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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!