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5:27 PM
Something has come up, I won't be able to participate today. I'll be driving.
3 hours later…
8:05 PM
@StackExchange Oh my god, the ice has thawed
OK, I'm here. Everyone else can leave now.
@MDMarra NO
8:25 PM
Town Hall Chat starting soon! (:
@RebeccaChernoff you and your backwards emoticons. :)
@RebeccaChernoff I request that you refrain from your backwards emoticons for the duration of the chat. They freak me out and will impact my concentration while answering important questions about the economy, Iran, gay marriage, and taxes.
Wait, what am I running for again?
@MDMarra Seconded.
You guys are so mean
How do you expect to be voted as a mod if you can't even be nice to poor @RebeccaChernoff
8:34 PM
The community needs someone to stand up to SE employees if they feel like they are being wronged!
Sorry to pile on, but (: is simply wrong
We won't let them use us as puppets!
Like putting butter or peanut butter or whatever on the non-salted side of a cracker.
@MDMarra You're actually running for CEO of SE, they decided that SF is the best site suited for the job.
8:35 PM
Whoah stars in here from last years town hall!
@TylerShads So Spolsky can focus on Trello? Good, I love Trello.
@MDMarra No, so he can laugh at you while he eats Chick-Fil-A in his skyscraper
Maybe we need a rule against memes in the townhall?
We shouldn't need to make a rule
It should be implicit
8:39 PM
@Ward @RebeccaChernoff laughs at your meme's with her back-***ward smiles
If I'm elected, I'll write a Firefox plugin to reverse backwards smileys in chat.
@MDMarra Not a FF plugin that makes it an .msi?
@TylerShads Frontmotion does that already :) I just want an official one
@MDMarra Im fairly sure greasemonkey should be able to do that
8:52 PM
(I'll stop it now.)
Maury is on and I really ned to find out whether or not these people are the father. Can we push this chat back 30 minutes?
(: (: (:
Yes, they're the father
8:57 PM
@squillman Oh. Well in that case, we can continue as scheduled.
@squillman @MDMarra No they're not. Can we bring in the next 17 boys to test so see if any of them are the father?
/me pulls up a chair and gets comfy
From those of you who've played WoW: I can hear Iliidan's voice telling me "YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!"
Hi everyone! (:
9:01 PM
howdy y'all
@RebeccaChernoff Hi, your smiley is backward!
9:01 PM
@Chris Nah, they're over on the Springer set
@Ward perhaps she lives in Australia?
9:02 PM
@ErikA if you do the whole town hall chat like that, you've got my vote
Is my clock 10 minutes fast, or is the chat starting at 10 past the hour?
@BenPilbrow righto :)
@squillman You apparently didn't see that girl.. On Maury, brought ~16 or so guys on the show and had them tested before finding the father. My sister watches religiously.
@MarkHenderson 8 min fast
9:03 PM
I have not the words
@Chris Now that's quality programming
It's time, sorry...a few minutes delayed
all american TV shows should be prefaced with "from the people who gave you Jersey Shore"
My fiancee just put Sex and the City on. Please excuse me if I have randomly obscene outbursts. I promise that it won't normally be on during the hours that I'd be moderating.
@squillman After the first few guys they took her to a doc who did an ultrasound and determined within 3 days when she did it with the father.... Still took another ~12 to get the right guy.
9:04 PM
Welcome to the Server Fault Town Hall Chat
@RobMoir Best idea we had was to ship them to Europe... too bad they made it back.
We're just here to get to know the candidates and ask questions regarding the candidates views on moderation that may help in voting.
A few notes about the format:
The format is open, feel free to ask your question(s) unprompted, however please be mindful of whether or not candidates have answered the previous questions so that they don't get behind and start missing questions. Other than that, feel free to jump in.
Wait. How did you get markdown to work?
Candidates, please use the reply feature so that questions and their answers are linked together. (Hover your mouse over the left of the message, click the down arrow, click reply)
When a question is asked, I'll star it - please star it yourself also to help! Please save stars for the questions so that candidates can refer to the star list to make sure they haven't missed a question.
We will be creating a digest version of the town hall chat after it is completed. This digest will take the form of a question on meta, containing all the questions asked as well as their answers for easier reading.
Can we also please avoid starring funny or trivial things, as it's very useful to come back here later and go through the star list to find the responses to the questions
9:06 PM
yeah I think most of us have some stars left from our normal sillyness over in the comms room - we may as well use them for something constructive for a change
There's a system message up on the site, so we may get some stragglers joining us.
@RebeccaChernoff These are canned directions, right? I hope there aren't any candidates for SF that can't figure out how to work basic chat functions.
@RebeccaChernoff Hopefully, it'll be a bit silly if this is all just the chat regulars who already know each other.
Being a mod is sort like being a police officer. They have to deal with stupidity all the time so it is easy to get bitter over time. The people they deal with on the whole might not be stupid, but even then they see the stupid side of people. Because of the power police have though, it is very important that they never give into the temptation to just smack people upside the head -- the same is true of mods. Do you think you have this temperment?
9:07 PM
@RobMoir All American TV shows should be prefaced by "From the people who invented television..." =P
@KyleBrandt Sir, Yes Sir!
The candidates I see here are: @Ward, @voretaq7, @ErikA, @freiheit, @ChrisS, @pauska, @MDMarra, @BenPilbrow, @Iain, @WesleyDavid
With that, I think I've got all my initial messages, so I open the floor to y'all. Who has a question to start us off? (:
1 min ago, by Kyle Brandt
Being a mod is sort like being a police officer. They have to deal with stupidity all the time so it is easy to get bitter over time. The people they deal with on the whole might not be stupid, but even then they see the stupid side of people. Because of the power police have though, it is very important that they never give into the temptation to just smack people upside the head -- the same is true of mods. Do you think you have this temperment?
@KyleBrandt If someone is getting on my nerves I will ignore them. If they're doing something they shouldn't be then they should be gently reminded not to do that, but unnecessary mod-hammering is not cool. I like to think by now I know what's acceptable and what isn't, and how to control myself
@KyleBrandt Yes. And I believe I've shown that kind of restraint over on Bicycles, too.
9:10 PM
@KyleBrandt I will be the first to admit that I have not been perfect in this regard. I do, however, strive to interact in a positive way with users, with the goal to improve their experience on SF as well as to improve the content of the site. As mentioned in my candidate spiel, I have seen the mod hammer abused several times, and it has irked me to no end. I will do my best to be a positive, encouraging, even-handed mod.
@KyleBrandt I've been a DJ for about 10 years as a side-project, mostly just for fun. I've seen my part of idiots, and learned that we just have to accept that different people behave in different ways, and not let stuff get into us (even when it happens over and over again). I'm might not be aligned with the site guidelines when it comes to the chat, as it has been a nice place to blow off steam when needed. I would however not "undress" people at the main site.
@KyleBrandt It's the same thing many of us have to deal with in real life, but with the advantage that here you're not on-call all the time. If there's someone who you think is a jerk, you can probably let another mod handle them.
@KyleBrandt I think so. I know that many of the candidates in here show frustration at 1-rep users that don't read the faq or 101-rep users that are used to how different Stack Exchanges do things. For me (and I'm sure others too) that frustration is because of our lack of ability to handle it ourselves. As SAs, we're used to being able to solve our own problems. I feel like SF is an extension of my professional sphere, and I want to be able to solve the hiccups that occur from time to time.
Well, I think there's a difference between a friendly dope-slap upside the head with a reminder ("read the docs", "be nice", etc.) and clobbering someone over the head with a bat.
I'm one for reminding people with decreasing levels of gentleness - I'm not perfect, but I try not to be actively hostile/mean. I'd much rather people stay around, improve, learn & become productive members of the community.
If elected, it's possible you will receive some criticism of your decisions from time to time, sometimes quite vehement criticism, which you may feel is unjustified, how will you handle this?
9:11 PM
@KyleBrandt My knee-jerk reaction towards someone that might be called "clueless" is one of educating. I want to help them learn and know better. My knee-jerk reaction to someone that is abrasive, irritating or combative is usually "OMGWTF" - which is a known character flaw in me. As such, I usually step back, re-read the situation multiple times, formulate and re-formulate a response... and then find that a more even-tempered person has addressed it far better than I could have. =)
Oh, plus all that stuff the other guys said
@KyleBrandt Yes - I'll nudge people in the right direction rather than beat them up.
Question: You see a question that's borderline appropriate for the site. It's got no flags, and two close votes. What do you do?
@Sam If I made a moderator action, I would be clear in my reasons and would stand by them. If asked about it I would explain them from my point of view
@Sam Read it, see if there's anything to learn from it, reply to it, ignore any overly strong criticism.
9:12 PM
As there is a meta for all the sites on meta.StackOverflow, have you been active there already and how do you see your role there as a member of this site? If you see a role at all?
@Sam By responding in a cool and collected format, to explain what I was thinking. People get the most angry when mods make unjustified decisions that are disagreed with. When you talk it out, you might still disagree, but people are much less mad at you.
@Sam I actually thrive on criticism. In past jobs, I have asked for more criticism from management, as I feel this is one of the best vectors for personal growth. Now, if criticism is unwarranted or overly inflammatory, I'll just try and suck it up and deal with it.
@Sam First off, I would read it, understand what's behind the criticism. Think about it a bit. From there it depends, of course.
@MarkHenderson I'd keep an eye on it (another tab in Firefox). If it gets enough community close votes, brilliant - if not then there's a judgement call to be made. If it's maybe appropriate somewhere else, then I'd ask in their chat room if they wanted it
@Sam That's what Meta Server Fault is for. This is, first-and-foremost, a community. That's what makes it so successful. If a user disagrees with my mod action, I'd encourage them to go open a meta question. I actually do this now already when I VTC something and the OP complains.
9:13 PM
@Sam I would reply to the criticism as one would at any other situation - learn what you could have done better and don't explode if you know that you're the one who's right (which sysadmins usually do). I'd still defend my actions if they were just.
@RobMoir I have not been active over on MSO. The firehose nature of things there, along with some vitriol against non-regulars has kept me away.
Meta is the place to talk about that sort of thing. I'm not perfect, and I'm sure I'll make mistakes. If the community thinks I did something wrong I'm happy to reverse myself, and if a user takes a mod action personally I'm happy to explain why I did what I did & talk it through.
Stack Exchange sites are unique in that moderators aren't the last word -- Every mod (on this site at least) seems to be open to input from the community and I would continue that trend.
@Sam Remember that another person's criticism, regardless of their delivery, may very well be right. Assess it on it's logical merits, learn from it, and then be done with the controversy as soon as possible.
@MarkHenderson Leave it be. I don't see much reason for Mods to go out of their way to hammer the gray area when nobody is complaining.
@Sam I'll consider what's been said and try to understand it before progressing - learn from it and then decide what to to .
9:14 PM
@MarkHenderson I'd monitor it, and see if it jumps up to 4 votes. If it does, I'd take a look at potential sites (like migrating it to apple.se since regular users cant do that).
@MarkHenderson I would leave it be. Right now, I would probably add my close vote, but as a mod, my vote would be binding. Mod are human exception handles, as Jeff has called them in the past. There are plenty of other users over 3k to cast the last 3 votes if they feel it's appropriate. Until it's flagged, there's no reason for me to take action if it's truly borderline.
@MarkHenderson Post a comment requesting that the OP improve the question.
Depends on where it falls on the border. I mentioned in my candidate statement that I'm not fond of the idea of mod-hammering something, so if it had 2 votes and I thought it should go I would probably post it in VTC and see if it attracted a third close vote before tacking mine onto it.

