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Why the Community Consensus System Doesn't Work

Posted 5 Days ago by mariomguy

Trolls have more power than mods - Votes are equal, always

Mods number in the few, but there are a much larger portion of trolls and users who can't make good decisions or foresee any problems with their choices. In many cases, people are actively ignoring the problems with their choices.

Quorum is arbitrary - Decisions can be made with only 9 votes cast

Some decisions, while they landed well, still were made with only 9 votes cast. This, despite dozens of users on the site, shows that large scale community decisions can be decided with only 10% of users chiming in. In many cases there are close calls, and a few votes can tip the scales dramatically. So not only do trolls have more power to band together over an issue, but if they are able to convince Riven they are the majority, the decision is made without properly informing users of a voting end date or any proper quorum. A few users can easily hijack the system to implement whatever they want.

Random numbers to break ties - Also arbitrary what's considered a "tie"

RNG was apparently used when we were two swing votes away, but not used when decisions were one swing vote away, so along with no formal quorum, there is no formal consensus on what constitutes a majority vote.

No means to break bad decisions

Hate speech landed on the side of being permissible sitewide. This decision was locked in stone and Riven affirmed all community decisions are final. There is no way for users to challenge this vote, despite the fact that most forums on the internet ban hateful and discriminatory speech period. This is not just with hate speech, but with any decision: if it turns out to be faulty, we have to wait a year before anyone can do anything to fix it. The way this community is torn over hate speech, and the fact that it is now permissible is proof this system does not actually produce good outcomes, but Riven still believes in it.

Conflicting decisions that make no sense.

Hate speech is OK, but acting uncivil towards another user is not. So I can make a thread that says "Gay people are degenerates," but if I call someone stupid I'm getting banned.

Altogether...

The big problem with this system? Mix all of this together, and ease of abuse. A few trolls can decide to make uncivil behavior legal. They start up a community survey, call it free speech, and band together to appear to vote in favor of something evil. Then more moderate users will join their side, and the discussion doesn't really matter. After an arbitrary amount of time the decision is made with 3 trolls and 2 moderates voting for something that trolls can then take advantage of for the next year. And let's face it, Riven is more on the side of hate speech than actual free speech. When discrimination and hate is open, no one feels free.

This is why, if voting is so sacred, we need quorum: to make sure we're not affecting users who don't want it. This is why we need a clearly defined majority: so the literal majority doesn't get upended by an arbitrary coin toss. And this is why giving equal voting privileges to everyone won't be in the best interest of everyone. A small group of trolls can turn the tide of a major decision against the wishes of mods, users, and people in general, and turn this site to a place that kids do not want to join. We need to be attracting younger members to bring new life to GT, not arguing over whether or not hate-filled discrimination and swearing in usernames is OK.

The community consensus system as it stands right now has so many potholes, we're already seeing these issues play out without resolve. People are seriously uncomfortable with decisions that were made, and a lot of obvious decisions came down to a coin toss. We don't have a real means of fixing this system if strong centralized leadership is completely removed from it. Not all sides are equal, not all decisions are equal, and not all expressed opinions carry the same weight. And because of that, you can make a post saying how much you hate gay people and that will be perfectly fine, but you can't insult a single user for being gay or face a ban. This system is clearly, fundamentally broken.

There are 27 Replies


I've been thinking this over since I saw it last night.

I've voiced most of this in DM's with Riven, but just want to state it again, publicly, with a little more clarity for the hell of getting my thoughts out there.

1) The community will ALWAYS outnumber the mods / admins / site owner.
If a site is healthy and performing well, the community will have a huge ratio of "normal users" to admins / moderators / site owners. Think of the old days on a forum like pointless where the ratio was 30+ users to 1 or 2 mods. This system might work now because the community is so small that it's unlikely to reach a full consensus where everyone in the community agrees on something and there aren't enough mods / admins to counter-act it, but if this site takes off, this system will get questionable because of the following points I'll be making...

2) Mods / Admins / Site Owners have more foresight into a site's long-term needs and goals
I'm just pulling a single example from real life here to demonstrate the point, but I think you can extrapolate beyond this. There are users who are highly interested in a) free speech and b) ease of use. By this, I mean having to self-censor's a pain in the neck, right? It's irritating to keep track of what swears you can use, when, where, what's offensive, what's bannable, what's taggable, etc. It's so much easier to request to say anything at any time and use free speech as an excuse.

But I'd argue that most mods or people in charge of the site will disagree heavily with this principle because those are the people who have to protect the community from flaming and hate speech... even if there's no "civility" principle, mods should know that users calling each other derogatory names and slurs (because a vote allowed it) will create an atmosphere where users will inevitably leave, new users won't come, and ad revenue will be hard to get.

