How's Our Community Doing?

Once a year or so, I like to give some sort of public update on the CGV system designed to keep our community talking respectfully to one another about things that aren't politics. One of the reasons I continue to give the occasional update is that readers who flag comments never hear about it again - is something actually happening, or do the moderators just laugh with one another and go, "Hey check out this one! They probably think we're gonna do something - buuuuaaaaahaha!!!"

I'm pleased to report that the CGV system is alive and well, or at least that it is alive and, well, happening. We went to a new system in July, 2008, where suspected CGVs could be flagged instead of reported by email, and where the evaluating committee was a publicly known group of 9-10 moderators rather than an anonymous group of four. "So, my good goat-friendly man," I hear you querie, "What's the news on the CGV front?"

Since the flagging system went into place 6.5 months ago, the number of complaints has gone up but the percentage of flagged comments actually ruled "strikes" or "warnings" has gone down. I no longer keep track of complaints that do not turn into "strikes" or "warnings," but I would estimate that where about 75% of complaints were ruled CGVs under the old system, only about 30%-35% of complaints receive the necessary three flags to become "strikes" or "warnings". Overall, under the new system 33 "strikes" or "warnings" have been issued to 28 different users.

If you have any specific suggestions, requests, or ideas about how we can best balance our commitment to free speech and a variety of personalities and styles with the desire to allow everyone to feel safe and respected, this thread is a good place to weigh in. One of my goals, personally, is to encourage more "lurkers" to feel like joining the discussions, as I think a wider range of perspectives and personalities is a good thing and because AN is a community and we'd like to get to know everyone in the room.

How's AN doing, folks, and how can it do better? Besides a weekly "Gettin' Cindi-y With It" hair-advice column, because that won't happen until a certain teenager passes her Styling With Curlers midterm and apparently third time wasn't a charm.

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