Moderator Comments
COVID: How did we do? How can we know?
Aaron Gertler23dModerator Comment11

It's nice to see the replies defuse things a bit, but this comment was unnecessarily rude. It's fine to disagree on which scenarios are plausible, but please be polite in the process.

Response to Phil Torres’ ‘The Case Against Longtermism’
Aaron Gertler2moModerator Comment17

While I mostly agree with you in general (e.g. Gleb Tsipursky getting too many second chances), I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say in this case. 

Do you think that the moderators were too charitable toward Phil? He was banned from the Forum for a year, and we tried to make it clear that his comments were rude and unacceptable. Before that thread, his comments were generally unremarkable, with the exception of one bitter exchange of the type that happens once in a while for many different users. And I'm loathe to issue Forum-based consequences... (read more)

Response to Phil Torres’ ‘The Case Against Longtermism’
Aaron Gertler2moModerator Comment11

(As with other comments in this thread, I’m responding as an individual moderator rather than as a voice of the moderation team.)

It is very unusual to issue a moderation warning for a comment at +143 karma, the second most upvoted comment on the entire page, for undermining public discussion.

On the one hand — yes, certainly unusual, and one could reasonably interpret karma as demonstrating that many people thought a comment was valuable for public discussion. 

However, I am exceedingly wary of changing the way moderation works based on a comment’s karm... (read more)

Response to Phil Torres’ ‘The Case Against Longtermism’
Aaron Gertler2moModerator Comment9

(As with other comments in this thread, I’m responding as an individual moderator rather than as a voice of the moderation team.)

Thank you for sharing this comment. While I read your comment closely when considering a warning to Halstead, I don’t think it encounters the same problems:

  • Regarding your support for Halstead’s claims — I think the original claimant should try very hard to present evidence, but I don’t think the same burden falls on people who support them (in part because they might not have evidence of their own).
  • Regarding your own claims: Whil
... (read more)
Response to Phil Torres’ ‘The Case Against Longtermism’
Aaron Gertler2moModerator Comment42

(Since I drafted the original message, and it was only reviewed and approved by other moderators, I’ll use “I” in some parts of this thread.)

I owe you an apology for a lack of clarity in this message, and for not discussing my concerns with you in private before posting it (given that we’d already been discussing other aspects of the situation).

“Warning” was the wrong word to use. The thing we were trying to convey wasn’t “this is the kind of content that could easily lead to a ban”, but instead “this goes against a norm we want to promote on the Forum, an... (read more)

RyanCarey's Shortform
Aaron Gertler2moModerator Comment36

Speaking as the lead moderator, I feel as though we really don’t make all that many visible “warning” comments (though of course, "all that many" is in the eye of the beholder).

I do think we’ve increased the number of public comments we make, but this is partly due to a move toward public rather than private comments in cases where we want to emphasize the existence of a given rule or norm. We send fewer private messages than we used to (comparing the last 12 months to the 18 months before that).

Since the new Forum was launched at the end of 2018, moderato... (read more)

Response to Phil Torres’ ‘The Case Against Longtermism’
Aaron Gertler3moModerator Comment56

As the Forum’s lead moderator, I’m posting this message, but it was written collaboratively by several moderators after a long discussion.

As a result of several comments on this post, as well as a pattern of antagonistic behavior, Phil Torres has been banned from the EA Forum for one year.

Our rules say that we discourage, and may delete, "unnecessary rudeness or offensiveness" and "behavior that interferes with good discourse". Calling someone a jerk and swearing at them is unnecessarily rude, and interferes with good discourse.

Phil also repeatedly accuses... (read more)

Problems of evil
EdoArad3moModerator Comment5

I've moved this post to "Personal Blog"  as I'm not sure if this is strictly relevant to Doing The Most Good or to the EA community (and to be clear, this doesn't speak as to the quality of this post nor how likely it is to be of interest to people in the community - this post, like your many others, looks of high quality and of interest to people in the community). Please let me know if you think otherwise!

Progress Open Thread: March 2021
Aaron Gertler4moModerator Comment23

Upvoted. I felt this reply was engaging in good faith, and it's given me a chance to add clarity about the Forum's moderation policy.

I tried looking through the rules to find anything related to this: "The current comment makes unkind assumptions about a group of people without accurate data to back them — so despite the good intentions, it falls afoul of our rules."

Thanks for asking the question — I should have linked to the exact section I was referencing, which was:

This criterion is based on Scott Alexander's moderation policy, which I'll quote here:

If

... (read more)
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