2017 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Aug 29 '17 at 20:00.

The results of this election can be viewed online via OpaVote. Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution

5,370 voters were eligible, 1,987 visited the site during the election, 978 visited the election page, and 531 voted

If you vote for me, I'll do the following:

  • listen to you. I'm just like you: come here for answers and go about my own business immediately after getting an answer. I don't hang out here all day, because my family and my boss need me too.
  • politely ask OP to compress their thoughts into fewer words and better a picture whenever I see a question that doesn't fit into my screen in its entirety
  • maintain a balance between brief answers and deep answers
  • all moderators seem to be male caucasians, so I'm going to bring the female minority perspective
  • be open to new approaches and trends that come from practice. These days it's a lot of machine learning, so I'd be encouraging us to answer their questions so that they keep coming here

My goal in life is to kill Data Science SE (long overdue) by making it obsolete and everyone forget the words "data science" once and for all.

Final point: first three candidates in this election -- amoeba, gung and Tim -- are obvious choices, a la "isn't he already a moderator?!" I'm throwing myself into this as a "no way this guy is in the office" kind of an alternative for you.

War and Peace


  • $\begingroup$ Wow, you are female! I am experiencing a cognitive dissonance right now. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Aug 16 '17 at 19:21
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba, no I'm male, but I'll be representing minority female perspective $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Aug 16 '17 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ :-) Anyway, I am glad you decided to run. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Aug 16 '17 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim, actually some time ago I decided to never answer the gender question in any forms. I think everyone should stop doing this. I also never ran for any kind of elected position in my life $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Aug 16 '17 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ Your comments on gender seem to cancel. Gender is not important, or entirely a personal matter, yet you raise it and promise to represent the (or a) female perspective. I can't see a clear signal there. What would that be precisely?. For my part, I haven't seen the gender of participants ever being raised as an issue on CV. You've joined a field that is already extremely strong and your candidature needs something very distinctive to prosper. $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Aug 16 '17 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ @NickCox, if gender wasn't important, why all moderators are male here? We should be more inclusive. $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Aug 17 '17 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ I have no evidence whatsoever on the gender of some of the moderators. So how do you know; and if you don't, then assuming that they are male is itself objectionably sexist. My major question, however, is to be clear what your precise position on gender is, and that is still obscure to me. How are you going to encourage inclusivity precisely? What in our policies or practices is excluding or inhibiting certain groups? Saying that people of any or no gender are welcome to post would be fine, but in itself empty. (FWIW, I naturally agree.) $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Aug 17 '17 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ Very simply, you owe it to yourself as well as the electorate to make as clear as possible what your distinctive strengths are. "Kill Data Science" is at worst inappropriate in this context, in any case beyond your powers, and at best evidence of a wacky sense of humour (which I welcome, but that isn't decisive in choosing a moderator). Could you comment on your low number of pertinent badges? $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Aug 17 '17 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ "if gender wasn't important, why all moderators are male here?" because no females seemingly interested to nominate themselves (election #1, #2, #3, though it's hard to know the real gender without they exposing themselves). Also, why (and how) do you want to kill DataScience.SE? $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Aug 18 '17 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ I took a good laugh about your goal in life :), and I think your candidature text and answers to the election questionnaire represent a slight different point of view to what others have said; which is good for diversity. $\endgroup$ – Andre Silva Aug 18 '17 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT., "because no females seemingly interested" -- this is the argument males keep repeating in all male dominated fields, there's got to be a flaw in it. There's maybe 20%, if not more, females in the field, yet none of them are represented among the moderators. $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Aug 18 '17 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT., I can't literally kill it, but I can help make it obsolete, by encouraging data science people to ask their stats related questions here. Frankly, once you remove stats from data science, it becomes IT, for which we have StackOverflow etc. $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Aug 18 '17 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Aksakal "yet none of them are represented among the moderators." I guess so, and I give you a sincere good luck that you can encourage females to nominate themselves as mods here. $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Aug 18 '17 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewT., luckily, they don't need to nominate themselves anymore, because I'm going to represent their interests here :) $\endgroup$ – Aksakal Aug 18 '17 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ You're repeating your claim about moderator gender and are ignoring my questions. That's your right, but I and other readers have a right to be disappointed thereby. How do you know the gender of cardinal or Scortchi? Sweeping claims without data may work elsewhere, but CV should be a hold-out for statements based on factual evidence. (I'd be delighted to see more female and/or minority participation here personally; I'd be even more delighted at a world in which gender, sexuality or ethnicity mattered not at all except among consenting adults for purposes irrelevant here.) $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Aug 18 '17 at 17:36

Why me. I have been fairly active on Meta, in particular in the tag related-issues, and have coordinated several large tag reorganization projects. This kind of work would get a lot easier if I were a mod. The unmerged tag synonyms will be merged and the tags that need to be burninated will get burninated. Finally. (Apart from that, I like organizing existing threads through duplicates, merges, canonical Qs, etc., and with mod privileges this could be more effective.)

