.Lia

Announcement of Admod Votes of Confidence ("Term Limits")

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Puck
13 minutes ago, Tanwen said:

No, admods vote people in as admins because they believe they will be good at the job. Unless they make a major screw up (which is unlikely) admods would have no reason to vote other than positively. And if they have made a major screw up then it would be dealt with at the time, surely :) 

Well, even if they think they'd be good at the job, if they prove not to be later, I think voting negatively is necessary and the best choice of AVEN. It happens in life, someone you think would be great for a position just isn't the right fit. Anyone, on and off AVEN, who doesn't vote/let someone go who isn't doing the job to the level that is needed isn't doing supportive things for the community or company they are working for.

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daveb

Thanks for the responses.

 

I have been reading the declassed threads, but those are usually a good few years old (even though some of the staff members involved are still on staff or back on staff, a lot can happen in a few years). I wouldn't know which newer threads to declass. This is not mean as criticism of the declass team! Seems like it is a lot of work, tedious, exacting and time-consuming.

 

I would never think to ask staff to talk about other staff. That feels a bit intrusive and I don't think I would be comfortable myself providing criticism of staff if I were in that position. I understand that staff are in a better position than general members to see what goes on in the backroom/behind the public face, so it's a tricky proposition and a fine line to walk.

 

The public face we do see of mods is a good thing for members to look for, and often the only thing most general members have to go on. We don't know if some people get lots of nudges, for example. We don't know if some people do some of the things mentioned above if/when they are or have been mods or other staff.

 

Yeah, some people do stir up drama, and we do see that from time to time, and/or take things more seriously than may be warranted. But we don't usually know the fuller story. So I try to reserve judgement (that goes for some of the drama involving general members as well as admods). We're all human. :) 

 

The point is (and gets back to the OP) informed elections of any sort require ways for the voters to learn about who or what they are voting on. I'm not sure the idea presented here does much, if anything, to accomplish that. I'm not sure what could accomplish that. I don't have any answers. :) 

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.Lia
5 minutes ago, daveb said:

Thanks for the responses.

 

I have been reading the declassed threads, but those are usually a good few years old (even though some of the staff members involved are still on staff or back on staff, a lot can happen in a few years). I wouldn't know which newer threads to declass. This is not mean as criticism of the declass team! Seems like it is a lot of work, tedious, exacting and time-consuming.

 

I would never think to ask staff to talk about other staff. That feels a bit intrusive and I don't think I would be comfortable myself providing criticism of staff if I were in that position. I understand that staff are in a better position than general members to see what goes on in the backroom/behind the public face, so it's a tricky proposition and a fine line to walk.

 

The public face we do see of mods is a good thing for members to look for, and often the only thing most general members have to go on. We don't know if some people get lots of nudges, for example. We don't know if some people do some of the things mentioned above if/when they are or have been mods or other staff.

 

Yeah, some people do stir up drama, and we do see that from time to time, and/or take things more seriously than may be warranted. But we don't usually know the fuller story. So I try to reserve judgement (that goes for some of the drama involving general members as well as admods). We're all human. :) 

 

The point is (and gets back to the OP) informed elections of any sort require ways for the voters to learn about who or what they are voting on. I'm not sure the idea presented here does much, if anything, to accomplish that. I'm not sure what could accomplish that. I don't have any answers. :) 

If you PM a DT member and request some discipline threads from the last six months or so, they can pick and choose :) 

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daveb
3 minutes ago, .Lia said:

If you PM a DT member and request some discipline threads from the last six months or so, they can pick and choose :) 

Are they working from oldest to newest currently? Maybe we could all just put in a general request to get some newer ones declassed? Of course, it will only be a partial picture and we will have to trust that the threads picked will give a good overview. Of course, some people who run for positions like moderator have not been on staff previously, so in those cases there is no backroom stuff to go by (not a criticism, just an obvious observation from Captain Ob(li)vious :lol: ). So we vote based on the knowledge we have (and can remember :lol: ), and that's okay. Whatever the outcome it's not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. :) 

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.Lia
1 minute ago, daveb said:

Are they working from oldest to newest currently? Maybe we could all just put in a general request to get some newer ones declassed? Of course, it will only be a partial picture and we will have to trust that the threads picked will give a good overview. Of course, some people who run for positions like moderator have not been on staff previously, so in those cases there is no backroom stuff to go by (not a criticism, just an obvious observation from Captain Ob(li)vious :lol: ). So we vote based on the knowledge we have (and can remember :lol: ), and that's okay. Whatever the outcome it's not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. :) 

I can poke DT, yes.