If it's one of those "What are you asking?" type questions I'll do what I do now -- throw a comment on it asking for clarification.
@MarkHenderson Hopefully with the FAQ being hammered out in such fine detail, there will be less borderline cases. Depending on the situation, I'd be inclined to bring it up in VTC. If it's super borderline, perhaps bring it up on meta in case we need to hone our purpose even more. I can also see myself hammering it locked - but if it can be cleaned up, I'd edit it into a more appropriate form. Wow, that's a tough one.
@RobMoir I passively consume MSO to keep up to date on stuff, but I rarely post there. If things need escalating (such as bugs posted on MSF) then they should be moved there, but I think individual meta sites define their own community and that is the place a mod should be active.
9:15 PM
@MarkHenderson wait and see what the community decides - borderline isn't sufficient for mod hammer
@RobMoir I haven't been super-active on meta.SO, since it has it's own (sometimes less-than-friendly) culture. But, as a mod, I feel like I'd have to spend more time there, making sure I know how things are supposed to work SE-wide.
@MarkHenderson I'd probably leave it be. Depends on where on that border it sits. One option is a comment suggesting how to make it less borderline.
You're the sole closer of a question using your mod-hammer. The OP of the question posts on meta asking it to be re-opened. How much convincing do you need to reverse your decision (e.g. 5 users agree with the op, or 1 mod, or nothing because they were polite)?
@RobMoir I try to keep up and read the subjects there from time to time, but I can't say that I've been participating all that much. We had our own fair share of discussion lately that kept me busy.
@RobMoir Been active, still am in voting there (151 votes). I try to contribute what I can, though SO and MSO tend to groupthink much worse than the other SE sites in my experience.
9:16 PM
@MarkHenderson Borderline? Leave it, probably post it on vote to close (as I do already, he says, attempting to show off a bit!)
I've had my share of downvotes on meta.StackOverflow -- I think most of the candidates have.
I think my role there is the same as it is on meta.ServerFault: Propose stuff that I think makes sense, upvote other peoples sensible proposals/solutions, and downvote stuff I disagree with or think would be actively harmful, and generally act as another voice in the chorus for things that the ServerFault community thinks would make the site (and the network) a better place.
@RobMoir MSO is a bit much to keep up with. I check there now and then, but the mix of SO specific and SE-general stuff can make it difficult to follow. I do try to follow the SE-wide stuff there.
@RobMoir I've had some interaction with mSO ~ more feedback on features than community stuff. I prefer mSF for community.
@RobMoir I see my role as a site member as more valuable on meta than on the Q/A portion. Plenty of people on the site are smarter than me about many things, so I sit back and enjoy the show and get smarter from it. I have, however, seen some things that can be sharpened such as tags, old, unproductive questions, confusion over what is acceptable to ask about here, and some other topics. I think I'm more valuable to meta than the Q/A side and have been more active there lately as a result.
@MarkHenderson They'd have to give some plausible explanation why they think the (new and improved) FAQ says it's on-topic.
9:17 PM
@MarkHenderson It wouldn't take much before I'd revert my actions, if other users have a different view than me. I'd probably still make the user edit the question so that it won't get closed again.
@MarkHenderson I guess it depends. If the question is very bad or off-topic, there's not much that could convince me to re-open other than drastically improving the question. However, if it's borderline, then a polite re-open request with good reasoning could be enough.
@MarkHenderson If I mod hammered a question, I'd have done it for what I believed to be a good reason. If I thought it could be improved (edited for clarity, requested more details) then I'd do that. A mod hammer close is for blatant spam/off topic and not just for bad questions, so I hope not to be in that situation too often. Also, if the question was improved after a mod hammer, then I'd make a call on it
@MarkHenderson Make a good argument and I'd absolutely reverse my own decision (any decision). I am fallible like anyone else and respond well when pointed out. May a poor argument and we'll have to talk about the points where we disagree...
@RobMoir I've actually taken the plunge into the shark-infested mSO waters quite a bit recently. Unlike many other SFers, I've been somewhat successful on mSO. I think it's because I'm able to see potential reasons to get down votes there and preemptively address them. One of my recent current SF-centric ventures on mSO include this
@MarkHenderson I'm up for the community educating me
9:19 PM
The quality of questions in terms how professional or advanced they are comes up again and again on meta. Joel answered when that came up once with:
"There are basically two ways discussion groups can go. They can stick with the same people (who are learning and getting smarter) or they can stick with the same subject. If they stick with the same people, the only way to keep them entertained is to get more and more esoteric until you have a site where nobody can get useful information except the 14 old-timers who have been around since the beginning. This is nice for the 14 old-timers, but
@MarkHenderson I'm pretty open to discussion. I need to be intellectually convinced, and not mobbed. So if one person convinces me I was wrong, I'll reverse it. If 5 people can't convince me, I'll be more likely to stick to it. If 10 people try to convince me, I'll stop and consider if I'm insane or having some bizarre form of cognizant dissidence. =)
It depends on the question, but I'd have to see a good reason to reopen it (clarification/rewording that makes it something obviously answerable / on-topic).

