I think ‘meta’ is technically off-topic but not part of the category ‘off-topic’. On-topic ‘meta’ would be if this forum was hosted on SAFE.
@Al_Kafir I wasn’t following when the actual change happened but I highly doubt it was a reaction to censor a specific thread.
For the record, yes… I’m technically an admin along with @frabrunelle but he does all the work… I guess I’m just back up in case he goes rogue.
And also for the record, hiding non-SAFE network related discussions that are cluttering the front page makes sense. I voted for hiding off-topic when we originally decided to do that and I also support this decision. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning the fact that both off-topic and meta are hidden in the welcome post? That way, the people who are more interested in joining the community will probably check that post out and see that they exist while others just passing through looking for an answer or whatever won’t be distracted/turned off by meta/off-topic threads.
Preciously few of the community seem to be interested in these discussions, it’s almost only mods in here and dirvine because he was tagged. I agree with the idea that when there are concerns about moderation and mods, that the community should speak up (so far I don’t see community-wide concerns though).
To me it seems that some moderators are putting far too much time and energy into these discussions. You’ll burn yourselves out if you’re not careful. I suggest to only fully engage such discussions after there is broad demand for them. There’s no way we (as in the community) will get unanimous consensus on exactly what this forum should be and how it should look. I said before that I personally wouldn’t mind additional categories (Politics, Philosophy, etc) but the consensus seems to be that this forum is meant to be a landing page for people looking for information or help concerning SAFE. Then it’s logical that anything that’s not closely related to SAFE doesn’t belong on the main page.
There is the issue of what is right aside from current community interest.
Had more time to reflect. I think the site in its highest and best form and most contributing function is as a never ending brain storming session for the tech and the adaptive social response related to the tech and spreading privacy, security and freedom.
A possible way to get at currated conciseness but retain the tangents crucial to brainstorming may be a culture where posters who don’t mind doing so simply summerize threads at various points as the thread develops. This would complement the summary of thread function. Those summaries might be highlighted and there might be an easy way to tab among them. Presumably there will be a diversity of people creating these waypoint summaries across the progression of the thread so it will be easy enough to go back and check the papertrail of way points for consistency without getting lost in the tangents that people need to move their cognitive process along to progress the thread.
In this way we get both concise informational summaries satisfying the mod info curation goal and eliminate the need to police on topic. Maybe at the head of the thread the various waypoints would be clickable and maybe in the most recent there would be a “take me to the most recent way point.”
Now if people want to go tangential in text highlighted as a summary, well that would be pushing it. But even here the best response might be to withhold the tabbing link pending clarification. And of course there may be disagreements on the proper summary. But successive summaries would not pro con viewpoints and the bifurcation of analysis.
I’m talking the reasons given for removing the whole category was because it was not “on-topic” of the Network, ergo it is considered"off-topic" for which we already have a category. - But this is apparently a special case of off-topic for some reason, so there’s a recognition I think that it isn’t really off-topic. This decision seems to just cause more problems for mods who will now have to remove any posts that are about the running/structure of the forum to “meta”.
I’m not getting how any of this helps new users in any way, certainly with navigation. I still totally disagree that the meta category “blots out” anything. For a start it is hardly ever used. It’s either a topic worthy of being discussed in front of all the community on the front page, or it’s off-topic as far as I can see.
Why not just re describe off-topic as Philosophy/politics etc and any ideas or suggestions about how the forum could be improved and remove the meta category altogether?.
Sorry @Al_Kafir but this is getting silly. @happybeing wrote precisely why it has been moved, you´re just trying to make this a black-white thing. There is a clear difference between what has been discussed in Off-Topic and what was discussed in Meta - that doesn´t change the fact that Meta “was blotting out anything about the network itself - which would not help new visitors find what they want, or anyone returning to catch up with what’s happening with SAFEnetwork”. Anyway, I think everything has been said. I´m off.
Just so I can get things clear in my head and get on the same page of reasoning as others, could somebody please confirm my understanding of the following.
Meta category is hardly used however it has been considered for some time to be “blotting out” talk about the Network. Why?
The moving of the Meta category had nothing to do with the discussions being had.
Had the discussion been going on in say Community, where it would have been equally relevant, the discussion would have continued and would not be “blotting out” anything. Meta Category would have been moved at that exact point anyway?
