Jump to content
Skycaptain

Why are we elected

Recommended Posts

Skycaptain

This may start chaos, but I'd like everyone's opinion 

 

When someone stands for an election to a staff position, I believe that we are elected to represent the members, and whilst we are expected to ensure that ToS is adhered to, we should also listen to the membership and present their opinions when policies are being considered. 

However, when we are elected, we are expected to support and adhere to policies created by either Admods or Board of Directors. 

Do others feel, as I do (speaking as a member, not as a staff member) that this contradiction is not helpful to maintaining a good relationship between staff and the membership at large 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

You're right, it isn't helpful and doesn't make much sense.

 

It's a lot like real world politics/elections, actually, so that's nothing new.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoseGoesToYale

I would prefer something of a more direct democracy myself. I feel pretty detached from the AVEN governing process, which is the main reason I don't vote in the elections. Once they're in there, mods just do moddy stuff, which I have no control over anyway, so...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sithgroundhog

Yeah, I never really saw a reason for the elections since I didn't feel Mods represent members as much as just do what the BoD and Admods don't. It's like hiring a manager for a McD's, except once promoted to manager, the worker is no longer expected to take the side of the other workers but just be a voice for the franchise owner. Why ask the other workers who they want as manager when it doesn't matter since they're a voice piece? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
Quote

Yeah, I never really saw a reason for the elections since I didn't feel Mods represent members as much as just do what the BoD and Admods don't.

Guess what?  You were 100% spot on!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I was always taught to chose representatives based on their personalities and values which best aligned with my own values - even if we don't agree on every issue. It's more important that they be able to think for themselves and vote based on their principles than be a puppet of their constituency.

 

I'm not going to do something that I feel is harmful to the community because a few very loud voices are telling me it's what the majority of the community wants. You can disagree, and that's fine, but don't think this attempt at a guilt trip is going to change my mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte
4 minutes ago, Road said:

I was always taught to chose representatives based on their personalities and values which best aligned with my own values - even if we don't agree on every issue. It's more important that they be able to think for themselves and vote based on their principles than be a puppet of their constituency.

 

I'm not going to do something that I feel is harmful to the community because a few very loud voices are telling me it's what the majority of the community wants. You can disagree, and that's fine, but don't think this attempt at a guilt trip is going to change my mind.

This is pretty much my morality too.  It got me burned in the past and I lost some friendships because of it.  But I came out stronger due to it and made fair decisions instead of popular decisions.  I didn't give a rats ass about being liked.  I wanted to be fair.  I hope the rest of the staff feels the same way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sithgroundhog
6 minutes ago, Road said:

I was always taught to chose representatives based on their personalities and values which best aligned with my own values - even if we don't agree on every issue.

 

6 minutes ago, Road said:

I'm not going to do something that I feel is harmful to the community because a few very loud voices are telling me it's what the majority of the community wants.

I agree with you for the most part, but I wanted to point out a problem with democracy in general when it comes to elections. 

If we're given two options, you obviously have to choose the best option, right? Let's say you have one person who is pro-guns, pro-abortion, pro-nationalism, etc. and you have the other who is anti-gun, pro-abortion, anti-nationalism, etc. and with you being anti-everything, that would mean the best option is the second candidate despite them being pro-abortion and you being anti-abortion.

To this, I agree.

 

But then, if an abortion problem comes up, why can't we complain about that issue? I know we elected that candidate, but we didn't have a better choice. So we make our voices heard about why we're anti-abortion and how a bunch of silent others are also anti-abortion, and that's why we need to be listened to. I don't care if the candidate we elected thinks it's morally right to be pro-abortion, we still want our voices heard and have a right to be listened to when the candidate we elected is making decisions.

 

So yes, in a way I do believe candidates, when elected, should be a puppet for their constituents. It's why they're elected, to represent us. Not to be given power to do with as they will.

