2021 Moderator Election

nomination began
Sep 20 at 20:00
election began
Sep 27 at 20:00
election ended
Oct 5 at 20:00
candidates
5
positions
4

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

Full elections have three phases and an optional fourth phase (Primary):

  1. Question Collection
  2. Nomination
  3. Primary
  4. Election

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

Additional Links

Questionnaire
The community team has compiled questions from meta for the candidates to answer.
  1. 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?

[Answer 1 here]

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

[Answer 2 here]

  1. Many people consider psychological theories by (for example) Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to be pseudoscientific. Considering this meta discussion on the subject and this related meta discussion, how would you deal with a question based on what many consider to be pseudoscientific?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. We often get questions on sensitive topics, such as race, sex, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Sometimes these lead to controversy. How would you deal with such questions?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. Some years ago, a site "reboot" was initiated and completed, that included a name change for the site. Looking at the site analytics (a disclaimer says I am not allowed to share specifics), major indicators such as Visitors and Active Users, New Users, Posts, and Votes, appear to have peaked somewhere between 2014-2017, and been in decline since. I am curious how you would envision the future of this stack?

[Answer 5 here]

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

[Answer 6 here]

  1. 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?

[Answer 7 here]

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

[Answer 8 here]

AliceD

I have been an active member of this community for nearly 7 years, out of which over 4 years as a pro-tem mod.

I have always loved this site for its openness and welcoming character to new users. I have always loved enjoyed modding this site and I would be more than happy to continue doing this in the role of a full mod. In fact, I'd be honored.

Why pick me to participate in the first democratically chosen 'real' mod team? I have modded this site, and the related site Biology for 4 years. I actively participated in keeping this site up to standards, especially in our beta time. This site has struggled to being promoted and in fact to keep afloat while other related sites around it flourished. For one, I have been taking the forefront in reducing the big pile of abandoned, often poorly posed questions dubbed by some as 'Garbage Valley', and I have answered many abandoned questions. Although our site stats were not the primary reason for our promotion, it will have helped showing SE corp that we stand our ground. Lastly, I have learned a lot from pro-tem mods like Steven Jeuris and Jeromy Anglim who have been true rocks of this site since its inception in Area51.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

I would ask this user first in the comments to limit their commenting below questions and answers and to be nice. If that wouldn't help I would invite this person to chat and engage in a conversation to improve their behavior. As a lost resort a personal message via email can nudge a person to behave a little better.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

This happens, and I always approach my fellow mods in chat and talk it out.

  1. Many people consider psychological theories by (for example) Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to be pseudoscientific. Considering this meta discussion on the subject and this related meta discussion, how would you deal with a question based on what many consider to be pseudoscientific?

The linked questions are quite excellent resources to start with and link to, but it remains a point of debate whether these questions are on, or offtopic. Many times the community assesses such questions individually and engage in discussions in the comment section. Freud has had huge impact on psychological treatments, especially cognitive behavioral therapy. Although we are a scientific site, it is important not to dismiss Freudian or Jungian principles simply because they might be labeled as pseudoscientific. However, questions and answers related to Jung and Freud may well lack evidence-based literature behind them, so it is important to individually assess these questions based on their merits.

  1. We often get questions on sensitive topics, such as race, sex, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Sometimes these lead to controversy. How would you deal with such questions?

I always tend to err on the safe side of things and close them if they are flagged as being offensive. There have been quite a few examples where things really escalated, and in these instances I adhere to 'better safe then sorry' and close, or even delete such questions. This site must stay all-inclusive and people should feel welcomed here, regardless their personal backgrounds. This especially holds for 'race' which has been a much misused and abused term in the past. 'Sex', 'sexuality' and 'diversity', on the other hand, are much researched topics and they need to be given a chance, barred the questions are based on a scientific premise and are devoid of personal views. Questions based on personal views or anecdotes should be thoroughly assessed for their merits and I often tend to put them on hold to signal the community this kind of question is borderline offtopic, yet allow OP to make changes such that the question may be re-opened.