Most users who are voting in favor of being jerks don't even have that on their radar. And when the community largely outweighs the moderators, well, tough luck if that vote happens because we have enough users who are, quite frankly, too edgy to be at least moderately appropriate on a *public forum*.

Now you could say "well they think it's best for the site! They wanted a community like this!" Majority did, some didn't...even if that's a 49% / 50% split with 1% not voting, you're running the risk of losing 49-50% of your community because "majority voted" for this atmosphere and mods were powerless to vote against it since they're such a small minority compared to the userbase.

On the other hand, a 2/3 majority would certainly be a different story and should maybe be considered, especially for large-scale changes...more on voting to come.

#3) I understand it's bad to have a single arbitrator...
But I worry about putting the power directly into the community's hands.
From what I understand, having the mods and admins discuss things resulted in really good decisions. That makes sense! More people to bounce ideas off of - and the best part is, those people expressed the foresight I covered in my second point - they had a clear vision for the site, a passion to keep its current community happy and to keep content clean enough to get ad revenue, both of which will expand the userbase and make this site a raging success.

Have you considered a team of final arbitrators that work with you? I get not wanting to pass the reins to a single person, but what if you did something like, mods discuss things -> bring to a team of 3 arbitrators (ideally three of you with various different opinions and ideals that you know you don't always agree with) and some sort of negotiation / consensus has to be reached, and then that's how ideas get brought back to the community and more feedback can be acquired and vetted to continue iterating on the idea? Even something like that keeps the site cleaner than it would if everything were determined from a community vote from people in the community who aren't thinking about the site in a long-term sort of way.

4) Community requests and feedback DEFINITELY have their place
Community members should be able to suggest features, like community blocking, survey posts, new forums, methods of making the site more appealing / stickier and should be encouraged to ask questions about the rules and principles if something is unclear. The community should feel heard. A Suggestion Box is a really good idea and makes the site look really welcoming, but every idea should be vetted against a basic, non-fluctuating, clear set of Principles. (Before you say it, I know you're going to say you're doing it, but I just have to re-emphasize it for clarity). Those Principles should be what you or your arbitration team or mods or whomever thinks this site should represent. These should be the way you make the community feel welcome. These should be the way you say what this site can never be. And these should be made with the previous note about foresight in mind. If you (collective "you", meaning anyone with final jurisdiction / arbitrative power) don't care about civility in this community, then it's presumable you don't care about expanding the site's footprint or getting ad revenue and that's fine, but that's what the foresight thing means. I think we need a clear hard, fast statement of what this site's goals and aim are meant to be. And these Principles should guide every single rule and decision that is ever made for this site. You (leadership collective) should be proud of the direction you want to take this site and should sit there and think something like: "Yes. This is what I want for my site and those are the principles. I don't want an echo chamber. I don't want flaming or blatant segregating ideas. I don't want violence. I want my site to expand. I want it clean enough and presentable enough for ad revenue and new users." or, even conversely, "I want a completely open free speech platform wherein users can say whatever they want at their discretion". Just know these Principles will set your site's direction and should be made with care so they can guide everything applicably and in a way that mods and admins are proud of.

At the same time, like I said in another thread, if I were a new user and I was looking for a site to go to, if I came to this one, and saw a tagged post, right there on the home page, asking "what is hate speech and should it be allowed?", I would not stay. I don't know anyone who would. I wouldn't have the context into why this discussion is happening, I would think the place is unmoderated and generally lax in its rules, I would not be inclined to look at the Rules or Principles if this is up for discussion. And this is along with the previous paragraph - community members trying to change rules like civility is questionable enough imo, but anchoring it on the homepage just... not a good look. Guess this is why Mike had a Requests Forum to clean up the homepage so people asking for a mod to be fired isn't right front and center on navigating to the site for the first time... (something about not airing dirty laundry out in the open lol)

5) Voting is over-simplified, and can rule out important opinions if the site expands
I understand voting is "fair" and is better than a single person unilaterally agreeing to a concept and adjusting arbitration.
But consider what I said before about foresight, leadership getting outnumbered, a 49%/50%/1% split, etc.
When a new feature is proposed, isn't it better for community members to discuss it and explain what makes it good and bad? So it's not raw numbers backing the "should we implement this?" but rather the strength of the ideas and points, as they align with the site principles and goals? If 49% of people say they'll leave if they are on a site where people can call them slurs, but whoops, you have a 51% majority who want it just because "free speech" and not wanting to respectfully self-censor, you just lost a lot of support. And likewise, mariomguy put it nicely, a coin flip seems... detrimental. I think this is part of why. Arguments can be good, bad, neutral, whatever. If a coin flip is the deciding factor, you lose out on the quality of the reasoning behind wanting a feature, rule adjustment (still saying larger community shouldn't determine these, but whatever) or what have you.

