Jump to content
Heart

Do you like the new Vote of Confidence system?

What do you think about the new Vote of Confidence (VoC) system?  

25 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Should we keep the current VoC system?

    • Yes
      8
    • No
      10
    • No opinion / Abstain
      7
  2. 2. If we don't keep the current VoC system, should we make a new system?

    • Yes (please post about your ideas for a new system in the comments)
      5
    • No, go back to the old system
      7
    • No opinion / Abstain
      13


Recommended Posts

Heart

Hey everyone! Admods started a vote of confidence (VoC) system where every mod and admin who had been in their station for two years went through a vote to see if they should remain (and then again every two years after). The mods do their vote on the open boards, since that is where they do most of their work. The admins do our vote in our forum, Admods Only, which is not visible to the membership at large. That's where we do most of our work, so the mods are the most able to decide if we are working well or not. We are also voted in by the mods in the first place.

 

I have two examples of VoCs that we've done so far. One of them is my own, which has just now been declassed on my request so I could show it to you. This is an example of an admin VoC:

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/184550-moved-feb0620-vote-of-confidence-for-heart/

 

The other is an example of a moderator's VoC, for iff. This was public to the membership, and members who have seen iff work on their forums could vote about whether to keep iff as a mod or not.

https://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/184969-vote-of-confidence-for-iff-voting/

 

The point of bringing in this system is to address the previously infinite terms of admods. Every other staff member has a two year term renewal, but admods never had to re-run for our positions. This was seen as a bit unfair, and potentialy problematic if an admod got voted in, then ended up being someone folks don't think is doing a good job.

 

However, we weren't able to do a re-run system like other teams, where we simply run an election and the current admod runs along with anyone else who wishes to run. The reasoning is that admods have a special role, where we are in charge of discipline. In the same way that the public has no say in who gets in as a judge in the judicial system (at least not anywhere I'm aware of), it is not fair to ask folks to run in elections against others who may have never angered a member by giving them a warning. No other staff is responsible for disciplinary action.

 

There are of course pros and cons. The pros, I feel like I listed above; there are no infinite term limits and folks have a say in whether an admod stays in their role at least every two years. The cons though include the risk of losing important institutional historical knowledge, like what policies were enacted (or voted down) for what reason. We have some very long-standing members of admods who bring important and valuable historical knowledge to the team, and the worry is that they may be voted out simply because they may not interact with the membership as much. Another con is the concern that we are putting more workload on volunteers who are already pretty busy; a VoC is a lot of extra work, even if it's only every two years. You can see how much extra work goes into it, I hope, by reading the two examples above.

 

Those are the pros and cons as I understand them. I hope to have portrayed the arguments as accurately and faithfully as I could, but I welcome folks who want to come in and add or expand upon things I've missed or inaccurately portrayed. This is a topic we've discussed a lot in the Admods Only forum, and it's very important to us.

 

The VoC system as we have it is not perfect, nothing is. My purpose here is to ask the membership how you like it, and whether you think we should keep it or go back to the old system of infinite term lengths. Or perhaps you have a better idea? Tell me, I'd love to hear it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KYON.

I don't see the point, TBH. It's just another thing to make being on the staff more complicated than it needs to be.

 

Unless a mod has been obviously incompetent/malicious, we'd have no reason to vote them out. Hopefully if someone was that bad, they would have already been sorted out. We'll all just vote to keep them and the whole thing will have been a waste of time.

 

If someone has been on staff for two years and still has the will to carry on, let them keep doing it with as little stress and inconvenience as possible. Making them have to go through a job review for their unpaid volunteer role is just silly and a bit insulting.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LeChat

Well, this is a bit disappointing; I was hoping to read others' ideas, who'd voted that the current system should be changed (unless, perhaps, it's possible that those who'd voted for this are members of staff who've already voiced their ideas under the "Admods Only" forum that Heart mentioned). 

 

It's kind of difficult to change a system without knowing what others want changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silence4now

Can't the admods be given a permanent place to add assistance and the history and knowledge be preserved either way? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Everything should be documented to some degree right? Everyone's contribution respected a nd called upon as needed. Judges frequently offer advice even after retirement. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart
26 minutes ago, LeChat said:

Well, this is a bit disappointing; I was hoping to read others' ideas, who'd voted that the current system should be changed (unless, perhaps, it's possible that those who'd voted for this are members of staff who've already voiced their ideas under the "Admods Only" forum that Heart mentioned). 