  1. Some years ago, a site "reboot" was initiated and completed, that included a name change for the site. Looking at the site analytics (a disclaimer says I am not allowed to share specifics), major indicators such as Visitors and Active Users, New Users, Posts, and Votes, appear to have peaked somewhere between 2014-2017, and been in decline since. I am curious how you would envision the future of this stack?

That peak in visitors wasn't so clear to me in fact. The site re-boot was nonetheless an excellent idea because it has drawn in more neuroscience questions. At least part of them came from Biology to here. I think that's good thing. Biology is growing quite big (I'm a mod there too) and making borders between related sites clearer is a good thing in my opinion. Yet we have been a small community and I think this will not change in the near future. I am perfectly fine with that. I find the site's quality and atmosphere up to standards. However, it would still be a very good thing to draw in more experts. For instance, behavioral therapy related questions are often answered by one or two specific users. While the both of them are obviously knowledgeable and radiate quite some authority, more users specialized in this area of expertise would definitely bring more variety and quality to this site. However, while some site stats can be changed quite readily by the existing community (%answered questions, answers per question), increasing the community itself in terms of size is not an easy thing to accomplish. While we have gained expertise over the years, we have lost other hi-rep users as well along the way. Up until this point we remain a stable and valuable community and as said, I think it will stay this way for quite a while.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

As little as possible, but only intervene when necessary. However, having said that, because of our small community closing questions with the necessary 5 votes often need the mod hammer. There have been developments SE wide to reduce this to 3. That would seriously help, especially for small communities like ourselves. Welcoming new users is also a good thing and introducing them to the help pages and point them to related questions when necessary is also something mods can do to aid this community. And of course intervene when arguments get too hot, and approach users who go out of line.

  1. 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?

I have been a mod for over 4y here and elsewhere. I feel perfectly confident with it and would enjoy and be honored to continue carrying that diamond with pride.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Being a mod means a lot more than just having the abilities a hi-repper has. Access to site stats and, importantly, access information about users are things that carry much responsibility. Yet they can help a great deal in identifying spammers, trolls and sock puppets. Mod tools allow for in-depth investigation of site traffic to identify and verify whether users need to be approached or even blocked from accessing the site. Mod chat rooms allow for discussion of such activities and to learn along the way to become a better, more effective and ethical mod.

Steven Jeuris

Almost 10 years ago, I joined this community as a place to learn. I had just started my MSc thesis in HCI, and hoped I could use this stack as a place to ask questions about theoretical background and experimental design in this line of research. As such, from the beginning I was an avid user both on main and meta, and helped shape both the scope and community guidelines for this site. This was recognized by the community team, who suggested me to become pro tempore moderator, a function I've held up to now.

Which brings us to today. I now hold a PhD in HCI, but unfortunately we never managed to attract too many researchers from this field. As such, I'm not that active posting Q&A on this site.

However, my research background and experience using Stack Exchange give me a thorough understanding of what makes great content which can serve not only the current community, but future users landing on this site; something I've always aimed to maintain as a moderator.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

In case they are because the comments are no longer needed: point out that lengthier conversations are best held in chat and that comments will be removed over time as they only serve to provide feedback to improve posts.

Assuming the flags are for harassment or unfriendly/unkind behavior: instantly delete the offending comments in case I agree with the flag. More ambiguous cases, provide mediating comments to keep the conversation focused on content and keep an eye on the situation.

If I notice recurring problems with the same user, I send a private message to warn the offending user of a potential suspension if the same behavior is carried on and notify other moderators of the issue. Continued behavior counter the guidelines of the community will then lead to suspension.

I don't see why high rep users should be treated any differently than other users when it comes to staying civil.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I ask for clarification in chat, but would never roll back a decision without a better understanding of the situation (e.g., repeat offender/failure to co-operate).

