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 are 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 Jun 24 '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

4,801 voters were eligible, 1,605 visited the site during the election, 1,014 visited the election page, and 623 voted

I’m 81-years old Japanese, perhaps one of the oldest of EL&U users. I’ve been with this site for 3 years and 5 months. I’ve been learning English language since the age of 13 in middle school immediate after the end of WW II, without much improvement. My interest in English was rekindled after retirement.

I’m thankful to EL&U for providing me with unique opportunity to keep learning English and getting access to the knowledge of day-to-day, live English that I cannot aquire from ordinary English text books on sale, through pertinent answers and comments from users.

Almost of all my posts are questions. As being a non-native English speaker who’s never lived outside Japan, I don’t think I’m qualified as an answerer to provide confident answers.

However, I can understand the handicaps, problems, needs, and feeling of non-native speakers in learning English language.

I would like to give a voice in the site as a non-native English speaker, and contribute to the Site as the international communication crossroad.

I would like to prove that even an old Asian can be a candidate for moderator of the international language enthusiasts’ web site to my peers and contemporaries.

  • 43
    You honor us, Oishi-san. – Kit Z. Fox Jun 11 '14 at 1:40
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    Good luck, and 頑張ってください! – Robusto Jun 11 '14 at 16:42
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    I can’t feel happier to have received encouragements from a lot of English-speaking ‘Senpais’ like Kris ox and Robusto-san. According to Japanese saying, 勝負は時の運‐only the time and fortune decide the result, I’ll behave as 俎板の上の鯉‐A carp on the chopping board. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 11 '14 at 19:58
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    It's so good to know that you have such a strong interest and passion for English. – Veronica Diamond Jun 12 '14 at 9:24

I don't actually want this job. I have no great love for hard work or thankless tasks, and moderation involves a lot of both. I'm running because I believe there is a sickness at the heart of this site, and I feel I should at least try to help fix it.

I've been a member of EL&U since the early days, and I have seen it grow into an arrogant, insular community that has lost sight of its mission. Questions are closed for spurious reasons, with no real effort made to improve them. New users are not only not welcomed, they're made to feel positively unwelcome. Straightforward questions about practical English usage are treated like distractions from someone's ivory-tower idea of perfection. I'm far from the only one who feels this way, as a perusal of the top-ranked questions on our meta site will reveal. It's one of the biggest complaints people have about us.

This is the 7th largest SE site in terms of total questions. It's too big to be this elitist. And it has to stop.

If elected I'll take the job seriously; I'm not trying to be disruptive. I have no desire to be a spoiler candidate and will withdraw from the election if necessary to assist other candidates who share my values.

  • 7
    "I feel I should at least try to help fix it." What do you have in mind? – Daniel Jun 10 '14 at 21:59
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    Very good question. Perhaps there won't be much I can do. Access to moderation tools doesn't necessarily confer moral authority to their holders. Nevertheless, there is a bully-pulpit aspect to the diamond that I believe can be used to effect change. I'm running rather explicitly as a reform candidate, so my victory would be evidence of a mandate for change that would be hard to ignore. In more practical terms, there are aspects of our FAQ that I think need to be changed, which is difficult for mortals to do. – phenry Jun 11 '14 at 2:52
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    @phenry, I actually really like your focus on how to encourage/redirect new users, as well as your point that currently, it feels like far too many complex issues are dismissed/closed often as "general reference" when there's significant debate. That said, I think painting the whole community as insular and arrogant isn't right either. I think all your observations are right, but happen to think this group actually has a strong core of users who care and could work with you to fix that. Just my 2c. – Jaydles Jun 12 '14 at 14:59
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    I’ve been feeling exactly the same way as you claim. Many questions have been down-voted and closed without any reason being given, or with a simple reason of “off-topic.” There are many questions of which answers are self-explanatory to native English speakers, but not to non-native speakers like me. This site is not Cambridge and Harvard’s English literature / linguistic course. I feel EL&U users need to be generous, flexible, and more open-minded to questions from even English language beginners and dull learners like me, instead of being arrogant and intolerant from ivory-tower platform. – Yoichi Oishi Jun 12 '14 at 23:09
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    @Jaydles - I do in fact have a great deal of respect for most of the high-rep users here, and my dealings with most ELU users have never been anything but pleasant. Unfortunately, people visiting for the first time don't know that—all they see is the elitism and inscrutable question closings. There are many, many people here who don't contribute to the unfriendliness, and if they feel they're being tarred unfairly, well… they're right. That's why the perception of this community is a problem, and that's why it needs to change. – phenry Jun 13 '14 at 17:58
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    @YoichiOishi - you are not typical of "English language beginner and... learner"; you come here informed, having thought out your question, illustrated with examples (you share your work), and have a good understanding of the Language to begin with. But I disagree with your statement, EL&U users need to be generous, flexible, and more open-minded to questions from even English language beginners. That is what ELL is for. Should we assume the responsibility of both sites? Is this what the majority of users want? I'm not sure it is. – anongoodnurse Jun 13 '14 at 22:49

I'm Andrew, and I've been a member of the community for over two years.

