6

In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 10 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes. Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):


  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?

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

  3. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  4. 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?

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

  6. Voting is the lifeblood of a Stack Exchange site. Upvotes are a form of appreciation ("thank you!"), they give users the reputation required to self-moderate, and since it pops up in their inbox, it's reminds people that Chinese.SE is an active site. Downvotes are the quality control, and are also important, making people hesitant to post low-quality content. Should we be encouraging users to be more active voting? If so, what can we do?

  7. Some users feel that question closing is applied inconsistently, the listed community-specific reasons and the on-topic page are outdated, and it's generally hard to find what's on-topic and off-topic; a vagueness that can inhibit non-diamond users from self-moderating. Should we change (or reform) closure at Chinese.SE? And if so, how?

  8. Moderators will sometimes be accused of a number of things: abuse of power, neglect or unjust treatment come up quite frequently. Following protocol can sometimes leave individuals feeling triggered. How will you handle being called out just for doing your job?

  9. Chinese is natively spoken by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Contributors who answer as native speakers may be unaware that what they consider as idiomatic usage may not be another native's idiomatic usage, and differences in these sometimes devolve into long discussions that are more confusing than helpful. How do we [encourage contributors to new questions or answers to clarify their content] or [modify existing questions and answers] such that differences in idiomatic expressions do not devolve into long discussions?

  10. Sometimes there is a push for questions/answers in Chinese, related to the "immersion" experience. However, we might end up with questions where the groups of people "those who can read the content" and "those who are interested in the content" don't overlap. Should diamond moderators take steps to encourage posts purely in Chinese?

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5

Mo.

  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?

Communication. As a pro-tem mod team we have, successfully, dealt with users that generate large number of arguments/flags in the past. Communication is a slower process but it does work in the end. Reaching out to someone with criticism can be difficult but when dealt with delicately can greatly improve the quality of Chinese @ SE.

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

This has happened before. In general mods are open to communication. A simple @ ping and a civil word or two has never ceased to work wonders and one way or another a consensus is made.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Filter. We do a lot of filtering between things that need to be dealt with immediately and items that can be taken care of by the community. We also need to filter out the substance from the fluff when mediating and communicating with community managers.

  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?

This is quite practical. As a mod you're practically judge, jury and executioner. Flags are not votes anymore but actual verdicts. A good m.o. is to lean towards generosity and stay far away from dogma. Sometimes taking a step back and allowing the community due process is the best way of dealing with things.

  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 wanted to be involved in moderation since we had a stream flow of spam and there was little that could be done about it. It could have been prevented but there weren't any tools at our disposal. I was interested in getting out of beta five years before we actually got out of beta. Moderation is not about rep, it's about shaping the community and helping it grow.

  1. Voting is the lifeblood of a Stack Exchange site. Upvotes are a form of appreciation ("thank you!"), they give users the reputation required to self-moderate, and since it pops up in their inbox, it's reminds people that Chinese.SE is an active site. Downvotes are the quality control, and are also important, making people hesitant to post low-quality content. Should we be encouraging users to be more active voting? If so, what can we do?

Yes. As a pro-tem moderator I did try to encouraging users to be more active voting. I reached out to other moderators specifically about this question. As part of the feedback I received, I added the tag to our Vote Early, Vote Often! meta post. Now that we have Community Promotion Ads we could also create our own banner to encourage voting. This was an idea also given to me back when I reached out for help on this issue before, but we didn't have the capabilities to run ads back then.

  1. Some users feel that question closing is applied inconsistently, the listed community-specific reasons and the on-topic page are outdated, and it's generally hard to find what's on-topic and off-topic; a vagueness that can inhibit non-diamond users from self-moderating. Should we change (or reform) closure at Chinese.SE? And if so, how?

The confusion stems from trying to be more welcoming. As a pro-tem mod I pushed hard for leniency, especially with new users. Many new users ask off-topic questions that could be salvaged with a little bit of help. But it takes a bit of time to figure out whether the question was a hit and run or not and whether or not OP was ever going to return to their question. On the other hand, if the community votes something off-topic it might not even hit our radars. Our rules and guidance haven't changed very drastically, although there have been some changes, but if we can get everyone on the same page then they can be applied a little more consistently.

  1. Moderators will sometimes be accused of a number of things: abuse of power, neglect or unjust treatment come up quite frequently. Following protocol can sometimes leave individuals feeling triggered. How will you handle being called out just for doing your job?

