2015 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 Sep 8 '15 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

13,889 voters were eligible, 2,658 visited the site during the election, 2,012 visited the election page, and 793 voted

I'm not sure why I'm running again

Rep is the first and only thing most voters look at and I don't have the rep of the other serious candidates.

Scott, EEAA, HBruijn, TheCleaner, Falcon, and womble, would all be good mods and so would a few more who I'm not as familiar with.

I don't think SE likes me (based on comments during the election/Noob dramas and that they never sent me a T-shirt after the last election!)

Involvement counts for something

I'm the most active voter on SF (and for all of SE) and open/close reviewer. I read a lot of the Qs and As and know what's a good fit.

I'm active on meta.SF and meta.SE, so I'm aware of many of the questions and concerns people have about SF and SE sites in general.

What I would do (maybe differently)

One idea I got from the dramas was that the only hope for handling "bad" content on SF is to have more people involved. Mods can't do it all.

So I would try to encourage more people to participate. More voting and reviewing will help deal with good/bad content.

I don't know exactly how I'd do this, I have some meta posts in mind, some ideas for canned comments, but that's all I've got so far.

  • Another excellent candidate from last year. I'm glad to see you run again! – Katherine Villyard Aug 30 '15 at 23:49
  • P.S. Here's Ward's answers from last year. – Katherine Villyard Aug 30 '15 at 23:54
  • If "leading by example" counts for anything, you've got leadership potential in spades. – womble Aug 31 '15 at 11:43

My Motivation

I feel that in any field community involvement makes everyone better. Communities allow us to learn from one another, to make use of resources we might not otherwise have had, and to build pride in your work. As a rule technologists tend towards anti-social making community involvement all the more important.

All too often new professionals are thrust into the role with no real training and, at best, a large amount of zeal. Providing this as an open forum, and encouraging a community that people want to join, supports professional growth in ways never before attainable.

About My Contribution

I have long been an active member of the StackExchange network joining ServerFault during public beta. I want this to be a site where I could proudly display my name to my peers. I see this site as a professional endeavour, and as such, I want the professionalism to be evident. I try to keep the standards high by way of editing and flagging. The best examples of that work is the fact that I was the seventh user to earn the Deputy badge, for submitting helpful tags, and am easily on the first page of editors.

  • A Grade guy right here. Great to see you run! – TheCleaner Aug 28 '15 at 2:50

I've spent a fair amount of time on Server Fault. I've answered a lot of questions, helped a lot of people, and pissed off a number of people after providing well-needed dope slaps for doing things they shouldn't or trying to fix issues in ways that would do nothing but make things worse in the future.

In my time at Server Fault, I've gone from "Really Excited, Reputation-hungry n00b" to "Disenfranchised BOFH (get off my lawn, kthx)" to currently "I'm trying my best to improve this place".

SF is for professionals. Above all, I strive to live up to that standard, and to encourage professional questions, answers, and comments from others. I don't care if you're a beginner. We all started somewhere. As long as you've:

  1. Done your due diligence (we're not here to do your job for you)
  2. Are accepting of answers you might not want to hear

...your question (as long as it's on topic) is welcome. For situations where correction or guidance is needed, it will be given in a gentle, respectful manner.

This is the modus operandi by which I would discharge my responsibilities if elected as a moderator.

  • As a recipient of your dope slaps, I approve this message. – Wesley Aug 27 '15 at 21:30
  • Candidate score of 39...slacker. ;) – TheCleaner Aug 28 '15 at 2:51
  • @TheCleaner There's still some room for improvement! – EEAA Aug 28 '15 at 3:16

I believe a better title for a Moderator is actually as a Facilitator. First and foremost this is a community driven site and moderation actions should be weighed based on that community. As part of that belief I've participated in what review queues I'm able to access and flagging posts I felt needed attention.

In the world of gaming I've been a volunteer Moderator and Game Operator. I understand that in this position you can't please everyone, but you can be fair. I pledge that if elected I will follow the guidance of the community while respecting the rules of the site to evenly and effectively apply the powers bestowed upon Moderators.

