I won't beat the bush here: for cognizance of the community, I would briefly state all the recent events that unfolded over the past week or so. And then (my personal opinion) there would be a message for the community.
What is happening?
The menace of AI-generated content is not a new thing. But how they were and would be handled is the bone of contention.
SE Inc. claimed (albeit without bothering to show the exact figures, methodologies and analyses):
We recently performed a set of analyses on the current approach to AI-generated content moderation. The conclusions of these analyses strongly indicate to us that AI-generated content is not being properly identified across the network, and that the potential for false-positives is very high.
Then they rather blatantly imposed on the moderators new policy to handle suspension emanating from such posts and dictated:
require[ing] an immediate cessation of issuing suspensions for AI-generated content and to stop moderating AI-generated content on that basis alone, affording only one exceptionally rare case in which it was permissible to delete or suspend for AI content.
Why did Mods go to strike?
As has been conspicuous in the actions taken by SE, of late, this time too it was marred by poor interaction with the stakeholders and rather stern standing against any form of constructive feedbacks.
The new policy overrode established community consensus and previous CM support, was not discussed with any community members, was presented misleadingly to moderators and then even more misleadingly in public, and is based on unsubstantiated claims derived from unreviewed and unreviewable data analysis. [...] There has been a lack of communication with moderators and a lack of communication with the community. When communication happened, it was one-sided, with Stack Exchange, Inc. being unwilling to receive critical feedback.
As of today, June 5th, 2023, a large number of moderators, curators, contributors, and users from around Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network are initiating a general moderation strike. This strike is in protest of recent and upcoming changes to policy and the platform that are being performed by Stack Exchange, Inc.
Moderators are a vital cog in the machine. They countered the allegation made:
The decision to delete content or suspend users is always taken seriously, and experienced SE moderators are not foolish enough to rely blindly on ... any automated tool, really. Just like we don't automatically suspend everyone who shows up in "suspicious votes" tools, we don't automatically delete every post that automatic GPT detector tools claim is AI-generated, nor suspend every such poster.
Just one tool saying one answer is AI is not enough to get a suspension. Moderators look for various heuristics, including posting patterns, answer speed, writing style, and others, in order to identify AI-generated content. This can include checking an automated detector, but this is not a primary method used, due to the false positive rate. While any one method can be unreliable, when an answer matches multiple heuristics, moderators can be relatively confident that the post is indeed AI-generated.
As Sycorax - On Strike aptly asserted:
The change in policy is poorly justified and communicated (and SE employees have said contradictory things in different channels in the past week), but the worse part of it is that SE is ordering us, as elected moderators, unilaterally on how to do our volunteer work. We were elected to apply our best judgment to maintain & improve our sites, using donated time and expertise, but SE Inc has decided that they Know Best, Actually (™️)... for secret reasons.
In solidarity with the mods
The recent rule imposition is an antithesis of what SE stands for. Our long goal is to nurture a high-quality repository of no-nonsense q&a. Botched implementation of such half baked rules and diktats would be nothing but an hindrance with respect to the spirit of SE with the pretext of attracting new users (which is also important but not in the name of loosening moderation over GPT generated garbage).
So, I urge the community to sign this open letter - yes, even users without diamonds can do that too - and show solidarity with our moderators. We are proud two of our moderators have signed in the letter (Sycorax - On Strike ♦, Scortchi - Reinstate Monica ♦).
As the letter suggests:
Even if you are not a moderator you can participate in the strike by:
$\bullet$ Not voting on posts
$\bullet$ Not submitting edits
$\bullet$ Not reviewing in the review queues
$\bullet $ Not commenting
$\bullet$ Not flagging posts
without resorting to any form of vandalism or other destructive tactics.
I would like to quote Scortchi - Reinstate Monica:
These rights hardly amount to democracy; but they do amount to the difference between enlightened despotism & mere despotism, between governance through promulgated standing laws & through extemporary arbitrary decrees.
All are welcome to act according to their own will - they can agree without even adhering to the suggestions altogether.
Update as of $26$th of June: link.