The following is a "digest" version of the 2011 Moderator Election Town Hall Chat. The format, as described on Meta Stack Overflow, is one answer to this question for every question asked in the Town Hall, containing all the candidate's answers to that question.

To view the digest chronologically, please sort the answers by "oldest".

If you have questions or comments about this, please do not answer this question as the answers are designed to be used for the questions from the Town hall itself. Instead, please ask on the parent question or in the Town Hall Discussion Room.

If you see any corrections which need to be made to this digest, or if you were a candidate who was unable to attend the town hall and would like your answers included, please @Rebecca or @TimStone in the comments or in the chat room and let us know!

  • Hi Tim, @Rebecca Chernoff: I was unable to join in the Town Hall. How shall I get my answers to you?
    – user185
    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:09
  • The easiest way would be to simply drop into chat, and reply to the questions that you wish to answer. Once you do, I'll take all of your answers and edit them into the appropriate posts for you.
    – Tim Stone
    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:12
  • 1
    @Tim Stone, thanks a lot for creating and posting the extracts. Sep 23, 2011 at 11:49
  • @HendrikBrummermann Happy to help, hopefully people find them useful. Good luck to all of the candidates!
    – Tim Stone
    Sep 23, 2011 at 15:18
  • Since no further answers should be added to this question by anyone except Tim or Rebecca, shouldn't this thread just be closed/locked?
    – Iszi
    Sep 23, 2011 at 15:49
  • @Rebecca Chernoff, I've added my thoughts to the town hall chat. I realise most people have probably voted now, though... ;)
    – user185
    Sep 24, 2011 at 10:32

15 Answers 15


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

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: Actually this is a good point. There are only a few things mods can do that @Thomas can't, but they are key 'exception handling' things

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop continued: including handling very difficult customers (suspension, banning, destroying accounts etc)

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop continued: as well as the usual responding to flags as an arbiter

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop concluded: There is also the circumstance that someone with lower rep may actually be a very good moderator. They may just not be getting the Q&A in to get a high rep. And conversely, someone with high rep may not be suited to moderating.

M'vy M'vy answered: Well, being a moderator gives you binding vote. That is a good thing for the day-to-day management, like closing evident off-topic question or such.

AviD AviD answered: In addition, there are also corner cases - such as migrating, and synonyms management (though that one can sort of be done diamond-less).

nealmcb nealmcb answered: @RoryAlsop's points are good, as is @Mvy's point. But the latter can also be a negative, causing moderators to be reluctant to vote on a close issue when consensus isn't clear.

  • M'vy M'vy noted: Well the community is here to give the consensus when there is borderline questions. And of course, chat room is usually a good way to bring some interested people to give their opinion on topic they may not have seen.

    nealmcb nealmcb responded: Yes, that's also true.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: One thing I really like about Stack Exchange is the very friendly community. On Usenet in the security groups new users often get extremely unfriendly replies that are not related to the topic at all. There are very little of these insults here. But for the rare cases, it's good if someone can edit comments. And ask people to be more friendly with some kind of official background.

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: While Trusted Users have many of the same powers as moderators, the little diamond brings with it a little more authority. When users see that they feel that they are being addressed by an ambassador of the site as opposed to simply a "field expert". This brings with it a more subtle method to guide actions and potentially squelch problems before they really come to fruition.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I feel that as I am trying to focus heavily on promoting our community to grow it, the moderator insight to trend statistics is very valuable. As some of you know, I made a real (and thankfully, successful) effort to get @GraceNote to provide schwag to hand out at DEFCON, and I'm planning a concerted effort to do the same at upcoming conferences (an upcoming BSides and a Shmoocon). I hope to be able to use that information to be aware of how effective those actions are, as well as …

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland continued: targeted linking of our blog and specific questions.

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: I definitely think that careful and judicious use of the unilateral close vote, for questions that are obviously off-topic, spam or duplicates, keeps the value of the front page high, helping to attract new members. That's something mods can do that high-rep users can't.


Grace Note Grace Note asked: Of the other candidates, who is the one user you think would be most qualified for the position of moderator, and why?

