Why are Quora moderation notifications so lacking in clarity?

As Jae Starr said in duplicate (Hey, answers survive merging now! That’s welcome!)

We don’t know, they don’t tell us.

Hanlon’s razor, however, is always a useful tool in making sense of the inscrutability of Quora Moderation.


  • Moderation was insourced from its volunteer user mods. This was spoken of in the Corporate Announcement in the same breath as Moderation being Done to Scale. Moderation at Scale: Distributing Power to More People by Marc Bodnick on The Quora Blog
    • Notice the delicious Newspeak of it. Do you think more people have power around moderation now than in 2014?
  • Moderation clearly involves an initial tier of bots, an end tier of Quora employees, and (we hypothesise) a middle tier of outsourced contractors with questionable command of the English language.
  • Painstaking attention, giving the benefit of the doubt, and debate may have been the hallmark of the volunteers back in the day (as they have themselves said), but it was not going to scale. Quora has therefore scaled up moderation on the cheap. The end tier of Quora employees as mods is expensive, and is used sparingly.
  • The less visibility of moderation processes from the outside, the less people have something concrete to attack back with.
  • The less detail you give people on why you’re moderating them, the less likelihood they’ll have something to protest back at you with (increasing your workload), or that they can take with them to some other site (embarrassing you with your own words).

Makes sense to me, anyway.

It is only recently that we have seen explanations for why people have been banned at all in their logs. That’s a glimmer of transparency which does not make me optimistic per se, but which I welcome none the less.

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