Breath. Sometimes all you need is a deep breath and to move on. We have dealt with this before and it has been very helpful that the community has our backs.

  1. Chinese is natively spoken by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Contributors who answer as native speakers may be unaware that what they consider as idiomatic usage may not be another native's idiomatic usage, and differences in these sometimes devolve into long discussions that are more confusing than helpful. How do we [encourage contributors to new questions or answers to clarify their content] or [modify existing questions and answers] such that differences in idiomatic expressions do not devolve into long discussions?

A lot of these discussions seem to be based purely on conjecture. I see very little use of proof, quotes or resources to back up any claims. Promotion of evidence should help alleviate these issues.

  1. Sometimes there is a push for questions/answers in Chinese, related to the "immersion" experience. However, we might end up with questions where the groups of people "those who can read the content" and "those who are interested in the content" don't overlap. Should diamond moderators take steps to encourage posts purely in Chinese?

I don't believe that the immersion experience is a product that we offer. We have guidelines that accept both English & Chinese for questions and/or answers. As far as moderation goes, I don't think we can push too much one way or the other without losing the plot. But we could certainly hold competitions and the like if we agreed a certain direction would be desirable for the site.

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5

dROOOze

  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?

The community should always be grateful for valuable answers, and the potential suspension or loss of a source of valuable content is always regrettable. However, note that truly valuable answers are capable of inspiring other users to learn more and improve the value of their own content; the positive impact of a disruptive user is often overestimated, especially if users of the community have their own drive to self-moderate and self-improve.

If reminders and warnings have not been heeded by this disruptive user, then ♦-moderators have the responsibility to take necessary action, including temporary or permanent suspension, to minimise further negative impact on this site.

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

Moderators should be in constant communication with each other about decisions on the content on this site. I expect that, if a ♦-moderator's decision on a post raises concerns in other ♦-moderators, discussions and a consensus will be made between them, and if necessary, a disagreeable or hasty decision can be reversed (with sincere communication by the responsible ♦-moderator).

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

As a baseline, ♦-moderators primarily ensure the smooth operation of the Stack Exchange sites. As the sites are first and foremost user-moderated, elected ♦-moderators should only step in when user-driven moderation fails to be sufficient for smooth operation, such as in arguments between other users. If necessary, ♦-moderators should be making final decisions on matters in a way which is agreeable to the other ♦-moderators, and even more importantly, which harmonise with the rest of the community.

However, ♦-moderators also have the responsibility to journey with Stack Exchange sites and make sure that they stay true to their core philosophy - that is, to generate high-quality, reusable content. Other users and the content they generate provide the dense layers of icing and decoration on top of the cake, so to speak, but do not make up the cake's foundations, and ♦-moderators should lightly but constantly remind the community of Stack Exchange's qualities, features, and core vision, preventing disruptive content from building up, lest a deluge of unwelcome additions overwhelm our user-driven and ♦-moderation capabilities, sounding the site's inevitable death knell.

  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 do not believe that my interactions with the users and content on this site thus far have gone against the site's core purpose since my participation, so I'm not concerned by previous content attached to my user ID. If there are concerns about my content, I expect the user-driven moderation procedure to filter them out, and I will be happy to correct, remove, and/or apologise for something in the past that I am responsible for.

  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?

Most moderation tasks are indeed able to be accomplished with 10-20k reputation. However, at a higher level, I view Chinese SE as suffering from two kinds of problems which are unable to be addressed in a reasonable amount of time without ♦-moderator intervention: (1) an increasingly large number of poorly-worded questions by learners of language basics which are not actively reviewed and closed with a reason of question duplication, and (2) overconfident, opinion-based answers with disruptive nationalist overtones which should be removed immediately. As a ♦-moderator, I will be in a better position to help the community solve a constant influx of these two kinds of problems.

  1. Voting is the lifeblood of a Stack Exchange site. Upvotes are a form of appreciation ("thank you!"), they give users the reputation required to self-moderate, and since it pops up in their inbox, it's reminds people that Chinese.SE is an active site. Downvotes are the quality control, and are also important, making people hesitant to post low-quality content. Should we be encouraging users to be more active voting? If so, what can we do?

