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


Quantum Computing Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election next week, 2024-03-12. 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.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until 2024-03-12 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.

  • 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 currently.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The following two questions are guaranteed to be included:

    • 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?
  • The community team may also include the following three questions if the community doesn’t supply enough questions.

    • 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 enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user?
  • 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. We exclude any suggested questions that are negatively scored.

    • We will post the final questionnaire on the Election page. Candidates will have the option to fill out the questionnaire, and their answers will appear beneath their intro statements.
    • 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.

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  • $\begingroup$ Reading this post, I realize that I may be mistaken on the moderators tools. In particular, the "In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching enough reputation to access moderator tools or become a trusted user" retained my attention. For me, a moderator is allowed to bypass community review on such tasks (closing questions without having to wait for 4 other users for instance). Is there anything else that a moderator can do that trusted users can't? $\endgroup$
    – Tristan Nemoz Mod
    Commented Mar 5 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ Since this was posted on March 5th rather than March 4th, is the election going to start on March 13th rather than March 12th? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 5 at 23:21
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    $\begingroup$ @TristanNemoz binding votes are not the only difference. Mods have access to several other tools and information for flag handling, catching and dealing with different kinds of misuse, etc. Some of them are outlined in quantumcomputing.stackexchange.com/help/site-moderators. Flag handling is the main "menial" duty though, for sure (luckily, on this site it's not that big of a workload). Feel free to ping me on chat for any other question on the topic $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Commented Mar 6 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @user1271772Nomorefreetime Nope still on the 12th, I must have written the 4th in error. The election starts on the 12th. $\endgroup$
    – SpencerG StaffMod
    Commented Mar 6 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ @SpencerG I feel like you are not giving us enough time. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 18:19

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In lack of a strong engagement in review tasks, what do you think a moderator should do if they encounter a question which, in their opinion, is most likely going to be closed by the community (for example because of extreme lack of clarity, bad formatting, or if the question is blatantly off-topic)? Would you close the question immediately, speeding up the review process but risking going against what the community would do, or would you rather just leave it up to the review queue?

On a similar note, in situations where there is a low engagement on meta, which would make it hard to reach a definite consensus, what do you think a moderator should do when deciding on whether to enact policy changes (e.g. regarding policy on question closing, tag management, etc)? Where would you draw the line between matters that can be handled directly by moderators, and matters that need to be brought up on meta before acting?

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  • $\begingroup$ Compared to most sites, QCSE reviewers are extremely active in review tasks and closing questions. The premise of this question is false. There has also been quite a lot of discussion and participation on Meta for your recent policy changes (such as the multiple name change proposals, and the tag burnination proposals, and the cross-posting of questions). So again, the premise of your next question is false too. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @user1271772Nomorefreetime uhm, that's a good point. I don't know a good and easy way to actually quantify it. I rephrased to avoid pushing a personal observation as an objective truth $\endgroup$
    – glS Mod
    Commented Mar 10 at 18:16
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    $\begingroup$ I regularly check the review queues, and usually, there are at most one or two posts. I, too, think that QCSE reviewers are very active, and there is a strong engagement. $\endgroup$
    – FDGod
    Commented Mar 11 at 3:24
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According to you, which questions concerning quantum programming languages/frameworks should be considered as off-topic for this site? Putting this differently, which attributes does a relevant question about these topics possess?

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How important (or unimportant) do you think it is for a moderator to be an expert in the field of quantum computing (or a subfield/related field), and why?

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  • $\begingroup$ Just to be sure, is your question about being an expert in the field of Quantum information in general, or specifically in quantum computing? $\endgroup$
    – Tristan Nemoz Mod
    Commented Mar 7 at 10:18
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    $\begingroup$ More in general. I am happy with rephrasings of the question. There have been debates in the past to which extent it matters that moderators (or some of them) are experts in the field (whatever that precisely means), and I think it would be good to have people's opinion on that. In any case, my feeling is that such questions are more meant to serve as a starting point for candidates to explain their view of the topic, so the precise working is probably not all that relevant -- it is more a "what's your opinion on this topic" thing. But feel free to edit. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 7 at 14:14
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Is there a chance that you could have a real or perceived conflict of interest or conflict of commitment if you were to become a diamond moderator on this site? I ask this because a previous diamond moderator resigned due to accepting a position at IBM Research.