In case I truly feel the question should stay open, I would spend extra time addressing the main concerns which lead to its closure by working with the OP to rewrite/edit the question (making things more explicit/scoping/adding prior research). A question can almost always be improved, whether you disagree with the original closure or not.

  1. Many people consider psychological theories by (for example) Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to be pseudoscientific. Considering this meta discussion on the subject and this related meta discussion, how would you deal with a question based on what many consider to be pseudoscientific?

Enforce the current community (more or less) consensus guidelines:

  • Clarify that our community deems some topics pseudoscientific, usually in comments, linking to the meta discussion, and extra care should be taken asking such questions.

  • Make sure that the question is clearly framed in concepts from the relevant literature, and underlying assumptions (potentially proven wrong) are made explicit. As any question, it should be based in prior research. The question is then relevant either from a historical perspective, or to those who still find those theories relevant in certain contexts.

  1. We often get questions on sensitive topics, such as race, sex, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Sometimes these lead to controversy. How would you deal with such questions?

I find that users who ask controversial questions on such topics are those who are best served by providing an answer clarifying why their question is controversial.

As such, I lean to being more accepting towards such questions, and am willing to provide extra time/guidance to help such questions be based on some initial research (they often aren't, which is still a reason for closure on this site). For example, I would suggest them to phrase more open-ended, less leading, questions, and suggest them some easy searches/sources to include as initial research.

It is my hope that having such questions represented on this site, we can then later close less well-phrased questions as duplicates of the ones we spent extra time on.

  1. Some years ago, a site "reboot" was initiated and completed, that included a name change for the site. Looking at the site analytics (a disclaimer says I am not allowed to share specifics), major indicators such as Visitors and Active Users, New Users, Posts, and Votes, appear to have peaked somewhere between 2014-2017, and been in decline since. I am curious how you would envision the future of this stack?

I was the instigator behind this reboot, and personally would call it a success. The reboot wasn't really about growing our userbase (at least not first and foremost), but primarily about growing a consistent/clear community with clearer guidelines.

We have since decided to up the level of quality needed for contributions and target a more academic target audience. As a result, also including the site rename from "Cognitive Sciences" to "Psychology & Neuroscience", I have the impression we have attracted higher quality, academic, questions, including in neuroscience.

As a moderator, I feel ever since the reboot I've had to intervene less, which I consider a metric of success for a community. It implies to me the present content provides good examples of the type of questions we welcome, and the community has become better at self-moderating, i.e. we now have a stronger sense of identity.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Together with the community decide/shape community guidelines, and help new users to the community navigate them. Where community moderation fails, intervene/quicken the process, acting on behalf of the community with an understanding what is best in line with established guidelines.

  1. 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?

Whenever a user points out I'm somehow different as a moderator, I simply point out I'm acting on behalf of established community guidelines, and that they are always free to disagree, or argue that things should be done differently on meta.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I would have less power to take quick action where I deem it necessary (given that I am not a 10k user on Psychology & Neuroscience). But, I would still gladly flag things for moderator attention, or point out problematic behavior in chat.

Arnon Weinberg

As previously alluded to, I retired from my professional career in 2019, leaving me with much free time to dedicate to giving something back to the world. Apart from moderating this forum, I have been volunteering for over 2 years in a couple of psychology labs at a local university, so I now have some professional experience in the field as well. I have been a member of this stack since 2014, and moderator since 2018, and am happy to continue to contribute to it however I can.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

This has happened a few times, and ultimately, it tends to result in an automatic suspension. As such, it is best to warn the user about the effect of their behaviour in advance, just in case they are not aware. That said, I have never had any success convincing such users that community feedback should be taken more seriously.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

I do wish that StackExchange had a feature to allow me to vote for reopening a question without the modhammer, so that I can make a case to the user community and let them vote. However, in lieu of that, I can always post on meta to open a discussion, though I have never felt disagreement strongly enough to do so.

