This is weird, I never banned or suspended anyone. I didn’t delete anyone’s post on my own discretion. I only ever react to flags, which anyway come super rarely. How come you mention me in a sentence about getting burned? How can you imply that I’m a mod that should be feared?
I think I’m self-aware of that. Sometimes I write a post, re-read it and think it’s brash, as you said. Sometimes I’ll rewrite, sometimes I say screw that and press send. Because I’m just a human being and I write what I think and how I feel. If I’m agitated, I will write in an agitated way. I will not hide behind a facade of politeness. However that’s not how I act when it comes to modding decisions. There I will think it over 3 times before I do anything.
Honestly, I’m probably under-qualified to be a mod. I do not use reddit and I’m not active on any other forum than this (only one other discord server). I do not use the Internet to the extent that I used to when I was a student. So I don’t know what is best practice and what can be applied. I don’t run this place, a moderator is not a manager, I’m just reviewing flags from time to time, and I split offtopic discussions, that’s all. Any kind of expectation towards me regarding keeping order in the forum is misguided.
never said you banned or suspended anyone. it’s probably because of the text communication that goes on the forum. i do genuinely believe you’d be very cool in person. we all have our ups and down, you just let them through in your writing more than others. and as you mention, as a human we all have emotions and passions, but still politeness is a good quality to have, independent of your state in the moment.
in any case, no beef with you, you’re definitely not the hallmark of such behavior on here. and again, sorry to have singled you out as an example, didn’t want to go dig for everyone though. i generally stay away from the discussion when it gets heated or emotions seep in.
last, but not least, you actually do a great job modding. keep up the good (free ) work!
I didn’t want to create a storm but it seems one was on the horizon anyway…
we should craft a vision: what do we want the forum to be about it? (only CH FIRE, FIRE+lifestyle, broader) and vote on it
we should have a set of rules (MP can start from Reddit and if we want we can vote on which rules we want vs not as a community)
moderators can’t be everywhere like not all crimes are caught or prosecuted
therefore other users can flag to moderators where a breach may have occurred
some breaches will escape but what is important is that any breaches that was reported will be treated consistently (@Bojack and any other future moderators, this may help to keep workload low while being fair in the eyes of everyone else
no abuse is accepted
repeated offenders must be banned (temporarily and eventually forever)
I apologize if my post created this storm but I hope it was bad for good
I really love the inputs of everyone here. I love the acccurate details that @Daniel deliver on a constant basis, the details and reflection from @Julianek, the passion of @Wolverine, the effort day-in and day-out of @Bojack. The good and math backed comments from @Dr.PI, the adventures of @Cortana, the valuable inputs and inspiration from @thepoorswiss FiRE movement. And many others @San_Francisco@Giff and many many others that Are contributing daily and can’t tag (no more than 10! I didn’t know )
This topic has been up for 3 days, some of us haven’t even logged in in that time.
One thing I really dislike on the bogleads.org boards is how, on some topics requesting help, some people already post messages like “the OP is not responding, this is a lack of respect for my time” less than 24h after the last message from the OP, all that because in that time, 5 pages of content have been posted by the other users.
I genuinely think some topics don’t need to be rushed, and even if we have reached consensus, we loose nothing by letting things cool down on their own. If we have already reached it, we’ll stay at the consensus (or talk of completely other things at which point, indeed, moderation action may be required).
Edit: unless what you are suggesting is that we are ready to craft our way forward and, as such, should craft it, as for example suggested by @SteveDB , in which case, I am in agreement that designing solutions is a good thing to do. Since I’m mostly neutral on the topic, I’ll let y’all lead on on that front.
Alright, so i discussed new guidelines with @Bojack. Following everybody’s feedback, here is what we agreed on. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that a lot of it comes directly from the financial independance subreddit. Similar communities have similar issues, and I believe in this case there is no need to reinvent the wheel in this case. Thanks @lv24 for the idea!
New forum moderation policy:
Be civil. All conversation on this forum is expected to be civil. Rudeness, personal attacks, condescension, shaming, and provoking are just some of the multitude of examples of behaviors that are not acceptable. Any behavior, comment or post that does not meet the requirement of being civil will be removed. Repeated failure to follow this rule will result in a ban.
