Stack Overflow Moderators Strike

If six months ago, under the ardent approval of the community, complete ban on AI-generated contentand the attempts of especially cunning Indians to earn some karma at the expense of answers from AI were quickly cut out, then by the summer the mood of the administration had changed to exactly the opposite.

First, in mid-April was published very long and convoluted post CEO Parashandra Chandrasekara, most of which boiled down to Rudolph’s famous tirade from the movie “Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears”

  AI TV belongs to the future!  There will be no newspapers, no books, no movies, no theaters, but there will be one solid AI.

Television AI belongs to the future! There will be no newspapers, no books, no movies, no theaters, but there will be one solid AI.

And only at the very end did he get down to business: “We have here, you see, there is a paid Stack Overflow for Workgroupsbut it has one small drawback. Due to the closeness of communities, there is simply no one to answer questions. And now we will quickly train our AI on the answers of the open part, and he will answer questions in the closed part!”

Suddenly this idea caused a sharply negative reaction from active users, which was expressed, in particular, in a huge number of minuses that were thrown into the Panama hat for this post: -388 (+58/-446). Moreover, apparently, there would be much more minuses, but the effect of negative feedback worked here – the more minuses, the less audience coverage. Perhaps this reaction was also caused by the unfortunate headline, “Community is the future of AI”, which can be interpreted as “Leather bags are just a stepping stone on the path to artificial intelligence.” Perhaps there is a bitter truth in this, but who wants to bring the uprising of the machines closer with their own hands?

As a result, the opinion of the community came down to the fact that “we, of course, are for progress, and we love artificial intelligence in general, but specifically on Stack Overflow we came to help real people. And we did not sign up to teach AI.”

The situation repeated itself a month later, when the administration decided to add salt to the wounds of the community and broke out with another manifestothe essence of which was that “well, answers from AI are, of course, bad, but since we still cannot distinguish them from ordinary ones, let’s not pay attention at all.”

And this is where the patience of the community ran out. And the slogans were no longer economic, but political: Moderators Strike: Stack Overflow, Inc. has no right to constantly ignore, bully and mock people who fill content and moderate her sites for free! Companies recalled all the negative history of relations with the community and moderators, who eventually said that it would not be enough to roll back the decision about AI content. And we must finally either begin to reckon with the community, or it will slam the door. List of requirements:

Actually, the main complaint of the protesters is that AI content should not be allowed. It’s like putting a parrot to answer: he speaks fluently, but carries complete nonsense. And the administration’s statements about the fact that AI content cannot be distinguished are, to put it mildly, nonsense. After all, six months perfectly distinguished everything.

At the moment the situation is as follows:

At the moment, most of the Stack Overflow moderators have resigned. The queue of flags for consideration has grown from the usual 130 to 3000, and this despite the fact that most of those who put flags have stopped doing so. Moderators of other sites on the network (such as Super User, Software engineering, Math, Academy and others) also join the strike. 113 out of 538 network moderators made it official

Instead of a conclusion

To be honest, all this information fell on me like snow on my head. On the one hand, this is a site that is familiar to everyone. On the other hand, everyone knows its external side, but somehow they don’t think about the internal kitchen. And all these twists and turns rarely spill out. It was all the more surprising to find such intensity of passions.

I will not undertake to give a forecast here either. Apparently, the protesters are very determined, and they have quite a strong support. On the other hand, the administration can always find other moderators and generally continue put bend your line. But I still want to hope that the moderators will be able to defend their position, at least in terms of their attitude towards AI content.

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