Proposal for changes in moderation

Well, @polpolrene, what exactly is the situation?

Is it not the case that if somebody is dissatisfied with something,

  1. The only place they are allowed to post about it is meta
  2. They are then often told that if they want change, they need to write their suggestion into a ‘serious’ or ‘detailed’ proposal, then
  3. If the moderators deem it to be serious or detailed enough, then and only then will they list it on the front page for the wider community’s consideration?

Unless you are saying that I may make my post directly on the front page in some other category, and therefore the Community Guidelines are now inaccurate?

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Do you support the idea of voting to ban murder forever? To institute freedom of speech forever? Neither implies you must ignore concepts like ‘manslaughter’ or allowing for ‘fire in a crowded theatre’. Is freedom of speech, in your estimation, anti-democratic by your logic?

You surely realise that your concern is democratically principled, right? Then you surely also realise that a democracy requires freedom of speech to function properly, for the exact same reasons that I have argued it is required here: Because if you can’t speak your mind, or you can only speak your mind in segregated ‘Free Speech Zones’, then your concerns can not be heard by the ‘community’ in the first place and so you can not build support for your dissent!

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We are talking about a forum policy here, not murder, or indeed law.

You are in effect asking people to make ‘laws’ that can’t be changed, ever. I don’t know anywhere that does that, whether it’s about murder or anything else I can think of. So I suggest you reconsider.

Yes, I am quite well aware of that, sir. It was an analogy to demonstrate the principle of the thing. I used those examples to show that, obviously, you can indeed vote to end something forever. There is no clause in any law, at least in my country, that says that the government could one day make murder legal again. (EDIT: Or at least, I challenge you to find anyone who believes that the law against murder was passed with the assumption that “We can one day make it legal again”) Secondly, and more importantly, I also included the concept of ‘exceptions to the rule’, so that any ‘forever rule’ would allow some wiggle-room.

Perhaps you may like to have a look at the US Constitution (which can of course be amended with massive support). And I never said it couldn’t be amended, or a new solution found. Or exceptions to the rule added, with the agreement of the community.

The point that I was making in that particular comment was that:
IF you claim to be a Community forum, and I’ve seen one of either you or the mods in the last day or two mention the word democracy as well, then it should never be the case that those in power judge claims against themselves. Analogously, this is why we have a judiciary, rather than letting politicians decide whether a case will go to court in the first place.

Here, in the case of the forum, we shouldn’t have to satisfy the mods before being allowed to get eyes on our concerns, because it directly involves criticising their actions. By putting dissent in meta, less people get to see the complaint. By requiring a member to write a ‘serious’ or ‘detailed’ proposal (can someone remind me: Who judges whether it is or not) before it can be shown to the wider community, where they will see it, you effectively silence that dissent, because you can’t gather support from others.

Euh, some close reading here:

Now and forever, remove the requirement that the mods have to approve of a ‘serious’ or ‘detailed’ ‘proposal’ before the rest of the people on this forum are even made aware of a complaint about moderation.

It makes the argument that “the rest of the people on this forum” are not made aware of any complaint.

That holds quite a statement in it…

Here’s a screenshot of #meta literally showing thousands of views. So “the rest of the people” clearly find this spot and they also read topics. A lot of others clearly aren’t concerned in any way about moderation because they think we’re doing okay enough for them to stick around. So if you make a topic in #meta it’s open to anyone that’s interested in talking moderation. We also point to #meta in most of our forum updates.

So making a statement that it’s a requirement to write a proposal before the rest of the people can see it is quite false. This place is open for anyone to talk this forum/moderation.

But there aren’t that many people interested in the topic. Some feel very strong about it and want to democratize the whole thing as soon as possible. Others just want to hang around here, join some discussion without flame wars and spam and are okay with how it’s being run I guess.

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That’s not very precise statistical analysis, there @polpolrene.

That list there shows only 2 of the topics have more than 178 views. And what are those topics? Trust Level 1 and Trust Level 2 Requirements, respectively.

And you and I both know that those two requirements affect whether or not you are able to participate in Alpha’s in some fashion, no? At least Alpha 2 had a trust level requirement. It’s no surprise to me that people might go to the search bar, type Trust Level Requirement, and then view these in order to determine whether they can participate in an Alpha, which is one of the most exciting parts of this forum in the first place!