This forum is about personal finances, early retirement, financial independance and quality of life improvement (“life hacks”). Topics should drive discussion. All top level posts are expected to be about these topics, with discussion being the main goal of this forum. Posts that do not help drive discussion will be removed. If you are wondering what kind of discussion fits in the “quality of life” category, threads like this one are actively encouraged.
No gender or politics. This is not the place to discuss or debate anything regarding gender or politics. There is a distinction between politics and policy. Any discussion that is, turns, or becomes partisan or political will be removed. Discussion of serious legislation or proposals is allowed if the topic stays on policy, not politics. For example - “Ramifications of this new tax plan and new brackets on FIRE” is ok (mainly because it should result in actionnable advices). “Why my candidate and/or my political views are the best” is not. These topics are all off limits due to the forum as a whole not being able to discuss them in a civil way. Repeated violations will result in a ban.
I will update the moderation policy thread with these new guidelines
Coffee threads will be closed in the next few days
We are only two moderators, so we can not review every single post on the forum. If you find a post in blatant breach of the new guidelines, please flag it to moderation.
As a final note, many complained that ChRad’s suspension was unfair because there was no official “rule” that he had broken. Well, there are now, and I have unsuspended him.
Thanks for your quick reaction and commendable new moderation policy.
If I may make a suggestion:
I would add religion and potentially race. Politics and gender are the two kinds we’ve seen lately but others are around the corner. As a potentially better alternative, I’d even suggest only “no politics” being singled out, and a more general “no discrimination” or some such thing.
It’s the singling out of gender that seems odd to me.
I think this very old blog post has a lot to say about why more moderation might be a good thing for this forum.
Good online communities die primarily by refusing to defend themselves.
Somewhere in the vastness of the Internet, it is happening even now. It was once a well-kept garden of intelligent discussion, where knowledgeable and interested folk came, attracted by the high quality of speech they saw ongoing. But into this garden comes a fool, and the level of discussion drops a little—or more than a little, if the fool is very prolific in their posting. (It is worse if the fool is just articulate enough that the former inhabitants of the garden feel obliged to respond, and correct misapprehensions—for then the fool dominates conversations.)
So the garden is tainted now, and it is less fun to play in; the old inhabitants, already invested there, will stay, but they are that much less likely to attract new blood. Or if there are new members, their quality also has gone down.
Then another fool joins, and the two fools begin talking to each other, and at that point some of the old members, those with the highest standards and the best opportunities elsewhere, leave…
I like the new policy. I’ve written one emotionally loaded message around the climate stuff (the only and first one in many years) that had ramifications I had no expected.
I got a warning and deescalated. I learned a lesson as well.
I’ve been around on financial independence for Switzerland since 8+ years, back in the day of mr money moustache forum (see thread here when back then there was only Swisscanto for 3a ):
I like it to discuss around FIRE, and I like the new proposal!
I just have doubts on the regard of science; it is unfortunately again a heavily politicised topic, even when it should not be. I do hope we will not start delete or blocking conversation because people are misinterpreting science and modeling results and transforming it in a politics debate. I do hope we will manage to keep a foundation on science without escalating it in politics, and not ban scientific takes completely from our discussions.
In my understanding, the purpose of this forum is very clear: To provide a platform for sharing information related to becoming financially independent in order to help other people who share this goal. That is a pretty wide net, but I think it is pretty obvious whether or not an opinion or information shared could possibly benefit other people on their FIRE journey.
I don’t see banning entire topics as beneficial. Politics? This has a direct impact on investments, social security, taxes, and numerous other basic pillars of finance, not to mention other factors like travel, child rearing, etc. Financial independence in itself is a highly political issue (and arguably a worldview). Religion? If someone states their goal of becoming a monk or Zen priest after they FIRE, why would that be an issue? Personally, I would find it interesting. On the other hand, arguments over worldviews are a waste of space. I generally skip right over that kind of thing and look for useful information or questions I can answer.
(Re)highlighting the focus of the forum (sharing useful information) would be more beneficial in my opinion.
More user participation in keeping forums on-topic could also help (e.g. “How does that answer the question?”)
Thanks. I didn’t like that he called them “fools”, I don’t think we’re dealing with fools here. I guess my takeaway from that blog post is:
Anyone can walk in. And anyone can walk out. And so an online community must stay fun to stay alive.
