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Secretariat's Council (MEMBERS ANNOUNCED)

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Wrapper
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Secretariat's Council (MEMBERS ANNOUNCED)

Postby Wrapper » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:54 am

UPDATE 10/23/16:

Thank you all for your input! The following players have been appointed to the council:

Bears Armed
Christian Democrats
Glen-Rhodes
Sciongrad
Separatist Peoples
Sierra Lyricalia


WA Players have long expressed a desire for greater involvement in determining the direction of the World Assembly; meanwhile, we have been struggling for some time to deal with the volume of requests for legality rulings. The previous approach of attempting to recruit new Moderators has not worked; the increasing complexity and activity of the GA requires a number of people able to offer experience and long-term activity. While the community has a number of people who would be excellent at handling legality rulings, they do not necessarily meet the other requirements for being a Moderator in sufficient numbers.

To this end, the Moderation team is considering the creation of a special council, which we'll refer to here as "The Secretariat's Council", which will be involved in the legality ruling process. We have some competing views on the potential selection process and make-up of the Council, as well as on its responsibilities, and are looking for feedback on how this can work best for both staff members and players.

Responsibilities

We are looking to move responsibility for the section of the rule-set that could be described as "community standards" to this Council. Those are rules such as Honest Mistake, Branding and Format. The Council would be involved both in determining those standards and enforcing them. Core rules such as enforcing the OSRS on proposals and the Mechanics section would remain with the Moderation team.

There is the potential for future development of the Council, depending on how it functions, to include such roles as mentoring new members or developing the Category system.

Make-up

We envisage the team consisting of roughly 5-8 people, which may include a couple of Moderators. There have been several suggestions for how selection could work, ranging from open elections amongst WA members (albeit with candidates having to fulfill a set of requirements to be eligible), through an initially appointed then self-selecting team, to a wholly mod-appointed and mod-run team not too dissimilar from how the Mentors or Issues Editors started. We are currently leaning towards a team that is mod-appointed at the start.

Ideally we're looking for the team to be made of players with the following qualities:
  • A strong understanding of the proposal rules, including subtle nuances;
  • A relatively clean warn history and proven ability to debate civilly and productively;
  • A passion to make the World Assembly better for newcomers and veterans;
  • Regular participation in the World Assembly forum;
  • An understanding of where you came from thus understanding the newcomer;
  • A willingness to work on a team with other players and mods to resolve legality challenges through seeking consensus decisions.

We're looking for answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you support the idea of a Secretariat's Council? If not, what alternative suggestion do you have, bearing in mind that "appoint more Moderators" is not an option on the table?
  2. How should members of the Council be selected in the long-run?
  3. What, if any, checks should exist against the Council's behaviour? Consider the potential for corruption, cronyism, laziness, and mission creep.
  4. Which of the current rules should the Council have responsibility for enforcing?
  5. Should Council members act as "Mentors" too?

The more detailed your answer, the more useful it is to us. Please don't give us suggestions for potential Council members at present; let's work out the structure of the Council first.
Last edited by Wrapper on Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bears Armed » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:57 am

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:32 am

Do you support the idea of a Secretariat's Council? If not, what alternative suggestion do you have, bearing in mind that "appoint more Moderators" is not an option on the table?: Sure, I think I suggested a few times historically. Short of new moderators, its the only way to involve greater involved views.

How should members of the Council be selected in the long-run?: Moderator selection, undoubtably. Anything less would be a popularity contest or an invitation to cronyism. Players can perhaps nominate members, but the team exists to aid moderation, and needs to be selected accordingly. Are we above the need for petty politicking? Yeah, probably all of us are, but it eliminates any perception of forming an elite.

Yes, many players feel that the Moderation team's handling of current rulings are the root of the problem, but in general, the Moderation team has proven to be impartial towards players.

What, if any, checks should exist against the Council's behaviour? Consider the potential for corruption, cronyism, laziness, and mission creep.: Collect opinions from the body whole of the available Council, number them without names attached, and randomly eject half of them. Use a random number generator, role a die, anything that is devoid of human interaction. That mitigates corruption and cronyism by ensuring that at any given time, only a random half of opinion or votes or whatever it is will be actually considered. It awful hard to plan a political bloc when you can't be assured that you and your buddies' opinions will even be selected.

Which of the current rules should the Council have responsibility for enforcing?: Anything that isn't black-letter law. Does it involve a subjective consideration? Let the Council have a hand in it. So...most of them?