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  • $\begingroup$ What would cause a conflict of interest by affiliation somewhere and being a diamond mod? $\endgroup$
    – FDGod
    Commented Mar 11 at 3:21
  • $\begingroup$ @FDGod One of our original diamond moderators in 2018 resigned when he accepted a job at IBM Research, and this was because of a "conflict of interest", but others working at Google Quantum or D-Wave or other quantum computing companies might have a real or perceived "conflict of commitment": when a company is paying you a big-tech salary, it's hard to fulfill your commitment to them if you're also committing to a second job, volunteer position, boards, or anything else that will take time and mental attention. This is less of a problem at universities but I should show you my contract at NTU! $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 11 at 4:43
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    $\begingroup$ I understand the issue with commitment. That can happen regardless of affiliation, as people get busy in their lives. However, I don't see what could be a potential conflict of interest case if someone is working for a QC company and is also serving as a moderator here. $\endgroup$
    – FDGod
    Commented Mar 11 at 18:41
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If elected, for how long do you think you should keep your position "automatically" without a renewal election?

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What is your stance on proposals to change the name of this site, discussed in the following posts (ordered chronologically)?

  1. Do we want to change the name of this site?
  2. Do we want to change the name of this site? A follow-up
  3. Do we want to change the name of the site to "Quantum Computation and Quantum Information"?

Do you plan to revive discussion on this proposal? If so, what criteria would you use to determine that the name-change should or should not occur?

Or do you plan on not reviving this proposal? If so, do you have specific reasons for leaving the site name as-is?

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  • $\begingroup$ I hope this doesn't come up again for at least another 10 years. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ Sure - that's why I ask this question. I prefer up-front closure from future mod(s), either "yes, I am going to pursue some kind of vote on a name change" or "no, this isn't happening during my term, let us drop the discussion." Instead of the potential for name change discussion randomly getting revived at some unexpected time in the future. $\endgroup$
    – forky40
    Commented Mar 10 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ It is unclear why it would be the moderators' business to decide on a name change. They can initiate it, sure, but the decision would be taken by votes on meta, and ultimately implemented by SE, not the mods. (Of course, this does not mean it is not interesting to hear the candidates' opinion on that.) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks very much for the explanation forky40! Also, @NorbertSchuch I agree that it is not the moderators' business to decide on a name change: The only two follow-up comments that I would make on your comment are (1) I don't think it's appropriate to make decisions based on "votes" on Meta, rather than on consensus as described here, and here, and $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ (2) SE's CMs apparently were cool with changing the name to what glS proposed, at least back then (the CM team has changed since then though, with two of the most active ones leaving the company, so maybe SE would have to review it again if a name change were to be proposed again, and I sure hope that would be the case). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ NorbertSchuch agreed, and I am maybe over-generalizing glS' role in leading discussions on the topic historically. I do expect that the initiative and/or responsibility that future mods have towards the community makes them more likely to lead or revive such a discussion. @user1271772 (1) is a very fair point, and yet another reason to hear from a potential moderator how they might approach this topic! $\endgroup$
    – forky40
    Commented Mar 10 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ glS started those three threads, but it wasn't his/her "role". Anyone with enough points to participate on Meta (and this is only a minimum of 5 points, so 0 upvotes and 2 approved edits is all you need) can propose a change to the site on Meta. I got a site name changed without being a mod. However, diamond moderators have direct chat access to CMs, where their requests get taken seriously, so they can call an election "out of the blue" without asking the community if it's an appropriate time, and they can $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ tell the CMs directly that we want a name change, with the Meta discussion being only slightly in favor of it. For that reason, people who did not want a name change in 2021 or 2022, needed to push extra hard to make sure that their opinions were heard, which made it a very stressful time for me at least. Now that I'm looking at the dates: the last proposal to change the name of the site was made 4 days before Christmas and 5 days after my son was born (at around the time that I had to take him back to the hospital for an emergency), and 25 days before the deadline for the OpenMolcas paper. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ I hear you, that sounds like an unpleasant experience. I just want to reemphasize that my question wasn't meant to revive the debate here and now, or even to ask whether a nominee is in favor/opposed to the name change. I'm just asking potential mods, "what are you going to do about this proposal?" $\endgroup$
    – forky40
    Commented Mar 10 at 20:46

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