Compromise: Send Meta Discussions to the Unofficial LessWrong Subreddit

After a re­cent com­ment thread de­gen­er­ated into an ar­gu­ment about trol­ling, mod­er­a­tion, and meta dis­cus­sions, I came to the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:

  1. Meta con­ver­sa­tions are an­noy­ing to stum­ble across, I’d rather not see them un­less I think it’s im­por­tant, and I think other peo­ple mostly feel the same way. More­over, mod­er­a­tors can’t eas­ily ig­nore those con­ver­sa­tions when they en­counter them, be­cause they’re usu­ally at­tacks on the mod­er­a­tors them­selves; and peo­ple can’t sim­ply avoid en­coun­ter­ing them on a reg­u­lar ba­sis with­out avoid­ing LW al­to­gether. This is a perfect recipe for a flame­war tak­ing over Top Com­ments even when most peo­ple don’t care that much.

  2. Offi­cially ban­ning all meta con­ver­sa­tions, how­ever, is a bad prece­dent, and I don’t want LW to do that.

Ideally, Less Wrong would im­ple­ment a sep­a­rate “META” area (so that peo­ple can read the reg­u­lar area for all the ob­ject-level dis­cus­sions, and then sally into the meta area only when they’re ready). After talk­ing to Luke (who also wants this), though, it seems clear that no­body is able to im­ple­ment it very soon. So as a stop­gap mea­sure, I’m per­son­ally go­ing to start do­ing the fol­low­ing, and I hope you join me:

When­ever a con­ver­sa­tion starts get­ting bit­terly meta in a thread that’s not origi­nally about a LW site meta is­sue, I’m go­ing to tell peo­ple to start a thread on the LW Un­cen­sored Red­dit Thread in­stead. Then I’m go­ing to down­vote any­one who con­tinues the meta war on the origi­nal thread.

I know it’s an­noy­ing to send peo­ple some­where that has a differ­ent lo­gin sys­tem, but it’s as far as I can tell the best fix we cur­rently have. Since some meta con­ver­sa­tions are im­por­tant, I’m not go­ing to pun­ish peo­ple for link­ing to meta thread dis­cus­sions that they think are sig­nifi­cant, and the rele­vant place for those links is usu­ally the Open Thread. I don’t want LessWrong to be a com­mu­nity de­voted to ar­gu­ing about the me­chan­ics of LessWrong, so that’s my sug­ges­tion.

Thoughts? (And yes, this thread is ob­vi­ously open to meta dis­cus­sion. I’m hope­fully do­ing some­thing con­struc­tive about the prob­lem, in­stead of just com­plain­ing about it, though.)

EDIT: Changed the link to the un­cen­sored thread more speci­fi­cally, at Luke’s re­quest; origi­nally I linked to the gen­eral LW sub­red­dit, which is more heav­ily mod­er­ated.