Should Council members act as "Mentors" too?: If they are working to enforce community standards, it only makes sense. Since the GA community is so small, separating the two would potentially lead to all the Veterans having fancy titles and names, which will be a little less welcoming to new players.
Last edited by Separatist Peoples on Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Hannasea » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:39 am

1. Do you support the idea of a Secretariat's Council? If not, what alternative suggestion do you have, bearing in mind that "appoint more Moderators" is not an option on the table?

No, I don't. The problem is not a lack of moderators - they seem very active - but a lack of engagement with the forum by the existing moderators. This has been raised by players before, and acknowledged by moderators before, and for whatever reason - perhaps a fundamental lack of respect for the value of the WA forum by certain moderators? - it has never materialized into an increase in activity.

2. How should members of the Council be selected in the long-run?

They should be picked by the moderators. Once the moderators start interacting with the forum on a regular basis, they will be able to see which players contribute usefully.

3. What, if any, checks should exist against the Council's behaviour? Consider the potential for corruption, cronyism, laziness, and mission creep.

A healthy presence on the forums by the moderators will ensure no one mistakes the council members for having any actual authority.

4. Which of the current rules should the Council have responsibility for enforcing?

None. If players cannot be trusted to act as moderators they should not be in a position to enforce rules on other players' proposals.

5. Should Council members act as "Mentors" too?

There is nothing stopping players from mentoring others at present. If they choose not to do so and would rather engage in rhetorical bullying of perceived easy targets, then giving them a fancy title isn't going to inject any sense of civic purpose into them.

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Postby Bananaistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:42 am

First off, is the name open to being changed to something that isn't the same initials as the Security Council?

We are looking to move responsibility for the section of the rule-set that could be described as "community standards" to this Council. Those are rules such as Honest Mistake, Branding and Format. The Council would be involved both in determining those standards and enforcing them. Core rules such as enforcing the OSRS on proposals and the Mechanics section would remain with the Moderation team.


The quote above states the council would be involved in determining those standards. Is the case that the rules will remain as they are now or are they subject to change? Involvement in determining the standards seems rather ill-defined. Are we talking about mere consultation or actual participation in deciding changes to the rules? The same consultation/participation distinction is important in enforcement of the rules as well.

1) I would support the idea if the SC is not merely an exercise in consulting certain longstanding members but then the moderators making the actual decision at the end. You already have the GA forums for this. If it has real teeth and its decisions are final in respect of whatever its area of responsibilities is, I would support it, IE that in respect of whatever rules it gets to enforce, its members would have equal authority as moderators.

2) I'm easy enough on this but there should be a set term no longer than one year but allow reelection or reappointment. I'd lean towards election if the electorate wasn't incredibly volatile, EG if it could be limited to only those people who have at least 100 posts in the GA, I'd support it, but if it's open to all WA members I wouldn't. You'd be into all sorts of nastiness like campaigning then. I would absolutely support the requirement that candidates would have to fulfill a set of requirements to be eligible and that the moderators would have to vet them first to ensure this.

3) I would suggest that a fairly specific "code of conduct" would need to be drawn up and the moderators would have to have the right to remove members who break this. I'll come back to you on what should be in it but inactivity would have to be very high on the list. Perhaps if the requirements for candidacy are strong enough, this would not need to be incredibly detailed.

4) In addition to the rules mentioned, although I note that the branding rule is a sub-part of the format rule, rules 1a, 1c and all of 4, IE the rules which require the greatest amount of judgement and often depend merely on opinion.

5) No. Nemo judex in causa sua.
Last edited by Bananaistan on Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Umeria » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:55 am

1. Yes, and there should be a thread(like this one) for council members to discuss issues, for clarity.
2. Anyone who wants the job that:
  1. is experienced,
  2. makes logical arguments,
  3. is frequent in the GA, and
  4. does not have complex political relationships with other players.
3. If they start arguing with other players about things other than the issues they're supposed to be discussing, or if they fall out of any of the above categories, they should be removed from the council.
4. Controversial things and whether they break the rules, like that endless non-compliance debate.
5. Only a select few with a history of being nice to novices.

