Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you delete my meme?
Memes have historically been a controvertial topic in our server. On the one hand, they can be fun. On the other, they can be hurtful. A non-trivial fraction of memes shared on our server attempt to get laughs by making fun of a group of people, language, or technology.
It’s difficult to draw the line for what is and isn’t allowed. We don’t want to ban humour, but we do want to make sure our server doesn’t intimidate people or lead them to believe that people using a language or technology are stupid for doing so.
If a moderator deleted or asked you to delete your meme, it is because they were worried that it might break the inclusive atmosphere we try to maintain.
But it was just a joke, what gives?
We don’t doubt that you meant it in good humour. We don’t hate fun. What we want to avoid is having new members join the server, see a room full of people making fun of their technology choices, and feeling unwelcome. With a community of over 10,000 people from many different backgrounds, we have to take extra care in this area.
Why shouldn’t I ask to ask?
Let’s say you join the server and say something like:
<alice> does anyone know about cryptography?
Typically people who are looking to answer questions will scan through their favourite channels and try to pitch in on topics they know about.
Anyone who doesn’t feel like they have a really strong grasp on cryptography isn’t going to feel confident enough to reply to you.
Additionally, cryptography is quite a niche topic. We don’t have a huge number of people that know a lot about it, so it’s likely to be a while before someone gets around to answering you. When they do, it could be that you’re no longer online and you’ll have to wait even longer to get your answer.
If you straight-up ask the question from the get-go, anyone who happens to know the answer can chime in. Maybe your question didn’t need all that much cryptography knowledge after-all.
You also may find that the question gets answered while you’re away from Discord, and you come back to an answer to your question instead of someone saying: “I know cryptograhy, what do you want to know?”
Why are Bucky’s (thenewboston) videos not recommended in the server?
There’s not really a simple explanation as to why the videos are not recommended. The most accurate that a newbie can understand is “they make your code actively worse”, but that doesn’t explain the why, and the why is complicated.
Bucky emphasises the wrong things, gives misleading examples, skips over portions that are essential—trying to put all this into a list would be very long, would involve concepts a beginner won’t understand, and will still give the impression of “well, now I know what parts aren’t right, let me just watch the rest”.
All in all, we think that a good foundation makes learning easier in the long run, instead of having to correct subtle mistakes and misconceptions all the way of the learning process.
Why don’t we have separate roles for each language so we can mass-ping people for help?
For multiple reasons:
- The members and helpers of the server are volunteers, who lend their time by their own free will without external pressure. Thus, we consider that having a role to ping may make many people uncomfortable, maybe uncomfortable enough to mute the server as a result and lend less time to helping than before.
- It involves a huge amount of work for the moderation team, that must make and maintain those roles, and even create new ones on demand. The moderation team, as a team of volunteers, considers the extra work unnecessary for the correct functioning of the server.
- It does not add any real value to the server. Having roles to mass-ping would only cause frustrations and complaints by the people that take them, resulting in less people taking them, resulting in the system being moot in the first place.
- On the amount of channels argument: we prefer everyone to have access to every channel at the start, and mute and hide the ones they do not care about. It is the same amount of personal decision, and it is a function integrated in Discord itself. And who knows? Maybe having all channels visible from the start could spark an interest in someone on a topic they had not even considered. We think that the chance of exposure to multiple diverse topics is more important than a cumbersome system for channel filtering.