132
$\begingroup$

As some of you may be aware, there is a general moderation strike in place as of Monday, June 5th, 2023.

Seven members of the Mathematics moderation team have signed the demand letter and are striking. The remaining active members of the team have expressed support for the strike, but are not striking.

The strike is, narrowly, about new rules making it effectively impossible for moderators to regulate AI-authored posts (such as those made with ChatGPT). More broadly, the strike is about the company not communicating or collaborating with the site moderators when making such rules and other major changes.

$\endgroup$
27
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ related: Moderator Strike $\endgroup$
    – starball
    Jun 6, 2023 at 5:26
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Are you participating in the strike @robjohn $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2023 at 3:41
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ @MathStackexchangeIsNotSoBad From the demand letter: "DO NOT be rude to Stack Exchange employees, those who choose not to strike, or anyone else". I am not implying that you meant your question to be rude, just that it could be (mis)interpreted as borderline such. $\endgroup$
    – dxiv
    Jun 7, 2023 at 5:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There's a page somewhere that lists all the people who have signed the demand letter. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2023 at 9:37
  • 26
    $\begingroup$ @dxiv I really don't see that comment coming across as rude in any way. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2023 at 10:27
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ @MathStackexchangeIsNotSoBad: you can check the demand letter to see who has signed it. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Jun 7, 2023 at 12:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Note that Phillipe has just recently posted GPT on the platform: Data, actions, and outcomes on the network Meta site. I've read it, and recommend anybody else who's interested in some of the reasons for the company's actions, at least among those that they can provide publicly, also read it. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2023 at 20:47
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @stickynotememo I did not say that it necessarily was, if you read my complete comment. But for anyone who had read the demand letter linked in the main post thus knew the answer (and thought you had done the same), yours sounded like a rhetorical question whose driving point was left undisclosed. $\endgroup$
    – dxiv
    Jun 7, 2023 at 22:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JohnOmielan - Thanks for pointing us to that. I've only scanned it as yet, but am wondering if anyone else starts to get the feeling in these discussions that the data, phenomena, and arguments apply exclusively to StackOverflow, and don't really relate to other StackExchange sites, like us? $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jun 8, 2023 at 2:06
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ We need statistics for math.se. Look at starball's answer in the reply to Phillipe's post : those kind of stats might be useful. For what it's worth, there are indicators not prevalent on other sites which apply to detection to GPT answers here. To give one example, the majority of posts that I flagged as potential GPT answers all contained some mathematical expressions that were not MathJaxed. Next, the style of writing is kind of "wikipedia"-like : when something is defined, it's done so with a generality or detail that is spurious or completely unnecessary for the problem's context. $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2023 at 6:41
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ Voicing my support for the strike. Somehow I missed this, but it is day six (or seven) of my round 2 vs. COVID. Looks like my immune system is on its way to scoring another win. $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2023 at 8:22
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @SarveshRavichandranIyer - Yeah, it is interesting how our human minds can sense that something's "off". Separately, having read some of the discussion taking place, it's massively slanted towards StackOverflow. It's understandable - that's the flagship product - but I feel bad for our mods trying to make sure our particular issues are included in the conversation. That looks like a difficult fight. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jun 8, 2023 at 14:25
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @JonathanZonstrike Shout out to dxiv and you who are doing your best to bring this site's viewpoints across on the main meta site. The moderators also deserve praise for sticking it out with each other. Of course some users will choose not to strike, but I wish that the strike goes through successfully. My "benchmark" for strike success is when either side (strikers vs. SE) is convinced that the the other side's method of detecting AI-Gen answers is better. Then we can talk about how the false positives can be reduced, or conclude that they are in fact not high at all. $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2023 at 14:33
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @AdamRubinson See for example New user posts 8 answers, all likely AI-generated, in the span of 82 minutes; I think we either need or are close to needing an official policy, which is still high up on the main meta page. There have been many more, before and since. I don't know that anyone kept a list of all deleted GPT answers, for 10k+ rep users to browse after the fact. $\endgroup$
    – dxiv
    Jun 11, 2023 at 6:06
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @Joako You can visit the Meta website for updates. Resolution will not be easy, because there's more than one problem between the parties (not just the AI-related one, there's a problem with the data dump being disabled as well). With high probability, the strike will go on for at least another $10-15$ days. I spoke about "statistics" above : with the data dump being disabled, it is now difficult to actually collect some statistics pertaining to the last three months. Quantitative arguments are about to get harder to make. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2023 at 5:49

2 Answers 2

31
$\begingroup$

As the other post about the strike has now been marked as duplicate, I am copying over this answer:

To save people tracking stuff down, here is part the strike letter that could be useful to non-moderators:


I am not a moderator on any stack exchange site, how can I help?

