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Paul Clark,

  1. Harassment policies on Quora do not cover all the bases. For instance, when an entire class of people is harassed, such as all Quora users by trolls, Quora has NO POLICY. Quora management is operating on the theory that if you do not acknowledge the existence of trolls and trolling on Quora, the problem does not exist. So the platform as a whole is harassed by trolls.
  2. Quora moderators do not existQuora is moderated by automated bots that go looking for policy violations and users who have all sorts of motives for reporting or NOT reporting other users. If appealed, reports are reviewed by humans, we are assured. Whether Quora has ANY humans assigned to moderation specifically any more is questionable. Quora management appears deliberately vague on that point. “A group” or “staff” handles moderation controversies. Who are they?!
  3. “Seem to be selective?” THE WHOLE POINT OF MODERATION IS TO BE SELECTIVE! Moderation is policy enforcement. Those posting in accordance with policy are not “selected” or cited for violations.
  4. Quora has evolved. It used to be Quora was a whole piece. A single entity for moderation. Quora created Spaces without policy. No policy at all. Space administrators were supposed to be in charge of that. Then Quora created policies, but specifically exempted Spaces from the central policy for Quora, which used to be “Be Nice, Be Respectful.” At the discretion of Space administrators, Quora seemed to say, civility could be ignored. Therefore,
  5. Moderation on Quora is a moving target. It’s easy to fault because
    1. Policy is incomplete.
    2. Policy is NOT enforced equally in Spaces, if at all — not even in Space names![1]
    3. Policy enforcement is crowd-sourced, but the crowd as a whole opts out of reporting violations and Space administrators are not required to take policy enforcement seriously.
    4. Quora policy is not fixed. It is constantly evolving. “Be Nice, Be Respectful” existed for years, then as a named concept, it vanished. “Insincerity” was once understood as a reportable offense. Not any more. See Policy Update and More Granular Reporting Options, which explains new top-down solutions to moderation.[2]
    5. Quora has a Head of Communications. It has a Product Support Manager. Users can suggest new policy and features on Quora Product Feedback,[3] an official Space. But it has no users at the table where policy decisions are developed. There is no user advocate, or ombudsman. Quora conducts no user surveys to determine how moderation or the platform as a whole might be improved. (How about it, “Quora Prompt Generator”, ask us!) Quora does not hire outside agencies (such as the American Management Association) to survey users OR so far as I know to advise management on user relations.
  6. When I signed up on Quora way back in 2019 I don’t recall there was any requirement, any box to check indicating that new users read and agreed to abide by Quora policies — whatever they were/are. The result? Users winged it. They brought bad habits from other platforms to Quora. They assumed. They misbehaved just to see what they could get away with. They tested the vague, poorly publicized boundaries of acceptable behavior on Quora.

So Quora moderation moderates something, but we users as a whole are not sure what is being moderated. Or how. Or when.



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