On Forum Moderation

Dear people of ClojureVerse,

I recently decided to shut down two topics that were starting to turn toxic. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but we are a moderated forum. Online spaces without moderation eventually devolve into 4chan. Only those who can stomach ever increasing toxicity stick around. ClojureVerse was created to provide a safe, fun, welcoming place where people of all ages, nationality, and cultural background can get excited and geek out together about their favorite programming language.

The “welcome to ClojureVerse” that newcomers see is a good illustration of the tone we want to set. If anything in there does not vibe with you then please take your business elsewhere. This is what we stand for. Please don’t come here to win arguments. Come here to get excited, to find help or to help and support others on their journey, to share what you are making and geek out together.

Luckily the vast majority of conversations are friendly, respectful, constructive, and there are a lot of people on here working every day to make this a nice place to be. We see you!

Currently the Moderators group contains five people, @jiyinyiyong, @thheller, @martinklepsch, @vvvvalvalval, and myself. These are the people that get notified when a post gets flagged. We also have a larger group of people with admin access, who are also able to do things like hide posts, suspend users, and close topics.

However it’s not really clear to me at the moment whom of these people has an interest in actively moderating this space going forward. This group has also changed very little since the early days of this forum seven years ago, so I think it would be helpful to invite some new forces. We’re looking for people who are active on the forum, with a good dose of empathy and common sense, who are able to embody the spirit of positivity the ClojureVerse thrives on.

So I’d like to ask the community, is there anyone that you think fits the bill, that you would like to nominate? Or would you like to nominate yourself? Feel free to respond here or just talk to me in DM. Thanks!

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I just want to say I think you’re doing a great job. I’m so often amazed by the thoughtfulness and taste of the discussions here on Clojureverse. That’s both thanks to the community, and to the moderators.

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Thank you @teodorlu. I agree and am very happy with how this place turned out. That is really all due to the merit of the community itself, I just provide the space and keep the lights on, it’s the people that make it what it is.

Still I sometimes worry that I’m too hands off. I only check in here occasionally these days, and looking at the list of people with moderator privileges I don’t think many of them are still particularly active. I don’t think that’s actively a problem, things seem to be going well, but I don’t want this place to be rudderless either.

Seeing two topics go toxic in a short timespan was a bit of a wake up call. Eventually I became aware because some posts were reported, but maybe it would have been better to step in a little earlier…

I’ve asked @seancorfield and @daslu and they graciously agreed to be co-moderators. If things keep going well then they may have very little to do, but I’ll feel better knowing that there’s someone else who can help people out and solve issues should they arrive.

And maybe we do end up managing this place a bit more proactively again. We’ve mostly been coasting on the effort we put in with the relaunch and rebranding to ClojureVerse 4 years ago. Back then we created the categories, the logo, set up a CoC, tweaked the configuration to our liking, tried to promote this place. We also did stuff afterwards like running AMAs. I think this community could benefit from some motivated individuals to help steer, grow, and improve it. I personally have too much going on already to take the lead on that, but I’d 100% provide my backing if a suitable candidate would want to take that on.

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Thank you for the work you are putting into this! I always thought one of the best things about the Clojure community was its mature and friendly behavior and I would definitely like it to remain that way. Your work helps make it possible, and I’m very grateful for it.

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