The 2012 Community Moderator Election is now underway!

Community moderator elections have three phases:

  1. Nomination phase
  2. Primary phase
  3. Election phase

Most elections take between two and three weeks, but this depends on how many candidates there are.

Please visit the official election page at


for more detail, and to participate!

If you have general questions about the election process, or questions for moderator candidates, feel free to ask them here on meta -- just make sure your questions are tagged .

There's a new, very useful and comprehensive election page here:


  • 1
    Good luck to all candidates! :)
    – Alenanno
    Apr 26, 2012 at 9:13
  • 1
    This is a little late, but additional information about the candidates are available at elections.stackexchange.com
    – Yi Jiang
    May 3, 2012 at 11:33

2 Answers 2


I wanted to give people more background about the candidates. This is not about what they promise to deliver, but what they have done in the past, as seen from a mod's perspective. These are my subjective opinions; although I have tried to be fair, they should be understood to be biased by nature, especially as I am far more familiar with some people than others.

I anticipated putting some comments underneath each candidates' nomination, once the election started, but that's not an option. For want of a better place, I shall put them here.

The candidates (an arbitrary order):

Larian LeQuella

Larian is a power-house. Number #3 in overall rep, he specialises in sensational in-depth answers that earn enviable levels of upvotes. He can cut through the illogic and get straight to the meat of the question. He has a history of promoting the site to others. Larian has experience as a moderator as well, at Astronomy.SE. Conflict of interest: If you keep Larian busy by voting him in, that will give me a chance to catch up and overtake him on the rep ladder!

Rory Alsop

Rory is a solid contributor - up in the top 9%. His focus is on answers, but quiet on meta. However, this belies his experience. A glance at his network profile, and you can see he is a prolific contributor to a number of StackExchange sites, including being a moderator of IT Security. This is a candidate with a lot of outside experience to bring.

Konrad Rudolph

Konrad is a prolific answerer. (He's only asked one question, but it got 22 upvotes!) He is also a consistently high-quality answerer. At the time of writing, his worst ever answer has 5 upvotes, which is a skill upcomfortably close to black magic. He is another experienced moderator on tex.stackexchange.com. (If you are not familiar with that site, it is about discussing tools that are used for writing scientific papers.) He has also been active in the meta-site, which should give you an idea of the direction he might take as a moderator.

Sam I Am

Sam's biggest challenge in this election is the anonymity of her mountains of contributions. She has a relatively low rep compared to the other candidates. (She's catching up, in the top 5% for the year.) However, behind the scenes, she has been a powerhouse of suggested edits and flags. If you contributed a post and when you read it back the next day it seems clearer, well-tagged and better written, there's a good chance you were touched by the SamIAm Edit Fairy during the night. Of course, Sam's mod-like contributions haven't been limited to copy-editing: her comments and flag queue shows a keen eye for understanding when and why a post is in trouble and needs help. I encouraged Sam to nominate herself, because it seems a great match to have someone in a mod role who cares so strongly about tending to the posts and making them as strong as they can be - being a good mod is a different skill to being a prolific answerer.


If you like what you see here on Skeptics.SE, you have to give a lot of that credit to Sklivvz, one of the pro-tem mods. He, more than any other person, has given shape to this site. He has a direct, no-nonsense approach which epitomises the skeptical attitude. He is very productive and puts in an incredible level of effort - this is reflected in both his reputation (#2 overall) and also his prolific mod statistics. If he isn't one of your three votes, you are simply making a mistake.


Fabian is a pro-tem mod who is a little more hands-off than Sklivvz (or me), but that shouldn't be mistaken for a laissez faire attitude. He can see through nonsense and doesn't tolerate it. He's one of those guys that when he speaks, you stop, listen and change your mind to match him. (Simpsons reference: Remember when Homer didn't want to stop watching the brawl between the mobs because there was an old martial artist guy who was hanging back and had't yet taken the decisive action to finish the melee?) Fabian earnt a lot of respect from me this year, and I heartily endorse him - you should be sending votes his way.


For me, Alain is the dark horse in this election. He has quietly earned himself a substantial reputation (top 8%) without really coming to my attention. (That is a good thing! His answers never need the special attention of the mods.) Looking back at his contribution history, I see solid answers and a good humour, and contributions to other sites too. I feel slightly bad that I can't say much about him, but I want to learn more.

