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9:00 PM
@MrHen it was a compromise.
@phenry Maybe. As ELU is right now, we can't really answer that question.
Unless we change something to see what happens.
Part of the long term issue here, by the way, is that we want to convert rep-farmers into regular contributors. If a rep-farmer burns out in 6 months they really didn't matter much.
But I also don't have data on that right now
@MrHen - Don't we already have an answer? I can't imagine a straight dictionary lookup question ever getting all the way through a close vote before someone answers it.
@MrHen Yes. Encourage people to stay and become good users.
@phenry Dictionary lookup is definitely easier to answer than the annoying single-word-request/thesaurus questions that really hurt the site way back when.
no argument there.
9:02 PM
I think the reason Dictionary questions are GR is because they are boring non-content posts
@MrHen - Not to get too Stalinesque, but if a rep farmer burns out, there's more where they came from.
Which is an entirely different debate.
@phenry Maybe. I don't have data on that, either.
So most of modding is about handling flags and suspending users. Because you work in private, no one knows when you are doing a good job. Therefore, you will only ever get feedback that amounts to "you suck, you don't know what you are doing, you've done it wrong, and I hate you." How do you respond to people heaping abuse on you, and how does your response change if that person takes it to the community, makes it public, and the community also says you suck?
That is certainly easier to claim now that ELU has survived this long.
@phenry That is Stalinesque, but I noticed a new crew the past few days.
9:03 PM
I'd be willing to risk a few 2,000-point rep farmers burning out if it means more newbies stick around long enough to become valuable contributors themselves.
And of course, you can't explain your actions without revealing information that should not be revealed.
@phenry That's a big if, though. It's hard to know what is correct without testing it first.
@KitFox I agree and anticipate that that will happen.
@MrHen - Well, sure. I wasn't raising these complaints in 2011.
@KitFox I'm already preparing or this to ba a thankless job.
9:05 PM
So you guys do all 'mod' work for free??
@KitFox I have only seen that once in my time here.
@Farooq yes, they do!
@KitFox - to be honest, that's not really anything new for me.
That's six months, is that right?
I've been a technical writer for 15 years.
9:06 PM
@KitFox I have really, really thick skin for things like this. I tend to point people toward documented rules and guidelines and suggest they start a discussion if they disagree with those guidelines. I'm willing to listen and talk to people if they want to rant about something as long as they keep it relatively civil.
my life is full of engineers who think they know English better than me because they read Strunk & White once.
Yay to Good People
@KitFox yes, only that. But I have posted more than once how good you all are.
@phenry Yep. That's basically my position on this issue. "It's there for a reason; we should verify that the reason is still valid and relevant for today."
Keep up the good work guys
9:07 PM
@MrHen - You've mentioned testing and validation several times. What do you propose?
@medica I asked only to establish context. I'm trying to remember how many incidents there have been.
@KitFox I've seen only one meta - make that two, sorry - critical of the mods in six months.
@phenry There is a ton of interesting data on Data.SE that can be used. It may also require getting more advanced tooling and data that isn't available publicly but I have no idea what mod-only tools exist. Aside from that, we can see how many incoming questions we get; time to answer; time to close; close reasons; etc.
