Missing clear rules

I didn't talk about feelings of "spammers". I talked about general communication atmosphere when it's not clear what is legitimate and what is bad to post, or will be frowned upon or cause people being called "spammers" when they are not (or don't know they are because they don't see the rules or the rules are not clear, see discussion above).

A job offer isn't per-se spam. If it was, then "This Week In Rust" would contain spam.

P.S.: Not every commercial content is spam. If we're talking about "commercial" vs "non-commercial", we should use these words, and not the word "spam". If it is really intended to limit this forum strictly to non-commercial content, then this should be communicated.


You seem to be assuming that is_spam has signature content -> bool; in my opinion, it has signature (content, context) -> bool.

It is spam in one case because it is explicitly forbidden. (Rust forums).
It is not spam in the other case because it is explicitly allowed. (TWIR).

What is this about "clear rules"?

It would be impossible to make a set of rules to cover every possible thing anyone could ever say here.

Surely people have some idea that what they want to say is in bad taste or abusive of somebody or generally not inline with the purpose of the forum.

Of course when I say "bad taste or abusive of somebody or generally not inline with the purpose of the forum." all those things are very vague, everyone has different interpretations and sensitivities.

As I found, just say what you have to say, perhaps it gets hidden, blocked or deleted. Perhaps you get a warning from "the system". I have to say "the system" because I never got to know who was calling for my cancelation at the time.

In general, be nice and we will all get along.



It is meant to be forbidden, but not well communicated (see discussion above).

This argument is pretty silly. It's patently obvious to any native English speaker that the 'rule' is ambiguously phrased. I did take it as a rule (and I quoted it as such in the thread this arose from), but only after a bit of reading/squinting to be certain whether it was intended as a hard rule or a polite suggestion or was just the momentary preference of the writer. How a non-native speaker is expected to make determinate sense of it I have no idea.


(Former Discourse developer hat)

The message you're talking about has two ways to get sent: either a threshold quantity of regular users flagged the same post, or a moderator used the special "take action" button to flag your post instead of the regular "flag post" button.

Most likely it was somewhere between 2 and 4 regular users.

It depends on trust levels, too, I believe. At least on highest trust level (“Leader”), a single user flagging a post (except for the last “flag” option that’s essentially just a “DM the mods” button) is enough to get it temporarily hidden (as in, people have to click a button to see the content anyway). And that’s still the ordinary “flag post” button. I don’t quite know how much differentiation is between the other levels, though I do believe that “Regular” does more, too …

… actually, now that I’m writing this, I’m looking it up (here) and it does confirm at least some things:

  • TL3 spam flags cast on TL0 user posts immediately hide the post
  • TL3 flags cast on TL0 user posts in sufficient diversity will auto-silence the user and hide all their posts
  • Any TL4 flag cast on any post immediately takes effect and hides the target post

(TL0 is a “new user”, i.e. a user who hasn’t gained “Basic” yet; TL3 is “Regular” and TL4 is “Leader”)

Maybe that’s all there is to it and otherwise, all flags are considered equal. (Except for that level 0 users cannot flag posts at all.)

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I think all agree:

  1. The rule is very clear now. That post, by current standards, is spam.

I do not understand the obsession with trying to prove "at some point in the past, the rule might have been ambiguous". I disagree with that assertion -- I feel the rule was always clear, but hypothetically, even if you managed to convince everyone "at some point in the past, the rule was ambiguous" it is not at all clear to me what that achieves.

I don’t understand what you’re referring to with “at some point in the past, the rule was ambiguous”. What time-frame of “past” are you referring to? Has the phrasing of the rule ever changed since it was introduced (recently, around May 25th when that edit to the pinned post was made)? Before that, as far as I’m aware, job offers were allowed, weren’t they?

The rule is still ambiguously phrased in that place. The rule itself is not ambiguous, but that’s only something you can really know by reading this thread we’re in right now. Well, or you can know by trying to post a job offer and seeing it being removed by mods. Both methods seem suboptimal to me.


No one needs to 'try to prove' anything. There exists an ambiguously worded rule. Its wording can be trivially changed. That's all!

[And shall we dial back the argumentative tone a bit here? I was guilty of it with 'silly' (and I edited out something worse, so I did try). "Obsession" is unnecessary.]


I find the wording ambiguous too. I liked this explanation:

But after sharing my perception, I admit that other people may find the wording clear and the place to be the proper place (which I do not).

Of course, the context also matters here: The post is pinned but made by a non-moderator. It is not linked in the FAQ, ToS, or About page (or if it was, I didn't see it). Moreover, users who are logged in don't necessarily see the post again.

(All this has been said already; forgive me the redundancy.)