  1. Many people consider psychological theories by (for example) Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to be pseudoscientific. Considering this meta discussion on the subject and this related meta discussion, how would you deal with a question based on what many consider to be pseudoscientific?

Since I started that post, I guess my feelings on the matter are known. To summarize, I agree with the community in general that such questions have no better stack to post on than this one, and we can address issues of pseudoscience content by letting users know via comments. This approach seems to have worked reasonably well I think.

  1. We often get questions on sensitive topics, such as race, sex, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Sometimes these lead to controversy. How would you deal with such questions?

Admittedly, I am no expert on such matters - I am learning all the time myself. If users indicate that they find certain materials objectionable, then I try to address them appropriately (commenting, editing, locking, closing, deleting). Ultimately, we want a space that users can feel comfortable posting potentially controversial topics, while simultaneously feeling safe participating without prejudice - a challenging, but manageable balance.

  1. Some years ago, a site "reboot" was initiated and completed, that included a name change for the site. Looking at the site analytics (a disclaimer says I am not allowed to share specifics), major indicators such as Visitors and Active Users, New Users, Posts, and Votes, appear to have peaked somewhere between 2014-2017, and been in decline since. I am curious how you would envision the future of this stack?

Part of the reboot involved substantially raising the bar for post content - eg, requiring evidence of initial research, and appropriate references. That this has resulted in some decline is neither surprising, nor undesirable. It would of course be nice to see the site grow in terms of high-quality contributions, but this is an on-going challenge. Personally, I have managed to recruit a couple of good users to the site, but as for industry professionals, I have had no luck there yet.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Well, much of our role is prescribed by the system (handling flags, contributing to meta, review queues), but occasionally we are called upon to proactively handle some situation - a controversial post, a misbehaving user, a feature request... In this regard, I believe the role of a moderator is to represent the community as best we can.

  1. 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?

It feels silly to be honest ... I am just another user on the site, I have merely been given additional tasks and responsibilities to help out. However, some users perceive this to reflect some level of authority or that I represent the StackExchange in some way, which is unfortunate, and probably nudges me to be more conservative (careful) in my actions.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

One side-effect of being a moderator is that I see substantially more posts than I would have taken the time to review as a user. This has helped for example in identifying duplicates, finding examples of issues raised on meta, and having a better sense of the contributions users make, how the site is performing its function overall, and what potential improvements could be proposed. It has also helped me learn, which is the reason I joined in the first place.

New Alexandria

I participate in a few niche communities, having a moderator (or mod-like) role in each.  I'd be glad to support here, especially with my background in HCI, focusing on cognitive, perceptual, and linguistic psych.

I'm at a place where I would like to further develop my sense of how to practice community moderation with the rest of a team. I hope that my answers to the questions will demonstrate the value I'd bring.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

As with team scenarios, I'd invite to a DM chat and try to understand the patterns that antagonize them.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

Similarly, I'd first do a DM chat to get their POV on that issue. Then If we were of varied opinion, I'd open a non-combatitive meta to explore the facets of the issue for our community.

  1. Many people consider psychological theories by (for example) Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to be pseudoscientific. Considering this meta discussion on the subject and this related meta discussion, how would you deal with a question based on what many consider to be pseudoscientific?

As long as answers are self-consistent to a doctrine, dogma, or other area of practice, that's all that can really be asked for. Communities are diverse, and such consistency afford those unfamiliar with a good template to expand their mind.

  1. We often get questions on sensitive topics, such as race, sex, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Sometimes these lead to controversy. How would you deal with such questions?

Increased controversy at minimum demands contributions that are increasingly objective. Ideally we would be able to have a way the site could filter these tags out until someone opted-in with a behavioral pledge and policy review. Similarly, I would prefer if participation features for these tags required different levels of reputation than the rest of the site's questions.