 

Also, yes, for newly running candidates this is not a good measure, but we're talking about candidates who have been here at least 2 years so you'll definitely get a good overview :) from that perspective. 

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daveb
5 minutes ago, .Lia said:

we're talking about candidates who have been here at least 2 years

I know the "term limit" (misnomer as already described above) is about candidates who have been here for the past 2 years, but that's only part of the overall election process. I'm trying to look at the broader picture (as I am wont to do). :) (especially when I seem to have too much time on my hands :lol: )

 

But to get back to your point - holding a confidence vote is fine, but I don't know if it really means much if we (general members) have insufficient information to operate from. Which is where your suggestion to get some more recent threads declassed might help. :) 

 

(rhetorical question for people in general here - given my posts on this thread would you really want me as a mod!? :lol: Don't answer that!)

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Goonie
On 6/23/2018 at 4:01 PM, TheAP said:
On 6/23/2018 at 3:46 PM, Goonie said:

 How are you all planning on playing "catch up" for those who are already over 2 years?

 

If we go off the current mods, it would be 2 this year, which if following the August and October start dates wouldn't be so bad. However, you have 4 admins that would be up for the 2 years this year. The possibility of replacing 2/3rds of an admin team in one year does not sound super pleasant for everyone.

I doubt that they'll all lose the vote of confidence.

 

 

On 6/25/2018 at 5:04 AM, Tanwen said:
On 6/23/2018 at 3:46 PM, Goonie said:

How are you all planning on playing "catch up" for those who are already over 2 years?

 

If we go off the current mods, it would be 2 this year, which if following the August and October start dates wouldn't be so bad. However, you have 4 admins that would be up for the 2 years this year. The possibility of replacing 2/3rds of an admin team in one year does not sound super pleasant for everyone.

Admods will be voting on the admins, so I don't think that's likely to happen :) 

 

 

Thank you TheAP and Tan for answering. I've been on the wrong end of "yeah that won't happen" too many times in my life that It's become an automatic response. I guess there are times I don't realize it really doesn't impact me the hardest and it shouldn't be something I should be concerned with. :)

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InquisitivePhilosopher
15 hours ago, daveb said:

...(rhetorical question for people in general here - given my posts on this thread would you really want me as a mod!? :lol: Don't answer that!)

:) Why not? When you were first thinking about running in the last election, I thought you'd make a great mod because your posts made you sound wise and responsible.

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Puck
19 hours ago, .Lia said:

I fully disagree. There are admins who I would vote no for currently.

For the record, she’s talking about me. She hates how I made my username + member title a pun and wants to take me down for it.

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.Lia
11 minutes ago, Puck said:

For the record, she’s talking about me. She hates how I made my username + member title a pun and wants to take me down for it.

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TELL ANYONE THAT!!! OMG Puck!

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Graveful
4 minutes ago, Puck said:

For the record, she’s talking about me. She hates how I made my username + member title a pun and wants to take me down for it.

My first thought was oh they need to dethrone Puck. She’s too strong. Too powerful.

source.gif

 

But seriously there are times where you might like someone as a person and maybe they’ve even done some good things but at the moment, they’re just not the right person for the job. And sometimes you hate the person that’s doing a great job. The votes should be based on performance, not cliques.

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Pramana

Given the tendency of some administrators to occupy positions for over a decade while barely participating in the community, I wonder if it'd be more valuable to introduce an absolute term limit (say five years)? A limitation of introducing more democracy is that members have to actually care about that democracy for it to be valuable. AVEN features a steady stream of flow-through members, but most people don't stick around for six months much less for two years to have the perspective required to cast a meaningful vote. Then there's the question of what members can even be bothered to pay attention to how the site is run? Through participation on AVEN over the last year and through researching community history, I've observed that there's a small group of members who have way too much free time for idiosyncratic personal reasons become overly preoccupied with site governance. Consider how for the last few years the Apositive forum has essentially just been one thread for disgruntled former AVEN staff members to rant about AVEN over the course of their 'purgatory' before they can get re-elected to AVEN staff.

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Puck
1 hour ago, Graceful said:

My first thought was oh they need to dethrone Puck. She’s too strong. Too powerful.