That about sums it up...
You can dismiss this as scathing what-aboutisms if you like, or you can consider it. I'd be open to discussing more, but don't have much else to say beyond this. My opinion's been stated so that's my due diligence out of the way.

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5 Days ago
Weird Occurance
 

It all boils down to this: community consensus has gone awry. Hate speech did not land right, and the model Riven is providing has no means of countering any of the issues that arise from consensus. Because of the way hate speech landed, mods literally can't do their jobs, and it falls on users to deal with it for the next year. Random trolls, in effect, have way more power than mods who I hope were actually screened for their capacity to run a clean, well-functioning site. Too many higher-ups just want this to become the Wild West, and too many users are blinded by propaganda to see past their nose what they're really voting for. That, and the arbitrary "I'll wait a few days" quorum effectively means a few trolls can band together over a common issue, and who cares about the 80+ members who might not actually want this at all but didn't realize there was voting going on. Two swing votes would've changed everything. For the next year, we have to battle over whether or not white supremacists can throw their garbage on public forum because nobody in actual power wants to put their foot down and say this is wrong. But it is.

We may be a small community, but we are still a public forum. The new rules will not attract new members. Once idiots get the urge to be discriminatory again, it will be an issue. In fact, many current members will be driven off the site if we are unable to fix this problem for the next year. Riven, you've made this same thread like 10 times I swear, and each time you hope we will forget all the points that were brought up, the truth will magically change, and we will all magically agree with you. Sorry, but this isn't the Gametalk any of us grew to love. Discrimination is OK? Wow.

5 Days ago
mariomguy
 

^ Yes, yes yes yes yes yes yes.

Just stating here I agree *completely* - and my long comment on Riven's other threadhttps://gtx0.com/thread/how_the_community_feedback_model_worksdenotes all my problems with the current system as well.

I really appreciate you taking the time to post this, mariomguy. Full support here.

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5 Days ago
Weird Occurance
 

I regrettably agree...

5 Days ago
Denida
 

I feel there are more users who feel this way that are not chiming in. They "don't want to get involved," but the consequences of not getting involved are so severe. So something else to add to the list, how many people just don't want to vote because they don't want to be stigmatized for their vote? How would the votes change if they were made in private instead of public?

There is just too much trouble trying to leave everything to the community. We need good leadership, good actual leadership who cares about the longevity of Gametalk, not just "whatever."

5 Days ago
mariomguy
 

I moved the other replies into here, and then moved this to feedback so the community doesn't try to vote on it.

While specific parts of the system may be up to community jurisdiction, the system as a whole is not. See Principle 8-B.

Depending on how this thread goes, if there are strong consensuses towards specific improvements, they will be implemented.

5 Days ago
Decision
 

I feel there are more users who feel this way that are not chiming in. They "don't want to get involved," but the consequences of not getting involved are so severe. So something else to add to the list, how many people just don't want to vote because they don't want to be stigmatized for their vote? How would the votes change if they were made in private instead of public?


Good question.
At one point, I made a post saying almost everything should be allowed here except overt hate speech and death threats etc... my definition was looser than yours.

When I found out people were complaining that I was being too restrictive, I stopped replying. *shrug* public / private votes / opinions would likely be very very different, and you'd probably capture more of that "unvoting" / "neutral" audience.

But voting itself seems counter-intuitive, per my long comment.

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5 Days ago
Weird Occurance
 

Just checking right now we have 29 spiders, 48 unknowns, and major site decisions can be made with a tiny fraction of those numbers actually commenting/voting/etc. This isn't right.

At one point, I made a post saying almost everything should be allowed here except overt hate speech and death threats etc... my definition was looser than yours.

When I found out people were complaining that I was being too restrictive, I stopped replying. *shrug* public / private votes / opinions would likely be very very different, and you'd probably capture more of that "unvoting" / "neutral" audience.

Wow, this is absolutely insane. The rowdy vocal minority will go ballistic the instant you want to stop death threats and hate speech. They'll get stuck repeating the words "free speech" without actually explaining why discrimination and hatred is OK on a public forum, and they'll belittle and demean users who think otherwise. Never mind the majority of the world and public forums are on your side. According to Riven hateful discriminatory speech is actually not civil and is banned, but he still doesn't want to define or ban hate speech... so we're stuck in a perpetual loop of... what are the rules supposed to be? And so far I haven't gotten a straight answer from anyone.

5 Days ago
mariomguy
 

so we're stuck in a perpetual loop of... what are the rules supposed to be? And so far I haven't gotten a straight answer from anyone.


I don't think rules need to be finite, can't spell *everything* out.
But the guidelines must be clear enough to tell users that any form of speech that boils down to x y or z or achieves x y or z should not be allowed.

