Ave! (Not avete, as we have learned.)
This is a pretty good site, and I'd like to continue moderating it. It is not that much work, because other users and moderators do a lot, and because Latin is a small and mature-minded site. But I do feel greatly responsible to protect it.
You can often find me in chat, or address me in a comment. My hours are 'Mid-Atlantic' (I know, not good).
My primary objective is to keep the site as friendly, open, and welcoming as possible. I think this is even more important than removing problematic things. After a long time, people tend to grow weary of seeing the same mistakes made by new users. This is completely understandable. But I think it is why websites often become less tolerant and more in-crowdy as they age; I have seen this all over Stack Exchange.
But we can prevent that. I feel we should always look back to 2016 and remember how we managed to do it then: if we try, we can continue to put aside irritations and view our site with a fresh spirit.
My favourite author is probably Lucretius, because his approach is so rational, or perhaps Tacitus, because of Agrippina.
- 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?
The normal approach on Stack Exchange, as in real life, is to first talk to the user, if necessary repeatedly. If that doesn't work, and he troubles the site too much, send a special Moderator Message, to try and convey some gravitas.
If this user creates issues serious enough to constitute a real problem for other users, and especially if that happens frequently, and he won't listen to reason, we choose the site over this user, so he will be suspended for a short time. I hate doing that, but luckily it is extremely rare here. If short suspensions have no effect, he will be suspended indefinitely, and new accounts will be suspended on sight.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc. a question that you feel shouldn’t have been?
When this happens, we just talk to each other in the moderators' chat room. After some discussion, it has always been fairly easy to reach a solution, either way. It usually depends on which moderator feels more strongly about the issue. I have never seen another moderator have a position I could not sympathise with to a considerable degree.
- What is your relation with the Latin (and Greek) language? What role does it play in your studies, work, leisure, or other life?
In primary school, I remember finding a page torn from a Latin book somewhere. It had only vocabulary on it. I liked it so much that I actually memorised some words. Now I hate memorising words, even Latin ones, but I was a stupid child. I still remember the word gladius from it. Later I went to a gymnasium, where Latin and Greek are compulsory, and I read classics at university. This site is now my lifeline to the classics, though I do teach some Latin and Greek to children in high school (ages 12–18).
- Do you feel that basic translation questions from English to Latin have a place in this community, e.g. translating short snippets of text for tattoos?
I really do not like those questions myself. But many users like answering them, so I think that is reason enough to allow them.
The old question on Meta resulted in a policy where such questions are required to show what the asker has tried, and, most importantly, they must contain as much context as the asker can reasonably provide. Explain what you mean by the English phrase, and tell us what you want to do with the translation, why you want it. The goal here is to make the asker do some of the work, not let the answerers provide a gamut of possible translations depending on what the asker could possibly have intended. It seems a reasonable compromise, for the time being.
- Would your approach to moderation lean more towards permissiveness, or more towards intervention?
I naturally lean towards permissiveness. I prefer as little intervention as possible. Yes, that is because I am lazy, but there is more. In principle, I feel that adults normally do not need a third party to intervene when there is disagreement, and that they can deal with it themselves when treated rudely (within reason). (In chat, there is an 'ignore' button, which lets you ignore another user completely: I generally prefer this solution over censoring or silencing others. I wish we had it for comments.)
Regardless, moderators speak with one mouth, so to speak, however many heads they have; we can't each carry out conflicting policies. And policy is determined primarily by what all the site's users want, be it expressed on Meta or elsewhere. So that is what moderators should try to follow above all other concerns. At any rate, we moderators have always managed to agree on some approach fairly easily, even though it may not be exactly what each of us would have preferred; so that works well. We can 'totally' see the point of others and understand their reasoning even when we feel differently.
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
The essential task of moderators is to do what other users can't for lack of technical permissions, such as deleting spam immediately, or suspending highly disruptive users. Our site could run perfectly well for a long time without problems, with only that task addressed. And even those things are exceedingly rare here.
An auxiliary function, shared with other experienced users, is generally watching over the quality of the site, and trying to dissolve social friction between users. These two things come together in talking to new users who don't know our ways yet, e.g. welcoming a new user and commenting on how a poorly worded question can be improved. Other experienced users do much of this work, and I think moderators do it no differently.
- 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?
The Internet often does not bring out the best in people, and I have on occasion been more...fiery or opinionated than I should have liked in hindsight. All I can say is that I try to be nice.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
I do believe that most things moderators do can be—and are—done by other experienced users. But, after twelve years on Stack Exchange, and a couple moderating this site, I have found it useful being able to access some of the diagnostics behind the network, e.g. when there is a user who causes problems on many sites in the network, or to delete an aggressive comment immediately, convert a non-answer into a comment, etc.