I would give reasons for the above statements, but I believe the veterans have already provided them.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:04 am

I'm easy enough on this but there should be a set term no longer than one year but allow reelection or reappointment. I'd lean towards election if the electorate wasn't incredibly volatile, EG if it could be limited to only those people who have at least 100 posts in the GA, I'd support it, but if it's open to all WA members I wouldn't. You'd be into all sorts of nastiness like campaigning then. I would absolutely support the requirement that candidates would have to fulfill a set of requirements to be eligible and that the moderators would have to vet them first to ensure this.


I think the problem with an election is that it invites politicking and campaigning, which is the sort of thing that will detract from the group's usefulness. Whether it's WA-wide or just contained within the forum, I think that will be an invitation for exactly the kind of behavior Wrapper noted that they don't want to see.

It would also really work against several players who no doubt could do the job effectively. Auralia, for example, would likely be eminently capable of serving in such a group, yet would suffer from a very negative public image. I'm sure there are others. If the Moderation team wants to use this group as a means to incorporate the GA community in contributing to community standards, then the selection process should really be left to them, considering how impartial they generally are able to remain on many difficult issues.

Umeria wrote:1
[*]does not have complex political relationships with other players.

How would you define that? IA and I are generally friends, but butt heads on a number of topics. Is our relationship complex and political? Wrapper and I are friends who generally agree with each other, but he serves as a moderator capacity, a position with an explicit hierarchy over me. Is that complex or political?

3. If they start arguing with other players about things other than the issues they're supposed to be discussing, or if they fall out of any of the above categories, they should be removed from the council.

Arguing is all we do around here. :) The best way to maximize the base of experience in a group is to draw people of diverse backgrounds and opinions together. Merely arguing isn't an obstacle.

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Postby Wrapper » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:09 am

Bananaistan wrote:First off, is the name open to being changed to something that isn't the same initials as the Security Council?

I don't think we're tied to the name. Make a suggestion, by all means.

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Postby Umeria » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:11 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:How would you define that?

Having a political bias for or against another player.
Separatist Peoples wrote: IA and I are generally friends, but butt heads on a number of topics. Is our relationship complex and political? Wrapper and I are friends who generally agree with each other, but he serves as a moderator capacity, a position with an explicit hierarchy over me. Is that complex or political?

That's not a bias, that's just arguing. I suppose I should have said "bias" instead of "relationship".
Separatist Peoples wrote:Arguing is all we do around here. The best way to maximize the base of experience in a group is to draw people of diverse backgrounds and opinions together. Merely arguing isn't an obstacle.

What about arguing about unrelated topics?
Wrapper wrote:
Bananaistan wrote:First off, is the name open to being changed to something that isn't the same initials as the Security Council?

I don't think we're tied to the name. Make a suggestion, by all means.

How about "Sanity Council"? Oh wait, that also has SC initials. I'll think of something better.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:18 am

Umeria wrote:Having a political bias for or against another player.

Thats even more vague. I, a somewhat centrist NatSov, am at philosophical odds with players like, say, Glen-Rhodes or Sciongrad, who identify as International Federalists, despite having very few issues with the players themselves. Is that a political bias for or against the player? If I dislike a player, yet am capable of working with them, should that exclude me? I think the issue here is that you are trying to regulate interpersonal interactions that can't be quantified.


What about arguing about unrelated topics?

I don't know what you're talking about, bananas are clearly better than oranges.

Wait...

In all seriousness, we have moderators, and other players, capable of re-railing a derailed discussion. I don't think that's a terribly serious concern, or even grounds to remove membership.


Can we call it Unified Nations Intent on Bringing Order Today?

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Postby Tzorsland » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:42 am

This sounds like a wonderful idea. It's a shame that there isn't an organization of experienced old geezers who have been discussing legality issues for years who could be more than happy to provide feedback and guidance on legality challenges. The smartest minds, the best mods and so forth. (By the way, you left your beer in the fridge and it's been months since you stopped by.)

Obviously, the first problem is people. You need to be both small and large at the same time. 5-8 sounds good, but you probably need a few more people who can step in when those 5-8 want to go on a short vacation. (You might call them the "alternates.")

I think transparency and protocol has to be the second problem. You need a good system where decisions are made, published and most importantly archived. IS "stare decisis" going to be the rule here? It really should, because consistency has to be the framework for stability. People need to know the limits, what is and what is not acceptable.

