If your community is having a discussion on a topic, such as whether to have a code of conduct and which one to adopt, how can you prevent external groups unrelated to the community, such as GamerGate, from joining the discussion and making the discussion far more voluminous and unproductive than it needs to be?

We could try asking the external group to change its behaviour. I don't think that's likely to be effective. I suppose we could start banning anonymous accounts and/or new accounts from that discussion, though it doesn't seem very appealing.

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    Where are you conducting this discussion? It sounds like anonymous participation is allowed; do you place any limits on that? Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 2:15
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    Devil's advocate: Is it necessary that you exclude these view points? Are they legitimate, but contrary to what you expect or are they completely unwelcome posts (trolling, etc)?
    – Andy
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 14:50
  • @Andy the posts were definitely expressing an opinion on the proposal, but I don't want to prevent them from being posted solely because of what their opinion was. Hence my description of it as "voluminous and unproductive" as opposed to "misogynistic and transphobic". Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 21:04
  • consider editing to clarify whether you want these issues to be dealt with by apponted / elected moderators or by community members
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 21:34
  • As background, I'm not a moderator in this community, but just want to know what could have been done differently in a recent incident. Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 21:48

1 Answer 1


Restrict some threads to only users who've passed a series of your hurdles.

Sometimes you want to make sure they have "skin in the game", and their reputation matters.

Here's a few common hurdles that may make sense for your vetted users thread:

  1. Must have a verified email address
  2. Must be over X days old (30,45,60?)
  3. Must link account with facebook
  4. Must have a minimum number of posts others have voted as positive

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