 

(Disclaimer: I'm not anti-abortion, I just used it as a political issue that is controversial with people on both sides being very vocal.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
1 minute ago, SithGirl said:

But then, if an abortion problem comes up, why can't we complain about that issue? I know we elected that candidate, but we didn't have a better choice. So we make our voices heard about why we're anti-abortion and how a bunch of silent others are also anti-abortion, and that's why we need to be listened to. I don't care if the candidate we elected thinks it's morally right to be pro-abortion, we still want our voices heard and have a right to be listened to when the candidate we elected is making decisions.

 

So yes, in a way I do believe candidates, when elected, should be a puppet for their constituents. It's why they're elected, to represent us. Not to be given power to do with as they will.

 

 

I think complaining and debating the issue are totally fine and should be encouraged. If we're cutting through the bullshit, this is about the invalidation issue. We've had pages and pages of debate on that issue and at this point everyone has said their piece and made up their mind on where they stand. I think all that, as uncomfortable as it may have been, was a necessary and democratic process and healthy for AVEN.

 

This thread? Not so much. This thread comes across less as an attempt to have a debate about what's best for the community and more as an attempt to guilt trip/strong arm those who stuck to that decision into feeling bad and changing their mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
Quote

I was always taught to chose representatives based on their personalities and values which best aligned with my own values - even if we don't agree on every issue. It's more important that they be able to think for themselves and vote based on their principles than be a puppet of their constituency.

You know what I've very frequently found to be the case here, though?

 

People that appeared to me like they had good integrity and a good head on their shoulders... either quickly seemed to lose them after becoming a mod, or would eventually give up their position without much fanfare, which I'm going to guess is often because the position asked them to lose more of that said integrity than they were okay with giving up.  The high turnover rate of modships here is of no secret to anybody.

 

Gee, I wonder if there's a connection.

 

Quote

I think complaining and debating the issue are totally fine and should be encouraged.

Except it isn't encouraged, because every time it happens, you guys bury your heads back in the sand and lock the thread and hope the issue will just go away.  I'm sure it will happen to this thread too, in time.

 

Please don't insult the intelligence of the userbase by suggesting you're all for communication when you keep shutting it down.  You aren't fooling anybody.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sithgroundhog

@Road If I elect a mod and they're supposed to represent me, then yes, I expect them to represent me. If they're just there to fill an authoritative position but not represent me, then whatever. I take the stance of "why bother with an election?" then.

 

So if I have two candidates: one who believes in TOS and FAQ literalism who never thinks anything has a double meaning, vs. one who has a "who cares about labels?" stance, I'll choose who I think is better but still may not agree with them on everything. In which case, I still can voice my opposition. If told "Shut up, your opinion doesn't matter, only the BoD's and the Admins' matter," why bother with elections?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoseGoesToYale
1 minute ago, Philip027 said:

Except it isn't encouraged, because every time it happens, you guys bury your heads back in the sand and lock the thread and hope the issue will go away.

 

Please don't insult the intelligence of the userbase by suggesting you're all for communication when you keep shutting it down.

What do you think would be a more fair solution? As I understand it, the invalidation thread was locked because it had devolved into circular arguments and airing of heated grievances rather than remain a constructive debate.

 

I myself didn't see the point in leaving it open, and I think in many cases the mods have to act on their better judgement to make sure those types of threads don't explode into personal fights, and the last thing I want is this place to turn into Reddit, land of cutthroat bitter adults and holier-than-thou insults. It comes back to a fundamental question... can we debate in a civilized manner?

 

I personally don't like to get into politics, not here nor the ones of my country, because it's very draining. But I do think, being the very close community that we are, if we had something of a town hall situation where the townsfolk, as it were, could give their input on the most relevant issues and suggestions would be put to a general vote, somewhat like citizens initiative, I would participate in the vote instead of just debating the issue, which seems to get everyone nowhere. That's another reason I don't vote for mods... it's not like a real-life election where candidates state what systemic changes they would make if elected, it's more about candidates just explaining why they're capable of doing the job of moderator, and everyone I see run seems perfectly qualified.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FaerieFate
19 minutes ago, Philip027 said:

You know what I've very frequently found to be the case here, though?

