Photography Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election next week, May 22nd. 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.

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:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, May 29th 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 at current.

  • 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. 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, 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.

  • @mattdm Can you finally just nominate yourself? Thank you!
    – dpollitt
    May 30, 2017 at 1:10
  • 1
    @dpollitt I appreciate the vote of confidence. This is actually one of my outlets from a fairly high-pressure community leadership job, and I enjoy the lack of official commitment. :)
    – mattdm
    May 30, 2017 at 14:19

4 Answers 4


What do you think about the ongoing contest for the header photo? Would you be willing to do some of the work on this? Several years ago, we decided to add a monthly theme, but that never happened in practice. What do you think about this? Are there other things you'd change about the contest?


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?

I'd like to get more questions (and answers) on the site dealing with the artistic side of photography. Since many people come to Stack Exchange from an engineering background, there's a natural bias towards technical questions about gear. How can we attract more questions about the artistic side of photography — and what might you do as a moderator to encourage this?

  • This question should be re-worded to not implicitly support a particular view. Keep the question neutral, and let the candidate weigh in on the topic. The other two questions you posted here are good examples of how to do this right. May 29, 2017 at 13:31

We've collectively been rather aggressive (especially lately) about closing questions which involve a camera and lens but the goal is measurement or computer vision (or any other technical use where photography as such is basically incidental). Do you think it's good for the site to have this narrower scope, with a focus on the production of photographs (whether digital or in print), or would we be better casting a wider net? In either case, why?

As a moderator, how would you approach this? For example, will you quickly close questions which are primarily about machine vision, or will you wait for community consensus?

  • This one is an interesting question, but it might be too narrow in scope. Computer vision isn't the only area that this applies and knowing how moderators will work on consensus determination in general may be more meaningful.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    May 25, 2017 at 14:09
  • @AJ I guess? I do have interest in this specific issue (which is not just computer vision). And anyway, an answer about the specific can reveal the general thing you are interested in.
    – mattdm
    May 26, 2017 at 14:35
  • quite true. Might be able to work both in to the same question somehow too. Not sure. I don't have any direct ideas on specific wording, just realized it is also a general concern.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    May 26, 2017 at 14:37

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