New Blog for Deactivated Quora Users

Poll: New Blog for Deactivated Quora Users

Purpose: Per discussion under Do we care about Deactivations? by Nick Nicholas on Necrologue, I will be launching a new blog limited to reporting deactivations, to complement Necrologue, with community submissions. The people of Quora can name the blog whatever they want, so long as they choose one of the four obscure Hellenic names I’ve just made up for it.

Deadline: 2017–04–11

Submissions: New Blog for Deactivated Quora Users

Sophie Dockx: Quora Moderation is Under Attack

I received this a week ago from Sophie Dockx, and am passing it on. The bug report Sophie mentions is a security hole I am electing not to publicise; Quora has been notified of it.

I saw your graphs on the necro. Such over 45° upward slopes are indicative of a lot more than management or policy changes within Quora. This is the signature of a management being flooded with complaints until past saturation point, and that is now collapsing under the work pressure.

Q-mod and Q-admin are not responsible for the bans. They have been flooded and overworked. That is why they don’t check each report properly anymore, because they can’t. They have (almost literally) opened the emergency pressure valve in the hope the report bombings stop. They have banned the targets, not the targeters. They don’t realise that this only makes it worse for them. Incomprehensible bans lead to voluntary quits, as by my friend Prof. Walter Lewin. That is why the Quora community needs to know.

People are leaving Quora for the wrong reasons. They are not a bunch of incompetents or of totalitarians. They have been under attack from an organised mob, but don’t seem to realise that they have. Discuss this with your friends, please, Nick. Don’t take my word for it. Quora has been criticised wrongly by most of its critics. It is not Quora, it is a group of users doing this.

Send my bug report to your friends. Call me conspiracy nutter if you have to. Mock me, have a laugh on my expense I don’t care. What is happening to Quora at the moment is the work of conspiracy nutters. They can’t make such shit work in the real world, but they can on the web.

Sites have been switching to Real Name policy without taking into account why it had been abandoned in the nineties. Real names add credibility to the content, but at the same time warrant a much tighter vetting and background checking procedure. Like the one applied by LinkedIn. Quora has been overambitious. They are slow at detecting fake names, because they rely on reporting by the community for that. That explains also why many people have been banned for using their real names that have been flagged by numerous users as fake names. It happened to me in October.

Follow up on Reddit trolls

I received this in email today and am passing it on, anonymously.

I am a moderator of that subreddit r/indianpeoplequora.

With reference to your blog post: How Reddit trolls have infiltrated Quora:

I have removed all those posts where the users show they have asked troll questions on Quora. I have even updated the rules of the subreddit to not allow such things in the future.…

I’ve created that subreddit a long time ago just for posting funny Quora question/answers written by Indians. Here’s an example of one of the earlier posts:…

I didn’t know all this would have happened.

Regarding trolls, I’ve seen a few on Quora before the subreddit even existed. I’ve seen one vandalize content and ask harassing/creepy questions. I’ve reported them to the Quora admins and had them banned.

The ones you have pointed out:

Regarding the Reddit accounts,

The Reddit account of Raden Smith has deleted his 1-yr old account, and the other has been banned from r/indianpeoplequora.

I am not that active on either Reddit or Quora these days, so I have added more moderators to keep things under control.


I’ve just had the lightboxes for answers rolled out to me….

… after months of dodging the bullet by using Safari.

… Yeeeeeech.

First suspect thing: how many months does it take to roll out a consistent Quora experience to all platforms? Really? Is that a feature and not a bug?

Second: Why does a “story” I’ve clicked stay shaded? What does that mean? That I’ve read it? What if the “story” was short enough that I didn’t need to click it? Why did I need these distracting shade trackers? Who asked for them?

Third: “Read 1 Answer”? Why “Read”? I wouldn’t know what “1 answer” means under a question?

Fourth: You’re hiding all the other “stories” with this zoomy lightbox thing? Why do you want to disorient me?

Fifth: When I keep scrolling your infernal lightbox down, I end up … scrolling it off the screen? What if I scrolled too fast? What if I wasn’t done with it? What visual metaphor has ever involved scrolling a modal window off screen, to begin with? Anywhere?

What visual metaphor scrolls a modal window halfway off the screen, so I can peer underneath? It’s meant to be a popup, not a convertible sunroof! Why do you make me doubt my sanity?

