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Share Your Experience: Take the 2024 Developer Survey

2024 Moderator Election

nomination began
May 21 at 20:00
election begins
in 4 hours
election ends
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2
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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!

If you are curious to see your candidate score there is a SEDE query that can show you before you nominate yourself.

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. How have you first come in contact with Blender and how long ago? Are you currently still actively using it, professionally or for hobbies?

[Answer 3 here]

  1. What general experience do you have in dealing with online communities and the usual procedures there? In particular, do you have experience dealing with spam or spam accounts, inappropriate or conspicuous behaviour of users, or conflicts between two or more users?

[Answer 4 here]

  1. As a moderator, how would you deal with posts (questions, answers, comments) if they were obviously created partly or entirely with the help of AI?

[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 enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?

[Answer 8 here]

Harry McKenzie

Hi guys! My background is in Computer Engineering: We make robots! I specialize in Firmware & Software Dev using Linux. I started as a Firmware Engineer at Lexmark, then became a Games Developer at Bigpoint.net, then worked at RegCentric.com in Australia as their first hire and Technical Consultant.

I first encountered Blender in 2015 but, like many, struggled getting past the Default Cube! During the pandemic, I finally wanted to learn Blender for real & I was lucky that finally v2.93 was much more user-friendly. That’s when I searched for answers & discovered BSE & fell in love with the platform's format. I appreciate its documentation-style approach, which makes finding solutions easier. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping others find solutions.

I’m a consistent user, often giving answers, comments, edits, flagging, & reviews. I don’t really have formal moderation experience, but I'm dedicated, trustworthy, and eager to learn. I think my active participation and passion for BSE make me a good fit. I promise to do my best and always act in the community’s best interest. I want to help build a solid knowledge base and support the community's growth.

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?

Hmmm that's a very difficult scenario especially for someone like me with limited moderation experience but I think the best thing to do would be to acknowledge their amazing contributions then try to privately address the issue if possible explaining how their comments might negatively affect the community. Then try to suggest more constructive communication techniques. In the worst case scenario if that did not go well I would probably delegate them to a more experienced moderator.

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

I would first try to reach out the moderator (in private if possible) to understand their reasoning behind closing/deleting a particular question and then share my thoughts and opinion (in a respectful way) on why I think it shouldn't have been closed/deleted. If that doesn't convince the mod, I would ask if it was okay if we tried to ask the other moderators for a consensus on what they think if it was fair or appropriate to do so.

  1. How have you first come in contact with Blender and how long ago? Are you currently still actively using it, professionally or for hobbies?

I first encountered Blender in 2015 but, like many, struggled getting past the Default Cube! During the pandemic, I finally wanted to learn Blender for real and I was lucky that finally v2.93 was much more user-friendly. I primarily wanted to up my video editing by incorporating 3D into them. I'm actively using Blender as a hobby and also for making addons. I started searching for answers to my technical issues where then I discovered BSE and instantly fell in love with the platform's format. I appreciate its documentation-style approach, which makes finding and understanding solutions easier. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge and helping others find solutions!

  1. What general experience do you have in dealing with online communities and the usual procedures there? In particular, do you have experience dealing with spam or spam accounts, inappropriate or conspicuous behaviour of users, or conflicts between two or more users?

Unfortunately I don't really have formal moderation experience, but I'm an active & dedicated member of BSE and I used to be one as well back in the Adobe Flash days (before it died haha) on the Adobe website, contributing to discussions and helping answer the community with their animation & programming problems. I think I do have a good understanding of the community guidelines and the importance of keeping the community friendly and ensure a healthy atmosphere. When dealing with spam or bad behavior, I follow community rules by flagging/reporting spam, and address bad behavior positively. I may not be perfect but my goal is to always try to keep the community healthy and respectful.

  1. As a moderator, how would you deal with posts (questions, answers, comments) if they were obviously created partly or entirely with the help of AI?