1 hour ago, .Lia said:

YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TELL ANYONE THAT!!! OMG Puck!

giphy.gif

 

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InquisitivePhilosopher

I've seen mods announce that not many members choose to run for elections and that it's difficult for them to encourage new people to run, so I don't understand why there seems to always be an argument about mods wanting to volunteer their time towards helping keep AVEN running. It's not as though they're getting huge, special privileges out of it, like being paid for it. Is it really about old, past rivalries on the site that I don't know about or egos? Is this about politics? I've seen some mods already admit (which they didn't have to, as that's personal information about themselves) that not all of them have the same political beliefs, that some are conservative or moderate and not liberal like some may assume.

 

Believe it or not, not everyone chooses political sides; maybe some don't like how any politician runs things because they eventually seem to change their mind when elected to office and not do what they told voters what they would do. Maybe some people just think of themselves as human beings.

 

Plus, I've seen at least one mod mention that they have access to members' personal information; so, it'd kind of defeat the purpose of keeping that information only to a select few if many people are forced to leave all the time in order for many new people to join. Then everyone/several people would know everyone's personal information and could possibly spread it around to other people/places, etc. once their term is over.

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Puck
16 minutes ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

I've seen mods announce that not many members choose to run for elections and that it's difficult for them to encourage new people to run, so I don't understand why there seems to always be an argument about mods wanting to volunteer their time towards helping keep AVEN running. It's not as though they're getting huge, special privileges out of it, like being paid for it. Is it really about old, past rivalries on the site that I don't know about or egos? Is this about politics? I've seen some mods already admit (which they didn't have to, as that's personal information about themselves) that not all of them have the same political beliefs, that some are conservative or moderate and not liberal like some may assume.

What many are frustrated are is two things:

 

1) The perceived bias against groups they identify with (whether it be political, gender, ideology, or many other factors). Because members rarely see all disciplinary action that admods give, they can't know how much or why the other "side" gets action so they tend to assume the other "side" is being championed while theirs is being persecuted.

 

2) Tha admods system of passing policies and following reports is built to take time. Policies typically must take up to a week. That time includes discussion and voting (voting is meant to stay up for a week or until one option on the poll gets a majority of admods votes, which ever comes first). A report that ends in disciplinary action takes at least a day because the rules are: 24hrs for discussion, 24hrs for voting (should warn or should not, and sometimes other question in special circumstances), 24hrs for a draft to be edited. This system is why there seems to be so much bureaucracy, as the tiniest request has to be approved by all admods and it takes a long time for a conversation to happen (after all, admods are only required to come on ONCE every 24hrs, which is why reports work in 24hr segments - That way everyone has a chance to speak up). Personally, I think this system is fine because a) The pace means that choices aren't reactive. It forces admods to take their time making a choice which allows for initial emotions or gut reactions to die down. And b) This is an internet forum run by volunteers. They shouldn't be required to come on for more than once in a 24-hr period when their decisions ultimately decide things like "will we send someone a letter saying something they wrote wasn't ok to say on a privately owned website that they can leave and come back to at their hearts content." 

 

Anyway, my point is that these two issues can get some people really rilled up but because the amount of power an admod actually wields is incredibly negligible, it's just a bunch of drama kicked up over what a person can write on a particular website. I think some people get very invested because the site allows them to (people can and have thrown as many temper tantrums as they want in site comments or elsewhere as long as they don't breach ToS, which is actually a luxury as the site allows you to express yourself. If they didn't have that luxury, admods might either hide all those threads or ban the members. But they don't, they let them express themselves. Which ups the drama levels but doesn't stifle expression) and also because forums can feel like a microcosm of greater society, so members can exact control over a forum in a way that they can't in their own life (i.e. If an American hates Trump as their president president, they can come on here and challenge perceived supporters, which makes them feel like they are doing something, like they have some kind of control over the bigger issue, especially when the bigger issue is too big for them to feel like they can really effect and AVEN is small enough where they feel they can actually make waves with their words).

 

Sorry, that was rambly. But I guess to bring it to the topic of this thread... Admods stuff is perceived by many as more high stakes than it is considering it's a volunteer position on a website, but it's still important for members to have the chance to voice their concerns when the form of leadership the site has chosen is based on giving members the ability to choose their leaders, though that might kick up drama, make members believe bias plays in, and makes them frustrated when those they've elected can only enact so much change.

 

47 minutes ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

Plus, I've seen at least one mod mention that they have access to members' personal information; so, it'd kind of defeat the purpose of keeping that information only to a select few if many people are forced to leave all the time in order for many new people to join. Then everyone/several people would know everyone's personal information and could possibly spread it around to other people/places, etc. once their term is over.