At an earlier time in this site's history, I would have agreed to active voting. After graduation, we should look at our participation more responsibly: rather than actively encourage voting, I'd actively encourage responsible voting, which is much more than just clicking an up or down arrow. As part of the larger goal of self-moderation, responsible voting includes flagging, duplicate-checking, and voting for closure and deletion.

Most importantly, I'd like to emphasise that not voting after seeing content should have semantic value - questions which are not voted on should be viewed as a worthy addition to our site because they have not been asked before, but which have not shown any research effort. Answers which are not voted on should be viewed as true in their content, but which again have not shown any research effort or references.

To keep Chinese SE generating high-quality content, I'd actively encourage users to responsibly vote. If you are not upvoting a question you're about to answer, please take the time to ensure that a similar question has not been answered before. If you are not downvoting an unhelpful answer for fear of offending the answerer with negative reputation, vote the answer for deletion.

  1. Some users feel that question closing is applied inconsistently, the listed community-specific reasons and the on-topic page are outdated, and it's generally hard to find what's on-topic and off-topic; a vagueness that can inhibit non-diamond users from self-moderating. Should we change (or reform) closure at Chinese.SE? And if so, how?

I'm personally unaware of any significant issues relating to inconsistent question closure - I'd encourage users to actively participate in our meta site if they have any concerns. If anything, not enough questions have been closed.

However, there are very good reasons to be concerned about our outdated policies surrounding question closure - as a frequent user, our current policies seem to be consistent but unspoken among existing users, which is extremely unhelpful and often causes confusion among new users to the site. The question-closure policy needs to be updated, especially to reflect our and policies, and I would also actively push for notifications of these policies to be visible in the question-asking interface.

  1. Moderators will sometimes be accused of a number of things: abuse of power, neglect or unjust treatment come up quite frequently. Following protocol can sometimes leave individuals feeling triggered. How will you handle being called out just for doing your job?

Serving the community as a moderator is top priority. Personally, I would always separate a disruptive user's actual concerns from their impolite speech and actions. The former needs to be addressed like any other concern. The latter needs to be dealt with like any other disruptive user, and I would deal with the user in the same way as in question (1). To self-quote,

If reminders and warnings have not been heeded by this disruptive user, then ♦-moderators have the responsibility to take necessary action, including temporary or permanent suspension, to minimise further negative impact on this site.

Addressing concerns and moderating disruption are independent - they can be done in tandem.

  1. Chinese is natively spoken by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Contributors who answer as native speakers may be unaware that what they consider as idiomatic usage may not be another native's idiomatic usage, and differences in these sometimes devolve into long discussions that are more confusing than helpful. How do we [encourage contributors to new questions or answers to clarify their content] or [modify existing questions and answers] such that differences in idiomatic expressions do not devolve into long discussions?

As the user base of Chinese SE increases, especially with native speakers, this inevitably will become a long-term moderation issue with no clear solution based even on cited references. As part of a larger effort to self-moderate, I would actively encourage users to check over their content, discourage users from throwing around a "native speaker" status as any form of justification, and encourage answered to be prefixed with some kind of relevant background to the answer:

  • "As a speaker from the mainland, I feel that..."
  • "In Taiwan, the idiomatic way to express..."
  • "In Malaysia, the Chinese community tends to say..."

In particular, these sorts of notifications should be visible in the answer-posting user interface.

  1. Sometimes there is a push for questions/answers in Chinese, related to the "immersion" experience. However, we might end up with questions where the groups of people "those who can read the content" and "those who are interested in the content" don't overlap. Should diamond moderators take steps to encourage posts purely in Chinese?

An "immersion experience" does not appear to be related to the smooth running of this site or part of the core philosophy of Stack Exchange sites. It seems to be specifically tailored towards the benefit of one group of people: the language learners, and as such, I don't feel like this is a moderation-specific issue.

More generally, the goal of Chinese SE thus far is not to hand-hold a constant influx of learners for them to go from HSK-1 to HSK-9, then help them achieve a native-level immersion environment. While I accept the usage of the site in this way, I feel like ♦-moderator participation to actively encourage this learning journey creates an environment where the site will be frequently misused, veering away from a core philosophy of generating high-quality, reusable content.

As a single, unified Chinese language site discussing all sorts of language topics, including finer points of the Chinese languages, we are happy to help learners in a way that benefits all users of the site and not take ♦-moderation steps to encourage one form of usage more than another. If and when ♦-moderation steps are necessary to manage a large amount of content specifically relating to learning, that is actually a signal for Chinese SE to split in the way of MathOverflow vs Mathematics SE or English Language & Usage vs English Language Learners.

