In connection with the moderator elections, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, July 20th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • At the end of the phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this new process, feel free to post as a comment here.

13 Answers 13


What do you think Sec.SE's biggest challenge is? (E.g. question/answer quality/quantity, too many/few closures, too many/few questions of a certain type, bad tools/guidance, …) What do you think should be done about this (whether as a moderator, or by other users, or by Stack Exchange staff or anyone relevant)?

  • Technically, it's two questions. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 10:28
  • 4
    @DeerHunter How would you do this in two questions? Different people would pick different challenges, and separating what the problem is from how to solve it isn't constructive anyway. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 11:02
  • Do you post this on each questionnaire? However this question may be worth being put into the standard suite?
    – SEJPM
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 18:20
  • @SEJPM More or less, I guess. I keep fiddling with the wording. I posted this last year on U&L. I don't remember if I asked something similar on other sites. Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 18:27
  • You did at least on Crypto SE where your question was the only one not by me or the standard set, which I really appreciated :)
    – SEJPM
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 18:40

There are several proposals for new Stack Exchange sites that would overlap to a debatable extent with this one, in particular: HackOverflow, HackExchange (clearly a duplicate of HackOverflow), and in a different vein Privacy. What do you think of these proposals? Do they reflect different topics that merely overlap? Does their existence betray a lack from Sec.SE's part?


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Do you have any pre-existing conflicts or points of tension with community managers or other moderators?


Meta Server Fault: Abrupt change in moderation staff


Do you have prior experience as a moderator, either on Stack Exchange or on an IT Security site?


Sensitive posts

This is a question I’ve seen in election questionnaires on a couple of SE sites:

A question is flagged: Please delete this question – my boss has seen it and says it contains confidential code – he's freaking out and wants me to remove it, but I can't delete it.

The question was asked 3 days before, it has 2 answers, one is accepted.

How do you respond?

I could imagine this might be particularly pertinent on this Stack, where somebody might post security-sensitive information (e.g. passwords hints/policies, crypto details) and land themselves in hot water.

  • 2
    Dunno why you were downvoted, question looks valid to me.
    – paj28
    Commented Jul 18, 2015 at 14:36

Some have complained that people make close votes too easily. Do you intend to do anything about that?


Disclaimer: This is a question borrowed from Codereview.SE's election, and the question is @rolfl's, but I think it's a good question.

Moderating Chat

As a moderator on Information Security you will also become a moderator on all of chat.stackexchange.com - which has rooms for most sites (all except Stack Overflow and Meta.StackExchange).

A heated discussion is flagged in "The Suspension" chat room which is associated with BridgeBuilding.stackexchange.com - there is swearing and name calling.

What do you do?


One challenge that Sec.SE experiences is that of repetitive questions for which there could be a canonical answer, but for which there often is no single canonical answer posted. Can you suggest a way for us to improve canonical reference handling of FAQs?

The primary example might be new users posting obfuscated PHP code that they found in their Wordpress - there are a handful of good answers in the past, all narrowly focused on the code presented within the question that they answered, but rarely describing the principles and tools of de-obfuscation that would make for a useful canonical answer. New questions rarely receive solid canonical efforts because posters know that there are already many answers out there; old excellent answers get lost in the shuffle among so many of the same type of questions.

People are going to keep coming with this question, and others like it - we can't pre-educate newcomers all that well. How can we handle it to both meet their needs and lower the repetitive investment of "good enough here and now" answers?


What to you intend to do beyond day-to-day moderation tasks? For example, it has been suggested that we develop canonical getting started resources to refer beginner questions to. Is that something you would contribute to?


Who, among your competition, would have top place in your votes? Why? Why should we vote for you instead of them?


A government employee in your country asks you to post an encryption- or IT security-related question/answer, or conduct any moderation action. What will you do?


We all know that that's what she said, but why did she say that?

  • Not so on-topic here, but it sounds like a great Black Card for CAH.
    – Iszi
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 19:05

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