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I'm way behind the curve because I just found out today about the moderation strike (I don't visit Meta much...). I'd like to know what actions or lack of actions are best to take in order to support the strike and help the strikers achieve their demands?

I can see a number of possibilities, of increasing "severity" in terms of how they relate to moderation:

  • refrain from asking questions
  • refrain from answering questions
  • refrain from commenting on questions
  • refrain from voting on questions/answers
  • refrain from flagging questions/answers
  • refrain from visiting the site altogether

What's best?

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  • 2
    Looking at how things are going "refrain from visiting the site altogether" seems to be the best way to show solidarity right now
    – user13267
    Jun 21, 2023 at 6:29

1 Answer 1

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The strike letter has a list of activities that are "officially" part of the strike:

https://openletter.mousetail.nl/

These include both raising and handling flags, closing/deleting posts, and handling review queue tasks.

They do not include asking/answering, commenting, or voting up/down.

Personally, I've also stopped answering and all voting (might have slipped and voted here and there; also I have not stopped activity on Meta sites) and restricted my comments to an occasional handful. Some moderators around the network are still doing most of those things, others are avoiding use of the site completely. One of your elected moderators here at Academia.SE has resigned entirely. There is a userscript for "read-only" mode that some people are using:

https://stackapps.com/questions/9739/stack-exchange-in-read-only-mode

There is no "enforcement" of the strike like a typical paid labor action might involve, we're volunteers on the site and we're volunteers in the strike. Everyone can participate to the extent they feel is most useful, and some participants may feel certain actions are too important to avoid.

Most importantly, the strike does not involve only moderators, but also curators and any other users of the site that want to participate. As of now, 121 moderators, 19 former staff and former moderators, and 1251 regular users have signed on to the strike. The best action to take for people who support the strike is to sign the strike letter. The next best action I would take would be to spend some time to become an "informed citizen", there are some useful links at the meta post mentioned in the question:

Academia.SE Moderation Strike

There's an update post on Meta (though this has now also aged a bit):

Moderation Strike update: Data dumps, choosing representatives, GPT data, and where we’re holding

Former employee and moderator Jon Ericson has a blog that has recently focused at lot on the strike and associated issues, he has a very interesting perspective as a former insider:

https://jlericson.com/

There's the announcement and then retraction of the Stack Overflow "formatting assistant", released during the strike, that feeds questions into ChatGPT with a prompt asking to format them as if they were written by someone who knows how to write SO questions. The results are...interesting...and not surprisingly hit on many of the issues strike participants previously expressed about GenAI:

https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/425162/we-are-seeking-functional-feedback-for-the-formatting-assistant

In addition, there is a main meta post related to the question asked here:

Would the striking moderators welcome a user strike? Should we, the users, go on strike?

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  • I thought one of the things SO/SE company wants is to retain (or not to suspend) users who use AI to generate posts. If we don't raise flags against those AI-generated posts, do we actually help the company ?
    – Nobody
    Jun 21, 2023 at 3:31
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    @Nobody It's fine by me to continue flagging anything you feel like. I'd rather prefer we help the company by keeping AI generated content off their site to keep it useful, but what do I know, the CEO who doesn't participate here seems to like it. Who knows what will convince him otherwise.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jun 21, 2023 at 4:06
  • @user13267 I'm not understanding the meaning of your comment.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jun 21, 2023 at 13:03
  • sorry my bad...
    – user13267
    Jun 21, 2023 at 13:12
  • "The best action to take for people who support the strike is to sign the strike letter" How so? Isn't not participating more effective? Jun 27, 2023 at 10:41

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