And we're back! 🎉

Hi everyone. As you probably saw, we put the forum in read-only mode last Saturday, and it’s been that way since then. Now we’ve opened things back up we’d like to talk about what happened, and what it means for how we support this space in the future.

Last Saturday, things got… messy

Around midday last Saturday, a thread kicked off about a recent article about Monzo. To be clear: we don’t mind you sharing negative articles about Monzo on the community. We welcome a balanced discussion and there wouldn’t be much to talk about if it was all good news all the time :slightly_smiling_face:

However, in the course of keeping the forum tidy, some of the discussions got closed, moved, and merged. This was absolutely appropriate, and we’re extremely grateful to our Coral Crew moderators who help us keep this a constructive place to post.

But these actions kicked off some unpleasant back-and-forths between some folks who felt they were being censored and the critical discussion being shut down. And this descended into personal attacks and harassment.

To be clear: this is not acceptable. It’s not ok to target the Coral Crew if you disagree with their decisions. You can always DM Alan if you have concerns. But also be prepared for us to disagree. The Coral Crew are folks we trust to make these decisions and while everyone makes mistakes, we trust their judgement.

We took the forum offline to let things cool down

It was late on a Saturday, and we’ve all got lives to live. So rather than spending hours unpacking the whole situation, we made the call to place the site in read-only mode instead. This is a last-resort measure we’ve never had to use before. But the situation warranted it, and it gave everyone involved the chance to regroup.

We weren’t sure how long to leave the site offline. But as we gathered to chat on Monday we realised that there were some quite serious things for us to think about before reopening. So we left it in read-only mode for the whole of last week.

We spent the week planning on bringing the forum back

We wanted to find a way to keep the forum a safe space to talk about Monzo without discussions getting derailed by infighting and trolling.

We genuinely believe that the Monzo Community is a special place that’s home to some great discussions. Unfortunately there are a small number of people who come here in bad faith to derail discussions and cause problems. Despite us banning some of these folks many times, they’ve continued to circumvent our controls and made the forum an unpleasant environment.

To these people we say: we really don’t mind if you don’t like Monzo, but there’s no place for trolling or harassment, and people who do that aren’t welcome here.

We’ve giving the forum extra support with more staff time and tighter controls

First up, we’re getting Alan more time to spend looking after this place . We don’t have an in-house community team at the moment. But as Community Caretaker, Alan does a great job of keeping this place tidy and making sure the Coral Crew have what they need when we’re not around. So he’ll be spending more time per week doing just that.

Next up, we’ve brought in some controls around posting, specifically for new members. The most unpleasant behaviour we see on the forum is around impersonation and fake accounts. Some of the worst trolls have repeatedly circumvented our blocking to continue posting and attacking other members. That has to stop.

So for the time being moderators will need to approve all new accounts . And the same goes for the first posts by new accounts. This is an extreme step, but unfortunately a necessary one to keep the conversation civil.

We’re also asking the Coral Crew to take a step back from permanently closing threads . To be clear: we stand by their decisions and trust their judgement. But it’s not ok for them to be targeted for harassment simply for trying to keep the peace. They’ll flag threads to us if they need locking.

Hopefully in time we can loosen these controls, and it’s a shame we’ve had to take these steps. But we believe they’re necessary.

Lastly, a quick reminder on what’s ok and what’s not

We have a Code of Conduct that covers what’s allowed here on the forum. That is and always has been the golden standard we hold behaviour to. But there are also some specific things we’d like to call out.

Closed/banned accounts - every now and then you’ll see threads from people with account issues. We close these threads by default. It’s not something we can help with here on the forum, and it’s not helpful for anyone to speculate on the specifics of any individual case. Please help us out by respecting that.

Critical press pieces - these are totally allowed. We’re not an echo chamber of blind positivity. But these threads do typically generate a lot of heat - understandable given how strong some of all your opinions are. So by their nature, threads about particularly sensitive topics get a lot of flags and are often heavily moderated. We’re not censoring the discussion, we’re just keeping it civil.

