2012 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. Up to thirty candidates nominate themselves for the position.
    You need 300 reputation to nominate yourself.
  2. Primary. The top ten candidates are chosen, if necessary, through voting.
    You need 150 reputation to vote candidates up or down.
  3. Election. A final round of voting is used to determine the winner through Meek STV.
    You need 150 reputation to cast your preferences.

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Feb 14 '12 at 20:00.

Download the election data and use OpenSTV to audit the results.

2,131 voters were eligible, 618 visited the site during the election, 301 visited the election page, and 176 voted

12 Candidates

My name is Kevin, and I’m a high school student in Vancouver, BC. Although I've been quite busy with homework and other school-related tasks for the past couple of months, my homework load is lightening up, allowing more time for moderation-related tasks.

I think the Stack Exchange is one of, if not the, best network of websites on the Internet. Video game websites tend to attract low-quality content, but the Stack Exchange engine (and community) is wonderful at instead producing high-quality information. I spend a lot of my time on Gaming, asking and answering questions, because it’s so great. We have one of the nicest communities on the web here, and our database of knowledge is growing steadily each and every day. I’d love to play a greater role in the development of Gaming, and this is why I’m nominating to become a community moderator. ♦

As well as asking questions and answering them, I spend a lot of my time on Gaming editing other posts, to improve them. My theory is that one of a moderator's duties should contribute to the site positively by improving the content already existent. By keeping the quality of Gaming’s content as high as possible, more users who come across our site are likely to participate. One of the other things I do on Gaming is frequent /review, assisting our newer users with their first steps on Gaming.

As a recent 10k user, I have spent a lot of time flagging posts, reviewing flags, and looking over suggested edits. According to Jeff’s Theory of Moderation, reviewing flagged posts in one of the most important aspects of being a moderator, which I am already doing now.

However, I ensure that all my actions are beneficial towards the site. When, for example, casting a close vote on a new user’s off-topic question, I offer them insight as to why their question is off-topic, and link them to the FAQ so they will know the specifics of Gaming, and how they can make their next question better. As moderators have binding votes when it comes to closing questions and other actions, I would first see if the community agrees before taking definitive action.

As a moderator, I would take more of a behind-the-scenes role. I would focus my efforts on making sure Gaming is in tip-top shape by making edits to posts, disposing of spam, reviewing flagged posts, and more. When a large discussion such as our previous situation arises, I would start a post on Meta to collect the community’s opinion, rather than immediately act on it. I believe that the site should still be community run, with moderators only occasionally needing to intervene with special cases, such as settling out-of-control arguments, or taking action concerning troublesome posts or users.

Feel free to ask additional questions in the comments, and best of luck to all the other nominees!

meta questions: 9 / +18
meta answers: 17 / +87
helpful flags: 256 of 256

Hi! I'm Ronan Forman, and this is my nomination for moderator.

And now for the serious bit:

I have lots of free time, so I am on the site (or at least in chat) quite a bit so can respond to flags and perform other moderator duties quite often to keep up with the increased traffic of the site (which if why we're having these elections).

I run most of the social media around here. I spend quite a lot of time in chat and could really help speed up the actual moderation side of the site, I've been on this site for a while now and I'm pretty sure I know how it works and with what the community wants out of this site.

I haven't had any experience in moderating websites but I've been organising the social networking sites, so I have some experience with controlling people, and I believe I'm doing a pretty good job.

I also plan to make sure LASER is spelt correctly (it's an acronym). Thank you for your time and may the best mod win. (That's me.)

meta questions: 13 / +112
meta answers: 19 / +76
helpful flags: 143 of 146

I have decided to throw my hat into the ring this time, even though I'm a bit threatened by some of the other great candidates. No harm in trying, though.

Why I want to be a community moderator

I care about the success of this site. I think it's a brilliant concept and I'm really happy it took off to become one of the leading Stack Exchange 2.0 sites. As a moderator, I could handle trouble posts and trouble posters faster than I can by just flagging, keeping the quality of the site high, which is good for drawing good users and keeping out the trolls.