ServerFault is your site and it's your content and often represents a source of pride and accomplishment. Your Moderator should understand that simple premise and you should vote accordingly.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm BigHomie. I'd make a good moderator because

  • I have skills at resolving disputes

  • I can recognize when a question's quality can be improved to fit the standards of the site

  • I care about the future of SF

You may have noticed my rep is pretty low compared to some of the heavy hitters here. Note though that the nowadays we rarely collect upvotes on questions and answers as before.

You may have also noticed that my activity on SF and SE in general has dwindled this year. Because of life circumstances I have less time to spend on SE in general this year, however that's coming to and end in a couple of months, and even now I still pop in to view the queues and answer questions or comment on answers.

I don't really have a platform, but I will say I know the children are our future, we need to teach them well and help them lead the way.

I also have zero tolerance for trolls.

I believe in comments being left when downvoting, unless the reason is blatantly obvious.

  • How do you define the trolls? – peterh Aug 27 '15 at 18:26
  • @peterh I define a troll as someone who's main purpose (on this site) is not to add or contribute anything to help the site, while at the same time attempting either cause tension or just plain spam the site. On SF from what I've seen it's mostly just people spamming the site. – MDMoore313 Aug 27 '15 at 18:42
  • SF has a sophisticated spam filter, the few tries to advertise things are filtered out very fast by the reviewers, why would it need moderator intervention? – peterh Aug 27 '15 at 18:45
  • I didnt say it would need moderator intervention, I'm just saying if I came across it, I wouldn't let it fly, just as I don't now. I've also come across some pretty slick advertising disguised as answers as well. – MDMoore313 Aug 27 '15 at 18:50
  • I like your meta posts and I like that (at least I think what you believe) you feel the moderator is a role of helping users rather than making sure as many questions as possible get closed before someone accidentally answers one. – Jim B Aug 28 '15 at 5:51
  • I like that you're patient, fair, and genuinely nice--all excellent qualities for a moderator. Your meta posts are also good. – Katherine Villyard Aug 28 '15 at 15:41

I'll help trigger a primary season for the election.

I'd like to think that I channel the inner spirit of Iain, HopelessN00b, and Michael Hampton, or at least some vague combination and facsimile thereof.

If elected, I'd prefer to be fairly hands-off. I'd review flags and get involved with issues that can't be handled by the community, but I'd avoid participating in VTCs or VTMs with uberhammer mod powers (outside of blatantly obvious violations, of course).

I'd try to put forth more of an effort to ask and answer questions. I haven't been very motivated to do that lately, but I'd work on it.

I believe in a high standard for questions, even if it means fewer questions and a smaller community overall. I believe in the need for complete answers that are not just blind links, though adding sources are always welcome. I believe that posting your own Q and As for self-promotion is not acceptable.

Like many of our core members, I don't hold the SE team in particularly high regard following the events that transpired earlier this year. I don't care for the previous few years of absentee parenting, either. If that's a problem for you, then I suppose you shouldn't vote for me.

I don't think the role of moderators has changed much since last year and neither have I so I won't reiterate much of what I had to say in the 2014 elections:

The active members of the community are the ones who decide on the scope of the site and are the principle arbiters of whether any topic, question or answer is suitable or not.

The moderator role I would want is one that supports our idea's for a community of professionals, by both encouraging newcomers but also generous application of the LART when needed as well. Excesses are typically glaringly obvious and moderator intervention is much quicker than 5 community votes.

The moderator role only works when it is respected by the community. I would like to think I have an established track record of useful comments, edits and answers that sets a good example. As a moderator I expect I'll be doing much of what I was already doing anyway and I honestly don't plan to do all that much more actually...

  • Another one of the strong contenders from last year, who unfortunately did not make it! Well I guess I can look into voting the exact same way this year the way things are panning out. – Reaces Aug 27 '15 at 7:18
  • Works for me thanks for nominating. Being in Europe can only be a help too with most of the other ♦ and candidates being stacked into USdian timezones. – Iain Aug 27 '15 at 11:03
  • I had an issue with your nomination, but couldn't put my finger on it. However thinking about it I don't understand I honestly don't plan to do all that much more. Why would someone ask for more responsibilities and the tools to be able to better serve the community, only to do just about the same things they were before? – Reaces Aug 27 '15 at 22:02
  • I don't plan to take on epic projects such as the bad tag burnation especially in light of the fact that among others the plesk , cpanel and whm tags that have recently been resurrected again. I have neither the inclination nor the time for that. – HBruijn Aug 28 '15 at 4:16

Nominating myself for the second year in a row. I feel that I've grown considerably since my last campaign, and with luck, I'll only receive a dozen or so "Why should we pick you?" comments and questions.