Obviously if enough people voted to re-open it it belongs, but if there were a community consensus on Meta that it should be reopened I would definitely give that strong consideration (particularly if someone suggested an edit that made the question a better fit for SF).
The consensus on Meta need not be from people with vote-to-reopen privs -- Well-reasoned arguments from lower-rep users are equally valid.
Do you tend to view all (or most) questions that are posted or do you stay mostly within your favorite tags?
@KyleBrandt I personally don't think any question is too basic - as long as it is on-topic per the FAQ. Heck, I got started here on SF by answering a lot of very simple questions, and there will always be a place for that level of discourse. If the old-timers get bored, then that's they're problem - perhaps they should then spend more time mentoring the less-experienced people on the site.
@MarkHenderson I'd re-review the question (of course). If there's a convincing case that I was wrong (whether it's 1 user or 10), I'd re-open. Mods do make mistakes now and then and closes are easy to reverse. Otherwise I'd explain why it was closed and how the question can be changed to be suitable to being re-opened.
9:21 PM
@MarkHenderson I think that's a case-by-case basis. If I closed it in error (nobody is perfect) and the OP politely convinces me that the mistake was mine, I'll reopen it myself. If I believe that it's OT, but it's borderline, and 5 regular users think it should be reopened, then I'd have to take a hard look at it and see if I'm wrong. That said, crowd mentality isn't always the most even-keeled. If it's clearly not allowed, then it's gone for good.
@KyleBrandt Interesting question, as it's something we've talked alot about in the chat. We should help newcomers with questions that are trivial, as it will eventually attract new users (who generate new questions and answers), which will build up the site. The problem is find that magic line of how "bad" a question can be. The ones who do no research before asking is generally not accepted by this community..
@squillman I watch all the questions go by, skim almost all, and read most of them.
@squillman I view pretty much all questions.
How will you cope with pressure from visitors who don't understand how the site works? I see a lot of people say in response to another question that they will listen to others, which is right, but how will you deal with a large number of people who complain about a closed question that is off topic - I can find more than 10 people who hate to see licence questions closed as dups of our canonical licence question.
@KyleBrandt We've had a lot of the truly awful questions already, so we could close as duplicate of a canonical answer. There's not much I would consider "too basic", that depends on your area of expertise - I can ask what some would consider to be very basic Linux questions, but that doesn't make me an idiot when it comes to Linux. I'd apply that thinking to others with basic questions and try to guide them along a bit.
9:22 PM
I agree with the logic of that community lifecycle theory. As far as what I agree with concerning ServerFault's culture:

I believe we can blend both. We shouldn't be answering the same questions over and over with new content, when a single canonical answer will do. I believe that more questions can and should be closed as duplicates. I also believe that canonical answers can and should be curated to be better and better. Closing those as duplicates I think will push us closer to a "same-subject" model where we by necessity get more interesting and complex questions.
@squillman I reserve the right to avoid certain questions like the plague (cpanel comes to mind pretty quickly), but that will change if I get a pretty star next to my name. A mod can't filter out stuff that isn't interesting.
@KyleBrandt I understand what he was chasing, but think he solidly missed his target. In another post the simple razor came up "Can we really help them" (with the implication that the help be with reasonable currency. If we can help them, if they have the base level of knowledge, then we should accept them regardless of their novice or guru state.
@RobMoir I would explain the same thing over and over - the reasons WHY we close those questions.. Like gently explaining why shopping questions brings alot of spammers for an example.
@squillman I stick to questions I have a prayer of answering. Question with my favorite tags always get read. The rest are the luck of the draw.
@RobMoir Our rules and FAQ are what they are because the greater community has decided on them. As in life, people disagree, but the majority will do the right thing, and unfortunately, as in life they might just have to "like it or lump it". If people won't listen to a reasoned argument, then I'm afraid there's no convincing them because that's simply what they believe (which I guess in itself is not actually wrong).
9:24 PM
We get a fair number of flags for content that some people deem offensive. What would you consider offensive? If you can think of some, give an example of "I can see why this is flagged, but I dont think its offensive"
@RobMoir I would try and explain gently that a goal of the site is to encourage good answers to good questions, within the topic. It is non-productive to slam them as posting a "bad question", but with a bit of discussion, I think most people can come to understand what fits and what doesn't.
I agree with Joel in principle: If we shut out all the "newbies" the SF community will not grow. If that happens then eventually we will stagnate, start missing out on new technologies/ideas/practices, and become irrelevant. It is important to be able to bring in new people at various experience points along the continuum.

