We really appreciate all the feedback that you've offered on the warnings issue, both positive and negative. It's good to hear when we get things right and it helps us even more when we get suggestions as to how we can do better.
One important point that the discussion seems to reinforce is the idea that offering warnings is an inherently subjective enterprise. A post that is viewed by one person as enlightening and important can be viewed by another as marginalizing and hateful. Subjectivity comes not just from the commenter(s) but from the fact that people will inevitably respond to texts in different ways. Even warnings themselves can be read in different ways: as commentary, as reading tools, as educational tools, as activism, as value judgment, as a means of bringing problematic content to light. And, yes, also as criticism, attack, or proof of undesired bias. In all of this discussion, the mod team has attempted to pay particular attention to those who find warnings a necessary tool for reading and participating in anti-oppression discussions.
In general the message we've taken away from your comments is that warnings are useful for many (if not all) people for a whole host of reasons, even given their inherent subjectivity. It seems that they would be more helpful if we could improve their specificity and come up with a set of guidelines that would improve both consistency and transparency. (Particularly when it comes to tricky intersectional and intragroup issues.) Ideally we would like our warnings to function as a means of illuminating and improving the discussion rather than shutting it down.
So... we as the linkspam_mod
team will now be going away and trying to put together a coherent set of guidelines on warnings. This may take some time, but hopefully not too long. Naturally the guidelines will be for your use as well as ours, and once we've drawn them up we will present them in linkspam
so that we can hear your thoughts.
If you have further feedback right now we're still eager to hear it. You can comment on this post, the previous one, or get in touch with us by PM. (As per usual, comments are screened by default but will be unscreened unless they are derailing, abusive or off-topic. If you want your comment to stay screened, please say so.)
One final note: thank you to everyone who expressed concern about burn-out on the part of the mods! For the time being we feel that we have our workload under control, but we'll certainly be looking at our warning policy with an eye towards keeping it that way.