8

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 8 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. What is the most pressing issue of the Bitcoin Stackexchange and how will you approach it if elected as a moderator?

  4. Moderators are called in when something is amiss. When you're elected, a noticeable portion of your time spent on Bitcoin.SE will be evaluating posts that other users flagged for your attention. You'll encounter junk on a daily basis, and on days when you're hard-pressed for time, it may be your only window into the site. Meanwhile, we're asking you to offer patient and diplomatic guidance to the users that tried to contribute. What's your motivation to run for such a job? Why is it important for you to be a moderator? What do you bring to the moderation team to complement your fellow moderators?

  5. Given the highly political nature of this space, how would you deal with questions/answers/comments which use derogatory terms like Bcash or BScore, SegwitCoin or BizCoin? What about questions that knowingly or unknowingly promote certain client software for Bitcoin?

  6. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  7. 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?

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

3

MeshCollider

  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?

Even if a member is super knowledgeable and active, they aren't excused from the 'be nice' policy or any other expectations of members on the site. I would contact the member informally in private first, and just give them a nudge in the right direction. If they continue to do so regularly despite a warning, I'd warn them more formally that if they continue I'd be forced to suspend them, and if necessary, follow through with that. In my opinion, having one less member giving good answers is better than one more member causing trouble and conflicts (although of course this is relative to how often they get into conflicts vs how active they are).

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

I would of course contact that moderator directly in private to discuss it. Simply re-opening/undeleting/etc the question publicly would be inappropriate without knowing why they chose to in the first place or letting them explain, and having a discussion about it may prove useful for both of us to improve our service in the future. Having a good relationship with the other moderators is definitely important, especially as I would only be starting out, so working as a team is better for the site as a whole. Of course if for some reason we could not work it out between us, I would probably seek the guidance of a stack exchange staff member to help.

  1. What is the most pressing issue of the Bitcoin Stackexchange and how will you approach it if elected as a moderator?

I think one of the most pressing issues of Bitcoin.SE is the speed with which duplicates get closed. Most active members will have noticed the extremely regular "My transaction is not confirmed" and similar questions, popping up sometimes even multiple in a day. I think its important for these questions to be closed as duplicates as soon as possible so that they all point to a single good list of answers rather than having different answers in every question. But currently the speed with which they are closed is a little slow, because of the number of votes needed to close compared to the number of active reviewers. The power to perform such clear, uncontroversial actions as a moderator would be a huge help.

But also on the note of closing questions, as discussed a bit here, its becoming a little bit of an issue that people are too eager to close questions even if they might not need to be closed. So that issue needs to be discussed further too.

  1. Moderators are called in when something is amiss. When you're elected, a noticeable portion of your time spent on Bitcoin.SE will be evaluating posts that other users flagged for your attention. You'll encounter junk on a daily basis, and on days when you're hard-pressed for time, it may be your only window into the site. Meanwhile, we're asking you to offer patient and diplomatic guidance to the users that tried to contribute. What's your motivation to run for such a job? Why is it important for you to be a moderator? What do you bring to the moderation team to complement your fellow moderators?

My motivation for being active on this site is simply the enjoyment I get from helping people out and seeing them learn, while at the same time being right next to other highly knowledgeable and intelligent members that I can learn from too (e.g. achow101, sipa, etc). But as a moderator I can do a step better than that, and help keep the site as a whole healthy and growing, so even more people are willing and able to come and ask, answer and learn. So even if I don't have time on a particular day to actually answer any questions, I still feel like I'm helping people. The only important thing about being a moderator to me is that it would help me be a more effective help on the site. In fact, Murch gave me the idea of running for this position because I was worried that after the reputation increases I would lose some of the moderation tools I've earned so far and wouldn't be able to help as much. I bring a solid grasp of the English language to assist with editing, a reasonable understanding of at least a few aspects of bitcoin and programming in general because that will definitely be handy, and an active and friendly attitude which I hope the other moderators would enjoy working with :)

  1. Given the highly political nature of this space, how would you deal with questions/answers/comments which use derogatory terms like Bcash or BScore, SegwitCoin or BizCoin? What about questions that knowingly or unknowingly promote certain client software for Bitcoin?

If a comment or use of a derogatory term deliberately or otherwise causes conflict/harassment/belittling of other members' views, I would treat it in the same way as any other rude/antagonizing comment. I always try to make sure that I don't let my personal opinions on any matter get in the way of making the right decision (of course everyone makes mistakes). I think a lot of the more politically-natured questions would probably be 'primarily opinion based' anyway so there's no excuse for such provocative terms.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Of course I've read the theory of moderation, but I'll avoid just leaving the the "Ideally as little as possible" quote here. Moderators in my view just do what everyone else does - help keep the site clean and running smoothly. Everyone can earn privileges through reputation that allow them to assist in that, and moderators just have a bit more experience and power to speed things up when time is of the essence, and are trusted to make reasonable decisions in dealing with other members inappropriate behavior, which hopefully doesn't have to happen often.