So to me the question is: what is fun, and who is supposed to have fun? Or maybe it’s just the aggregate sum of all users?
I guess that is a good lens to look through. Does a given contribution increase the overall fun / enjoyment for all users? I think for me it was hard to censor Patron or CHRad, because I personally do enjoy conversation on controversial topics, and I like when my beliefs are questioned, and I don’t mind the harsh tone. But of course, I’m not representative of the majority of the forum population.
I see your point. I was also thinking about this. If a certain topic is engaging and many users have fun discussing it, who cares if it’s not personal finance. I think the problem starts when someone opens this website, reads a post, and feels offended, put off, or forced to write a lengthy retort to correct the things he/she doesn’t agree with. That’s not fun.
Late to the party, but I wanted to give a thanks to @SteveDB for bringing this up and to all of you for the valid contributions. And especially the mods’ “thankless” job.
I’m not on bogleheads or reddit, this is my only source so I can’t compare the quality of the discussion vs. the other outlets, however in my view this forum continues to be an amazing trove of information for expats and locals in Switzerland alike. It genuinely improved my life, sometimes helped through unexpected PMs, saved money, etc.
I would loathe to have too strict a policy in regards to allowed topics, as some of the QoL ones are truly outstanding and eye-opening, and the difference of opinions is one of the factors contributing to the value here.
I think the problem is not the topic, but the tone in which ideas are sometimes expressed (and perhaps the instinct of always veering towards expressing them even when slightly OT), and therefore great to see the new moderation policy striking the balance between policing content and tone. Thanks guys.
So, after the very quick and efficient new forum policy posted by @Julianek and @Bojack of yesterday (thanks again for your work, really), I crafted a more detailed “Welcome + Guidelines” message. I couldn’t wait weeks to find a proper and long term solution.
It’s based on the Discourse template which focuses on positivity versus “Don’t do this, don’t do that”. You will also find a bit of the subreddit inspiration mentioned above (thx again this this).
It may be lengthy, and it’s OK, as its main goal will be for mods to be able to refer to it as each situation will require it.
Update ToS as of 18.08.2022
I leverage this update opportunity to clarify the forum content license.
Who is allowed to republish the content posted on this forum?
Only the author
Anyone who got the written authorization by the author
I wish for this forum to remain a place where we all have fun, and support each other in our growth.
All users spent so much time creating and exchanging valuable content since 2016, that it’d be sad to see people go away.
Finally, we Mustachians are all lifelong learners, be it as reader, poster, mod, or admin. So let’s use this discussion constructively for our community’s future
I agree, I like it as well, but when Fake News or false science / debunked studies are used to make a point, then it becomes dangerous. You know it very well from the electric cars FUD: the infamous Swedish studies (an electric car requires 250k km for environmental benefit to kick in) has been quoted all over the internet while being false. This has happened for other studies here in this forum, so it’s important to keep the ability to call out fake news and other stuff. So yes to discussions, no to discussion where one side is using wrong information.
In any case this should happen way less under this new policies. There is not a lot of science around FIRE or studies.
Also late to the party and sorry I’m late contributing to this thread but felt strongly enough to voice my support in that it’s right on the money - this is exactly why I took a few months break from the forum.
And as @nabalzbhf correctly highlighted early on the discussion is why people come to this forum in the first place…at least in my case I came to discuss FIRE and Mustachian ideas (at whatever level)…the moment there is more discussion on politics, religion, or anything else the forum is becoming too generalised and defeats it’s own purpose. Less is more sometimes…quality above quantity.
Lastly, I am fully aligned to @Guillaume_GVA and follow the same way of working: I actually found 75% more quality by blocking only 1 user who seemed to take pleasure in provocation using debunked arguments as @Grog already commented on - I get enough provocation without choice, so where I can, I will always avoid it rather than have to rationalise with someone who didn’t rationalise themselves into the position they are adamantly defending.
So overall: as a general rule it’s easier to block specific « trolls » individually but limiting the forum’s attractiveness for those trolls by only having active threads that touch on the core theme of the forum…looking forward to avoiding anything that is better debated on a more general social media platform.
Thanks to the volunteer mods, thx to @SteveDB for opening the discussion and thanks to @_MP for the update.
Looking forward to learning so more with your support! Glad to have checked in again, great start to 2023.