Your policy on making policies is crystal-clear:

Stack Exchange, Inc. agrees that it will:

[...] Post previews for review of all new official policies in the Moderators Teams instance with the policy tag, marked with links to their public version once published, and maintain a listing of all official network-wide policies with links to them in the Help Center.

[...] Announce changes to the moderator agreement no less than sixty days before the deadline to accept the new agreement with a period of at least thirty days for discussion and review.


Where can I find these policies?

The referenced policies are currently found on Meta Stack Exchange. All official policies on MSE will be tagged with the [mod-agreement-policy] tag, which is a staff-only tag, and will have a policy lock applied.

It is possible that policies may appear in other places such as the Help Center or blog. If that happens, links will be added to this page so that they can be easily found.

When and how are new policies introduced by Stack Exchange, Inc.?

If the need for a new policy arises, it will be written and shared with the Moderator Council first. Then, it will pass through a process of feedback and possible iterations before being presented to the moderators on the Stack Moderators Team. These future policies will then be posted on MSE and receive the [mod-agreement-policy] tag to denote their status.

In the new policy you have announced here, you did not follow any of these steps. What is more, the guidance given privately and the guidance given publicly differ in important ways. In particular:

In order to help mitigate the issue, we've asked moderators to apply a very strict standard of evidence to determining whether a post is AI-authored when deciding to suspend a user. This standard of evidence excludes the use of moderators' best guesses based on users' writing styles and behavioral indicators, because we could not validate that these indicators are actually successfully identifying AI-generated posts when they are written. This standard would exclude most suspensions issued to date.

It's telling that you exclude what this "very strict standard of evidence" is. Keep in mind that not all moderators have access to Teams, and that the moderator agreement you had us all sign agrees that all official policies will be published publicly.

As such, anything posted secretly to Teams is not "policy" and I do not believe moderators have any obligation to follow the bits on the post on Teams that are not included here. If you maintain that things posted on Teams and not here are official policy, then Stack Exchange, Inc. is in direct contravention of its legal obligations as spelled out in the moderator agreement. Which it is anyway for attempting to put this policy in force immediately, without the promised discussion and review with moderators.

Please reconsider this policy and, at a minimum, give the community some time to discuss it before putting it in force, as you are obligated to do by our agreement with Stack Exchange, Inc.

  • 7
    This has happened before, with the policies regarding underage users and suicidal users - those were initially published without any sort of moderator consultation. They were recanted immediately and re-enacted after consulting moderators. Commented May 30, 2023 at 23:22
  • 5
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog I remember. There was the whole nonsense about how long moderator resignations could be featured or not, too. They tried to make that one secret, too.
    – Chris
    Commented May 30, 2023 at 23:23
  • 3
    Do moderators have a legal case against SE due to SE not sticking to the agreement?
    – rene
    Commented May 31, 2023 at 5:54
  • 4
    @rene Not entirely. Remember that in 2018 SE added an arbitration agreement to the Terms of Service, meaning that unless a mod opted out they can't take SE to court. Whether they'll consider taking them to arbitration is another matter, and given that those same terms state that SE will pay for that they still have an incentive to avoid it. Commented May 31, 2023 at 6:37
  • If the policy is declared incorrectly, then it can be ignored.... Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


On the topic of "policies" on policies, answer posts to What is the network policy regarding AI Generated content? got deleted with a staff comment saying:

Deleting this because we don't typically host answers on policy posts, if you wish you can create a new question on MSE for it.

Which is... strange. Like- where's the precedent?

Update: Okay, now I see that the point was about the tag and not about the tag, and this is true. Answers under questions are locked to staff answers only.

Here's the original content of my post, which is misguided (in a somewhat literal sense, since the deletion comment didn't point to the tag):

If you plug [policy] is:q [discussion] answers:0 closed:no into the search bar, right now, there are six results, and none of those are posted by users who currently have a staff tag. Compare that with [policy] is:q [discussion] answers:1.. closed:no, which turns up results including:

And on MSO:

Even more mind-bending is that the post is locked with the following message (emphasis added):

This question is locked because it is an official policy or communication and can only be edited by staff. It is still accepting answers, comments, and other interactions.

And it's tagged .

Another weird thing: all the three examples I listed above put the policy information in the question post, whereas What is the network policy regarding AI Generated content? chose to self-answer. So if anything, isn't that policy Q&A the one that's breaking precedent?

And the self-answer actually even fails to answer its own question, which asks "Stack Exchange released guidance to moderators on how to moderate AI Generated content. What does this guidance include?", and then gives an answer about what the policy excludes, but not what it includes...

Another related question post: Should dissenting answers on new policy posts be deleted by staff?

  • 25
    This whole incident is - sadly - reminiscent of the Monica situation where SE staff keep posting things that make it clear they really don't care about the community. Commented May 30, 2023 at 23:20
  • 2
    @Ward well, what can we add to our names now? Maybe Shadow Wizard - Stop Lying? ;-) Commented May 31, 2023 at 5:32
  • 1
    @ShadowTheSpringWizard Hm.... now I know why I haven't changed my name back on Meta... it is never ending story... Commented May 31, 2023 at 6:24
  • 1
    @Resistance is always futile. :D Commented May 31, 2023 at 7:48
  • @ShadowTheSpringWizard Since SE seems to be going all-in on allowing ChatGPT, I've gone with "regenerate response."
    – Chris
    Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 14:29
  • @Chris hehe, good one. But not many would understand that. Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 14:47
  • @RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, to more correctly match the quote. :D Commented Jun 6, 2023 at 14:51

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