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: @RoryAlsop -- he is without ego in his role, a flagship of the site. I believe there is no regular user who doesn't know who he is and what he does for our community. The diamond should carry that -- and a great sense of humor (also a Rory trait).

nealmcb nealmcb answered: I'll vote for @RoryAlsop, for sure - always around, hard-working, level-headed, fun, and a musician to boot :)

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: I would have to say @Rory. He has the advantage of doing it, so we've been able to see what kind of a job he will do. Plus, in the short time I've had the pleasure of knowing him, I have gained a tremendous respect for him as a person and professional.

M'vy M'vy answered: I would vote for @RoryAlsop . He already shown good dedication to sec.se by leading the blog and also good work as moderator. But of course, the choice is hard and all other has qualities.

AviD AviD answered: Seems unanimous on @RoryAlsop, for all the above reasons. And, his awsome Dr. Mayhem mask.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: AviD for editing offensive parts out of comments while keeping the valuable parts and at the same time asking the person in question in a very constructive way to be friendly.

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: That is a really difficult one. I think @AviD has done a really good job from the very start (well before I came into the frame) - I also think that those who aren't mods have proven they can be.

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: I think @RoryAlsop is a great mod, and is motivated to support the community in a way consistent with how I believe the site should work. He'll definitely be a valuable permanent mod if elected.


AviD AviD asked: my turn: If you don't get elected, how will this affect your continuing participation on the site? Will you be discouraged, disillussioned, or disincentivized?

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: I cannot see how not being elected would affect my participation in the least. There is not a single candidate on this list that I would not want to be modding.

  • Rory Alsop Rory Alsop noted: That's a very good point actually. Every candidate has demonstrated the willingness and resource to help develop, improve, publicise and provide input to sec.se - I'd be quite happy for any 3 to be the mods:-)

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: I'll still do just the same (minus the special diamond powers) - as I did before the whim that singled me out to be pro-tem mod:-) I'm here because the community awareness piece of security is what I devote a good chunk of my real life to anyway

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I go into this knowing full-well we have more qualified candidates than we have slots, and we already have good people in the roles. I think I would be a great asset and provide some different advantages, but I don't expect to really be affected one way or the other by the outcome. If I win, I serve. If I lose, I offer to serve in the future... and I keep on trucking with a wonderful community of people.

M'vy M'vy answered: I already deplore that I wanted to contribute more. This will stay my goal as a mod or as a user. Be better than I am.

M'vy M'vy clarified: I mean that there is still room for improvement, and I want to fill it no matter what.

AviD AviD answered: Only difference I guess is that I can start voting to close, again :)

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: One of my big bugbears about the security community is that it's often introverted, failing to engage with IT administrators, developers and other pros in the industry. So even if I were no longer a mod I'd carry on contributing where I can.


Gilles Gilles asked: 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?

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: This has happened a few times, and to be fair, a couple of the other candidates have done this a bit better than I by being a bit firmer. We need to encourage the good behaviours and be robust with the bad.

AviD AviD answered: heh, I know who you're talking about... But yes, this has come up before. Generally, we try to calm heated discussions via targeted comments, if that doesn't work trying again. After that, there are chat options, and if worse comes to worst - an email message via the system.

AviD AviD continued: I will also admit that on one or two occassions, I've sniped back, just to put things in context (not an ad hominem attack, more contextual). @RoryAlsop has calmed me down on some of those... :)

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: The first step has to be to let the user know that while they are making a valuable contribution, they are also generating a reasonable amount of tension within the community. If, after a discussion, and a warning or two, then temporary bans seem to be the most reasonable next step. This is definitely a hard situation to deal with, though.

Scott Pack Scott Pack continued: Since, if they actually are providing good content we want to keep them around, but if the overall culture of the community diminishes, or they are pushing away members, then something must be done. At the end of the day, this is, after all, about communities, not individuals.

M'vy M'vy answered: Well. Tough question indeed. But I think that the best thing is to inform the user about it. Chat, message are here for this. In the last resort, I suggest to discuss it with the other mods and/or with the community to find the best answer to it. We do not want to judge to quickly.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I wish there was more detail there... Valid flags and good answers seem contradictory. I take it that this would be a case where follow-up comments were hostile / attacking... and you just very slowly ramp up the pressure... add comments that redirect, then address the user through regular channels, then admin, then increasing temp bans.... others have accurately pointed out that you need to let them know they are valuable, but they must also be civil.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: The first step is to talk to this person, show that his work on answers is valued, and ask him to be more friendly, constructive way. I really like AviD's approach. He did edit the comment to remove the offensive part while keeping the valuable part. In the end the friendly community is more important than an trouble maker even if he posts good answers. But we should try to help this person to settle in before temporary suspending an account.

nealmcb nealmcb answered: There are a wide variety of cases like this, and it depends on the details. If the flagged comments really detract from the site, then there needs to be more intervention than if it is a case of admirable passion about an issue that happens to trigger some other folks who are overly prone to flag things. Trying to reduce tensions and clarify this in private and if necessary in public is one step, but it all depends....


