KA Hearth

A small blog where Matthias posted thoughts on things happening around Khan Academy. (Archived) About Me

View the Project on GitHub

The Events of September 22nd (or "The 3 hours I was banned")

A lot happened on September 22nd. It is here arranged chronologically.

  1. Legolas posted an article to the community help center. In summary, it called for
    • More transparency after Guardian actions (e.g. messaging banned people why they were banned)
    • More consistency around Guardian action
    • More appropriate disciplinary actions following breaking the rules (e.g. not hiding all programs after discussion infringements)
  2. I posted a follow-up comment. It included:
  3. Legolas’s comment and my comment were edited to remove information about people’s bans.
    • Apparently moderators in the Help Center can edit comments
    • The original comments I saved here.
    • Legolas’s comment was edited to remove any reference to #1 Base 12 Proponent and Isaac Emerald.
    • The list of users, as well as the reference to UTD were removed from my comment
    • Faile Lundberg, the Community Liaison, commented. Some excerpts:
      • “Several posts…mention specific users…in connection with banning actions,…which violates our Community Guidelines”
      • “We’re actively considering how we can incorporate your feedback.”
      • “a link to information about our Ban Appeal form,”
  4. I was banned from Khan Academy, and all programs over 30 votes were hidden. (~5:30 PM EDT)
    • Terra Magma was removed from the top-list
    • I did not receive a guardian message or any communication indicating why this would be
  5. Photonic Symmetry posted a comment pointing the irony of banning me while we attempted to discuss unfair bans
  6. Faile Lundberg reached out to me, both on Zendesk and with a Guardian message to clarify the reason for my ban. (8:39 PM EDT)

    I worked with our Guardians to look at what prompted the recent ban on your account, and it looks like it was due to a link in the comments of one of your programs that advertised off-site content (it was removed by moderation yesterday).

    This was a minor offense and you haven’t had any interactions with the Guardians in a year, so I don’t think a ban was warranted, and we’ve reversed it.

    • I had indeed posted some comments with offsite links that showed up on the first page of my discussion history, and that is indeed in violation of KA’s rules
    • However, it is difficult to believe that it is a coincidence that this wasn’t an issue until now, and is now ban worthy.
    • Faile Lundberg did indeed un-ban me, and unhid all my programs.
      • This is possibly the first time KA has unbanned and unhid a user’s programs, proving that it is possible
      • Most of my programs are now marked as Guardian approved, which is interesting
    • I, of course, thanked her, and mentioned that there were many KA users in a very similar position to me who had not been banned
  7. Faile Lundberg posted another comment on the main thread, stating that “I’ll be bringing the concerns you’ve raised…to the team”

And we waited.

A couple days ago, October 12th, Faile Lundberg commented again on the thread, posting their resolution. In short, it was a commitment to better train Guardians to moderate and communicate more clearly and consistently. Additionally, she mentions that guardian applications have been re-opened.

Concerns were raised. Legolas in particular describes the community’s feelings well, when he says,

I think my first two points were addressed quite well.

However, I was wondering if the team happens to have any response about my third point, which is assigning more appropriate disciplinary actions to bans

How KA further responds or implements what they’ve promised, remains to be seen.