 

It's kind of difficult to change a system without knowing what others want changed.

 

I'll tag some of the DT, I think they've declassed a lot of the policy discussions where we discussed putting this in place. Maybe someone has the time to go back and find them and link them here, to help show what you're looking for. Would that help?

 

30 minutes ago, KYON. said:

I don't see the point, TBH. It's just another thing to make being on the staff more complicated than it needs to be.

 

Unless a mod has been obviously incompetent/malicious, we'd have no reason to vote them out. Hopefully if someone was that bad, they would have already been sorted out. We'll all just vote to keep them and the whole thing will have been a waste of time.

 

If someone has been on staff for two years and still has the will to carry on, let them keep doing it with as little stress and inconvenience as possible. Making them have to go through a job review for their unpaid volunteer role is just silly and a bit insulting.

For what it's worth, there is indeed a system in place for de-modding or de-staffing volunteers who have done something against the Code of Conduct or Terms of Service. So the most egregious of errors would be taken care of, yes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart
Just now, Silence4now said:

Can't the admods be given a permanent place to add assistance and the history and knowledge be preserved either way? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Everything should be documented to some degree right? Everyone's contribution respected a nd called upon as needed. Judges frequently offer advice even after retirement. 

Indeed, every policy discussion is documented. The problem is that there is SO MUCH history, it's sometimes hard to find what you're looking for unless you remember some key words from the discussion, or the thread title, to search it by.

 

And sometimes, you can;t find what you don't know exists. Maybe we've already discussed a policy and decided it was a bad idea, then a new mod comes in and suggests it again. If none of us remember that we've already discussed it years ago, then we won't even think to search for it and link it. That's probably the most common contribution I see from longer-standing staff.

 

Does that make sense?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silence4now

Absolutely @Heart I misunderstood the issue. Makes total sense. Thanks. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skycaptain

Just scrap VoC altogether in my opinion 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox

Some important Admod Archive Posts on the VoC: -

 

This thread below is how the VoC idear started dated June 7th 2018

This one goes into further detail on well, all the detail on it, dated july 19th 2018

This one details exactly who and what staff other than Admods can vote in VoC's, dated October 6th 2018

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox

I can't comment far on this as a DT... it just feels a bit, unnecessary, the system has never effectively been successful in removing any staff member.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LeChat
23 minutes ago, Janus DarkFox said:

...The following two are further Admin VoC's in action, September and December 2018

 

Thanks, for the links!

 

However, the last two aren't showing up for me; both just say, "Sorry, we can't show this content because you do not have permission to see it."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox

I'll remove those, those arnt ready for Declass yet, getting ahead of the game here :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart
1 hour ago, Silence4now said:

Absolutely @Heart I misunderstood the issue. Makes total sense. Thanks. 

Awesome, I'm glad I could help! It's sometimes hard to know what our job actually looks like, so I'm glad folks ask so I can help clear up things like this :)

 

50 minutes ago, Janus DarkFox said:

Some important Admod Archive Posts on the VoC: -

 

This thread below is how the VoC idear started dated June 7th 2018

This one goes into further detail on well, all the detail on it, dated july 19th 2018

This one details exactly who and what staff other than Admods can vote in VoC's, dated October 6th 2018

 

 

 

I want to take a minute to applaud our heroic Declass team. The work they've put in in general is amazing. I'm sure the other two are in the process of being declassed, maybe someone can ping this thread when they're ready?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Philip027

My thoughts, in no particular order, and with no particular level of rational thought expressed:

 

- I didn't know of this system's existence until now (maybe that's because it's new though?)

- There's actually people that have admodded here for 2 years?  (Ok, yeah, I guess there's been a couple or so...)

- Anyone who's stuck it out here for that long without going insane deserves a goddamn medal at the very least, not to be arbitrarily put on the chopping block.  Don't you guys have issues with retention as it is?

- Why not just, like, remove people if and when they start being shitters?  It isn't a presidency with a set term or something.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OptimisticPessimist
3 hours ago, KYON. said:

I don't see the point, TBH. It's just another thing to make being on the staff more complicated than it needs to be.