  • Allow me the honor of being the first one to say... Probably not. You have in the year since the first election only cast a single flag. How do you expect to be granted moderator responsibilities if you show no interest whatsoever in actually moderating the site? – Reaces Aug 25 '15 at 18:38
  • Your answers to the community questions last election cycle were poorly received. Has your platform changed since last year? – Katherine Villyard Aug 25 '15 at 19:17
  • Your activity is suspicious – mate64 Aug 26 '15 at 14:50
  • SF took a left turn from the other SE communities a while back. Unless you've decided to take the complete opposite approach from last year you have almost no chance of being elected- have you? – Jim B Aug 28 '15 at 5:56

I'll throw my hat into the ring. I know the U.S. CDT has good coverage already, and even more so with Mark Henderson moving this way, but if the need is there, I'm happy to serve.

Why should you elect me? I wish I had a great political answer with suave and gusto. Honestly, I'm just pretty laid back and have been around SF long enough to know what flies and what doesn't. I have no real agenda or platform other than to follow A Theory of Moderation and to be respectful during moderation. I'm very busy at my job these days, but this is one of the few sites I still try to visit on a daily basis. If that concerns you that I wouldn't be here 8 hours a day, then I may not be the person for the job.

I think Server Fault is a great resource for server admins. It's easy to get around on, it's simple in its overall mission, and it is free. It has a lot of crap as well, but it's expected with a mass audience.

I enjoy the friends I've found here on SF, and while there's always room for improvement and I can "long for the good old days of SF" the site is still one of the best around considering its scope.

  • I would say that you fulfill the "patient and fair," "leads by example," and "shows respect for fellow community members" qualifications. – Katherine Villyard Aug 25 '15 at 16:44
  • Thank you @KatherineVillyard – TheCleaner Aug 25 '15 at 18:29
  • While I think you're a great contributor to ServerFault, I have one remark. Out of the three serious candidates so far you have by far the least flags cast, while you've been a member as long as Womble and have been more active than Falcon Momot. Mind if I ask why? Do you not use the review queue that often? – Reaces Aug 25 '15 at 18:47
  • @Reaces thanks for the question. Probably because I never understood how it really worked. I have about 1500 reviews total I believe, and was in the top 20 all time for close vote reviews until recently. I never felt like there was much point in flagging something that was already in Review. I guess I don't quite understand still how the process should work. I always flagged something on Main that I saw as necessary to flag, but very rarely do it in Review since I figure its silly to flag something already there. Maybe that's the wrong way to do it? – TheCleaner Aug 25 '15 at 19:05
  • @TheCleaner When something is in the first post, late answer or low quality queue it hasn't yet been flagged, it's just been picked up by the SO automated processes. So those should probably be flagged if inappropriate. – Reaces Aug 25 '15 at 19:10
  • @Reaces thanks, that's good to know. Something I didn't know. I wish I could say I understand after all these years the way the site operates in the background (like Hampton and others seem to pick up so easily). I'm definitely not the top choices here, I love Falcon and Womble, but if for some reason you need a 3rd and it comes down to me and Evan...well... :) I have reached over ~2M users according to my profile and tend to be active on Meta and Slack for the site as well. – TheCleaner Aug 25 '15 at 19:28
  • @TheCleaner For me at this date in this election you are in my top list. Everyone got really good profile, but I like your tone in comment & how you deal with users generally. As some users are exasperated vs newbie on the site and I don't feel that from you when you comment. – yagmoth555 Aug 25 '15 at 19:42
  • @yagmoth555 - thank you for the kind words – TheCleaner Aug 25 '15 at 20:46
  • Thank heavens. Three decent candidates :) – Journeyman Geek Aug 26 '15 at 5:24
  • MH is a peaceful mod, while your nick shows you want "cleanup", i.e. destruct content. – peterh Aug 27 '15 at 18:30
  • @peterh - you should click on my profile and the Youtube clip that shows where my nick comes from. It was given to me years ago for my ability to clean up another IT person's mess. – TheCleaner Aug 27 '15 at 19:15
  • @TheCleaner Also the street name for someone who makes crime scenes vanish before the authorities show up, so you are clearly here to murder and pillage. QED. – Wesley Aug 27 '15 at 21:34
  • @Wesley Originally meant "a field to the west" clearly an implied "wasteland to the west", which is terrorist rhetoric if I ever saw it! QED. (I like this game we should play it more often) – Reaces Aug 27 '15 at 22:04
  • @Reaces Your name has homolytic similarities to the Reese's candy company which makes preservative laden, fat filled candies sold to hundreds of millions of people, so clearly you are interested in the mass murder of the world population over long periods of time making you worse than Hitler. – Wesley Aug 28 '15 at 1:13

