Taking a breath from my dev work to make a long over due post...
For those that don't know me, I am an independent Ethereum developer, long time community member and one of the moderators of this forum. The global Ethereum community holds an enviable respect for its online and offline cultures which I'm proud to be a part of. By this, member behaviour on this forum very rarely warrants any kind of moderator intervention at all which is definitely a positive thing on any internet forum. My roll then is left to be little more than a manual spam filter and new accounts approver. This requires that I process the new applicants and flagged spam lists each day, or a few times a day.
Like any online forum, and more importantly, for a technical one like this, there is ever a struggle to keep the signal to noise ratio as high as possible. At the fore-front of that effort is to assess new applicants based upon very limited information. While many persistent attempts for membership are made daily by easily identifiable spammers as well as those of good intent, there is a wide grey area where the lack of provided information prevents an immediate decision to approve or deny membership. Where information has not been provided or is in the pattern of known spammers the applicant is typically blocked. These blocks have no doubt included many unfair false positives over which I feel quite uncomfortable.
Among the accepted applicants, are an increasing number of obvious sock puppet marketing teams who individually provide no real reason to deny membership at the time of signup but collectively present noise in the form of things like viral marketed ICO's of little relevance to Ethereum or improvement to the community. Personally I have a great disdain for any kind of such marketing but am seeking not to impose my personal bias on the community at large.
So instead, I am looking to develop acceptable guidelines for such marketing and promotional threads and am seeking community input. With such a criteria in place, the job of moderation becomes somewhat fairer to all while allowing a more decisive action against those who fail the to follow the guidelines.
To begin I offer this loose outline for discussion...
- Promotional and Marketing material and their products or services should have direct relevance to the Ethereum platform and or community.
- Promoters should state their relationship with the promoted product.
- Promoters will maintain single threads regarding the product.
- Community members are welcome to critically assess a promoted product and state their considered opinions.
- Members promoting a product or service without a declared relationship or critical discussion will be considered sock puppets and risk damage to their profile or be banned.
- Any suspicious content (in general) should be flagged as spam and/or abuse.
- Promotions should prefix a thread's subject line with, [ANN], [PROMO] or other such meta-indicator of the thread's content
All comments and feedback welcome!