And only anybody who knows it exists. It’s like hiding the voting booth in a back alley.

No, it isn’t (false). Go and read my actual post. It explains everything there in great detail. And my list of proposals, in context, was listed after my explanations and justifications. Comments on issues brought up in the Trust Level Price/Trading topic here on meta

@jm5, assuming that people here were operating in a sane fashion and wouldn’t nitpick every last detail, or at least would go and read from the link to my thread that included my proposals, cut and pasted it here. I assume that @jm5 included the link so that people could go and read the thread where I made them, to understand what I was talking about.

I have a detailed set of thoughts there that should clear it up for you.

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I’ve read your post. A long piece. That’s cool, you feel strongly about SAFE and this community and maybe even more than you think?

there are several things that come up now and then which I don’t think we can fix…

  • Some people want #meta topics on the frontpage. More (when we moved it over here) don’t. So no matter which one we choose, there will always be members in this category complaining they don’t agree. No matter what choice we make.
  • Some people want us to be more loose when it comes to going off topic. We always have a rule: 1 or 2 replies are okay, maybe 3. but if we see 4 or 5 of them going off topic we move it to the right topic. A lot of people agree, so if we would change it some others will complain: why do you let these things go off topic?? that wasn’t the care 2 weeks ago!
  • Some people don’t like it when we ban people, even if we seriously have good reasons to do so. And we can’t share why for the most cases because we can’t share PMs and stuff like that. And because we don’t want to publicly nail people without them being able to reply after their ban. So that’s something we’ll never do well as mods. There will always be people blaming us that we’re too strict.
  • We don’t have a democratically elected jury to see if we do our jobs right. That’s a problem, because people can say: ahh, these moderators, they’re doing a bad job on that case. Even though they don’t see flagged posts because we remove them that fast. And because we won’t share PMs with people. So there will always be critics saying: a clique of mods, North Korea, China, etc. But if we ask them to fix that problem I bet you that they can’t. Who would vote the jury?? Polls only take in so many votes, mostly not even 10% of them forum members. Even on the frontpage. And even if they would elect some people, we would have to open all our communication and make them mods to follow us.

So, long story short: we can’t please anyone. For every 5 people that think we’re too strict 5 others think we’re doing ok. And for every 5 people that want #meta on the frontpage we’ll have 5 or maybe 6 or 7 others that don’t want it… And even that is an assumption… I can’t really show you these numbers because they aren’t there…

So best thing to do is what you did. Make a proposal, call for TL1 for price and trading and it happened. I actually turned 180 degrees after reading these topics here. My first reply to other mods was; nope keep it. Today I made my turn. And we all have equal votes. So does take up 24H or even longer before we reach consensus.

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Glad that it meets your approval. It was an attempt to get together a “serious proposal” for the moderators to consider :joy:. To clear up the confusion, @neo kindly gave some feedback so I created a new poll, i guess i should close the first one but it is currently winning :slight_smile:

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@jm5 glad to help, I’d like a workable way forward. As a mod that was my main objection - because the mods will have to implement any scheme and I couldn’t see how to make the ideas workable, but I no longer speak as a mod.

@Team_2E16 now you’re confusing me. If your idea isn’t to make rules that are forever, I again suggest you consider removing the word “forever” . I really don’t see how you can keep it in and then say vote for it because it can be changed later if we want.

Sorry Mark, no offense, but I was being sarcastic, I thought that was obvious, part of this whole post here is in protest of even having to go through this process with the mods just to be able to talk about it with the community. And yes, I have read the arguments saying #meta is exposed and I don’t agree.

Again, no offense, but the OP was in response to your suggestion in the other topic for the same reasons, the fact that I even have to go through this process.

They are not @Team_2E16’s polls, they are mine, and i like them how they are :yum:

I cut & paste @Team_2E16 proposals into polls because you guys weren’t initially responding to their post

EDIT: To add, it is not like any of these polls are going to make a difference, it always ends up with the dissenter, a couple of mods and @happybeing until the dissenter just gives up, which I already stated I have.

