Move to Reddit + automod rules

Here I sit, ready to post here for the first time in nearly six months.
First I need to know, why do I now need approval to post? I posted in another thread and was notified I need mod approval.
Will someone inform me, before I try making further posts? Jim
@Sugarhouse. @Wintermoon

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We have an automod rule around low activity accounts, so I’m assuming yours fell into that. It looks like you’re good to go now.

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What is the rationale behind the automod doing this? This forum seems to have slowed down considerably since I joined early last year, and I’m worried that there are impediments which might be causing the decline. I appreciate any moderation nonetheless though.

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My biggest concern is the long term patients who come back to report on progress but are discouraged because of this automod rule.
We might be missing out big time on stories of hope and tips for improvement/coping.

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Propecia help was once the hive of activity.

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I second this on the automod rule. When I received the mod notification, I thought I was being singled out for some reason lol. Moderation is definitely needed but I think some users may have misinterpreted the automod rule to mean their accounts specifically are being monitored.

@JimWildman thanks for bringing this up good sir

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There’s a few reasons, the first being that we’ve gradually shifted to the R/FinasterideSyndrome subreddit and we’ve encouraged patients to follow. The way these type of forums are setup just isn’t a good fit for community management in 2024. That subreddit is far more active than here, which is positive to see.

The second reason is we don’t have the manpower to moderate this forum and the Reddit, so we focus our attention there.

The third reason is that some patients seemed to have a very difficult time adapting to rules we put in place after the launch of PFS Network and our first two scientific studies. We spoke about them here: Changes to propeciahelp towards a more effective patient advocacy: Please read this important post about changes to our terms of service

Despite efforts to legitimise this issue, many patients seem more interested with the same behaviour that left us in a death spiral for 20 years (e.g. chasing short-term solutions, posting flavour of the month theories). Since patients were able to sign up and say whatever they wanted, which was a huge drain on moderator resources, we decided to put the automod in place.

I know this isn’t what every patient wants to hear and some patients find value in this forum rather than Reddit. The reality is that space is far better equipped to deal with the community discussion which used to take place here. Propeciahelp will continue to exist and serves as a valuable resource for patients, clinicians and researchers, which is why we decided not to mothball it and actually spent our own money on new server infrastructure last year.

I hope that answers your question.

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I didn’t mean to stir up a hornet’s nest, @Sugarhouse. I did not realize attention was being shifted to a reddit group, and I read all that’s posted here daily.
Could you provide a link to the subreddit you discussed? (If it’s been posted previously let me know and I’ll send a mea culpa!)
Jim
EDIT TO ADD:
This seems to be the reddit site for those interested:

https://www.reddit.com/r/FinasterideSyndrome/about/

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It’s not a problem!

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I have to second what Jim says. I was completely oblivious to any of this, including this defacto move to reddit. I’m just a bit incredulous to be honest that it was never explicitly mentioned to all those here as to the intent of both this forum going forward and the moves to the reddit community. I don’t think that this apparent opaqueness of intent is a good thing and unnecessarily leaves those who are genuinely invested out the loop, although of course I am forever indebted to all the work that you do.

Again, like Jim, I’m a regular visitor and don’t remember any mention of this, but at the same time my memory isn’t that great so apologies if it has been mentioned before.

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To clarify, I think a complete ‘move to reddit’ is an overstatement. If we would have wanted to abandon this forum altogether we would have made the announcement for everyone to go to the reddit for sure, but there are also qualities to this website that made us decide to invest in the servers and keep it going during a time when we felt technical difficulties might have been a good reason to let it go. We also know some people still prefer this forum over Reddit, and although the reddit is more populous it shouldn’t discourage people from using this platform, because I do think that being a more ‘exclusive space’ in a way (in the sense that there is less traffic with people from other ‘subreddits’) has its own perks.

I think what Mitch meant to say is that over time, as new patients are unfortunately still tumbling into this situation, reddit has more traffic because reddit is simply the place where most people look first these days. It’s really only natural that the reddit community is growing faster, so it’s also only natural for us to have to focus our efforts there more.

Because we are indeed a relatively small team, the automatic modding tools are not out of laziness. It’s been a huge help because it’s almost always accurate. It also makes sure that some problems are solved before they become larger by attracting negative attention before we are able to step in, which saves a lot of patients a lot of frustrations.
So even though it may seem like the forum is less active, that’s also simply due to there being ‘less trouble’ to be honest.
The automatic mod does make mistakes on a rare occasion, which we will go out of our way to fix when it happens. Rest assured, the vast majority of actions the auto-mod takes are recorded and we are notified of them so we do check regularly if mistakes happen and correct them, but sometimes some time passes before we get to it. There’s also no problem in asking questions or pointing stuff out to us, so please don’t hesitate to ask us when you are confused about something.