Re: figuring out if something is "too basic", my standard here is "blatantly obvious in the docs or a google search". Someone asking "How do I list the running programs on a Linux machine" and seeking `ps` or `top` as the answer is not really at a "professional (unix)
@squillman I don't tag search much. I look at the first 50 questions on the home page, and sometimes spill over into the next 50 if I haven't seen those. I like to stay very broad, but I only deeply look into questions that I'm familiar with, because I can't really contribute in those except for spelling and grammar.
@squillman I follow a few tags closely and skim a lot of the rest
@KyleBrandt I really don't think that this applies to Server Fault. Systems Administration is so broad that there will always be new products or technologies to ask about. Being in technology is an ever-changing landscape and because of that, I don't think that we have to worry about things becoming stagnant. I think that SF should remain for pros only, because of the quality that it allows us to maintain. If someone has a very basic, but on-topic question, then it should be allowed.
9:25 PM
@MarkHenderson Windows Millennium and Vista is pretty offensive :-) But honestly - personal insults is never OK, not on the internet and not in real life. I would be pretty hard on those who are found guilty.
You see a user who generally posts good, useful answers, however they are being rude and offensive to some people in comments, particularly what you might call "less difficult questions". The user has already been warned about their behaviour but that seems to have made no difference. What do you do now?
@squillman I have a few tags ignored and several favourited tend to look at all those and some of the others
@MarkHenderson Personal attacks are offensive. Personally I don't find bad language offensive, but I know others do and I generally remove it if I see it.
I bounce around: I stick mostly to the unix/linux/networking/datacenter topics because it's what I know best, but I poke my head into various other areas to keep at least peripherally in touch with the rest of the industry.
I may not actively answer in a broad range of tags (certainly not enough to get tag badges :) but I read questions that look interesting.
@RobMoir Beer and Liquor mostly. Probably more liquor than beer. Who doesn't like a good whiskey?
9:26 PM
@MarkHenderson Personal attacks are always offensive, as are racist, sexist, or any other non-respectful rhetoric.
You run across a user who has a bit of a "rough" edge to him, in that he can be abrasive in the tone of his comments and answers. However, he does bring value to site in terms of knowledge. How do you reign him in without losing him as a contributing member of the community?
@RobMoir I think in the case you spell out there, it's important to stand your ground. Refer people to the appropriate part of the FAQ and/or meta threads, invite them to open a question on meta, and leave it closed.
@RobMoir I do that as it is - that won't change significantly if I'm a mod. I simply point them to the correct links that shows why I believe it was off topic and don't engage in argumentation. If they have a good reason to show why I'm wrong - great! That means I'll be learning the culture better.
Crap, mine and Sam's are nearly the same
@Sam I would confer with other Mods to see if a temp ban would be appropriate.
9:27 PM
I think @sam and @holocryptic posted the same question
@Sam as a mod use the tools to contact them and explain the situation. Depending on their reaction move to timeouts
@ErikA Can you define "non-respectful" a bit more? For example, is berating someone for not even pressing F1 disrespectful to the user?
and I think we know who the question is about :)
@pauska There are a few...
9:27 PM
yeah, pretty much, assume they have been merged, what would you do, how would you keep them as a site member but rein them in
@squillman I don't hide any tags. I only follow , , , and , but I have badges in and as well. Just because a tag isn't a favorite doesn't mean that I don't feel it's valuable. I'm a jack-of-all-trades, so I tend to read questions on topics that I'm not familiar with to expand my professional knowledge.
@pauska wha... I'm right here man. Honestly.
@Sam Their rude and offensive comments need to be removed and they should be had a word with. If things continue, then that's what the sanctions are for. I'd always try and resolve it without resorting to the sanctions, but you can't let well-liked/high rep'ed community members get away with what you wouldn't let others get away with
@Holocryptic Like @Sam's previous question, confer with the other Mods, penalty box if needed.
@Sam Do you want to keep them as a site member? If someone persists in being obnoxious, bans are certainly the way to go (preceded by telling them they're out of line.)
9:28 PM
@Sam It's a tough one. Sysadmins are generally used of sarcasm/snarkyness, but there is a limit of how much one can tolerate. I'd probably warn the user of a upcoming "break" from the site until such behaviour is toned down, and then either applaud or enforce the "break", depending on the outcome
@MarkHenderson That's pretty rough. I haven't seen the queue so I couldn't say what percentage I would find valid, but I suspect it's a bit low. I know a lot of people don't want to hear the truth/answer they already know; that's got to have an impact on the flag queue. I think I hold myself to a higher standard than I would hold other to; but where the line would be I can not say. Examples are going to be really tough in this format.
The decision about what we want the site to be is a community one - If there is clearly a consensus from the community that we do not want certain types of questions (like Licensing) I'll have no remorse about closing those questions. I'll try not to make the person asking the question feel bad in the process, but we are a walled garden: Sometimes we have to pluck the weeds (undesirable questions) even if they might bear beautiful flowers.

Again I would say Meta is the place to talk about this -- That lets the person whose question got closed see that it's not just a mean Mr./Mrs. Mod ham
@MarkHenderson I guess I'm speaking of disrespect by means of either personal attack or otherwise insinuating that someone is "stupid" or something like that.
@MarkHenderson I'd see anything that's personally attacking another person as offensive, as well as the obvious sets of "offensive words".
I view personal attacks that are *meant* as personal to be offensive. I view racism as offensive. I view pornographic contributions to the site as offensive.