I've tried to guide new users to get to grips with what makes a useful question; to stamp on spam; to participate in Meta — and Chat — as time has allowed; and to use voting privileges to the good of the community. That's included leaving a comment and waiting for questions to be improved: nowadays I tend to see how others in the community view a question before voting myself.

I've always been transparent, patiently expressing what I honestly believe and not being afraid to admit a mistake. Currently, I don't think I'd be unhappy with a diamond appearing beside any of my contributions. I'm a member of a number of SE sites, and I've been on the receiving end of untoward actions too, so as well as using the high-rep tools here, I've been able to see moderation from different perspectives.

I believe that my efforts so far have demonstrated that I have had a useful input to this site in terms of content and working with the community. I hope that what I've been able to do has helped to make the community’s experience of the site better, and I’d like to be able to take an even more pro-active role to assist.

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    Your meta participation and helpful flag counts are very impressive. Good luck to you! – user11550 Jun 10 '14 at 22:07
  • Having followed your positive SE contributions for some time, my only hesitation in voting for you is that I had hopes you might run in the next Christianity elections and I would get to work with you! Of course there is nothing to stop you from still doing that. Hint, hint. – Caleb Jun 11 '14 at 9:17
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    Andrew has demonstrated patience and an even temperament in the face of criticism, which is a very valuable attribute in a moderator. – Shog9 Jun 12 '14 at 17:54

Having been around for only about half a year (why did I lurk for a month?), I am certainly not the most seasoned user on the site.

However, in that relatively short period I have found myself dragged into the site, the community and the English language. I believe in the idea that answering questions is a great way to learn, and I have certainly learned a lot here.

When it comes to moderating, I actually have extensive experience, not on stack-exchange, but on a (Dutch) IT-discussion forum. Although the rules and guidelines were different (and in quite some ways, a lot more strict) there, the principal of moderation remains the same, in the sense that A Theory of Moderation was a feast of recognition for me.

One of the recurring themes here seems to be the relationship between us and ELL. I have become active on both ELU and ELL at the same time, and I have developed a quite clear idea about the distinction between the two, and I would like to explore ideas on how to make the roles of both more clear- especially to new users.

  • 2
    I appreciate the contributions you've made to ELL, and would love to have another ELU mod who is active in both communities. I think that would serve both sites very well, and you have my support! :) – WendiKidd Jun 12 '14 at 18:03

I've been a member for only 6 months, but have been a very enthusiastic participant during that time. Although a native speaker of English, I have enjoyed learning more about it than I thought I ever would, and continue to look forward to learning more.

I love language and care a lot about the site. I’ve tried to contribute by providing quality answers and conscientiously using the rep privileges as I’ve been given them. I try to be respectful, encouraging and friendly, especially to newer members. I want people to feel welcome here.

I haven’t been as active on Meta.ELU as I usually tend to wait a bit to see how a site works before offering my opinion.

I hope you will consider me for this position.

Thank you.

  • 1
    In my mother tongue, "medica" means a female physician. What is your profession anyway ? – Centaurus Jun 10 '14 at 16:31
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    I am a physician. Have been one for a long time. Before that, I was a Molecular Biologist. Both of which I find far less intimidating than programming, or anything having to do with computers. :) – anongoodnurse Jun 10 '14 at 18:09
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    I'm a physician too. For a long time too. Good Luck in your "campaign". :) – Centaurus Jun 10 '14 at 22:46
  • I Know this is the wrong place to ask this but, in your introduction above, would it be wrong to say "learning more about it than I thought I would ever do." ? – Centaurus Jun 10 '14 at 22:55
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    Either works; mine is a bit on the informal side. :) – anongoodnurse Jun 11 '14 at 1:26
  • @Luis It's equally valid with or without the "do", but putting "ever" before the "would" sounds more natural than putting it after. – starsplusplus Jun 16 '14 at 11:32

Every race needs an underdog. That's not me, of course; I'm a giant, flying orc head. Very much an overorc.

When I first joined EL&U, some 3 and a half years ago, I was overjoyed to find a place where I could impart my understanding of English. However, it quickly became apparent that I don't know nearly as much as I thought I did.

Since then I've spent a lot of time learning about English, here and elsewhere.

In order to help other people learn, too, I try my best to keep the site tidy, neat and noiseless. I like to direct people to the best place to learn what they need to know. Sometimes that's not here.

