Forum moderation, and why I'm leaving (temporarily)

The Zcash Contributor GitHub CoC is being replaced by the ECC Code of Conduct. Note that the latter not only applies to ECC employees (when representing ECC in public spaces), but also uniformly to all contributors within ECC community spaces:

This Code of Conduct applies within all ECC community spaces identified in Addendum A, and also applies when an individual is officially representing ECC in public spaces.

Addendum A – ECC Community Spaces

ECC Sponsored Community Resources


Thanks for the clarification.


well, without being cold to daria’s important and strong feelings, does this mean that zcash (or this foruum) can now publicly support donald trump for president of the united states?? capital and ideology go hand in hand, and participating in popular public discourse can only benefit the lagging exchange price.


Please see this section of the Zcash Forums CoC:

Please do not:

Post political content that would be viewed as endorsing or campaigning for any political candidate. The Zcash Foundation is a 501©3 non-profit organization and as such are “absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office”

Note that this does not exclude discussion of politics all together; for instance if a candidate or government entity like congress had a particular policy for or against privacy coins, that would be topic of interest to the Zcash community. But the forums (ran by the Foundation) nor Foundation can be viewed as endorsing a particular candidate.


thanks for clearing that up. i did not recognize that the forum was an asset of the foundation.

since the foundation acts with such vigorous posse comitatus, shouldn’t the foundation have a sunset date for its termination to achieve decentralization?

Someone has to keep the lights on around here :wink:


i appreciate your help in assisting me learn the ropes around here @Shawn. i’m currently reading nadia eghbal’s working in public to become a better informed forum participant.

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+1 Forum was so much better when I joined. It has become a lot worse & we all know who they are — I wish you exit the community, you add negative value cumulatively to Zcash. If your posts are getting consistently flagged, you need to understand that you are posting stupid content.

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I care a lot about ZF’s mission and following healthy non-profit governance procedures, but FWIW I think this is not the right rationale for moderating political posts. This is pretty clearly an open communication forum, folks aren’t automatically speaking on behalf of the foundation just by posting here. I might be overestimating my knowledge or misunderstanding the rules, but I’ll look into it.

IMO such posts should be tagged as off-topic and shunted to a category/subforum where they can be easily ignored by those who don’t want to see it, and at most we can fight over the defaults. We could do that with the existing forum features couldn’t we?

I’m not claiming to be neutral. At this point I’m just slightly more anti-censorship than anti-trump. "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" is engraved deep within me. I want to make sure @daira can reply against racist bullshit, no authority needed, and I’ll do it myself until she returns.


@antonie from ZF felt this was the best way to adhere to the 501c guidelines for not siding one way or the other with regards to political campaigning.

This is extremely difficult if not impossible moderate fairly. If the very mention of certain political candidates causes issues how can we say that it’s ok in this section but not the other? We literally have two polar opposite sides of the issue, one that supports and one that opposes. If one is allowed the other will feel threatened, if one is not then the other will feel censored.

I agree that politics is off-topic on a Zcash forum which is why I advocated for just considering it too hot of an issue to have calm civil discussions about, so my idea was disallow politics all together, but that didn’t get approval either.

Moderators by definition are supposed to be moderate and not favor one position or the other so they can fairly enforce the rules as written, avoiding personal bias. I strive to be inclusive and understand the diverse viewpoints of a diverse community, my personal opinions and affiliations are secondary to the rules.

Anyone should feel free to flag anything they feel uncomfortable with and if it is in violation of the forums CoC then it will be removed.


This is a mechanism based on the use of authority to censor, rather than speech against speech which doesn’t require authority.

Authority to move topics to a subforum should be considered strictly less than authority to ban/delete a topic outright.

The principle of least authority, which is usually for computer security but applicable here too, is that the least authority possible for any task should be used. Because it results in the least damage when misapplied.

Any justification based just on the existence of two sides is extremely vulnerable to shifting overton windows… basically it’s not hard at all to establish a polar opposite to a reasonable position just by expressing support for a ridiculous position. Or to put it more surreally,
“Even a single edged sword is a double edged sword. On one side it cuts, on the other it kinda doesn’t”

It’s a fair point, I don’t think any of these questions are easy, and for sure everyone on the internet and civil society is grappling with this. I’m just expressing a view here i haven’t been able to articulate coherently yet.


Agreed. I don’t want to see purely political posts on the forum by default. They are off-topic, highly divisive, and often dumb (if you are talking about a political candidate, and not a specific policy, it’s usually a dumb discussion). Posts that are purely political but don’t violate any other form rules should be quarantined so that you have to opt-in to read them.

I think that political posts should be allowed on the main default forum only if they are about specific policy proposals that are directly relevant to Zcash. Otherwise, we send them to quarantine rather than censor.


To reiterate a few things @daira said, the leadership at ECC felt it was important that the entire ECC team knew that participation in communication channels and mediums where we didn’t have control over the code of conduct and it’s interpretation was optional on their part. In short, we wanted to make sure they feel safe and comfortable in environments where they might engage in support of the Zcash mission.

We also drafted our own Code of Conduct as @str4d mentioned which all Github repositories will soon reference in a contributor-oriented document. We took inspiration from our own Contributor Code of Conduct, the Rust community’s Code of Conduct, and a couple of other sources commonly used as a basis for similar documents.


This calling out of ‘dog whistles’ is a woke whistle and I’m concerned about the state of the ECC at this point. If a hard left doctrine took hold in this company, the ‘get woke, go broke’ effect isn’t far. Better projects than this have failed due to employees political agendas. This is a huge issue for me as an investor, I came here today to the forum to find out everything about the ECC and zcash and already I see a red flag. What is this all about?