  1. Some years ago, a site "reboot" was initiated and completed, that included a name change for the site. Looking at the site analytics (a disclaimer says I am not allowed to share specifics), major indicators such as Visitors and Active Users, New Users, Posts, and Votes, appear to have peaked somewhere between 2014-2017, and been in decline since. I am curious how you would envision the future of this stack?

I would begin by reaching out to academics, and career professionals, who have an interest in well ordered communities (like the SE platform affords), and survey their input on what the community is missing from their POV. This may require a prepared set of URLs that highlight ways for them to quickly see parts of the site (for those that may not be willing to open-explore to form their opinion). Though this effort may not result in a 'perfect plan', such a survey will be a durable contribution to this community's moderation.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Above all else, take seriously the cultivation of a health community.

  1. 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?

I always act with the awareness that everyone id' worry about sees my words, and that history is immutable.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

The ability to help the rest of the mod team to improve a community

Bryan Krause

Hi, I'm Bryan. I'm a PhD neuroscientist working in a university research position. In research I try to understand how brains change across states of consciousness, using anesthetics, psychedelics, and sleep as tools. My side gig is as a statistician, helping clinically-trained researchers with varied levels of experience in science.

I'm a moderator and regular contributor at Biology.SE and Academia.SE, and also answer and curate frequently on MedicalSciences.SE in addition to here. I am experienced with the moderating tools here and I'm an active contributor in mod-only spaces (the mod Team and Teachers Lounge chat).

The existing slate of moderators have done a great job; I'm running to add choice to this election, both for the existing mods to know that others are interested in running if they'd prefer to step down, and for members of the community. If elected, you can expect me to be active behind the scenes tracking some of our repeat troll visitors, and you can expect a softer hand towards closing questions than I have as a community member; I'm very conscious of the distinction between the "one vote of 5" vs. "unilateral" close power.

Questionnaire
  1. 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?

(copied from my answer on the recent Academia.SE election)

These are some of the hardest cases for moderators to intervene in, though not all flags are created equal. I don't see chattiness in comments ("no longer needed" flags), for example, as a reason to escalate things unless it hits truly immense levels. Personal attacks, bigotry, harassment, etc, on the other hand, cannot be diluted to "acceptable" by otherwise good contributions.

I'd expect to discuss things with the rest of the moderator team in questionable circumstances, especially when there are patterns of behavior that just barely toe the line. Sometimes a cautioning message may be all that is needed; other times it may be necessary to escalate to suspension just like with any other user.

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?

(copied from my answer on the recent Academia.SE election)

Usually these cases are best discussed in private moderator chat; sometimes the other moderator made a mistake, sometimes they have other information that guided their decision that isn't obvious. I think on my time moderating Biology.SE the past couple of years this has come up at most once or twice and we quickly came to consensus. I don't think it's good for the site or the moderators themselves to start a ping-pong war over a closed question without having a conversation about it. If I made an edit to rescue a question that another moderator closed I'd want community votes or another moderator to make the decision to reopen.

  1. Many people consider psychological theories by (for example) Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung to be pseudoscientific. Considering this meta discussion on the subject and this related meta discussion, how would you deal with a question based on what many consider to be pseudoscientific?

I've appreciated hearing the perspectives on others on these topics. Personally, I think the history of Freud and Jung have an unfortunate level of influence on modern psychology and psychiatry. I think it's unfortunate when users come here with questions about how the world works that show that their primary understanding of psychology comes from these misleading influences and a misplaced certainty about their conclusions. The same could be said by more modern writers in the "self-help" genre, including those that have academic credentials and yet write beyond their expertise, mix their personal opinion with fact, or mislead pop science readers to make themselves money.

That said, I think the site has come to a reasonable understanding of how these questions should be handled. There's certainly a relevance if nothing else to the history of psychology and the iterative process that has led to modern techniques in therapy. We can use comments to let people know when they are venturing into pseudoscience and ask for clarification of how exactly they expect their questions to be addressed and how it is founded. I think the close reason that requires users to make assumptions and motivations clear is sufficient - as long as users can make their questions well-motivated with references and make clear whether they're asking about the real world or the world according to, say, Freud, I think these questions can coexist here.

