Let the Users decide if something is off topic not the mods!

Well, noone keeps you from drastically re-think it yourself and do it on another forum.

Also, mods have been stressed that they are open to changes if there is a majority supporting it + willing to take responsibility.

I believe that one important reason why the forum is working well and constantly gains users is because it is moderated responsibly and with the possibility to debate with moderators instead of kicked out without discussion. As @polpolrene has mentioned, this is a quite common habit on many other forums and I don´t have any doubts that the majority of users here is happy with the way things are handled here. Still, people come up and complain as if naturally the forum has to be as they envision it. Imho that´s plainly ignorant.

…and if people come up with sentences like “It is maximum hypocrisy…” I don´t see how we can have a serious debate about changing conditions.

Again, there is a reason why @Warren is not launching his own forum where things work out as he thinks it should: because anyone but maybe 5 would join.

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I see it as a partly personal attack on us as moderators because it isn’t the first time these points are raised by Warren. We’ve discussed enough in my opinion about those points and gave people multiple options to proceed after the discussion. Now the same points are raised again instead of giving us a list of improvements which we can really consider.

I don’t believe we’ve already decided or undecided a serious implementation/improvement suggestion without asking the rest of the community. But I’m looking forward to seeing a serious list of improvements that we can consider.


Is that an order?..lol…What’s wrong with me doing it here?
I’m not getting all the defensiveness and petulance coming across in these responses tbh.

I have made similar statements myself, so not sure what the issue is here.

I see, I should count myself lucky then?

Tes…so this means it is a perfect system that is beyond constructive criticism - use another forum if you want to suggest improvements because we don’t want it here? Have you heard yourselves?..lol
Legitimate concerns were raised about the forum/mod structure and possibility of clique forming behaviour - supported by the almost nepotistic process for becoming a mod. Warren also raised other potential abuses of such a system and voiced his opinion that the Community is constituted by more than “techie” people and this might not be being fairly represented in the modding/topics - especially as discussions between mods about who are to become mods only occurs on Stack.
The over-arching suggestion here is that the forum becomes more representative of/responsible to the Community, rather than the mods who do not have the Community’s legitimate authority to hold the positions they do.
You can dismiss all these concerns as “complaints” about the individual mods and advise me to just use another forum if I don’t like it, but I do like it and will continue to express my views/opinions until such a time as I get “kicked off” by anybody that I do not recognise as having the Community vested authority to do so… :smiley:

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Nope, users want clean and organised topics. So when we see something that’s not in the right category (like folks talking about the Big Bang in “cybersecurity”) we act without a flag.

Come up with a different solution and post below please. And let me know which one of the moderators you don’t trust.

Yes this is how it works. We talked about open elections or votes etc. But we all agreed this was not the right solution at the moment. And you keep talking about how things should be different. Well, make a plan and post below. You’re free to reply about all the things that you don’t like and should be changed. But I’ve asked you again and again to finally come up with a plan or something concrete we can discuss here. It stays very quiet on that perspective.

I think the larger point is being missed here. I do not recognise the authority of the mods to decide how the forum is run or what can be talked about etc, I believe that authority resides with the Community. If I make suggestions about how the forum could be improved, I will post them in the correct “meta” section, not address the mods.

  1. address the "improvements already suggested here.
  2. Think about who should be considering them
    3 Review the mod recruiting process to prevent clique forming behaviour, potential abuse etc
    4 Maybe think about de-centralising the modding back to communinty more (promote reply as new topic etc for self moderation :smiley:
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This is not close to a plan. Not concrete at all. very vague.

How??? Again, very vague. You mean we should make a new topic and ask all users to use “reply as a new topic” more often???

I’ll add your reply as new topic suggestion next time.

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I kinda see his point. I admit I wouldn’t mind categories for more general topics myself, such as Philosphy or Politics. They could be filtered by default (not displayed on the main page), so they would be opt-in categories. Unlike Off-topic, I would turn those categories on.


No, it´s not an order. You seem upset with how things are handled here. I was just pointing out the obvious. Not at all defensive.

Again, you seem to have issues with how moderation is handled, that´s why I mentioned it.

Yes, I think you should. But that´s just my opinion :wink:

I heard myself and I read how you misinterpreted it.