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4

Becky 李蓓 (Chinese.SE) or Rebecca J. Stones (other sites)

  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've seen this happen occasionally at other sites. While such a user may produce "valuable answers", they chase away other users (or prevent users joining) thereby blocking other "valuable answers". I generally feel their harm outweighs their positive contributions.

If someone chooses to, they can get along with other users. If someone refuses to get along with others, and if someone is simply incapable of "moving on", then they're probably not in the right place at a community-driven site. Sure, we should first ask them to "tone it down" and take other reasonable steps (e.g. post general guidelines on meta). At the same time, I've seen other sites be far too lenient on these troublesome users.

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

At Chinese.SE, I don't think I've encountered a situation where I disagreed with a post being closed, deleted, etc., by a diamond moderator (and I looked carefully at closures). I certainly prefer a self-moderation approach to closures, but at the moment I realize we do not have enough active participants to do so (getting 5 close votes is difficult). If it were to arise (hypothetically), I'd simply discuss it nicely and explain what I think they missed; it's fine if we disagree about something borderline, and we can move on.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I tend to have an opinion that there are "moderators" (i.e., regular users) and "diamond moderators" (i.e., the human exception handlers): if you use the site, you too can moderate.

Diamond moderation is sometimes compared to "garbage collection" on meta.SE (dealing with flags, etc.), but nowadays I feel it's more about (a) bringing the community together to cooperate towards making the site successful, and (b) advocating for the community on diamond-moderator chat rooms and sites like meta.SE.

  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'd like to believe I haven't made any outrageous posts at Chinese.SE unbefitting of a diamond moderator. I'd also like to believe users are wise enough to separate my Chinese learning from moderation duties.

  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?

Very few tasks are unachievable by regular users: if you don't have a diamond and have a sensible change that requires a diamond, you can just ask nicely. However, I'm particularly keen on updating closure reasons, streamlining tags, and polishing various documentation.

  1. Voting is the lifeblood of a Stack Exchange site. Upvotes are a form of appreciation ("thank you!"), they give users the reputation required to self-moderate, and since it pops up in their inbox, it's reminds people that Chinese.SE is an active site. Downvotes are the quality control, and are also important, making people hesitant to post low-quality content. Should we be encouraging users to be more active voting? If so, what can we do?

There is insufficient voting on some of the smaller Stack Exchange sites, like Chinese.SE. The amount of work per upvote is high relative to other sites. To counter this personally, I've been actively voting on many posts.

A single upvote gives 10 Internet points, but aside from being a form of appreciation which encourages users to participate, we need reputation to engage in self-moderation activities like closure.

I'm keen on encouraging voting further though; my next step would be to whip up some meta posts, particularly highlighting why voting is important.

  1. Some users feel that question closing is applied inconsistently, the listed community-specific reasons and the on-topic page are outdated, and it's generally hard to find what's on-topic and off-topic; a vagueness that can inhibit non-diamond users from self-moderating. Should we change (or reform) closure at Chinese.SE? And if so, how?

I personally find question closure is challenging; despite being active here for quite a while, I still have an unclear idea of when or when not to close (particular with regards to "what does this say" and "resource request" questions). I feel it must be even more confusing for less regular users.

What do we do? Step 1: create a string of meta posts to dissect when the community feels questions should or should not be closed. Step 2: make a policy post based on the prior community discussion. Step 3: once we're on board, we can update the on-topic page (which I feel needs streamlining anyway) and closure reasons.

[Along the way, it'd also be useful to compare vs. other language-based SE sites.]

I whipped up a more detailed post about this here: Streamlining question closure: approximate roadmap

  1. Moderators will sometimes be accused of a number of things: abuse of power, neglect or unjust treatment come up quite frequently. Following protocol can sometimes leave individuals feeling triggered. How will you handle being called out just for doing your job?

Unfortunately, this happens; I've seen this happen at Islam.SE a lot (and indeed seems to be happening now). It's why I whipped up the post Read this before declaring “it's not fair” and Thank you goldPseudo! and The many alternatives to arguing in comments. I indeed worry that people will start attacking me too, but certainly I think it will be infrequent at Chinese.SE.