JUST TO BE SO CLEAR, it would be dealt with VERY swiftly and seriously if any admod ever shared personal information. The Board of Directors would get involved and they may even get the law involved if the infraction was bad enough.

 

So that we are translucent here, the kind of personal information that admods have is as follows...

 

Mod: They have access to disciplinary history, know if someone is in the (h)AVEN forum, and have access to any information a member chooses to share with admods as a whole.

 

Admins (there are currently 6 of us, for the record): Everything mods have access to and can see IP addresses, email addresses, see what kind of device members use, can log into a members account as them which lets admins access PMs and any other private info.

 

This is why the admin position is given a lot of careful thought by all staff (as all staff votes in admins). To my knowledge, no admin has abused their power. They only use access to IPs to do things like find socks or determine if an account is a spam bot. They are NOT allowed to share this info with moderators, though they may reveal vague details such as "these two accounts both used the same device on the same IP address, so I believe one is a sock." Mostly, this information is used to help members by combining multiple accounts when they don't know their password, deleting accounts if a member wants to leave the site, or emailing them when the member can't be reached on AVEN (though, this has been limited thanks to GDRP).

 

I think it's good that people know the amount of personal info admods have as it is in fact members personal info that we watch over... But I hope to make it clear that admods take this information very seriously, probably the most seriously of anything we deal with.

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InquisitivePhilosopher

Oh, wow. I didn't expect a mod to reply with a lot of information. Thanks! I'd heard members and some mods mention some of the info. I kind of meant my post more for others who are frustrated with mods or believe they are politically biased, to let them know that not everyone on the staff is a part of the same political party like they might believe.

 

I remembered coming across one or two member's threads in the Site Comments, who announced they were leaving because they claimed one or two mods were gossiping about them and revealing personal information about them on another site and that nothing was being done about it. They also claimed that mods were backstabbing, unprofessional and that other members didn't know how they were abusing their power behind the scenes. So, I kind of was worried about that.

 

But from what I've seen, I'm impressed with how the younger mods are knowledgeable about running a website, as I didn't have the skills to do that when I was their age.

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.Lia
13 minutes ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

Oh, wow. I didn't expect a mod to reply with a lot of information. Thanks! I'd heard members and some mods mention some of the info. I kind of meant my post more for others who are frustrated with mods or believe they are politically biased, to let them know that not everyone on the staff is a part of the same political party like they might believe.

 

I remembered coming across one or two member's threads in the Site Comments, who announced they were leaving because they claimed one or two mods were gossiping about them and revealing personal information about them on another site and that nothing was being done about it. They also claimed that mods were backstabbing, unprofessional and that other members didn't know how they were abusing their power behind the scenes. So, I kind of was worried about that.

 

But from what I've seen, I'm impressed with how the younger mods are knowledgeable about running a website, as I didn't have the skills to do that when I was their age.

Just remember that some of those types of complaints are said when upset with an action taken, or an action perceived as not taken, and there are always three sides of a story: my side, your side, and what actually happened :) Admods try hard to be as relateable and approachable as possible, but it's not always something we're able to achieve with everyone, all the time, for many reasons. 

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InquisitivePhilosopher

@.Lia Oh, yes. I'm aware of that; it's just that, when members are extremely upset and repeatedly remain very adamant that something happened was wrong, it's sometimes difficult to ignore that and not take them seriously, especially when they say they're only trying to warn or help the community.

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Cimmering Cauldron
23 hours ago, daveb said:

Are they working from oldest to newest currently? Maybe we could all just put in a general request to get some newer ones declassed? Of course, it will only be a partial picture and we will have to trust that the threads picked will give a good overview. Of course, some people who run for positions like moderator have not been on staff previously, so in those cases there is no backroom stuff to go by (not a criticism, just an obvious observation from Captain Ob(li)vious :lol: ). So we vote based on the knowledge we have (and can remember :lol: ), and that's okay. Whatever the outcome it's not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. :) 

Yes, right now we have to go from oldest to newest for disciplinary threads unless a member PMs us to request their disciplinary thread that is at least 3 months old. 

 

Haha, I've actually been waiting for a group of members to get together in a thread and all decide that each of them will request one of the threads that involves them (individually) from the more recent group of threads in order to get more recent decisions posted! :lol:  With the rules right now, we can't release more modern disciplinary threads unless the member involved request it be released.