  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 know I personally have a lot of respect for the current moderators and ex-moderators, so I would be honored to have such a privilege. I'm confident that I have held myself to a high standard thus far on the site, and will continue to try and raise that personal bar even higher. As a new moderator I would definitely have a lot to learn from those more experienced than me, but I know that the guidance will be there if/when I need it so while it is quite a daunting prospect, it's one which I am excited about. And I would take great pride in knowing that the community had faith in me to help out in such a privileged position by electing 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?

As mentioned above, sometimes the ability to more efficiently close clear cases in a timely fashion would be a lot more effective than simply being able to cast votes. I still have a long (well, long relative to how far I've come already) way to go before I reach 10k or 20k rep and I have a lot of enthusiasm to help out which would have to wait out otherwise. I also think the ability to resolve conflicts and other issues would be much more effective help, and things for example like moving extended discussion in comments into chat rooms, which I have so far had to flag for the current moderators to do.

Thank you for reading and considering my nomination :)

  • "having one less member giving good answers is better than one more member causing trouble and conflicts" - no its not, that is how you kill a community. A few "disruptions" are a small price to pay for good answers and a vibrant community that tolerates heated discussion. Someone's "disruptions" should happen more than their good posts for a suspension to be justified, and only after a solid attempt has been made to discuss with that user. I can't support your bid for being moderator because of that. See my comment on Andrew Chow's questionaire. – B T Oct 26 '17 at 1:00
  • Note that's what I said slightly before that, "If they continue to do so regularly despite a warning, I'd warn them more formally that if they continue I'd be forced to suspend them, and if necessary, follow through with that". – MeshCollider Oct 26 '17 at 2:28
3

Murch

  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?

Assuming that the arguments and flags are discussed on the user's posts, I would help keep the comments civil and constructive. If the pattern persists, I would message the user privately to point out what is happening and share some ideas what we would like them to change about their activity on the site. If the user doesn't change their behaviour, I would consider moving to suspend them only if their behaviour is sufficiently disruptive or likely to drive away other users. If most of their content is valuable and it's not too much effort to sanitize on a per post basis, I'd probably wait for the situation to develop further.

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

I would ping the other mod in our chat to inquire about their reasoning to do so. I'd share my idea how the post could have been handled and ask what they think about that. I'd seek this conversation more often in the beginning as we get to know each other better. Later, if I don't feel strongly about a post, I'd expect that I'd just go with the judgement of my peer as anything else would waste both of our time.

  1. What is the most pressing issue of the Bitcoin Stackexchange and how will you approach it if elected as a moderator?

In the past years, we've been mostly suffering from low community participation in running the site. This has expressed in long review queues and low-quality content sticking around longer than necessary.

I would like to try to use the attention we're generating with the election to jumpstart our meta and chat activity. I think that both would also help people to feel a stronger ownership for the site and may benefit site maintenance.

While review queues could use a little more love, there has been a positive trend with new contributors and old ones returning in the past months. I think that we may be closing a bit too quickly in some instances lately, and we might want to have more discussions about some posts.

  1. Moderators are called in when something is amiss. When you're elected, a noticeable portion of your time spent on Bitcoin.SE will be evaluating posts that other users flagged for your attention. You'll encounter junk on a daily basis, and on days when you're hard-pressed for time, it may be your only window into the site. Meanwhile, we're asking you to offer patient and diplomatic guidance to the users that tried to contribute. What's your motivation to run for such a job? Why is it important for you to be a moderator? What do you bring to the moderation team to complement your fellow moderators?

There are few good sources of information about Bitcoin. Many tend to become outdated, or don't make the information available persistently. Bitcoin.Stackexchange.com is a site that provides quality information that is easily retrievable. As such it is a way for main contributors in the space to share knowledge efficiently while the effort of maintaining the integrity and quality of the information can be shared. While the encounters with low-quality contributions, spam and trolls can be frustrating at times, I am strongly motivated due to my work helping other Bitcoin contributors to have more time for other things while at the same time facilitating an extensive learning resource for the broader community. Bitcoin.Stackexchange.com was my main source in learning about Bitcoin and I'd be happy to help provide this learning experience to more people.

