Valorum Jan 20 '15 at 16:11
  • Obvious choice :) Good luck to you. – the_OTHER_DJMethaneMan Jan 20 '15 at 18:04
  • @Richard - I didn't either. At least for me, they don't add up – The Fallen Jan 20 '15 at 22:35
  • @Richard If you do get elected, can we still expect the same amount of high quality answers? I want to vote for you, because I think you are more than qualified. A community like this needs good moderators. However, it also needs people who share their knowledge. I hope you can do both. – user36119 Jan 21 '15 at 0:14
  • @SixthOfFour - I can assure you that my first love is (and always will be) providing good answers to interesting questions. – Valorum Jan 21 '15 at 0:47
  • i think i know where my vote goes. – Math chiller Jan 21 '15 at 4:44
  • I vote Richard. (And I expect those 5k rep points you promised to be delivered the instant you win.) – Omegacron Jan 21 '15 at 15:22

Campaign Promise:

I promise to be firm yet fair on the soon to be thousands of questions about the new Star Wars movie, even though I've already secretly decided it will be a disaster.

Campaign Dark Secret:

After my second loss in a row two years ago I decided to take a year off from campaigning and focus on my family. Now I'm back and ready to kick my family to the curb if it will win me an election.

For the serious minded:

In terms of site commitment. I've been the sole contributor to the blog for what seems like forever (meanwhile, come write for the blog!). I'm reasonably active in meta, question asking and answering, and chat. I'm here most days, and I care about the quality of the site.

I may not take the election blurb seriously, but I do take the importance of the quality and character of the site seriously.

I only flag items when I cannot take an action (such as VTC). Often I will get the opinions of people in the chat.

Bonus:

If you don't vote for me, you are dead to me.

  • The forthcoming prequel is going to be incredibly bad, and I'm going to pay good money to see it ASAP in theaters. As such, your campaign promise aligns strongly with my values. +1. – Matthew Read Jan 19 '15 at 22:55
  • Whilst noone can fault your devotion to the site (and especially the blog), your low flag count in comparison to your reputation, coupled with a slow review history (about 2 reviews/month dating back the past year) makes me question what sort of time commitment you can put in towards the more menial of moderation tasks. Everybody's busy in their own way, but do you feel your other commitments (family, websites, blog) will interfere with your ability to moderate effectively? Additionally: How will moderation enable you to contribute to the site further than you already do? – Robotnik Jan 20 '15 at 0:15
  • You're counting on the zombie army to vote for you, don't you? I always thought only the living could vote. – bitmask Jan 20 '15 at 12:05
  • Jack will fool you, but in all fairness he probably does more for this site than any non-moderator at the moment, and would probably do a good job, although it is a bit difficult to take him seriously sometimes... – PearsonArtPhoto Jan 20 '15 at 18:40
  • @PearsonArtPhoto To be fair, it's a bit a difficult to take this site seriously sometimes... – Caimen Jan 20 '15 at 18:45
  • Wait...we have a blog? – JohnP Jan 22 '15 at 22:05
  • @JohnP Dead to me! – Jack B Nimble Jan 22 '15 at 22:12
  • @JackBNimble - I'm only dead to you once. Not even a blip on the radar yet. :p – JohnP Jan 22 '15 at 22:22
  • It is worth repeating that despite the humorous tone, Jack is a long-standing member of this community who has contributed a lot to this site; more than is just reflected in the statistics. I know he'd be a great moderator. Even if he is dead to me. – Beofett Jan 24 '15 at 3:53
  • You've done a great job with the blog! None of the SE sites (that I know of) can find members willing to write regularly. Please don't kick your family to the curb for a Q&A website though. I know you were being humorous, but that made me gulp with concern. I'm satisfied with your activity level and contributions to this site, and would vote for you. – Ellie Kesselman Jan 24 '15 at 8:24

I'd like to throw my hat in the ring as a moderator for Scifi.stackexchange. I feel like I would provide a thoughtful, careful addition to the moderator team.

As a moderator, I will be careful when casting binding votes to avoid instant closes, and will be quick to act in areas that need immediate attention, such as offensive or spam content. I am on the site quite regularly, visiting multiple times per day. I have demonstrated a reasonably high level of familiarity with some varied subjects in Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

I will let my participation numbers speak for themselves:

  • Member for just under 3 years, with a moderately high reputation.
  • 554 helpful flags, against 28 declined - one of only 4 on the site with over 500
  • Regular voter: 3,010 up, 455 down
  • Active in the review queue:
    • 857 First Posts (4th)
    • 545 Late Answers (2nd)
    • 613 Low Quality Posts (1st)
    • 805 Close Votes (3rd)
    • 212 Reopen Votes (2nd)
    • 327 Suggested Edits (11th)
  • Participates in community cleanup - 443 Edits
  • Participates on Meta in questions, answers, and comments

In conclusion, I would like your support as a community moderator in order to help grow this community even better.

  • "As a moderator, I will be careful when casting votes" Ι think people should do that even if they aren't moderators. – Shevliaskovic Jan 19 '15 at 21:28
  • @Shevliaskovic - I meant more along the lines of when the votes cause an insta-close of a question. Edited to make that more clear – The Fallen Jan 19 '15 at 21:36
  • Why delay a closure? That just wastes the asker's time. Quick feedback allows for a quick fix. – Matthew Read Jan 19 '15 at 23:00
  • @MatthewRead - it depends on the question. Some absolutely need closure. But some are in more grey areas where I wouldn't hesitate to cast a close vote as a regular user, but wouldn't want to cast a binding close vote unilaterally. Or in topics I am unfamiliar with, where the question seems closeworthy, but I am not familiar with it enough to know for sure – The Fallen Jan 19 '15 at 23:21
  • In the latter case I agree with you. In the former, I'm with Shevliaskovic. Regular close votes shouldn't be cast with lesser care. In any case, the actions you would take in those cases as a mod seem right on. Thanks for clarifying. – Matthew Read Jan 19 '15 at 23:25
  • +1 for this comment, the mods on Skeptics SE appear (to me) to close questions by mod prerogative too quickly. To their credit, they do get a large amount of junk questions, but it does cause a nontrivial amount of disincentive for posting questions and answers. – March Ho Jan 20 '15 at 12:50
  • @MarchHo - Skeptics is a bit of a special case due to a couple of their extra qualifiers putting a higher burden on authors (e.g. no significant claims, no sources for answers). We do not have these rules here, and so I see that as the main difference between the sites – The Fallen Jan 20 '15 at 13:46
  • Do you participate on Meta? The last post (prior to the election question post) by you is from last May. – user1027 Jan 20 '15 at 17:26
  • I do check on Meta, but the posts since then I haven't seen something to weigh in on. I've still be voting on posts, with some comments, but others have added thwir 2 cents worth(that I agreed with) before I posted anything – The Fallen Jan 20 '15 at 22:37

This election is complete.