Parenting is scheduled for an election next week, May 25th. 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 May 25th 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.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, typically containing 10 questions in total.

  • 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.

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

  • If we plan on running, can we submit questions? Commented May 19, 2020 at 4:45
  • @SomeShinyObject absolutely, yes.
    – Stephie Mod
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 14:26

6 Answers 6


Not a common problem, but a thorny one: If someone answers an off-topic question before you see it, would you still close the question?

Another: how do you envision good or even acceptable answers? Should specific claims (e.g. every child needs their mother at home) be backed up? How would you handle opinion only as an answer?

  • 1
    Might want to split into two questions- but both good ones!
    – Joe
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 20:49

As Parenting has a fairly small community of regular answerers, it is common for moderators to answer questions that they then have to moderate. How would you address moderating a question you answered?

In particular, you may want to consider other answers that are clearly not answers; other answers that are aggreesive or rude; comments on your own answer; comments on the question; and edits to other answers, in answering this question.


Parenting is way less objective than other topics. Different users follow different parenting styles and have different sets of values. Disagreements have the potential for flaring up, especially if they are based on cultural or philosophical differences.

How would you deal with such a conflict? How do you ensure your own objectivity?

  • 1
    What a great question! Commented May 19, 2020 at 18:21

Parenting brings, among other things, a lot of questions that come near to being medical questions. While some are clearly off-topic (this one, for example), many others are on the border - whether asking for symptoms of an illness their child may have, for help getting medical attention, asking whether it is safe to do something, or asking whether they should vaccinate their child1.

How would you address moderating questions that are potentially medical in nature? Would you wait for community action (such as close votes) prior to acting? Do you prefer to leave questions open if it is questionable? What do you consider the definition of a medical question that is off topic, versus a question that relates to a health issue but is on topic?

While answering this, keep in mind that Parenting rarely attracts five close votes to a question within a 24 hour period except in the most extreme of circumstances, so some action will certainly be necessary (or a choice not to act) from the moderation team.

1 The questions selected above are nearly all of an age where these questions were treated differently than they are now, so take care not to assume these should be considered on-topic today; they are simply examples of questions a reasonable person might disagree on.


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • 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?

  • 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?

Leadership in any realm stands on the fine line between humility and assertiveness. As we are all fallible there is a high chance that you will make a wrong decision when dealing with a patron of the site. In the realization of making an incorrect decision, how would you, as a moderator, approach that individual to correct the situation?

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