Subject says it all: the moderation strike announced here is over. We moderators are satisfied with the negotiation results and are back at work. Flags raised during the strike will be handled over the next few days.

3 Answers 3


One other tidbit: when the company "unfeatured" the post announcing the strike, some users engaged in "civil disobedience" to make a main-site version of the announcement. This is now the third-highest-voted question on the site.

Now that the strike is over, I expect that we will put a "historical significance lock" on the above-linked post. This will keep the post visible in perpetuity while making it clear that this is not the usual type of question that we accept. Any other strike-related meta-posts-on-the-main-site will be reviewed individually, but I suspect only the above one is needed long-term.

Update: based on the strong response to Wrzlprmft's suggestion below, and the fact that we were within hours of the deadline for doing so, we have migrated the post to meta. So, this is all set.

  • Yes, please. When you lock that post, can you please insert a link here so later generations know the resolution? Thank you! Aug 3, 2023 at 6:20
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    I suggest to migrate that post to Meta Academia for minimum confusion potential. It’s 59 days old right now, so we have one day to do this without CM help. Of course it should still be equipped with a note to explain what was going on.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Aug 3, 2023 at 9:06
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    Whatever you decide, you will have no objections from me.
    – StrongBad
    Aug 3, 2023 at 12:18
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    And @StrongBad, thanks for doing that -- a most successful way to raise awareness!
    – cag51 Mod
    Aug 3, 2023 at 12:47
  • "while making it clear that this is not the usual type of question that we accept" until of course some other agenda comes along which a vocal crowd of users thinks they should be allowed to protest against in the same manner. You might as well put a historical lock on it in the main site, just to remind others what some people think they should be allowed to get away with by just saying "community wants it"
    – user13267
    Aug 29, 2023 at 5:58
  • Yes, you've made your opinion clear on the linked post.
    – cag51 Mod
    Aug 29, 2023 at 16:24
  • Apparently, not clear enough, as it's looking like the same problem is going to reappear in the future
    – user13267
    Aug 31, 2023 at 10:40

Some thoughts on lessons learned:

  • We had a serious spam wave and at least one seriously disruptive user who caused a lot of problems. Other than those two things, the site worked pretty smoothly. While there were some problematic interactions, most of it remained localized. The community really does moderate itself.
  • During the strike, many duplicate questions weren't closed as duplicates. A lot of these posts got considerable engagement. We might want to consider how we handle this in future -- should we leave popular posts open for a few days before closing as duplicates? Before the strike, I would have said no. Now, I am not so sure; it was nice to see so many new users engaging with the site.
  • A lot of moderation is "soft power": hand-holding new users, suggesting edits and related posts, and keeping the comments sections under control. It seems like little of this happened during the strike -- probably because the non-diamonds who usually help with this were also supporting the strike. It's really hard to measure how important this stuff is. On one hand, the site seemed to work perfectly fine without people doing that stuff. But on the other hand, I certainly noticed a few posts that might have led to interesting discussions and positive outcomes for the asker if anyone had been willing to jump in.
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    concerning the second point - this also ties into the question if some questions should be asked again because the situation might be different than 10 years ago when a question has been asked orginally. Because people are much more unlikely to add new answers to old questions than to new ones (as the very slow trickle in the "late answers" queue supports).
    – Sursula
    Aug 4, 2023 at 7:16

As another sign of the strike end, the Charcoal team has announced that the community-run anti-spam system SmokeDetector is back to running. The presence of large numbers of spam posts has arguably been one of the most visible consequences of the moderation strike, not least on Academia. With SmokeDetector working again, hopefully that'll be much less of an issue.


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