Not exactly sure how to bring this up, no offense is intended and no disregard to volunteers doing a very difficult job.

I have noticed that occasionally moderator(s) are putting questions on hold, where the community is questioning the action by voting to re-open the questions. This is somewhat controversial as to re-open the community must vote against a clear moderator decision; it may be interpreted as vote against the person (Moderator) or their judgment.

Being a moderator is very difficult, and I do not question the judgement when the question is in or out of scope. The issue is on borderline cases, when a moderator is putting a question on hold with a single vote, it should (for the most part) only occur when the community would be expected to fully ratify the decision.

Our moderators are doing a great job, and are putting in lots of work to make this site a success. Just wondering how to point out when it looks like the grey line between personal opinion and acting on behalf of the community is crossed.

  • $\begingroup$ Have any specific examples you could share? $\endgroup$
    – Undo
    Sep 27 '13 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Undo I have noticed a couple, but don't really want to turn this in to a discussion about if a particular question is in scope, or anything personal. Just noticing that some holds by moderators are questionable, and wondering how to discuss without out causing anyone discomfort. If I am only the only one who has noticed, then I guess I am off base. I have been wrong before, and maybe I am this time. $\endgroup$ Sep 27 '13 at 23:41

The proper way to handle this is to put a question up on meta, addressing the specific concern. Moderators are human, and sometimes we do things that aren't fully the will of the community. On the other hand, sometimes we have experience with question types that cause a lot of issues on other sites, and we don't want to see this site go down that rabbit hole. In either case, the best way to address it is to post a question on meta about a specific closure, or perhaps a group of related closures, and let it get sorted out there.


I don't have a lot of experience in the stackexchange family, but I have several years of experience in the Wikimedia/Wikipedia family.

On SE sites, when moderators vote to on questions they are making decisions on behalf of the community, their "vote" finalizes any ongoing decision making process about questions.

In my experience and opinion with this level of privileged comes a responsibility to use care when exercising these privileges. It is extremely important ensure that when exercising moderator tools, that the action represents the the will of the community and not personal opinion.

If I am mistaken, in my estimation of the expectations of a moderator in the stackexchange family, so be it. let the down votes on this answer flow. Some people have and had a great influence on the start and building success of this site, but it is important to let the community grow and define what the site will become. Overactive use of moderator privileges can be very counter productive.


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