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How the Community Feedback Model works

Posted 6 Days ago by Riven

There's a lot of confusion around how this works, so I want to try to lay it out better. When this post is done, I'll copy the relevant parts of it into the "Community" link at the bottom of the site.

GTX0 is community-run

With some clearly-defined exceptions, I'm giving the GTX0 community the direct ability to determine the direction of the site, its policies and the way it's managed. Basically, the community is now collectively an Administrator.

I've set up a system to make this process as fair and impartial as possible -- to ensure that the community's will is actually understood and implemented and also to ensure that polarized issues are resolved quickly and decisively without weird compromises that no one likes.

Community Discussions forum and Feedback forum

  • The Community Discussions forum is for features and policies that affect the community as a whole. Whichever way the community decides is binding, and my role in the discussion is to make sure they run fairly and don't violate site principles. I may also have opinions of my own, but I express them as a user.

  • The Feedback forum is for smaller requests (such as features) that don't impact the community as a whole. These don't require the community to sign off on them in order to be implemented, however if I feel that they do (or other users have a problem with them), the thread may be moved to the other forum.

    These links are below the quicklinks as "Change the Way things work" and "Make smaller suggestions" respectively.

    How community discussions work

    Community discussion posts have one issue or several, and all members of the community are able and encouraged to voice their opinion. Each user's opinion (or agreement with another opinion) counts as a vote. There is now a system in place that makes it easier to tell who is casting which vote, but this isn't required. Community discussion posts are linked at the top of the site so all members of the community can see them and weigh in if they choose to.

    Votes are tallied whenever the conversation has died down or whenever it's very obvious that there's a solid consensus or two very clear and equally large sides. I try to give these discussions a lot of extra time to give people time to change their mind or weigh in if they haven't already.

    The vote can go one of three ways:

  • There's a consensus towards some position. This is hard to define numbers-wise but is basically a situation where there's either unanimity or there's an obvious difference between support and opposition. As we do more of these I might be able to come up with some kind of formula, which should help a lot to ensure impartiality.

  • There's a majority towards one side, but the vote is close, and I decide to side with the majority. I will do this only if I have strong feelings towards the majority, and also can't do this if it's a minority opinion.

  • The vote is close or tied. If this happens, the decision will be procedurally generated through a formula that will be openly available soon -- essentially the timestamps of all posts are added together, this is used to seed a mersenne twister, and then the question itself is used to generate the answer. As long as the seed and question remain the same, the answer will always be exactly the same.

    This is not purely a mechanical system -- if someone comes up with a good compromise and there's a consensus towards that, then that compromise will be accepted rather than whatever everyone's votes are. I will however make sure that there isn't significant dissent towards the compromise or that I haven't mischaracterized anyone's opinion.

    Additionally, I will give issues likely to enter the RNG more time than usual to see if some kind of consensus emerges instead.

    Site Principles

    The "Principles" link at the bottom of the site is a document that details what I expect from the site. Any community discussion that would violate one of those will not be entertained. This has yet to come up.

    While this document may change over time as my expectations do, these changes will be announced well in advance of them being used to deny future changes. Additionally, changes made here will not impact past decisions -- those will stay in effect until the community reopens the issue and decides against them.

    The overall goal with this is that if I side against the will of the community, it needs a solid and clearly-defined reason, and this also has to be done openly and at the outset of the discussion, not immediately (or soon) after it has been decided.

    Riven and Decision

    In community posts, I use two separate accounts:

  • Riven -- this account is my personal opinion, and counts as a single vote. My opinion is not weighted higher than anyone else's -- don't solely try to convince me; try to convince the community as a whole. I do tend to talk a lot though. I also use the Riven account for moderator actions taken in these threads.

  • Decision -- this account is used exclusively to guide the community threads to their conclusion. It measures votes, makes sure that adequate time is given with issues, and makes the final binding decision based on this system (which then locks the thread). This account also stands out -- all of its posts are on a red background.

    Community thread moderation

    The rules on community threads are a lot more strict -- it's vitally important that these threads stay on topic and constructive. Tags and even bans may be issued with or without warning by me personally. Despite this though, votes made by people who are also starting trouble in the thread will still be counted.

    Respect for Decisions made

    Decisions made through this system are final and will be treated as such and enforced unilaterally moving forwards. If they affect policy, they will also cause the site rules to change. However, given that demographics and opinions can change over time, old topics can be revisited and reviewed one year after they've been made.

    Decisions made through this system may not impact merged communities -- see everything under principle 6. These kinds of issues would be handled on a case-by-case basis and this isn't currently relevant.

    Changeability of this system

    While this system was well-thought out and based on past systems and experience, parts of it are definitely arbitrary. I'm not necessarily against ideas such as requiring a quorum or allowing the community to reopen an issue sooner than a year later. However ideas like this should definitely be decided by the (current) community-run system itself rather than by me personally, as that's not how things work around here anymore. I'm definitely willing to hash out a better version of this system with the rest of the community, so long as it respects principle 1-B.

    Purpose of this thread

    This thread is here to inform and to allow people to ask specific questions about implementation or reasoning behind things. You're free to express disagreement, but be warned that rule exception III-A will not be made here. Additionally, attempts at changing this system should really be made with the community at large in an official capacity. I encourage people to do this themselves, but I'll do it myself if the conversation shifts down a particular path.

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