I guess it depends on the feeling for language and maybe also on cultural skills on how to use Discourse or habits regarding the internet, or interpretation of what "pinning a post" means semantically. Or maybe even on the user settings here in Discourse. We can agree there is some disagreement here? Or does "the rule is not ambiguous" refer to the intention and not the wording/place/context in which it is made? :thinking: In that case I would agree: The intention of the moderators should be clear to readers of this thread now.

Speaking of context, I said:

To clarify, "per-se" means "by itself", i.e. I was implicitly saying that it depends on context whether a job offer is spam or not.

Hence, I feel a bit mocked or at least misunderstood when someone (@zeroexcuses) tells me that I "seem to be assuming" that something is spam irregardless of context, which is exactly the opposite of what I said. So I can understand if there are some emotions in this arguement.

But maybe it's just a misunderstanding, and perhaps my use of subjunctive wasn't noticed here:

@zeroexcuses: Notice the "if" and the "would"; it is "subjunctive mood" (I think that's what it's called in English. In German language it's "Konjunktiv".)

I would furthermore like to repeat this:


In my opinion, if the goal is to clarify:

the correct action is: suggest a 2-3 sentence rewrite (of the rule)

not: write a novella of {analogies, hypotheticals, appeal to emotion / politeness} arguing for why the original rule is confusing


Looks like I was wrong. (So much about not being a native speaker :sweat_smile:.)

"was" is indeed subjunctice mood, but "would" indicates conditional mood, both being irrealis moods.

Analyzing the current situation (not just in regard to this forum) is what my OP was about. Moreover, we're in a meta-thread here. If you do not want to discuss it, you're free to not participate in this thread.

I find the wording "novella" in this "context" a bad choice and it makes me feel not well. Regarding to answering you: I wanted to clarify that I didn't say or mean some things which you implied I did.


This is your thread, I respect that, and will leave this thread after setting the story straight from my perspective.

You opened this topic with:

To the best of my knowledge, I was the only one publicly asking (three times! if I recall correctly) if the thread should be banned / was against forum rules. If anyone else was publicly calling for the job post thread to be banned -- please stand up and correct me on this.

I felt a need to defend said position -- and did so by pointing out that there, indeed, is a forum rule against job posting. Missing clear rules - #4 by zeroexcuses

Then you shifted to questions of:

I called you out on that. You asked me to leave. I respect that and will leave this thread.


No, I just said that I wanted to discuss these issues and don't like being criticized with wording such as "novella" (which I found derogatory in this context) for having a (long/detailed) discussion about it. Maybe I phrased it a bit harshly. Sorry about that. Feel free to stay, but please try to not imply things that I didn't do or say. Maybe there is some miscommunication, and if there is, I'd like to apologize for that as well.

If you refer to the original thread: I do not remember what happened in the original thread as it was deleted by the moderators.

I referred to the particular job posting only to explain the trigger for this thread. It was a trigger but not the reason for me starting this discussion. I have been feeling not well with how the Rust project handles rules / compliance in other places as well (e.g. on crates.io, which also had "Mozilla" mentioned in its use-terms for a while if I remember right :smile:). At this point I really don't care if job postings are allowed or forbidden in this forum. I have no stakes in that. (As I said, I might change my opinion if there appears more and more commercially-related content.) I just want rules to be clearly communicated.

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It still does:

The Law

For issues such as DMCA violations, trademark and copyright infringement, Crates.io will respect Mozilla Legal’s decisions with regards to content that is hosted.

I overall find the crates.io package policies not well done for a project of this size / significance. Hence why I referred to NPM as a (supposedly) better example. (But didn't really read too much into those.)

P.S.: Just to be sure, Rust is no longer a project of Mozilla, is it? I truly don't know, and these references to Mozilla do confuse me.

P.P.S.: See also What is Rust / Who owns Rust?, where this is (basically) answered, but I don't know if there are still intertanglements and I keep stumbling upon "Mozilla" in legal docunents. So I would like to know if there's a reason they are still mentioned or whether it's just not been updated yet.

I don't think wording such as "The short version is…" (without elaborating on the details later or earlier) is a good idea in legal documents such as package policies. Since I didn't find any ToS on crates.io, I would assume that the "package policies" in fact are the ToS.

(Regarding the abbreviation "ToS", see Wikipedia on "Terms of service".)

I agree. These two problems are easily solved:

  • It should be posted by someone with a moderator badge.
  • The "no job offers" rule probably tried a little too hard to be polite.

Note that This Week in Rust recently stopped listing jobs, pointing people to r/rust's "Who's hiring" threads instead.

Details: Changes to TWiR's Job Listings · Issue #3412 · rust-lang/this-week-in-rust · GitHub


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