Summary From 11/24/19 Meeting Involving TransEra Community & ResetEra Staff

SweetNicole

The Old Guard
Member
Oct 24, 2017
5,770
Hello ResetEra community,

The following is a summary from a meeting that took place on November 24th, 2019 involving ResetEra staff and the TransEra community. As the facilitator of this meeting, I can attest that the information contained within is accurate and best represents what was said from both parties. Additionally, this summary has been reviewed and approved by both ResetEra staff and TransEra community. It is being provided to you, the community, in the interests of openness and accountability.

I would like to personally thank everyone involved in the meeting for participating and taking the time to care about the ResetEra community. I believe the meeting was successful in its objectives and productive for everyone involved. If anyone from the meeting would like to chime in here and share their perspective, they are more than welcome to do so.

Meeting Summary

The meeting opened with a foreword from SweetNicole.

Immediately following the foreword, ResetEra staff started the conversation with an apology from the General Manager on behalf of the staff, and a guarantee that policy revisions will be coming soon. Implementing those revisions will be a top priority as they close out 2019.

After that the meeting followed a question and answer format, a summary of which can be found below.

Following the Q&A, the meeting closed with thanks from everyone involved with commitments to continue to work together to help build a better community and environment for all. The situation has been a learning experience for ResetEra staff and opened their eyes to areas where they can make improvements. They apologized again for the hurt that TransERA has faced and hope that their commitment to action will restore faith. There will be more details in their upcoming thread.

Question and Answer

Q: Question about what type of moderation changes the community will see as part of the policy overhaul.
A: There will be a more detailed announcement at a later date, but there will be longer bans for bigotry across the board, and new measures to remove relevant repeat offenders more quickly. Moderation will continue to be a team effort, and bans will still be discussed, but individual staff with relevant perspectives will have greater latitude to remove problem users in a thread more quickly.

Q: Concern about drive-by trolling in sensitive threads, especially posts that are intended to be antagonistic to the trans community.
A: As part of the policy review, ResetEra staff is specifically looking at ways that they can more effectively address microaggressions and posters that use them to disrupt sensitive discussions. Genuine questions are fine, but obstinately talking over marginalized members who have lived these issues is not.

Q: Concern about bad-faith posters and how best to address them.
A: Communities tend to be more familiar with the threads that affect them, and therefore may be able to identify bad faith posters and subtle trolls better than staff. Users can send detailed reports to provide relevant context or example posts (either through the report system or by PM to a mod/mod captain). If a pattern of behavior can be shown, this makes it much easier for the mod team to address the issue.

Q: Concern about some members asking inappropriate questions in sensitive threads.
A: ResetEra staff will try to be more proactive in making guideline staff posts in sensitive threads. As part of this, ResetEra staff can point out threads and resources where people acting in good faith can have their questions answered.

Q: Question about how staff will identify community unrest.
A: The staff will work to establish a community relations team to improve communication between staff and members, and ResetEra staff is exploring ideas like Q&As that might clear up confusion on moderation and site policy. The team will also engage in more direct outreach.

Q: Concern about intentional or willful misgendering (for example, misgendering a transwoman only after finding out that she had done something horrible or criminal).
A: If any poster has intentionally misgendered someone, and ResetEra staff can determine that intent, that poster will be permanently banned.

Q: Question on people asking questions that reinforce bigoted stereotypes (such as on trans athletes) that have already been addressed in a thread.
A: ResetEra staff does have a staff post that specifically addresses the misconceptions on trans athletes, and ResetEra staff bans users that concern troll in sensitive threads. If there is a staff post already in the thread, ResetEra staff will take harsh action against members that ignore it. This is something ResetEra staff has done and will continue to do.

Q: Question on sensitivity/intersectionality training for staff.
A: ResetEra staff tries their best to promote intersectionality by having a widely diverse staff roster, and by having the staff who have relevant perspectives lead moderation discussions. In addition, part of the role of mod captains is to identify any blind spots that moderators may have and to reach out and correct this when noticed.

Q: Question on meetings with other marginalized groups on ERA
A: ResetEra staff has been discussing this extensively over the past week and will touch upon it in their upcoming public post.

Q: Question on restricting warned posters from returning to a thread they were warned in.
A: ResetEra staff feel it makes more sense to simply ban a warned poster if they return to the same thread and continue the behavior they were warned for.

Q: Question about promoting further diversity among staff, and plans to add additional staff in the future.
A: ResetEra staff is going to be looking at bringing on new staff with the same spirit that they looked at promotions; prioritizing great candidates who can improve representation in areas that need it. ResetEra staff can't commit to a timeline as it's important to get right and it can be difficult to find willing candidates.

Q: Question about how to prevent a situation like this from happening again.
A: ResetEra staff feel that communication and community outreach are going to be key. This is where the idea of a community relations team was born from. ResetEra staff also hope to find more room for constructive criticism and will try their best to engage in such discussions to keep them productive and civil. Hopefully with these measures it will be easier to spot areas where changes in policy and approach are needed.

