Moderation policies on job postings

The recent thread about Anduril industries hiring has sparked another round of (the same) users posting OT (first reply) and linking to flame war threads.

I challenge the mod team to explain how that reply is on-topic and what the exact policies are on job posting threads, so that companies can more easily decide whether this forum is worth their time.

My personal impression is that there’s a bias here and certain users get a free pass for their recurring vandalism on job posting threads.


Would you consider any criticism of the employer off topic in the discussion of a job posting?

In this particular case do you think that anyone who would otherwise be interested in the job would be dissuaded by the negative comments?

1 Like

If you allow criticism, you’ll also have to allow hearsay and false information, because there’s no way the mods are going to fact-check all of that.

I think it’s better not to have those in job postings. It really jeopardizes etiquette and creates toxic culture.

I think everyone is free to post their opinions on blog posts. Other people did. This is great.

Heated reddit threads are rarely a source of useful information.

You got something to say? Make a case, inform the community, allow discussion and prepare to be challenged. Flippant comments on job postings are the most low-effort of those.

1 Like

Due to the power imbalance between employer and employee, criticism of companies by former employees pretty much has to be anonymous or vague.

1 Like

I think the Haskell community overall has a serious reckoning to make with moderation.

I’ve noticed (and experienced!) moderation on those topics, and my opinion is that by allowing Anduril to post their jobs while removing “off-topic” content is problematic for our community: it drives people away (I know it drove me away!), and sets a tone that we haven’t explicitly chosen.

Just what is “off-topic” when it comes to a job posting about building weapons and war machinery? Can we talk about the context of war? The current wars that are happening and how it might feel to be reading a job ad glorifying these activities?

What should be our rules, as Haskellers, for which jobs we allow here? Have we actually made a concrete decision on that? Do most people here agree that companies affiliated to the military should be able to post jobs? Personally I would like to see a ban, but I may be in the minority. It’s also not particularly black-and-white, as many companies have closer-than-you-would-like affiliations; let alone universities.

Personally, then, I think perhaps we do allow these postings, but we also liberally encourage polite discussion about the broader context of the work and the environment.

As an aside this is one of the great ironies I find in the Haskell ecosystem: We are obsessed with context (monads) and the like in our code, but on the whole we seem mostly reluctant (aside from a few exceptions) to engage in the greater-context discussions in which our work is placed.

Honestly, in my opinion, unless we can begin to do that as a community, we are doomed to irrelevance, as the newer generations see us as completely out of touch and outdated; and I think you can already see this in certain areas of the community, where things look more entrenched rather than more innovative.

I hope as a community we can learn to be innovative on our social engagement, as well as our technical engagement.

For me, in this instance, it would look like thoughtful engagement of the community around what guidelines we would like to set for jobs, and a moderation policy that enables contextual conversations to happen, in a polite and respectful manner, in any thread where it occurs.


What about meat industry? Are you aware of the atrocities committed to animals? Shall we discuss those too?

Or about green tech and how it destroys the environment (oh yeah, it does)?

People feel the need to comment on everything when it becomes controversial enough or a trend (e.g. blockchain).

Raising the bar a little (a new thread instead of a flippant comment on an existing hiring thread) goes a long way and most will probably turn around and leave their half-finished thought at the door. Good.

On this, I don’t have a strong opinion. I think it’s entirely valid if the forum decides to simply not allow any defense contractor job postings. But they have to be clear about their policy.

I really don’t want to discuss that here either. What I’m questioning here is merely the moderation on job postings that are allowed. I think it is not enough.


@hasufell - You ask asbout the meat industry and others; and the answer is - yes, we should definitely discuss this and more as it comes up!

The whole point is we need the to empower the community to engage with each other; and moreover to be a welcoming space where people (all people!) can feel the ability to feel heard, share their thoughts; but do it kindly and with empathy and care.

It’s natural we will disagree; it’s okay. We do not want to be a single homogeneous Haskell-programming entity; we are all multi-faceted dynamic beings whose feelings and thoughts change over a lifetime; let alone over a day (or just before lunch!)

Regarding job posting moderation; ultimately I agree that I think we need clear guidance about how to engage in conversations around jobs, and other topics.

Maybe my feeling at the moment is I don’t mind when different jobs provoke different responses; Tweag’s “100% remote” jobs often provoke “um, but it’s not 100%”; which I think is totally reasonable :smiley: Everyone has to deal with what comes to them; it’s part of being responsible for your own choices and actions; and I see no reason to except Anduril from those responses; as long as they maintain the required kindness and respect.


Not on hiring threads. That is the epitome of OT and derailing. Wild wild west. I know some really like that. But I think we’ve gathered enough evidence that it evokes toxic responses and questionable “information”.

You’re free to create a discourse/slack/IRC channel or whatnot dedicated to such topics (politics, environment, etc.).


Let me say two things:

  1. The broad community should make this call; I realise that’s part of what you intended in this post; but my vote is that certainly hiring threads are the place for discussing the intention of the company and it’s relevance in the community.

  2. Genuinely, I’m wondering what bothers you about kind and considered discussion on hiring threads? We do it on many other threads and it’s completely fine (for the most part; with the thoughtful moderation we so-far receive); what do you feel makes the hiring threads special?

