I read this comment written by Meta Andrew T.:

"I thought moderation policies were supposed to be public." just want to mention that mods also have their own mod-only help pages which have a header mentioning "This information is intended for moderators only; please don't share the specifics in public", so while some of the moderation policies were posted on Meta publically by staff, not all moderation policies are public. (Though in the case of AI policy, the problem is really with the discrepancy)

Why aren't all moderation policies made public?

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    Because telling the enemy where the mines are makes them ineffective.
    – tripleee
    Jun 9 at 6:47
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    @tripleee public moderation policies could be enforced with private criteria, e.g. public moderation policy = no AI-generated answers; private criteria = if >2 posts in <30min with some >90% likelihood of being AI-generating, then suspend 30d. I.e., policy != enforcement. Jun 9 at 6:53
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    So yeah, the secrets are more the implementation details and not the policies themselves.
    – tripleee
    Jun 9 at 7:03
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    @tripleee Yes, which makes me wonder why aren't all moderation policies made public? Jun 9 at 7:28
  • That would require too much work by employees? Offenders might want to appeal more often? Other users might want to discuss them more often? There is no "need" to know? I guess, one or a mixture of these... Jun 9 at 8:01
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    @Trilarion, "Offenders might want to appeal more often" if policy is used to suspend users, I believe it must be public. Otherwise, users might not know that they are violating something. I agree that some specific data might be hidden, but general outline - never.
    – markalex
    Jun 9 at 8:15
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    Yes, it would have been much better to just silently delete Chat-GPT posts and not tell anyone! Jun 9 at 8:42
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    @tripleee Policies aren’t mines, they’re rules of engagement. Jun 9 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Those aren't really policies, they're help pages for various tools and issues specific to moderation. Most of them are just explaining how certain tools or pages work and provide advice on how to handle specific situations.

Even for topics like vote fraud or sock puppets they don't really contain rules. They contain information on how to approach the topic and also some advice on how to handle those cases.

Some specific information about the tools would be useful to circumvent moderation, so that is one reason why they're not public. There aren't any really big secrets, but e.g. some specific thresholds would be useful information to someone trying to abuse certain features on SE sites.

  • The question, imho, is what are you placing more value on then transparency and how do you see it benefiting the community? Jun 9 at 11:05
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    @EvanCarroll in the case of sock puppets and voting rings (which are against the rules and most people know it well), it seems the value is placed on stopping these things over telling users exactly how abusive to the system they can be before being punished.
    – Esther
    Jun 9 at 14:27

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