 

People that appeared to me like they had good integrity and a good head on their shoulders... either quickly seemed to lose them after becoming a mod, or would eventually give up their position without much fanfare, which I'm going to guess is often because the position asked them to lose more of that said integrity than they were okay with giving up.  The high turnover rate of modships here is of no secret to anybody.

 

Gee, I wonder if there's a connection.

 

Except it isn't encouraged, because every time it happens, you guys bury your heads back in the sand and lock the thread and hope the issue will just go away.  I'm sure it will happen to this thread too, in time.

 

Please don't insult the intelligence of the userbase by suggesting you're all for communication when you keep shutting it down.  You aren't fooling anybody.

Threads are locked because people prove they can't have a calm discussion on them and I don't want to deal with 20 reports that are basically insults. We do have a thread that was kept open on the invalidation policy because people proceed they could have a calm collected discussion there. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Muledeer
3 hours ago, SkyenAutowegCaptain said:

…. listen to the membership and present their opinions when policies are being considered. 

However, when we are elected, we are expected to support and adhere to policies created by either Admods or Board of Directors.

 

I assume you are not compensated for your service as a Mod.  If you were hired, then I believe you are paid (and have a duty) to support the organization's policies and practices.   But if you are merely serving in a voluntary capacity, and we, the members elected you, then I believe you should try to represent the majority of our opinions and support the agenda that best suits your constituents (us).

 

Thanks for your service, by the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, FaerieFate said:

Threads are locked because people prove they can't have a calm discussion on them and I don't want to deal with 20 reports that are basically insults. We do have a thread that was kept open on the invalidation policy because people proceed they could have a calm collected discussion there. 

Well I know you say that, but what I see is a certain few admods blatantly ignoring valid criticisms and concerns, then locking the thread when people get too frustrated with said blatant ignoring of criticisms and concerns.

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?)
2 hours ago, FaerieFate said:

We do have a thread that was kept open on the invalidation policy because people proceed they could have a calm collected discussion there. 

Which one is that by the way, could you link?

 

Edit: oh don't worry, found it :cake:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sithgroundhog
3 minutes ago, Pan Ficto. (on hiatus?) said:

Well I know you say that, but what I see is a certain few admods blatantly ignoring valid criticisms and concerns, then locking the thread when people get too frustrated with said blatant ignoring of criticisms and concerns.

 

I was trying to temper my emotions by not saying the same thing, because I agree. 

 

2 hours ago, FaerieFate said:

Threads are locked because people prove they can't have a calm discussion on them and I don't want to deal with 20 reports that are basically insults.

 

Also, I want to touch on the "calmly" criticism, because I am calm in most of my posts on AVEN. I try really hard to write out my thoughts, fix them up where I feel I rambled or went off topic or worded something poorly. I take my emotions out on real people and yell or vent to them when I can't on AVEN so I can remain calm. And when I feel I can't, I back out or stop myself from responding (albeit sometimes a bit rudely).  

I can see evidence of others being calm, too. I can even see some people taking the holier-than-thou argument of throwing up one's hands and going "Gosh, I don't see why you're so upset. If only you were calm, then we could discuss this like adults." 

 

I find threads to be locked more often because both sides are refusing to concede and there no longer being a point in the discussion, like Rose said (holy crap I didn't see her comment at first because I was still looking for her Halloween avatar and username!).

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FaerieFate
7 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

I was trying to temper my emotions by not saying the same thing, because I agree. 