Political views - a quick reminder of our Code of Conduct here: discussions are not banned, but we don’t tolerate using our forum as a personal soapbox to air political opinions. Likewise, the Code of Conduct has clear rules about the kind of values we expect our community members to uphold. If you have a problem with this and are after a no-holds-barred free speech platform there are plenty of other places online for that kind of thing.

Phew, thanks for reading all that!

We know you’ll probably have some thoughts and opinions about all this. And you’re welcome to share them. We just ask that you keep it to this thread . The last thing we want is for the forum to descend into disorder again. Although we won’t hesitate to lock the thread and close discussions if we think things aren’t being productive.

And welcome back! :slightly_smiling_face:

77 Likes

You keep talking about this forum being a “safe space” but for that to be achieved you really need to deliver some permanent, prioritised staff visibility here. Safe spaces (I actually loathe that term) need to be actively nurtured, and quite frankly, Monzo isn’t giving this place enough of its attention.

If Coral Crew can no longer close discussions, what happens at 10pm on Friday night when the Monzo staff are all off for the weekend?

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Hooray! It’s great to see the forum open again after a week of forlornly refreshing. :sweat_smile:

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Yeeeey the community is back!

Just to be clear I’m super happy that it is but if I’m honest with how long it was “offline” I expected more :confused: To summarise, new accounts need approving and Alan is going to spend a bit more time on here is all that has come from a 9 day lockdown/review?

Are there anymore planned changes? What took place that evening was horrendous and it stemmed from issues that have built up and up from way before then. So from what I’m seeing nothing has been acknowledged or changed to address the concerns that people raised.

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I agree. What’s to stop someone posting a normal first comment and then changing their username and start trolling after that?

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It’s good to be back! Can I ask if the format of the forum is changing? I miss my categories view!

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image

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Click/tap on the 3 lines at the top-right (next to your user avatar), then click on ‘Categories (14 more)’ to get the category view back.

Or, use this URL - Categories - Monzo Community

Hopefully we’ll be able to select ‘Categories’ in the Preferences → Interface → Default-Home-Page again soon.

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I’m glad it’s back!

More importantly, it’s nice to see some things have been acknowledged and that some changes, however small, are here. I think in that respect, you’d delivered, made the right changes, and I thank you for it.

I do share in the concerns noted above, that given how long this stuff had brewing for, perhaps it’s not enough?

One small suggestion from something I’ve noted during the lockdown, and that is just how well respected @ordog is as a member here. I was thinking, that perhaps adding some fresh coral crew blood may be a positive and welcome change that would go towards healing the rifts and friction we’ve seen. I don’t think there is anyone better suited than Ordog for that role should it be something he’d want.

As for folks harassing moderators. That is not okay, and I hope these new measures put an end to that. Critique, disagree, or feedback their actions by all means, but folk, don’t cross the line to where that becomes harassment. That’s not right.

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So basically nothing has really changed. If I was a troll (I’m not by the way). There’s nothing stopping me using disposable emails and VPNs to sign up and post. Get those accounts established over a few days, multiple accounts if one is that way inclined.

Then let rip later on in the future.

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Yeah, but which Revels will reappear here now?

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Also need the views setting back to how it used to be, this layout Is terrible, and I’ve no option to switch it back

See post #9 above :point_up:

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Did that 3 times it’s finally changed, must have been a glitch 🤦

Edit - that’s just temporary view though, it switches back to list view as that’s the only default I can choose in settings

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Same here, I can put it into the good ok’ categories but refreshing the page/logging back in, resets it.

Did as @davidwalton suggested, but the admin settings must’ve been changed, and the only allowed default view is “Latest” :disappointed:

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Spare a thought for the poor users who were reaching for the ‘Enthusiast’/‘Aficionado’/‘Devotee’ badge and got to day 9/99/364, only for the forum to be closed :disappointed:

Wonder what happens to the discourse ‘visits clock’ now - is it reset to ignore the lockdown or was it always counting?

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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Removed Posts - May 2021

It’s great to have the forum back and I hope there isn’t a repeat of what happened over the fateful weekend. I am not sure if the steps here go far enough but they are definitely steps in the right direction so I am quietly hopeful :blush:

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They’ll be a mass class action hearing at court about this :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::rofl:

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