 

Unless a mod has been obviously incompetent/malicious, we'd have no reason to vote them out. Hopefully if someone was that bad, they would have already been sorted out. We'll all just vote to keep them and the whole thing will have been a waste of time.

 

If someone has been on staff for two years and still has the will to carry on, let them keep doing it with as little stress and inconvenience as possible. Making them have to go through a job review for their unpaid volunteer role is just silly and a bit insulting.

This, all of this. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CBC

In all honesty I have no strong opinion. Perhaps seems a bit unnecessary but mostly I just don't care.

 

You know what definitely seems unnecessary, though? Declassifying old threads. I truly don't get it. (But I know that's another topic, not trying to start something.)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kimchi Peanut

Strongly for it. I wouldn’t leave AVEN over it being scrapped but my bitterness here would intensify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
daveb

Speaking for myself, my VOC will be coming up in August. If people have had enough of me by then I will be happy to step down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran

 

 

6 hours ago, Heart said:

 

For what it's worth, there is indeed a system in place for de-modding or de-staffing volunteers who have done something against the Code of Conduct or Terms of Service. So the most egregious of errors would be taken care of, yes.

The issue being admins only vote on if the CoC was violated. And we run into a lot of things that imo should be immediate removal that arent even discussed among the overall team and the admod that did it doesnt even know they were in trouble at all for it. Like insulting users, breaching, graveyarding threads just cause the admod doesnt like it even though it breaks no rules, harassing users on and off site and on and on. 

 

Not to mention the admods that became so inactive they would be gone for weeks at a time and users and admods had never even seen them talk at all but still kept their position. 

 

Lots of reasons to keep admods accountable to the userbase as much as possible. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart
59 minutes ago, Serran said:

 

 

The issue being admins only vote on if the CoC was violated. And we run into a lot of things that imo should be immediate removal that arent even discussed among the overall team and the admod that did it doesnt even know they were in trouble at all for it. Like insulting users, breaching, graveyarding threads just cause the admod doesnt like it even though it breaks no rules, harassing users on and off site and on and on. 

 

Not to mention the admods that became so inactive they would be gone for weeks at a time and users and admods had never even seen them talk at all but still kept their position. 

 

Lots of reasons to keep admods accountable to the userbase as much as possible. 

I do generally agree. I just did want to do a quick fact check: insulting or harassing members, including off AVEN, is indeed against the CoC. Breaching is also against the CoC, though traditionally it has been hard or impossible to figure out which person actually did it.

 

Graveyarding a thread "just because" is not explicitly against the CoC that I can see. It is written in the CoC though that staff need to record thread actions, including graveyarding. So I guess we'd see it, but wouldn't necessarily have reason/ability to act on it.

 

We do have a precedent for bringing staff (including other teams like PT) up for review based on being AWOL for significant amounts of time. People have been asked in the past to step down due to inactivity, though there is no formal threshold for what counts as "inactivity" exactly. Folks are generally given nudges/notice that their level of activity needs to go up though, and given a chance to correct their behaviour, before being brought up for review. From my recollection, "inactivity" is usually "when someone notices", which is often when someone misses a roll call (they happen once a month at a random date, and all admods are required to post to show that they have been online within 48hrs of it being posted), or when someone's duties are specifically not being done, even to the minimum (a PT in charge of social media not posting updates, for example). Those are only examples I can think of, I can imagine others coming up.

 

So in short, there is only one thing in that list that is not actually something we would be able to address pretty quickly. Having said that, this does not invalidate the concern. There are probably other reasons one might want to oust an admod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SithAzathoth WinterDragon

I think both systems were/are good. However if it should change please let us know.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
6 hours ago, Heart said:

I do generally agree. I just did want to do a quick fact check: insulting or harassing members, including off AVEN, is indeed against the CoC. Breaching is also against the CoC, though traditionally it has been hard or impossible to figure out which person actually did it.

And we both know being technically against CoC doesnt mean it will be acted on. I mean, there were two times I reported admods for outright insulting users and logs existed. Myself and several of my fellow admods at the time lost trust in admod accountability, that is why some of us pushed this idea hard. 

 

And most off AVEN behavior is a simple "did you do it?" to which we all knew a no would be sufficient evidence to save our jobs. You need IP proof which sites arent going to share with you so it's pretty much a free for all. Doesnt really matter if we all know an alias belongs to so and so, they would have to come into AVEN and admit to it. I've watched enough staff take advantage of that system to not trust it. 