  1. We often get questions on sensitive topics, such as race, sex, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Sometimes these lead to controversy. How would you deal with such questions?

I think these issues are best served by a proper application of the old CoC's assumption of good intent. We should expect users asking on these topics to be respectful of others and to respond positively to suggestions that improve the language of their questions to be more inclusive. I think evidence that a user opposes these initiatives is a good reason to suspend assumptions about their good intent.

In the other direction, efforts to cite real literature and use the language used in science rather than internet comment sections are evidence that users have real questions on touchy subjects - we should be supportive of these efforts.

In the most serious cases, I'd opt to proactively remove questions that include bigoted speech but to include a comment explaining where the faults in the question are and ask that the question be flagged for moderator attention to undelete once those faults are addressed. Assuming good intent doesn't mean to take no action, but rather to let people fix the things that are offensive. We know that askers come here from all sorts of backgrounds and may not always be familiar with where the boundaries lie. The goal is to educate and reform where needed.

I'll add that there are a couple repeat users around the network whose behavior I am quite familiar with. These users are sometimes very good at making their content appear genuine; their history makes clear that they are not. These users feed on the discord that their questions produces; I think it's important for moderators to keep an eye on them and make sure our users focus their attention on the people truly here to participate.

  1. Some years ago, a site "reboot" was initiated and completed, that included a name change for the site. Looking at the site analytics (a disclaimer says I am not allowed to share specifics), major indicators such as Visitors and Active Users, New Users, Posts, and Votes, appear to have peaked somewhere between 2014-2017, and been in decline since. I am curious how you would envision the future of this stack?

I think there's always a difficult balance between quality and quantity on the smaller StackExchange sites. Personally, I would rather have a site with lower activity if it means keeping out low-quality questions. I don't think most of the question-answerer types that participate on sites like this one, MedicalSciences, and Biology want to participate on sites that are dominated by low-effort homework, self-help/personal medical questions, etc. There are other sites out there for those.

I also don't think most of the people that visit here with those low-quality questions are here to stay. We can offer them help with improving their question to fit our guidelines, but if they don't want to participate then we can't make them do so. I think it would be great if more of the seasoned users would ask their own questions, but in a small community it's hard to motivate that: most questions related to any of our own work are far closer to our own expertise than anyone else's on this stack; that's just how academic- and professional-level work goes.

I think we should keep in mind that the vision of StackOverflow and the sites that project spawned involved creating a Q&A repository. That means questions that are useful not just to the individual asking them, but to others that find those questions through Google search, etc. Questions that are answered here, even if they are few, are added to the history of answered questions that other people can stumble upon to find answers.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I'll copy my answer from when I ran on Biology.SE, as I did also for the recent Academia.SE election:

"Moderators support the goals of the community. Moderators don't own or dictate to the community, they are ambassadors elected from the community to itself. Most of the actual day-to-day work they do is janitorial: mostly underappreciated when done well, but also a vitally important part of the infrastructure of the community and strongly missed when absent."

  1. 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?

(copied from my answer on the recent Academia.SE election)

I am comfortable with it. I won't always even agree with myself when reading something I've posted long ago, but I feel that everything I've said here has been with the goal of helping someone else somehow. I use my own name here because I feel my participation on this site is part of my professional life. I'm keenly aware of the weight the diamond puts on what a moderator writes, and I would be careful to delineate when I am speaking as a user with an opinion of no higher value to any other versus conveying policies of the site or decisions made by the community.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

I don't think the 10k/20k tools really compare to the role of a moderator, though I think this site differs from some others that have a stronger community moderation contingent. It's difficult to have enough experienced users review each post to close those that should be closed, for example. I think that therefore the community moderators here need to both be more active in the community than preferred under the SE model, and to interact with each other more to build community consensus among moderators.

This election is over.