I view the chat as an entirely different culture from the main site and also meta as moderately different in culture. A joking "Fuck you!" in chat is all in good fun. A joking "Fuck you!" on the main site is never okay. Meta... maybe... but probably not.
9:30 PM
@KyleBrandt If I can I will answer any question. Most of the truly basic ones are often dupes and closing them as such is a good thing.
@Sam Start in on the temporary account bans; it's seem to work quite well for those users who stuck it out. If the user doesn't stick it out it's a shame we'll have to lose them on account of the tone of their otherwise correct answers. SF, like any community site, must embrace community first.
Sysadmins tend to get stereotyped with a holier-than-thou attitude. Do you feel you fall into this stereotype (in general)? Why/Why not?
@Holocryptic Flag: Close as Duplicate of 3017644
@squillman Here? With a whole ton of smarter people ready to tell you you're wrong? No way.
What would I consider offensive? Personal attacks, obvious bigotry/racism/hate speech, pornography, really vile obscenity (stuff we wouldn't even let fly in The Comms Room).

What is borderline but I wouldn't consider it offensive? F-Bombs not directed as an attack (though I'd insist on editing them out of content on the main site). Off-color jokes about stuffing misbehaving users under the datacenter floor. Politely mocking suggestions that incompetent security auditors attempt to disprove the existence of gravity....
9:32 PM
Depends on how many times he's been warned in the past. Once or twice? Make it a few more times and delete his comments. Half a dozen? At that point it comes time to bring up the mention of bannage. I prefer to have something of a "one strike and you're out" rule. I always warn before a ban, but I don't waggle the ban hammer for giggles.

I'd also bring the topic up to another mod, preferably one more tenured, to get another perspective.
@RobMoir If we bend to the will of a handful of vocal users that are new to the site, then we risk losing relevance to a larger audience. I remember seeing a statistic a while ago that said that the vast majority of traffic is from non-registered members. These users just want definitive answers to their problems. It's in the best interest of everyone to keep the site on-topic and objective. If a few disagree, then they are free to ask why in meta and in chat, but I won't bend on that.
@Sam Rude and/or offensive behavior can't be allowed. There's an escalation of warning levels about behavior, starting with comments, going to the message from the moderator, and finally suspension. Before getting to suspension I'd be talking to the other mods (either other SF mods or mods on other sites in the Teacher's Lounge)
Just fyi, we're about halfway through.
@squillman As I'm able, I try and come across as approachable rather than holier-than-thou.
@squillman Yeah, when I was 16 and the l33t3st dude around with 8 freebsd servers on the attic running IRC bots. But now, no.. You learn pretty quickly that a smile and a service-oriented attitude opens up new opportunities.
9:34 PM
No cheating, I'll know if you do cheat: Do you, off the top of your head, know what the correct procedure is for placing a user in the sinbin? (e.g. "Leave a comment, then suspend for 7 days"). if not, what do you think it should be?
@squillman Not really. Look at my history, which speaks for itself. Sure on very few occasions I've really laid something on thick, but it's something they really shouldn't have been doing. 99% of my answers don't convey they "I know more than you, I'm more important than you" attitude. I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
@MarkHenderson Absolutely not. No clue here. :)
@Holocryptic Your question relates a lot to Sam's. I'd first start with gentle reminders about tone. I see that kind of rudeness/roughness as potentially driving away more value (other users) than they're bringing to the site.
@MarkHenderson I have no idea mate, sorry.
Ideally I'd try to get the user into chat to explain why we don't want to be *too* abusive to the newbies -- this is assuming it's a case of "You're saying the right things but in the wrong way".
If the behavior doesn't stop and it feels like it's really abusive/disruptive I'd suggest that the user take a break, and if they don't take that advice (or start being a little nice) and it looks like an escalating pattern is developing a brief time-out/suspension may be in order.
9:34 PM
@squillman I get that from time to time, but only from people who are half-a**ing the job, and know full well what they're doing is going to be unmaintainable... but it's not their problem or prerogative, so I can't blame them for trying to get away with it. There is more than one "right" solution to most problems, I'm open-minded about them. Just don't try to serve me dog crap on a silver platter and expect me to fawn over the shiny.
@Holocryptic I've spoken to people like that already. Advised them that we don't like that kind of attitude and to please take some time to learn the way we do things.
A bit abrasive and yet brings lots of value? I can think of two high-rep users who meet that standard. I think in that case, you don't merely *tell* what the problem is, you *ask* them what they're thinking and what's going on in their minds. If you ask people enough questions, you can usually get a great feel for them, and get them to see themselves a bit better.

If they really don't seem to get it and keep on and on, then in that case, their technical contributions cannot ever outweigh the negative culture that they bring.
@MarkHenderson Personal attacks are always offensive. Profanity is sometimes offensive, depending on context. I tend to have a thicker skin than some. Disagreements about the validity of a question or answer without profanity or insults are silly and should not be flagged as offensive. In my opinion, if something is borderline to me, but a user involved is offended, I'll take action. If it's just people flagging because they disagree, we should beat them with a hose and then make them hug it out.
@MarkHenderson No idea. Off the top of my head, I'd think a couple of attempts to get someone to self-correct should be enough, then a suspension.
(How am I so far behind in answering questions? I must read slow...)
9:35 PM
@squillman Holier-than-thou? I try not to be, but I do probably come across that way sometimes.
@MarkHenderson No I don't know it, but I expect it to be documented somewhere. Again, I'd always try to fix things without having to resort to the sin bin, but if it's necessary then I'm sure there's some sort of process, just like a process we would follow at work if someone needed to be disciplined. I reckon 3x comments, a day in the sin bin, 2x comments and then a week in the sin bin, 1x comment and then stronger measures
@Holocryptic See my answer to @Sam -- Basically try to get the user into chat and explain that they just need to watch their tone. Im also not above calling this kind of behavior out in comments (and holding out the "I'd upvote your answer, but you're mean!" carrot to entice people into changing their wording/tone.
@MarkHenderson Don't know what it is now. Should be something like: 2x Comment, E-Mail, 1 Day Ban, 1 Week, 1 Month, 1 Year... Each escalated by a unique occurrence.
@Sam That's what the penalty box is for, right? Being new, I'd ask for the opinion of other mods, but it seems to me that if a user is repeatedly offensive, they should have to sit in time out for 7 days (or whatever the default length is), assuming they've already been warned via comments or email.
I struggle with this some days, and not others. It's strange, at any given point I suspect that I am the dumbest person in the room (this get-together included). At other times, when I see someone having done something that *appears* to be absurd, I get smug. I usually only feel it on the inside and am shamed by it (especially since I have had the good fortune of being around people that did *not* hold it in so I could see how ugly it is).

In general, aside from the water-cooler chatting about lusers, I think I stay fairly grounded. Even when I see something that looks obviously wrong, I a
9:37 PM
I think moderators, besides fulfilling the day to to day tasks, also need to set a higher example in terms of being respectful to users more than your average user (at least, ones they don't already have a good familiarity with). Is that something you have already done, or would be willing to do in the future if you are elected as a moderator?
Nope, nary a clue.