@KitFox I've certainly seen more than one. :P
So in that time, we've probably had about a dozen private incidents.
9:09 PM
@medica It more frequently happens in comments on meta answers, actually.
@KitFox I'm not surprised if it's more.
Data.SE is how I prioritized the Unanswered queue, by the way. The information in that database is tremendously valuable.
@MrHen - That sounds good. I just wouldn't want to get into a state of analysis paralysis that makes us afraid to do anything because "we don't have the data".
We have some interesting analysis tools, and if you have a very specific question and a very specific query, the community mods will sometimes pull data specially for you.
But anything available on Data.SE isn't something I'd need to be a moderator to use. I'm planning on doing some of these things regardless of whether or not I get elected.
9:10 PM
if you are very nice.
@KitFox Is your main point to ask if we're prepared to be dumped on?
@phenry Agreed. I'd at the very least like a well reasoned explanation -- but data helps a lot more than opinions do.
@medica - I think I've already earned my degree in that.
@KitFox Ooh, cool.
@medica no. I want to know how you will respond to it.
9:11 PM
@phenry (yes, you have. You've been taking hits for a while.)
I'm a drama sponge; I soak it up so it doesn't get all over everyone else.
@KitFox I won't.
@medica - That which doesn't kill me!
@MrHen hahaha.
Eww, it's all sticky!
@KitFox My plan is to take deep breaths and not respond negatively to criticism.
9:13 PM
@MrHen most of these you are not allowed to share with the community.
Which makes them all the sweeter.
@KitFox :) It's true, though. I have moderated two different Minecraft servers and most of my time was spent documenting things and keeping the peace between what I can only assume were 9-16 year olds. :P
@KitFox Hm... tantalizing.
@KitFox You may find that hard to believe, though.
@MrHen Well, you should have no problem then.
@medica nonsense.
I think in a one on one situation I'd step back, let them calm down and contact them again when they've had time to cool off.
@KitFox I wouldn't exactly blame you. You've seen me involved in drama before. I know, however, that as a mod, I need to rise above that.
9:16 PM
Well my pic just wont change.
You responded to reason. That's better than most.
@Farooq ask @KitFox
@Farooq did you refresh your cache?
@KitFox I'm relieved to hear that.
@Farooq You should probably ask in a different chat room, though.
9:16 PM
If the majority of the site were against me, then it would seem that I shouldn't be a mod. If I'm not helping I'd prefer to step down, or at least take time to figure out why they think I'm failing
@MrHen : Sorry
@Farooq No worries. I just think you'll get better answers from a non-election chatroom.
@KitFox What I rely on is my behavior as a physician. We have to keep our emotions in check under horrible circumstances in the ED. If I can do it there, I can do it here.
I must go play with my little son before he jumps all over me. Bbl
9:18 PM
@KitFox Cheers :)
@medica Hopefully it won't feel quite as stressful as a "real" job, though
@MattЭллен I would hope that it would not come to that.
@MrHen Believe it or not, I don't find it stressful. I've had decades of practice there.
@medica sure. I don't think it will
9:19 PM
@medica Well that's good. :)
@MrHen But in the ER, you don't deal with the same people day after day. It's always someone new, so it's a fresh start all day long.
@medica Yeah, that's a bonus. Here (and especially as a moderator) you don't get to escape from people that bug you.
@MrHen exactly.
Anyone looking for more interesting questions to answer? I thought this question was really good but it didn't make it into the questionnaire:
A: 2014 Moderator Election Q&A - Question Collection

