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2019 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 Feb 26 at 20:00.

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


5,889 voters were eligible, 2,427 visited the site during the election, 1,195 visited the election page, and 563 voted

Greeting everybody, I am DarkCygnus (or Mike outside the digital world) and I would like to serve you as a Moderator on this site.

Since I joined this wonderful Community, I quickly became engaged and participative on it. I have been actively editing, commenting, and answering posts with the purpose of helping others and improving the site. I intend to keep doing this, and now would like to increase the ways I can help in The Workplace by serving as your Moderator.

I have been around in the SE network for around 5 years now (here, SO, Meta SE, Board & Card Games), where I have had quite some time to read, ask, and learn about the system. I consider myself a good observer and a quick learner, which is perhaps one of the reasons I have learned my ways on the Network.

I think that The Workplace is a great community that is helping many people out there face real life situations, and I am positive that we can continue growing and improving ourselves and the Community.

I would love to be your Moderator so we can together strive for an even greater and wiser Community.

My answers to the questionnaire here

Member for more than a year with increasing reputation, good answers and steady moderation/editing/voting efforts. I've enjoyed this community and its thoughtful questions and like giving back into it.

  • It seems that you mostly became active (answering, reviewing) at the end of last year. You edited 10 posts, have 8 helpful flags and 2 meta posts. This is also your only SE account with a 4-digit reputation. Your answers are good, no doubt, but do you think you have enough experience with moderating tools and the Stack Exchange and The Workplace policies to become a moderator? – Anne Daunted Feb 14 at 18:03
  • Do you have any experience of moderating or being a "super user" on any other communities? Can you supply examples of these? – Snow Feb 14 at 18:30
  • @Snow No I don't – J. Chris Compton Feb 14 at 21:30
  • @AnneDaunted You are correct about my activity and my reputation. While I will receive a moderation badge soon, my score is currently zero on that. (Reflected in my 9/40 candidate score which is low). Mostly I put my name in because I think that I (for some reason) have a perspective that others don't have (or don't post from), and I don't really have a desire to gain power over people - just to help out. I thought that those are good qualities, if that is good enough I'm happy to help at a higher level, if not that's fine also (I won't stop helping). – J. Chris Compton Feb 14 at 21:42
  • Then tell us more about your unique perspective etc. Your introduction is a bit short. But we, the people, want to know why we should vote for you. It would also be helpful if you answered the questionnaire. – Anne Daunted Feb 14 at 21:54
  • If you don't answer the questionnaire, no one will take you seriously. If you are really interested in competing, I would urge you to address your weak candidate score in part by answering the questions the community put together for the candidates. – Mister Positive Feb 15 at 14:15
  • Can you address the fact that you are one of the two reviewers on this edit? – Joe Feb 15 at 15:36
  • @joe Yes, I missed the edit comment (which would have tipped me off), read the change itself, and skimmed the first and third paragraphs. I took "move the goalposts" as 'rearrange what you are testing' and was thinking that it edited out the word success because the answer addresses two different ways to measure success: the "purely on conventional criteria" (that's in the sentence right after the edit) and the proposed one. (cont) – J. Chris Compton Feb 15 at 17:09
  • @joe (cont) For what it is worth I was going to post about a story I read about how the NFL got more black head coach applicants. The NFL took the long view and focusing on hiring black assistance coaches, then they could succeed as assistant coaches and be qualified applicants for the head coaching job on their team or another. Skimming the answers showed me that a variety of positions were already represented so I didn't add mine (+ I don't know much about the NFL, and I could not remember where I read that... so I'm not certain if black coaches have been hired.. or if that's just the plan). – J. Chris Compton Feb 15 at 17:15
  • @MisterPositive - My personal experience is that many of the voting public don't read / are unaware of the questionnaire. You don't need to answer it to win, rather the candidates that are most likely to win for other reasons (site visibility, reputation, etc) are simply those that are most likely to answer it. – Richard Feb 15 at 19:18
  • @Richard not to spar with you, but if we were talking about a user with say even 20K rep, I would be more likely to agree with you. In my head this candidate has no shot without providing further details. The simple text provided in the nomination will not cut it. He has provided a short two sentence answer to a very complicated question. – Mister Positive Feb 15 at 19:22
  • @MisterPositive - Again, I can only speak from personal observation, but site users generally vote on two key elements; 1) Visibility of the candidate on the main site and 2) Their reputation (more = better). It's one of the reasons that the CMs actively remove candidates they consider unsuitable, because there's a very real chance that all the comments in the world explaining why they're a bad fit are simply ignored by the hoi polloi – Richard Feb 15 at 19:40
  • @AnneDaunted + Richard I do intend to answer the questions. I have a situation in my household that requires a lot more of my time than normal, but this will be resolved within a week and there's no reason to expect it to reoccur. In any event, it looks as though I'm up against two people worthy of the job, I'm not sure even brilliant answers will push my 9/40 to victory - but you don't know unless you try. And I have gained a lot just by reading and answering your questions. I'd be honored to succeed and not ashamed if I don't. – J. Chris Compton Feb 15 at 21:41