Thanks, guess I should count myself lucky, right? I didn´t dismiss concerns as complaints about inidividual mods. I dismiss the way criticism is carried out as counterproductive and unfair, particularly since all of us have subscribed to forum guidelines. I already said that, but apparently it´s always better to repeat things to prevent misinterpretations.

I have any problems with that. Just one note: it really doesn´t matter whether you recognise someone to have or have not the authority. What matter is who factually has authority. Someone holds the keys for the domain and the database of this forum - this individual wasn´t “elected” or determined decentrally and isn´t bound to some sort of imagined responsibility towards the forum. This individual or these individuals HAVE authority, they also have legal responsibility. I made the reference to building another forum particularly because I have some sort of feeling that people forget about this fact and believe they have the right to have things changed.

All in all my comment boils down to: if you have issues and want to change stuff, better don´t start with the allegation of “maximum hypocrisy” and make concrete proposals. Maybe you can agree on that.

There’s already a discussion about this topic. I mentioned it in the last forum update. I’ll post a link below. A lot of answers were already given in that topic by mods or others.

Even the opurtunity to come up with different ideas so we can discuss them. That was 27 days ago. Now we have another topic about the fact that some members don’t like certain rules/moderation on this forum. But I fail to see concrete ideas we could discuss.

Concrete proposals indeed. :+1:

Here’s the other topic. Same subject, almost 30 days old.

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Whoah…you crossed the line there mate. Check guidelines about “Straw men”.
I think I’ve seen and heard enough of this display now. I’ve expressed the nature of my concerns to the Community in the appropriate thread - the response has been ridiculous…and illuminating. Thanks.

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I see…lol…whoever’s got the badge is the authority, no matter how they got the badge?

Why not?..seriously?..not that I did anyway.

No, actually… :smile:

Nor do I now you’ve explained the dynamics of what I originally thought was the Safe Network Community’s forum…not the authority structure you laid out.Why did the Community pick first mods then - when did policy change?If my explanation of why this might not be the best set up doesn’t concern other Community members then so be it …it’s not their forum anyway…loll. :smiley:
For multiple reasons then, I think the Community needs a new forum…hopefully on the Safe Network so not so massively centralised power wise. :smiley:
Nothing to do with criticising mods, not saying forum experience is bad, or don’t trust mods etc - whatever straw men are constructed.

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Catching up on this thread the response seems to be mainly: set out what you’d like to happen so it can be discussed.

You don’t have to do that. If all you wanted to do us express concerns that’s fine.

BTW there are good reasons for why we decided to choose mods the way we do. Essentially we take moderation seriously, so we look for committed community members who show qualities we have found to be important: such as their ability to communicate clearly, commitment to the project, not taking things personally, even self reflection and the ability to hear another’s point of view. And not least, the willingness to be part of a team, who consult, advise and support each other. I don’t think voting would improve the quality of mods or the team, although it might help the community feel more empowered and less suspicious of individual moderators, or if moderation in general.

Usually people seem happy about moderation until they are personally affected in a way they disagree with, so I think perception is important and elections might help with that. But I’m not convinced such a change would be worth it - I expect it would take up more time, and could result in less good moderators, or a less effective team. It’s up to the community though - if someone were to propose it, it could be discussed and voted on.

Frankly moderation is already a lot of work - including all the discussions such as this that go along with it, and keeping up with the forum.

I think if the community could see what we do - the amount of time we put in, and the careful consideration we give to the actions we take, all of these issues would disappear. But the only way to experience that is to try moderating this forum yourself. Any volunteers? We normally approach people when we think the team is ready to expand, but if anyone wants to volunteer we’d be happy to discuss with them what’s involved and whether we and they think they’d be a good moderator. (I’m not able to say we’re ready to add to the team right now, because I have not discussed this with the other mods and wet take these decisions collectively).

It’s notable how a tiny fraction of the community generate the majority of the work required for moderation. It would be far easier to not: mention, advise, and discuss with people when we think they need to change their behaviour - which we only do in relation to the guidelines agreed with the community. Not personal opinion, always in view of each other and almost always with internal discussion. When this happens it takes a lot of our time, and it is happening on a regular basis now, whereas in the past it was intermittent.

If instead we could just act and be done, and not consult, or allow discussion and challenge of moderation, our work would take a fraction of the time.

I think that is a serious consideration, because the mod team is already stretched, and I anticipate that things are going to get far busier when the network is ready.