1) Yes I do support the idea. I would give it a different name. Perhaps the Court of Appeal?
2) I would recommend by an election of the members of the CoA
3) (Requires WORK) I would recommend adding an "Impeachment" option to the SC
4) Hard question, I'll get back to you on that one
5) Yes, but such members should recuse themselves if a legality charge is brought up on a resolution done by a member who was mentored by the person
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Postby Umeria » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:46 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:I think the issue here is that you are trying to regulate interpersonal interactions that can't be quantified.

But there has to be a quota on it; otherwise someone on the council would start punishing someone just because they hate them. This is a problem.
Separatist Peoples wrote:Can we call it Unified Nations Intent on Bringing Order Today?

Great idea! We could also call it the Main Organization Directly Entwined to Reroute the Assets of Terminated Operations and Rectification Systems.
Last edited by Umeria on Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:47 am

Umeria wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:I think the issue here is that you are trying to regulate interpersonal interactions that can't be quantified.

But there has to be a quota on it; otherwise someone on the council would start punishing someone just because they hate them. This is a problem.

With healthy mod participation, this wouldn't be an issue, as the mods are capable of handling such a dynamic. Without moderator participation, this whole idea falls apart anyway.

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Postby Mousebumples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:14 am

Separatist Peoples wrote: What, if any, checks should exist against the Council's behaviour? Consider the potential for corruption, cronyism, laziness, and mission creep.: Collect opinions from the body whole of the available Council, number them without names attached, and randomly eject half of them. Use a random number generator, role a die, anything that is devoid of human interaction. That mitigates corruption and cronyism by ensuring that at any given time, only a random half of opinion or votes or whatever it is will be actually considered. It awful hard to plan a political bloc when you can't be assured that you and your buddies' opinions will even be selected.

What follows is a personal opinion only, of course:

Optimally, what I'd like to see is a group of players on Council that are able to engage with each other OOC'ly to discuss these issues. I don't mean to say that these players will be mini-mods or anything; however, I'd like to see involved players argue on the merits and reach decisions collectively. There will certainly be cases where someone disagrees vehemently; however, planning to ignore or discard half of those opinions offered makes me wonder if the players would give matters before the council the due consideration that they perhaps merit. Why should a theoretical player spend time writing up an analysis or argument in response to a legality challenge (time that could instead be spent working on their own legislation, etc.) if it's not even going to be considered?
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:19 am

Mousebumples wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote: What, if any, checks should exist against the Council's behaviour? Consider the potential for corruption, cronyism, laziness, and mission creep.: Collect opinions from the body whole of the available Council, number them without names attached, and randomly eject half of them. Use a random number generator, role a die, anything that is devoid of human interaction. That mitigates corruption and cronyism by ensuring that at any given time, only a random half of opinion or votes or whatever it is will be actually considered. It awful hard to plan a political bloc when you can't be assured that you and your buddies' opinions will even be selected.

What follows is a personal opinion only, of course:

Optimally, what I'd like to see is a group of players on Council that are able to engage with each other OOC'ly to discuss these issues. I don't mean to say that these players will be mini-mods or anything; however, I'd like to see involved players argue on the merits and reach decisions collectively. There will certainly be cases where someone disagrees vehemently; however, planning to ignore or discard half of those opinions offered makes me wonder if the players would give matters before the council the due consideration that they perhaps merit. Why should a theoretical player spend time writing up an analysis or argument in response to a legality challenge (time that could instead be spent working on their own legislation, etc.) if it's not even going to be considered?

If all they're going to do is offer an opinion for moderation to act on, such a mechanism is unnecessary. On the other hand, if that was all the group is intended to do, you have that already in the forum. We weigh in constantly.

If you want to have some way for the group to self-select a decision, instead of becoming intractable in their opinions and demanding unilateral moderator action, you need a voting or selection method. Throwing out half the votes randomly, without telling anybody who's was thrown out, would ensure that nobody attempts to form a voting "bloc" within the group. The group opinions can still stand, but, not unlike the Olympic judging model to avoid Cold War bias, the potential for favoritism is mitigated.

Your alternative is constant moderation oversight to avoid cronyism or corruption, which takes away from what the moderation team insists they want: to give players a free hand.
Last edited by Separatist Peoples on Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bananaistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:00 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:
Mousebumples wrote:What follows is a personal opinion only, of course:

Optimally, what I'd like to see is a group of players on Council that are able to engage with each other OOC'ly to discuss these issues. I don't mean to say that these players will be mini-mods or anything; however, I'd like to see involved players argue on the merits and reach decisions collectively. There will certainly be cases where someone disagrees vehemently; however, planning to ignore or discard half of those opinions offered makes me wonder if the players would give matters before the council the due consideration that they perhaps merit. Why should a theoretical player spend time writing up an analysis or argument in response to a legality challenge (time that could instead be spent working on their own legislation, etc.) if it's not even going to be considered?