Hello, I am Mister Positive ( or you may have seen me around as my alter ego Neo ). I would like to offer myself to the community to serve as your moderator.

Being a Moderator at its core is about dealing with people in a calm, polite, and fair manner, when the situation may be anything but.

Fun facts: I am in my 40's, married, and a father of 2. I have a very diverse professional background: bagging groceries, waiter, military service, and now a senior software engineer.

Why would I want to be a moderator? Simply put, I would like to give back to the community, and I think I have a lot to offer with the level of experience I have in negotiating with all types of people.

Many of our more experienced high rep users helped me along the way with my goal of being a better writer and contributor. They showed patience, kindness, and the willingness to help make me a better community member, and for this I am very grateful.

Thank you for considering my nomination, and best of luck to all the candidates.

My Answers

  • You wrote: "I don't think my schedule will allow me the time necessary to do the job justice. Leaning towards not." Will you be able to dedicate the time to moderating it deserves? – Anne Daunted Feb 14 at 14:35
  • @AnneDaunted For the last six months I have been working 2 full time jobs. A friend of mine who owns a company needed my help, and initially I said no (2 jobs is hard - my free time has value too). Then he offered me too much money to pass up. That contract has come to an end gratefully and thankfully. So the short answer is yes, as now I only work one full time job and I am remote two days a week with no intentions of contracting for the foreseeable future. – Mister Positive Feb 14 at 14:40
  • Regarding the last election, while the events around one candidate's nomination are well-known, it seems that you complained about having become a target, too (although unnoticed by the public), e. g. here or here. For example, on your self-deleted questionnaire: " I did not want that available to certain low rep scu.... errrr users." Did mods investigate it and did you even notify them? If you become mod, how will it influence you? – Anne Daunted Feb 14 at 18:43
  • @AnneDaunted I did feel as though I was a bit of a target, but not nearly as bad as another in hindsight. Hindsight is always 20/20, and even in my forties I am seeking to be a better version of myself. To answer: I don't believe an investigation was done, I don't recall requesting one either. What I learned from the last election in short was to have thicker skin and no knee jerk reactions to comments on my nomination. Some people will like you, others won't. The other thing I learned from a Moderator friend of mine is that it is hard to read intent in text. – Mister Positive Feb 14 at 18:50
  • Did you try to resolve the issue with the person(s) afterwards or not, and if not, why (for sure, they may not have been available on TWP not being active here, at all)? It's useful to know your approach to conflict resolution, especially when you get mod powers. – Anne Daunted Feb 14 at 18:57
  • @AnneDaunted I actually did not try because in my mind at the time they ( and at the time in full spirit of full disclosure I thought you ) were out to sabotage my chances of being a moderator and I did not see the point. In the future, I would seek out to do better at understanding their perspective and try to learn from it. Not trying to dodge your question, so if this is not what you are asking about please say so. – Mister Positive Feb 14 at 19:01

About me

Hello, I'm Magisch and I'd like to nominate myself to become a moderator.

