Decentralized community moderation

Hello all,

Today on the @ergoplatform Telegram channel I posted several messages that conveyed an offer to create/admin a price discussion channel for Ergo, if needed. In my opinion the messages were not off-topic nor were they my first act of participation in channel discussion. However, my messages were deleted and reported to Telegram as spam. For posterity I will mention that the latter act applied a mute to my account for not just @ergoplatform channel but also every other Telegram channel.

I have already cried all of the tears I can spare for this injustice so hold your consolation letters :wink:

I only introduce the anecdote rhetorically to demonstrate that the current platform used for most community discussion provides a mechanism to apply a chilling effect to arbitrary subjects with no transparency.

Of course this is essentially the nature of centralized moderation. Ergo (:stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:), is there such a thing as decentralized community moderation?

I do not know of proven schemes but here are two simple starting points for community self-moderation:

1.) Moderation by majority consensus of the active participants.
e.g. Of the 5 people that posted messages in the last hour, 3/5 of their votes are necessary to delete a message. A supporting notion is a settlement or bake-in period, to prevent “rewriting history.”

2.) A reputation system to track aggregate perceived message value. Increasing reputation grants a graduated series of moderation permissions. Some supporting notions are a.) a natural decay factor to clawback permissions upon account inactivity, and b.) a cap on the number of accounts that can have certain permissions at once. This could generate a “line of succession” for certain permissions which would also help to ensure someone in the community always has them (by allowing them to be surrendered responsibly and effortlessly, having known successors in place).

A reputation system could be implemented using NFTs, and the first idea could be integrated within the second if e.g. the ability to vote on message deletion is a permission granted by accumulated reputation.

For what it’s worth I have decided to retract my offer to admin a Telegram channel (lol) but I am interested in any feedback or other ideas on the topic of decentralized community moderation.


Thank you for reporting and sorry to hear,

1.) Admins don`t speak with each about what they are doing and there are about 11 of them, i think i know only a few at the same time so may be hard to do. No rules, only individual choices.

2.) Sounds interesting, however, it may be a pretty heavy task with all activity happening on Telegram

There are two channels created by the community for price discussion as far i can see, not used so far:

Hi Martin,

Thank you for your reply.

No worries about the admin’s actions or the issue of the trading channel. The anecdote was just intended as some rhetoric to establish that the idea of decentralized community moderation is relevant to this community. Perhaps I should have left it out to be more concise.

In my opinion Ergo’s Telegram channel seems to be healthy. Nevertheless I have seen the impacts on communities when moderator’s motivations fall out of alignment with the dominant community factions (for crypto-space examples see r/bitcoin or Cardano’s unofficial “troll box” Telegram channel). It does seem that forums (including Telegram groups) are currently overlooked as benefiting from decentralization of control.

If anybody has some time in the next few weeks for elaboration on what I have above sketched out above regarding a reputation scheme, or wishes to provide critical feedback, I am interested in having an open-ended discussion about it and related ideas, as happens elsewhere on this forum.

Baseless opinions are also welcome lol, I would just like to hear some other thoughts before I start work on a toy implementation.

Sometimes there are obvious pitfalls that are nonetheless easy to fall in when coming from a certain perspective.


@runic Sad to hear that your messages got removed. I’ve checked actions history and found some absolutely legit messages being removed. Revoked admin rights from a guy who did that.

I agree that better transparency is needed, and not about community moderation only. Current team is overbusy with other things currently it seems.

So if you can help, we can start with you being an admin in the TG group ) Also, maybe you can help EF with transparency initiatives?


@kushti Sure, I would be glad to help with admin/transparency initiatives, and maybe other things too. Feel free to reach out whenever is convenient.

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