  1. Given the highly political nature of this space, how would you deal with questions/answers/comments which use derogatory terms like Bcash or BScore, SegwitCoin or BizCoin? What about questions that knowingly or unknowingly promote certain client software for Bitcoin?

I would like Bitcoin.stackexchange.com to remain as apolitical as possible. The site's community is self-governed in that it sets its own topic scope, enforces its own rules and elects its own moderators. If posts are on-topic they'll get appropriate attention with edits, answers and tags as any other that are.
Posts with the intent to provoke are covered by our "be nice" policy: as long as they are unambiguous in what they are referring to, they can usually be easily edited to remove any provocations. Posts that purely consist of provocation can be removed without losing any quality content.

In regard to posts that promote certain client software, foremost, questions need to ask something that we can answer objectively, and answers need to address the question, provide explanation and include evidence or arguments. As before, we should remove tangential information and distill valuable answers. Clearly, posts that are solely promoting software usage would be off-topic.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators help maintain the frame in which the site's community builds a comprehensive body of questions and answers for the site's topic. We muck out the stable, fight off the broken window syndrome, and are human exception handlers when something goes amiss.

  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?

When I first became a moderator on this site, it was especially daunting to me that people might be misled by old content I had created when I first started using the site. To that end, I've been reevaluating and improving such content whenever an old post of mine got new comments or upvotes. After being around for a few years, I am confident in my judgement about what topics I should comment on or not. I've also become more conscious about clearly communicating my level of confidence in information that I provide in posts. Finally, I rigorously add explanations and feedback when I interact with posts.

  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?

Being a moderator has allowed me to significantly improve our tagging situation in the past years. For example, I've burninated more than 50 tags, I've eradicated the tag by splitting it up into ten other tags and retagging more than 1200 questions, and made 66 posts about tags on meta.

I've cleaned up several clusters of duplicate trees and established some canonical questions.

By deleting almost 700 posts and closing more than 2000 questions, I've significantly reduced the time that other people had to invest addressing bad/duplicate content.

3

Andrew Chow (achow101)

  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?

Although users who provide good answers are valuable to the community, if the user is not being civil in the comments or is being argumentative, then that behavior is not acceptable. Having good answers does not give someone an exception to being moderated. I would handle their comments and flags as I would anyone else. First, I would privately message the user to ask him to be more civil in the comments and to not start arguments. If he were to persist, I would move towards temporarily suspending him and possibly permanently if he kept up the disruptive behavior.

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

I would first ask the mod as to why he performed that action on the question. He may have seen something that I did not notice and thought that the action was appropriate. Generally, I would just trust the judgement of my colleague and leave the question as is.

  1. What is the most pressing issue of the Bitcoin Stackexchange and how will you approach it if elected as a moderator?

I think the most pressing issue of the Bitcoin Stackexchange is the low participation of users in moderation actions. I often see that the review queues can be fairly long and a lot of duplicate and low quality questions stick around for a while before they are closed or removed. Being able to take decisive action on topics that are clearly duplicates or low quality would allow me to help make the site better and friendlier to all contributors.

  1. Moderators are called in when something is amiss. When you're elected, a noticeable portion of your time spent on Bitcoin.SE will be evaluating posts that other users flagged for your attention. You'll encounter junk on a daily basis, and on days when you're hard-pressed for time, it may be your only window into the site. Meanwhile, we're asking you to offer patient and diplomatic guidance to the users that tried to contribute. What's your motivation to run for such a job? Why is it important for you to be a moderator? What do you bring to the moderation team to complement your fellow moderators?

As I said in my nomination, I am a moderator on Bitcointalk.org. I am a moderator there for the same reasons that I am running for moderator here: I wish to help people, to be helpful to others, and to make the sites that I participate in better places. As a moderator, I can both make this site friendlier, more accessible to other contributors, and in general helping it grow to reach more people. I bring to the moderation team knowledge of the technical details of Bitcoin and prior moderation experience where I have dealt with many of the same trolls and spammers on Bitcointalk.

  1. Given the highly political nature of this space, how would you deal with questions/answers/comments which use derogatory terms like Bcash or BScore, SegwitCoin or BizCoin? What about questions that knowingly or unknowingly promote certain client software for Bitcoin?

Although the Bitcoin space is highly political, I do not think that a Q&A site like Bitcoin SE should be political at all, rather it should remain neutral. So long as derogatory terms are not there solely to incite anger, troll, or flame people, I think that it would be okay to leave them in the question.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my opinion, moderators are here to help maintain order and cleanliness of the site, kind of like security guards and janitors. Moderators should only step in when users are being disruptive or fighting. Moderators should also be here to remove the spam, fix the things that need fixing, and generally handle the things that the community itself cannot organically take care of.