Okay I see. I take issue with this part of the Code of Conduct: Excluding people for rude language that has been expressed UNINTENTIONALLY cannot be an offense that leads to exclusion. It means that anyone can state to be offended by anything and get the other one excluded. If you say for example that my concern, this one, gives you anxiety by the offchance that I am x or y, I have to be removed. Is that correct?
A jury system that decided over such cases is usually the most fair way to handle “edgy” content, since people’s edges differ greatly.

“We will exclude you from interaction if you insult, demean or harass anyone. That is not welcome behavior. We interpret the term “harassment” as including, but not limited to, the following examples:
Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.
Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes, language, or imagery, whether intentional or unintentional”


Howdy Rico, welcome to the forum. Although the topic of forum moderation is currently at the forefront of the convo here. It is still a great place to find out more about ECC & Zcash as you originally intended to do here.



First of all I want to personally apologize that I did not have your back on parts of this issue when it was happening and that it has taken me so long to speak up. You and I have been friends for over four years, I deeply respect you as a person, as a proud LGBTQ member, and for what you have done for Zcash. I do my best to understand where you are coming from and I felt many of the same things you did, this entire situation led to my feeling stressed, and anxious to the point of losing sleep at night. So much so that I had to request the Zcash Foundation that I take a leave of absence from participation in this forum all together to gain some distance and perspective.

Now that I’m back I wanted to take the time to post my perspective of recent events.

It started in the MGRC thread where I had posted the meeting minutes and it became evident that Kek was not happy with the fact that Mario (a non-MGRC member) was included in the meeting and began heavily trolling the thread with clown memes. This led to several flags by the community because it was obvious trolling and I agreed with several of the flags and hid the posts. Later you informed me and the rest of the Mod team that these memes should be considered as white-supremist dogwhistles and you had taken the next step of not just hiding the posts but completely deleting them. I told you that I did not know about the use of clown memes as dogwhistles but that I trusted your judgment on the matter since you had apparently had more exposure to that side of the internet than I did. I considered that matter settled and I followed up by sending Kek an official warning to not post one again. It was up until this point that I had your back on this issue.

However, a day or two later (I don’t recall exactly the timing and order of events) @mistfpga posted that the Zcash Contributor Code of Conduct had been updated in the Zcash Github and that he had concerns about its applicability to his streaming on Twitch and other interactions with Zcash. You also informed me the mod team that you had updated the Zcash Code of Conduct and you strongly suggested that the forums code of conduct also be updated with the newly added text. This is while simultaneously you were telling Mist in that thread, in no uncertain terms, that he (a non-ECC employee) now had to enforce this revision on Twitch (a non-ECC controlled platform) and that if he did not do so he would be in violation of this revised CoC and at risk of being banned. This hard line stance that ECC makes the rules for anything to do with Zcash led to much confusion and debate as can be seen in that thread. It was this turn of events that caused me to have great concern about the broader picture of what was happening, and it was at this point that I no longer had your back on this issue.

The big concern I had was not the wording of the revision but the way it was being presented and enforced. I was extremely disheartened to have to be stuck with two impossible choices:

  1. Advocate for the revision to be put on the forums CoC as had been made by a small group of three developers within the Zcash GitHub repository and in doing so implicitly concede that ECC had the unilateral power to make changes that were enforceable on every platform that even mentions the word Zcash (Including this forum).

  2. Disagree with the revisions and not advocate for a change of forums CoC, not because of the text of the revision, but because it represented an egregious overreach of power by the ECC and could have repercussions that would be felt throughout the entire Zcash ecosystem.

I chose, with much stress, option number 2 with looming dread that I could be risking my personal reputation and be portrayed as a white-supremist empathizer because I did not advocate for the revision to be added verbatim to the forums CoC. Its also important to note that I use the word “advocate” when referring to this forums CoC because these forums are owned and operated by the Zcash Foundation and I do not get to set the rules.

I want to be crystal clear on this: I do not condone and absolutely will not support any fascist, white supremist, or Nazi groups whatsoever. The only issue I had with this whole situation was not that you were taking a stand against these groups but the way it was being imposed upon the ecosystem.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions about my views on this subject, I sincerely hope that you will remain on the forums, and I hope that we can somehow move past this whole ordeal and get back to focusing on making Zcash better.

I think is also important to note that I think the revised ECC-employee CoC which will be replacing the current version of the Contributor CoC on GitHub is well thought out and personally I would not be opposed to adopting a similar version of it here on the forums.


EDIT: P.S. I also want to add that I realize now that this was not ECC taking a position of enforcing rules on other platforms as evidenced by the new ECC employee CoC , I had no way of knowing the position of the ECC at the time.


Thank you @Shawn for taking time to reflect on the recent events.

My request to everyone on the forum: take a step back, understand the perspectives of others, then make insightful, constructive & reasonable responses. Give a good argument, you will find support in the community to back you up & eventually make the change happen.

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Thanks for your input Shawn. Unfortunately this is a microcosm of what has been going on in the United States for the last several years.

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Seems some people are overly sensitive and wish to censor others views. Weak people are inherently prone to censor any dissent within its ranks and thus, ideas are not allowed to flourish. In my view as long as everyone is kind /curdious ALL views/opinions should be shared and moderators should be unbiased and mentally strong. In business you do not want to block an entire demographic over political views which are not tolerated withing the company /community/forums.

This is the second time (first time being the MGRC election diversity discussion/where electecting people based on sex, which is actually a form of sexism was discussed. All hires elections should based on merit /qualifications and Not their Sex or Skin color/Ethnicity as these are racism and sexism disquised.) I’ve seen weakness and complaining in this forum with regards to political views which is a red flag to investors and I strongly encourage everyone in Ecc/ZF/Moderators to steer clear of.