Vote for the overorc!

  • Why is your surname in Cyrillic? – user24964 Jun 10 '14 at 8:46
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    I put my surname into Cyrillic for fun. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 10 '14 at 8:53
  • 2
    There's a more ominous question: why is your first name in Latin? – F'x Jun 10 '14 at 10:53
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    You might find it ominous, I couldn't possibly comment. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 10 '14 at 11:21
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    Yay! Now the race is on! – Kit Z. Fox Jun 10 '14 at 13:15
  • @TheMathemagician it has to do with the CHAOS team. We have a meta question or seven for your viewing pleasure. – RegDwigнt Jun 10 '14 at 21:37
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    I like orcs in moderation. – Daniel Jun 10 '14 at 22:01
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    @Daniel: THWACK! +1, but still. :) – Marthaª Jun 12 '14 at 13:39
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    @Marthaª ! Where's your nomination? – Kit Z. Fox Jun 12 '14 at 15:22
  • @KitFox: I'm thinking about it. Dunno if I have the time. – Marthaª Jun 12 '14 at 16:26
  • @Daniel: I know what you mean. I could probably get on with this one, or even these two, but I certainly wouldn't want this bunch moving in next door! :) Whatever - good luck on the day, Matt! – FumbleFingers Jun 12 '14 at 20:58
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    Thanks @FumbleFingers :D So long as we're part of SE our borders will be open to orcs. Maybe someone will form the EULIP party – Matt E. Эллен Jun 13 '14 at 7:16

I have been a member for 3+ years but took a break due to career responsibilities. I returned to full activity in October and over the past few months I have focused on answering old, unanswered questions.

I see the primary purpose of ELU as helping solve problems related to the English Language. I find questions from both expert and novice speakers worth answering and spend a great deal of time searching for more efficient ways to solve these problems. My goal as a moderator would be enabling regular contributors to let them focus on answering questions as effectively as possible. This means protecting the site from malicious users and seeking to resolve and avoid drama as much as possible.

During both periods of my ELU activity I have also been active on Meta.ELU. These meta posts have (a) asked the community for best approaches to problems, (b) proposed solutions to problems, (c) participated in discussions started by others. Similarly, when I was an active user on Skeptics.SE, I spent a great deal of time on its Meta helping to define the purpose of the site. As a moderator, this activity would continue with the explicit goal of reaching consensus without drama.

  • 3
    Lovin' that meta history as well as that hefty review history there. That said, is there anything you'd like to push for as a moderator? – yuritsuki Jun 10 '14 at 1:36
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    @thinlyveiledquestionmark: I would push for a lot less drama between the regular contributors. I can think of a couple incidents in recent history where users chose to escalate matters instead of resolving the issue peacefully. We are here to help people with English; not fight amongst ourselves. – MrHen Jun 10 '14 at 13:24
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    Related to my previous comment, I think that general burnout is a constant problem for sites that revolve around community generated content. Part of my planned approach to "reducing drama" would be to investigate ways to make life easier on the regular contributors -- the theory being that less burned out regulars make for more patient regulars. :) – MrHen Jun 11 '14 at 15:17
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    This. Exactly this. (We need to train our regulars that if their reaction to every new question is to search for reasons to close it, then perhaps they need to go away for a bit.) – Marthaª Jun 12 '14 at 16:35
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    MrHen has been consistently insightful and judicious in his words and actions during the times in which he has been active here. These are excellent attributes in a moderator. – Shog9 Jun 12 '14 at 18:00
  • @Marthaª I agree with you. – Centaurus Jun 12 '14 at 21:09

Although I seem a little lacking in reputation to be a moderator, I am committed to the duties that I currently hold on the site; I check my review ques several times a day.

Of all of my accounts, ELU has the the most rep, as of now, and is the account which I've been the most "successful" with.

Since I have several fairly low rep accounts, I am not oblivious to the feeling of being a new user.

I'll make it easy for anyone looking to find out more.

  • 10
    spelling: "ques" – MrWhite Jun 9 '14 at 21:20
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    @FracturedRetina While it's great you have an active profile for asking and answering questions, I'm a bit more concerned with your Meta answering and asking. Usually being a moderator requires high participation within meta, but a lack of posts on your end troubles me. – yuritsuki Jun 9 '14 at 21:50
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    The point I am trying to drive across is, what will separate you from other candidates who may have extensive involvement within Meta.ELU? – yuritsuki Jun 9 '14 at 21:58
  • @FracturedRetina I think it's pretty clear how likely you are going to be a moderator. With such drastically poor communication skills, I am extremely doubtful you'll even get votes. – yuritsuki Jun 15 '14 at 17:32

This election is complete.