What sort of moderator I will (probably) be

I believe in quick burnination of bad answers, especially not-a-real-answer answers, which are still all too common. On the other hand, I am going to be very careful with my close votes - I think that if there's even a shred of doubt, a moderator should be leaving question-closing decisions to the community. I do believe we now have enough 3k-ers to address that.

I think the various promotion ideas are important for the site - from Skyrim-MW3-style competitions to simply publishing on the blog - but this is not something I am particularly good at and it is not something I plan on personally investing in a lot. I will focus my efforts on just pure moderation - removing bad posts, resolving edit disputes, etc.

Why you should vote for me

I have a relatively proven track-record - at the moment, I am one of the top users in terms of reputation, number of votes, number of edits, meta participation, and flagging. I've been active here since day 1 and have taken part in many discussions that helped shape the nature of this site, which can give me more experience when addressing future concerns. I was a temporary community moderator during the beta phase, and I believe my performance was generally well-received.

I always try to be patient and polite, and to not lose my temper. I think it's important to give everyone the benefit of the doubt whenever you think they do not behave appropriately, give everyone involved - including me - a chance to cool off and explain their position.

Why you should not vote for me

I've also had a few failures during my time as a temporary moderator . During the early days of the site there was a heated dispute about whether to allow game recommendation questions, a dispute that really divided the community; my attempt to solve this dispute was ultimately successful, but it was controversial and could have definitely been done better. I've also tried arranging a StarCraft II tournament that went nowhere, mostly because I wasn't driving it forward strongly enough.

I am known to be very liberal regarding what sorts of questions I think should be allowed. If you prefer a mod who pushes for more restrictions on question types - which, to be honest, is at times the right thing to do - then maybe I am not the right choice.

Finally, and I want to stress it, I cannot guarantee a very high level of participation, like other users can. I keep getting surprised by the fact I'm here almost every day. I do promise, however, that if I ever find myself falling beneath a certain reasonable participation threshold - e.g. dropping to just a few visits per week - I will retire and open up the slot for another moderator to replace me.

Footnote - why I didn't want to be a mod previously

Those that have been around may recall I did not participate in the last two elections, for a variety of reasons. Two of the major ones were that I thought the current mods are doing a great work and don't need any help, and that I'm going to become a busy man and will have too little time remaining to dedicate to any online community.

The first reason was slightly dispelled upon the Skyrim craze. We were getting a lot of low quality and bad posts, and consequentially I was flagging a lot. All my flags were addressed but had I been a moderator, those flags would have been instant removals instead. That made me realize more moderators might be required - at least during those kinds of promotions.

The second reason was dispelled because I am apparently deeply hooked. Over the past few months I moved from being a grad students to being a full-time employee, but it appears I still manage to visit the site, get some reputation and issue a few flags on an almost-daily basis. So why not change those flags to outright actions? :)

meta questions: 56 / +558
meta answers: 201 / +1,113
helpful flags: 620 of 623

Hi, I'm fredley. I think I'd be a great mod because I care about the quality of content on Gaming.SE. I'm also able to mod throughout the day, I'm able to keep an eye on the site at work. I have a high flag weight, and I've got the Marshall badge on SO. I'm also one of the top editors on this site.

We've been lucky to have a surge of activity ever since the Skyrim launch, and with that there's been a noticeable uptick in low quality (though still useful) content. This requires vigilant modding to grow our collective reputation as the site for authoritative answers.

My priority as a mod would be to uphold our superb quality as we gain new users. I'd also be willing to help man our various social media efforts. I know these are a little under-subscribed at the moment, but I've got the time to help out (note: I'm happy to do this whether elected or not!).

Also if I'm elected I promise lazers.

Disclaimer - I am in no position to promise lazers

meta questions: 54 / +334
meta answers: 75 / +679
helpful flags: 2132 of 2184

Who are you?

I am agent86, computer geek/engineer, devoted husband & father, and gaming afficionado, extraordinaire. I played my first video game on a Texas Instruments TI-994/A, and fell in love with gaming almost immediately. When I have downtime between my work responsibilities, home life, and my related tasks, I think about, write about, and most of all enjoy playing video games.

