Software Recommendations Stack Exchange will be hosting an election on August 20th, 2018. 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.

Unlike last election's procedure, this time we will be collecting the questions one week in advance of the actual election nomination phase beginning. This serves both to give the community an advance warning to prepare for nominations, as well as a means for folks to be able to prepare answers for the Q&A before people actually start voting.

This post was to collect questions. You can find the candidate questionnaire here: 2018 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, August 20th 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 at 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.

  • 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.

7 Answers 7


Someone posts an answer of the form “if … then product A, if … then product B”. Another user edits the answer down to product A and says to post a separate answer for product B, citing this meta answer. The answerer edits the answer back. How do you settle this?


We have some odd rules, compared to the rest of the network, around quality and scope. Do you think these are (still) necessary? Should they be changed or enforced differently in some way?


Imagine this scenario:

Someone asked a question that only says "What is the best text editor?", and two people wrote very detailed answers about Notepad and Vi, each answer receiving several upvotes.

What steps do you take (if you take any)?

  • 1
    is adding an emacs answer an acceptable step? (ok ok, I'll see myself out)
    – Federico
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 13:46
  • @curiousdannii: Shh let's not post the answers :-)
    – Nicolas Raoul Mod
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 3:37

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?

Imagine this scenario:

Someone asked an extremely specific question that most probably does not have any solution ("I need an EPL-license driver to connect my ENIAC computer to my Whirlpool3276B washing machine via MTESRL-TSMR protocol and it must send me a log via SMS every Tuesday").

What steps do you take (if you take any)?


Imagine this scenario:

There is a question about something you understand nothing about ("I need a tool to extract metatransisotopes from an AtomBoom© database"), and there is a spam flag on an answer that you don't understand either.

What steps do you take (if you take any)?


This site has the lowest rate of answered questions on the network. Why do you think this is? What can we do to give people a better chance at getting (useful!) answers?

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