 

 

Also, I want to touch on the "calmly" criticism, because I am calm in most of my posts on AVEN. I try really hard to write out my thoughts, fix them up where I feel I rambled or went off topic or worded something poorly. I take my emotions out on real people and yell or vent to them when I can't on AVEN so I can remain calm. And when I feel I can't, I back out or stop myself from responding (albeit sometimes a bit rudely).  

I can see evidence of others being calm, too. I can even see some people taking the holier-than-thou argument of throwing up one's hands and going "Gosh, I don't see why you're so upset. If only you were calm, then we could discuss this like adults." 

Just because you are or some peopel are doesn't mean everyone is, unfortunately.

 

7 minutes ago, SithGirl said:

I find threads to be locked more often because both sides are refusing to concede and there no longer being a point in the discussion, like Rose said (holy crap I didn't see her comment at first because I was still looking for her Halloween avatar and username!).

There is also a point in where neither side will listen, but those mostly get locked because both sides keep saying their opinions louder and louder, not listening to the other as they get more and more angry that the other side just won't agree with them until they start insulting each other or doing something else against the rules. Then there's no point in keeping the thread open because there's nothing constructive about it. Would I prefer it open? Yeah. Did some people still have good calm criticisms and arguments? Of course. However, we don't want to keep topics open that re going to encourage members to break the rules. Members don't seem to be able to be calm on that thread, so it makes sense to lock it. Besides, we can't talk to members about valid criticisms when the rest of the thread is in that state. If there's valid things we want to discuss, we can either open up a new thread or PM the person so it can stay on topic and we can be able to listen to them. (When I say "We can open up a new thread" I mean staff. I don't awnt to encourage members to do the same because often times the members open up a new thread are the reason why the thread was locked in the first place and they only make a new one to continue the argument.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally

Re what was said by/in OP, I don't see a contradiction.  AVEN has rules of conduct -- mainly the ToS -- which everyone here, including the admods, agree to when they join.  Mods adhere to those rules, but they also hopefully attempt to help members as much as they can.  That doesn't mean they "represent" members, in the sense that they agree with or favor some members over others.  It just means that they hopefully represent AVEN to members as a good place to communicate with other asexuals (and those sexuals who are members).  

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Puck

Upholding ToS even if you don't agree with it all is part of a mods job the same way an elected government official would have to uphold the law even if they don't agree is part of the job. Remember that lady in Kentucky who got fired because she wouldn't give the two men trying to marry each other a marriage license even though it was legal? Yeah, she disagreed. But it was her job to follow it and she didn't, so she got the boot. Admods works similarly. You can change many of the rules, but only with the support of your fellow admods and while adhering to the owner's of the site (BoD).

 

BoD makes VERY few decrees. They like leaving the running of the site to admods as much as possible, this just happens to be one topic they see as a cultural tentpole.

 

Most of the ToS was made by elected admods trying to build a ToS that was best for members and what they thought members most valued. Do they get it wrong sometimes? Sure. Is it ever gonna be one-size-fits-all and make everyone happy? Nope, never. But admods have the ability to change and members have the ability to choose who becomes mods as well as suggest to mods what changes they would like to see, either by messaging them or by posting suggestions in site comments or however else they choose to go about alerting admods. Admods of past tried their best to make a good ToS and policies to help admods of now work as smooth and with as much help in harder situations as possible. They got some shit wrong, but things can change.

 

Not a perfect system, but it's what we have and most admods are honestly trying their best to be good admods for everyone. They aren't perfect, but they are trying.

 

As for this particular situation... This isn't a change of policy, it's a re-iteration of it. Which they also did 2-2.5ish years ago (I think... my memory isn't always exact, but that's close) so it's not new this year. And it's been part of the ToS longer than that. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a good decade old, tbh.

 

I don't love the policy, I will vocally and publicly disagree with it, I will challenge it until I understand it's exact bounds (or, ya know, somehow change it which I admit isn't likely), but I also do think that the people who legally own the site are within their rights to set some rules. If it weren't for them, none of this would be here at all.