  • 1
    Thanks for the note. Sorry I missed the chat last night. I am on travel at a conference, so I was totally out of the loop on this. May 4, 2012 at 10:49
  • I thank you for this kind endorsement, and vehemently agree with the approval of the other candidates.
    – Sklivvz
    May 5, 2012 at 2:03
  • @Oddthinking - thank you for your summary, and a great encapsulation of useful qualities from all the candidates.
    – Rory Alsop
    May 5, 2012 at 12:00

For what it's worth, my opinion, based on lots of activity in skeptics during the earlier beta.

Sklivvz is the most biased moderator I have met on Stack Overflow.

Sklivvz has taken specific actions unbecoming of a mod, including

  1. Deleting months old answers with no warning or notice and replacing them with nigh duplicate answers of his own (instead of editing to improve). Contrast this with his claims of "comment, then edit" in his town hall questions. (See the original revision to see the point, it was exactly the same argument as my answer, with one link)

  2. In at least one case, closing a question, reopening, and immediately posting a very long answer, effectively hiding the question until he finished his own research. (I'm researching to find this one, but it was over a year ago and much has been sanitized since then).

To say that Skeptics would not be what is is without Sklivvz is true to a degree. However that can equally be said of Borror, Oddthinking, Larian, and Oliver C. It can also be said of the other candidates who have not taken questionable actions.

Sklivvz may have made Skeptics what it is, and I would argue that's a bad thing. For every ounce of order he brings, he brings a pound of dogmatic adherence to his own views.

I would vote for every moderator on this list before I would vote for Sklivvz.

(edited to remove the more inflammatory statements and add links to the specific instances)

  • 1) I did leave a message and I did address your concerns in meta when you complained one month later, I deleted your answer because it was a long comment with zero references, and was not addressing the question. I posted an answer 4 days after deleting yours, also reaching a completely different conclusion. There are 8 answers on that question, 5 of which deleted, by mods and owners, some even with a higher score than yours. Yet you cherry-pick my deletion and call me biased? Just because I gave a different answer?
    – Sklivvz
    May 5, 2012 at 17:15
  • I can also bring examples of you being pinged to reference your answer and responding with a snarky comment. And yet, we've not deleted it yet, hoping that you see the light.
    – Sklivvz
    May 5, 2012 at 17:59
  • As for my "bias", it is a simply laughable allegation. For example here I very strongly disagree with you in the question comments, and I am very much in disagreement with you about climate change, yet, I've up voted you.
    – Sklivvz
    May 5, 2012 at 18:03
  • 1
    @Sklivvz -- My perception of a bias is a function of my observation of your behavior and comments as a mod, using mod rights. I can't see your votes, so that couldn't possibly impact my perception (or that of the community). As a user answering question you do a great job. You're just a bad mod, and you don't need to be a mod to vote. And your example of a ping is on an entirely different question than the cited. Yeah, I snarked. At that point I was long sick of the behavior, and you're not exactly a stranger to the snark yourself. I know I'd suck as a mod here, and I'm not running.... May 9, 2012 at 3:47
  • For point 2, that question was reopened after a discussion with the author. The comments are now deleted. Your allegations are just false.
    – Sklivvz
    May 9, 2012 at 6:20
  • All in all, you are allowed to your opinion but I find your behaviour petty and unfair. You are too quick to judge anything I do in the most negative way, and, well, answers like this are just pure negativity...
    – Sklivvz
    May 9, 2012 at 6:23
  • 1
    So, to summarise: examining Sklivvz's hundreds of posts created, hundreds of posts deleted and closed, thousands of comments, thousands of votes cast, the worst offenses you have found are: (a) closing a question, being persuaded to open it again after a small change, and then posting an accepted answer. You've interpreted this as some deliberate act to get more votes? I interpret this as indistinguishable from the contributions of a good mod.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    May 9, 2012 at 7:53
  • 4
    (b) finding an old answer, posting a comment explaining why it isn't up to our community standards, and deleting it. (Anything prior to April/May 2011 tends to be before our community standards were established, and we (not just the mods) have been doing lots of weeding and there's plenty more to go.) If that's the worst @Sklivvz has done, this is practically a recommendation to vote for him...
    – Oddthinking Mod
    May 9, 2012 at 7:53

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