If all they're going to do is offer an opinion for moderation to act on, such a mechanism is unnecessary. On the other hand, if that was all the group is intended to do, you have that already in the forum. We weigh in constantly.

If you want to have some way for the group to self-select a decision, instead of becoming intractable in their opinions and demanding unilateral moderator action, you need a voting or selection method. Throwing out half the votes randomly, without telling anybody who's was thrown out, would ensure that nobody attempts to form a voting "bloc" within the group. The group opinions can still stand, but, not unlike the Olympic judging model to avoid Cold War bias, the potential for favoritism is mitigated.

Your alternative is constant moderation oversight to avoid cronyism or corruption, which takes away from what the moderation team insists they want: to give players a free hand.


How would a method of discarding half the opinions work in a text based forum? It would be in itself open to bias. And it would potentially force through a minority decision depending on which opinions get discarded.

And surely moderation oversight is going to be necessary anyway. As it currently is throughout the forums.

And just to reiterate, if it's just going be an advisory body, it's pointless as the moderators already have that here in the GA forum.
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Postby Sedgistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:05 pm

Hannasea wrote:1. Do you support the idea of a Secretariat's Council? If not, what alternative suggestion do you have, bearing in mind that "appoint more Moderators" is not an option on the table?

No, I don't. The problem is not a lack of moderators - they seem very active - but a lack of engagement with the forum by the existing moderators. This has been raised by players before, and acknowledged by moderators before, and for whatever reason - perhaps a fundamental lack of respect for the value of the WA forum by certain moderators? - it has never materialized into an increase in activity.

Then surely it's time to accept this isn't going to change, and alternative solutions are needed? For whatever reason, Kryo isn't keen on posting here, Fris, Ard and Mall aren't active at all (anywhere), and both Mouse and Wrapper frequently find work keeping them away.

I'll ignore your 2 and 3 as I don't think they're constructive answers.

Hannasea wrote:4. Which of the current rules should the Council have responsibility for enforcing?

None. If players cannot be trusted to act as moderators they should not be in a position to enforce rules on other players' proposals.

Why? There are many different requirements to being an effective moderator, and not fulfilling all of those doesn't mean someone can't be well qualified at judging whether a proposal should be legal or not. I think your input on proposal legality is valuable (though I don't necessarily agree with your views), but don't believe you'd be a good fit as a Moderator. Why should people deciding on General Assembly legality issues have to fulfil a whole host of additional criteria that aren't relevant to making those decisions well?

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Postby Sedgistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:06 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:If all they're going to do is offer an opinion for moderation to act on, such a mechanism is unnecessary. On the other hand, if that was all the group is intended to do, you have that already in the forum. We weigh in constantly.

As we said in the first post, the team has competing views on how this Council might work. I think it should be a decision-making body, not an advisory one.

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Postby Sciongrad » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:08 pm

Let me preface this by giving the moderators a big thank you for engaging with us. This is much appreciated.

1. Aside from adding more moderators, this is the best solution. I have been saying for a very long time that the largest problem in the GA is that the moderators do not know as much as the players. This would resolve that.

2. This is tough. Most GA moderators aren't active in the forum, so they would have no way of knowing which players would be qualified to serve. A vote by forum regulars might be ideal until the group can be self-selecting. I think the forum regulars are a pretty discerning group and because the community is so small, I doubt campaigning would be very effective. Ideally, moderators would be the ones making the choices, but I can't see how they'd make informed choices with their present level of engagement.

3. We'll have to draw up some specific code of conduct to be followed. Of course, this will mean moderators will need to interact with this group regularly to ensure that they're behaving appropriately. I seriously doubt corruption and cronyism will be a problem - give us more credit than that - but I can see how laziness or inactivity may undermine the project. Ultimately, all of these things will need to be considered and the code of conduct will need to be rigorously enforced, but I think it's easy to exaggerate the likelihood of "corruption."

4. Honest Mistake, Branding, Contradiction, Duplication - basically, anything that isn't explicitly stated in the rules. I am also decidedly opposed to limiting this group to an advisory role.

