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  • Mod elections and recalls

    Hi all,

    There is obviously widespread support for mod elections, and our intention is to have them. However, in order to get things up and running, settle new rules, and generally avoid a long limbo period we intend to stick with the current team for the time being.

    During this 'time being' we want to liaise with the rest of the members about how we actually go about having those elections, how long terms should be, and how recalls should work.

    There are two immediate issues we need to settle.

    First, how recalls should work. This is especially urgent as we want members to have recourse if they are dissatisfied with any of the unelected mods prior to elections taking place.

    Even that discussion will take some time. As such, our feeling was that we should install a fairly simple mechanism in the interim until you guys can pitch in on a lasting system, so for now I suggest a mod recall vote requires the support of two other members to be called (i.e. one member suggests it and two others give their support) and then we have an open voting thread. This vote requires the support of two thirds of the active membership.

    Ok. You have a interim recall system, albeit with a fairly high bar, to tide us over until we establish a permanent one.

    The second most pressing issue, then, is how long 'the time being' is. The admins and mods are all of the opinion that this should be fairly short, but we don't want to limit it too much and find ourselves rushing into an election before all members have had a chance to really think through any pitfalls. We'll also need to allow time between agreeing on the format and actually conducting it for any 'campaigning', and possibly a bit of time for the rules and current mod styles to bed in so everyone has a solid idea of what they think does and does not work.

    My personal gut feeling here is something like three months, but the moderation team are entirely open to suggestions here. One option might be to set a hard limit on our first term but go ahead with an election as soon as we have an established system.

    If we can try and foreground these two issues for the moment, and then we can tear into the specifics of how the election will work afterwards.

    Thanks, folks.

  • #2
    To be honest, as much as people like the idea I'm not sure the board has the population to support it.

    To be clear, there is still a group of users serving as Admins are present, yes? There's only about a dozen active posting users, maybe a another dozen infrequent posters. That's just not that many people and I'm unsure if we need that many people with moderation powers. Unless the boards population grows a bit more it honestly feels like effort spent for no real gain? IDK. Right now there's you, Bob, Wookie, and NFE I know who are admins, and I guess Hordini is still serving. Do we...need more at this stage in time?

    Discussing format and procedure now is all well and good. I only question the need for more moderation at this point at our current population level.

    Comment


    • nfe
      nfe commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, for clarity the intention is not to add more, but to endorse or replace those who currently have mod status.

    • Lord0fHats
      Lord0fHats commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh okay, I gotcha. That makes more sense. I thought he was referring to Hordini and Dread Winter.

  • #3
    I expect the "time being" to last until at least after Bob has fully recovered and wants to engage with the site fully again. It is half his site, no?

    Comment


    • BobtheInquisitor
      BobtheInquisitor commented
      Editing a comment
      They delayed my surgery by 7 hours, so you’ll just have to wait that much longer now!

    • RiTides
      RiTides commented
      Editing a comment
      And checking on here in the interim!!! Look at that commitment hehe

  • #4
    Firstly, thank you guys for taking this on it is appreciated.

    I'm glad that the idea of the democratic election of our mod team has survived and I'm sure that at the first election you guys are very likely to be returned with a mandate. I think that about 3 months to settle things in and allow Bob time to recover is probably fair, but I do think this should be made a hard date otherwise it is likely to slip or not happen at all. It also gives the site time to adjust to the 5 mods, the rules and the refreshed outlook so that we can properly assess what is needed as members.

    It also gives us time to decide on things like length of term etc.

    By recall, do you mean a method to request the removal of mod status from one of the team?

    What about the Admin positions? Are they now considered fixed?

    Comment


    • nfe
      nfe commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, I thought recall would be universal but it might be more obscure (or just British!) parliamentary language than I assumed. You have it, though: the mechanism to remove mod powers from someone previously elected or installed into the position.

      I don't want to speak for BobtheInquisitor or newtfarming, and we haven't explicitly discussed it, but my feeling is that yes, their positions are settled. I have a feeling they might be open to a discussion on the degree to, and ways in, which they use their admin powers but that's a topic they'll have to attend to, obviously. Could be it's own thread, I guess, or one to tackle after we settle the term/mod election process!

  • #5
    Have you considered just having a "confirmation" vote for the team? Getting the right team mix is really important in hindsight, so that might be better / easier than voting piecemeal if folks like how things are going?

    Comment


    • #6
      Let's remember this is here.

      I'll quote R Squared from the other mod election thread because it's all pertinent. It's new good to have more contributions from as many people as possible so it's not just mod's and R_Squared deciding the future!


      Originally posted by R_Squared View Post
      If it's an interim show of support for the current team until full elections then they have my support, decent chaps/chapettes no problems with any of them.

      However, can we set a date for full elections and a format for them to take part in? I thought the original 3 months was a good period of time that allowed things to settle down and so far this has been the case. This will form the future of the site, we would need a length of service (one year?) and an agreed method of volunteering/ nomination.

      I'd suggest that in order to become a moderator, a volunteer must have support from another member in good standing (ie seconded) and then provide a short explanation of why they would like to volunteer, what changes they might like to implement or the vision they have for the forum.

      As to the format for voting, that can certainly be discussed, I personally favour a Single Transferable Vote system that selects the Top 4 candidates. However one thing I think should be considered is that the arbiters of the vote should not be a current member of the team to ensure impartiality.

      Comment


      • #7
        Bumping this again (and I think so might do this semi regularly to keep it up there until we have more discussion on it), but none of us are really interested in being mods for life, so some talk about how we'll go forward would be great from people who aren't just us ha.

        We have had some ideas come up so far, do any of these sound good?

        Normal elections

        1) R-Squared's nomination idea in nfe's post above
        2) The idea someone had (can't remember who) of potential mods applying in a team of 3 (i.e. "we're all happy to represent this set of rules if you vote for us") would potentially allow the mod vote to ensure a coherent team amongst the mods.
        3) EOIs go to admins, nominations come from the site owners and then a confirmation vote (kind of what we have now, but with the confirmation coming before the swap in teams so you can say whether or not to think the 3-4 they pick are a good set for us/if there's an issue with the whole team/if there's an issue with just one)
        4) ?? Please provide your own
        Recalls:
        1) Suggestion, seconded by another user, then requires a 60% vote from the majority of members to recall a mod
        2) ?? Please provide your own

        Comment


        • Haighus
          Haighus commented
          Editing a comment
          I concur with R_squared's suggestions, so 1) for both.

        • Bunnies
          Bunnies commented
          Editing a comment
          So something like nomination thread, where users day "I want to run", and another user who has been here for X months or something says "yeah this user should give it a go". The first person then posts a short thing (or edits their original post to include it maybe) and after say a week of that we have the vote thread (or ideally can edit the OP of that thread to include a poll, we'll see if that's doable). Sound about right?

      • #8
        I say don’t bother with holding elections.

        This place isn’t a democracy. The owner/s can’t be ousted from the governance of the site. Hell, the rule of “rules” doesn’t even really apply, does it?

        So drop the charade. Have the owners appoint whomever they please, that shares their sense of core values that the site should strive for.

        Comment


        • Bunnies
          Bunnies commented
          Editing a comment
          So basically option 3, but you're saying drop the confirmation part? I think most here are still interested in having a vote, at least from the discussion that happened post-reset, but if everyone else is fine with that it would be easy.

      • #9
        It doesn’t matter what anyone besides Bob and Newt want. There is no need to vote. Bob and Newt have chosen people to fulfill their vision. If those people are willing, and the moderation team is in agreement with the direction the site is taking, what benefit is there to a farce of an election? Some kind of legitimacy?

        That doesn’t exist. If people want to pretend it’s democratic, it’s just a fantasy.

        EDIT: As for recalls, again, that’s just for show. Bob and Newt hold the decisions on that. And as they’re indivisible from the governance of the site, a recall mechanism from the user base is, again, pointless. It will always be up to the owners to make those decisions. Pure farce.

        FURTHER EDIT: How many people voted to accept or deny the existing team in that thread? 10? Out of 55 or so “active” members? You only have a 9% voting populace, and 60% have to vote to oust a mod? It’s an absurdity.
        Last edited by GreatBigTree; 07-02-2021, 07:17 AM.

        Comment


        • Haighus
          Haighus commented
          Editing a comment
          That is an absurd, unhelpful argument. I can give the exact same argument below for national politics:


          The Queen is the official head of State of the UK (and Canada still). If she wants to, she could dissolve parliament for ever and rule by diktat.

          Why bother having elections for parliament? They don't have the ultimate say.

          The point is that Bob and Newt are choosing to invest power in mods, and giving the community opportunity to shape that mod direction. So therefore it gains legitimacy. Obviously, they could overrule this, but it would damage their community. Unlike a country, it is fairly easy to vote with your feet and leave if the direction of the forum is going away from what a user wants.

        • Bunnies
          Bunnies commented
          Editing a comment
          Perhaps I wasn't clear. 60% of the majority would be, say we have 55 members when one comes up, 60% of the majority of those members, so 60% of 28, so only 17. While only 14 have voted in the current thread, 13 to 1, in future we could always increase participation by messaging all users with a link to the post, for example, which should help us get at least over 50% voting

        • Too Hot To Trot
          Too Hot To Trot commented
          Editing a comment
          Haighus "Unlike a country, it is fairly easy to vote with your feet and leave if the direction of the forum is going away from what a user wants."

          As we saw during the initial run when the topic of moderation was brought up. Many of those who argued that no moderation was needed left when they didn't get their way.

      • #10
        Originally posted by R_Squared View Post
        I personally favour a Single Transferable Vote system that selects the Top 4 candidates. However one thing I think should be considered is that the arbiters of the vote should not be a current member of the team to ensure impartiality.
        I think this is a good idea - but am interested in thoughts on how we select that person.

        Unless we go full tilt, cards on the table public voting!

        Comment


        • #11
          Just adding this here so we have more of the user opinions. Wolfblade suggested in another thread

          Well, I said my thoughts on this last election, where it was effectively ignored in order to stubborn push on with what was planned, but however the nominations are done the voting should be a "vote for all the candidates you think would make a good mod" instead of "Vote for X number of people." And I suggest only doing a tie-breaker if nominees are actually tied, not if they are "close."

          Comment


          • #12
            Okay so, at the moment we have two main approaches that have had at least one other person deem positive about it.

            A
            Nominations:
            A volunteer must have support from another member in good standing (ie seconded) and then provide a short explanation of why they would like to volunteer, what changes they might like to implement or the vision they have for the forum.
            ​​​​
            Voting:
            Each user gets a Single Transferable Vote system that selects the Top 4 candidates. The arbiters of the vote should not be a current member of the team to ensure impartiality.
            B

            Nominations: Same as A

            Voting: Users vote for as many of the nominees as they will, numbers are tallied and the top 3-4 are selected to be new team.
            ​​​​​

            Comment


            • #13
              If you are pressing ahead with this... very *stupid* idea, it is critical that groups of people run as a “party”. The split nature of our group mean that incompatible groupings are very likely.

              By running as groups you have a better chance to have a functioning govt when the feet hit the ground.

              It is still a fundamentally stupid idea, but “the people” want it, so that’s what happens, right? No need for critical thinking about it or observation of past results.

              You know, we argue about having Mods that try to shape culture, but justify every action as being what the people want. But if the Mods are only doing what the people want, why are they even there? We could just *not* have mods. Because then the people *truly* get what they want. Your approach is fundamentally flawed.

              Here’s a nudge to get you back onto a useful track. If the Mods *aren’t* shaping culture, *aren’t* at least occasionally swimming upstream, they have no reason to be a mod.

              Comment


              • Wolfblade
                Wolfblade commented
                Editing a comment
                ...in your opinion. And we all know where your opinion led you. It led you to misrepresent an entire thread (and enraged most of the users within it), shut it down two separate threads when they turned against you, and eventually got you booted off the mod team.

                Have you ever considered that you made mistakes and what you view as best for the mod team actually isn't?

            • #14
              Originally posted by GreatBigTree View Post
              If you are pressing ahead with this... very *stupid* idea, it is critical that groups of people run as a “party”. The split nature of our group mean that incompatible groupings are very likely.

              By running as groups you have a better chance to have a functioning govt when the feet hit the ground.

              It is still a fundamentally stupid idea, but “the people” want it, so that’s what happens, right? No need for critical thinking about it or observation of past results.

              You know, we argue about having Mods that try to shape culture, but justify every action as being what the people want. But if the Mods are only doing what the people want, why are they even there? We could just *not* have mods. Because then the people *truly* get what they want. Your approach is fundamentally flawed.

              Here’s a nudge to get you back onto a useful track. If the Mods *aren’t* shaping culture, *aren’t* at least occasionally swimming upstream, they have no reason to be a mod.
              We get it, you don't like democracy, especially direct democracy.

              All of your... concerns... can also be leveled at governmental democracy. Sure, democracy has issues, its proponents here will be the first to admit that. It is generally seen as the least flawed way for running stuff though.

              The idea is that the mods exist to enforce the rules and promote the guidelines. The rules and guidelines are shaped by the community. I don't see how this is difficult to grasp.

              Comment


              • #15
                By their own words, we have no rules. And the guidelines can be ignored if you don’t like something.

                And our mods are beholden to no one, and no code of conduct short of Bob and Newt not giving them the boot. So if they’re ok with that state... nothing is forbidden.

                There are are no rules to follow. Just what the mob will tolerate. Where is the flaw in my logic?

                EDIT: That is not democratic in any way. It is indifference at best, tyranny at worst.

                Comment

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