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There was a lull in the negotiations, for various innocuous reasons that are not relevant. But on 20th July 2023, the following update was posted to Discord by negotiator Mithical, and reposted at the meta.StackExchange thread.


Negotiation update: Due to a combination of factors, including several people involved on both sides of the table being less available lately for varying reasons and at least one apparent miscommunication, progress has been definitely slower over the past couple of weeks. However, we have made progress.
Some of the issues called out above [DR: see the previous update post] as not having been resolved have now been figured out, to a certain degree, such as:

Issue: Stack Exchange, Inc. made inappropriate comments to the press.
Result: Apparently, the statements sent out in Philippe's name did not undergo his approval and were put together by a PR team. In light of that, Stack Exchange, Inc. will commit to having at least one member of the Community Management Team approve any press comments that involve moderation. Stack Exchange, Inc. will also commit to only speaking about moderation and mods in the most general of terms and not comment on specifics; this would, for instance, preclude comments stating that the reason that the mods were on strike is because of AI detector tools.

Issue: There is no recourse if Stack Exchange, Inc. breaks the Moderator Agreement.
Result: Stack Exchange, Inc. will commit to issuing an apology to Meta.SE and retracting any actions taken that were found to have broken the Agreement, as determined by a consensus of moderators. Currently, that consensus would require at least 20% of Stack Exchange network moderators to vote on whether or not the Agreement was violated, with at least 90% of respondents agreeing that it was violated. Additional tooling for this process will be developed, and these numbers aren't quite finalized.
Both of these changes will be enshrined in the Mod Agreement and will be subejct to the standard feedback and review process for changing the Agreement.

Issue: Stack Exchange, Inc. is still insisting on having binding, private guidance.
Result: Stack Exchange, Inc. is apparently willing to commit to not having private binding guidance that would result in actions being taken on user accounts (such as mandating declining flags) without a public policy to back it up. This would allow for private binding policies that are only applicable in moderator spaces or do not otherwise impact non-moderator users.
The Team for determining heuristics for AI-generated content has now been set up. Moderators and AI Domination users can find information on how to receive an invite to the Team pinned in the Teachers' Lounge and the AI Domination chatrooms.
We are now discussing the issue of major software changes to the platform being made without the community's input, and waiting for Stack to announce some of the agreements we've reached. Once the public announcements have been made from Stack's side, we'll post an update to Meta.SE with all of the results of negotiations.

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    $\begingroup$ "AI Domination users"? $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Jul 25, 2023 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ AI Domination is a private chat room attached to StackOverflow which is for people dealing with generativeAI stuff: chat.stackoverflow.com/rooms/250149/ai-domination $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jul 25, 2023 at 6:59
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    $\begingroup$ "with at least 90% of respondents agreeing that it was violated" - this looks like a very high percentage to attain, in my opinion. No real-world democracy has anything similar. Could this be a mistype? $\endgroup$
    – Alex M.
    Jul 25, 2023 at 8:41
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexM. It's not a mistype. $\endgroup$
    – wizzwizz4
    Jul 25, 2023 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ While not strictly about the strike, StackOverflow has now published the formerly-private rules about moderation of suspected AI-generated content that set off the strike: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/391626/… $\endgroup$
    – user44191
    Jul 26, 2023 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexM. I suspect that percentage is to compensate for the selection bias of people coming to the vote, more likely than not unhappy with the company. This quota was negotiated, so the strike reps must have not been too unhappy with the rationale. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jul 27, 2023 at 1:39
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    $\begingroup$ @user44191 thanks! The details there should be given more light: mods couldn't take action on any AI-generated post unless the user voluntarily and freely admitted it was AI-generated, and should decline flags by users on the same. And weren't allowed to explain why flags were declined etc, since this ruling was for mod-eyes only. $\endgroup$
    – David Roberts Mod
    Jul 27, 2023 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexM.: “No real-world democracy has anything similar” — absolutely agreed that 90% in e.g. an election or a major policy referendum is very rare; but that’s because issues with such a clear public consensus don’t need to go to referendum. Opinion polls on non-partisan, non-controversial topics show results like 90% all the time. $\endgroup$ Jul 28, 2023 at 14:32

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