It's time to make some changes 'round here

So we all know that I set up Fintech Talk in a bit of a hurry one Sunday afternoon, back in September last year.

While still having existed for fewer than ten months, the community has already grown in terms of the size of its membership (slowly but surely) and breadth of the topics covered (everything from fintech cards, to investing, gadgetry and even monetary policy).

We’ve also hit a few bumps along the way, notably the odd botched software update by yours truly and one the odd ‘character’ that pops up to make like difficult (remember our favourite troll, Miac? - maybe he’s still hiding in plain sight?).

For the first few months of the community’s existence I took personal responsibility for the site’s moderation. Primarily, this is because I wanted to ensure that moderation is as ‘light-touch’ as possible and because I hadn’t really had the time to set out a proper moderation policies that I could expect others to consistently and fairly live by.

Having taken a recent trip where my access to moderate the site was somewhat limited (be that through connectivity or through intoxication), I think it became clear that things need to evolve.

One or two people have contacted me recently, volunteering themselves to be members of a group of moderators. I think it’s probably time to take them up on their kind offers to ensure that this place can be looked after better and more of the time.

As a first step, I want to revise some of the rules that the site is operated by.

Firstly, I want to share a draft of :ft:'s proposed new community guidelines. I’d welcome any comments, improvements, criticisms, but I’d like to have the final product in place by Monday, 15th August.

Soon I will publish the draft moderation policy, later I will start talking to potential moderators.

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image

I’ll have a go seeing as I’m always here :sunglasses:

People underestimate just how hard this can be to achieve, it’s not easy, and no matter what you do someone always complains :smile: one thing I think has been useful (elsewhere) is the periodic review of how we do things so we can make changes where appropriate, change what doesn’t work and improve what does. It might be worth putting this process in early so it happens, at least early on when things won’t be perfect.

While this suggestion can apply to everyone on the forum I’ve found using the freenode catalyst guidelines to be fairly effective

https://freenode.net/catalysts

You might find these worth implementing, or useful inspiration if nothing else.

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Maybe only people who are level 3 members can view the monzo forum thread. They seem to be the ones most contributing to it anyway.

The problem with that is that you can’t restrict individual threads on a TrustLevel basis. Only categories/subcategories. Don’t really want a dedicated sub cat for ‘bitching about another forum’ - that looks even worse!

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What about delisting it? I agree with what @Nick said earlier in that there needs to be compromise if the mission is to have this place be the place to talk about Fintech.

It’s not just the Monzo forum (though that is the one that dominates in terms of discssion). Realistically (and I am about to make a sweeping generalisation here), every Fintech forum discussion, be it Monzo, Curve, Freetrade is only discussed here in the context of people complaining about the moderation and the tone

Would a Fintech Forum Talk subcategory really look that bad considering you’d only see it once you’d registered and logged in?

:joy: Can you imagine…

I think you’d have grounds for moving the Monzo thread to “Political” - Purely for this exercise.

Not a bad shout either.

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and the Freetrade one

Possibly the best solution I’ve heard so far, in all fairness!

It’s either that or giving that thread’s most frequent users 5 ‘bitching tokens’ per day!

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Here comes 5 mega bitching posts… :joy:

we also need a “Good Place” plugin that automatically replaces all swear words with forking awesome Good place alternatives.

Like a reverse pornolizer https://www.pornolize.com/

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I think that thread is a mix of everything yes mainly bitching but thats coz we can’t do it there.

But people seem to be “bitching” about the forum as opposed to the product which I think gives the wrong impression to be people coming here.

This forum isn’t supposed to Monzo vs Starling or how bad Monzo’s forum is but a discussion about Fintech.

To me it looks like people almost treat being banned from the other forums like some kind of “badge of honour”. If you (the general you, not anyone specific) doesn’t like the other Fintech forums moderation why do you go over there? Why does it matter of they have fans praising the product (even if it’s a bad one).

I didn’t like the way Curve moderate the forum so I simply don’t go there anymore. But I don’t go over there pull Curve_Maries pigtails then run back and laugh about it and complain she’s a horrible person.

I know you’re not looking to do this @Liam but if there’s a vote on what we do going forward I vote for hiding the talk about other forums to people not signed in.

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Censorship for the sake of censorship is pointless and serves no purpose.

I’m not talking about censorship.

The original goal for the place (was as I understand it) was to be a discussion about Fintech. and to be blunt there are days when it feels like it should be called “Anti Monzo Talk”.

All I’m suggesting is that if @Liam wants to attract people for a wider discussion about Fintech, maybe like the politics thread we should move some of the disucssion so that only people logged in to see it. Once they are logged in the sky’s the limit. For instance I have most of the other forum discussions muted because to be honest I think they’re childish.

We might be missing other people signing up because they look at only the lastest discussion which 9 times out of ten seems to be Monzo forums complaints and decide to not sign up.

By having it all in the open, people choose to post or they don’t. What you are suggesting is misleading people, by hiding posts from the public which you don’t want them to see, it serves absolutely no purpose.

I don’t particular like the discussion there, but it’s there, I can see people’s views, it actually shows a lot about this forum, it shows its relaxed, people can have an opinion, that is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Rather than look at the negative, look at the positive. Freedom, choice to discuss controversial things, ability to have an opinion and so on.

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Given the amount of new users who regularly contribute, one conclusion would be that they decide not to post.

The Monzo Forum thread is not going to be of interest to many people - Realistically, it exists because so many of us have been around long enough to see all of the goings on, and it’s more of an internal joke thread than a realistic “I’m offended” thread.

New users won’t get the “in jokes”, and I don’t think it’s deceitful to “hide” that thread from new users. By the time they get to see the thread (whatever restriction is placed on it), they’ll see that @nanos is breaking all German stereotypes with his sense of humour, @l8n.me is the single reason the UK voted for Brexit, and @danmullen has finally honed his story of how 3 attractive women accosted him in a foreign country… :wink:).

If I was a potential new user, and I saw the Monzo forum thread, I’d be very unlikely to contribute here, and likely never come back again.

The assumption almost seems that everyone will know about the Monzo forum - Yet I’m sure there will be people who turn up here who have never heard of it, and maybe don’t even use Monzo (the horror!)

I don’t think anyone has an issue with discussing controversial things, it’s simply a case of trying to grow the forum, get more opinions from other (new) users, and generally making it more welcoming.

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There seems to be an admission here that that particular thread is ‘ugly’ and a suggestion that nobody in their right minds would want to join here in the face of that ugliness.

So is it right to hide that ugliness, only so say ‘surprise :confetti_ball:, you’ll never guess what we’ve been hiding’ as soon as they sign up?

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Picking and choosing what to hide based on what someone thinks might offend, is censorship no matter how people try and pretend it is not.

If you agree with censorship fair enough, I don’t, there is no need, apart from assumptions that it may upset people or may stop them from signing up.

to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable

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