Even if you are not a moderator you can participate in the strike by:

  • Not voting on posts
  • Not submitting edits
  • Not reviewing in the review queues
  • Not commenting
  • Not flagging posts

DO NOT engage in vandalism. We're abstaining from moderation- not trying to be actively destructive.

  • DO NOT purposefully submit AI-generated answers during the strike. While we will not be removing them during the strike you may be suspended afterwards. We anticipate plenty will get posted anyway without purposefully submitting more.

  • DO NOT upvote spam, AI generated posts, or other low quality posts. Do not downvote good posts. That is just disrespectful, better to not vote at all.

  • DO NOT be rude to stack exchange employees, those who choose not to strike, or anyone else.

$\endgroup$
8
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ There has been a wave of GPT-generated answers posted here since last December, the vast majority of them between low-quality and plain wrong. The mods did their best to fight/curtail it, but the new SE moderation rules announced last week basically forbid the mods to do it any longer. Many of us fear that this new policy will sink the quality of MSE, and drive away valuable contributors. Again, feel free to ignore it, or do nothing about it, but the problem unfortunately exists. $\endgroup$
    – dxiv
    Jun 8, 2023 at 17:18
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm kind of sad I didn't see this before today, and knowing that in the last couple of days (since the strike began) I have done several of the things I should have abstained from. $\endgroup$ Jun 9, 2023 at 10:22
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Henriksupportsthecommunity - Ehn, it might even look better to see support continuing to build over time, as opposed to an initial flurry and then nothing. Glad you're supporting, regardless of when you started. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jun 9, 2023 at 12:37
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I hope upvoting the op and this answer counts as an exception. $\endgroup$
    – SBF
    Jun 11, 2023 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I can tell, the strike-causing highly debated network policy allows to deal with Low Quality Content "naturally [...] in ways we always have: if someone is posting a flood of poor quality content, suspend them for low quality content." And so on. I would personally prefer the allowance of automatic chat GPT detectors but, in my opinion, no longer handling flags due to the strike does more harm than good. $\endgroup$
    – Kurt G.
    Jul 27, 2023 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I agree it does harm. Stack Exchange should act quickly to come up with a policy that allows moderators to include reasonable, informed consideration of Chat/LLM status, to reduce that harm. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jul 27, 2023 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanZonstrike . It is completely unconvincing that harming MSE users by not handling their flags will impress Stack Exchange in any way. You are taking the wrong hostages. $\endgroup$
    – Kurt G.
    Jul 31, 2023 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ You seem to be correct. StackExchange seems to not care what happens to MSE users. That fact should become more widely known. $\endgroup$
    – JonathanZ
    Jul 31, 2023 at 16:03
5
$\begingroup$

Apparently the moderator strike ended several days ago. I wasn't aware of this until I saw someone mention it in passing in a comment here, so I thought an update link was warranted.

Full information at: Moderation strike: Results of negotiations

$\endgroup$
3
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As to whether the strike has ended, meta.stackexchange.com/questions/391847/… is worth a look. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2023 at 6:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It did not end a few days ago, the negotiations had been concluded. Various groups (eg the team that operates SmokeDetector, the automated spam detection software) have been discussing whether to finish striking, and this has indeed been happening over the weekend, in stages. $\endgroup$ Aug 7, 2023 at 12:55
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ As @theHigherGeometer says, the negotiations wrapped up last week, and various stakeholder groups have been discussing how to move forward. The Math moderation team has returned to work. $\endgroup$
    – Xander Henderson Mod
    Aug 7, 2023 at 15:01

You must log in to answer this question.

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