20

It's been more than a month now that the events that led to a moderator strike here on academia SE and other sites on the network took place. Is there any movement towards a resolvement of the situation or any other developments that point towards the strike finding a postive outcome--that is, the overall policy is changed / changed back so that the issues that led to strike in the first place are suffienciently adressed for the striking moderators to feel like they can return to there moderational business.

Or does "corporate" simply seem to try to wait it out?

3
  • 1
    I already posted somewhere, but I post it as a refresher about how the "corporate" system works when comes to acknowledgment of the unpaid work from moderators and enthusiasts that builds communities: brenontheroad.com/the-end-of-couchsurfing (a bit extreme, since couchsurfing what about physical hosting and not exchanging knowledge). My personal opinion is that SE will soon reach the third accident, and nothing more (it will be always free ... free in the sense of free hosting of people opinions and feedbakcs to be sold further to other corporate clients)
    – EarlGrey
    Jul 11, 2023 at 9:04
  • Interesting article. The whole idea of couchsurfing is perhaps anti-corporate in a way that this (mostly) technical site is not. But I agree that many of the clashes we are observing are precisely because the site's goals (metrics, profit) are not the same as the power users' goals (quality, respect). And the company surely realizes this; indeed, I wonder if the reason they've let the strike drag on for so long is because they are collecting data on what would happen if they altogether ended meta and/or volunteer moderation.
    – cag51 Mod
    Jul 16, 2023 at 4:31
  • Updated: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/391847/…
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 2, 2023 at 21:08

1 Answer 1

26

The most recent update (that I have seen) is here. In short: negotiations are underway and have already agreed on an improved AI policy, renewed data dumps, and (what boils down to) a pledge to do better. This last one seems to be the sticking point: our negotiators are pushing for a binding (in both directions) agreement that can't simply be violated like all the past agreements have been, but it is difficult to find something workable.

So far, though, nothing has changed; even the new AI policy (the most important element to me) has not been circulated yet (i.e., I don't know what it says). Once the new AI policy comes out and the negotiations on the remaining items start to converge, it will be time to decide whether to get back to work or to resign.

Update 7/22: the same link above describes some more recent progress, including some new policies (e.g., about when SE will speak to the press about moderators) and a new procedure that mods can invoke if SE breaks its own policies. There are still some loose ends, but it sounds like things are converging.

Update 7/27: seems like it's almost over -- the old AI policy has been retracted and published openly, the company has publicly committed to maintaining the data dumps, and a new AI policy is expected to drop shortly.

6
  • 6
    That mostly seems like good news. The remaining point seems.... odd. In what way could SE bind themselves that would actually stop them breaking their word? Short of a contract with specified penalties (which seems unlikely to be signed and even more unlikely to be enforced) this would seem a bit futile. Thanks for the updade.
    – Flyto
    Jul 5, 2023 at 14:43
  • 1
    Well, now everything makes more sense. Jul 28, 2023 at 2:09
  • 1
    Just to be clear, I was talking about the announced entry of the company into the generative ai arena Jul 29, 2023 at 17:08
  • @ScottSeidman Their announced plans to use GenAI with the site did not require that they do anything to change community policy about posting AI content, though.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jul 30, 2023 at 23:08
  • @BryanKrauseisonstrike of course not, but my personal assumption is that the two product lines will be synergistically marketed, and that can't happen unless AI generated content is allowed. Jul 31, 2023 at 0:34
  • 3
    @ScottSeidman Thanks to the moderator strike, it appears the company will again allow bans of AI content to be enforced. It's unfortunate we came to it this messy way rather than simply having a conversation at the start.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jul 31, 2023 at 2:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .