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sudo wrote

These are good ideas. For adding a moderator, I would suggest that someone first make a motion to add a new moderator, then wait for someone else to second the motion before proceeding. If the motion doesn't get seconded within three days, it is not considered. If it is seconded, there should be a period in which users can nominate themselves, or another user, for the position. Three days seems like a reasonable amount of time to keep the nominations open. Once nominations are over, then each active member of the subforum should be able to cast one secret vote for the candidate they like best. Voting could last for another three days. Then, at the end, whoever received the plurality should be elected. In order for the ballot to truly be secret, and in order to restrict voting to only active members of the community, and in order to ensure that someone does not vote for more than one candidate, I think the voting system should be a separate part of the site.

As far as removing a moderator, I think it would be very similar to the process of adding one, but without the period for nominations, since the moderator to be removed would already be named in the motion. If more than 50% of the votes are for them to be removed, then they will be removed. I think 2/3rds of the vote is too extreme - a 2/3rds majority should be reserved for votes on massive changes, like changes to the highest laws of the website.

As far as avoiding gaming of the vote, I think an "active user" should be defined as a user who has made 2 or more posts or comments on the subforum in question in the 30 days immediately preceding the motion. That way, a user who isn't a member of the community cannot try to quickly post a lot on the subforum in order to be allowed to vote on the motion they want to, because it will be too late at that point.

For quarantine periods, I think if a motion is rejected, or if it fails to gain a second, the submitter should not be allowed to submit the same motion until 7 days later. If they resubmit it and it fails again, the quarantine time for them should be doubled. Likewise, for the person who was the subject of the motion, they should be immune to the same motion for 7 days, then 14 days if it fails again, etc. This should be pretty effective at stopping people from spamming unpopular motions, but also not prohibit those motions from being made if they become popular at some point in the future.

I think the names of the motioner and the seconder should be hidden, as well as the names of the nominaters, and the names of the voters. That would prevent bitterness like "So-and-so is my friend, but they voted for someone else for moderator instead of me!" and "So-and-so voted to remove me as a moderator. I'm going to downvote all their posts, and ban them from all the other subforums I moderate."

As far as voting goes, I think abstaining is only useful if we're going to make a list of eligible voters, and only come to a decision once everyone on the list has cast a vote. That doesn't sound like a good idea here - if someone on the list takes a long vacation from this site, we'd have to wait for a long time to come to a decision; possibly forever. Instead, I think saying "you have 3 days to cast a vote" is much better. If someone wants to abstain from this system, there's no need for them to say "abstain"; they could just not submit a vote. So, I think we should start out with just yes and no, and change it later if the need arises.

I do think proposals should be a special type of post, displayed alongside the normal ones. Maybe their title could be a different colour to distinguish them, or maybe they should have a special flair. Like I said before, I think the submitter of the post should be hidden to everyone. Of course, the submitter should still be logged, in order to implement the anti-spam measures, so this means the admins could tell who it was by checking the database, but hopefully, they wouldn't do that, unless the situation called for it. Once the motion is posted, any user eligible to vote on it would have the option to anonymously second it (perhaps by clicking a special "second" button in place of the upvote button). If nobody seconds it, the motion would automatically disappear in 3 days, and the user wouldn't be allowed to make the same motion for X days. If it is seconded, it would move to the nomination phase, if necessary (I supposed someone could nominate "None", if they don't think another mod is necessary). Here, users would anonymously comment with their nominations. Once that's over, it would move to the voting phase. Users would be allowed to upvote only one of the comments, and would not be able to downvote them. The vote totals should be hidden, and the order of the comments scrambled, just like reddit's "contest mode." Once voting is over, the new mod would be added, or the unpopular one removed, if the vote carried.

I haven't thought about how a discussion phase would work, since some motions that aren't adding or removing mods could require discussion. Does anyone have any ideas for how this could work?

Feel free to add your critique to my ideas.


stardust_witch wrote

Then, at the end, whoever received the plurality should be elected.

I don't see any good reason why votes on moderators should be competitive. Moderators as individuals shouldn't be stand-ins for ideological positions about moderating; the norms surrounding the job should probably be something determined separately (as much as is possible, anyway; even the best norms will likely still leave some aspects of the job open to interpretation) from the people who do it.


sudo wrote

How would they be elected non-competitively? I don't see a way to have an election with 2 or more people in it that wouldn't be competitive.

