About the new "guidelines"

SAFE Network Forum - Guidelines

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation. This forum is family friendly. Keep that in mind when posting a reply or topic.

General Rules

Do not do any of the following:

Flame or insult other members.
Start flame wars.
Bump topics.
Derail topics.
Post links to phishing sites.
Post spam.
Create topics for the sole purpose of causing unrest on the forum.
Repost closed or deleted topics.
Repetitively post in the incorrect topic.
Post any topics/replies containing porn, offensive/inappropriate content or anything else not safe for work. This includes links to websites with that sort of content.
Threats of violence, harassment or blackmail (even as a joke).
Racism, discrimination, sexism.
Abusive language, including swearing.

Also remember:

Not every new person knows where to find which information so try to be as helpful as you can.
Speculation on MaidSafeCoin/Safecoin is only allowed in the price and trading topics.
Religious, political, and other “prone to huge arguments” topics are only allowed in the **#off-topic** category.
Mods use a yellow color to show when they act on behalf of the moderation team.
Posting altered swears with asterisks or other symbols that are still recognizable as swears is considered swearing and is not allowed.
Moderation is quite binary. Something is in line with the guidelines or it's not. There’s no time to send out PMs to ask you to make certain changes and we won’t edit posts for you if we get that request.

No Backseat Moderating

Let the moderators do the moderating. Backseat moderating is when people who are not moderators try to enforce the forum rules. If you see a person breaking the rules, just use the “Flag Post” button or simply ignore the offensive post(s).

If your post is deleted please check the General Rules (above).
Contact **@moderators** by PM if you have any questions about moderation.
Comments on moderation are allowed only in the **#meta** category or by PM to **@moderators.**

Repeated Offenders

Repeated offenders of the above rules and guidelines will be warned or immediately banned. Any moderator has the ability to ban a user for violating the rules at their discretion.




This forum is being sterilized and becoming almost clinical so to speak.

I don’t care about the guidelines of other forums. Leaving room for personality is what separated this forum from the others. All members of this forum understood and maintained a behavioral balance .


An example of a casual and playful statement made by creator of this project that would now be against forum guidelines. The various facetious remarks I made and the resulting light overtone has been appreciated by many. Reducing intimidation that would otherwise repulse a great many that read through swaths of material hoping to find someone relateable and human. Not a robot.

The personalities of various members most notably @Al_Kafir and @whiteoutmashups were a beacon to me. My initial squabbles with @janitor kept me engaged and added depth to my participation here. @Blindsite2k s’ huge off topic rants were a welcomed break from the monotony of one sentence responses or plain acknowledgment posts. From them I received further insight into his beliefs and personality. Making our communications less impersonal. It (the forum) was by no means perfect, but these behaviors were what gave this community a soul.

In a forum that promotes freedom above all else, we peer forward at a bland, uniform and regimented system enforced by those that were once a part of our colorful past. This is a shame. :pensive:

Take a peek at some then private conversations between the mods and I.

Look here at what likely expedited and or motivated this transition (click the image below then click it again to zoom):

17 Days ago:

EDIT: Screenshot to PM removed


7 Days ago:

EDIT: Screenshot to PM removed

5 Days ago:

EDIT: Screenshot to PM removed>

Post deletion jpeg…

If these guidelines stand then I’m out. I’ll have to wait to see you all on SAFEnet where I’m free to be me.
I’m certain that the prospect of purging me will motivate the moderators to guarantee these new guidelines stay in place. I am after all from previous reports the most “disruptive”.

A quote from a wise man:

If this blitz isn’t stopped, may our warm unique colorful and crazy community R.I.P. It was definitely fun… :joy:

Resistance is the only means of preventing the cold air in route from tearing the moisture away and leaving this home dry.

This forum was fine before. This change is unwarranted. A sudden increase in members won’t guarantee degeneration. A poor excuse for such a dramatic change. The Repeat Offenders section being the most troubling. A mod with a personal gripe has all the power to execute an unfair removal without question. The community none the wiser. This is a slippery slope my friends. Together we can increase the coefficient and climb back to our beautiful virtual home. Who’s with me? :sunglasses:


Hi @Tonda,

I don’t see why you think these changes will affect what is acceptable in the way you say. I don’t, so maybe we can take your examples to give some claritiy over what the changes mean.

