I think this is vital to the success of this space. (I love saying “this space”! )
This is something that can rapidly evolve - what is very obvious is that we will need a lot of moderators - and that they will need some very precise, simple steps, that they can follow. Ideally not more than 5 - and also a very clear link to 2 simple rules for everyone.
The commuity guidelines is displayed to everyone during their first two posts. The problem with this is that it is way too long and detailed, and I would bet money that more than 95% of members will not read it - but it is relevant and useful, especially to potential moderators. (Maybe we can ask those who actually read it if they would like to become moderators?)
If it is preceded by 2 simple and clear points, then it will be more effective. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into this platform - and the default suggestions are good:
- Be kind to your fellow community members.
- Constructive criticism is welcome, but criticize ideas , not people.
The question is, can we improve on this - make it more prominent and relevant to our community. I don’t know. Perhaps:
Perhaps something to coordinate with WMF Trust and Safety team too.
But we need more than just guidelines - like 5 concrete steps for example:
- Does the post violate guidelines?
- Try to resolve with the poster - or refer issue to another moderator if you can’t.
- Consult with moderation committee.
- Redact post and issue a warning and inform violator of why and how they can resolve.
- Issue bans of increasing length - and provide violator with resources capable of helping them rehabilitate and become a constructive contributor.
Something that irks me in many communities is the way we treat offenders - without a growth mindset - like they are static and will never change. If we can just turn one insensitive person into a more sensitive or empathic person, then all the steps we can take to give that a better chance of happening, will be worth the time it took by everyone.
This is something that’s sorely lacking in the world today, IMHO - and for good reason - it goes hand in hand with a “consumption” mindset - so it should be no surprise that our organizations treat people with the same mindset. If there’s any community that stand a better chance than most to successfully reverse this, it is Wikimedia - we are already more diverse and inclusive than most.
Let’s stive to be better, always - and dedicate valuable time and resources to this.