Q: Concerns that recent communications have had a large focus on the effects on staff.
A: ResetEra staff recognize that they haven't communicated as well as they should have at times and they apologize for that. There are real concerns for the wellbeing of the staff, but that can be addressed in more appropriate times and places.
 

Cerium

General Manager
Administrator
Oct 23, 2017
1,244
Thank you to everyone who participated in the meeting. The staff will be working hard on policy updates as we wind down the year, and we hope to be able to share those with you soon.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,557
Good meeting that laid out plans to help start improving the forum for trans people and other minorities - staff were open, patient and willing to go into detail off the back of our concerns and thoughts. It won’t be perfect or immediate, but it’s been an important and productive start off the back of recent times and I feel more confident in things to come. I’m looking forward to seeing the staff post detailing the changes when it’s ready, and the recent step up in moderation and communication have been both noticed and appreciated. Thank you to everyone involved and to SweetNicole for facilitating it and manually mediating for hours.

👍
 

jon bones

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,065
NYC
Thanks for taking this seriously, and for looking to continuously improve.

Really grateful that all of the volunteer staff are working hard for the community.
 

RedMercury

Member
Dec 24, 2017
9,212
Thanks to Era staff and the trans community here for working together and putting the time in, I think these are all beneficial changes
 

Komo

Member
Jan 3, 2019
3,969
This is definitely a good start, will be waiting to see these things take affect.
 

Matthew77

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
3,274
Massachusetts
Hopefully this has both immediate and long term improvements. I like posting here but things got ridiculous. Looking forward to see how this applies something had to give and I am glad it was in this direction, time to see if it translates to action and I am hopelessly optimistic so...
 

Osu 16 Bit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
437
Chicago, IL
Very happy to hear about bad faith/concern troll stuff. That is the dirt worst. It's absolutely exhausting and probably bugs me more than outright transphobia, just because it's so frustrating.
 

Clov

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,459
Thank you for taking the time to listen to the community. I'm happy to see your commitment to change for the better. These sound like very positive changes to me. I hope that you can follow through, and make this place a more positive one for the trans community.
 

TheFurizzlyBear

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
954
Awesome start. Thanks to the staff and TransEra for having this conversation. What led to this shouldn't have happened but hopefully more good than bad can come from these events.
 

Quinton

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
9,160
The Research Triangle
I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a friendlier environment toward all. From the underrepresented and everyday-antagonized to the alleged "problem" ethnicities and the drive-by demonized, ResetEra should be a forum where members are free to discuss their interests with kindness, civility, and the choice to treat people not as parts of a certain social classification but as human beings no matter where they are from or where they are going.
 

srsly?

Member
Feb 24, 2018
3,204
Nothing like witnessing the steps of progress being made. I look eagerly toward seeing the next steps.
 

Cow Mengde

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,010
I didn't know about the stuff blowing up, and this doesn't concern me on a personal level, but it's great seeing the staff and the community being able to sit down and really talk about how to improve. I don't know if I've ever seen any community try to do something like this.
 

Disclaimer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,790
I'm glad that this could take place, and I'm hopeful that the forum will continue to grow and become a more pleasant and hospitable place for everyone in the future. We've lost too many good members as-is.
 

Speevy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,774
Q: Concern about some members asking inappropriate questions in sensitive threads.
A: ResetEra staff will try to be more proactive in making guideline staff posts in sensitive threads. As part of this, ResetEra staff can point out threads and resources where people acting in good faith can have their questions answered.
Why not a little red flag next to these topics and a five point guide (with links) at the top of all of them by default?

This will make banning transgressors easier. That's proactive.
 

Apollo

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,085
This all sounds pretty good to me. I’m looking forward to things getting better.
 

AliceAmber

That spark, this Resistance, must survive.
Moderator
May 2, 2018
922
Space
I am very glad we were able to do this. I love ERA and I want you all to feel welcome and safe here.
 

TaySan

Member
Dec 10, 2018
6,547
Good to hear staff is making positive steps towards making a more positive experience for the community. Hope they keep us up to date . :)
 

Volimar

volunteer forum janitor
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,762
I'll be happy to see the longer bans for bigotry across the board.
 

Titik

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,534
I only read the top part but this is so awesome. Like really awesome. I reserve the right to edit this post as I read the whole thing and think on it.
 

Nothing Loud

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,718
This is great progress. Thank you, mods.

I wonder what threads like the one where Sam Smith came out as non-binary would have been like (where people were being repeatedly dense about “not understanding” why they should refer to them as “they”) with this new light of enforcement that’s coming.
 

Mewn

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
2,179
UK
Sounds positive. Hoping for good things to come out of this.
 