Why not me. During all these years, I have entirely neglected review queues. Monitoring review queues to quickly close & re-open stuff is one of the most important moderator tasks. However, I did not do it before and am unlikely to start now. My "candidate score" is 3 points short of maximum because I am missing some of the review badges. Among the existing nominees, @Tim and especially @gung are much more active in moderation as well as answering.

After some hesitation, I decided to nominate myself because there was not enough candidates and because I was encouraged by several kind users. But I don't know if such division of labour among mods makes sense.


  • $\begingroup$ I am happy to see you decided to be a candidate. I think you will be a great moderator. $\endgroup$ – usεr11852 Aug 14 '17 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @usεr11852 Now you have another week to consider to nominate yourself too! $\endgroup$ – amoeba Aug 14 '17 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ :) You are too kind. Maybe a couple of years down the line. $\endgroup$ – usεr11852 Aug 14 '17 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ Finally, we are going to get those tags merged (on main and meta)!! All three candidates so far very, very, very good, but you have my first vote because all the job you have done in Meta (i.e., not only asking questions and answering there, but going beyond, and putting hands-on work to get subjects done). $\endgroup$ – Andre Silva Aug 14 '17 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that all candidates are very very strong. It will be a difficult decision to choose whom to choose. $\endgroup$ – Ferdi Aug 15 '17 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ Basically recapping what I said about gung: I had the impression you were already a moderator for years. Both of you are already good at it, without having the titles - it'll be hard to choose between you two. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Aug 16 '17 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ @SQLServerSteve Just to clarify, we are choosing two new moderators this time, not one. $\endgroup$ – amoeba Aug 16 '17 at 7:34
  • $\begingroup$ @SQLServerSteve: Have a look here: stats.stackexchange.com/users?tab=moderators $\endgroup$ – Ferdi Aug 16 '17 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba That's good to know, I didn't realize we were electing 2. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Aug 16 '17 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Ferdi I see amoeba and gung's posts as often as many of the mods in that list, so we'll be in good hands. :) $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Aug 16 '17 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ Altho I do not visit CV all that often, I do see what you do on the main and meta sites, and will certainly vote for you in the election. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is not a statistician Aug 19 '17 at 7:38

We're most of the way through the nomination period, and there's been little interest thus far. I guess I'll throw my hat into the ring. People who've been around Cross Validated have probably seen me, but I can briefly introduce myself using the why me / why not me style common in Stack Overflow's elections. My answers to the 2017 Moderator Election Q&A are here.

Why me: I've been on CV for a long time, and I'm pretty familiar with the site's conventions and culture. I already do a certain amount of moderating-esque tasks as a citizen of the site. Becoming a moderator may be less of a shift for me.

Why not me: I'm a grumpy old man, and I seem to be getting grumpier as I get older. Moreover, although I'm often around, I increasingly busier and busier in my personal and professional life, which will constrain the amount of time I will be able to dedicate to moderating tasks.

  • $\begingroup$ I think you would make a great moderator. I plan to vote for you and hoped you would nominate yourself. I hope you are serious about moderating because you have a great chance of being elected. $\endgroup$ – Michael Chernick Aug 12 '17 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for volunteering, gung. For years your activities here have been equivalent to those of a mod, so you might as well have all the tools and a bit more recognition for what you have been doing. $\endgroup$ – whuber Aug 12 '17 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent candidate. Very happy to see it! $\endgroup$ – Andy Aug 14 '17 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Like with my comment about amoeba above, I had the impression you were already a moderator for years. Both of you are already good at it, without having the titles - it'll be hard to choose between you two. $\endgroup$ – SQLServerSteve Aug 16 '17 at 0:43

I am an active member of CrossValidated for more than three years. During this time I gained a decent reputation. I regularly use moderation tools (open/close votes, creating and editing tag wikis, proposing new tags, flagging offensive comments etc).

I agree with the StackExchange Theory of Moderation that basically says that the site is community-maintained and the moderators should do as little as possible. I don't believe a moderator would be able, or should be able, to make any major changes on the site. I believe that the major difference that moderator can make here, is to help to "clean up" CV by merging threads, cleaning-up tags, locking the old now-off-topic threads etc. (those are the things I'd focus).

I want to make it clear, that while I visit CV regularly, I won't be able to treat moderation duties as a "full time job". I am afraid that even if I tried to be a "full time" moderator, it'd inevitable lead to routine and making bad moderation decisions.

See also my answers for the community questions.

This election is complete.