Honestly speaking I don't really have anything against AI when used responsibly and appropriately. As a matter of fact, I also use it to quickly learn new things. Based on my experience, AI has actually reduced the learning curve and I think it’s a valuable tool for increasing productivity, even professionally within the work environment. As a moderator, if I did encounter such posts created with the help of AI, I would first assess them based on their quality and relevance. If the content can help the community and is in fact accurate and also aligns with community guidelines, I see no issue when using it. And I would make sure that it does not mislead. I'm pretty sure most of us also can tell if AI was not appropriately used like just copy/pasting AI-generated code or the format of how the post is formed and then deal with these posts appropriately.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my opinion, a moderator plays an important role in maintaining the quality and integrity of a community where they ensure that all posts/discussions are always on topic, make sure everyone abides by the community guidelines, and handle flags of inappropriate behavior. I have also been personally involved with users that were rude and misbehaved so I have witnessed how moderators mediate conflicts, remove spam and provide guidance to new members. So obviously their goal is to foster a respectful and positive community atmosphere where all users feel welcome and can contribute in a constructive way.

  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 know that my words would be scrutinized more closely, and a higher standard is expected from what I say. I may have said some things in the past in a casual or light-hearted manner, particularly in comments where I expressed appreciation. But I can delete them! :D However, I recognize the importance of maintaining a professional demeanor in all my communications going forwards. Even if I wasn't voted as a moderator, I am and will always be committed to continuing to contribute positively and uphold the integrity of the community. I can assure you that you can always trust in me! :)

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?

I'm not entirely sure if I see a significant difference at this point, but speaking from my own experience on BSE, as I've gained reputation and interacted more with other users and moderators on this site, I've developed a better understanding of the community guidelines and the standards upheld by moderators. But ofcourse, being a moderator provides a well-defined role with additional privileges and tools, making it easier to effectively manage and maintain a healthy community as compared with the limited privileges I have right now.

1

Lauloque

The days when I don't at least open BSE to check on notifications are rare. I am a consistent user, often give answers, comments, edits, votes, ... Even sometimes open the new users queue!

Well of course, being there a bit doesn't make anyone a good moderator. But as having had moderation roles on a few forums (still officially am in one (dead(ish)) forum), I think I do have some experience in community handling. I think you can also assess my answers and comments quality if you wish so.
I am also very fond of the Q&A format and wiki/knowledge archiving format of BSE, I am convinced that it is the best for technical problematics, as it really succeeds at building a solid curriculum for everyone to enjoy, and also helps the people involved as it teaches asking questions and answering them in a very specific way emulates more growth for the community as a whole.

And because I really adhere to that, I want to actively participate in it, and I see the moderator role as a more in depth way of doing so.

(If you like more personal reading, I wrote a bunch on BSE's 10 years anniversary post)

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?

Not... Me... I hope?

Firstly, always make sure I am not emotionally involved when intervening. Step away for a minute if needed. Delegate to other mods if I can't do so.

Then I think the best way to handle delicate matters is to take time to see what is going on instead of letting yourself react hot, be able to dissociate the content and the form. I always want to try to see from a well-meaning perspective, and give it a chance to go that way. If possible, have a discussion with the involved parties to find ways to do better.

But while I will always fight for better answers, and preemptively give chances to anyone, I will always put the health of the community first. If I can't find a way to make it work with a user, actions will have to be taken.

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

Again... Not me I hope? (last time it do that one I swear).

Two things to make it short: I always favor discussion over immediate action, and I also am a firm believer of the necessary unity of the moderation team for its authority to subsist within the community and also within itself. Actually, both go hand in hand in order to function.
I don't think I will ever even think to just undo someone elses' work just because I disagree, as much as I expect the same from others.

Unless a case of force majeur / absolute necessity (usually involving law or individual safety, but hopefully this never happens), I will always open a discussion with the moderator in question. And I may open the discussion to more people, if the subject at hand may concern the whole team, or even the whole community.

And again, if may also just delegate to someone else if I am too much involved.

  1. How have you first come in contact with Blender and how long ago? Are you currently still actively using it, professionally or for hobbies?

