37
votes

Update: Effective August 2nd 2023, the Arqade Moderators have concluded striking.


Effective June 5th 2023, Arqade Moderators are on strike.

An open letter from the community moderators can be found here, and should you wish to express your stance as well, you can sign the letter (you will be prompted to authenticate through Stack Exchange). The letter details the strike and the actions that moderators will no longer be performing until a satisfactory agreement is reached.

What happened?

If you've been using Arqade or any SE site over the last few months, you will have probably seen the on-going struggle with AI/Chat GPT and its usage on the Stack Exchange sites. In general, most sites have banned use of AI/Chat GPT generated posts. Arqade's stance generally agrees with this with our exception is if you did use AI to write your post or a portion of it, that you explicitly cite which part of your post is AI generated and have verified that what the AI has generated is true.

In practice, I've personally never seen this as the case whenever a user posts an AI generated answer.

Much of the details around the strike are laid out in this Meta SE post. The ultimate catalyst to this strike is because of this information found in this post:

On May 29th, 2023 (a major holiday for moderators in the US, CA, UK, and possibly other locations), a post was made by a CM on the private Stack Moderators Team. This post, with a title mentioning “GPT detectors”, focused on the rate of inaccuracy experienced by automated detectors aiming to identify AI- and specifically GPT-generated content - something that moderators were already well aware of and taking into account.

This post then went on to require an immediate cessation of issuing suspensions for AI-generated content and to stop moderating AI-generated content on that basis alone, affording only one exceptionally rare case in which it was permissible to delete or suspend for AI content. It was received extremely poorly by the moderators, with many concerns being raised about the harm it would do.

...

The new policy overrode established community consensus and previous CM support, was not discussed with any community members, was presented misleadingly to moderators and then even more misleadingly in public, and is based on unsubstantiated claims derived from unreviewed and unreviewable data analysis. Moderators are expected to enforce the policy as it is written in private, while simultaneously being unable to share the specifics of this policy as it differs from the public version.

You can find the "public version" of this policy here as posted by SE staff.

If you want to read even more into it, there is a Chat GPT tag on Meta SE that should have a plethora of posts you can read. Some notable ones:


While writing this post, SE staff have posted a statement on the strike here.

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  • 26
    Logged in after three years just for this: solidarity.
    – Frank
    Jun 5, 2023 at 20:01
  • 1
    Relevant to the featured tag being on this post: meta.stackexchange.com/q/389843
    – Spevacus
    Jun 5, 2023 at 20:11
  • 16
    To add: We might not be moderating now, but if you take the strike as a free pass to do bannable stuff... We will find you, and we will ban you
    – Fredy31 Mod
    Jun 5, 2023 at 20:20
  • 5
    @Fredy31 Good luck ;) (just quoting the movie Taken, not actually planning on doing anything questionable) Jun 5, 2023 at 20:21
  • 3
    @Fredy31 Surely it'd be more effective to showcase the value of moderators by giving us amnesty if we go full purge? Jun 5, 2023 at 20:27
  • 2
    We won't ban you during the strike, that would be against it. But we will be taking notes
    – Fredy31 Mod
    Jun 5, 2023 at 21:56
  • @Fredy31 Does that mean you would ban me for things I do during the strike- just after the strike is over? Jun 6, 2023 at 0:43
  • 3
    If you are enough of a nuisance yes. We're are striking not anarchists
    – Fredy31 Mod
    Jun 6, 2023 at 0:49
  • @Fredy31 I will continue my record of bringing slightly more positives than negatives to this community. Jun 6, 2023 at 0:58
  • 7
    Yeah. SE trod on it's own community's grass a bit here. Standing in solidarity with our fellow moderators is the least we can do.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Jun 6, 2023 at 1:35
  • 3
    I mean I'm an anarchist but that's another issue
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Jun 6, 2023 at 4:02
  • 2
    The value of the moderators is showcased each and every day. (And is still being showcased, as they take notes and continue caring for this community.) And I am totally on-board just for this: solidarity; it works, baby. Jun 12, 2023 at 2:06
  • Reddit seem to be taking a different track. Moderators who refuse to mod are basically being considered to have essentially resigned.
    – Valorum
    Jun 16, 2023 at 23:18
  • @Robotnik, TimmyJim, Unionhawk, Fredy31: Are Arqade moderators still on strike following the MSE post, Moderation strike: Results of negotiations? Aug 3, 2023 at 4:06
  • 2
    @galacticninja we are discussing the result of the negotiations as a team
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Aug 3, 2023 at 4:50

1 Answer 1

20
votes

It's unfortunate that it's come to this.

As a frequent Arqade contributor, thank you for informing us of your decision. I can tell that it took a lot of thought for you all to come together and collectively decide to join the strike.

However as one of the folks who helped draft the Meta SE/Meta SO post, the person who raised the point of AI content on Arqade being potentially problematic, and a big contributor to Charcoal's anti-spam efforts (which is also on strike), I wanted to personally say thanks for coming together to help make our voices heard in response to the most recent changes and decisions made by SE. My genuine hope is that our plea for transparency doesn't fall on deaf ears, and that we can work things out with the company to achieve a happy conclusion for all of us.

5
  • 11
    I've got to say that its been weird. Striking on a job that is... volunteering. But that ball has been dropped so hard (and they don't seem to even want to try to pick it up) that we had to do something
    – Fredy31 Mod
    Jun 5, 2023 at 20:21
  • 4
    And it's nice to see Frank back after several years. Jun 12, 2023 at 2:07
  • I am sorry, but is there any possibility of the next Screenshot of the Week contest at least with the ongoing strike? However, I am not aware of the moderation amount of that matter... ^^
    – Artfaith
    Jun 13, 2023 at 6:22
  • 1
    @Artfaith According to this and this - anyone can start the next screenshot of the week contest. Mods must add the 'featured' tag, but that can be put in later. Jun 30, 2023 at 17:31
  • Roger that, dear @JonathanDavidArndt ! Thank you very much! ^^
    – Artfaith
    Jun 30, 2023 at 22:40

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