Seems like the procedure should be along these lines:
Contact with clear indication of what was done that earned the ban.
Ban for whatever length of time is appropriate.
Don't respond to diatribe. Perhaps respond to reasoned discussion.
How do you feel about old (say, more than 12 months old) content that is now off-topic due to an FAQ revision? If one user went and flagged 44 posts in 10 minutes on posts from circa 2009 stating them as off-topic, do you act on the flags?
@KyleBrandt Absolutely. Having recently acquired my first management position at $work, I am in the midst of a very personal experiment on how important it is to lead by example.
@MarkHenderson I have no idea what the process is and I would hope it's documented along the lines of leave a comment, discuss via email and then take appropriate action
@KyleBrandt You'll often see my comments on new people's questions/answers trying to guide them into "the Server Fault way".
9:39 PM
@MarkHenderson My tendency would be to just leave them.
@MarkHenderson I like the close them, but leave them in place approach. As for 44 flags in 10 minutes... I'd tell Wesley to slow down.
@KyleBrandt I would probably be a little less snarky than I can be sometimes, which I admit isn't a great example for the site. You put on a different hat as a moderator.
Well, my environment is a beautiful gilded castle with singing birdies in all the towers. Of course I'm holier than you slobs!
Seriously? Yes, in the sense that I push the *best* solution on people. I feel that there are certain times when we *can* answer a question in the way the asker expects, but we *should* instead point them at a better solution.
I for one want ServerFault to be the place people go to for GOOD answers -- sometimes that means the answer is "Don't do that. You'll break the internet and I'll come to your door and yell at you!"
@MarkHenderson There's a specific defined procedure? Comment on specific behaviors when they happen. Set up a private chat \ and @@ ping them (and the other mods) for a little talk. Send a mod message without clicking the suspension checkbox. Send a message and click the suspension checkbox for a day to 7 days (first time around). Somewhere very early in there ask other SF mods (or other mods), because it can be easy to allow personal feelings to be involved in situations like that.
@KyleBrandt I'm certain there have been a few occurrences when I haven't lived up to my intended standards, but they're few and far between. I don't expect anyone to be perfect, but I do expect them to try at least a little.
9:40 PM
@KyleBrandt I think I am respectful to people on the site. I'd rather ask others to answer that for me since I may not be the best judge of myself. I generally like to treat people well, regardless of their treatment of me. Not sure if it works out like that on the outside though. Someone poke me if I'm not what I think I am. =)
@Holocryptic I think that it's important to remind that user that everyone was new to being a SA at one time or another. No one was born being able to read wireshark captures, except maybe Evan Anderson. Everyone was also new to SF at one point or another as well. Without these new members that this user is belittling, we wouldn't have a community to participate in. I'd give that user every opportunity to reform, but if it comes down to it, no one user is more important than community growth.
@MarkHenderson If the question has answers then i'd probably lock+protect it. No point in removing data from the site that once were allowed.

Lock them all and leave CLEAR reason as to why it's not appropriate now. Future culture must be preserved in the face of old questions when the goals were not well stated or well followed.
@KyleBrandt I don't have any problem with "being respectful." If I do magically become a mod, I hope it wouldn't mean I'd have to stop posting ponies. I already try to avoid snarky comments on bad questions, but am a bit more abusive on Chat...
@KyleBrandt I try to be polite at all times and have brought matters to the communities attention
9:41 PM
@MarkHenderson For old questions I'd allow a bit more leniency, but if it's way off topic I'd act on the flags just like any other question.
I don't know off hand, but absent other information (pattern of behavior, etc.) it would take something *really* drastic: REALLY offensive content, major disruption/ad-hominem attacks, etc. - and it's probably something I would bring to other mods (TL) before taking that kind of a step.
I'm much more a proponent of correcting behavior through constructive modification than bans/deletions/etc.
@Iain and we love you for that mate
@MarkHenderson I'd probably tell them to slow down and stop with the badge hunting ;) I'd probably lock/close them but not delete them to show others this kind of thing is off-topic
@Iain Oh, sure, bring up the fact that we all want to live up to your standards!
@KyleBrandt Yes, I always try to be respectful to the other SE users, especially the ones that annoy me
9:43 PM
@squillman To users that are PITAs and insist that they are always right, of course. I am holier-than-them when it comes to my network. That's why I'm the one getting paid to run it and they're getting paid to crunch numbers in Excel. That said, I think that user horror stories give us SAs a "common enemy" for lack of a better word. User stories are something that everyone can relate to and actually help build a good community in [chat] and in comments.
I think everyone should be setting a good example in that regard.
I'm not above telling people their ideas are dangerous/bad/The Wrong Thing, but I always try to be gentle when doing so (unless they're about to drive their entire company off a cliff. There is a point where nice stops and "NO." begins)
In particular right now when I vote to close questions I usually leave a comment explaining why it's not a good fit (and try to offer suggestions about how the asker can find their own answer). Stuff like that would definitely continue if I were a mod.
Should something be done to encourage people to vote more? If so, what would you do?
Do you think you will be more active if granted mod status? If so, would you see it as an opportunity to promote the site? If so, are there other things you think you could do to promote/improve the site?
I, of course, try to lead by example. I also tried to get a new badge for ballot-box-stuffers on meta.SO. I also have a misguided sense of how significant it is that I vote a lot.
@Iain I'm still a bit disappointed that you held back your opinion until it boiled over into a massive meta post... I think a lot of people felt blind sided by that. I want to be very clear that I agree with what you had to say and think you should have bought it up more often, we need those reminders.
9:45 PM
@MarkHenderson I believe it's to warn them in comments, then to warn them in a private email, then give them a 7-day time out. If that's the procedure (or close), then I'm OK with it. If it's not, then I wouldn't really know how to suggest a change right now. There are 40+ SE sites. I'm sure the policy is well thought out. I'm not in any position to suggest a change until I better understand the system and have some experience with it.
@Ward I don't think encouragement is the way to go anymore. I used to, but not now. If you dangle a carrot, you get people chasing carrots, not taking a better path for cogent reasons. I think it is what it is and we have enough encouragement now with the red pop-ups that chide people gently for not voting on questions as well as the badge system.
@Ward I think so, yes. However, I get annoyed by the red "vote reminder" boxes that pop up from time to time, so I'm not sure how to best promote it. Possibly by a focused effort in meta and possibly a blog post or two.
I would not action those flags, and I would explain to the user that the general rule is "old content stays where it is unless the other site asks us for it".
If they were going around flagging old *junk* with no answers to be closed/deleted that would be a different animal.
@Holocryptic Probably not more active, but differently. A bit less time voting, more time dealing with flags and editing.
@Ward Nope
9:46 PM
I would be more effective as a result of my interest in going back through our history and closing topics that are clearly not right for ServerFault. No more bogging the existing mods down with 44 flags per night! I don't think I can promote the site any more than I already do with my blog, I'm wearing a SF T-shirt right now, I have an SF sticker on my iPhone and on my laptop lid. =)

