Retracted: Read this for why.

  • From my recent comment, I gathered from the upvotes that there was some interest in people wanting me to share my negative experience with the community health team.
  • My biggest concern in writing that post is accidentally doxing myself.
  • The advice I'm seeking is, how do I include details to show the complexity of the situation the community health team dealt with (as I think this would be of public interest and only fair to them) without me accidentally doxing myself?
    • Including details is hard as I have many friends in the EA Community, and I don't want them to identify me.
    • Including simple details reduces the option space in people's minds of who could be writing this. I think with 2 or 3 simple details (e.g., in city X then in city Y), someone I'm friends with can be 95% sure that Y is writing.
    • To illustrate my point, I intentionally chose "many friends" in the bullet point above as revealing an order of magnitude also reduces the option space in people's minds.
    • But I also appreciate that people can read between the lines and still conclude the details I wanted to avoid. For example, intentionally saying "many friends" still suggests that I have a large number, so it was irrelevant whether I said an order of magnitude.
    • As has been done in EA Forum posts that I've seen from others, I could include false details to throw people off, but I believe this is dishonest.
  • The community health team will almost certainly know who I am from the post, as I will be sharing excerpts from my emails with them. I'm not worried about them doxing me as they would know if they do, they'll reduce the trust that the EA community has in them, and this is not what they want.
    • However, as they will almost certainly reply to the forum post, I'm concerned they will reveal details I wanted to avoid revealing as I knew that those details would make it easier for others to identify me.
  • Currently, my solution is to not worry too much about including and set the moderation guidelines on the post to "Reign of Terror - I delete anything I judge to be annoying or counterproductive". I set those guidelines here to see what it's like to have them on.

I'm bullet-pointing as I have a distinctive writing style amongst my friends that I'm trying to avoid in these posts.




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Incorrect details aren't dishonest if you affirmatively disclose that some details have been changed for privacy reasons and none of the changes paint the community health team (or anyone else) in a worse light than the actual details.

Thank you for the suggestion. This comment reminded me that some journalists do this when sharing stories of people they've interviewed.

However, as they will almost certainly reply to the forum post, I'm concerned they will reveal details I wanted to avoid revealing as I knew that those details would make it easier for others to identify me.


Perhaps you could ask them to email you their response first?

And I guess it's gonna be a bit possible to guess. 

Absolutely no need, but for what it's worth, we're happy to do this and get input on if anything feels concerningly de-anonymizing.

I'm bullet-pointing as I have a distinctive writing style amongst my friends that I'm trying to avoid in these posts.

You can consider using a large language model to do things like style transfer, summarization, and anonymization. However, I would not be surprised if the companies you interface with aren't the best custodians of your data and will train models based on your data and/or store your data in plaintext.

This is a good idea. Thank you. I will consider this carefully.

This may or may not be relevant to your situation, but I'd be more willing to accept non-specific claims at face value if a trusted third party was vouching for that interpretation.

If there was someone well-trusted by the community (in or outside of it) you trusted not to doxx you, you might ask if they'd be willing to endorse a non-specific version of events as accurate.  I do accept there's an irony in suggesting this given your bad experience with something similar previously!

Thank you for the suggestion. I think there are very few people in my life with whom I have mutual unconditional trust. I'm not sure if it's a term commonly used but I consider it akin to unconditional love.
Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:50 PM

I've asked the nonlinear people, who are independent of CEA, to put a small bounty on writing your complaints non-anonymously. I think that anonymous complaints have the disadvantage of being significantly less informative, but at the same time, I think that they will naturally happen much less often if people have to internalize the cost.

Ideally I'd want the bounty to be proportional to the value produced. Some problem with this are:

  • any such estimate is going to be noisy, so this only works if people recognize that the estimate of value is going to be uncalibrated some of the time—e.g., "have $100 bucks for writing something which took you 50 hours and you view as both traumatic and deeply important" isn't a great look
  • it's unclear how you would even go about calculating that estimate, maybe value of community team * percentage improvement. The first item is unclear, but it could be bounded by the money that's spent on the team.
    • So, e.g., $40k to $90k * 1 to 5 FTEs * 0.1% to 3% improvement * 1 to 3 years   = 170 to 9.4k (mean 2.7k). 
    • Ehh, this seems decently valuable.

Not expressing an opinion on whether a bounty is a good idea, but it seems you would have more of a basis to set the amount if OP published their complaints anonymously first rather than basing it on the broad class of possible complaints.

Makes sense

Can someone explain to me why a sincere question asking for advice on a tricky situation is being downvoted?

I really don't know, and I wish people wouldn't do that. It's a reasonable question. 

I strong-upvoted to balance things out.

I downvoted (when it was 50+karma) because I want to see less of this kind of thing in the forum. It feels a bit clickbaity/ gossipy, doesn't really provide any interesting information and drags more valuable posts away from the front-page.

-12 feels unfair, but +50 feels like it's getting more attention than it deserves.

I removed my upvote for the same reason.

I would love to know why it was downvoted as well. I provided a strong upvote as I can't see the reason why this post should be downvoted, although I might change this if I'm persuaded there's a good reason. However, I would be extremely surprised if there were any such reason.

I'm not sure. Things seem fine now, but within an hour of posting,  it was at -12 karma and therefore hidden to those who don't have "low karma" enabled.

I wonder my comment made a difference or whether things would have returned to normal on their own.

1yModerator Comment-1

Thanks for flagging this – the moderation team is looking into whether anything that violates our norms happened here.

1yModerator Comment11

Update: we investigated and did not find any instances of sock puppet usage. Additionally, the person who downvoted this post into negative karma (who was also the highest-powered downvoter) messaged us; given the subject matter of the post, we feel it's appropriate to state that they don't work on the community health team (or at CEA more generally).