Let me say first that the aim of the guidelines is not to change the tone or quality of the forum. I’m very happy with 99.9% of what people post here, and I’m sure the mod team are too. The purpose of these changes is to make what we are already doing (as moderators) clear, and to streamline our process for moderation because it is taking far too long even now, and will not be possible as the forum grows.

So let’s take the quote you say won’t be acceptable:

Why do you think this would be unacceptable under the new guidelines?

What specific elements of the guidelines are your concerned about?

Thanks :smile:


It could be seen as a playful accusation of a potential threat. I can imagine that technicalities will be put in play when deemed necessary by moderators with ever growing power.

As I wrote before, the repeat offender section is most troubling.

If you internalize a bit, I’m hoping you’ll find some clarity about the “soul” statement I mentioned earlier. We risk rigidly shaping the output of others by creating so many restrictions. The fun is being sucked out in a very subtle matter. These new guideline seek to tame the very behavior that has made this forum so great. The eccentricities and the sometimes adversarial back and forth that shows that even the moderators are not immune to criticism. These little backroom meetings with this gestating cabal needs to end. Keeping everything in the light like it has mainly been is the best path. It might make life a bit harder for you moderators but it will ensure fair play.

Come to think of it. Looking again at the guidelines, it seems you’ve had a strong influence on its creation. I base this on my previous interactions with you and your self righteousness. It’s easy to miss. Luckily my net catches a great many. :wink:


I’d have to agree with @Tonda here. I find the moderation rather jarring at times especially during the flow of conversation when I’m suddenly told to take a “philosophical” or “political” conversation to another thread. But he has a point. I think that mod’s should need to be invoked rather than just act on their own. That is if someone complains or flags a topic THEN they act as MODERATORS between the disputing parties. No human being offended or complaining, no case. If a particular moderator wishes to act as a defendant seeing as one might be offended or upset by something he should not be allowed to act as a mod in that particular case, that is no voting on what the outcome is, no mediating, no uber mod hammer powers. He’d be acting as just an ordinary member.

If no one is offended or has a problem then I see moderation as causing more of an issue than it’s solving. And if the issue can be peacefully solved between two affected parties then I don’t see a reason for mods to dish out punishments. Show me the human that has an issue with me and let me resolve it with them. Don’t just tell me the state has an issue and I’m breaking some rule and need to conform. More mediation less authoritarian control.


Thaaaaaaaaaaank yoooooooooou!!! So very well put!!

What he said… :yum:

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#my proposal:

Since mods do have this power, we should be able to see what they are doing with it. Like a govt running on a public blockchain.

Honestly, I’m fine with giving mods the power they think is necessary for the time being, until we have more options with SAFE–as long as:

  • all is members can see all threads / comments posted (even if mods delete them or remove them from the front page etc), so nothing can be hidden from the Public
  • all us members can see other actions mods do, like Banning accounts etc.
  • and finally, if there’s some sort of voting / some way that us regular members have some sort of power / check over the mods, in case God forbid, they do something unfair.

I think everything I’m saying is very in line with SAFE ideologies. Agreed? (Self-Moderation)

If the @moderators can provide this, I’ll feel perfectly happy giving them the powers they need to keep this forum running smoothly until S.A.existsF.E.

Note: from running my own discourse forum, I am quite certain this can all be enabled very easily by you guys & @frabrunelle just by adding “View” rights to “All Members.”

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Just addressing this point, would that not then make all private messages viewable by everyone. Currently only the parties of the PM are able to read the PM and I am sure a lot of private information is said in them. Only an admin can look at the underlying database and read whatever, but then laws may prevent this. In Australia is it illegal to look at private messages unless it can be demonstrated you were the party to the private message or it was required for maintenance purposes.

This can have the opposite chilling effect as some members want to remain anon when they flag a post. By opening up all this, then while some may be comfortable with a select handful knowing the information supplied they would not even flag if the whole world (incl google search) has access.

That it seems will unfortunately have to wait for the upcoming SAFE forums APPs.

Also if anyone really honestly feels the Mods are going off track then they do have the option to contact @frabrunelle who is the admin, or serious enough the ones who pay for the forum, David or Nick at MAIDsafe

So everyone still has avenues to “appeal” changes to a “higher power” if required.

