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The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.


MathOverflow is scheduled for an election next week, 2022-09-19. In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until 2022-09-19 at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into currently.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The following two questions are guaranteed to be included:

    • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
    • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
  • The community team may also include the following three questions if the community doesn’t supply enough questions.

    • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
    • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
    • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. We exclude any suggested questions that are negatively scored.

    • We will post the final questionnaire on the Election page. Candidates will have the option to fill out the questionnaire, and their answers will appear beneath their intro statements.
    • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

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Do you think there are issues with the current tagging system? If so, what are they and what do you think might be a good way to deal with those?

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    $\begingroup$ PS: I recently retired as a MathOverflow moderator after about 12 years of service. Fixing and keeping the tagging system was one of the issues I took on early on. I did my best but I admittedly couldn't keep up in the last few years. I hope that someone with fresh inspiration could take on this job. $\endgroup$ Sep 14 at 0:24
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A community-specific question asked in both previous elections was:

Do you think women are underrepresented in the MO community compared to the mathematical community as a whole? Is this a problem for MO? If so, what would you do about it as a moderator?

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Recycling from last time.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for MathOverflow as a site and as a community in the next few years?

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What kind of a role would you take as a moderator? How does that role differ from your current role as a user?

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A community-specific questions asked in both previous elections was:

For pseudonymous candidates: are you a professional mathematician? In what capacity?

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A community-specific question asked in both previous elections was:

Assuming a notion of "culture" as explained here, what would a newly elected moderator do to preserve it? Will there be more efforts to preserve the culture, or more to steer it toward things nearer to "what a Stack Exchange forum should be?"

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A community-specific question asked in both previous elections was:

What time zone are you in?

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What is your ontology of MO?

That is, what role do you see the site playing in modern mathematical society and what role do you think it should ideally play moving forwards?

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What is your review and/or criticism of the moderation policy of MathOverflow?

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by review? $\endgroup$ Sep 15 at 0:29
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    $\begingroup$ Many thanks for your attention @AndrésE.Caicedo , when I search in Google translator the Spanish word "crítica", is provided the English translation "criticism", and below more added information about the translation of "crítica", this was ""review" in order of appearance. I understand an opinion based in reasonings, positive or negative about the moderation policy of MathOverflow, if it is possible constructive. For example in the MO post of Meta 5427 a professor asked in a polite tone about two MO moderators that have stepped down, and the moderator provided a "Yeah..." as response. $\endgroup$
    – user142929
    Sep 15 at 12:59
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    $\begingroup$ The MMO post 5427, Upcoming election announcement (2022), referenced above; the question about moderators stepping down; and the answer "Yeah, that's correct" (the problem with which is not clear to me, but there it is). $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    Sep 24 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ I have flagged a bunch of comments which seem more about this user's insistence that people on this site should behave a certain way, than about anything relevant to this current moderator election. $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Oct 3 at 1:39
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A community-specific question asked in both previous elections was:

As MathOverflow is growing, the diversity of the moderator team might become an issue of interest. As I understand, the present moderators have much in common, and women are, to say it that way, underrepresented. In which way do you think would you contribute to the diversity of the moderator team?

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  1. What is your vision for MathOverflow in the future?

  2. Do you have any major ideas that you think differ from the existing norm of ideas on MathOverflow?

  3. How will you reconcile difference of opinion between you and other moderator? What do you plan on doing if you can't find a middle ground?

  4. Do you think the culture at the present is inclusive to people of different backgrounds? If no, how do you plan on increasing inclusivity of people from different social backgrounds when you do become moderator?

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    $\begingroup$ It's probably too late to suggest more questions: the nomination form is now open, and the selected questions are visible there: mathoverflow.net/election/3?tab=nomination $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ I don't see it @TheAmplitwist $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ There's a small toggle titled "Show Questions" under the heading "Questionnaire". Can you check if it is visible for you, and does clicking on it work? $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ Damn that's sooo tiny. They need to up it's size x) @TheAmplitwist but yes I found it $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ True. Probably worth suggesting on Meta SE. $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:42
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    $\begingroup$ Of course, there's also the notice at the very top of this question that reads: "The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here." $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ As an aside, each question should go into a different answer so that they can be individually voted on, etc. Maybe something to keep in mind for the next SE election. $\endgroup$ Sep 19 at 21:57

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