RQ Community News

Date: Saturday 6th June 2020

Hi folks,

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has submitted feedback regarding our Discord and the community space. There are a lot of responses, so it’s going to take a while to work through them and come up with realistic and sustainable changes that help everyone. Please continue to bear with us as we do this; we really appreciate your patience.

Secondly, I know that there is a huge desire on the server to express solidarity with the extremely serious and ongoing issues affecting the Black members of our community and so many others in the USA and all over the world. We share that desire, but there was obvious and understandable frustration with the way certain conversations around police brutality and racism were dealt with earlier in the week.

In handling these recent discussions, we as the Community Moderation Team (CMT) made mistakes. Our Community Code asks moderators to keep conversations from taking traumatic or distressing turns, but we should have been clearer and more considerate with our language and reasoning. As Head Moderator and Community Manager, I apologise wholeheartedly, and take responsibility for this and for the hurt we caused.

In addition, it is clear that the blanket exclusion of “political” discussion (which is part of our Community Code) is causing a misunderstanding. It is absolutely not our intention to censor anyone. Further, if someone doesn’t believe that Black lives matter or that trans rights are human rights, or if they hold any other similar harmful views, then this is not the place for them. Nobody’s freedom, rights, or life is debatable, and there are no two sides to this.

But some discussions require more resources than this server can currently provide. Right now, we cannot responsibly offer a space for this kind of conversation. Monitoring such discussions and keeping them safe for everyone would require a capacity that we simply do not have, especially considering the relative sizes of the company and of this server. We want in-depth discussions of this kind to only take place here if and when we are able to handle them well.

However, I am going to be modifying the Community Code so that it is clearer about our stance on these issues and our goals for this server. I will also see what changes we can make on the CMT, including training, to improve things for us all. You can expect further updates as we go through your feedback.

In the meantime, we feel it is reasonable to recognise that not all spaces are suitable for all conversations. For example, our fans who are part of marginalised groups – especially our Black fans at the moment – may just want to hang out with like-minded folks to talk about podcasts or share cat pics without being overtly reminded of ongoing traumatic events. This server may be one of the few places where people can find some measure of escape for a while, and we want to keep it a safe space for them.

The feedback form (https://cutt.ly/NyZosSz) will remain open and will be checked weekly. Likewise, any new suggestions to help us with anything raised in this message are gratefully received. Many thanks again to you all for your patience and understanding.

Anil Godigamuwe
Community Manager