A proposal for this to be done can be made and voted on and if people feel its important enough to know the bans of spam accounts (a lot) and suspensions (a handful to date).

From what I can see the new layout of the forum guidelines is mostly that. Some minor changes to moderation have been made because the time required for mods to have extended conversations about every mod action could not continue.

Definitely not, that is not the intent. Private messages definitely should be private.

Only actions taken (as these Affect us all in the connected community), like account bans etc should be visible, not the private messages. The same way we can’t see each others private messages, we Definitely shouldn’t see the mods private messages.

Also all people should be able to see all Public threads Posted, even if mods delete them etc, so that things are transparent and you guys can’t hide things from us the public (not that you would). But just to be clear.

That’s my proposal.

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Could this not be implemented with something like Follow My Vote until SAFE is up and running (or something similar)? Or is FMV not in production mode yet?[quote=“neo, post:8, topic:8253”]
This can have the opposite chilling effect as some members want to remain anon when they flag a post. By opening up all this, then while some may be comfortable with a select handful knowing the information supplied they would not even flag if the whole world (incl google search) has access.

Personally I’m against anon flagging and complaining. If you can’t enter into a direct conversation with the person you’re having an issue with then take your ball and go home. That being said one doesn’t need to reveal the name of the person who is offended or otherwise has an issue, one simply has to have transparency on the conversation itself. The real issue that affects the community at large is the idea being disputed not the individuals having the dispute. Should x issue be edited/censored because it is offensive to y party or is y party just over reacting? Is x user being rude to y party? Is x post considered spam or a ligitimate link? Etc etc. If one wanted to pursue this one could simply hold the chat on another messenger service or a disposable account here on the forum. One could even use encrypted email or simply black out the anon users username from chat logs made public. True there’s things like forensic linguistics but we’re not trying to keep secrets from the NSA here are we? We’re trying to maintain reputation among a community.

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As far as I know all deleted posts, even if the user deletes his own are visible to all users for 24 hours. Click the little pencil next to the post age (top right of post) to see any edits including deletions of text/post.

After that the forum software hides them from members.

We post either in topics, or in PMs The PM’s are private like you say the topics are public.

Unfortunately this is not the view of everyone and this is where the chilling effect come in. The new forum APPs should allow the simple setup of more options in how things are handled.

And consider that by requiring it be all open or “take your ball and go home” does not create a more inclusive forum but rather are more open exclusive forum.

Unfortunately its the balance between the two that works the best for the most, and hopefully more inclusive.

And if you continued reading my post you’d see I offered alternatives.

I’d call this a feature not a bug. And consider that the moment you start moderating and/or currating something it becomes to some degree exclusive. It is this exclusivity that people seek through moderation. More moderation = more exclusivity. Less moderation = more inclusivenss. I don’t see how requiring one to “take their ball and go home” would create increased exclusivity but rather have those that wished to voice a grievence take responsibility for doing so. No I do not feel we should be inclusive towards snitches and those so afraid of confrontation they dare not take responsibility for their own social grievances with others. If one needs a champion to represent them by proxie that’s one thing but one should still declare oneself. Yes on SAFE one will be able to anonymously complain and report on one’s peers but as we have discussed in other threads one’s ligitimacy and validity will largely depend on one’s accumulated honor and reputation and therefore an anonymous flag or complaint is not of as much value as one who has the integrity to openly stand for what they have a problem with. I would much rather a small group of people with integrity and honor than hoards of anonymous users complaining about one another behind closed doors like so many gossiping schoolgirls.

That being said, as I pointed out in my previous post, there are a plethora of ways to discuss ideas and issues without involving the members that participate in them However I think it unfair to vie to some “appeal to authority” in what strives to be a decentralized community. Even when you have a lawyer sent after you they still tell you who they’re representing.

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Why are you out, what are the exact rules in the guidelines that are so awful that you want to leave? They’re almost the same as the ones we had before. They’re only more clear and it’s clearly stated we don’t allow swears due to the fact that this forum is family friendly. Ohw, and no link to NSFW for that reason as well. Is that really a problem? The whole internet is full of hot stuff. I can’t imagine a reason people want to have it here as well.