EDIT: Sorry! I misunderstood the question. I would be about the same activity level. I would answer questions less, but I'm already letting that slip anyway. My time on the site and my Q/A activity would not b
@MarkHenderson If it's now off-topic, I'd be strongly inclined to close. Though with 11 seconds per post, I'd be highly suspect that the user wasn't being careful about checking the posts.
@Ward I think the pop-up is more than enough. If that doesn't encourage them, then nothing will. We've had the debate before, and it's harder to come up with extremely intelligent/unique questions on SF than say - SO.
@Holocryptic I feel the amount of time I spend would stay the same, but I would spend more time with administrativa than actually answering questions. Regarding site promotion, there's a good reason I'm not in marketing. :)
@Holocryptic I'd think I'd be about the same. Possibly slightly less active while taking care of mod "dirty work".
What is the biggest problem that we have within the SF community?
9:47 PM
@Ward A lot is being done to encourage more voting (shiiiiny badges! Pretty!) -- I do try to encourage people to vote by my example (I'm working on using all of my votes more often - or at least getting closer to the limit every day), and if I see someone with a bunch of answered questions and a 0% accept rate who hasn't already been gently nudged I will usually drop a comment on new questions encouraging them to upvote/accept more...
Evening All, sorry to come dropping in like this. Had to cover something at work.
@ChrisS I didn't link to that post. I understand what you are saying , I could have done it better ( and chosen a better day) but I was pushed for time and the comment from @voretaq7 was too good an opportunity to miss.
@Holocryptic I don't think I would spend more time on the site, as I'm already here.. alot.. I would probably be a bit more awake about promoting SX (not just SF) to coworkers, business partners etc. We really need more professionals!
@squillman Not sure it's the biggest, but we could certainly use more "regulars."
@squillman Our lack of focus on what is and is not acceptable to ask and answer.
9:49 PM
@KyleBrandt Everyone has their bad days, myself included. I've told users to read man-pages or talk to their vendor instead of providing an easy answer. That said, I've also encouraged many users to join [chat] or post on Meta Server Fault, even if I wasn't directly involved in the incident in question. I do make a conscious effort to help any new user that has helped themselves, i.e. has already read the faq and asked a good, detailed question.
@squillman Honestly, I think lack of visibility and marketing are a huge issue. I'd love to see SF sponsoring local LUG meetings, having booths at trade shows, etc. I run into sysadmins all the time who have never heard SF.
I consider being a mod an additional "as time allows" thing, much like the 10k tools. It is my intent to continue to answer questions and remain active in that part of the site, up to and including doing "alternate days" (one day modding, one day answering) if I get that overloaded.

I consider promotion/improvement of the site a separate beast: I do try to get good talent to look at SF and other stack sites (and hopefully they stay around and participate), but I don't consider that part of mod-ship. It's part of being a community member.
@squillman I'm still certain that we need way more "heavy-weights" who can provide expertise on the really tough enterprise questions. The only way to attract them is to get more of the hard questions. Other than that, I don't think we're exactly plagued with problems.
@squillman I think our core group of die-hard people that answer questions on a regular basis is pretty slim. So, we would need to expand that. How? Promoting. Friends, Collegues to start with.
How much interaction have you had with the dev team and SE staff?
9:50 PM
@Ward I think encouraging some more selective voting might be more important. The highest voted questions aren't necessarily the best. A lot of the voting encouragement is in the platform already.
@squillman Kyle likes to ban me for no apparent reason. That's just about it.
@squillman None. Well, there was one email from Joel about 6 years ago, does that count?
15ish minutes left, if you've got a question, speak now or forever hold your peace
Seriously? I think we're too mean to the newbs. We aren't "ZOMG WORSE THAN USENET!", but sometimes we're not as gentle as we should be when we zot a bad/off-topic question.
This is part of why I've taken to adding comments when I vote to close as OT/NARQ: Explain why the question is bad, where they can get answers, and encourage them to come back with better questions.
@squillman People who are really good at being administrators will find the answer to their question searching the pipes faster than waiting for an expert to wander by. The vast majority of questions are from mediocre and lousy admins (lumped in here are people who aren't actually admins, but wearing that hat). I'm not sure if the System Administration subject space is just too diverse for a Q&A site to really take off like SO has, or if it's a factor of the target audience.
9:51 PM
@squillman I've had very little, aside from a few brief interactions on MSF or answering a question that @KyleBrandt asked.
@squillman None with the dev team. I know Kyle, George and Rebecca best. Never interacted with other SE employees that I know of.
(but don't flood the candidates)
@RebeccaChernoff Are smileys like this ===> (:
no. they are proper! (:
@MarkHenderson The will of the community changes from time to time. Something that was once on topic and is now off-topic is fair game for flags, as far as I'm concerned. Many users point to old, but currently OT questions as justification for asking new OT questions.
9:52 PM
@RebeccaChernoff Are you little endian or big endian? That would explain the smileys.
@squillman Whenever they drop into The Comms Room it's always fun to pick their brain, but that's about it.
@Holocryptic Yes, I would be more active. Promotion can really be done by anybody, and the skills to be a good promoter are different than the skills of being a good moderator. So, no, I probably wouldn't be doing any more promotion than the "get some friends or co-workers or FB followers to check something on SF out" stuff that I've done before.
@WesleyDavid Isn't that a bit personal?
@WesleyDavid Dude, you don't ask a lady that kind of question!
@Ward blushes
9:52 PM
SE staff mostly in chat/site questions. Developers mostly through meta/metaSO.
I wouldn't say I've had *extensive* interaction, but I'm not entirely unknown to the StackExchange team, and they either like me or politely tolerate my eccentricities.
I try not to be too much of a pest
/me is speechless
@MarkHenderson I would prefer to leave old content that has been superseded by the FAQ left as it is. - perhaps locked to new answers and I really don't see much point in sending old content to new sites unless they specifically ask for it. I wouldn't do anything except lock questions with accepted answers. If the person doing it were doing so in good faith I wouldn't decline them but equally I might not action them.
Wow, who let the white elephant into the room?
@pauska he's a cat, he has no tact.
9:53 PM
@Ward Everyone should vote more except for you. You deserve a voting vacation. I'm not sure there's anything that a mod can do to encourage it, other than reminding people to in meta and chat when it's appropriate.
sorry, cat head
@squillman Probably the laying it on a bit thick for the people who don't quite follow our conventions or post off-topic stuff here. There can be a tendency for a bit of verbal towards the newbies, and that's not necessary. The problem needs to be dealt with by migrating or closing, not nasty comments.
Question: Is Super User our dumping ground for all the crappy off-topic questions that we get?
@squillman Oh, Peter Grace too. He was the first question that I threw a bounty on.
A question (clear, has all revelant technical information) asks how to route some traffic around a firewall. The asker mentions that he has no control over the firewall itself. Do you close the question with an explanation of why you think it's wrong? Close with a harsh word? Destroy the asker's account? Answer the question?
9:54 PM
@MarkHenderson NO WAY! We do our best not to migrate crap.
What do you feel should be done with homework questions?
I rarely see migrate to SU... lots of straight close as OT
@MarkHenderson No - it's a destination only for questions that are on-topic for SU.
@squillman I've raised a few issues on MSO and I talk with the Kyle, George and Peter in the comms room. Nothing major though
@Holocryptic I already am very active, I don't see that dropping off. I also link to SF on my blog, and my g+ profile. I encourage people at work to participate in the community as well. I don't see myself doing more than I currently do, but I currently do a decent amount of promoting.
9:54 PM
@squillman Tough questions don't get as much visibility as easy questions. Not every sysadmin on the planet knows about SF.
@MarkHenderson Of course not. =) In fact, I think we need to coordinate with them more to know what should just be closed as off topic and left with a link to the canonical SU answer for that questions.
@Sam If they're reasonable, fine. But if it's a totally contrived situation, then close as OT (not by a pro sysadmin).
@Sam Chopper had a great idea with apprentices. I think we should peruse this and help students out. Mind you, we're not gong to make their homework for them.
@squillman I've sent them some emails when asking for their help to deal with some tags - reorganising and blackholing and in particular.
@MarkHenderson NO. NO. NO. More than once I've posted comments begging people to close as OT and not migrate to super user. I firmly believe in "Don't migrate crap" and I think my past actions really show that
9:55 PM
@Gilles Explain that as professionals, it would be unethical for me to help subvert someone else's network.
@MarkHenderson No, it's not our dumping ground. Most of the time when it's crap, it gets closed. Not migrated
@MarkHenderson No, we're SO's sewer.. I never migrate crap, ever.. and I get the feeling that our user's are quite picky on that
@squillman I think that the biggest problem is probably the number of bad questions that get asked by new users. Many of them can be fixed with some editing love, but others need a firm push to the faq.
@MarkHenderson I don't think any site migrates crap like SO.
@Sam If they're well-asked and there's evidence that the OP put some thought and effort in, then leave it open and help the person along.
9:56 PM
/ @Iain re: the meta post in question, I think that meta post got a bunch of excess negativity because of proximate events in chat the following day. I agree with the sentiment: Sometimes we blow off too much steam, and we don't want to be scaring people out of chat (or off the main site) because of it.