I'm a pragmatic perfectionist by nature. I never quite feel like my work is absolutely the way I'd want it to be, but I tend to accept the fact that at some point I have to walk away from it and commit to try harder and be better next time. I don't like to engage in arguments (especially on the internet) without data and expertise on my side. I don't mind admitting I'm wrong, and will generally admit it when I'm speaking from a place of limited knowledge or authority, or when I'm simply voicing my opinion.

I'm a natural problem solver (as a former interviewer once told me) with a knack for thinking in ways that others don't tend to. I'm a super-fast typist. I'm also terribly silly, sarcastic, and occasionally witty, at least from my own (completely unbiased!) perspective. I like to make people smile, or better yet laugh, whenever possible.

Why are you qualified to be a moderator?

A Short History

If elected, this would be another in a long series of moderator/leadership positions I've held over the years. In 1996, I joined my first clan, Fight Company, which I helped found and lead through many years of service. In 2008, I joined Edge Gamers Organization, and quickly rose through the ranks to become part of their leadership as one of the founding members of the Technical Council.

As evidenced by the former examples, I tend to throw myself completely into the tasks and communities I'm a part of, and contribute in all the ways I possibly can.

On the StackExchange network, my account is relatively new, although I've participated anonymously (and recommended it to friends) for several years now. Aside from Gaming, I also dabble over at StackApps, where I've published 4 or 5 small apps and scripts, some of which have been well-received.

My Contributions to Gaming

Here on Gaming.SE, I've (hopefully) established a reputation as someone who is knowledgeable about a wide array of gaming lore, and willing to put in effort in doing substantive research in order to answer questions and solve problems. I've looked at the MAME source code, I've written AutoHotKey scripts, and I've resurrected memories of myriad old games that have long been forgotten by time, among other things. :)

I tend to have a fair amount of downtime during the day, in small, bite sized chunks, as I mentioned before. Already as a "10k mini-moderator," I am a vigilant, assisting where needed at various times of day. I've had access to the 10,000 rep tools for about a month now, and I like to think that I've been helpful with them in that time. I find the review tools to be quite useful, and I'm one of 3 people who (as of the start of the elections) have the "Reviewer" badge for this reason.

I've seen in the past that when you mix gamers and an environment where they can compare and compete, sometimes you can get mixed results. I'm happy with my performance on the site, but I also feel like everyone who is a frequent contributor here adds significant value to the site as a whole, and that all of our contributions are worthy of celebration. Of my personal accomplishments, the ones I'm the most proud of are:

  • A question I answered was tweeted by Joel, the co-founder of the network, and my answer is currently the highest upvoted answer on the site.
  • I earned the first Xbox 360 and Modern Warfare 3 badges the site has ever handed out, which I believe shows that my skillset dovetails nicely with those of others on the site.
  • I am the second person on the site to achieve Epic (50 days over 200 rep), the other being Raven Dreamer. I believe that this shows I'm dedicated to providing quality answers, to the best of my ability, across a wide range of games and gaming-related topics.

What would you do, if elected?

I don't want to change my current behaviors of posting many things on Meta and taking a measured approach, whether I'm elected or not. Mostly, I'd like us to establish simple, straightforward, and fair policies whenever possible. Most of what I want to do is raise awareness and drive to consensus on the issues we're facing. I think a fair number of issues (tagging, for example) get swept under the rug and ignored until they become monster problems that get handled without our input. I'd rather think early, think long, and think often on things to come up with the optimal solution, rather than take action and hope for forgiveness if I'm incorrect.

I think Gaming.SE is at a crossroads, and there are three major challenges we face going forward:

How do we attract and retain new users?

I talked about this to an extent in my meta post on "the next big thing for Gaming." I think there are gaming-wide events that occur every so often that we should be prepared for. These "waves" can yield massive spikes in our traffic, if we play our cards right. I think continuing to stay relevant in the gaming community as a whole is going to require identifying and exploiting these new waves, and the new users they can bring. Also, as a community, we have many standards and regulations that aren't clear to new users, and wherever possible I want to make sure that new people feel welcome.