And if the popup is going to be a convertible sunroof, why does it disappear off screen when I’ve scrolled 3/4 of the way off the screen, rather than all the way off the screen?

And if the modal window is for a “story” shorter than a screenful, why is the modal window flush with the top of the screen, and not in the middle of the screen? Have you ever seen a modal window do that? Does Quora like disconcerting its users? (Don’t answer that.)

Sixth… I reload Quora (in another window) and lightboxes go away again. WTF?

And if that is a feature and not a bug, how can I ensure that I don’t get lightboxes back?



EDIT: Eighth: The lightbox for when I answer a question… The brightness! It burns! (Because there’s all this gleaming white all of a sudden from a blank white modal window against a grey background; much more distracting than the old answer page, which was somehow just as blank.)

What was your first BNBR violation?

First and so far only eponymous BNBR. Story told in three parts:

(My only anonymous BNBR, I *think*, was for a similar reason.)

What should be included in the Constitution of Sockistan?

Habib, so many good answers here with allusion to the US Constitution, and I couldn’t hope to exceed them or even reach them.

And then, I remembered a different country’s constitution. Not even its current version.

In the 60s, Greek leftist youth protested the assassination of Grigoris Lambrakis and the subsequent upheaval in the country, by chanting “114!”

Article 114, the final article of the 1952 Constitution of Greece. It’s article 120 in the 2008 revision of the current Constitution of Greece.


H τήρηση του Συντάγματος επαφίεται στον πατριωτισμό των Eλλήνων, που δικαιούνται και υποχρεούνται να αντιστέκονται με κάθε μέσο εναντίον οποιουδήποτε επιχειρεί να το καταλύσει με τη βία.

Upholding the Constitution is a responsibility entrusted to the patriotism of the Greek people, who are entitled and obligated to resist by any means necessary whoever attempts to do away with it by force.

Mutatis mutandis, Habib le toubib? You could do worse than this as a closer.

What does Kirghiz sound like?

Like Turkish (and just as mumbly as Turkish), with what sound like added uvulars. Which make it sound slightly Arabic.

I have seen another such question about Central Asian Turkic, where an answer commented that it sounded Korean. I can see why: the combination of high back vowels and rapid syllables.

What does Gagauz sound like to foreigners?

To me, it sounds like a less mumbly Turkish, and certainly much more like Turkish than, for example, Azeri sounds to me. Having read the other answers, there are moments where I hear something reminiscent of Russian palatalisation, but they are very infrequent.

That’s of course proves that I shouldn’t be reading the other answers before answering questions like this.

What are the purposes of doing a research study on how dialects impact gender?

As Joe Devney said, depends on the study, but I have a fair guess.

That would be gender, presumably, as in grammatical gender, in those languages that have them. The wording would then presumably be something more like how does assignment of entities to particular genders vary from one dialect to another within the same language.

Dialects are linguistics’ natural laboratory: you have a common starting point for the dialects that’s quite well understood, even by laypeople—they can work out how the dialects relate to each other and to the common core of the language without much trouble. So the variation in how different dialects treat the same phenomenon can be mapped out straightforwardly. Because the dialects have diverged recently enough, those changes can usually be made sense of easily, compared to changes between different languages.

So the variation in gender assignment within a language, between different dialects, will have a common starting point—in Modern Greek dialect, say, Ancient Greek; and you can make sense of the variation between dialects, because there’s much less variation to trace than, say, the variation between French and Russian.

The purposes of such a research study would be the same as the purposes for any research study on how entities are assigned to gender; the results would just be much more tractable.

What Quora blogs do you recommend following (as of 2017)?

Blogs not already mentioned that I’m subscribed to:

  • The Insurgency: “A critique of Quora, and a critique of critiques of Quora.” Blog hosting various criticisms of Quora, which exposes those criticisms to scrutiny.
  • Bug? or Feature? “In which we discuss and analyze ambiguous and elusive Quora ux specimens.” Successor to at least one major aspect of the late Rage Against Quora: UI features that make one say ¿Que?
  • The Still-Alive Poets Society. “This is a blog where Quorans can share their original poems. Both poems written for answers and original posts are accepted, but only original work.”
  • Dispatches from the Other Language Quoras. “A blog to discuss peculiarities, differences, and experiences in Quoras other than English.”