 

 Just because it's a rule or policy on books doesnt mean it is followed to user satisfaction. The system isnt perfect and it's hard to have the only people holding admods accountable be the admods themselves. You're naturally going to cut yourselves and your friends more slack than users may. Plus, frankly, you have so much red tape to cut through to do anything that it becomes hard to move. 

 

These are all reasons I personally favored being held as accountable as the other staff. Do a good job? Users will vote for you. Do a bad job? Let the users say so. All other staff has it so admods shouldnt be excluded. 

 

Edit:And before people get all defensive, I dont think the team overall does a bad job. I dislike the system in place and I think a few people have badly abused it in the past and probably the present. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox
11 hours ago, CBC said:

In all honesty I have no strong opinion. Perhaps seems a bit unnecessary but mostly I just don't care.

 

You know what definitely seems unnecessary, though? Declassifying old threads. I truly don't get it. (But I know that's another topic, not trying to start something.)

Looking back, there was a legal requirement to release hidden information due to a change in the law, but AVEN has the need to keep information safe as well, thus Declass was developed.  This goes back as far as 10 years ago or more.  It isn’t as simple as to just make all boards visible for all.  (Big topic indeed :) )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox
7 hours ago, Heart said:

We do have a precedent for bringing staff (including other teams like PT) up for review based on being AWOL for significant amounts of time. People have been asked in the past to step down due to inactivity, though there is no formal threshold for what counts as "inactivity" exactly. Folks are generally given nudges/notice that their level of activity needs to go up though, and given a chance to correct their behaviour, before being brought up for review. From my recollection, "inactivity" is usually "when someone notices", which is often when someone misses a roll call (they happen once a month at a random date, and all admods are required to post to show that they have been online within 48hrs of it being posted), or when someone's duties are specifically not being done, even to the minimum (a PT in charge of social media not posting updates, for example). Those are only examples I can think of, I can imagine others coming up.

 

So in short, there is only one thing in that list that is not actually something we would be able to address pretty quickly. Having said that, this does not invalidate the concern. There are probably other reasons one might want to oust an admod.

Same for DT, similar AWOL situations, if a member has not made any contribution for a month or made very small contributions, they’ll be notified of it after a DT staff wide PM discussion.  They will have a chance to reply in another month, they maybe asked again in another month, if still nothing in 3 months, then it’s up to Admods.  This process has only been done twice and only once to its full outcome.  Personally, if I see nothing in Declass at all for a month from anybody, I post a little reminder in Declass forum, that’s about as much is required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silence4now

I am just gonna ask and as usual if what I say is unhelpful then sorry.

 

    Would it help all of the people volunteering their time if there were people who could be given the access and the task of finding buried information for whichever of the admods need it? Like an assistant to locate information that alone may take an admod a long time to recover if at all. If the problem is time to recover or to determine what has been decided prior to a current situation, then maybe extra eyes looking for that would help. Rules for that I assume would be needed but less pressure on one person would be good for all of you. We all should be here enjoying these threads as much as helping manage them. It seems a shame to turn that into a chore for anyone. Who really wants this to be work more than joy? I am certain some people would spend more time in the threads as a mentor or guide of sorts if they felt less work and more joy in it. You are all in these positions because you know your info and can help share it to people who do not. You can't do that if you are buried in tasks. As much as the paper trail must be accounted for is important so is the living moment. It should only be enjoyable. 👩‍🏫👽👨‍🏫

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Janus DarkFox
8 minutes ago, Silence4now said:

I am just gonna ask and as usual if what I say is unhelpful then sorry.

