Looking for a moderation process to enforce the CoC

I believe measurement can only be achieved by having a representative group of diverse peers who can reach consensus on a case-by-case basis

Great point … To me in addition to implementing Sebastien’s proposal it would be good to see the moderator team expanded to a larger team for sure to make better and more impartial decisions that is fair. This will achieve greater transparency to the process also and avoid any negative consequence to decisions.

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I don’t necessarily have a problem with moderators having discretion. Nor do I think that adding more rules to the CoC, or enforcing more rules in the CoC can really solve any problem that we’re having w.r.t moderation.

The fact is, this means very little. The moderation currently going on is discouraging valuable contributions from people who are being entirely silent on the matter. Just because they’re not interested in loudly complaining about Scala or trolling doesn’t mean they don’t feel uncomfortable because of the tone of the moderation. They’re gone, and they’re leaving and they’re sticking around silently on the sidelines, because they don’t want anything to do with you.

And adding more moderators cannot solve the issues we have with the existing moderators. If you have four good moderators, and one bad moderator, you are in a strictly worse situation than if you had only four good moderators.

Scala’s moderators have proven themselves to be overly insecure, to the point that snark about any topic but the language is fine, and criticism of the language or especially the language’s direction is almost outright banned. I’m sure this statement will provoke disagreement; I’d like to hear some disagreement from people who aren’t either involved in Lightbend, involved in the compiler’s development, or trying to be one of those two.

I think there’s room for a lot more cooperation in the Scala community. A few people on one side are being deliberately annoying, a few people on another side are being insecure about their technology, and most people are remaining silent out of fear. Is that how it has to be? Does anyone have to waste time suggesting that we remove features from Scala that are integral to it, or would require untenable migration work? Does anyone have to waste time replying and getting worked up?

At the end, what all of this manifests in is an inability for people to talk honestly about Scala’s quality. Some people who know what’s good about it are focusing on the negatives, and some people who know little about it are stifling discussion.

It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. The moderation problem cannot be solved by any other measure; we need moderators to have full discretion, and not be overly legalized with useless rules that will be ignored anyway unless convenient.

There are moderators who need to be replaced. Which ones? From what I can tell, all of them. We need these people away from the public, making valuable technical contributions where they can do no further damage to the community.

I’m not saying this to piss anybody off, or to say anyone is a “bad person”, but because I’m astonished that nobody has said it yet. It’s amazing to me that such an obvious measure has gone unmentioned, and it can only point to what extent the community has been gagged and bound by those currently in power.

And don’t tell me “this isn’t helpful”. I can see that response already brewing. It’s a useless set of words. If we want to solve the problem instead of just being able to tell people “well, we tried everything”, this is the path we need to go down.

Edit: I say this partially out of sympathy for the moderators. At least one of Scala’s moderators has expressed previously how stressful the occupation is for them, in the presence of criticism; perhaps this is a sign that it’s just not a good fit.


Agree. I welcome these changes.


It has been my impression that snark is not acceptable, about any topic. It is possible I have not been around long enough, but I don’t think I have seen much of any snark that is just allowed and ignored by moderators.


I cannot articulate a response to this, other than abject confusion.

Suggesting that some or all of the moderation team should be replaced is not inherently unreasonable (regardless of whether or not I agree with it); however the phrase “we need these people away from the public” does not have great connotations in my mind. It implies that not only should they not be moderators, they should essentially be banned/evicted from the community, which seems very wrong.

100% agreed

I agree that this should definitely not be the first choice of action. However, if someone does not change their behaviour after being asked to stop in a less confrontational way, at some point there is no choice but to threaten (and eventually perform) some form of disciplinary action.


Thanks for clarifying my message – fully agreed with the more eloquent version you wrote :blush:

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I think CoC has a significant shortcoming.

It has the same rules for very different things.
There are

  • synchronous \ asynchronous communication(chat\forum)
  • local\global(team\corporate) group

For example chat has hard disadvantage(if it works correctly and everybody are reading its message immediately):
Every message breaks concentration.

If someone is working on really hard task, 8 message per day can significantly decrease his performance.

Why should some team have to allow such performance degradation?

For example we have very hard requirement on our corporate chat.
We use it for:

  • send really important alert
  • find people
  • organize local\private chat

Furthermore we have strong limit on private chat:
If you are not able to make decision within 3 message you should switch to voice conversation(skype, telephone, etc)

Of course we have team\rooms chats without such rules we are not robots :slight_smile:

It seems that misunderstanding occurs when people do not understand, why someone can make some joke\critics\news while other can not make it in the chat.

The CoC says we all equals. But it is a lie and it is a life :slight_smile:

An external man is not equal with team member even if he really wants to be equal with one .
Equality can be achieved only with same qualifications or works.

Whether you’re a regular contributor or a newcomer, we care about making this community a welcoming and safe place for you and we’ve got your back.

So there is confrontation.

  • one side: You distracting me from my work, are you Steve Jobs :slight_smile:
  • on other side: You declare equality, so why do you break your declaration

I think such confrontation can be reduced if we add more clear requirements to members and message of the chat.

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I suspect that nominations of candidates to strengthen the moderation team, so that maybe others can retire from the position would be more than welcome.

If you propose replacing them with nobody, I don’t agree with that.

I don’t think that’s the only thing that it can point to.

