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To be constructive, or not to be constructive, that is the question.
The Code of Conduct has been written well, and all things are clear in it except the following vague sentences:
We're deliberately not setting out everything that is and isn't allowed - bring your common sense and apply the spirit of this Code.
Always be constructive, especially when giving feedback.
I have had some conversations with some community staff about these sentences and argued against them. I quote some of their opinions and bring my opinion about them just immediately after each of them.
A bit of ambiguity and wiggle room is fine - it allows for the situation being dependent on context. Not everything has to be spelled out or set in stone.
We want to avoid rules-lawyering.
Such statements seem to be very nice. But, the problem is, when and where should we allow people to have their own interpretations of written rules?
If we have a community of right-minded people, such statements are suitable for the community. For example, in academic societies the members have more freedom to interpret the written rules because they are supposed to be right-minded enough to make right decisions.
However, when you deal with a community containing any kind of people, it is not recommended to have fuzzy written rules. For example, we see that statuary laws are clear-cut. Although there may be some disagreements in interpretation of some laws, the community stay alive without any critical law misinterpretation from its members.
Now, Codidact (and any other online communities anyone can join without any restriction but having an email) is a kind of the latter case. So, clear-cut rules are needed for this community to prevent any member from abusing written rules misinterpretations.
Do you think, that you will be suspended here, although you try to act in good faith? And if yes, what makes you think that? (I'm not trying to make you feel "wrong", just want to understand your intentions/assumptions/...)
This is a very good question. Clarifying what I fear, please consider the following example of my real situation:
This post was closed because of being "non-constructive". The user who closed it stated in the comment under this post that they did that because "it was basically a rant." I personally did not have any problem with their opinion about my post, and respect it.
As we know well, many users (including some staff) believe that my meta posts are rants and I am a ranter. With such background, it is expectable that some users (including some moderators) dislike me, so some of them may want to suspend me because of my non-constructive behavior, that is, posting many non-constructive post. No one can question such moderators' decision because they can argue that "constructiveness" is a subjective issue and in their opinions such posts are not constructive.
We empower moderators (or judges in other contexts) to apply them to specific cases. We ensure that there is an appeal process to challenge that application.
(This is the most important part of this post.)
Such an abusable policy also exists on SE. The SE community team trust and empower their moderators to moderate their communities as they like. I do not claim that all moderators abuse their privileges, but if a moderator abuses some privilege, their decision is probably not reverted even if it is wrong because the community team do not want to encourage users to object moderators' (even wrong) decisions.
Some Codidact community staff told me that we will review moderators' decisions if there is some complaint or we have a "Review Panel" and so on. Similar things are also exist on SE in theory; the community team state that you can report such abuses, but no one should expect a reasonable answer from them.
Thus, let us have a set of clear-cut rules to minimize such abuses.