Rebecca Chernoff Rebecca Chernoff asked: What is one contribution you feel demonstrates that you can be a good moderator? Can you briefly describe it or even link to it if you can (I know being put on the spot to come up with a link isn't the best so I won't require it (: )

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I had SSL certificate on my site but still it has been hacked...how to prevent this from happening? "It's easy to be not understand this, be nice to the new guy [and don't be snarky]"... and I feel that was exactly the correct reaction as a user or as a mod. Like in the question before, you start slow and easy and redirect.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland continued: Also, I think that being one of the "usual" suspects here helps... or encouraging editing questions to fit rather than closing them. Everybody here has an equal pro-active chance... mods are there to be available and reactive to the community; responding to flags more than acting on their own most of the time. You police... and you police in a way that is the least imposing manner possible.

M'vy M'vy answered: Flagging of course is the first thing I think about, but also my interests in the promotion of the community (blog, ...) and my participation to the community building in meta even if I'd wanted to do more.

M'vy M'vy continued: Also I like to keep the question titles in proper format. Generally because the twitter feed would be non expressive if title stays the same.

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: Managing to defuse an individual who was very confrontational and argumentative (well, at least for now) who was being very abusive, but who also had some very valuable posts with high technical content. He was getting flagged an awful lot - so after using comments, then selective deletion I contacted him directly to explain where I thought he was valuable, and where he was causing issues. Since then, he has provided valuable answers without the battles. positive result.

AviD AviD answered: As I already noted, I am a prolific commenter (I guess my teenage daughter gets her talkativeness from me), and editor/tagger. I try hard to get everyone on the same page...

nealmcb nealmcb answered: I was very happy to help resolve some tension between @Ninefingers and @AviD back in April. I don't know if a link to that would be constructive, but can dig it out if folks would like.

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: Recently we had a bit of a dust-up regarding the various and sundry self-hosted SE sites and the business decision to shut them down. While there was a lot of conversation with other members of the group, and mods, eventually I did feel the need to actually get involved. While I did, in his words "...put a horribly fine point on your statement." I would like to think that I did a good job of helping to defuse the situation.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: I spend quite a bit of time improving questions. This can be minor things such as making them easier to read. There is quite a number of question that started quite poorly and might have easily been closed as non constructive. But I think rewriting them into good questions, is very important for the side for two reasons: a) There have been amazing answers to those questions and b) helping new users to settle in instead of turning them away benefits the community.


Rebecca Chernoff Rebecca Chernoff asked: For @AviD and @RoryAlsop (and Graham if he's adding for the digest), what's been the toughest part of moderating as a pro-tem?

AviD AviD answered: Finding time to write quality answers, in addition to mod duties... and reading every post I can get my hands on.

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: Making mistakes in the early days - like voting to close, not realising it was instant, and being a bit quick on following a flag, although in the early days flags came a bit slower. So I had a couple of occasions when the community reversed my close (by slapping me in chat) so that was a bit embarrassing:-)


Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland asked: Since we're all dripping with awesome and well-qualified (really, no sarcasm!), what would electing you add to the pool as compared to somebody else?

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: Spreading out the timezone / availability. I think that having mods in different timezones is as important as anything else. I think that there is unique statistical for helping to promote the community, and I really want to make use of that as well.

AviD AviD answered: Often, a different perspective, coming from a slightly different area of sec than most of the others.

nealmcb nealmcb answered: I think I provide a good perspective, with the ability to appreciate how a variety of other people see things. When people feel seen and also see where each other are coming from, tensions are often reduced.


Iszi Iszi asked: How do you think the additional abilities and visibility on the site that you would gain as a moderator will help you to improve the existing content? Are there any particular improvement projects you've had in mind to undertake?