Also, welcome to raddit! It's good to see a new user here.


stardust_witch wrote

The same way you would (ostensibly) vote on any other proposal: X should become a moderator, y/n? Unless there's a reason I'm not seeing why you think the number of moderator positions need to be limited, I can't think of why it's the kind of thing where people should have to compete with each other. If two people want to be a moderator, then have a separate vote for each person. No biggie, right?


sudo wrote

you think the number of moderator positions need to be limited

I do think there shouldn't be more moderators than necessary. The only point of having them is to remove spam, and warn/ban users that step out of line. We shouldn't think of moderators as MVPs, just as members of the community with some extra responsibilities.


aiwendil wrote

It is no biggie until somebody wants to do things that step on the other mods toes and then everybody is angry at each other. I've seen that happen with mods that were not democratically elected. Also whatever method we use for voting needs to be bot proof, because I could see those fuckers on voat coming over and rigging votes to get mods installed and subvert things here. I know this is the same concern Castro always cited for not having democratic elections in Cuba, but it is a legitimate concern for both Cuba and Raddle.

Because of these undemocratic elements that will abuse democracy for their own goals, we need to be very thoughtful in how we ensure that 1 person is 1 vote. I think that we need to have something in place to be able to correlate a tor user to an account that has had to go through a number of difficult to automate steps. With non-tor users IP address would be enough of a control measure, but I think putting together the system I've mentioned in other threads where we have some sort of tor cookie tied to a valid email address, even if the email is anonymous, will make doing this easier too. We could have votes from tor accounts be confirmed via that email address, as well as some sort of captcha(I don't support recaptcha, so hopefully we can find or build a better solution), but I will defer to those technically implementing this.

Anyway, back to my initial point, I think that we might need to have some public system on which mods decide issues together if we are going to have multiple mods like you suggest and then have a way to remove a mod that is behaving poorly.

I don't think we can underestimate potential adversaries in their willingness to undermine our processes.


Comrade_Nitrous wrote (edited )

I think we should have a similar rule like metanarchism over on reddit, where you need to have been active for like a month with ten positive comments etc. To be able to register to vote.

The reason i think we'd need this is so that we dont get vote brigaded by trolls or something.


aiwendil wrote

I absolutely agree with this measure, that is a good common-sense control that will make it much harder to build an army of bot accounts to influence things here. I hope that this will get implemented along side other methods that make it more difficult to forge votes.


Wrestitaway wrote

I think the most important thing on that list is that only subscribers to their specific forum can vote for their own mods.

You should also make so that when they subscribe - they're automatically registered to vote in elections.

Also, make it so that the sub can tweak when they can hold elections and have a stickied banner promoting it between them (no surprise elections).

Also, term limits?


HelpfulAnimals wrote (edited )

If we are to vote for elections we need to learn from the mistakes others have made. Many others here have made very good points, but one thing I haven't seen anyone bring up is the flaws of first past the post voting.

FPTP only allows each person to vote for a single candidate. This works well when there is only 2 candidates, but after that it suffers from the spoiler effect. This makes it more likely to elect a candidate who does not best represent the people's views.

Luckily, other easy to use vote systems exist; two easy alternatives are score voting and approval voting.

Approval voting allows for each person to vote for whatever candidates they approve of. So if someone approves of candidates A, B, but not F (cause F is for fascist :P ), then they can vote for both A and B. This results in the candidate winning that best represents the people/that the most people are happy with (more so the latter). I personally like this system most as it is simple, hard to vote strategically, and results in a well accepted winner.

Score voting allows each person to score each candidate (from 1-10 for example, plus abstain) based upon how much they like that candidate. This helps to ensure that the person who best represents the values of the people is elected. But I dislike this system as it can both get cumbersome for a number of candidates and it is simpler for people to vote strategically (ie give candidate A 10 points while giving everyone else [regardless of how much they like them] 1 in order to make candidate A more likely to win).

Video that explains the flaws of FPTP voting well:

TLDR: First past the post voting (FPTP) is really shitty at electing people. Approval voting is much better.

Also ranked voting is okay, but still can potentially have the issues of the spoiler effect in certain circumstances so it is generally preferable to choose ranked or score if given the opportunity. wiki


surreal wrote

there is also instant-runoff voting which seems close to approval voting but i may be totally wrong.

I realised i haven't done any research at all about alternatives to FPTP, the time has come.

