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EA Forum FAQ

What is effective altruism?

Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that applies evidence and reason to determine the most effective ways to improve the world. (See Wikipedia) This forum brings together people who want to change the world, to make plans and share announcements.

What are the standards of discussion on the forum?

Effective altruism is a joint effort. To allow collaboration and constructive sharing of ideas, we expect a basic level of politeness from users. Spam, abuse and materials advocating major harm or illegal activities are deleted. Participants who are  unnecessarily rude or offensive will usually receive feedback from the moderating team.

Advertisements (including job ads) are similarly unwelcome. Exceptions for discussing new positions at EA organizations may be allowed if they are primarily intended to inform the community about a change in strategy or emphasis by a major EA organization.

One heuristic is that posts are appropriate if they would be of interest to the EA community as a whole including community members who have no intention to take advantage of the specific opportunity being discussed.

Among the various avenues for discussing thoughts on EA, the EA Forum is the place for presenting long-form thoughtful articles. If you want to share some short-form content or spontaneous ideas, consider posting in the Facebook groups Effective Altruism or EA Hangout instead. The Facebook group EA Hangout is also the appropriate place for discussing personal matters which are related to EA, as the EA Forum is not a good place for these.

If you are uncertain whether your post is appropriate for the EA Forum or whether it is better posted elsewhere, you can ask the moderating team at forum@effectivealtruism.org.

Who are the forum moderators?

Currently (as of May 2018), it's Denise Melchin, Howie Lempel, and Julia Wise, using the email address forum@effectivealtruism.org. 

What is karma?

When you vote articles up and down, you give the users karma. The karma is equal to the number of upvotes minus the downvotes, and by default, the higher rated posts are more visible. The karma is the number shown next to each post or above each comment. 

You need five karma to post an article, though you don’t need any karma to comment on articles or open threads, or to vote.

When you look at your karma on the all-time leaderboard, the karma from your articles is weighted ten times more strongly than your comments.

How can I provide more information about myself, such as my philanthropic interests and further links?

You can add an icon that links to your EA Profile by your username when you comment or post, so readers can see who you are and find out more about you. The icons linking to Profiles on the Forum will look like this: .

To add your Profile, log in, then click Preferences at the top right of the EA Forum:

Then fill in EA Profiles Link at the bottom of the page:

If you can’t find your profile, find it in this alphabetical list, or sign up at the Effective Altruism Hub if you need to create a new one.

How can I follow recent comments?

Visit www.effective-altruism.com/comments.

Is there an RSS feed?

Yes, it's at www.effective-altruism.com/.rss. Every post also has its own RSS feed, ending with .rss, including this one.

Can you change your user name?

Not currently, though you can of course make a new account.

How can I contribute to the forum’s code?

Using the GitHub repository.

Where can I report bugs and issues with the forum software?

At our issues page on GitHub.

What are some other places to discuss effective altruism?

The EA Facebook group is the other main public forum. It tends to have briefer, more-frequent posts, and a higher proportion of people new to effective altruism.

Comments (5)

Comment author: cubup 20 November 2017 11:00:37PM 0 points [-]

How many users does this website have?

Comment author: adamaero  (EA Profile) 08 November 2017 04:31:06PM 2 points [-]
Comment author: Julia_Wise  (EA Profile) 14 November 2017 06:52:02PM 2 points [-]

Sorry it's not working for you! Does it not have a "comment" button that's clickable, or do you click it and nothing happens?

Comment author: saraedward 30 January 2017 09:43:17AM -3 points [-]

ok

Comment author: RandomEA 08 August 2016 12:18:29PM 7 points [-]

How many users does this website have? The effective altruism subreddit now has 1,000 subscribers, and I'm wondering how this website compares.