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: I think moderation is not about content but about establishing a friendly environment for the community. I have started to write tag summaries and tag wikis which requires approval at my current rep level. So I go slowly about that and wait for feedback between each chunk. Another project of mine is improving questions. Both projects are things that I can do as normal users. I think this is a good indicator that the stack exchange systems works well.


Thomas Pornin Thomas Pornin asked the candidates to state their usual SE-hours

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: Hmmm - a bit random. Usually get a quick stint around 0730 GMT, some during the day, more from 1930 GMT, up until somewhere between 0100 and 0300

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop continued: I have pinged a couple of folks (including Pieter Danhieux - who used to co-organise #brucon) who live in Australia now to see whether they may come on board

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop clarified: not as mods, but as contributors

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: My typical spread is 1130 to 0200 UTC with breaks towards the end for dinner and family time.

Scott Pack Scott Pack continued: I also keep the SE sites open in the background so that even if I am not actively chatting or going through the site, I can quickly check for alerts, chat messages, etc.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: 12:00, 14:00-21:00, 00:00-03:00

AviD AviD answered: I try to jump on the morning (around 5-6am UTC), usually pop in during the day at some point (if I'm not out at meetings and whatnot), and almost every evening, round 5-12pmUTC.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: I am from West Europe and I usually have a look at security.se before work in the morning and again in the evening. This is around 5-7 and 18-22 GMT and a couple of glance in between which would be sufficient to deal with urgent matters.

M'vy M'vy answered: Usually 17-22 UTC for sure, then I always have access to the internet during my work day so 7-17 UTC

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: Usually I check in a couple of times during the (UTC) day. I occasionally work with the DMZ open in a background tab, but that's infrequent.


Ninefingers Ninefingers asked: Ok, one from me. A question comes in and receives a highly up-voted answer that is technically wrong according to one or two members of the community. What action as a moderator, if any, do you take?

AviD AviD answered: If it came in via our community, even if it's wrong, it is a viable answer. That said, commenting and downvoting are the tools here

AviD AviD noted: I had a meta post on that a while back....

AviD AviD continued: If it came with a migrated question, then in most cases the actions would be the same. In extreme cases, e.g. if the answer was migrated with already high nmber of wrong-votes, there has been a case that I encouraged the asker to close the original, and re-ask the question anew in the correct community.

AviD AviD concluded: I did take some heat for that decision, but I stand by it.

  • Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland noted: I think that's a very fair thing and again in the realm of power-user (though the unspoken diamond word power...). We know that other sites do have cases where answers get upvoted with info we know to be wrong... and for that the general action of mods has historically been to dissuade migrating questions late.

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: Initially - wait for flags if unsure. Then discuss in chat. Then close, and be aware that it may be re-opened, altered, migrated or whatever. This happens a bit, especially on migrated-in questions

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop continued: Flagging and voting are still key here

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: You weigh in if you know it, you stay away if you don't. If you get somebody like @ThomasPornin being the one who points out that it's technically wrong and you know by reputation that he is the somebody who is a master of their domain, you point that out. If it's civil, this isn't a moderator role -- it's a user role. The mods on SO aren't running around fixing technical comments on code.

M'vy M'vy answered: Moderators are not here to correct the community but lead it. If the answer has at least some information which is correct, there is nothing to do, and the poster earned the reputation. However topic that shall be off-topic, or not suited to the site shall be removed. By the way, we can pinpoint the user that think answer are wrong to propose a new one or improve the existing.

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: Much as @JeffFerland said. I see a moderator's role being that of responding to incidents and guiding the culture. In this situation, I do see it as, largely, a normal user issue to deal with. The problem, however, comes into play when you're dealing with a dangerously incorrect answer.

Scott Pack Scott Pack continued: In that situation I feel as though a mod may need to step in and possibly delete the post depending on how egregious it is. I do, however, feel that is should be strongly guided by user flags.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: This is a problem we often have with questions that are migrated from other sites such as StackOverflow and StartUps. I think this situation can be dealt with by normal users in most cases by adding comments.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann continued: In some cases I have edited an answer to add a note at the beginning pointing out that this answer was migrated from another side and therefore was likely not written with security in mind. There may be cases which justify moderator involvement, but those have to be looked at on a case by case basis.

nealmcb nealmcb answered: I agree with @JeffFerland that moderators aren't here to somehow "fix" technical errors, but judicious use of comments and discussion can usually deal with those issues also.