RyeɃreḁdThis is a bit of an extension of John/FF's questions... If ELU stays as a separate entity as ELL, how do we ensure that the people answering the questions don't belong on the ELL? It is pretty easy to moderate questions and close them off. But I find that the biggest issue with the site is the...

Also, Andrew just posted his answers to the questionnaire:
A: 2014 Moderator Election Q&A - Questionnaire

Andrew LeachThis is Andrew’s answer... I'd be interested to hear how candidates feel about the existence of English Language Learners, and whether/how they intend to preserve/promote the distinct identities of the two sites. ELL provides a forum for those learning English — those who need to be able to...

@MrHen I don't think there is a good answer to RyeBread's question. It has bothered me as well.
9:25 PM
@medica Well, what's a bad answer? :)
can I ask a q about the English language here
I have left comments on how to improve answers. They go unnoticed. I've edited their answers, They don't take the hint.
the other English chats seem they haven't been used
@ChrisOkyen you should ask it in the main room
@MrHen - well, you can't stop people from thinking they know more than they do. All we can do is vote them down and hope that they eventually get the picture.
9:26 PM
@ChrisOkyen this is the election chat room. The main chat is best.
@ChrisOkyen people are there, just ask it
@phenry It hasn't been working so far.
@medica - by what measure? Are people gaining lots of rep off of terrible answers?
(that's not a rhetorical question, btw - I actually can't bring any specific users to mind right now)
@phenry yes, exactly.
@phenry oh my... really?
@phenry Yes. This is fairly common. The easiest way to gain rep quickly is to answer GR-esque questions as quickly as possible.
9:29 PM
@MrHen yes.
@MrHen - now that's the best argument against GR I've heard today.
I'm not going to try and dig up real life examples as it wouldn't be appropriate in this context.
@phenry How is it an argument against GR?
@MrHen but it's tempting!
As in, what is your full reasoning?
@medica Most of my early rep came from answering thesaurus questions and single-word-requests before the site cracked down on them.
@MrHen - to the extent that GR allows incompetent users to rep farm to the point where they become indistinguishable from high-rep competent users to a casual visitor, that's bad.
that makes it harder to know who to trust.
9:31 PM
I finally transitioned to "regular contributor" once I stopped caring about my rep and started looking for interesting questions to answer instead.
@MrHen And I have been horrified to re-read some of my early answers as well.
@MrHen I'll stop caring about my rep when I hit 10K. until then, bring on the softballs.
@phenry Do you mean this is an argument for having a GR close reason? Or against having a GR close reason?
@phenry Yeah, that's kind of what happened to me.
@MrHen - it's an argument in favor of closing questions as GR.
@MrHen Same here. I still try to answer easy ones sometimes, but have fallen away from rep-seeking entirely.
9:32 PM
@phenry Ah, okay. I misunderstood your original "against". :)
Not your fault.
@phenry lol! The 25 K tools are better!
@medica - yeah, but that sounds like a lot of work.
@medica There are 25K tools? Hm.
9:34 PM
it is. That's one of the reasons I'd like to be mod. I do it anyway.
To play devil's advocate, though: On any individual question, bad answers are still more likely to be voted down, and good answers are still more likely to be voted up.
It's not noted on the privs list.
Well, there was a jump at 20K, but there's yet one more at 25.
As long as that's true, the system works, in that visitors are given a mechanism for distinguishing bad answers from good answers.
9:35 PM
@phenry I'm not sure that's true. For example, humor has a lot of pull. A bad but funny answer will get upvoted.
@phenry Rep farmers are very adept at dodging downvotes.
@medica Correct. It's why I had my little rant about pictures a few months ago.
@medica - It can. I mostly see that happening in comments, though. It's less common in answers.
@phenry a salacious question will get upvotes for the Q and all the Answers as well.
And a bad answer that gets lots of upvotes will also attract several "My God this is a terrible answer, and here's why" comments, because we're just like that.
I'm wondering if we are talking about different kinds of bad answers.
Let me find one from my past as an example...
9:37 PM
@phenry Quality is not always the common denominator to high rep.
@phenry Not as many as one would think.
I can only think of one highly-rated answer that actually made me angry because of how bad it was. I'm still mad about that. But it's the only one.
Eh, not the best example but it is a starting point:
A: Single word to use instead of "can't" or "won't"

MrHenI refuse works in place of I won't.

+5/-0 and accepted.
So, 65 rep for a really crappy answer.
@phenry People use their wit to crush other users in comments. I've seen that a lot.
@MrHen - you're citing your own answer? That takes guts. Kudos.
@medica They also use rhetoric and logical fallacies.
9:40 PM
And it's not a TERRIBLE answer.
@phenry It isn't "bad" but I'd point it out as an answer that exemplifies the rep farmer kind of non-content.
@medica - That they do. I've flagged a few of those. The flag usually gets rejected.
YAY I am back you guys with my own pic :D
Here is a better example:
A: Antonym of 'stigma'

MrHenHere are a few options: virtue principle reputation character acclaim plaudits Most of these were gleaned from a thesaurus entry for honor.