 

    Would it help all of the people volunteering their time if there were people who could be given the access and the task of finding buried information for whichever of the admods need it? Like an assistant to locate information that alone may take an admod a long time to recover if at all. If the problem is time to recover or to determine what has been decided prior to a current situation, then maybe extra eyes looking for that would help. Rules for that I assume would be needed but less pressure on one person would be good for all of you. We all should be here enjoying these threads as much as helping manage them. It seems a shame to turn that into a chore for anyone. Who really wants this to be work more than joy? I am certain some people would spend more time in the threads as a mentor or guide of sorts if they felt less work and more joy in it. You are all in these positions because you know your info and can help share it to people who do not. You can't do that if you are buried in tasks. As much as the paper trail must be accounted for is important so is the living moment. It should only be enjoyable. 👩‍🏫👽👨‍🏫

Anybody on staff do this already also between TT, DT and archivists, it doesn’t take too long to locate information.  Then on though, it’s limited to software bugs or limitations and memory to use the right key words.  The Search Feature is not perfect and it struggles with more than 4 words and search modifiers.  A persons memory will not be perfect either, especially remembering facts or keywords 5-10 or 15 years ago would be difficult also when staff of that time are not around anymore.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Homer
11 hours ago, Kimchi Peanut said:

Strongly for it. I wouldn’t leave AVEN over it being scrapped but my bitterness here would intensify.

Why is that? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Silence4now

@Janus DarkFox I apparently should stay out of this conversation. I seem to be missing the purpose. First I thought the fear was losing the actual people with the knowledge base and information was being lost when each of these people stop as admods for whatever reason. Then I thought @Heart said the problem was being able to track down specific information in threads and decisions were hard to make without that. My fault. Sorry. Just think this should be a pleasure to all of you as much as anyone else. I have read enough to know you've all have done your best for the other members. You deserve that from all of us too was my point. Honestly I wish I could just go to the very first comment and read up to now and on into the future. I am reading everything I can get to though. Fascinating and enlightening at all times. I have great admiration for the people sharing so much of themselves here.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart
2 hours ago, Silence4now said:

@Janus DarkFox I apparently should stay out of this conversation. I seem to be missing the purpose. First I thought the fear was losing the actual people with the knowledge base and information was being lost when each of these people stop as admods for whatever reason. Then I thought @Heart said the problem was being able to track down specific information in threads and decisions were hard to make without that. My fault. Sorry. Just think this should be a pleasure to all of you as much as anyone else. I have read enough to know you've all have done your best for the other members. You deserve that from all of us too was my point. Honestly I wish I could just go to the very first comment and read up to now and on into the future. I am reading everything I can get to though. Fascinating and enlightening at all times. I have great admiration for the people sharing so much of themselves here.  

You're not wrong, and please don't feel like you have to apologize! Much of our jobs are done outside of public view, so we don't expect you folks to just know what goes on. And each of your statements, that "the fear was losing the actual people with the knowledge base and information was being lost when each of these people stop as admods for whatever reason", and that "the problem was being able to track down specific information in threads and decisions were hard to make without that" is correct to some degree. The problem is nuanced and multi-layered.

 

And your suggestion is a great one! In fact, to a large extent, the TT that we have functions to help with this. They are ex-staff who volunteer to help train up new staff, as well as to help answer questions from current staff no matter how experienced. Some members of the TT have been extra helpful in looking up old threads and records for us, so I think they basically do what you suggested. It's a good suggestion, we all find the TT to be extremely helpful :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart
6 hours ago, Serran said:

And we both know being technically against CoC doesnt mean it will be acted on. I mean, there were two times I reported admods for outright insulting users and logs existed. Myself and several of my fellow admods at the time lost trust in admod accountability, that is why some of us pushed this idea hard. 

 

And most off AVEN behavior is a simple "did you do it?" to which we all knew a no would be sufficient evidence to save our jobs. You need IP proof which sites arent going to share with you so it's pretty much a free for all. Doesnt really matter if we all know an alias belongs to so and so, they would have to come into AVEN and admit to it. I've watched enough staff take advantage of that system to not trust it. 

 

 Just because it's a rule or policy on books doesnt mean it is followed to user satisfaction. The system isnt perfect and it's hard to have the only people holding admods accountable be the admods themselves. You're naturally going to cut yourselves and your friends more slack than users may. Plus, frankly, you have so much red tape to cut through to do anything that it becomes hard to move. 

 

These are all reasons I personally favored being held as accountable as the other staff. Do a good job? Users will vote for you. Do a bad job? Let the users say so. All other staff has it so admods shouldnt be excluded. 

 

Edit:And before people get all defensive, I dont think the team overall does a bad job. I dislike the system in place and I think a few people have badly abused it in the past and probably the present. 

Thank you for your comments. I hear frustration, and frankly it's a frustration that sometimes I share too. I appreciate the time you take to express yourself clearly here.

  • Like 1

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...