EDIT2: And don’t give me you just made recent changes, blah blah, @Josh got lucky slipping that poll by you in the PT topic, accumulated votes pretty quick I’d say.

Can I make an observation on this one.

It’d be great if discourse had a system like ?reddit? where you can reply to a post and it creates like its own line of replies. The reader can then collapse that line of comments or read them as they wish. Thus “side conversations” are neatly and easily handled and do not “wreak” the topic or main discussions.

But discourse is structured differently and when people take a tangent then the topic runs the risk of losing its focus since you cannot collapse the tangent discussion to see the main flow of the topic.

Also one reason why we move tangent and/or off topic (sub)discussions is for the following readers, the 100 and hopefully 1000s of readers who will be reading the topic after you’ve long gone past that tangent. Whenever you want change you do have to think of others and that includes people (sometimes most people) who are not interested in the tangent conversation. It is difficult in discourse to gather information about a topic if there is too much tangent conversations within the topic.

And if two or more tangent conversations occur then its even more difficult. So when the tangent is a few posts then its OK, the topic is still very readable and most of the time there is no splitting done. But if it grows into quite a number of posts then readability for the ones not involved in the tangent conversation suffers and the newbie most likely will find it difficult to follow.

As to making #meta on the front page. I find it very rare for forums to put their posts about forum changes (incl moderation) on the front page. Most don’t allow viewing unless you are logged in too. Its akin to airing your dirty laundry in public. Most newbies are put off a forum when they see others questioning the running of the forum.

@jm5 look man, I’m just trying to help. You and others say you want change, and yet when I genuinely try to help you make your case, get it heard, have a fair vote, well.

I think I’ll step away and leave you all to it.

Mark, i am sorry if I have offended you. I was annoyed as I feel you did not read the thread properly so are missing what is to me obvious.

That’s the thing, I don’t want to have to make a case, it has already been made very well over and over again. The information is there, its just hidden in #meta. I cut & paste some proposals into a poll, I saw what people were saying and I felt the same way. I feel the peoples voices should be heard. @jabba & @Team_2E16 said everything I could of said and they said it all so well and so much better (unfortunately a lot of it was swept into #meta and stifled). And yet, here we are, still sitting in a quiet corner talking about it, because the mods want a ‘serious proposal’ instead of just letting people talk about it.

I have been through this kind of situation with mods before. It is just not worth anyone’s energy as it just goes round and round and round and round.

I will also step away and leave you all to it.

It seems it is possible to close accounts, @frabrunelle cut me off please.

This wasn’t clear in point 4. I read it as if all serious proposals are put on hold and not published until reviewed by moderators. I did like your post for point 1 & 2 and voted Yes but it does seem you made a mess of point 4; in your reply to neo you are now suggesting mods should actively advertise proposals on the front page? Shouldn’t the ones that get popular get displayed on their automatically instead?


That is the option presented to us as community members. Community members are made to write up a “serious proposal” to be presented to the mods and if they approve, and only then, will proposals get displayed on the front page. Waiting for something to get popular here in #meta is a hard task and even though a proposal may become popular mods still need to approve if it is to be put to the community in plain sight.

For more detailed information concerning the above matter please see @Team_2E16’s proposals (which I have linked to multiple times in this thread). Everything is laid out pretty clear there.

But, either way I probably messed up this whole thread by listening to mod feedback and adjusting the proposal. Shoulda just left the first poll standing alone which was just a cut and paste of @Team_2E16’s proposals which apparently wasn’t serious enough or was too long to meet the mods attention or approval.

I took the whole thing as a work in progress which it truly would be if the community knew they could participate. The poll was just there to engage participation.

But, the first poll is winning, 5 in favor to none against! Not that that makes a difference. I should just close the second polls but I leave it all up to “the community” to decide what to do with this thread.

I am out. Yes @frabrunelle please deactivate my account and change my email so I can’t log in anymore.

No offence taken here @jm5, I realised my input was not helping as I intended, is all.

I confess to being baffled that yet again we don’t have a proposal that an advocate for change wants put on the front page, and that the advocates seem to be walking away without finishing the job. This happened every time in the past, and those leaving blame the system and the mods.