Judging from what I've seen, it's best to direct users to meta to raise the concern. If that arises, the next step is to impartially state your position from a moderation standpoint, and direct further complaints either to other diamond moderators or to make a complaint at Stack Exchange. Avoid arguing!!

  1. Chinese is natively spoken by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Contributors who answer as native speakers may be unaware that what they consider as idiomatic usage may not be another native's idiomatic usage, and differences in these sometimes devolve into long discussions that are more confusing than helpful. How do we [encourage contributors to new questions or answers to clarify their content] or [modify existing questions and answers] such that differences in idiomatic expressions do not devolve into long discussions?

This seems to be a very specific problem, and not directly related to moderation. Users can bring such issues to meta, and flag cumbersome comment threads in general. Beyond that, it's the community's site to shape however they like.

  1. Sometimes there is a push for questions/answers in Chinese, related to the "immersion" experience. However, we might end up with questions where the groups of people "those who can read the content" and "those who are interested in the content" don't overlap. Should diamond moderators take steps to encourage posts purely in Chinese?

I feel like we should be encouraging some Chinese content, so as to not exclude a large potential userbase. However, I tried writing questions in Chinese recently to get a feel for what it's like. I get the feeling there are users who can provide higher-quality questions and answers in English, which is swaying my opinion to not push too much in this direction.

I still feel we might want to avoid questions in English with titles in Chinese, and vice versa.

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2

Tang Ho:

  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?

Argument happens, as long as it is done civilly, everyone is entitled to express his thought, however, if a user generates a large number of flags and complains, there must be something wrong with his behavior. I would start with a friendly reminder, follow up with a stern warning if things don't improve. It can be escalated to the point of removing the user in question for the community's sake as the last resort.

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

Since different moderators have a different standard, I would respect their decision in general. I don't want other moderators to revert my action without discussing it with me first neither. However, If I found a moderator was acting unreasonably, I would stand my ground and revert his action with other moderators' support.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my opinion, the moderators' job is to protect the site from the troll, spam, and any kind of harassment to any user.

  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 don't have a problem with it. It just shows that I have been in good standing, just like my reputation number, it doesn't stop people from disagreeing with me.

  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 need to notify the moderators to remove spam and troll's posts if I am not a moderator. An issue would be resolved sooner if I can delete them directly

  1. Voting is the lifeblood of a Stack Exchange site. Upvotes are a form of appreciation ("thank you!"), they give users the reputation required to self-moderate, and since it pops up in their inbox, it reminds people that Chinese.SE is an active site. Downvotes are quality control, and are also important, making people hesitant to post low-quality content. Should we be encouraging users to be more active voting? If so, what can we do?

I agree that we should encourage users to vote more often. I notice when you down-vote a post, you lose reputation points too. I presume it discourage people from down-voting arbitrarily. If we award users who up-vote a post with reputation points, I suppose it would encourage more voting. But there's always someone up-vote a large number of posts just for the points. There should be a system that can detect such behavior and remove the points accordingly.

  1. Some users feel that question closing is applied inconsistently, the listed community-specific reasons and the on-topic page are outdated, and it's generally hard to find what's on-topic and off-topic; a vagueness that can inhibit non-diamond users from self-moderating. Should we change (or reform) closure at Chinese.SE? And if so, how?

I personally feel question closing is indeed applied inconsistently. Some posts asking for translation is quickly down-voted and closed, but others got up-voted and stay open. I think the guild line needs to be updated by the site owner to clarify what is considered off-topic.

  1. Moderators will sometimes be accused of a number of things: abuse of power, neglect or unjust treatment come up quite frequently. Following protocol can sometimes leave individuals feeling triggered. How will you handle being called out just for doing your job?

It is a case by case issue. I do believe no matter how well moderators are doing their job, there would always be complaints by the people who were penalized. In any case, I would first hear them out, not excluding the possibility that they might be right. If I find the criticism is unfounded, I would just ignore it.

  1. Chinese is natively spoken by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Contributors who answer as native speakers may be unaware that what they consider as idiomatic usage may not be another native's idiomatic usage, and differences in these sometimes devolve into long discussions that are more confusing than helpful. How do we [encourage contributors to new questions or answers to clarify their content] or [modify existing questions and answers] such that differences in idiomatic expressions do not devolve into long discussions?

The current system would suggest users who are engaging in a long back and fore discussion to move the discussion to a chat. We can skip the suggestion and make a long discussion (say, over ten replied comments) automatically move to a chat.