Probably 13 years ago, so I'm not new to change on that bird. I wish I could use it professionally, but as I've only been an animator in big studios, it's almost impossible for me to even be able to use Blender even if I could try. Pipeline wouldn't like it and my tech supervisor may have a few heated words too. But I do use Blender on my freetime. I do some python addons, and I recently started making my own Blender build (maybe some PRs will be sent one day...).

  1. What general experience do you have in dealing with online communities and the usual procedures there? In particular, do you have experience dealing with spam or spam accounts, inappropriate or conspicuous behaviour of users, or conflicts between two or more users?

Since 2016 I have been a forum moderator on Openclassrooms (aka SDZ in the old days, where I started learning Blender). Though the forum is basically dead, at least in the 3D section.

I have been moderating a few discord servers, and even when I am not an official moderator I often do a few things moderators do, like defusing agressions, helping people around the website, ...

I don't think there is a general procedure, not that was official or imposed at least. But I have mine. Forged in the fires of previous epxeriences (went through a few people doxing me or sending death threats, never enjoyed the banhammer more). Fairly adaptative to the situation. But basically: Damage control, assess situation, notify, act.

For stupid spam like just spitting ads left right and center, kill it with fire (ban delete). Might necessitate concertation with other mods for confirmation of situation.
For genuine users that suddenly spam, damage control first (like a temporary block - could be account usurpation) and then discussion, see from there.

Innapropriate behaviors, conflics and such, I think it's like 1. and 2. But again, with a first dose of damage control if necessary.

  1. As a moderator, how would you deal with posts (questions, answers, comments) if they were obviously created partly or entirely with the help of AI?

As much as it pains me to say it because of how AI is already impacting my industry of work; AI is a tool, and can be used correctly or not.

I'm not as strict for questions made with AI, all I request is that it's still the person talking and not the AI. On Right Click Select I've had to deal with people making pages and pages of text spitting nonsense with just one core idea that could be summed up in 8 words. It was fun to generate equally nonsensical answers for a minute just to prove the author how stupid the situation was made, but it's really hurting the experience of both the questioner and the answerer and thus the knowledge base.
I am less annoyed by AI generated scripts in questions, so long that the whole question isn't just "fix the AI". I understand that it's hard to learn python and other things, but I'm for teaching people how to fish instead of handing out free fish.

When it comes to answers, I am more strict. I don't care if AI is involved in the making, but the final result must be proofread. Code must be tested and tailored accurately. Answers must be clear and to the point (which AI rarely does by default). Sources or extra reading and documentation must be considered.
I actually used AI in some answers, for example it's very useful for generating a base layer of code in a second that can then be adapted to what I need. I also sometimes like to use perplexity ai to more easily gather sources and documentations. Or I use LanguageTool's ai rephrasing tool to adapt my tone, or synthethise a long paragraph in a short impactful sentence. AI is a goot tool, just gotta use it well.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

It might not be the most popular opinion, but I think at its core there isn't much of a difference in the core of a moderator and that of a well established and confident user.

Both pull the community up one way or another as per the individual's strenghts and gifts, both aim to maintain the good function and order of the place, help people get around and getting things rolling.
But the moderator is given more tools for it, some authority from the infrastructure, and with it responsibilities and accountability.

See it like a bartender vs regular customer at an old tavern. Both might welcome people, serve a mug and get discussions going, tell the loud ones to calm down and broom the floor with a smile. But one is put in place by the bar owner, signed up in the bartenders' syndicate, can slap a restraining order and answers to someone, the other is just being a nice client a bit involved. End of tangent 😳

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 try to act as a responsible and accountable person on the web, with or without the sherif's badge. I don't feel any difference in that regard.
And personally as a user, I don't treat people significantly different solely based on a badge. I might just remember their name more in case I need to contact them for something but anything else is up to my appreciation of that person's doings.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?

At the end of the day, I see all these as different ways to get more tools and responsibilities do do more and better. I feel like the mod election is a way to get there faster in my case (i don't want to farm points and I don't have infinite time to accidentally get to 20k in a month).

Regardless I will keep acting in the community with what tools I have. I guess the question is whether the electorate thinks I should be made able to help more now.

1

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