 

PS. If you aren't a staff member and wanna get an idea of how admods works, most the threads they make in the "backroom" become public here. Most really are trying their best to make the site as good as it can be. They aren't perfect, but who is. But you can get a better idea of how they work by looking at some of the convos and such they have.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027
Quote

Upholding ToS even if you don't agree with it all is part of a mods job the same way an elected government official would have to uphold the law even if they don't agree is part of the job. Remember that lady in Kentucky who got fired because she wouldn't give the two men trying to marry each other a marriage license even though it was legal? Yeah, she disagreed. But it was her job to follow it and she didn't, so she got the boot. Admods works similarly. You can change many of the rules, but only with the support of your fellow admods and while adhering to the owner's of the site (BoD).

The difference here is that if mods found they really couldn't abide by a ToS they supposedly don't agree with, you'd think they would renounce their position and leave.  (And I'll bet a gazillion dollars that some have done just that.)  By sticking around and not taking any sort of stand against it, you're making a statement that you feel everything is okay, regardless of if that's actually how you feel.

 

Kim Davis didn't do this.  She just wanted to have her cushy job and eat it too.  But it's not like the mods here have "losing their paycheck" as a potential excuse for sucking it up and remaining in a role they supposedly don't agree with.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blaiddmelyn

I always just assumed mods were elected because they're the folks we trust best to interpret the ToS and apply the rules fairly. It's how US judges are appointed I believe, and tbf, I personally believe that's a terrible system that means the judiciary can't be independent ... but this is an internet forum so I can't get too excited. I don't think I've ever expected a mod to represent me since this isn't Parliament or anything like that. At least one director regularly posts on here, I can bug them if i really feel i have a concern with this site.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sithmaster WinterDragon

Admods are VERY MUCH part of a member of AVEN even if they're a Mod, Admin, Project Team and Declassification Team.....

That being said, though you all have more control over the site, it does not change who you are as a member,  but you help with the behind scenes and that in itself makes you someone who new members can look to for more information on how AVEN runs and or help if they need it .

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
5 hours ago, FaerieFate said:

Just because you are or some peopel are doesn't mean everyone is, unfortunately.

 

There is also a point in where neither side will listen, but those mostly get locked because both sides keep saying their opinions louder and louder, not listening to the other as they get more and more angry that the other side just won't agree with them until they start insulting each other or doing something else against the rules. Then there's no point in keeping the thread open because there's nothing constructive about it. Would I prefer it open? Yeah. Did some people still have good calm criticisms and arguments? Of course. However, we don't want to keep topics open that re going to encourage members to break the rules. Members don't seem to be able to be calm on that thread, so it makes sense to lock it. Besides, we can't talk to members about valid criticisms when the rest of the thread is in that state. If there's valid things we want to discuss, we can either open up a new thread or PM the person so it can stay on topic and we can be able to listen to them. (When I say "We can open up a new thread" I mean staff. I don't awnt to encourage members to do the same because often times the members open up a new thread are the reason why the thread was locked in the first place and they only make a new one to continue the argument.)

There are usually 1-2 users causing issues for a whole thread. There are often other ways to handle than locking it. I locked as a last resort when I was admod, PMs, hidden posts and editing out choice words that aren't allowed and PMing the user are all valid options as well. The announcement thread was into joking around, without ToS breaching when it was locked, for example. That was cooling off on its own and locking it made it seem more cause admods didn't like that their responses were not being taken with omg yay and were being challenged since they weren't answering the questions posed to them. Unlocking a thread after reviewing and seeing the 20 reports are 90% frivolous is also a valid option, that seems rarely exercised anymore (every thread I see locked lately never gets unlocked). 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KYON.

TBH, my criteria for voting for someone is A) they’re not an ass and B) they’re not gormless


I’ve never seen anyone on the staff as “representing” me. I just want them to be competent enough to enforce the rules without being total dicks. 