  1. Sometimes there is a push for questions/answers in Chinese, related to the "immersion" experience. However, we might end up with questions where the groups of people "those who can read the content" and "those who are interested in the content" don't overlap. Should diamond moderators take steps to encourage posts purely in Chinese?

If someone can post questions in Chinese, he is most likely a Chinese speaker, and only wants to hear answers from fellow Chinese speakers. My policy is to answer the question in the language it was written. I don't think there's a need for anyone to encourage or discourage it.

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2

Don Kirkby

  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 always appreciate users who take the time to contribute valuable questions and answers. If they also make the rest of the community unhappy, then I try to gently explain why, and how this community expects them to behave. If that didn't work, I would eventually start suspending them for increasing periods, but that process should take a long time, always with the hope of bringing a useful member to the community.

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

If it was a close call or a minor thing, I would leave it alone. If I thought it was more important, or I saw a continuing pattern, I would reach out to the other moderators for a discussion, possibly behind the scenes. Once we reached consensus, I would follow that.

As an example, I thought that plain translation questions should be off topic for this site, but the community and other moderators disagreed. I accepted that consensus, and leave them open so long as some research effort is shown.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I think they do two things: act as a human exception handler, and participate in discussions about how the community wants to change. A human exception handler has to deal with the weird stuff that occassionally happens: removing spam and guiding users when they step outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour on this site.

  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've had that diamond for seven years now, and I try to deal with it by staying calm and acting slowly. I stay focused on the content, so we can discuss the behaviour instead of the person. Behaviour can always change.

  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?

Most discussions can take place in public, and the whole community can participate, but there are occasionally more delicate situations that require a private conversation. That's when a small community of moderators is needed, and I like being a part of that.

  1. Voting is the lifeblood of a Stack Exchange site. Upvotes are a form of appreciation ("thank you!"), they give users the reputation required to self-moderate, and since it pops up in their inbox, it's reminds people that Chinese.SE is an active site. Downvotes are the quality control, and are also important, making people hesitant to post low-quality content. Should we be encouraging users to be more active voting? If so, what can we do?

We can be welcoming to new users and answer any questions they have on Meta. If a new user is contributing helpful stuff, vote them up so they can start voting.

  1. Some users feel that question closing is applied inconsistently, the listed community-specific reasons and the on-topic page are outdated, and it's generally hard to find what's on-topic and off-topic; a vagueness that can inhibit non-diamond users from self-moderating. Should we change (or reform) closure at Chinese.SE? And if so, how?

The simplest way to adjust the closing process on this site is to adjust the list of close reasons. As an example, we tweaked the wording for translation questions to focus on doing at least a little research before posting.

If users are confused about what's on topic, I suggest they post questions on the meta site. That kind of discussion helps clarify the community's wishes. Sometimes, it takes a long time for the community to agree.

  1. Moderators will sometimes be accused of a number of things: abuse of power, neglect or unjust treatment come up quite frequently. Following protocol can sometimes leave individuals feeling triggered. How will you handle being called out just for doing your job?

Just as moderators ask users to change their behaviour, we have to listen when users ask us to change our behaviour. Sometimes, the requests aren't possible or reasonable, but I try to pay attention so I don't miss the ones that are.

  1. Chinese is natively spoken by people from all sorts of backgrounds. Contributors who answer as native speakers may be unaware that what they consider as idiomatic usage may not be another native's idiomatic usage, and differences in these sometimes devolve into long discussions that are more confusing than helpful. How do we [encourage contributors to new questions or answers to clarify their content] or [modify existing questions and answers] such that differences in idiomatic expressions do not devolve into long discussions?

Long discussions in comments can be moved to chat, so the main site can stay focused on clear questions and direct answers. That might even stimulate more use of the chat feature - a useful way to build the community.

  1. Sometimes there is a push for questions/answers in Chinese, related to the "immersion" experience. However, we might end up with questions where the groups of people "those who can read the content" and "those who are interested in the content" don't overlap. Should diamond moderators take steps to encourage posts purely in Chinese?

I don't think we need to encourage posts like that, but we should certainly welcome them. We welcome users to contribute in whatever way they can. If someone has a strong understanding of Chinese language and culture, but doesn't write well in English, then the community is better off with their contributions in Chinese. If other users want to add an English translation for those answers, that helps more people read them.

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