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  • Who created the 'Raiders of the Lost Downboat' chat room?
  • What is the room currently used for?
  • What was the room used for?
  • Who came up with the name 'Raiders of the Lost Downboat'?
  • Who were the room owners at the creation of the chat room?
  • Who are the room owners of the chat room now?
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  • 1
    You can find a bit of this information by clicking the info button on the room chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/info/3877/…
    – Mark Kirby
    Nov 28 '20 at 14:20
  • @MarkKirby "a bit". Probably someone who knows more about the room can provide info which can be helpful to future visitors (and also easily accessible in future). The main goal of this post is being FAQ style based. That's the primary reason I asked this in meta :) Nov 28 '20 at 14:21
  • I guess only room owners have enough info to answer in a detailed way. Have you been to the room and asked the owners to answer this?
    – Mark Kirby
    Nov 28 '20 at 14:24
  • @MarkKirby I was talking with Zanna and Kulfy.. both of them were not exactly sure who were the initial owners of the room. Nov 28 '20 at 14:26
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    OK I used this method meta.stackexchange.com/questions/277980/who-started-a-chat-room to check the owners posts and it seems the original creator was Mateo based on the messages. chat.stackexchange.com/search?q=owners&user=&room=3877
    – Mark Kirby
    Nov 28 '20 at 14:39
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    There is more than one 'Feeds' account. After some clicking, I found out the correct account. Thanks for sharing the MSE post :) Nov 28 '20 at 14:52
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It seems, as discovered by Mark Kirby, that Mateo created the room (on June 26th 2012), with the purpose of coordinating voting.

Why would one want to coordinate voting? Well, questions with no answers and a negative score are automatically deleted if they have been around for a while. It's evident from the conversation leading up to the creation of the room in Ask Ubuntu General Room (from which is seems that the idea of setting up the room was actually jokerdino's) and the second day of the room's transcript that causing unanswered, low quality questions to be deleted by downvoting them was one of the room's purposes. The chat in AUGR also gives the original name, which was Crusaders of the Lost Downboat.

Mateo was the only owner of the room at the time of creation, but promptly made jrg an owner so that he could add a feed. But jrg was a moderator at the time so he did not need to be a room owner to do that and Mateo removed him as an owner. jrg made jokerdino a room owner on July 10th 2012. jokerdino was not a moderator at the time; he was elected in 2013. Eliah Kagan was made a room owner on July 12th 2012 by Mateo, who also added ish to the list of owners on August 5th 2012.

The room was frozen for inactivity on October 2nd 2012 (just a few months after being created).

The room was unfrozen on October 5th 2016 by jokerdino, so that he, Anwar and I, and anyone else interested, could use it for a project for which we had previously been using the Ubuntu Regulators room, which had been used for moderation purposes (it was created on 10th October 2010). Some users wanted to use that room for another purpose than our project, so we vacated it. At that time, I expressed concern about the word 'crusaders' and jokerdino changed that word to 'raiders'. That's how the room got its current name. jokerdino added Anwar and myself (neither of us were moderators at the time) as room owners when it was unfrozen in 2016.

The room was used for the query project and, increasingly, for general moderation* purposes, as today. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the current uses of the room in no particular order:

  • Discussing how to improve posts or their situation. What should we do with this post?
  • Discussing all other matters of moderation policy (anything that would be on topic on meta).
  • Asking or explaining how site features work and do not work (anything that would be on topic on meta).
  • Pointing out good, underappreciated posts that deserve upvotes.
  • Asking for duplicate targets for questions (because you know it must be a dupe but you can't find a good one).
  • Identifying questions that can be answered based on the comments, and encouraging commenters to answer or posting community wiki answers based on those comments and upvoting them.
  • Sharing posts that should not be closed so others can vote to leave them open.
  • Sharing posts that should be closed so others can vote to close them.
  • Sharing posts that should be reopened so others can vote to reopen them.
  • Sharing posts that should be deleted so others can downvote or vote to delete them.
  • Identifying and salvaging and/or undeleting wrongly deleted posts (by voting to undelete or flagging for moderator attention).
  • Sharing posts that should be flagged so others can flag them (Smoke Detector is most active in this particular field).
  • Interacting with Bhargav Rao's bot Natty, which finds possible not-an-answer posts.
  • Moderating review queues (checking that they are being used properly).

On 25th June 2020, jokerdino added Kulfy, who had long been a highly active participant in the room, to the list of the room's owners.

The list of room owners is public. Nobody except jrg has ever been removed as an owner so the owners are Mateo, jokerdino, Eliah Kagan, izx (ish), Anwar, Zanna and Kulfy.


* "Moderation" is meant in the broad sense of community moderation, which includes voting, editing, flagging, commenting, closing, reopening, deleting, undeleting, determining policy etc, not specifically the activity of diamond mods. Raiders of the Lost Downboat has no access restrictions. All users are welcome to participate, to visit and ask for help on moderation issues there.

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  • wouldn't that original purpose be considered a "voting ring" and therefore abusive behavior ? Dec 11 '20 at 7:58
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    @RobertRiedl It's definitely a grayer area. Generally voting rings are used to artificially inflate reputation (common) or target someone with harassment (less common). This, on the other hand, is using a few votes (often no more than 1 or 2) to help remove a narrowly defined subset of abandoned questions from the site (age >30 days, no answers, <=-1 score). You can see why it's not necessarily viewed negatively. That said, anyone that casts a vote on one of these questions is still held accountable to that vote, it's not without any oversight.
    – Seth
    Dec 11 '20 at 10:11
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    @RobertRiedl I believe the situation is partially similar to Stack Overflow Close Vote Reviewers chat room, in which the community can suggest some questions on SO to be voted, but not force anyone else to vote.
    – Andrew T.
    Dec 11 '20 at 12:07

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