Because Stack Overflow is allegedly too lax on AI content, moderators go on strike.
Some moderators and community members write an open letter saying that the programming platform has “almost completely” banned moderation of AI-generated content.
Given Stack Overflow’s original antipathy toward AI content, this is a surprising turn of events. Much to the annoyance of the moderators, a change of heart seems to have taken place.
Breaching community trust with AI content
The letter states that AI-generated content “poses a major threat to the integrity and trustworthiness of the platform and its content.” Recent decisions by platform operators would undermine the goal of providing a “repository of high-quality information.”
Specifically, the signatories criticize that AI content can no longer be removed simply because it is AI-generated. AI content cannot be moderated “outside of exceedingly narrow circumstances.”
This would mean that AI content could be published almost unhindered, regardless of the community’s opinion of such content. Misinformation and plagiarism could flood Stack Overflow. In addition, the new policy would take away the leeway that Stack Exchange communities have to define their own policies.
Since direct communication between the operators and the community has not been successful so far, the signatories see only one last resort: to go on strike and stop moderating the platform. The strike is the last resort to save the community “from a total loss of value.”
Stack Overflow is a place where coders meet to discuss solutions to code problems. Code samples are often used for this purpose. Since its inception in 2008, the platform has relied on volunteer moderation from the community. The letter, signed by 122 people so far, tells the operators that they “cannot then consistently ignore, mistreat, and malign those same volunteers.”