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

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.

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, February 17th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 3:00 pm EST 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.

  • 7
    I suppose we should close this now, since we're no longer accepting answers.. right? – Seth Feb 18 '14 at 17:57
  • I have voted to keep it open before (before election finished), but now I realized that you are right. Please close voters: CLOSE IT – Lucio Mar 4 '14 at 20:04
  • Closing is an option but I figure that unless people are abusive about it, we don't stand a big necessity for it. – Grace Note Mar 4 '14 at 20:07
  • @Seth: No wonder you hate this question on Meta and want to close this. This very question made you face those challenging questions to become a Moderator... Hehe :-) – Aditya Mar 7 '14 at 8:32

13 Answers 13


Ask Ubuntu currently has the lowest Percent Answered of any Stack Exchange site. What do you feel caused this, and what is your personal opinion on whether - and how - to change that?

  • @wilf If you're asking in general, yes that's fine. If you're asking for the candidates, no you should add an answer here. – Seth Feb 10 '14 at 21:19
  • how many total active users are there on ask ubuntu compared to other sites ? are there statistics available online ? my opinion would be that there are too many askers and not enough (good) answerers (not that it's necessarily a bad thing that there are too many questions asked..) but with numbers backing this or something else.. answers to this question (and other similar ones) could be defined/theoricized/answered .. – marc-andre benoit Feb 13 '14 at 20:35
  • 1
    @marc-andrebenoit The data you're looking for is rather complicated to pinpoint. data.SE doesn't give much access to User data, so any demographic statistics about a site's community are hard to come by. That said, Ask Ubuntu currently has 178k registered users, of which less than 10k have gained more than 200 reputation. – user98085 Feb 13 '14 at 20:53
  • that kind of data would be useful to optimize the site and its processes.. thanks for you infos.. – marc-andre benoit Feb 13 '14 at 20:56

What is, in your opinion as a potential future moderator, the biggest problem that Ask Ubuntu faces? If you were to get elected, what actions would you take towards resolving this issue?


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?
  • 1
    Is it suggested we answer these in our nomination? – Jared Burrows Feb 10 '14 at 20:44
  • 1
    What happens even if we don't particularly want to be nominated, just have a rather large amount of opinions (and ideas)? – Wilf Feb 10 '14 at 20:46
  • 1
    @JaredBurrows There will be a new post once the nomination phase ends, in which all candidates can answer the questions Grace picks. – user98085 Feb 10 '14 at 20:52
  • 1
    @wilf As I noted in my comment earlier, if you feel strongly about the matter: Make a new meta question. Ask it, bring up your point, we can discuss it there! :) – user98085 Feb 10 '14 at 20:53
  • 5
    Please do not use this thread to post opinions on subject matters or answer the questions. If you feel like addressing one of these in a larger scale, as @FEichinger notes it is appropriate to raise a Meta question, but here, let's please keep this thread solely to gathering questions to ask the candidates who are actually running for the election. – Grace Note Feb 10 '14 at 20:55

As a moderator, your votes become binding. Actions you used to take like flagging, closing, and deleting will take effect immediately without any input from any other users or moderators.

How will you adapt the way you currently flag and vote to deal with this change?


A new user has arrived and doesn't really understand the way the Stack Exchange system is supposed to work. They're complaining that people keep editing their posts and a roll back war has started on a question that they've asked. You need to step in and moderate the situation. What actions do you take?

  • 3
    I think this is too broad. – Seth Feb 10 '14 at 20:14
  • 3
    @Seth - and sometimes, all too common. – Wilf Feb 10 '14 at 20:34
  • 6
    Not too broad. New users who don't like their posts edited - that happens all too frequently, and a certain standard procedure should be in every moderator's toolkit. It'd be rather interesting to see what our candidates think they would want to do. – user98085 Feb 10 '14 at 20:39

While the moderator position you're nominating yourself for is a voluntary position, there is a minimum amount of time that you would need to be available in order to be an effective moderator. How much time do you currently spend using Ask Ubuntu and are there any known circumstances in which this will change in the future?


Getting a reputation on this website is based on your technical skills/knowledge. What proves us that you know how to handle people? How do you feel current moderators go about handling people?


A new user has joined the site and posted a question which is obviously off topic, you know the question needs closing - how do you approach this with the user? (Provide past examples if you've got any)


Evidence has been found that a high rep (> 3k) user has been sockpuppeting for a large percentage of their reputation.

  • What do you do in response?

Since Moderators are the so to speak, the face of the community, how would you act when you find a problem you are not sure how to solve or deal with it?


A fellow moderator / a well know user / 'one of your peers' has done a blatantly obvious bad answer, one that could prove destructive, or may misguide others. You, as a moderator, must take action. You have tried commenting but they refuse to budge. What do you do now?

  • This probably could do with some improvement.... – Wilf Feb 10 '14 at 21:53
  • 2
    As a moderator? As a moderator, why would I flag anything? – Seth Feb 10 '14 at 21:54
  • @Seth - Dunno... There are lots of questions here about new users, there probably needs to be one about more experienced ones, plus a few general ones. This is my attempt at one... – Wilf Feb 10 '14 at 21:56
  • 1
    Is that better? – Seth Feb 10 '14 at 21:57
  • @Seth - Quite a bit... Thanks :) – Wilf Feb 10 '14 at 21:58

How important are new users to you as a moderator? Would you think that using a grooming/mentoring approach towards new users would increase their likeliness to stay and contribute to the site ?


Unfortunately I think it is too late to add this to the list of questions being submitted to the candidates for moderator, but here goes anyway.

How would you help emphasize Ubuntu's GNU/Linux and Unix heritage? Canonical's branding and public relations seem to de-emphasize any link to GNU/Linux or Unix; and so does Ask Ubuntu. How would you help correct that?

  • 1
    Why the weird formatting? No one else used it. Code formatting is for code. – Seth Feb 23 '14 at 21:20
  • Just making a distinction between my intro and the question. It is not just for code as you can see from the moderator questions thread. meta.askubuntu.com/questions/8477/… – haziz Feb 23 '14 at 21:25
  • 1
    That's actually a different type of formatting, as you can see by clicking "edit". It's used for quotes. – Seth Feb 23 '14 at 21:26
  • So... Why do you think this is something a moderator should worry about? Why would it be important to/for him/her? – Seth Feb 24 '14 at 1:02
  • It is a bit late, yeah. Election's almost over too, so it's unlikely to get noticed that this was asked, unfortunately. You might try throwing a line into the election chat room though. – Grace Note Feb 24 '14 at 2:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .