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

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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Concrete steps:

  1. No more mod decisions as a group. Let the community decide it all.

  2. No more public mod comments as mods in threads. PM people get their permission first.

  3. No more mods flagging posts or deciding to remove posts, let the community decide what is

  4. Focus on making sure that you don’t have little voter cliques trying to censor opinion- that’s your
    higher calling.

  5. No more of this nonsense about whoa is me volunteer stuff and how it takes 20 mods. 4Chan ran with
    one anti mod in a forum with 20 million plus users for years- yes after a while he was full time but the
    point is still clear.

  6. Mods should be neither seen nor heard from unless necessary and in private. Get another alias or nic
    if you want to comment outside.

What is going on here is the height of hypocrisy. SAFE was/is a way to take the filter and spin out of the flow of information- that’s one of the key fruits of privacy and necessary to keep privacy. How can you get where you’re going with a biased compass? And now we have a little group think clique of mods setting up that goes and gossips on Slack to makes unilateral decisions against the community. And then tries to say its only minority that has any problem with this.

Your clique is about control. Try to control others and you enslave yourself. Try to serve and you free yourself. But the problem with service is you can’t hurry development anymore than you can hurry conversation so its a very humbling process. I can almost hear the concerns i.e., these people are too stupid (non tech) and will scare off the serious contributors. Or these people are too leftist and will scare off business types or tarnish the tech/organization’s reputation in the community. But look around, the smartest most aware people are almost always on the left and they are the ones who invariably care most about privacy and free speech.

@Warren, your whole point appears to be: get rid of the moderators. Why don´t you say so in first place? Let´s see:

Are you referring to threads or posts? A thread can be shifted to the off-topic section if enough people vote on it - single posts have to disappear (as in Reddit). Unsure whether Discourse offers this feature at all. You seem to know more?

Why would it be a problem if a moderator talks publicly about what he thinks on the given thread? Apparently you want to censor him*her…

If mods cannot decide to remove or change posts then they have de facto any sort of moderating function (which is apparently what you´d like to see).

So that´s the higher calling…I wonder how mods should “make that sure”. Any idea @Warren? Should the hosts of this page disallow registering accounts from people who use TOR? Is that what you are asking for? Or do you want them to disqualify votes from people who don´t have “enough” posts (as in “anyone is allowed to define what´s enough because that would be hypcrisy”).

I wouldn´t be the only one who leaves if the forum would look like 4chan. It´s as much a “community” place as highway rest stops are: probably makes sense for some truck drivers, for most others its a place where they take a sh** and dump their garbage. Interestingly most people on 4chan have been against voting content. You appear to propose a mixture between Reddit and 4chan with the consequence that content is silenced by the ratio of fake accounts.

Absolutely ridiculous point. Why should a moderator not use the same alias? To be confused by users who are not constantly online like you? Also, when moderating it is clearly visible moderators are speaking in their role as moderators.

To you there seems to be any difference between moderating and censoring. I think it would help you a lot to learn that things are not just black and white.

I giggled when I read that. I personally believe there are other things on this forum that scare of serious contributors much more.

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How does the community take action than? Say I post something as a member, 3 people flag it for being off-topic. Who’s gonna do what? Does a mod needs to move it than? And what if 3 other users oppose to the flags of the first group? I miss the practical way of doing this. So please be more specific.

I see 2 people getting into a personal fight. They hijack the topic with a personal flamewar. I see flags by the community coming in. So in your way I would need to PM the 2 people in the fight. Ask them to remove the replies and let the replies stay for maybe 2 days before they come back to reply to my PM. Ohw, and btw. I’m not allowed to reply as a mod in the topic to other members so no one knows that I’ve sent a PM to these 2 that are having personal fights in the topic.

Do you reallt think that’s gonna work @warren ??

Ahw, I was asked to be a mod because I was and active member of the community. But now I’m not allowed to flag things any longer. In your words: You’re steeling my rights here on the forum than. If I would take away your right to flag things you would probably call it slavery. Now you propose to take away my rights??

As far as I know we don’t censor things here on the forum. You’are allowed to create topics about structures on Mars.

4chan has both Jannitors and Moderators. Their volunteers also need to sign an agreement to be a volunteer. In that sense we’re way more open.

See my replies above about using only PM’s without informing others in the topic. It will be a mess.

We make decision against the community? By providing a forum and keep it clean? Without ever touching over 99.9% of all the topics and replies?? I don’t see how. Sorry.

And you want to take away the right for mods to flag any content or to reply in a topic?

We never say things like that and we actually never think like that. I don’t know why you think that way.


If you’re a mod and you’re flagging, there is an obvious conflict of interest. Don’t be a mod if you don’t like it. When after a certain amount of time enough flags occur say 80-90% con and only 10% pro then move then move it but don’t move it as people are still discussing it and stop with the idiotic “on topic” nonsense within a thread, people can read around it tangents. Its especially a problem when a mod is telling the OP to stay on topic in their own thread.

Once again this isn’t a formal forum for engineers to try to solve something as if they were writing collaborative code, but sometimes they start here. This is a place for people to converse, learn, grow, ask questions and have fun with all things related to the SAFE topic. I can see this notion wearing slightly thin now that sights have lowered a bit but at one point SAFE was to be a replacement internet at least per the forum not the founders so much. But blue sky is a hard type of enthusiasm to contain. Again, without killing the point this place was never collaborative white paper writing. And collaborative white paper writing isn’t what would do SAFE the most good.

This forum should mirror what SAFE is meant to provide at least with regard to stuff like moderation.

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Can I ask for some clarifications and/or suggestions. I apologize in advance if I make mistakes in reading what you meant, use them to clarify your points please. And not be offended, because my intent is not to offend but learn.

Who does the move? The forum software? who?

Can you explain how this can be maintained if we have to wait days for any decision to be made. Even on a controversial subject of PtP we got less than 100 out of 1000’s to vote in a week.

Is 10% of members voting enough to move a topic? What if its 5% ghost accounts and 5% members. What happens when members get sick of a poster and just stops reading instead of voting, eventually leaving the forum?

Do we accept the “ghost” accounts used to support or down vote a post? If not then how do you stop “ghost” accounts? Does the community have to vote them out?

Personally I doubt enough people would vote up/down a post (every post that needs attention). Do we get the forum software to include the IP address used for each post AND for each vote, so the community can see if people are voting twice or posting using an alias? Where is SAFE’s anonymity model reflected in a forum where everyone has to decide on those matters just so we can " converse, learn, grow, ask questions and have fun with all things related to topic SAFE topic"

Warren, you also only include “all things related to topic SAFE topic”. Does that mean you don’t want the “off-topic” category then?

So are you suggesting that no one is allowed to write their theories on what can be done (white paper in short form) OR discuss them including SAFE’s? (on this forum that is)

I ask because I cannot see otherwise from your statements, but I cannot believe that you would suggest that.

SAFE provides uncensored access to information or other data people put up. Are you suggesting that we throw out any form of moderation. Including we throw out your suggestions that the community moderates. Because once anything is on SAFE it stays there.

Forums are not a SAFE thing and any forum APP will suffer from the same as internet forums. SAFE is decentralized and not community (centralised) orientated. Some APPs will likely form communities.

I see any community formed around SAFE as involving some compromise between community needs and SAFE operations of total anonymity and trustless operation.

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