  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?

Given that I have posted on Bitcointalk with a moderator and staff badge for over a year now, I am quite used to my posts be scrutinized differently. Many of the same posting habits and characteristics that I picked up while posting on and moderating Bitcointalk have carried over to here. I am confident that my posts are appropriate and I do and will continue to support my answers with sources and citations and will edit them as I receive feedback.

  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?

Being a moderator will allow me to clean up spam, close duplicates, and take action in a more timely manner. It would allow me to give people more time to participate in the community instead of dealing with moderation tasks such as closing questions and deleting posts. Being a moderator allows me to take punitive action against spammers, trolls, and disruptive users when I see them instead of having to wait for a moderator to take care of it (sometimes I will ask Murch in private to quickly deal with something I saw; as a moderator, I won't have to do that).


What timezone are you in?

I am in Eastern Standard/Daylight Time which is UTC-5/4.

  • Bitcoin enthusiasts are often anti authoritarian, and I count myself among them. As a moderator, you would be responsible for only using your moderator powers when there is consensus to do so - not just as your own discretion. "Disruption" is not sufficient for suspending or banning an account and must be always weighed against the positive aspects such a user brings to the community. Being always civil is not the goal of SO, it is providing a community with vibrant answers. Don't let your view of what is offensive make you just another asshole mod with a chip on your shoulder. Good luck! – B T Oct 26 '17 at 0:54
  • According to many folks on r/btc, it is a big problem that the same folks have moderator power on bitcointalk, the bitcoin wiki, bitcoin.org and on the r/bitcoin subreddit. I haven't spent much time on the bitcointalk forum, so not sure if it's true or not, but due to this criticism, I would propose not to vote for anyone having moderation power other places. – tobixen Oct 26 '17 at 16:35
  • @tobixen That's a reasonable point – B T Oct 26 '17 at 23:51
1

asterisk (Timezone: UTC +5:30)

  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?

Well, we cannot judge a person or his intelligence with the number of arguments/flags he generate. It comes down to the question that, whether that user's arguments were right or not. And if it were right, then there should not be a problem at all. And in the case of those being wrong, as a moderator, we are here to help.

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

Well, if a moderator closed or deleted a question which was relevant according to me, I will put forth the reasons I had to tell the moderator why this question would have been a relevant one, as well as listen to the other moderator why he thought it was irrelevant.

  1. What is the most pressing issue of the Bitcoin Stackexchange and how will you approach it if elected as a moderator?

Most of the users come here during hard forks or when they don't get a transactions confirmed in a certain period of time or so. For that, I have written myself many answers for the last BTC fork to BCH and there are already many answers for the unconfirmed transactions, which I can redirect those questions to. It is to be shown that this StackExchange is welcoming for not just the advanced users of BTC, but also for the beginners.

  1. Moderators are called in when something is amiss. When you're elected, a noticeable portion of your time spent on Bitcoin.SE will be evaluating posts that other users flagged for your attention. You'll encounter junk on a daily basis, and on days when you're hard-pressed for time, it may be your only window into the site. Meanwhile, we're asking you to offer patient and diplomatic guidance to the users that tried to contribute. What's your motivation to run for such a job? Why is it important for you to be a moderator? What do you bring to the moderation team to complement your fellow moderators?

It was always great to help others. And with the whatever little knowledge I have about BTC, if I could help someone, I will be happy to do that. And that's what drives me. I have been trying my bit on editing and flagging and will continue to do so.

  1. Given the highly political nature of this space, how would you deal with questions/answers/comments which use derogatory terms like Bcash or BScore, SegwitCoin or BizCoin? What about questions that knowingly or unknowingly promote certain client software for Bitcoin?

I have a small background of being a marketer and advertiser for some time and I am good at knowing these kind of things when a person intentionally advertises and when he is genuinely asking something. So, in these situation, I can be really good sometimes.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Simply saying? They keep the StackExchange clean :)

  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?

With great power comes great responsibility. I see that as a responsibility. I would be more careful on how I respond to an answer and give my 100% as I have did always.

  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?

The commitment of being here whenever the StackExchange needs me makes this more effective than high rep.

  • WRT question 1: Is it possible for a user to be correct and rude at the same time? If so, if someone is both, how would you deal with that? – Nick ODell Oct 22 '17 at 1:52
  • Yes, it is indeed possible that a person can be correct as well as rude at the same time. In that case, we can let them know about the friendly policy we have in all StackExchange, and in the case he still does not understand, we can always edit the answers to remove the unnecessary and keep the rest. – remedcu Oct 22 '17 at 5:23

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