Proposal for changes in moderation

I will drop this here in the unknown world of #meta (which wont be a biased vote) as a near copy of @Team_2E16’s proposals. I removed the first two proposals as mods have dealt with them already.


  1. Allow people to speak their mind as, where and how they wish, as long as they are not threatening and abusive to others.

  2. Allow a looser policy on subject-related secondary subjects within a thread, to allow people to more deeply explore the pros and cons of a proposed idea about some aspect of SAFE, without splitting the topic off and putting it in Off-Topic, where lack of views leads to lack of engagement, and thus lack of discussion, and thus lack of solutions, and finally a narrowing of viewpoints, if the discussion ever takes off in the first place.

  3. Keep the Meta category, but allow all Meta threads to be listed on the front page, for transparency reasons, and to allow the community to actually be aware of what is being said here, so they can weigh in.

  4. 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. Whether the intent is pure or not, it is a serious conflict of interest to be the judges of complaints against your own behaviour and policies.
    unity to actually be aware of what is being said here, so they can weigh in.
    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. Whether the intent is pure or not, it is a serious conflict of interest to be the judges of complaints against your own behaviour and policies.


  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

1 Like

I never knew of this requirement. Your point 4 makes invalid claims and people can make detailed proposals (or complaints) irrespective of the mods. This is not helpful to make claims that don’t exist.

Anyone can post a complaint in #meta if they wish and discuss it. It has happened previously and I am sure will happen again.

Thus your point 4 has already been carried ages ago (or always been the case)

Have you thought that you maybe are doing yourself a disservice by not voting on each section. Some may not agree to all points and vote “no” so that they are not supporting the one point they disagree with?

You can make a multi-choice poll and allow people to choose those points they agree with and then you get a clearer picture of what people agree with.


Now, now, @neo, did you read my whole post?

You surely know I meant that unless the mods consider your proposal ‘serious’ or ‘detailed’, as @happybeing was explaining, then it won’t be shown on the front page, where the whole community can see it and weigh in.

That it is stuck in meta was part of that complaint.

1 Like


This has been the practice for a long time.

1 Like

Yes, you are perhaps right and very honorable to point out. But I have no idea how to do that. The poll was put here satirically to point out the exposure it won’t get. If it was on the front page, you could of pointed that out then and the poll could be modified, it is a learning and growing experience, and perhaps some would of liked it the way it is, and the community could discuss it, and perhaps things would change, perhaps not, but at least the community would have the opportunity.

I should add, even tho I posted the poll above in jest satirically. It is still serious.

I personally don’t see the need for a poll on all these issues. I feel that if the mods were proactive and open to ideas and listened to the community in the past they would have tried these changes a long time ago.

IMO Option 1 & Option 2 are practices moderators should be doing anyway but I can see both options being an issue for some.

Instilling option 3 removes the necessity of option 4.

So that would leave 2 polls:

Would this suffice as a serious proposal for moderators approval to be presented to the community?:

Greetings all,

I would like to highlight two issues that have been coming up in #meta. I would like to point out that the community has lost quite a few members over these issues.

  1. Complaints have been made over time of mods controlling directions of discussions, deleting posts, and splitting topics.
  2. Complaints have been made that topics in #meta are too hidden to garner support.

Please see this post for a detailed breakdown from one user. If more interested please do search on “moderation” to see many more threads over the years.

Considering item 1 it is proposed that the mods:

Do you agree?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Concerning item 2:

I know that quite a while ago the #meta category was decided to be hidden off the front page.

For those that don’t know the #meta category is the place to have a “Discussion about this forum, its organisation, how it works, and how we can improve it.”

An unintended consequence of hiding #meta from the front page is

In the spirit of @dirvine’s comment

Should #meta be on the front page under #community so that we can all be aware of current community issues and all have a chance to actively participate if we so choose?

  • yes
  • no

0 voters

Please do vote and/or discuss. If there are any improvements or suggestions to this poll or post please share.

I agree with @neo that this statement is not correct. I also would like to add that there isn’t a objective “judge” on your local tennis club when you do some voluntary work. It’s a group of volunteers working to make things happen. Just like we’re doing on this forum. There is no way with votes/polls or anything other that we have full consent of 6800 members for everything we do. It would take weeks for all of them to come online and vote on something.

And like I said before, there were quite some complains by the community that #meta was filling the frontpage at that time. If we put it back another group of members will ask us to un-do that again. It would go around in circles forever.

1 Like

Actually no, that was really stupid of me, of course option 4 is necessary. I don’t want to have to do this every time I want to speak my mind to the community about moderation.

Do whatever you want guys, i give up.

This topic is very confusing to me. The OP is a good start, clear and concise, but adding further polls which I don’t understand creates confusion and I think means it’s not likely to get many votes, however good the ideas are.

A couple of things about the OP:

  1. I think it would help to say what should or should not cause a topic to be split, because as it stands I don’t really know how mods can decide. Or maybe say that is to be agreed in detail subsequently?

  2. . How can it be sensible to vote for something “forever”? That takes it out of the hands of the community in the future and I don’t think that’s a good idea. What do others think about that?

PS @jm5 I hadn’t read this topic until after I replied to you on the original suggesting doing exactly this, so great minds :slight_smile:

1 Like

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?

1 Like

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!

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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:

1 Like

@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.