Be aware this site implements in the dark "moderation"

Be aware this site implements in the dark “moderation”, including banning word the admins have decided without community input. Forbidden words that are hidden and that could contain anything.

It is suggested to implement transparency.

Bots should not be excuses to give a cabal of dark admins the permission to censor dissident opinions.

No words are being “banned” right now. The system (discourse) allows to bring some posts to moderators attention based on different rules, such as being posted too fast by a new registered user (which is something that comes as part of the default settings).

You can check this discussion that is related about moderation transparency and process:


And such words are secret (as per LCCWG Moderation Subcommittee)

And the dicussion did not mentioned “watch words” at all. Nor keep a list of words secret, as it is right now.

Watched words is a discourse feature that allows the forum to perform certain actions when a word is detected. Such as apply a tag to a topic or require approval before posting.

Currently we just have one set in response to a recent incident that happened over OSM-talk mailing list.

Do you have ideas on how to handle the process for these watched words in these forums? What’s the process you would like to see?

Transparency, if the words are secrete. They can be abused.

I understand, that’s why I’m asking that you can share with us what “transparency” means for you in this case and how you would like the process to be handled and why.

This way we can have a conversation and discussion with the rest of the community here to get to agreements, based on a concrete proposal.


If the issue is darkness and I advocate transparency, maybe starting to make the word list public.
Some words may be subject to discussion and only those words the community agrees should be included, no new words should be included or current words remain with only the admins input without the transparency described above.

In your opinion, are there any pros and cons (including risks) of having this list of words public?

Who would you define as “the community”? If a group needs to agree on a decision, we need to define who is part and who is not. Something that is quite complex in a ecosystem like OSM.

Right now the changes to the forums are publicly discussed here and the final decision makers is the @forums-governance team (the current decision making approach can be discussed and changed)

There are pros and cons to everything.
In this case the pros brought by transparency are greater than any cons.
The community is the participants in the forum
Some things may be publicly discussed but, the words are not public, they are secret, hence this topic.

One issue that I can see making a list of watched words public is that it will probably lower its efficiency.

If a troll or a spammer wants to post something on these forums and knows the list, they can probably bypass the protection by avoiding or modifying those words.

Having said that, currently there is just one word we are watching related to the incident I’ve previously mentioned, and discourse has additional automated checks to detect spam.


Sadly without transparency we have to take your word that there is only one word, in the secret list of words. There is no way to knowing if that is true.
A lower efficiency would be best than the potential of abuse. Abuse by members is easily flagged. Abuse by admins is not.

Then I feel you are discussing two topics in here:

  1. Process around watched words in these forums
  2. Trust and ensure accountability in decision makers

About 2, we have a topic open to co-design and improve the current initial approach in decision making in these forums, and I would invite you to chime in there with ideas on how to improve accountability and trust, which is something relevant not just to watched words but any decision being taken.

About 1, let’s stick in this topic. I would suggest you rename the topic title to better reflect what the discussion/request is about “Watched words process”.


About 2. The topic has 0 discussion and you already are aware of my suggestions feel free to comment in your topic.
About 1. The suggestion is good. But the tittle remains as it reflects the topic perfectly.
If transparency is adopted, then it can be a sign of times past that have been improved, but at the moment. There is no proof there is only one word in the secret list, or that is not used for censorship.

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Some people may say the title is incendiary :rofl:, but political correctness should not suppress reality.

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I’m sorry, but I honestly don’t know what are your concrete suggestions to improve accountability and trust in decision making in these forums. That’s why I ask for you to elaborate there.

On the other topic, the title includes a claim around censorship that unless you can demonstrate I would suggest to reword. Because if not, people would be able to make any kind of unproven accousations freely, which is not the kind of civil discussion expected here (See Act in good faith and Posting false or inaccurate information in the guidelines)

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Do you genuinely believe that there is a “cabal of dark admins”? If so, can you point to actual evidence that backs your theory up?

If you don’t genuinely believe that, then frankly you are the troll here.

Edit: For completeness, this post was “hidden by community flags” and then “restored by staff”.


I already did concrete suggestions. If you won’t want to work on implementing them, that is up to you. But the reality of secret words that can be used for censorship remain.

What false or inaccurate information have I posted? I you mean “dark censoring”, there is no proof it is no happening. Yes, it may not be happening, but there are secret words (in the dark) that can be used for censorship. If you can proof there is no censorship I would post that the initial situation has been corrected and no longer applies.

I don’t believe if a “cabal of dark admins” exists. It could, without transparency there is no way of knowing.

I do believe they use “in the dark” methods.

If the admins (dark cabal or not), add transparency and make the secret words public and don’t add words without user input, then everyone will know there is no censorship going on in the shadows.

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rimugu, your post reminds me of some conspiracy theories flooding the internet these days … cabals of bad people acting in the dark to do bad things to other people and so on …

From my point of view your accusation does not make much sense. A list of trigger words is useless if public as nukeador already pointed out. Moreover such trigger words in general do not contain any direct action per se (neither good nor bad action) - they are nothing else then a trigger to draw the attention of a mod to a certain post. The mod then has to decide if any action has to be taken.

So if you talk about transparency the target should be the action taken by one of the mods, not the list of trigger words. And, again, it would be helpful to formulate your message in a factual way instead of talking about “dark” affairs, “cabal of admins” or “censoring dissidents”.

Anyhow, the community you claim to be talking for apparently is not too much interested in these “dark affairs” as not many participants have shown up so far. To be honest I personally understand your topic as some kind of a troll thing.

Therefor no further comment from my side.


Your post reminds me of flat earthers, no relationship with the post, neither is yours.

nukeador mentioned “lower efficiency” not useless, try to be truthful.

How do you know the “community” is or isn’t interested if the moderation happens in the dark with secret words.

The “community” is not very active in these new forums. The comunitry for my country got destroyed with the change and almost no one has returned here. I would advise them to not come here while lack of transparency remains.