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: Thankfully this problem has been rare on security.stackexchange (compared with, for example, security questions on stackoverflow), though I appreciate it could still happen. I wouldn't want to use my mod powers to obliterate or change the answer in case it's me that's in the wrong. I'd down vote, leaving a comment with references to explain why. I might bring it up in chat to see what everyone else thinks.

  • AviD - I linked to the meta post that I thought you were referring to with that comment, but you should verify that was correct.
    – Tim Stone
    Sep 23, 2011 at 9:09
  • Thanks @Tim, I changed the link to the other post I meant.
    – AviD Mod
    Sep 24, 2011 at 23:20

Iszi Iszi asked: For the non-Pro-Tems: How do you feel about the challenges you may face if elected, which were brought up by @AviD and @RoryAlsop in response to @RebeccaChernoff's question about "toughest part of moderating"?

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland quoted: Every mod will get caught in moments like that. It is your positive response that brings you respect.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland followed with: I reiterate what I just said as my response to this question... these things will happen, and you take them in stride and learn. You always learn.

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: One of the biggest challenges I foresee would be dealing with the confrontational users. That is always something I have dreaded, but in my professional life I have been targeted as committee chairman because I, apparently, am fairly level headed when it comes to dealing with those types of situations. I am more nervous about the close vote issue. I am in lust with close voting, and having a binding vote scares me a bit.

nealmcb nealmcb answered: @AviD makes a good point about time, and we haven't figured out how to make more of that yet....

M'vy M'vy answered: Harder part... hm. it is always difficult to still do something when needed and community can't reach consensus.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: I agree with Rory's assessment that the most difficult part are situations in which the community disagrees with a decision. I think the best approach to deal with this is to encourage discussion (for example invite to chat) and admit mistakes. Trying to be open about ones motivations and accepting disagreement by the community to overrule ones decisions.


Thomas Pornin Thomas Pornin asked Jeff Ferland: If elected, will you switch your gravatar to a somewhat less abstract picture ?

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I'll do that tonight.


Gilles Gilles asked: It has been proposed now and then to broaden the scope of the site to other aspects of security (locksmithing, airports, etc.). How do you feel about that?

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: I am actually a bit in favour personally, as I am a confirmed Information Security person, and find that the wider scope does impinge upon people who may consider themselves IT security. But I'm not forcing it, as the community is half in favour, half against, so far:-) Plus, Lockpicking is cool!

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I think physical security is part of the realm of IT security. I think we would have no influence on people who implement airport security, so we can skip that. More than anything, I think if the community is overwhelmingly in favor of something, that's the way we go and as stewards who represent, the moderators shall make it so.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland continued: I guess since we agree about the community part handily, I'd say that the moderator part is dealing with individual questions on a small scale more than directing the whole site... and I will try to let any security-relevant question live or be reworded when possible as long as it meets the FAQ standards.

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: I think it depends significantly on the way the topic is presented. As part of my Information Security Analyst duties, I deal with physical access controls frequently. Lockpicking is actually an On-Topic job for me. Pentesting, for example, isn't just about hacking code, but also about slipping in through the back door (so to speak).

Scott Pack Scott Pack continued: While technology is a big part of my job, I keep telling people that it is not in my job title or department name.

M'vy M'vy answered: I think we should not rush and jeopardise what we built so far. Changing the scope is not an easy thing and shall be dealt with care. Area51 is here to hatch ideas and if beta there fails, but had interesting points it may be worth welcoming thenew community. As for example, we now have a facebook site buillt over SO, and I think this can have offsrping somewhere.

AviD AviD answered: Some other aspects are good - anything around risk management. others - not so much.

AviD AviD continued: In any event, a step like that would not be solely at the moderator's discretion, but subject to a wider community vote (via meta)

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: If this decision gets real we should have a community voting as we had about merging Ubuntu with Linux/Unix. StackOverflow combines many different programming languages which would easy provide enough content for independent sites, but it has one target group so it works very good.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann continued: Ubuntu and Linux/Unix seem have different target groups, so it is good to keep those sites apart. Airport security and lockpicking are about security, too. But I expect little overlap in target groups, so I would vote for independent sites.

