The current wave of questions seems to deal mainly with discussing how a moderator can/should act in situations requiring moderation, for example conflicts.

But of course, users are also involved in these situations. And they also need help and guidance from people who know how moderation works best.

For example, the question How do you deal with a back-seat moderator? has been asked and answered from the point of view of moderators: what can moderators do to subdue such a person.

I can imagine a twin question asking about the same problem from the perspective of a user: imagine that I am a user somewhere. A non-moderator starts policing me in what I believe to be inappropriate ways. The real moderators haven't solved the situation, for whatever reasons. What are my options?

Opening the site to this type of question will help to attract more users (because there are more users out there than moderators), and will enhance the communication between both groups, letting them clearly see the concerns of the other side.

There is also a potential for negative consequences: users who decide that this is the place to rant against what they perceive to be injustice inflicted on them by their moderators.

Do we want to accept these questions on the site? If yes, how do we minimize the chance of non-constructive questions?

  • 2
    Here's a trial balloon. Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 21:37
  • 2
    @MonicaCellio I like your balloon
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 21:59
  • Could we say that the site is just about Moderation in general? That would cover users and moderators... Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 19:26

2 Answers 2


Yes, I believe a users perspective is important too. Confirmation bias sucks, and adding in other perspectives is a great way to prevent it.

To combat non-constructive questions, we do exactly what we do on other StackExchange sites. Flag off topic discussions. If the user is ranting, it's off topic. If the user is asking for advice on how to approach a moderator with evidence of problems within the community, that is on topic.

  • 1
    Additionally, understanding the way the user perceives a moderator action should be a significant part in how moderation actions are chosen. It is always risky to take action if you don't have an idea of how the user may take it in advance.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 14:10

I think we need to tread very carefully here. While good questions from any perspective that help better understand moderation should be encouraged and accepted, we need to very clearly define what types of questions those are (and perhaps as importantly, what types of questions aren't).

I am tossing my ideas up as a community-wiki, so feel free to edit as needed to try to get a better list of what we do/don't want, and/or spin it off in to a separate post if merited.

Questions should:

  1. Objectively lay out the situation with few or no leading statements or judgments on it
  2. Should be about general concepts rather than incident-specific details
  3. Inspire answers explaining why and how
  4. Should have a single clear question about moderation rather than asking for general thoughts on a situation

Questions shouldn't:

  1. Ask users to assign blame/determine right-wrong
  2. Provide specific details of anyone involved (no witch hunting)

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