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weekev

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,007
Looks like a really positive meeting. I like the fact that staff are looking after their own wellbeing as well. I daresay it's been a stressful time for everyone but I think seeing things like thus is how we move on as a community. You won't always get it right but addressing it in this way makes it feel like everyone is in it together. Well done to all for a sensible grown up approach and hopefully this is the sign of more positive times for our trans community.
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,198
Sounds like positive changes, happy that such an unfortunate situation at least resulted in a better future in terms of moderation and communities.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,989
Very happy to hear about bad faith/concern troll stuff. That is the dirt worst. It's absolutely exhausting and probably bugs me more than outright transphobia, just because it's so frustrating.
Yeah this is probably the hardest problem to address, but it's also by far the most annoying and exhausting. At least obvious transphobia is easily spotted. These Just Asking Questions jackoffs are usually good enough at pretending to post in good faith that they can avoid moderation. There are a lot of them here.
 

Mist

I know what you're gonna say. I changed my avatar.
Administrator
Oct 25, 2017
2,690
I'm happy to have gotten the opportunity to take part in this meeting. Thanks to all who attended. ❤
 

Ahsoka

Member
Oct 20, 2019
1,148
Sincere thanks to everyone involved. Very eager to see how this bears fruit.

Very happy to hear about bad faith/concern troll stuff. That is the dirt worst. It's absolutely exhausting and probably bugs me more than outright transphobia, just because it's so frustrating.
This is absolutely the most important thing to address, in my opinion.

Those people are such a persistent drain on emotional bandwidth, in part because they’re so knowingly shitty and ever-present , but also because so little is ever done about them. You see the same bad actors repeating this behavior over and over again. So many familiar avatars showing up in any of these threads, “just asking questions”.
 

Melody Shreds

Member
Oct 25, 2017
562
Terminal Dogma
I didn't realize the meeting happened already but I'm happy to see that it went well.
Things really shouldn't have gotten as bad as they did but if the staff is as committing to making this place feel safe again as they say then they have my support.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,989
Those people are such a persistent drain on emotional bandwidth, in part because they’re so knowingly shitty and ever-present , but also because so little is ever done about them. You see the same bad actors repeating this behavior over and over again. So many familiar avatars showing up in any of these threads, “just asking questions”.
I would also lump in the dudes who continuously post in LGBTQ-related threads to minimize concerns of those people when they aren't actually part of that group. People talking over the minorities actually affected, in other words. Drives me up the wall. Yes, it's an open forum, but sometimes it's better to listen and ask yourself if your contribution is doing anything besides talking over those affected and minimizing their concerns. Like this dude did over a series of posts. And similar posts by others. These aren't one-offs, they're people who repeatedly insert themselves into conversations just to derail and repeatedly demand justification or civility.
 

Nerfgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,462
Why not a little red flag next to these topics and a five point guide (with links) at the top of all of them by default?

This will make banning transgressors easier. That's proactive.
yeah I suggested the Serious Replies Only flag / toggle in one of the other threads and I still like that idea. Thread guidelines is a good idea too.
 

enzo_gt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,670
Many good steps here but one of the biggest issues with moderation here is locking threads that criticize moderation or policies, and that's been an issue here forever and particularly with this latest incident.

You can't be for transparency if you're complicit in the chilling effect that is caused by stifling open dissent and taking an authoritarian approach to dealing with community issues - not to be seen, and questionable (or at least lack of transparency as to) whether they're heard through designated channels.

Also, drive-by trolling is going to continue to be an issue if drive-by posting is still an issue, I think. It degrades the quality of discussion harshly and if you've read any politics threat in Etcetera, you know how bad it is.
 

WarLox

Member
Oct 30, 2017
525
I feel like im missing something, whats the back story here? Did something happen?
 

eJawa

Member
Oct 27, 2017
52
South Portland, ME
I wanted to to say thank you to all involved. Having just recently joined the TransEra community, I'm glad to see progress made to make the site more welcoming and safe. One good thing (of hopefully many) that came out of this, for me personally, was it got me to check out the TransEra OT, which then got me to admit some very important things about myself. Places like this matter and what people say here can have life altering effects, both good and bad. I really want this community to thrive, so more people like me can connect with others and know they aren't alone.
 

Robin

Restless Insomniac
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,108
I wanted to to say thank you to all involved. Having just recently joined the TransEra community, I'm glad to see progress made to make the site more welcoming and safe. One good thing (of hopefully many) that came out of this, for me personally, was it got me to check out the TransEra OT, which then got me to admit some very important things about myself. Places like this matter and what people say here can have life altering effects, both good and bad. I really want this community to thrive, so more people like me can connect with others and know they aren't alone.
One of us! One of us!
 

FeistyBoots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,282
Southern California
I wanted to to say thank you to all involved. Having just recently joined the TransEra community, I'm glad to see progress made to make the site more welcoming and safe. One good thing (of hopefully many) that came out of this, for me personally, was it got me to check out the TransEra OT, which then got me to admit some very important things about myself. Places like this matter and what people say here can have life altering effects, both good and bad. I really want this community to thrive, so more people like me can connect with others and know they aren't alone.
Hey! Just wanted to let you know, the TransEra OT also had an effect on me. It, and the TransEra Discord, helped me figure out some things I'd been running from for forever, and I've been transitioning since February 2018 in part because of the care and help in both places. 💛