4.After a very long time of not being moved, after careful consideration by the mods about possible blowback and raised eyebrows (given the nature of people attracted to the Network), it was decided that the optimum time to effect this change was during a discussion raising issues about the structure and modding of the forum.
You’re right on all counts. They’ve re-created the Supreme Court, but with a possible improvement that their deliberations seems to be even more private. You know they have meta policy as well for instance, they will readily admit fallibility but never fault. They self select based on compatible ideology. Also, when challenged policy is to claim its an insufficient minority and refer back to the supreme guild lines which cannot be changed by the charged insufficient minority. Also refer to the apparently agreed upon prime informational function for new people. Its a PR operation and the nature of propaganda is it resists the change you’d like to see and make the change in you that you don’t want. Moderation implies a constant state of conflict.
But there are glimmerings of hope. One mod has proposed a flat system. Others have considered criticism about whether Discourse is the right system. Discourse says its flat, calls more flexible systems hierarchical, very clever PR.
Yes, totally agreed and well said. No community given legitimacy to have the authority to hold their positions of power over the Community. If as you say I am correct in the above points, then it smacks of incompetence at a bare minimum. I for one have no confidence in them and will just take Janitor’s attitude towards government - just ignore them as best you can and try to effect change through reasoned discourse…
Meta category was hardly ever used and then it started being used more thus blotting out SAFE network discussions and warranting hiding it from front page.
It had nothing to do with the content of discussions, simply the fact that there were an increasing amount of them in a technically non-SAFE network related category.
If the discussion was about the forum, moderators, etc. it belongs in meta and if it was taking place in community, it should at least also be tagged with meta.
Taking a stab at this one since I wasn’t on the forum at the particular instance but let’s say this is the case… again, since these discussions are not SAFE network related this would have increased the blotting out even more and increased the need for hiding the category.
And now we’re just doing this more in an uncategorized topic. This thread should be moved to meta and a notification that meta + off-topic categories are hidden should be listed in the welcome post.
For the sake of hopefully a more conjoined and singular perspective by all concerned allow me to explain how I saw the infamous and controversial ‘meta muting’ incident.
I saw multilink threads being updated very frequently. They all seemed to be similarly heated discussions around internal politics of this forum.
For a few days it felt like otherwise interesting and relevant discussions were not being heard due to the the ‘noise’ coming from this debate. At the time I think taking those discussions away from front and centre of our collective voice was the correct thing to do.
Question is though, has the meta category been yellow carded (it did function for a long time without incident/abuse), or has it been red carded for good?
So it was on-topic until the particular discussion we were having, or off-topic all along? Obviously nothing was enacted during previous discussions.
I see, so those particular discussions that popped up were just the straw that broke the camel’s back? The meta catagory appears to have had quite a consistent amount of posts going back a few months, there didn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary or containing more posts than previously There were just 13 posts in one thread, 2 other threads started by the mods themselve (lol) and the contentious “Let the users decide” thread. So I think we can discount the first 3 being an issue…which leaves us with one thread remaining with 55 posts. So where is this sudden deluge that was “blotting out” talk - there appears to be no evidence to substantiate the claim. If these are the threads being referred to then 50% of them were started by mods - so where does that leave us?"
I see, so quite straightforword for enticing new userd then?
“Meta category was hardly ever used and then it started being used more thus blotting out SAFE network discussions and warranting hiding it from front page.”
How much can such utter nonsense be parroted?
Ironically the mods seem to need a damn supervisor. You can go get someone with the obvious ethical qualifications or get someone like @alkafir. Even tech people with the best and most sincere impulses still are sometimes too distracted by tech to more completely develop their perspectives and reflexes. This is sad because the ethical line is the only one that we can really be said to mature and develop along. In the end its the only one that counts and its directly tied to our capacity to love. SAFE should be a means to help keep that avenue of development open, but instead its getting caught up in the hypocrisy of control in its original forum line.
Always technically off-topic, never an issue until it started filling front page.
It doesn’t matter who started them. The fact of the matter is that folks started to notice them in the front more so a discussion was raised.
Not sure what this means… straightforward so we can standardise what gets put into what category.
I’m sorry this decision by the moderators is against what you think is right and debate is generally healthy but IMO you’re dragging this out far beyond necessary. I’ll be stepping away from this conversation as well since I made my points which I hoped would help clarify and put in my request to move this topic to meta.