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: I don't think that's a good idea. We've got a nicely focussed community, that people who need guidance on IT security issues can turn to. If we included topics like locksmithing then I think it'd dilute the value and put people off.

  • For what it's worth, I agree with @Graham Lee 's perspective. Lockpicking is interesting, but mixing it with this focused site may be detrimental (also makes filtering RSS feeds more difficult ) Sep 25, 2011 at 15:20

Gilles Gilles asked: 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?

AviD AviD answered: Excited, proud, trepiditious, and hesitant.

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: I tend to place quite high store in my real reputation, both in the security field, but also personally, so I kind of live real life with the expectation that it is all public and recorded. Works for me:-) It certainly doesn't worry me at all.

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: To a certain extent I actually like that. For more professional sites, like this one, I should have been acting in a manner befitting a moderator for the duration. In my opinion if past posts of behavior are seen as unbefitting of a mod, then I have been doing something wrong anyway.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: I think when you walk around with that diamond, you stay away from casting your vote on things the community might be unsure about. You guide rather vote when possible. @RoryAlsop and @AviD have admittedly been quite good about doing that... discussing questions they think may be off-topic and getting consensus from us in chat.

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland continued: So, in effect, because your tools are more powerful, you avoid using it as a vote where you might otherwise (e.g., vote to close).

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland concluded: Clear situations or needing to make a call on something controversial not applying to that... you also must know when to click and to carry it.

  • AviD AviD agreed: Absolutely, sometimes often even at the risk of offending someone.

    AviD AviD continued: though of course you try to explain yourself, and the situation, both to assuage the offense, and prevent it in the future.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: Yes, I absolutely agree with assessment. I am one of the core developers and game-master/admin of the open source game Stendhal. The community and especially the trouble makers look for every mistake of an GM. But that is okay, it's to be expected that moderators set a good example. Yes, mistakes do happen. Admitting them openly and getting the community involved is a good approach. Moderators are not alone. Difficult situations can and should be discussed.

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann continued: A good moderator tries to calm heated situations down, tries to get back to a rational level of thinking. That's a good basis for fruitful discussions.

M'vy M'vy answered: Well I see it as a responsibility. This is evidently a serious thing, that is bringing a little fear of wrong doing. But anyway, this shall not change the basis of my behaviour. I'll still answer question to provide guidance as usual, or comment. Of course, users know well how to complain on meta (I can find dozen of example on MSO). So yes this may give us more weight in discussion and as it not been taken too lightly, but it should not make us reluctant to act.

nealmcb nealmcb answered: Good point. But I already think a lot about attaching my handle to what I write and putting my best foot forward, so I don't worry about that. I also agree with @JeffFerland, as this relates to the previous question.

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: Never mind the diamond, my commitment to a high standard is driven by my name being on what I write :). That's my real name, my real photo: how I interact with this community is a demonstration of how I want to be perceived.


Rebecca Chernoff Rebecca Chernoff asked the candidates for final thoughts

Jeff Ferland Jeff Ferland answered: Tron mentality -- I fight for the users (and try to get us more!)

Scott Pack Scott Pack answered: As I said before, this has been an incredible set of candidates, and no matter the results we'll be in a good place. Vote your heart.

Scott Pack Scott Pack continued: Just remember the power of a rather cunning hat.

M'vy M'vy answered: Well I'm really happy with this town hall. I am conforted in the idea that all candidates shows great interest and dedication to the community.

M'vy M'vy continued: Good luck to all.

nealmcb nealmcb answered: Thanks to SE for a great set of tools, and the CC-licensing approach. And thanks to the other candidates - the community on this site is a real pleasure to interact with.

Rory Alsop Rory Alsop answered: I have been happy modding as a pro-tem - love the SEI model, and would be delighted to keep doing it, but would also support the others if I don't get in:-)

Hendrik Brummermann Hendrik Brummermann answered: I'd like to thanks everyone for the nice discussion. I am very confident that everyone of the candidates is a good choice and will do a good job to keep this friendly community and help it to grow.

Graham Lee Graham Lee answered: I see the point of a moderator being to grow and to guide the community - by example in addition to setting and (frankly, as a last resort) enforcing a standard. There isn't really a successful mod without having a successful community, and all of the candidates here have contributed well to the community. I've been proud to moderate pro tempore, and look forward to seeing what happens next on the site :)

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