To address what other people have said:
FLOZi wrote: ↑09 Feb 2021, 10:38
Everyone that moans that moderation in Spring has ever been too heavy handed should be forced to wear the hat for a few months.
Could you elaborate on what the experience would be like for someone who wore the hat for a few months?
Peet wrote: ↑09 Feb 2021, 01:28
Yes, let's throw the entire issue at the feet of the few remaining productive developers
As far as I can tell this issue is at their feet whether they like it or not. I'm simply trying to name it, get us actually talking about the problem and seeing how we can do something about it.The developers are both affected by this and the only ones who have any substantial power to do anything about it. I have tried my best by providing a rational and hopeful voice to the forums, but I don't think this is enough. If the problem exists, then we must either eradicate or avoid it. It seems this community has decided that we must keep the forums (for the record, I agree), therefore we need to get rid of this weight that is dragging our few remaining productive developers down.
It's good to see Peet comment here, but honestly, I wish I could have heard from some of the developers and other current major figures in this community.
raaar wrote: ↑09 Feb 2021, 04:45
So, while the signal/noise ratio may be increased by reducing the noise, it can also be increased by increasing the signal (more posting and threads about various stuffs).
My experiences on this forum indicate that the noise seems to increase proportional to the signal, since those producing it are intending to hijack others' efforts to meet their desires. Afaict others on this forum are coming to this conclusion too.
So what would a solution be?
Before you read on: I have little experience in moderation and I want to hear from those with experience. I am saying what I know since it seems no one else is addressing these problems. I don't know if what I'm suggesting will work, it's just my best guess and I'm giving it because what's happening now has to change.
Roughly speaking: To decrease the noise, we need moderators to dedicate time and emotional energy to proactively
encourage, guide, and protect discussions. These moderators can't (shouldn't?) be Spring's developers, since due to their technical expertise, their time, mental, and emotional energy are all better spent addressing technical problems. And we need sufficiently many moderators that they can respond in reasonable time, and should one or two be discouraged there still enough to maintain order. As much responsibility should be delegated to this team as possible, so the devs need to trust them and a system of transparency would need to be in place. (If they don't trust them already, they need to build trust and accountability for the new moderators.) The intention is to not burden the devs or the moderators with having to seek permission. This would allow moderators to set forum rules, guidelines, and policies without having to bother the devs. That said, I have no problem with the devs having final say (they probably should!)
I don't pretend it would be easy to find people. At this point, it appears most people on the forums are either active developers, or are disinterested, or are involved in getting in the way.
I'd suggest additional regulations & policies:
- Enforce one-topic-per-thread. This would come with more proactive thread-splitting. The intended effect is to prevent thread derailing entirely, without silencing anyone.
- Lock threads with duplicate topics, and no other threads. Threads that are "going around in circles" shouldn't be locked, else their topics will be dragged into other threads or new topics will be created. Locking them seems to be like plugging stormwater drains on a highway.
- Some policy about dealing with single posts that add nothing to threads. E.g. removing them, alongside an expectation on moderators to communicate with the poster (in PM or in the thread) to provide more detail.
- Misrepresentation & Misinformation should be dealt with somehow – without silencing dissenting voices. Responsibility should be given to support a fact by the person who posts it. If we have a sufficient moderation team, they could also carry the role as fact-checkers and be expected to leave the original statement + the correction.
- Moderating the developers themselves – e.g. "wontfix"
- Promoting contribution + progress by encouraging those who see a problem towards solving that problem, and where appropriate & necessary creating bug reports (of course – if the person with the complaint is willing to report the problem themselves, then by all means let them. The moderation team should not do things that other people can and will take care of (with exceptions for things like urgency, of course))
Now it's your turn. Please discuss.