While the tone so far during the private beta has been remarkably congenial, it seems obvious that politics.se has the potential to attract more contentious questions, answers and comments than some other SE sites, perhaps more so once the site goes into public beta or becomes a full-fledged member of the SE family - which, in turn, is likely to make the site even more challenging to moderate than might otherwise be the case.
Another site currently in public beta - islam.se - has been the focus of significant disagreement over the actions of its (apparently entirely Sunni Muslim) moderators, to the extent that a separate shia-islam.se site has been proposed. You can get a taste of the difficulties involved by reading some of the comments and answers on this question:
While it's obviously to be hoped that the moderators we end up with will be able to put their personal biases to one side in the course of their duties, in the cause of being seen to be unbiased, I'd like to propose that candidates for moderator disclose their political affiliations in their manifesto statements.
There's a risk, of course, that doing so will lead to moderators being elected along partisan lines, but I would hope that the group we have here at the moment is grown-up enough to see the value in electing a balanced, or at least diverse, slate. Either way, we'll at least get the chance to elect the moderators we deserve ;-)
Full disclosure: I am
- More or less a socialist, with some anarchist sympathies.
- Absolutely not intending to nominate myself as a moderator.