How do we continue to grow and strengthen our community?

It's clear to me that we have a strong, core community of dedicated contributors here at Gaming.SE. Social aspects are what keep games fun long after the sparkle and shine has worn off, and I think that's just as true here as it is in any MMO. I think we've got a lot of programs running that make use of the variety of skills on offer here, and I want to see those programs grow and coninue to thrive.

I also mentioned above that gamers, especially in an environment like this, can be very competitive. I don't want to let the "game" that is StackExchange put us at odds, when we should be cooperating. I don't want to prioritize being the most right over the feelings of others.

How do we take our rightful place among the titans of the StackExchange network?

Recently, Gaming has become one of the larger sites in the StackExchange network. However, I can't shake the feeling that we've still got to prove ourselves as "worthy." I think this is a delicate problem. I want this to stay a fun place, while still understanding that we're representatives of a larger system that has a well-earned and respected reputation. I'm not sure that much really needs to change here, but I do think that we need to be aware of the situation and the responsibilities it brings.


To my mind, the role of the moderator is not one of absolute authority, but rather a guiding hand for the community at large. The moderator is trusted to provide advice (and where appropriate, action) in times of need. I hope that, upon reviewing my application, you consider me worthy of such a position.

meta questions: 30 / +393
meta answers: 128 / +1,276
helpful flags: 459 of 469

Hi! I'm John the Green, and I would like to be one of your moderators.


Because I love this site and enjoy being able to clean it up.

Why should I vote for you?


  • I believe I have displayed patience and some degree of understanding in my Meta activity and in site-related chat discussions sometimes.

  • I also keep up with site changes by being active on Meta Stack Overflow.

  • I try to take an active role in what little moderation I can assist with now, never fearing to (civilly) ask our current mods to explain their decisions if I don't understand them.

  • I'm active on the site, having what I think is a decent amount of reputation, as well as the Fanatic and Electorate badges, to prove I actually come here, and I vote.

  • I've voted the 12th most of any user on the site, ever.

In the end, I don't think however many words I write here will have much of an effect, as a lot of you probably know me or have encountered me on the site and already have an opinion of me, and that goes far beyond anything I could put here. :)

I would like to add that a gravatar is in progress (and no, it won't be a pony).

meta questions: 8 / +21
meta answers: 17 / +56
helpful flags: 167 of 167

Hello chaps, I'm Bryan Cave, although you probably know me better as Wipqozn (or the guy who used to have an alot gravatar).

I'm not really sure what to say, so I'll write what comes to mind.

Why do I want to be a mod? Simple: I love this site. It's one of the few communities I'm proud to say I'm a part of, and make a point to come here everyday just to check on the site. As a mod, I feel I could take a more active role in helping the site grow, and become even better.

Why do I think I would make a good mod? Well, rather then just list a few bullet points, how about I tell you a bit more about my views and activity on the site, and let that speak for itself.

I'm a really active user. I'm on the site everyday, and almost always in chat. Even if I'm not at the computer, I'm normally within earshot, so you can almost always reach me.

I believe in improving questions over closing them, especially when posts are made by new users, to encourage them to continue contributing to our site, and show them the way the site is run.

I strongly believe in voting based on the viewpoint of the community, and not the viewpoint of a single user. Whenever I'm not certain about whether I should vote to close a question, I'll bring it up in chat before taking action myself. If the community decides the proper course of action is opposite of my own personal beliefs, I'll still enforce what the community has decided.

My meta activity may not be as high as other users, but that's because I prefer to discuss things in chat first before taking it to meta. Our chat is very active, and the users have many differing view points, so it is a good place to get an idea of how the community feels about an issue.

If you want evidence of my dedication to the site, or that I'm willing to put effort into making the site grow, then I'll point you towards my reputation, helpful flag count, revisions, and the work I've done reviving Game On!. I also help manage our Google+ and Facebook pages.

Well, that's all I have to say, and if you've reached this point... thanks for reading my nomination for moderator!

meta questions: 22 / +192
meta answers: 84 / +473
helpful flags: 756 of 776

This election is complete.