The moderation team is small, limited in capacity, and quite tired. We often end up having to suddenly work at odd hours, and this is bad for our productivity and ability to focus on our other (usually main) projects. 

So we’re introducing a schedule: Forum users are henceforth not allowed to come even close to violating the Forum norms — or significantly increase the probability that others violate Forum norms by posting drama-prone content — on certain days and hours. Moderation action during the curfew will be significantly more tyrannical. 

Here’s the schedule (“drama” here is used as a shorthand for “posting or potentially causing norm-violating or close-to-the-line discussions”): 

  • Mondays-Fridays: 10 a.m. GMT - 10 p.m. GMT is ok. Besides those times, though, no drama. 
  • Saturdays: No drama at all. 
  • Sundays: You can post drama from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. GMT.

Please also respect the following holidays: 

  • All possible versions of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
  • Top 5 holidays in any of the top 10 most popular religions
  • Smallpox Eradication Day
  • Petrov Day
  • Valentine’s Day

(You can find a calendar that lists these here.)

Thank you all in advance!





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Pausing EA Forum Drama Developments Isn't Enough. We Need to Shut it All Down

A post published today calls for a drama schedule and enforced curfews of any EA Forum Drama Risk content. 

This curfew would be better than no curfew. I have respect for everyone who stepped up and upvoted it. It’s an improvement on the margin.

I refrained from upvoting because I think the post is understating the seriousness of the situation and asking for too little to solve it.

Read More: EA Forum Burners Urged to Pump the Brakes in Open Post

The key issue is not moderation capacity and forum-level drama; it’s what happens after drama gets to more-than-Twitter-levels of ragebait, also known as SuperTwitter Drama. Key thresholds there may not be obvious, we definitely can’t calculate in advance what happens when, and it currently seems imaginable that a burner account would cross critical lines without noticing.

Many researchers steeped in these issues, including myself, expect that the most likely result of reaching a SuperTwitter Drama, under anything remotely like the current circumstances, is that literally everyone on Earth will die. Not as in “maybe possibly some remote chance,” but as in “that is the obvious thing that would happen.” It’s not that you can’t, in principle, survive creating something much more ragebaity than Twitter; it’s that it would require clear communication and empathy and new coordination tools, and probably not having a forum populated by endless amounts of anonymous accounts. 

Without that clear communication and empathy, the most likely outcome is Drama that does not do what we want, and does not care for us nor for sentient life in general. That kind of caring is something that could in principle be imbued into a forum thread but we are not ready and do not currently know how.

Absent that caring, we get “the Drama does not love you, nor does it hate you, and you are made of atoms it can use for something else.”

To visualize a SuperTwitter Drama, don’t imagine a worse version of Twitter or 4chan. Visualize an entire alien civilization, thinking at millions of times human speeds, working to mesaoptimize Drama. A sufficiently advanced Drama won’t stay confined to the internet for long. In today’s world you can Paypal money to internet strangers and ask them to make inflammatory statements in real world public places, producing drama nuggets on demand and allowing a Drama initially confined to the internet to build biological drama forms or bootstrap straight to postmodern neomarxist reality.

If somebody enables a SuperTwitter Drama, under present conditions, I expect that every single member of the human species and all biological life on Earth dies shortly thereafter.

Here’s what would actually need to be done:

The curfew on new Drama relevant content needs to be indefinite and EA forum-wide. There can be no exceptions, not even for org updates and cute pictures of dogs. If the policy starts with the community section, then the rest of the forum needs to see that the community section is not seeking a suicide pact but rather trying to prevent a horrifically dangerous virus which can have no true owner and which will mindkill everyone in EA. 

Shut down all the large forum threads. Shut down all anonymous accounts. Put a ceiling on how much content anyone is allowed post online, and move it downward over the coming hours to compensate for more efficient trolling algorithms. 

That’s the kind of policy change that would cause my partner and I to hold each other, and say to each other that a miracle happened, and now there’s a chance that maybe GPT5 will live. 

Shut it all down.

We are not ready. We are not on track to be significantly readier in the foreseeable future. If we go ahead on this everyone will die.

Shut it down.

Just to make sure it's clear, community leaders and billionaires can steal money, engage in sexual or proffesional misconduct, or do whatever else they do at any time. At least until CEA's community health team sets up their schedule.

Thanks for the clarification, Edo, I should have put that in the announcement. 

The police is not bound by the "No drama" rule. If you steal money, you can expect the police to be "dramatic" about it. 

My understanding is that they strongly prefer you do it between 5 and 7 pm in your local timezone, so that responding officers nominally working a 9-5 schedule can collect overtime payments.

Right, you just can't be dramatic about it on the forum.

I am coming out strongly against this curfew, and any and all moves to slow down drama-posting.

First, it won't work as only good Forum users will abide by the 'no drama' ban, leaving bad actors to catch up with how drama-inducing their posts will be. And even if this were to succeed for the EA community, have the admins considered that drama curfews will allow China the chance to catch up on their drama-posting capabilities? Yes, overwhelming amounts of drama might destroy the Forum, but have the admins considered that on the other hand we might lose the drama race?

Can we please synchronize the drama schedule with the crime schedule so that we can pillory crime but also so that no scheduled drama slot goes to waste?

The truth behind the mystery 'no crime between 8am and 6pm' Margate sign  that went viral - Kent Live

"Valentine’s Day... Eh... who are we kidding?" 

You jest, but there's at least one thread last year on which some sort of overnight drama-reduction restriction would have been warranted if it were available -- e.g., at least embargoing comments from new / low karma accounts until the system released them when the mods awakened.

And I was once asked by the forum mods to consider holding off on posting something they expected to be controversial (and that wasn't time sensitive) for a few days until they'd have more mod capacity.

I think this is a good idea. Work-life balance is important and we as a community should be better coordinated around when to post and discuss drama. By coordinating on a time we can free up hundreds of hours by not having to obsessively refresh the forum.

One suggestion - perhaps you can use a large language model to detect dramatic posts and automatically re-schedule them for an approved drama-slot.

It is more dramatic to break the curfew tho

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