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I think the low activity reflects the reality of the situation. Fact is, until the studies tell us something we don’t know there’s not much to say other than venting. And platitudes if that’s your thing. When you turn down the volume on the nonsense it gets real quiet.

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Out of nowhere, today @Greek liked a post I made nearly two years ago! I had to read that old post, #53 in this journal if you’re interested, to see what I had written.

I read that post and felt like another person had penned it. Written so much better than I feel capable of nowadays.

I continued reading the follow-up posts and reached that dreadful day a month later when I tried self-euthanasia. (Still can’t say the “s” word.) The words of encouragement that followed warm my heart even today.

I am saddened that so many guys who were there for me then, no longer post here. Have they given up? Moved to the reddit? Who knows?

I admit I’ve been absent as a poster, as well. Only a few posts on my own journal in the past year! I do check the posts here daily. Many times I don’t feel qualified to jump in on a conversation.

I did look over the reddit group, but don’t know if I’d fit in there. I like the comraderie of the group here. I pray the forum isn’t closed someday.

I’ll try to post more frequently, especially on my journal. I need to update my condition, at least.

Thanks to moderators for keeping this going. Better health to all! Jim

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Hey Jim, you are welcome in the reddit. It’s the same guys as are here in at least some of the cases. But keep posting wherever you are happiest.

On your post, I think in the depths of despair, it’s hard to imagine anything else. It happens even to me, someone who actively tries to find the positives.

I think the reason to look at your post is to say that a good day is possible.

I hope you get a great one soon!

The forum being quieter is undoubtedly a thing. If you love it, use it, I guess. The thing that this will work best with is if people work out what they want to talk about, what they want to get out of it. To some degree the forum will become what the people who post want it to become.

If you want to build some friendships and relationships, I’m sure some other people would like to do the same.

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Sorry for any confusion about my previous post. We are absolutely not shutting down propeciahelp. As @Wintermoon says though, most new patients are winding up at the reddit, so it’s naturally morphed into the place most people congregate. I apologise if we haven’t explicitly signposted people to that.

We’d love for the forum to be as active as it once was, but for the reasons stated in the post I linked above, we aren’t willing to just allow people to show up and say whatever they want. That behaviour got us nowhere for 20 years and I do think there is some correlation in that since we started enforcing those rules, there is a noticeable shift in community discourse towards many people vocally supporting scientific research. For years that was not the case.

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As a long-term user, the progress has been greater in recent times, with more studies and efforts originating recently. It is great to see the work of @Sugarhouse and others. The legendary @awor and others built the foundations.

The change in direction has been positive. (It seems that the agitators are desperate to keep us all stuck with this condition.)

Personally I was also unaware that a Reddit has sprung up. It’s useful to know and I’ll be taking a read there, also.

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Thank you so much for such a detailed reply. I had no idea that the moderating team behind PropeciaHelp also had a hand in the subreddit; I had incorrectly assumed that they were two separate entities. Knowning that, it makes perfect sense to focus current efforts where most people now flock.

I agree that the majority of traffic on the internet regarding PFS now takes place on reddit, and from what I could gather, that is also true for communities around PSSD and other post-drug or compound syndromes. On the otherhand, extant communities outside of reddit seem to be somewhat archival in nature – more of a repository of testimony and peer support from a dedicated core than a growing body of membership and activity (whilst posting here has slowed or stagnated down since I crashed last spring, the PFS subreddit went from 2k to almost 3k memebers in less than a year).

Nonetheless, PropeciaHelp, to me at least, is something like a monolithic library, where the frequent posters are like storied custodians who walk amongst a vast trove of data and make sure to stoke the fires which warm the building. There really is nothing like this site. Even though there’s more activity on the subreddit, it feels… frenetic and free-form somehow, which is probably how this forum felt during its peak before research started to stand on solid, empirical findings. The commentator base on reddit also seems much younger, which itself contributes to a feeling of it’s nascency. That also is its strength when you factor in the PFS veterans dotting the forum and running the show behind the moderator curtain.

I’d encourage the frequent fliers here to check out the subreddit! I’m “smol_sick_bean” in case anyone wants to chat.

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@Sugarhouse. I wonder if it might be advantageous to the group to split off the last 15 posts or so, creating a separate post maybe titled “Info on Reddit group and also automod use” or similar.

The info in these posts will get much wider audience then, compared to the few who will look here in the future.

Just an idea, not rocking the boat… Jim

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That’s a good idea. Will do that now.

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What is the rational behind blocking off users who return after inactivity?

We might be missing out on encouraging stories/info or ways of coping.

These might be from older members who aren’t familiar with reddit. For instance, I am 32, and rarely ever use reddit. Even though I do not consider myself old.
In addition it’s a lot more credible if these experiences are posted by members who’ve made their accounts years ago, instead of some random Reddit user who never posted on Reddit about PFS before.

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