@phenry yes, it does.
9:42 PM
@MrHen - well, rep farming happens. this is SE.
To me, an answer is good if it answers the questioner's question, not because it took some baseline amount of effort.
@phenry Yep. The point being that rep farmers love GR style questions because you can answer them really quickly by copy/pasting and you even get to quote a source.
@MrHen yes.
@phenry Right. I don't disagree but I do think that some questions are not very useful.
9:43 PM
@MrHen - I don't begrudge you those 90 points. The answer is accurate and helpful.
I don't have a problem with rep farmers. I don't have a problem with answers that accurately answer questions. I just think we should do what we can to promote higher quality questions.
The problem as I see it is when answers that are wrong get lots of upvotes. That's rare.
@phenry It is. And usually the comments call it out.
I also rarely see correct answers get downvoted.
@MrHen - I just disagree philosophically with this. I'm far more concerned with answer quality than with question quality.
I don't even really grok what "question quality" is.
or even "answer quality" imo
9:47 PM
@phenry I'm concerned with both.
Hi skullpatrol
Poor questions tend to get poor answers.
true dat^
9:47 PM
Neither of which is helpful to the site's credibility.
@skullpatrol You up for election?
People like to raise the spectre of Yahoo Answers as a warning against letting our "question quality" dip too low.
ask a stupid question
But the problem with Yahoo Answers is that the people ANSWERING the questions are idiots.
@phenry And none of us are?
9:48 PM
@skullpatrol Who me?
@Farooq No not you pal :)
@skullpatrol why does the colour purple not sound purple?
@MattЭллен why?
You guys watch "Game of Thrones"?
9:50 PM
@MattЭллен Does sound have a color?
white noise does.
Does color have a sound?
Great show. A bit erotic may be.
@MattЭллен Synesthesia: A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color. Also, the seeing of a color elicits a sound.
@MattЭллен So some people actually hear purple. And it sounds different from blue or red.
Mr Hen and medica my pic got uploaded :)
9:53 PM
@Farooq great!! :)
So who is winning for 'mod'
@Farooq we won't know for 4 days yet.
@medica I know right? :D
@skullpatrol That your own photo? If that is than NICE :D
9:55 PM
@phenry Oh, I'm just chatting at this point. My thoughts on question quality were posted a bit earlier in a discussion with @medica.
@Farooq Grats.
I'd love to stick around, but I have other responsibilities... see you all later.
@MrHen you asked this in the prelims:
"What should moderators do about edit wars? Specifically, instances where two or more users rapidly edit the same post in an attempt to undo or override the other's edits."
What is your answer?
(or anyone)
@medica I'm not exactly sure what tools are at the moderator's disposal but my first goal would be to stop the bleeding and get the users to stop editing the post. If there was a locking option that would prevent all edits, I would use that. Afterward, I'd contact each of the users separately and privately and figure out what each of them were trying to accomplish. I'd also tell them that edit wars are Bad News and they need to knock it off. (cont.)
I would make a quick judgment on how to edit the post and then bring it to the moderator team for a more permanent solution. I would advocate for a small suspension of all users involved in the edit war unless they seemed particularly willing to walk away after moderators got involved. The purpose of the suspension would be to prevent more drama between the users involved and reinforce that this kind of behavior is inappropriate and should be avoided by all users.
10:08 PM
@MrHen Good answer.
@MrHen There is a locking option that freezes all activity on a question. That is what I would do as well. Then call the dueling duo to a private room or chat.
@medica I'd try to keep the two separate at first to help calm them down.
Otherwise they'll just yell at each other.
Grace Note did this and was extremely helpful.
@MrHen Actually, in the presence of a mod, there is a lot of restraint, I've found.
@medica That's good. It's probably easier in chat, too. My experience is having to do this over voice chat... so... yeah.
Grace handled an incident in chat, and it went beautifully.
1 hour later…
11:27 PM
@MrHen Lock it for a day.
Then walk away from it.
@Arrowfar I can remove comments for you. What's the problem?
You can lock answers separately from questions, I believe.
11:50 PM
@tchrist - welcome!

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