You may have noticed we’re a bit short-handed lately and our bus count has declined to 1. I’m opening applications for new moderators. You can look at the mod log to get an idea of what this looks like.
I’m asking for applicants to make a year-long commitment. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to stop being a mod at the end of the year, it just means that’s about as far as I can reasonably expect someone to predict their availability, and it provides a natural cadence to this process.
Apply by answering the questions below.
Please send your answers by plain text email to my first name
I’ll review all answers on Monday, Jan 25. I’ll send back some example situations like “How would you publicly and/or privately respond to this comment?” You’ll have a week to respond (so, before Feb 1), but earlier responses will be appreciated. I’ll spend the next couple days calling/emailing with any questions I have.
I hope to announce new mods by Feb 8 at the latest; this will depend on how many people there are and how early they respond. I plan to select 2-4 moderators, based on interests and availability.
Added 2021-01-19 21:12:
Well, I didn’t think I needed to elaborate on how being shorthanded means that when I’m asleep or at work, things can really slide off the rails, but we got quite a demonstration here. I’m sorry I wasn’t available to help chill things out earlier and look forward to onboarding mods so we can respond more quickly in the future.
I asked for people interested in being mods to email me directly because I didn’t want to invite a public litigation of applicants’ characters and previous messages, so I’m seriously tempted to remove the entire thread spawned by someone doing so. But it’s probably better to leave it up so folks can see what the flamewar was. There’s also a few good points about really hard, worldwide problems, even if they’re generally expressed in the unproductive, obnoxiously point-scoring way that online political discussion tends towards.
Please consider that thread dead and don’t reply to it further.
To address the contentious bit of that thread, no, nazis are not welcome here. Banning the guy who called for a race war was entirely unobjectionable precedent. His argument that the real nazis are the ones who hate nazis remains unpersuasive. (And, I dunno, read a book, because we don’t really need to figure out from first principles that nazis are bad via online flamewar, especially having had an actual war about it.)
Any other users who are nazis should please DM me for their ban. I’m aware that probably nobody will take me up on this offer, but there might be volunteers who’d like to indict other users, especially by digging through their offsite histories. I don’t have or want jurisdiction over the entire internet, and I’m not eager to play pitch detector for dogwhistles so that I can get called the real nazi for not recognizing nazis. Even as nazis are obviously unwelcome. So to balance these competing interests, please be aware that if you email me somebody’s old tweets, that conversation is probably going to end with one of the two of you banned. If that’s you, you’re not going to get the satisfaction of nobly sacrificing yourself in the interests of righteous struggle, you’re just going to be the putz who tried to make a guy who likes bullshitting about monads your arbiter of truth and justice.
That any of this was contentious or unclear is my failure to create and publicize policy, even in when there’s endless ambiguity and vitally important topics. I’m sorry for it, and opening mod applications is ironically one part of how I’m trying to address it. I continue to invite users to help figure out policies, whether or not they’re interested in becoming a moderator.
I spent a couple days last week at the emergency vet with a sick cat and it’s thrown everything off for me. I haven’t yet sent out the example situations and probably won’t be able to this weekend. (The cat’s OK, at least.)