We can also try different paradigms and see what works best and which one ppl prefer (or even vote for the voting system? inception)


HelpfulAnimals wrote

The issue with instant runoff voting is that you can still suffer from the spoiler effect in some situations, it's more complicated, and in terms of parties it still encourages the two party system. The wiki page goes into it a bit

It's not a huge issue in IRV but if we are implementing a voting system from the ground up I think it is better to choose approval voting because it doesn't suffer from the issues of IRV in general.


ziq admin wrote

Great points, we should certainly take the weaknesses of FPTP into consideration when designing the vote system.


Xesau wrote

Maybe require a decent comment for voting


sudo wrote

Nice idea, but I don't think this would be possible to do. Who determines which comments are decent, and which are not? It's far too complex for a bot to do, and it can't be the moderators of the subreddit in question, because they could decide to only approve users who support them as "having made a decent comment."


ziq wrote

Who determines which comments are decent

Couldn't it be judged by their upvotes on the subforum?


sudo wrote

Maybe, but sometimes there are low-effort comments that get highly upvoted. For example, if someone submits an article about how Ajit Pai, the FCC chairman, is trying to ruin net neutrality, someone could make a comment saying, "Man, fuck Ajit Pai," and it would probably be upvoted highly, because it succinctly says what everyone's thinking. But if you'd be okay with that, I suppose karma would work.

The next question is how much karma determines a decent comment for each subforum. For very small subforums, a score of 3 could mean that each active user upvoted the post, where for bigger ones, it might be more like 7. We probably shouldn't use the subscriber count, because subscribers don't reflect the number of active users. Just take this post for example - there are 106 people subscribed to /f/meta, but only 6 upvotes on the post.

Maybe we could use a system that takes all the comments in the last 30 days, sorts them by score, then picks the median value as the minimum indicator of a "decent" comment score. If someone has a comment with a score greater than or equal to that value, then that's probably a decent comment. This may not work very well, so we'd have to test this out, and adjust the value accordingly.


Tequila_Wolf wrote

Seems complicated.

Some potential alternatives to complicate things further:

  • Make current moderators able to add moderators also, and generally encourage multiple moderators per forum but minimal moderators of multiple forums. I am a fan of decentralisation. This could be done by adding a button "become moderator" for anybody who contributes a certain amount or with a certain regularity to a forum (but who isn't already a moderator of many forums), until theres many moderators.

  • Or, if no moderator of a forum has been online for months, any regular contributor to that forum can just click a button that allows them to become a moderator

  • If a moderator has not been online for months a person who's been a moderator on that forum for some time may remove them

  • Separately, it'd be nice to have a 'poll' function available for each submission, where people can vote on a topic and that gets discussed within that post. Then people can act based on what happens there. So, say you click 'submit' - maybe there could be an option there to say 'insert poll' where you can pick what options are available and how many votes a person can make and who may vote. Polls can be used to gauge opinion while not being law. and can also be used for polling whatever we like.


emma wrote (edited )



鬼神 Kill Em All 1989

I am trash man

410,757,864,530 DEAD COPS


Xesau wrote (edited )

Or, if no moderator of a forum has been online for months, any regular contributor to that forum can just click a button that allows them to become a moderator

Maybe make the community still required to vote on it?


ziq wrote

The system should really remove mods that haven't logged in for 3 months.


jorgesumle wrote

I don't like the power that moderators have at all. Bans should only be made by consensus and after showing proofs and arguments, it shouldn't be as easy as clicking a link. Moderators should rotate really quickly (the date that person became moderator should be visible). On small forums things are more complicated, so maybe one or two moderators would sufice, but moderators aren't usually necessary there.

Bans are a serious problem. Bans should be reserved for really annoying trolls, racism... If a person posts non-related stuff on a forum, you shouldn't be able to ban that user right away. First you should explain them the rules of the forum, and wait until another strike. Anyone could mistakenly post on wrong forum. Regular trolls can be downvoted and ignored... Counterrevolutionary comments or whatever should also be ignored or downvoted.

For me, the elections proposed are not a possitive thing, you're trying to turn this into a parliament. This should be governed by debate and consensus, not by a bunch of votes from privilleged of any kind (registration date, activity, etc.) If the ban was unfair, the banned should be able to discuss the issue in meta to try to defend theirselves.

When I was moderator there wasn't any guide or reference that people could use to learn about moderation, so that wiki page or whatever would be a good start to help us moderate and defend ourselves from abuse and authoritarism. I wanted to rotate my charge, but there wasn't a procedure to do that and it only occured to me to stop moderating and propose an active member of my forum as a moderator in /f/meta. I don't like that approach at all.


rapper wrote

and fuck power mods. power corrupts. you dont need to mod 500 subs.