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

Ask Ubuntu is scheduled for an election next week, 2022-03-14. In connection with that, 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.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until 2022-03-14 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.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

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

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The following two questions are guaranteed to be included:

    • 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?
  • The community team may also include the following three questions if the community doesn’t supply enough questions.

    • 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?
  • At the start of the nomination 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. We exclude any suggested questions that are negatively scored.

    • We will post the final questionnaire on the Election page. Candidates will have the option to fill out the questionnaire, and their answers will appear beneath their intro statements.
    • 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 process, feel free to post as a comment here.

  • 1
    Catija, may I know if any one of the inactive mods are stepping down? Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 16:31
  • 3
    That's not information we share unless the moderators themselves are opting to announce it in advance.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 8, 2022 at 16:38
  • @Catija I'd like to ask a related question... I'm relatively new to SE, so I have a question... for this election, is it for adding moderators to the existing team, or is it that the existing team goes away, and if I like them, I have to re-elect them?
    – cocomac
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 2:38
  • 1
    @cocomac There's generally only one time the latter is the case - the first election after leaving beta. This site has been out of beta for many years. You can also tell by looking at the number of slots that we're filling on the election page.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 3:17
  • @Catija On the basis of what criteria does SE decide regarding how many positions will be open in an election? Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 11:45
  • 2
    @RandomPerson It would be logical to assume that the total number of moderator positions depend on site activity. So if the site activity stays the same, no new positions are offered, unless someone steps down. If site activity increases, 1-2 mods are added each year. Let's see if I assume correctly. 😉 And for the lazy people - 1 position is open in this upcoming election (it's in the top right corner of the Election page - I missed it at first). Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 12:05
  • 2
    @RandomPerson we don't. The mods do.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 13:00
  • @Catija "We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions" Who does "we" refer to? CMs or current mods of Ask Ubuntu or both? Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 6:41

8 Answers 8


This may be a little far-fetched - but I'm giving it a shot anyway:

In which ways do you feel, that you as a moderator will be able to invoke and enhance the underlying philosophy of "Ubuntu" (in the meaning "I am because we are" or "humanity towards each other") on the Ask Ubuntu site?

  • 4
    excellent question
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 9, 2022 at 12:20

If anything comes to mind, please share a positive experience you have had in relation to the work of moderators (on Ask Ubuntu, or any other Stack Exchange site).


Will you be active in chatrooms after becoming a moderator?

There have been various users who became inactive in chat after becoming moderators. In rooms like the Raiders of the Lost Downboat, a presence of moderator can be extremely helpful to new users (as you can guide them how to review).

I know that it's not obligatory for a moderator to be active in chat but I would love to hear your take on this.

  • 2
    I have always appreciated the presence of mods in chat. This is one thing that would really encourage me to vote for someone.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 3:13

If anything comes to mind, please link to one or two or three meta posts that you like (by other people, but if you want to include one of your own that might be good).

  • Zanna, do you mean posts from Meta Stack Exchange or Ask Ubuntu Meta? Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 0:12
  • 2
    I avoided specifying on purpose :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 3:11
  • I find it amazing how little participation in meta that the candidates have participated in, except for two of them.
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 21, 2022 at 21:33

How will you condemn inappropriate behaviour of high reputation users (including moderators)?

There have been various instances when users spoke in a rude way in chat, or in comments of posts in meta and in some cases, no real action was taken against them. How will you deal with such kind of issue? Is suspension your only option?


This question would be mostly valid for people who are very active in the review queues.

Before the diamond, reviews would require several people's votes before the system decides on the outcome. With the diamond, your vote will be the definitive one. Would that spook you into skipping reviews?

In summary, how would the diamond affect your activities in the review queue?

  • I'm reposting my question from the last election questionnaire.
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 17:47

There has been a long-standing debate about Ask Ubuntu making questions pertaining to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) releases on-topic.

Users have had highly conflicting views about this and to be honest, the minority opinions were stifled.

How will you try to resolve this debate amicably?

  • 2
    I just want to justify my downvote on this. I don't think this is relevant in a moderator election as moderators don't have "the power" to decide on policies. It's the community that does. If this question is to check how moderators would handle disputes, I would ask it in a more general/canonical manner instead of focusing on a single topic. As it is now, this question can create controversy with candidates who answer it IMO
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 17:42
  • @Dan The reason why I posted this post was: "This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into currently." Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 13:23
  • @ThomasWard What do you mean by "twice"? Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 13:24
  • 2
    @ThomasWard I just saw your comment here. "... the second was via another post that went to attack moderators ..." That's quite a stretch here. I don't remember anyone attacking the moderators, just people arguing with you, since you are mainly involved with the subject. I don't think that stating a different opinion is considered an attack. Commented Mar 18, 2022 at 6:27

Are you comfortable with users contacting you (privately: through email or some other method which is outside the boundaries of Stack Exchange) regarding issues related to Ask Ubuntu (like abusive behaviour of a particular user, or sharing opinion regarding Ask Ubuntu Meta stuff, etc.)?

If no, how do you feel users can approach you privately?

  • 8
    Moderators should not feel it necessary to communicate with users outside the platform. And, in fact, we discourage it for moderation purposes entirely. That's why we have private chat rooms.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 14:37
  • @Catija Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree that private chat rooms are good but you very well know that normal users cannot create private chat rooms to talk to moderators. Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 14:40
  • 10
    You can always ping a mod and request they make one. Using offsite communication for moderation is an avenue for abuse and we strongly discourage it.
    – Catija
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 14:41
  • @Catija I agree with that as well, but mods might not be active in chat and they can decline one's request as well. So the user is kinda at a disadvantage because of this. Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 14:46
  • 10
    Mods, like everyone else, should definitely not feel that they are somehow required to allow other users to contact them privately. Boundaries are important.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 14:52
  • @Zanna I agree with you Zanna. Boundaries, I get it. Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 15:09

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