In connection with the moderator elections, 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.

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

Here's how it'll work:

  • During the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, March 28th 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.

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

  • At the end of the 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. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

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

  • No CM or moderator from another site submitted a question about previous bans. Can I deduce from that fact that no candidate has had such bans?
    – chirlu
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 20:30

8 Answers 8


This site attracts many questions from new users, a number of whom may not be native speakers of English, especially for visa-related questions. Many such questions are closed due to missing details, poorly-written questions, questions that belong on Expatriates, and other issues. Many of these users seemingly never come back.

How do you believe the community, and specifically the moderators, should address these questions? To what extent do you believe questions should be "salvaged" vs closed? How can, or should, we better welcome and assist these new users, even when their initial questions may not meet the guidelines?

  • 4
    +1 for a valid question, although I don't think that such posts are closed because poorly written. I think it's more a matter of OP not doing their basic minimum research. Indeed most visa questions can be answered by contacting one's diplomatic mission. Also, a hunch tells me that our most close-voted visa questions are questions about people disagreeing with a UK visa refusal. These people come to us hoping we have a magic fix, which we really don't, rather than coming on Travel as new users willing to participate and stay beyond their initial query.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 15:11

In the past there have been instances where questions have been asked which did not seem to arise from a real travel need, but which were of a hypothetical nature and sometimes about very unlikely subjects. (For instance 'Can I carry X on a plane', X being an very unusual item). This has caused some discussion and some unanimity among the community, as some saw the questions more as a means of attracting attention than a genuine need of a traveller.

What is your stance on this and how would you react as a moderator should such a situation come up again?


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?

You see a question / answer that you personally consider naive, stupid, lying, missing info, etc. How do you handle this as a moderator? How do you respond to the user?


Two users are fighting, leaving snipey comments on questions/answers, in chat, etc. How would you deal with this?

  • I have a feeling that answering this question requires knowledge on the type of tools moderators have to contact users.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 18:29
  • @JoErNanO True, but I'd hope that someone who aspires to be a moderator could do the research to understand what tools moderators have and how they are generally used. Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 4:26
  • 1
    How would you avoid preferential sympathy for users who joined at the same time you did and with whom you have established rapport? Indeed interesting!
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 1:16
  • @GayotFow that's worth putting as a sepearate question, I like it
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 5:14

Every so often the Travel Chat Room devolves a bit into mini fights between users, or worse, a group hate of a user on the site who has no knowledge of the chat. How would you engage and prevent the chat from scaring off new people, causing problems and starting disagreements?


New users, apply the rules or be nice ?

There's been quite a few first questions by newcomers that get closed or down voted very fast, because they're too vague or too broad (not considering the blatantly off-topic and attention grabbing).

How as a moderator will you choose to retain new users making sure we keep quality questions and a welcoming community ?

  • 2
    Why would these be mutually exclusive? Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 1:44

Since this is a travel Q&A, I suppose that you travel frequently. How do you plan to maintain a high availability for the moderation tasks while you travel?

I the answer is that you don't travel a lot the question becomes why you would stay motivated in the long run and not lose interest.

  • Hmm, judging from the votes I'm the only one that is often completely unreachable for prolonged periods when traveling. Understood. Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 10:14
  • No I think the reason for the downvotes is the implicit assumption that people who don't travel a lot wouldn't be interested in the site. At least that's what leaving me with doubts. Didn't down vote though.
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 18:31
  • @JoErNanO: thank you for the feedback. Not an implication I was intending, but I see how you can read it as such. And now that I read it in that light, I see that there are implicit assumptions in the question. Which makes it a bad question. Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 8:22

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