My feeling is that by forcing silence on the hiring threads; it’s implicit endorsement, and is that what “we” want as a Haskell community? It’s certainly not that I want as a person participating; and if it’s what other people think of me for being here, then I would stop participating immediately.


It feels like Discourse and Reddit are both subpar formats for job posts, as instead of aggregating overall opinions about a company and discussing the specific position we get similar broad opinions regurgitated ad nauseum.

Perhaps this warrants a companion website where people get to discuss companies overall (this is a company that produces paperclips, here’s the public poll on whether people think it’s good for the ecosystem, here are key points from both sides) alongside specific positions in said companies (we expect an engineer based in these three countries, 80 hour work weeks, unpaid overtime). The companies would then aggregate positions in one place and form reputations, and the entire job ecosystem should be easy to visualize in one large map.

1 Like

I don’t think that’s the case. The moderators and admins of this Forum make that call.

On another platform, other people make that call.

If the mods decide they want to base their decision on the community opinion, they can do that too.

This thread was not meant to source this community opinion.

This thread is a direct question targeted at the moderation team.


Who would the mods moderate if the broad community disagreed with their approach? While I’m not intending to speak for the moderation team, and I am just a regular community member, I am certain that they are interested in the opinion of the community.

I agree that the actual surveying and assessment should be done by them/the HF, but clearly the community is central.

You could’ve just sent an email or private message, in that case.

Anyway, I think it’s good that the community has this discussion; because I believe our silence and the broad assumption that any community can somehow be “neutral” is, in your words, a serious point of toxicity that needs to be addressed, one way or the other, or the community will continue to degrade and exclude, rather than flourish and bring joy.


I agree that there’s something special about job postings.

From my perspective, the only things that binds us all together, in the amorphous Haskell community, is that we value what makes Haskell special: expression power, productivity, software correctness, etc. I care about those things, and I care that more people are exposed to these ideas. For this to happen, the community needs to grow, and for the community to grow, there needs to be a market for employment.

I want Haskell jobs to be easy to find, and it helps to have special rules about job ads such that offtopic comments aren’t allowed in the same thread. While I have views on what jobs I consider tasteful and distasteful, I am always free to start my own thread to open the discussion.

I might be in a position to hire Haskell programmers in the next 12 months. Not everyone thinks my field of work (algorithmic trading) is a tasteful use of time and resources, and I don’t want to post a job advert if I know it’ll be attached to such discussions.

@silky writes:

I believe our silence and the broad assumption that any community can somehow be “neutral” is, in your words, a serious point of toxicity that needs to be addressed (…)

To me, making job advert a neutral ground isn’t about forcing the community to be neutral; it’s about providing a neutral space for discussions. In the job advert thread, the discussion is “what’s the job?”, and not, “is that job worth doing?”.


Would this really fix the issue? Seems like a good way for the top Google search for “Anduril Haskell” to become a top-level “Dunk on Anduril thread.” Which seems even worse for them than today lol.

I’ve said this before and while I am a mod (r/haskell) I am not representing the mod team here:

Hypothetically, if a company has an jerk in charge, people can let others know.

Hypothetically, if management is an inept clownshow, ex-employees can chime in to warn others off.

If you build military tech for the US govt, people can comment and let others know. Dealing in death is definitely unsavory to some, after all.

Same goes for other unsavory (to some) industries like crypto, adtech, fintech, etc.

Generally, someone saying “I would never work at this place” is a potentially useful signal! Social proof is a thing.

All of the above is relevant discussion on a job posting. And I also don’t think there is discrete enough rule to ban this anyways (even if I thought it should be banned). Drawing the line anywhere is difficult.

For a company with bad PR like Anduril, this all means they get some flak. They can take ownership & treat bad PR as their company’s problem. Which is what it is - not the community’s.


Why would the discussions be bad, if they were done respectfully and kindly?

What I find strange is to want to make certain decisions, but be immune from commentary on those decisions. But receiving that commentary is part of participating in a community, in my view. The only caveat is that the community should be friendly and respectful.

To put it another way; people can post all the jobs they like on their own website; but if they come into our community, they should expect to engage in a discussion.

And my response here is that there is no neutrality; in other words, “neutral” just means “status quo”, and by blocking any other discussion, it becomes impossible to move the status quo; and the status quo always serves only a certain set of people; there’s is no way to build an inclusive community unless it can be dynamic; i.e. changing via kind conversation.


Question: if Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund etc advertised a Haskell job here and the the first post on that thread provided a listing of its most recent “failings”, what would be the reaction to that behaviour?

1 Like

Given what I’ve said above, what do you think would be good way to engage with the poster if that did happen? What could be some ground-rules we could suggest to anyone posting on job ads from anyone here? Is there some reason any company should be exempt? Why would we be afraid of opening up the conversation if we have mutual respect and care for each other? Can we build more of that through careful and thoughtful moderation, guidelines, and tone-setting from each other?


Sure! Absolutely! Let’s do all of that! I may not agree with everyone on such topics, but I will certainly learn something, and who knows, I may come around and be convinced. That’s what I love about discussion – learning things.

Discourse is a discussion platform and I don’t think we should carve out rules that say it can’t be that.


That’s an interesting perspective. I would argue this: the status quo (only on-topic discussions in job adverts) might not be a net negative, as it benefits the Haskell community by making it more approachable for all kinds of employment opportunities. I can see how it’s hard to determine whether this is a net positive or negative for the community though.

1 Like