The whole voting/election thing is all just a show really. People talk about what they’ll try to do to improve/change AVEN, but realistically there’s very little they can do. 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
Just now, KYON. said:

TBH, my criteria for voting for someone is A) they’re not an ass and B) they’re not gormless


I’ve never seen anyone on the staff as “representing” me. I just want them to be competent enough to enforce the rules without being total dicks. 

The whole voting/election thing is all just a show really. People talk about what they’ll try to do to improve/change AVEN, but realistically there’s very little they can do. 


 

Yeah only thing they can do is how they moderate their own section. They control nothing else. So, they could hide and PM, vs going straight for a warn. Or edit. But that's the limit. Everything else really is group vote and BoD decrees. PT, Admods, DT all ultimately have to just follow majority or the owners. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Midland Tyke
4 hours ago, Blaiddmelyn said:

I always just assumed mods were elected because they're the folks we trust best to interpret the ToS and apply the rules fairly. It's how US judges are appointed I believe, and tbf, I personally believe that's a terrible system that means the judiciary can't be independent ... but this is an internet forum so I can't get too excited. I don't think I've ever expected a mod to represent me since this isn't Parliament or anything like that. At least one director regularly posts on here, I can bug them if i really feel i have a concern with this site.

This is my view of things, too.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
daveb

Thank you, @Sally and @Puck and some others.

 

I couldn't put it any better.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FaerieFate
11 hours ago, Philip027 said:

The difference here is that if mods found they really couldn't abide by a ToS they supposedly don't agree with, you'd think they would renounce their position and leave.  (And I'll bet a gazillion dollars that some have done just that.)  By sticking around and not taking any sort of stand against it, you're making a statement that you feel everything is okay, regardless of if that's actually how you feel.

 

Kim Davis didn't do this.  She just wanted to have her cushy job and eat it too.  But it's not like the mods here have "losing their paycheck" as a potential excuse for sucking it up and remaining in a role they supposedly don't agree with.

There's been a lot about admods I didn't agree with. I've stuck around (or kept coming back) to hopefully change it for the better because I love AVEN.

 

14 hours ago, Muledeer said:

I assume you are not compensated for your service as a Mod.  If you were hired, then I believe you are paid (and have a duty) to support the organization's policies and practices.   But if you are merely serving in a voluntary capacity, and we, the members elected you, then I believe you should try to represent the majority of our opinions and support the agenda that best suits your constituents (us).

 

Thanks for your service, by the way.

Thing is this rule wasn't made by admods. This was made by BOD, which is effectively the legal team of AVEN. Their job is to handle the legal stuff of AVEN. If there's something (like GDPR) that could get AVEN in trouble, they step in and alter the rules to cover AVEN's backside. I assume if AVEN does get on legal trouble they handle it and it's their backside on the line. In that way, they're above admods.

 

Sometimes they do step in for non-legal issues like now to make sure AVEN's rules are followed consistently and match AVEN's values. However, in all my times being mod over 3 or 4 years, this is the only time I've seen them step in this way. They don't want to use that power over admods unless absolutely necessary. 

 

10 hours ago, Blaiddmelyn said:

I always just assumed mods were elected because they're the folks we trust best to interpret the ToS and apply the rules fairly. It's how US judges are appointed I believe, and tbf, I personally believe that's a terrible system that means the judiciary can't be independent ... but this is an internet forum so I can't get too excited. I don't think I've ever expected a mod to represent me since this isn't Parliament or anything like that. At least one director regularly posts on here, I can bug them if i really feel i have a concern with this site.

This implies that all admods do is make and interpret roles, though, which I disagree with. I'm doing a lot on backend that's not even related to the rules to help new members that are questioning find their sexuality, most of which hasn't been brought to front end yet, and won't be seen by anyone that doesn't follow my threads. 

 

There's a lot of resources to do a lot more than be judge and jury if admods want to use it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...