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A message to our users
Today in AskScience we wish to spotlight our solidarity with the subreddits that have closed today, whose operations depend critically on timely communication and input from the admins. This post is motivated by the events of today coupled with previous interactions AskScience moderators have had in the past with the reddit staff.
This is an issue that has been chronically inadequate for moderators of large subreddits reaching out to the admins over the years. Reddit is a great site with an even more amazing community, however it is frustrating to volunteer time to run a large subreddit and have questions go unacknowledged by the people running the site.
We have not gone private because our team has chosen to keep the subreddit open for our readers, but instead stating our disapproval of how events have been handled currently as well as the past.
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Today /r/science was briefly shut down, and in the interest of transparency we would like to address the reason for this occurrence. Following consequential changes in admin organization and AMA execution, the capacity of /r/science to continue hosting AMAs was impacted. Admin support has been crucial to the /r/science AMA program, and unfortunately these recent changes had the consequence of limiting that support, impacting several AMAs. By changing the status of /r/science to private briefly, we hoped to enable both Admin and the moderation to team to focus their energies on resolving these issues in a timely manner. Though this situation is ongoing, we are returning /r/science to public status in order to limit the inconvenience to the community.
The comments in this thread will be locked.
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Space is a fascinating, wonder-inspiring subject that draws the attention of all sorts of people, and especially children. As such, any discussion forum about space inevitably attracts some level of naive commentary that lacks scientific education.
People ask "silly" questions that seem more rooted in TV shows than reality, and bring up topics that just don't arise in actual fact. But that's normal for children and for ordinary people without a background in the subject whose interest has been peaked for some reason.
If all you want is professional-grade information, I can recommend the NASAspaceflight.com forum. But /r/space is a place for human beings to interact with each other, not an Encyclopedia Astronautica (which is also a thing, btw). A community, in other words.
So when people ask stupid questions, that's your opportunity to explain something to them so they understand better, not downvote them so they decide /r/space and Reddit are hostile places, and space is just too hard a subject for them to be interested in.
You are not showing intelligence by punishing unguarded curiosity, because you're pulling out threads of the future to score ego points for yourself. Unless someone is just dropping in to troll because some post ended up on the front page, interest in space is in itself a good thing.
Reward it, cultivate it. Don't make this a hostile place.
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I like to think we do a good job keeping our subscribers in listentothis isolated from the day to day bullshit drama that clings to so many other areas of this website.
Today, we're more or less forced to get involved as a show of solidarity with the other moderators of this website, people who dedicate countless hours of time to trying to help these communities operate. We're not endorsing the actions of other moderation teams or taking a side on censorship or justice or any of the other drama on reddit. That's not what this is about.
We're simply standing with the other moderators to say that this website has problems, and it is high fucking time that someone took them seriously.
For full, accurate details with little drama, please read this writeup.
Feel free to have an open discussion about this in the comments here.
Edit: To clarify - when reddit provides an official public response (of any kind) content will resume here.
Edit2: There is now an official response. We are now resuming content as usual. Thank you all for your patience, and apologies once again for dragging listentothis into the dramamill. On the plus side, the moderator's investments in popcorn company stocks are now paying excellent dividends.
Edit3: Screenshot. Don't know who leaked it, don't care. :P
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Explain Like I'm Five is not currently participating in the shut down.
While we share many of the same frustrations that many other default subreddits have (namely, lack of communication and tools from the administrators to effectively moderate) this subreddit is, first and foremost, a place to learn. We may not always achieve that goal, but we always try.
After significant internal discussion, we have come to the conclusion that our moral support for our fellow moderators does not overwhelm that goal.
Do not take this to mean that we, as a team, are satisfied with the current status quo. Reddit, as an organization, has prioritized gimmicks (redditmade, snoovitars, redditnotes, etc) above creating better moderation tools, opening up lines of communication, etc, and this has not been to the advantage of the community as a whole.
While the specifics of the various moderation team complaints vary, the reality of the situation is that the discontent exists and is not addressed by the administration of this website. If you are curious why a specific subreddit has shut down, we recommend visiting that subreddit and asking them. Most of them will have a link to their discussion page, like AskReddit, or you can send them a Moderator Message (you can do this by opening a new private message and typing the /r/[name of subreddit] into "to" field).
If you would like to support the moderators strike, we recommend messaging the administrators by visiting /r/reddit.com and messaging the moderators there. If you would like to object to the moderators strike, we would recommend visiting the subreddit in question and following the link to their discussion subreddit or messaging them (you can do this by opening a new private message and typing the /r/[name of subreddit] into the "to" field).
Thank you, and we realize that we've removed a sticky on Greek Financial Crisis in order to post this, but frankly the mod mails asking us to join, or why we weren't joining, are more easily addressed in a public format.
Edit: As a note, there has been some confusion about the purpose of this "going dark," to my knowledge none of the subreddits have gone dark in solidarity with any of the recently banned subreddits. It has all been about Admin-Moderator communication.
Due to the contentious nature of this, and because this is not a debate subreddit, this thread has been locked. Your comments can still be viewed by the moderators, so if you'd like to leave feedback about this issue (or our handling of this issue) feel free to do so, here, without fear of being massively down voted by your fellow users. The moderators will see it, no one else will.
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