In this specific instance I am against moderators unilaterally handing out sanctions for perceived1 ChatGPT usage2.
In this instance I am also against the use of a strike to achieve the end-goal.
But First ... I am not pro ChatGPT answers
Do not misconstrue this as pro-ChatGPT answers. I remain in favour of the current ban and my words here should not be misunderstood to disagree with it. Users posting many ChatGPT answers should be banned.. However moderators are not the right way to handle the scourge of AI content.
Leaving moderators to go toe to toe with bots will only end badly including, ironically, moderator burn out.
Moderators are good at moderating the humans. Let SE themselves work on stopping the bots4, because bots are best stopped by technology not humans.
Only Confirmation Bias says you're good at determining this
I've been seeing "ChatGPT hallucinations" in people's posts for the last 10 years! This includes made up quotes linking to non-existent articles... Only ChatGPT hasn't been around for 10 years and users are capable of generating bad content in the most weird forms.
I know that you may have seen many posts which look certainly like ChatGPT output. The problem is that there's no direct feedback on whether you're getting it wrong or right. So you're going to be at serious risk of extreme conformation bias.
Even if you are personally good at making this judgement call, kindly remember how large SE is and consider the fact that SE has no means to test your personal ability on this topic.
High risk racial bias
Unfortunately people are so bad at this that their practical assessment is likely to expose a significant unconscious racial bias.
Make no mistake, this is not about people from some countries having "bad English". That's not remotely what I'm discussing and would actually be quite racist of me to suggest! The reality is much more nuanced than that. Common English teaching in different countries varies producing markedly different styles, some more formal than others. Where someone learns English can easily influence the extent to which their language is perceived as "perfect English".
In the days since the ban was declared, I've personally become increasingly disheartened with the resulting witch hunt that has ensued. It is absolutely counter cultural to SE. Too many times I've seen accusations of ChatGPT where those accusations were based on use of English. Command of the English language is isn't generally an indicator for ChatGPT both positive or negative!
What catches a serial ChatGPT user?
SE are not opening the door to every ChatGPT bot. There are other ways to detect it's usage that is much better than moderator intervention.
The best information for catching such users is actually buried in information that is not available to moderators. This might include such features as
- the timing and evolution of saved drafts while forming answers
- the click through time between first viewing a question through to posting fully formed answers complete with citations
- cross SE answer rate
There are also multiple sources of information that moderators might have access to, but can be simply applied programmatically:
SE do not need moderators to detect AI content!
ChatGPT is an AI model designed to be very good at authoring content3. It is not remotely helpful with mimicking human behaviour.
Should there be a flagging process?
Probably yes. But it's unclear what precisely could be done with those flags, other than letting them accumulate and try to spot a pattern across separate SE sites. For reasons mentioned above these flags are likely to involve a high degree of false-positives and possibly be racially biased.
There is no point in showing SE what the effect of this policy will be
The logic here doesn't stack up. SE will find out the effect of this policy in good time when it goes into force and the real life effects can be seen.
Strike action here actually does nothing but throw toys out of the pram.
The effect of this strike will not even be a fair demonstration of the effect of SE's policy.
Moderators are not the community
A strike here can only be action by moderators, it cannot be action taken by the community. Forgive my directness but in other corners of SO I've already encountered moderators who think they are entitled to dictate to the community at large. That's not the order of how stack exchange is built.
I empathise with the fact that moderators have genuine concerns and feel let down over this. I also see there is some good community support for the view point. But a strike here will hurt many who have not taken an interest in this particular topic.
Historically strikes turn those hurt most against the cause. What I fear most here is a level of toxicity building between the moderators and the community. There will inevitably be many who feel that moderators should either do their best to fulfil their role or otherwise move out of the way for someone else who will.
In short nuclear options always have massive collateral damage and invariably unintended consequences. I'd urge you to reconsider your approach.
1"perceived" here meaning the conclusion was made from the content of the post, or the behaviour of the user without conclusive proof such as a signed confession.
2I am also against handing out sanctions where the poster has explicitly stated their ChatGPT usage because honesty should not be penalised and such error is better dealt with by politely informing the offender of the rules.
3I deliberately make no comment here about it's success
4Bot or part-bot. Ctrl-c Ctrl-v on repeat is largely the same problem as a bot.