We NEED a rule where a mod can ban/block whatever account he wants. Otherwise how could we handle spam? If there’s no rule that says we can ban people from the forum, or that we need at least 5 mods to reach consensus this forum would be a joke IMO. “Dear fellow moderators, this is Polpolrene, I would really like to remove this topic about weight loss that looks to me as spam, do you all agree?”

If you really think we kick off people because a personal gripe you are completely wrong. We now have like 9 mods… We all love this community and we all share our actions when it comes to moderation. We are all in this community for quite some time. Do you really think I or a different mod would get away with just banning someone for nothing? I don’t really get the distrust to be honest.


Removed several links to screenshots of PM’s between @Tonda and moderation. One can not post private messages without all parties in a discussion agreeing on it. Otherwise we could have PM’s posted all over the place where person A doesn’t allow it but person B still post them. That’s not improving discussion.

Thanks for the very constructive suggestions @whiteoutmashups

Software capabilities aside, I think @neo has covered those, the things that always concern me about a more open system is: what is the effect on moderation? Does it add to workload, and if so does it make moderation unsustainable?

I think your suggestions would be unsustainable because whenever you invite others to view all the details of a dispute, naturally lots of people want their say, and some poor person has to read and answer them all. This has already been tried to a limited extent, and is why we are where we are.

I tried a very “lite” version of that in my first year of moderation, and it didn’t work. Making everything transparent would be even harder to sustain IMO, and not something I would be willing to go forward with. Others might though so I don’t decide this issue - for example you could look for those who want this to step in as the new mod team (or at least to recruit a new team who are willing to give it a go), walk their talk, so to speak. But if anyone wants that they need to get support from the community because it is such a radical change. I don’t think it is needed, or worth this risk - my preference would be for others to build a better forum and let the community decide where they want to be. My guess is that if it was solved we’d end up with two great forums, and that’s good! Much more resilient :smile:

So I’m really sorry - I tried really hard to find a way of working that allowed moderation to be done mostly in the open (remember all those nudges and discussions on moderation in topic? We weren’t using staff colour then.) It didn’t work. Even with the much smaller community a year ago, it was far too much work and we’ve been struggling to find a way to address this for a long time now. First by increasing numbers of mods - this didn’t solve it, and frankly wouldn’t ever solve this issue IMO. Then we tried encouraging self moderation by users flagging things for our attention. Flagging by users happens, but is still rare, and frankly having mods around to spot dodgy posts and pre-empt this makes for a better forum IMO - I’ve personally removed some really awful stuff that I hope none of our users got to see - because I believe a lot of people would not want to return to a forum where they might experience such material again. (There are people around here who do not wish this project well). Now, in this latest attempt, we’re trying to address this issue by simplifying the guidelines and streamlining the process of moderation. I’m hopeful this can work while maintaining the quality and diversity of our community.

I hear your concerns about this @Tonda and it remains to be seen whether the effect is as you fear. I don’t see why these guidelines should lead you to leave - yes we’re asking you and others to keep language clean, and if you refuse to follow this and other guidelines things will get difficult for you because we will now delete things (and PM you with the reason). But each person has to decide whether they are willing to stay and be part of a community, or leave to do things that are more important to them.

I agree with you and @dirvine about wanting the square pegs here. My take is that I want both the square pegs and the round pegs so they can hang out together - so I aim for the everyone goal of SAFEnetwork in that. But if the forum is designed too much to suit the square pegs, we’ll risk losing too many of the round pegs! So we must try our best to accommodate both, and ask each peg, round square and all the other shapes, to be as accommodating of the others as they can. This is why we try to keep discussions “clean” as you put it, but not sterile I think. Just common ground where all all kinds of pegs, sorry people, can hang out and hear each other - earn each other’s respect and trust through their interactions. Often I see behaviour here that is not respectful (not just talking about towards mods) because the poster does not consider or care about the impact their words may have on others, and it makes me sad.