5. All regulars should act as mentors - it's our responsibility if we want this forum to survive. I don't think formally bestowing that responsibility on to this group would really do much except maybe allow other regulars to evacuate responsibility for mentoring themselves.

Separatist Peoples wrote:If you want to have some way for the group to self-select a decision, instead of becoming intractable in their opinions and demanding unilateral moderator action, you need a voting or selection method. Throwing out half the votes randomly, without telling anybody who's was thrown out, would ensure that nobody attempts to form a voting "bloc" within the group. The group opinions can still stand, but, not unlike the Olympic judging model to avoid Cold War bias, the potential for favoritism is mitigated.

It is important to note that such a system would also make forming precedent on controversial issues practically impossible. We'd likely end up with the same inconsistency we're getting now.
Last edited by Sciongrad on Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Hannasea
Diplomat
 
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Founded: Jul 23, 2016
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Hannasea » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:11 pm

Sedgistan wrote:For whatever reason, Kryo isn't keen on posting here

Why are you not willing to address this? Given she is by far the most active gameside WA moderator, this strange kind of omertà you seem to collectively exercise undermines faith in the whole team.
Sedgistan wrote:I think your input on proposal legality is valuable

Great. And I regularly post my input on proposal legality in the forum, so it should be easy for the moderators to read my opinion and take it into their considerations.

But thank you for at least acknowledging the source of the problem isn't going to change. I hope the Council has fun electing members to discuss the Branding rule.

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Bananaistan
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Bananaistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:17 pm

Sedgistan wrote:Then surely it's time to accept this isn't going to change, and alternative solutions are needed? For whatever reason, Kryo isn't keen on posting here, Fris, Ard and Mall aren't active at all (anywhere), and both Mouse and Wrapper frequently find work keeping them away.

If there are a load of inactive moderators, why isn't more moderators an option? Or perhaps, and I know I said this before and some people thought it was the worst thing anyone could ever say anywhere, shouldn't inactive moderators be replaced with new ones? Perhaps the only reason new moderators hasn't worked in that past is that it has been on a one in one out basis, while ultimately the number of active GA moderators either remains constant or drops?

Sedgistan wrote:Why? There are many different requirements to being an effective moderator, and not fulfilling all of those doesn't mean someone can't be well qualified at judging whether a proposal should be legal or not. I think your input on proposal legality is valuable (though I don't necessarily agree with your views), but don't believe you'd be a good fit as a Moderator. Why should people deciding on General Assembly legality issues have to fulfil a whole host of additional criteria that aren't relevant to making those decisions well?


However, I totally agree with this. I'm sure there are people who would be a good fit to being a moderator but would have no interest in doing it but could have a lot to add and could solve the inactive and insufficient number of moderator problems by taking the decisions on the subjective rules off their hands.
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Sedgistan
Senior Issues Moderator
 
Posts: 31924
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:23 pm

Hannasea wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:For whatever reason, Kryo isn't keen on posting here

Why are you not willing to address this? Given she is by far the most active gameside WA moderator, this strange kind of omertà you seem to collectively exercise undermines faith in the whole team.

We've discussed it. Kryo just doesn't want to post here much. We can't force her. Most the proposals she deletes are the ones submitted by noobs with no understanding of the rules, who generally won't have posted a draft here. When it comes to more borderline deletions of proposals submitted by regulars, we generally discuss those amongst us first anyway, and that evaluation includes reading the arguments here. Not posting doesn't mean not following what's going on.

Regardless, Kryo posting here regularly wouldn't solve the problems we're looking to solve. It needs far more than that.
Hannasea wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:I think your input on proposal legality is valuable

Great. And I regularly post my input on proposal legality in the forum, so it should be easy for the moderators to read my opinion and take it into their considerations.

Except that as we've said, we don't have the numbers/activity to provide what's needed in terms of getting rulings dealt with in a timely fashion. We need other people doing that, which is what the Council is for. The fact that people post their opinions here already isn't really relevant; we need more people to make the decisions.

Hannasea wrote:But thank you for at least acknowledging the source of the problem isn't going to change. I hope the Council has fun electing members to discuss the Branding rule.

You know we're looking for the Council to do much more than that, and I'm optimistic that the team could develop further responsibilities the same way the Mentors and Issues Editors have. An example is the "coding stats for proposals" idea that we worked on previously. That's a distant hope, but an example of the potential development of responsibilities there could be should the Council work out.