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Puck
21 minutes ago, InquisitivePhilosopher said:

@.Lia Oh, yes. I'm aware of that; it's just that, when members are extremely upset and repeatedly remain very adamant that something happened was wrong, it's sometimes difficult to ignore that and not take them seriously, especially when they say they're only trying to warn or help the community.

I think this is a good situation to look into if multiple members have this complaint or if it was just one. Also, I believe I know that situation you were talking about and there are many threads that have been declassed about it, so you can actually see the very situation that individual was talking about and thus make your own judgement.

 

I think the thing to keep in mind when it's only one member kicking up a fuss is they aren't always trying to help the community, rather vent frustrations or "get back" at mods when they are upset. Honestly, not all are doing that, some people really see real problems with admods and are honestly speaking real concerns. But in that particular situation, I think if you saw the full picture you might better understand.

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Puck
Just now, Puck said:

I think this is a good situation to look into if multiple members have this complaint or if it was just one. Also, I believe I know that situation you were talking about and there are many threads that have been declassed about it, so you can actually see the very situation that individual was talking about and thus make your own judgement.

 

I think the thing to keep in mind when it's only one member kicking up a fuss is they aren't always trying to help the community, rather vent frustrations or "get back" at mods when they are upset. Honestly, not all are doing that, some people really see real problems with admods and are honestly speaking real concerns. But in that particular situation, I think if you saw the full picture you might better understand.

Booooooo, change the rules, release all the threads.

 

 

(that isn't to say you and DT aren't doing an incredible job which you guys are totally doing)

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InquisitivePhilosopher

@Puck

Hi. Thanks for the advice. One reason why I didn't bother reading the declass threads to look that up was because members' names were removed, so I didn't know how to identify which one was the one that the one or two members felt unfairly punished them. I didn't know what month(s) or even the year(s) they had their citations. They'd mention several citations against them over the years, and, I think, one or two mods explained to them in their complaint threads that they couldn't reveal certain, private mod decisions about it to everyone, so all of it just felt as though I couldn't/wouldn't be able to figure out what went on, myself, that it was impossible. All of it felt too confusing, difficult, complicated and needlessly time-consuming to try to track down every incident they were talking about that happened in the past.

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daveb
6 hours ago, Cimmerian said:

With the rules right now, we can't release more modern disciplinary threads unless the member involved request it be released.

I don't know if there are any I was involved in, so I guess I can't request a release. :)

 

6 hours ago, Puck said:

I think if you saw the full picture you might better understand.

That's why I take those sorts of threads with a grain of salt. 

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Graveful
7 minutes ago, daveb said:

I don't know if there are any I was involved in, so I guess I can't request a release. :)

Generally, you would know if there's a thread about you unless nothing happened. (Vote resulted in no action against you.) Then you'd really only know once it time for them to declass it in the future. (DT reaches out to members involved in those threads.) I await the day where I can read my name in a declassed thread. (I don't ever want to be redacted.) 🤣 To my knowledge, I've only ever been brought up in passing from when I was staff and I've yet to receive any action. I'll work on that. 😉 #DethronePuck

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daveb

I feel like someone must have complained about me at some point! :lol:

(not that I try to get people to complain about me) :P 

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Puck
10 minutes ago, Graceful said:

#DethronePuck

James-Pokemon-on-Throne-gold.gif?ssl=1

 

5 minutes ago, daveb said:

I feel like someone must have complained about me at some point! :lol:

(not that I try to get people to complain about me) :P 

TBH, yeah. I reported you for being too reasonable and cool headed. Stupid other admods didn't agree that deserved disciplinary action <_<

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Graveful
10 minutes ago, daveb said:

I feel like someone must have complained about me at some point! :lol:

(not that I try to get people to complain about me) :P 

Sometimes people report things that aren't actually against ToS but admods are supposed to be level headed and go by the rules. If there's nothing to be done, there may not be any discussion of it to declass, just record of "this was reported, no action to be taken" sort of thing.

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daveb

I guess I will have to try harder. :P 

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Lady Ghoul
On 6/25/2018 at 4:39 PM, daveb said:

...(rhetorical question for people in general here - given my posts on this thread would you really want me as a mod!? :lol: Don't answer that!)

Um, YES. (see what I did there^) 😺

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Lady Ghoul

There was an error in the original post regarding who votes in the VoC for the admins. This portion of the announcement: "their fellow Admods will be the ones asking questions and voting." should read: "fellow Admods, DT, and PT will be the ones voting; all staff are allowed to ask questions.”

 

The OP of this thread will be edited to reflect this correction.

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