Guidelines and moderation can’t prevent that, but they can help keep it manageable enough for most people to handle themselves. That’s what they are designed for: to foster a community that can be diverse, have lots of disagreement, fruitful discussions, and be fun too - you’ve certainly increased the fun quotient @Tonda and gained a lot of likers for that. Me included - I welcome your request for me to lighten up (and I hope you’ve seen me trying to do just that). Sometimes you may go too far - but we all do when we take risks. I know I certainly do. IMO, at that point it is important to be able to hear how you affect others, or hear advice and criticism, and that’s the hard part in my experience. Because, human. :slight_smile:

Nobody has been banned for getting something like that wrong. Bans have always been temporary - usually a week in the first instance (except for accounts created just to post spam which we delete right away).

The only time people are banned is when they repeatedly refuse to listen and modify behaviour that is clearly unacceptable under the guidelines.

Banning is a last resort, and I think it acts as a cooling off period, because so far they have always come back. Most people get banned for how they react to being asked to follow a guideline - for example by deliberately flouting it or becoming abusive and making personal attacks on the public forum - not because of what they did in the first place.

I understand the concern you have raised about any mod being able to ban someone. But we remain a team. We still report every action we take to the whole team on slack. So we hold each other to account, and I don’t see any way a mod can avoid this process without the whole team being complicit.

It would take just one mod who saw the team as having become corrupt and unaccountable to act as whistle-blower and reveal that to the community. And, remember, every one of us is drawn from a community that values integrity and accountability.

This community too would I think be capable of seeing when something extreme like this happens, and using it’s own power to deal with it. We have authority, but only as long as the community accepts that authority. The community, particularly one as articulate, intelligent and not least as tech savvy as this, would be a formidable adversary for any team corrupt or incapable mods! How could we possibly survive as unwanted dictators here? Do you really think so!?

I hope you and others will stay, and continue to take risks, and remain part of the diverse and rich diversity we’ve all created here. Just keep your hands of my ass OK… :wink: keep that for PMs and let’s keep our private conversations private too.

Come on… seek permission before you post our private intercourse man. That’s just simple courtesy and respect. What would you say if a mod posted a private conversation with a forum member without permission. It’s not like you revealed any big mod plot to destroy SAFEnetwork is it… Or did you? I didn’t re-read them myself.

I still don’t understand why you did that. Was it to try provoke us into acting hastily, banning you for example? I hope it was just a reaction, you not thinking. But I’d like to hear if you still regard that as OK on your part or not, because I am personally not ok with it - for anyone. Do you think that breach of privacy and trust was justified by the point revealed in those PMs, and what precisely was that?

So, to sum up, we’ve come reluctantly to the same kind if solution you’ll find on most forums where quality discussion takes place. If anyone knows where this is done in the ways some of you would like, and works, please let us know and we can learn from them. I don’t know any, but I don’t know that many forums myself.

I understand the concerns people have raised. I really do and I’ve thought a lot about ways to address them. I just have not seen a way to address them that is better than what we’re now doing.

I think a lot about governance, not just for the forum, and the debates we have here have been really stimulating in this respect. I’m glad everyone voices their concerns, I have no problem with that. I hope we answer them well enough to satisfy most people, and I think we do. I know that some will not be satisfied with our solution, and I can live with that, but it doesn’t mean I ignore you, or even that I don’t share your concerns.

I can live with it because I know the mod team are doing their best, doing a difficult job really well, some putting in long hours almost every day for no other reason than that they have found a way you support this project. And IMO (seeing what actually goes on) this team are doing a great job.

The community don’t see this, and I’ve explained why I don’t believe it’s feasible to allow that level of scrutiny. Everyone can see that the forum continues to flourish, and to be a place where this can be discussed openly.


Yup, and just wanna add that people are still capable of viewing the forum when they’re banned for several days or weeks. So when some new software comes out to join a upgraded testnet, they still can test that out as well. We’re not blocking the IP-address. Although we do that for spam accounts when they post about weight loss and are clearly spambots.

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Total conformity isn’t the same as compromise. This of course favors the round pegs as they already acquiesce. I understand the desire to prevent chaos but it is from chaos that we find harmony. Attempting to shape and gag us only causes further dissent. Finding a balance is difficult, but it should IMO be a top priority. I’ve seen threads go into the hundreds with activity for years. This problem should be afforded the same if not greater level of attention. A hundred minds work in most cases better than 10. Even seemingly ridiculous ideas deserve a chance to be heard.