This isn’t a healthy situation overall IMO, so maybe the mods can take the lead here. If an advocate for a change can’t get through a change process related to forum management, I think we either have to come up with a better process, or accept that the forum management is not governed in that way. Either it must be at the discretion of mods, or an independent elected panel, or something else.

Anyway, I will also try to leave this alone. I have lots other stuff to do, much of it related to the project, and another engine problem to fix. Do they ever end?! :slight_smile:


Francis hasn’t gotten to closing my account yet so I am able to reply. I will also leave after this, i promise.

I am happy about that.

There are the polls above but more importantly there are @Team_2E16’s proposals, and one of their proposals is to stop this requirement of having to have a solid proposal before talking to the community. All this takes so much energy, if everyone could be involved that energy could be spread out and, lots of people would have different ideas, and we could all, the community, talk about it together, not just us few (time and time again) sitting in the corner trying to get our ideas approved by a small team. I personally believe that if the mods allowed people to talk more freely they would actually have less work than they think they would, I believe in the people being able to organise themselves without being policed and directed by the small few, it is in our nature.

Peace all, it has been an interesting 3 years :v:

To keep with the lighter note, no they don’t :wink:

Can I ask you a couple of questions about your personal perspective on this?

  1. Were these, to your knowledge, separate and distinct individuals? (I’m pretty sure they were)
  2. Why do you think that they/we would walk away at this point?

I’m genuinely interested in your answer to number 2 here. Why would separate and distinct people, trying to converse with the mod team, all end up walking away, clearly frustrated? What’s the common factor in all of these situations?

Yes separate individuals from time to time, two in a couple of days. Not sure how many others really because people come and go for a variety of reasons.

What they tend to say is that there’s no point, it won’t work etc, and blame the system and mods. That doesn’t make sense to me because nobody has followed through, hence my being baffled. @jm5 came close here I think, but gave up without asking for his poll to be put on the front page as far as I’m aware.

To me it’s a simple process, for example:

  • come up with something is clear enough to vote on (many ways to do that). I think it needs to be as concise and clear as possible, with brief reasoning as to why, intended effect etc. (brief helps get people to read it - essential if you want to reach as many as possible IMO). With links anything relevant (earlier discussions or a longer document etc) if helpful.
  • post it as a new proposed change topic and ask for it to be put on the front page, maybe say how long you’d like it there
  • allow time for that to be discussed, answer questions, maybe clarify parts of it (but don’t make it into a poll yet - only after you stop editing). Include a date when this will be turned into a poll.
  • turn it into a poll. Maybe it gets reposted at this stage so people notice its a new poll. Not sure how best to ensure that. People can continue to discuss it of course, so I would think the poll should have a suitable period for that (specified in the post so people know how long they have to discuss and vote).

That’s just how I see it working. I haven’t checked the guidelines or thought it through, but I think that is compliant and I don’t think it’s hard to do those steps. So I don’t understand why nobody has yet got that far. Mods have certainly not blocked anyone from doing this.

I do think it’s hard to make a workable solution to forum management that doesn’t operate pretty much like what we have though. I thought a lot about that in the past, we had endless debates and many people saying how they thought it should be, but nobody wrote their wants down in a single, reasonably concise post (that’s what I mean when I say “serious proposal”) and asked to put it on the front page and to a vote.

So I conclude that the process we have doesn’t work for changes to form management, but I have no idea how to make one that does when I don’t understand why it doesn’t work. And I really do want to stop spending time on this! Time for coffee and code :slight_smile:

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I actually don’t get it. A few people did in the past as well. This is just a community forum. You can talk everything SAFE on the frontpage. Even criticize the project. You can talk other projects in #related-projects. Forum/mod talk is here in #meta and the rest is allowed in #off-topic.

If this is such a big “problem” that one feels the need to leave… fine. I made the point several times that we can’t please all. We move #meta to the frontpage and other people start to complain that we did that… No one here has a solution to that.

You forget about people asking for Price & Trading to go back to TL1 which we did after people asked for it. We did it and the most strong voices here not even mentioned that fact. No likes, no thank you… No “cool that we accomplishes that together”… just silence.

A lot of people interact with us without walking away frustrated which you don’t mention. Most ideas we implement come out of the community. It’s again made very black and white.

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