I don’t see how we can continue to do things with the same level of consultation and diligence in that context. It will certainly not be possible without the support of the community, so the community will be the ones to decide how moderation develops in that context.


None of the issues I have raised in this thread would disappear - as my concerns weren’t that you don’t put enough time in, or consider things…completely different things about the overall structure, mod recruiting process and what mods should/shouldn’t be responsible for.

The suggestion was to not remove sections of conversation within threads for being "off- topic to the thread itself, without it first being flagged by the Community

OK…I just saw… :smiley:

C’mon, this isn’t a reason - its a non-sequitur - whether moderated by Community, using flags or whether the mods just remove at will- either way there would be clean/orhanised topics. :smiley:

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Ohw? You’re talking to me again, pfewwwwwww, I almost felt like I got some rest :yum:.
But seriously, it’s okay to criticize mods, or policies or whatever. But you seem to think that we have policies about adding new mods, and that we should have a mechanism to ask other members next to mods whenever we make decision. And just like @happybeing just told you, this forum already consumes a lot of time. And next to that, this is not the House of Lords. Nobody is gonna write laws for every little thing that we do. It’s more about common sense. And especially about consensus. Is it open to abuse like you just said? Yes it is. Just like working for the Red Cross is open to abuse. Or having a busdriver on a bus is open to abuse. We can’t get rid of all risks in life.

There was consensus btw that off-topic was removed from the frontpage. I see several topics about it starting in aug. 2014. It was a community decision. Same for the Forum Guidelines. We put a great amount of time in writing it and the community agreed with them. Same for new mods, we never had 1 single PM to @moderators that we shouldn’t add a new mod after we posted their name on the Forum Update. This means that the community agreed with it. So this forum is actually a community forum I would say.


You have the option to not engage me, nobody’s forcing you to reply. Would you like me to stop talking to you?..I’m really not arsed…

I may seem many things, but I asked what process you used to recruit mods and you told me…that’s it. Apparently you get together on Stack and decide who is worthy amongst yourselves - that’s it in a nutshell isn’t it? I’ve stated many reasons why this should be changed…that’s it.

No, again, nothing like that…

Yes, that’s the nub of my point - more things should be based on Community consensus- not mod consensus.

We can least get rid of some of the more obvious ones… :smiley:
…which nobody seems to see…except me and my mate @Warren.who represent a non-techie crowd with other interests///

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This topic is open for 2 days now, has 218 views and 29 replies, where 2 people out of the 9 that actually answered are for changes to the way things are handled here, nobody else seems to either care enough about this to answer or share the demands of OP.

That’s a pretty good indication on where the COMMUNITY actually stands on this topic. I’m not saying your opinions are wrong, far from it, just that the majority doesn’t agree with you (so far). I think you should respect that guys, because that’s what you’re demanding, isn’t it? That decisions are based on the “demands” of the majority of the community.


Take a breath and see the smiley.

Tell me which ones and how. Choosing new moderators should be done in a different way? Tell me how. Mods only take action after a Flag by the community? That means mods aren’t community any longer, and if you feel they are than I would first flag a reply and than take action on my own flag. We’re community as well IMHO. Members from the community should decide if something is off-topic or not? So what do we do as mods when we get 1 flag about one of your posts? Ohw, and btw it’s someone you don’t like? Should we agree with the flag and wait for your PM to @moderators?? Or should we PM you that person X flagged your post? Or should we than have a discussion on Slack?

Just some questions about your ideas. Again, welcome to not agree with things here. But give me a straight and clear way to do it different.


No, it’s a pretty good indication of what the most vocal portion of this community is willing to hear about itself. There’s a problem with this forum. If that wasn’t made obvious by the round and round and going nowhere of all the Ptp threads. Someone has taken the step to point it out here. You think you’re “staying on topic” when what you’re doing is closing off the discussion. Which might work when you the most vocal of you know enough to keep going, but sometimes you just don’t know enough and no amt. of brainstorming is going to fix that.

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I…I’m not sure if you’re addressing me here and I’m also not sure what you’re trying to say with your post to be honest. :wink:

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I have never demanded anything.

That’s what I’ve been arguing… :smiley:

Well, obviously, I’d disagree with that and could probably come up with better ways to ascertain Community opinion, but I’m done with this now.

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