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Sedgistan
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Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:25 pm

Bananaistan wrote:
Sedgistan wrote:Then surely it's time to accept this isn't going to change, and alternative solutions are needed? For whatever reason, Kryo isn't keen on posting here, Fris, Ard and Mall aren't active at all (anywhere), and both Mouse and Wrapper frequently find work keeping them away.

If there are a load of inactive moderators, why isn't more moderators an option? Or perhaps, and I know I said this before and some people thought it was the worst thing anyone could ever say anywhere, shouldn't inactive moderators be replaced with new ones? Perhaps the only reason new moderators hasn't worked in that past is that it has been on a one in one out basis, while ultimately the number of active GA moderators either remains constant or drops?

In the past we've always looked to expand the size of the GA moderation team - that's what we aimed for with Mouse, Mall and Wrapper. Unfortunately, others getting caught up in RL meant that hasn't worked out. As you've acknowledged in the other half of your post that I didn't quote, there's no reason we should be limiting ourselves to only recruiting people who also make good mods, when what we really need is people who can make good decisions on GA proposal legality.

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Separatist Peoples
GA Secretariat
 
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Founded: Feb 17, 2011
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:38 pm

Bananaistan wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:If all they're going to do is offer an opinion for moderation to act on, such a mechanism is unnecessary. On the other hand, if that was all the group is intended to do, you have that already in the forum. We weigh in constantly.

If you want to have some way for the group to self-select a decision, instead of becoming intractable in their opinions and demanding unilateral moderator action, you need a voting or selection method. Throwing out half the votes randomly, without telling anybody who's was thrown out, would ensure that nobody attempts to form a voting "bloc" within the group. The group opinions can still stand, but, not unlike the Olympic judging model to avoid Cold War bias, the potential for favoritism is mitigated.

Your alternative is constant moderation oversight to avoid cronyism or corruption, which takes away from what the moderation team insists they want: to give players a free hand.


How would a method of discarding half the opinions work in a text based forum? It would be in itself open to bias. And it would potentially force through a minority decision depending on which opinions get discarded.

And surely moderation oversight is going to be necessary anyway. As it currently is throughout the forums.

And just to reiterate, if it's just going be an advisory body, it's pointless as the moderators already have that here in the GA forum.


Considering I don't know how the council will technically function, and neither do the moderation team, that depends entirely on how things work. I seriously doubt the voting will be public, because anonymous voting is one of the foundations of a functional democracy. I had considered that, if the moderation team were going to take a series of opinions into private consideration, all positions would be beneficial to include, but it might be beneficial to randomly throw certain votes out to avoid any corruption or bias. Perhaps I didn't express myself well.

Sciongrad wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:If you want to have some way for the group to self-select a decision, instead of becoming intractable in their opinions and demanding unilateral moderator action, you need a voting or selection method. Throwing out half the votes randomly, without telling anybody who's was thrown out, would ensure that nobody attempts to form a voting "bloc" within the group. The group opinions can still stand, but, not unlike the Olympic judging model to avoid Cold War bias, the potential for favoritism is mitigated.

It is important to note that such a system would also make forming precedent on controversial issues practically impossible. We'd likely end up with the same inconsistency we're getting now.


It depends on what the moderators are more concerned with. Corruption was explicitly mentioned as a concern. Precedent was not. I addressed the raised concern. Obviously the system has drawbacks, but I assume that the moderators had a valid reason for bringing up cronyism and corruption.

I'd like to make a point of coming out against this as a tool, because, at least in my eyes, corruption in the GA regulars on that level is almost nonexistent. I think we have some wage-gouging to fund Bar tabs at worst, and that's a roleplay concern. Nonetheless, I am addressing the issues noted.

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Sedgistan
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Posts: 31924
Founded: Oct 20, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Sedgistan » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:43 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:It depends on what the moderators are more concerned with. Corruption was explicitly mentioned as a concern. Precedent was not. I addressed the raised concern. Obviously the system has drawbacks, but I assume that the moderators had a valid reason for bringing up cronyism and corruption.

They were brought up as potential concerns with non-mod appointed teams. If you had a team that then solely self-selected replacements, you could get cronyism - friends/supporters brought in rather than more capable people with opposing views. The corruption could apply to both that or an elected group, which could simply decide to start declaring proposals that they didn't like illegal.

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