I'd like to nominate myself for one of the available moderator posts. I've been around this community since 2012, and I've found it very helpful throughout my career. I've used this community to find people to hire and solutions to many of my professional quandaries.

I have seen many changes in the site in the past year. The close vote queue growth persists as one of these; another is a gradual shift toward automation-related questions and the need to keep the thrust of the site current as system administrators more frequently develop software.

I've continued to participate in reviewing and answer questions; I've written 574 answers, including the canonical DDoS response I am under DDoS. What can I do?.

If given a shiny diamond, I promise to be involved in the encouragement of positive contributions to our community, particularly by ensuring the front page reflects the types of questions that exemplify our topic.

  • It's a shame you weren't elected last year, your answers to the community questions were some of the best of the lot. Everyone who is even a little bit interested in the elections should read up on last years'. – Reaces Aug 25 '15 at 13:36
  • I agree with Reaces 100%. – Katherine Villyard Aug 25 '15 at 16:44
  • As do I. I will vote for you again. – Jenny D Aug 27 '15 at 14:50
  • I approve of this guy, despite his vanilla bean look and personality. – TheCleaner Aug 28 '15 at 2:53
  • As a mod on another site, and someone who's known falcon for ages (and I suspect introduced him to SF), I believe he's make a great moderator. – Journeyman Geek Aug 28 '15 at 2:55

I've been a user on SF for a long time (since the beta), and I've been active as a "community moderator" since I got the appropriate rep-privs. I've got a couple of hundred actioned flags to my name, nearly 500 edits, over 3,500 votes, and I'll probably break 1,000 reviews today (I'm at 987 as I write this). I typically either hit my review limit or there aren't enough items to review each day -- I'm pretty diligent in exercising the privileges I already have, and I intend to continue to do that with the expanded privileges granted to me as an elected moderator.

One thing I'd specifically like to focus on as a moderator is encouraging a professional level of interaction between everyone on the site. Questions which wouldn't pass muster if a colleague asked them should be quickly fixed or nuked, while answers and comments which you'd be embarrassed to present to your boss should receive a similar treatment.