In fact, I think that that’s such ridiculous hyperbole that I’ll have difficulty taking your opinion on anything in this discussion seriously.


While I agree with most of your message, I could not disagree more with your statement that moderation is about excluding “wrong thinkers” – it’s about wrongdoers! I don’t know exactly what you mean with “wrongthink”, but I’ll just assume you mean dissent, and we’re talking about voicing it.

It should go without saying that the CoC does not keep you from expressing a dissenting opinion. However, not everything one could potentially say is “just an opinion”, and to me, the CoC is concerned with the distinction between opinion and hurtful behavior. It matters how you say it.

Criticism is an essential part of any intellectual undertaking. I do not understand the CoC as aiming to suppress it, as long as the criticism addresses the idea and not the person behind the idea. On the flip side, it’s important (and challenging) to not equate our egos with the code or the ideas that we produce, so that purely technical criticism hurts our feelings regardless of how it’s delivered.

When criticism is delivered thoughtfully and with empathy, the recipient should reasonably be expected to welcome it as an opportunity to learn and improve (or simply to disagree). It’s not easy to criticize thoughtfully, and it represents an intellectual investment that should not be ignored. Some people thrive on conflict, and criticism can be delivered “raw” to them – many do not, and so it’s best to err on the safe side in your delivery.

As an example, it may be your opinion that I’m an idiot, but what good (for Scala) does expressing that do (catharsis aside)? Thoughtful criticism would single out an actionable reason for why you think that and, ideally, explain how I could address it. Before you even go there, it’s also good to consider alternative interpretations for the evidence you’re basing your opinion on.


It has been my impression that snark is not acceptable, about any topic. It is possible I have not been around long enough, but I don’t think I have seen much of any snark that is just allowed and ignored by moderators.

That’s funny, because Seth has repeatedly said himself that his snark is acceptable. Do I have to dig back in the chat logs for this?

I cannot articulate a response to this, other than abject confusion.

“I’m sure this statement will provoke disagreement; I’d like to hear some disagreement from people who aren’t either involved in Lightbend, involved in the compiler’s development, or trying to be one of those two.”

however the phrase “we need these people away from the public” does not have great connotations in my mind

Sure, that’s fair. Doesn’t detract from my point, though.

I don’t think that’s the only thing that it can point to.

Well, I’m listening. Any other suggestions? I am still flabbergasted that the conversation could proceed this long without the obvious being suggested.

Regardless, I’m done with this conversation; either we get results here, or we don’t. I don’t have any nominees. I don’t have a full proposal for fixing anything. But I just wanted to make it clear that what’s happening here is a conversation mostly taking place without the people affected being able to participate, and as long as that’s the case, any “measures” taken can only improve the appearance of the issue.

Well then.


No need, that was perfectly clear and very helpful, thanks.

On the additional/replacement moderators suggestion, to be actionable we would need some people willing to do that. Any volunteers? Moderation is often a thankless job, I am not sure many others actually want to do it which would kill the idea in it’s tracks, but in case I am incorrect it would be helpful to see some people raise their hand or that idea may be DOA. Not it.


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Unfortunately, while it may be more empathetic to warn the person privately, in most situations, it is paramount that it be done publicly (and especially in the case of a chat room, quickly). If someone makes an unwelcoming general comment, or worse a rude or hurtful comment directed at another user, the victim is likely to feel unwelcome and leave. In such a situation, if the moderator publicly states that such behaviour is unacceptable, this can make the victim feel that, despite the behaviour of that one user, they are welcome in the community. However, if the moderator only speaks with the perpetrator privately, the victim will have no indication that others in the community welcome them and are behind them, and are likely to leave and never return, even if the perpetrator stops their behaviour.

As uncomfortable as it is to be called out in public for making a mistake, it is imperative that the correction be public, for the sake of those harmed by that behaviour. I don’t think it necessarily needs to be a harsh correction (unless the behaviour was directed at another user), but it must be public.


It really does. It gives off the impression that you think that the current moderators are people to be ashamed of being associated with, yet who you want to exploit to do work for you.

That’s a really bad look, and honestly makes it difficult to consider that and other things you say.

I was referring to your suggestion that the community is “gagged and bound,” which is so ridiculous that, as mentioned, I actually cannot articulate a response. The community is not being held hostage. As with the aforementioned comment, saying things like that really does not help your point.

I would be hard-pressed to find a place where the people affected are more able to participate in the conversation.

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Can you prove your words?
Can you be more concrete?

For example it is very rude to send examples in some chat. There is forums for that cases.

May be, It is a bad behavior, but we are not robots.
It very depends on context.

If team member upset in team chat it may be ok.

What? Are you serious? You consider posting snippets in e.g. gitter to be rude?

It seems there is no way to discuss this theme.

You may be right.
Or Your saying may be manipulative.

I see only that there must be more strong requirements on Scala chat rooms and repositories.
It must be clear for every reasonable member.
What is rude, and what is not rude and for whom :wink:

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I do not set the rule for third chat. If I come to visit the owner I try to to comply with his rules.

But I personally do not want to interrupt my work to read some example.

So I just do not use scala gitter currently :wink:

While the CoC does indeed limit the discussion of previous bans in-channel, this forum and concretely this thread should not be considered “in-channel” IMO. It is my understanding that this thread is to discuss anything related to moderation (even though it focuses on discussion about new rules). If you want to point out any details regarding previous bans, you’re welcome to do so.