I'm in my 20s and working as a software developer living in Germany.

On Stack Exchange, I'm active here, Meta Stack Exchange, Stack Overflow and Interpersonal Skills (reduced but still). I occasionally participate in the charcoal project to fight spam, which is where most of my over 10000 helpful flags across the network come from (a mixture of automatic flags from the project and my own, I would guess about 50% of them are manual).

In the past I've tried out some techniques to detect and flag serial voting on Stack Overflow, although the results have been mixed. I'm also active as a Room Owner in the Tavern on the Meta, the general chat room for Meta Stack Exchange.

Why do I want this?

I really like the theory of moderation, Stack Exchange in general and this site in particular. I want to help it succeed and think this could be a opportunity for that.

I'm open to any inquiries or questions in the election chat room or any other chat room I'm active in.

My answers

  • While you're quite active on the asking/answering front, your 'candidate score badges' indicate activity on community moderation is less than what I'd expect from an upcoming moderator. Do you feel you still have the required experience with the community moderating on this specific SE to handle the heavier jobs that will cross your path should you be elected? – Mast Feb 12 at 15:24
  • Magisch has plenty experience with moderation, and has been around long enough to know how this thing works. High recommendations from me. (Also, you have 3,266 autoflags as of now.) – ArtOfCode Feb 12 at 15:26
  • @Mast Community moderation here is mostly dealt with quickly. The primary topics the badges cover - editing, reviewing, closing, these activities are handled quickly usually. So often times when I check there isn't a lot of work to do in that department. Flags in particular are rare here due to volume differences with bigger sites. I do believe I have the required experience on here though. In my time here, I've observed a lot of moderation and feel quite confident that I can apply it properly or at least have the foresight to know when to ask for help. – Magisch Feb 12 at 15:28
  • While you do "talk the talk", I have some reservations regarding your claim of active involvement in this site. You say you're active here, but outside of the election, you've only made four posts in Meta (two of those on"goodbye" threads, you've only answered five questions on the main site in the past year, and you've not reviewed any posts on the main site since the middle of 2017. In my opinion, good nominees should be able to demonstrate a good spread of activity across the site as well as being a valued and active contributor. – Snow Feb 12 at 16:45
  • @Snow a fair criticism. I can only offer an explaination, not refute it. Reviews here usually don't stay long and unlike on sites like SO, where you can just go and review your 20 for the day, here you have to kind of hunt them to get them, and there's no shortage of reviewers. I'll admit I haven't posted much in 2018, though, which is largely due to questions I visit getting good answers right out (where my perspective is already represented). – Magisch Feb 12 at 16:52
  • No, you don't have to hunt them. There are usually quite a few posts in the review queues and I frequently see red dots, which indicates a backlog. There's stuff in the queues right now, waiting to be reviewed. And yes, there's a shortage of reviewers here - only two people have reviewed the "close vote" queue so far today. – Snow Feb 12 at 17:03
  • @Snow Consider myself corrected then, when I was last actively reviewing on SO I also tried to do so on here and IPS, and frequently couldn't due to lack of review items. Granted, that was a while ago. – Magisch Feb 12 at 17:09
  • A little over a year ago you "retired" from Stack Exchange. What did you learn from that experience that can help in a moderator position? To those that think that leaving or taking a break is a negative, remember that moderators are encouraged to take breaks and at least one CM took a break from Stack Exchange before being hired as a Community Manager. I am curious how Magisch's break helped him. – Andy Feb 13 at 17:37
  • @Andy This was a hard one to answer and required more thought, so I slept on it first. I think I managed to kick some really stress-inducing habits when it came to my participation on SE that made it less enjoyable and more of a constant source of stress. I also gained a lot of perspective in taking things less personal and more general. Also, absence always makes the heart grow fonder, so I found a lot of new appreciation for the network and its users in my time away. – Magisch Feb 14 at 9:18

This election is complete.