More than one Quoran has been curious to know what I think of Cordially Resistant, as possibly the most visible Quora critic these days. (And again: I hope I’m wrong about that.)
I’ve put off answering this, because I’ve had my own stresses to deal with.
- I don’t want to get angry. Several responses in this and related threads have made me angry. The occasional patronising. The bland assurances that all is well with moderation. Angriest of all, the assertion someone I am in a mutual-blocking relationship with has made, that “just” and “fair” is for children, and you should just learn to work within the system. Yeah, well I hope I never see you in any protest rallies.
- I don’t want to get disappointed. Several posts in Cordially Resistant were childish. Several posts described atrociously childish actions. (Don’t look for those posts, they’ve been deleted.) Some teens have earned the banhammer richly. I’m not exactly sure which, but I’m reasonably sure by now it’s non-zero. On my annals of the dead at Necrologue, I am Switzerland; I record the passings, I pass no judgement. Even outside of Necrologue, I’m reluctant to say much; you are all my family. Some of you, I just don’t want to spend much time with.
- I don’t want to get dispirited. Well, even more dispirited. Where the Cordials are, I was. I started being a Quora critic when I was blindsided by the banning of Jimmy Liu, and then went digging into how often this kind of thing happened. I’ve searched, I’ve queried, I’ve debated, I’ve taken feedback. And all along, I’ve found Quora Inc to be… a wall.
There are good corporate reasons for Quora to be a wall. But it’s driven me to distraction; and when I protest now, I protest existentially, for my own self-respect. Not because I think it will make a difference. And I am saddened to think the Cordials will come to the same realisation.
- Which is why seeing Marc Bodnick post on Cordially Resistant, and not post with the defensiveness I’ve come to associate with him, utterly astonished me. You Cordials have certainly done better than I have there.
- I don’t want to get disillusioned. There’s been infighting in Cordially, out in public for all to see. There’s been schisms. There’s been fumbling at a mission and a purpose. There’s been the perversely adorable spectacle of a group conceived to protest moderation, coming up with its own moderation.
What do I think? A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Cordially was announced, and a lot of water will flow still. But I stand by what I’ve said to the two people who have queried me privately:
- I am supportive of Cordially. But I am selective in my support.
- Jordan Yates speaks for me in her answer. I’m just more existential about it. (See: wall.)
I am heartened by the Cordials trying to sort out their own. I am heartened by the Cordials pushing back against what they feel is their marginalisation. I am heartened by the lightbulbs going off over some Cordials’ heads, that things are more complicated than first appeared. I am heartened by the empathetic, well-thought and constructive responses they have had from adult users.
I happen to think that they’re wrong about being targeted unfairly by Moderation; Moderation has made controversial calls about adults too, and Hanlon’s razor is how I keep my own sanity about Moderation actions. I happen to think Moderation has made some appropriate calls as well about teens—as indeed some of the Cordials think. And any boycott would have just as much impact on Quora Inc as any [redacted] pact would: they honestly have little motivation to care.
But that aside, I am seeing consciousnesses raised, actions contemplated, accountability weighed up, responsibility shouldered. These are never, never a bad thing. And for that, the Cordials have my selective, qualified, distant, but ardent support.