I accept that such a process will be slow and sometimes arduous. Until we have found a more elegant solution, I strongly believe the current guideline need to be trimmed back a little. Even if just to show good faith by compromise. The repeat offender section is of great concern to me. One idea that would ease my mind is to have all mods publicly share their decisions and objections to a ban. Spam and bots are one thing, but any member that has established themselves as human should be granted this protection. I see them all as precious unless they display otherwise.

Another issue is the backseat moderation rule. I haven’t seen any harm come from this. I mean isn’t the flag function a form of this? We’re a community. As such we reserve the right to point out the behavior of others. Will it sometimes generate a flame war? Of course, but allowing some independence reminds us that we’re a community. Not unpaid micro managed scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs,and visionaries to name a few of the incredible skill sets that grace this forum.

The anti bump rule might cause someone to hesitate to revive a topic. The wording should be adjusted to inform that revival is only allowed if they have genuine interest. Doing it solely for the purpose of bringing the topic back to the top is prohibited. The post must add to the discussion or request clarification.

Derailing a topic should only be considered as such if more than 40% percent of the members’ comments in a particular thread is off topic. To make this easy to enforce, the algorithm will naturally be applied to the back end. A small off topic function will be added to the GUI and only available to the mods. To maintain balance and accountability, the user should be informed in an automated way of who flagged it as off topic and how close they are to the percentage allowable.

Causing unrest is sometimes acceptable IMO. Like you said, a whistle blower will bring the issue to the community. The anti unrest rule contradicts this. Making it unacceptable to do so.

Like SAFE e-mail, we should be allowed a certain amount of strongly emphasizing words. Forcing us to go back and clean up old post before we are allowed to use them again. Five being the max. As a compromise the words must be partly obfuscated. Rather than these families being traumatized or having a stroke when they visit the forum, they’ll instead experience a minor palpitation. Junior will only be reminded that this world is a bit more colorful than his parents suggest. :wink:

The joking threats rule is too much. We all have a different sense of humor. This is the sterility I wrote of previously. If the target of the joke finds it offensive, give em a chance to handle it like a mature individual. Only if it spins out of control should a mod step in. Being a joke in the first place will likely mean the offender will retract his statement. Give us the benefit of doubt. To our credit, we the people have maintained this community pretty well. The sterility comes from trying to guard against all eventualities and as a result narrowing the scope of this forum. While this forum is primarily about SAFE, the members have turned this place into a haven that dynamically adjust to retain order. People from all walks of life of come here to enjoy each other. Stone walling with superfluous rules will likely hurt the overall diversity of this forum some consider a virtual home.

Porn links should be clearly labeled. We should strengthen the use of proper judgement. We’re not babies. Stop padding the room. If a person chooses to click the link, it is there choice. Offense being the opposite reaction of the one who explicitly decided to click the link. The chances are minuscule that a person will mistakenly click such a link. If they do, lesson learned. We did our part. It’s not fair to restrict something so natural to appeal to a micro population of impulsive users. Again, this forum has evolved into something akin to an organism. SAFE brought us together and our personalities and broader interests keep us together.

My hand does slip on occasion. :grin: Though I’d worry more about @janitor .

Wait, I hear something creeping in the bushes :frowning: … Look! Behind you! :astonished:

My reasoning for exposing the private correspondence was to give the community insight into the mentality of the mods on the matter. Providing some context. Otherwise my claims would be hearsay or just unsupported accusations. You IMO said something very naughty. I feared that you were degenerating into a tyrant my beloved happybeing. Allowing others to see and comment on your behavior could have helped to recalibrate your bearings. As most of us already realize, displaying candid moments or private conversations by our community leaders/mods paints a clearer picture of those with all the keys. Such power should only come with transparency.

P.S. Sorry for the long wait. EVERYONE in my household was bed ridden all day due to a stomach virus. We all ate something different the previous day so there was no shared source IMO. It was likely viral and transmissible via physical contact. I’m almost fully recovered. My daughter isn’t as lucky. I was achy and nauseous as hell. Sucks knowing she’s still experiencing it. :disappointed_relieved:


Glad you’re feeling better man!

I know I wasn’t the only one who missed you around here! Hope she gets well very soon

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