I have a lot of faith in us as a community: I think when topics like that are brought up on Meta we all take a serious look at them and reflect on how we should behave in the future.

In fact if I had similar misgivings about sone aspect of our community I'd probably put up a very similar
Brilliant, now that you've all answered the question correctly, i will kick you in the balls (no females running) when you migrate something to SU that's inappropriate
@squillman I've had a fair amount of interaction with SE staff (mostly in the teacher's lounge). The devs aren't in there as often, but some with them. One of the devs implemented mobile device improvements that I asked for, even.
@Gilles I'm a firewall admin, so I'd probably get someone to go to his house and burn it down. Plus, I'd explain in a comment why I'm closing it, and then be done with it.
Do you think we close questions too quickly that can be salvaged with some editing? If so, can you think of a way to combat this?
@Gilles Little comment to tell him that we are not going to help him do these kinds of things. Vote for close will do the rest
9:57 PM
@Gilles Simple note that we don't condone the breaking of policy. Case closed.
@squillman I've posted various bugs on mSO and have had good feedback. I also chat with George, Kyle, and Peter whenever they're in chat. From what I can tell, they're all nice people as long as you can back up concerns or suggestions with research or well-thought-out answers.
@Gilles Depends on the circumstances. You've alluded that their trying to violate some policy, but haven't made it clear... Really need that distinction before proceeding.
and i'm out of stars
@MarkHenderson No! Don't migrate crap. Only good questions that are on-topic for a destination should be migrated.
@Gilles Questions like that are generally met with some hostility by some users. If they specifically say they have no control over the firewall then maybe we should try to make the question more generic, so it's something somebody might come across when searching on Google when as a sysadmin they need to do that
9:57 PM
@Sam Simple note saying that we don't do homework questions, but do hope they come along well in their education. Perhaps a token link to a search term or a canonical answer.
@MarkHenderson You need to be able to dole out deputies to help with that
Yes. And it shouldn't be.
I'm not a fan of dumping everything on SU. Sometimes there are better fits (U&L) and sometimes the question is ***crap*** and should be closed OT, but it's accumulated too many votes and winds up on SU.
As a mod I'd be more inclined to mod-hammer things OT if I think moving them to SU would be "dumping".
@Holocryptic Sometimes we do. had a few times I was busy editing but the question was closed before I could Safe. Reopen, edit and let them try again.
@Gilles If he explains what valid tech reason he has for doing it, fine, otherwise it's OT.
@Sam I'm a bit 50/50 on that subject. I personally think that students should be reading books/lab'ing/researching to learn how stuff works, not just ask questions here to get a quick answer. But I also realize that we always want more users on the site.. It's a tough one.
9:58 PM
@Gilles Our community appear quite settled on not answering those questions. As sysadmins the correct answer is to go speak to the people who administer the firewall and negotiate an exception for your requirement
@MarkHenderson No, it's not. In fact, I'm 10k (though inactive) on SU, so I know how frustrating it is to have crap dumped there. Just like any other site, SU should be respected and crap should be outright closed here. We need to respect their FAQ, just like we want SO to respect ours.
Yes, in fact I Was guilty of that last night and @MarkHenderson poked me about it.

I need to be less lazy.
@Holocryptic Yes, most certainly. I think the OP should be at least given a chance to improve their question before it gets closed.
All of the above?
I'd start by asking WHY they were trying to get around the firewall, and WHAT they want to accomplish.
If it's clear they're trying to circumvent policy I'd kill the question with a note that policy circumvention questions are (will be) off-topic per the FAQ.
@Holocryptic I agree, questions are sometimes closed way too fast. People (not just mods) should get better at commenting and giving people a chance to edit their question before locking them out.
9:59 PM
@Gilles I wouldn't do anything. Policy subversion is generally off-topic, but as a mod, I wouldn't cast the binding vote on it. I'd let 5 3k+ users take care of it.
@Sam Just because someone is doing homework, it doesn't mean their question is invalid. I've certainly had some questions when reading through Microsoft books and I do this every day. Someone who's studying to do this every day might need some coaching, and provided they've proved they've done some research I'll help them out. If I don't think they deserve it, I'll not answer it, but no closing is necessary
@Holocryptic Sometimes we do. I think a comment that the asker can edit their question to make it better and then flag it would be appropriate in some cases. Then if they don't fix it, leaving it closed is usually right.
17:00 - 22:0022:00 - 23:00

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