  • Womble is in the UTC+10 timezone. Currently I'm in this timezone, but only for another 3 weeks, when I move to a UTC-5 timezone. It would be good to have a set of hands to cover this zone. – Mark Henderson Aug 25 '15 at 0:30
  • That's a good point. Thanks, @MarkHenderson. – womble Aug 25 '15 at 0:31
  • Do your comments and actions on this question accurately reflect your "passion for helping people?". If so, why? – user76347 Aug 25 '15 at 2:08
  • Yes, they do. Large numbers of extremely poor questions dissuade people from participating in the site, and poor quality content on the site in general reduces the "Google value" of the site overall. ServerFault is not "ask a sysadmin-dot-com", it's a resource for professional sysadmins to help each other and find solutions to the problems they specifically face. The question you cite did nothing to further that goal. – womble Aug 25 '15 at 2:15
  • @PaulWhite Sometimes, telling people they are out of their depth is the best way to help them. That very much applies to the question you link to. – Iain Aug 25 '15 at 6:58
  • Judging by your contributions the last few months I'd very much like to vote for you during the next part of the election. However so far your nomination can be summed up in one sentence. I plan to close/delete really bad questions. Is this the only thing you expect to have to do as a moderator? Or more likely is this the reason you're running? I'd very much appreciate a bit more meat to your candidacy! – Reaces Aug 25 '15 at 8:27
  • @PaulWhite I agree with you as it was migrated and I seen worst question on SF. BUT, womble did commented why he flagged a close vote. It's rare that people told why, we might agree or disagree, but at least he told is point and by doing so he give the OP the chance to answer back. (Myselft I found it offtopic too, server configuration is for me a talk with a CSE&vendor, as they can simulate the load and suggest proper raid controller and such, a talk a lot over SF's can have. A bad suggestion can backstab the OP) – yagmoth555 Aug 25 '15 at 12:41
  • Well, I know who I'm voting for – dyasny Aug 25 '15 at 15:27
  • @Reaces no, I don't plan to only close/delete really bad questions. It seemed a little redundant to say, "I would do all the things that moderators usually do". I felt that should be a given for someone who nominates to be a moderator. – womble Aug 25 '15 at 20:55
  • I just mean I'm back and I will close questions doesn't give me much to go on. As compared to here's what I've done before being a mod and here's why you should elect me. Saying "well the other stuff was just so obvious I didn't say it" somehow rubs me the wrong way. – Reaces Aug 25 '15 at 21:17
  • @Reaces Fair enough, I'll add some more info to my... not sure what to call it... perhaps "nomination speech"? <grin> – womble Aug 25 '15 at 22:59
  • Would you do anything differently with the benefit of hindsite on the question @PaulWhite linked to? – Jim B Aug 27 '15 at 18:14
  • @JimB truthfully, I probably wouldn't have left the comment explaining why I voted to close it. There was practically no chance the question was going to be improved, because it was a migration, so there was little value in explaining why the question needed closing. – womble Aug 27 '15 at 20:41
  • I appreciate the honesty, but IMHO we can't have another mod that would perform actions in an opaque manner. – Jim B Aug 28 '15 at 6:09

I've now been unbanned for at least a year. But, you'll see even during that ban I was contributing massively to the corpus of useful material. I've experienced steady growth in this community throughout -- nothing holds me down. I feel like my skills in the LINUX are a huge asset; and, that as an admin we can all work together to make this leg of the trilogy shine.

If elected to moderator, I promise to build a wall. A massive firewall. I will keep StackExchange and Jeff out. And, I'll make them pay for it. They'll pay to host the firewall. I will make it happen. I can build firewalls. No one builds firewalls like me; and, no one else will build a firewall.

Some turds can't be polished. But with my help, this one can be. For a sovereign, secure, and independent ServerFault,


  • Oh yeah? Well I've been unbanned for two years. Vote for me! – Doorknob Aug 24 '15 at 20:28
  • Did you call ServerFault a turd? If so, did you mean to do so? And if you did, why would you want to moderate a turd, even if it can be polished? – Thomas Owens Aug 24 '15 at 20:31
  • why were you banned? – cnst Aug 24 '15 at 20:31
  • also, who is Jeff? – cnst Aug 24 '15 at 20:33
  • @ThomasOwens because I can make our network great again. next question. – Evan Carroll Aug 24 '15 at 20:33
  • @Doorknob To be at same level than him it's not wrote, but you must insult SE in your profile bio too – yagmoth555 Aug 24 '15 at 20:33
  • @cnst you'd have to ask the junta. – Evan Carroll Aug 24 '15 at 20:33
  • who's the junta? – cnst Aug 24 '15 at 20:34
  • @cnst Jeff and crew. People undemocratically employed by StackExchange. next question. – Evan Carroll Aug 24 '15 at 20:34
  • For the 100 millionth time... there's a space between "server" and "fault". – Nathan Osman Aug 24 '15 at 20:35
  • @NathanOsman We don't have time to be politically correct. We have real problems. You call it what you want. I'll call it what I want. We know what we're talking about, right? next question. – Evan Carroll Aug 24 '15 at 20:36
  • @NathanOsman, nuh-uh, I don't see a space in serverfault.com – Gene Aug 24 '15 at 20:42
  • @Gene look at the page title. Look at the page footer. Anywhere the name is properly capitalized, there is a space. – Nathan Osman Aug 24 '15 at 20:43
  • You can't govern without a plan. Do you have a plan on how you're going to keep the home router questions out? I say we should have ID checks as people cross the border from SuperUser. I'm not so concerned about our friendly northern neighbors at SO. – Christopher Aug 24 '15 at 20:52
  • I bet you also want drones to keep the undesirables out, huh? – Christopher Aug 24 '15 at 20:54

This election is complete.