Wow, this is absolutely insane. The rowdy vocal minority will go ballistic the instant you want to stop death threats and hate speech. They'll get stuck repeating the words "free speech" without actually explaining why discrimination and hatred is OK on a public forum, and they'll belittle and demean users who think otherwise. Never mind the majority of the world and public forums are on your side.


Right? And the fact that it's a public forum to me screams it's not a soapbox, it's going to have rules and "my free speech!" is not a valid argument.

I've actually been *more* in favor of tightening my definition of hate speech, as it pertains to what should be allowed on this site, as it will affect the site's expansion and ability to perform and keep the community comfortable.

Does anyone actually need to go around a *public forum* calling each other "gay f****" in order to interact? Like is this a necessity for some people that somehow escaped my knowledge?

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5 Days ago
Weird Occurance
 

According to some people, yes. They literally cannot post anything on Gametalk without allowing hate speech, discrimination, swearing, etc.

Easy definition for hate speech: sweeping generalizations putting massive groups of people down is not cool.

5 Days ago
mariomguy
 

Does anyone actually need to go around a *public forum* calling each other "gay f****" in order to interact?


That's banned under the civility clause. As would be people calling each other "stupid f****".

5 Days ago
Riven
 

But it almost wasn't. That's the problem.

5 Days ago
Weird Occurance
 

Yeah... we were a couple swing votes away from sitewide uncivil conduct. This is a pretty good reason why the community consensus system just doesn't work.

5 Days ago
mariomguy
 

users who can't make good decisions or foresee any problems with their choices. In many cases, people are actively ignoring the problems with their choices.


Unlike you, I do think people are capable of making their own good decisions based on their own beliefs and ideas.

Some decisions, while they landed well, still were made with only 9 votes cast. This, despite dozens of users on the site, shows that large scale community decisions can be decided with only 10% of users chiming in.


Some users don't want to weigh in on community discussions. I'm not against having some kind of quorum, but we should define it in such a way that it's actually reflective of people who are interested in participating in community discussions, otherwise nothing will ever be accomplished.

In many cases there are close calls, and a few votes can tip the scales dramatically.


This is why I leave those threads up for long enough for others to weigh in or change their mind. Even when it seems like things have been solidly decided (or undecided), I announce this and still give a few days for things to change.

A few users can easily hijack the system to implement whatever they want.


Yeah, there are potential issues there, but they haven't come up yet. One thing I was thinking about was an activity requirement -- like you have to actually be active on the site in some capacity, that activity can't be tagged, and that activity also can't exclusively be in site forums. This would vet users a lot more.

RNG was apparently used when we were two swing votes away, but not used when decisions were one swing vote away, so along with no formal quorum, there is no formal consensus on what constitutes a majority vote.


It's based on consensus, not majority. And yes, consensus is currently loosely defined, but now that there have been a few of these I can go over the numbers and figure out more of an algorithm for it. Alternatively, the community can come up with some kind of consensus (old definition) on a new ratio, provided that it isn't as low as a simple majority.

This decision was locked in stone and Riven affirmed all community decisions are final. There is no way for users to challenge this vote


I'm not against there being some kind of appeals system, provided that it's based on something substantial like people changing their vote or having their vote counted wrong, rather than just because the losing side disagrees with the decision.

This decision was locked in stone and Riven affirmed all community decisions are final. There is no way for users to challenge this vote


The year-long way is an arbitrary length of time. I'm okay with any length of time that isn't so short that it means decisions aren't actually respected, or that the same issues are debated over and over continuously.

The way this community is torn over hate speech, and the fact that it is now permissible is proof this system does not actually produce good outcomes, but Riven still believes in it.


No, it's proof that you dislike this system because it has given a result that you don't like. Based on your subjective opinion. Which is respected! And shared with 5 other people. But is rejected by 8 members of the community.

Conflicting decisions that make no sense.


Yeah that seems very likely to be an issue. I'm not sure yet how best to fix the conflicting rules problem. It might make sense for discussion threads to imply that certain policies are dependent on other policies being a certain way.

Do you have any ideas here?

we need quorum: to make sure we're not affecting users who don't want it. This is why we need a clearly defined majority: so the literal majority doesn't get upended by an arbitrary coin toss. And this is why giving equal voting privileges to everyone won't be in the best interest of everyone.


I'm not opposed to the community determining any of those specifics, provided they meet some of my criteria.

We need to be attracting younger members to bring new life to GT


Now that is a good discussion for the community to have -- who should the site appeal to primarily? Don't worry, I'll make a separate thread for that.

We don't have a real means of fixing this system if strong centralized leadership is completely removed from it.


It isn't. Again, see the point I made in the "How it works" thread about rejecting discussions (such as for example, whether the system should exist at all) based on site principles.

and not all expressed opinions carry the same weight.


Why not, though? Everyone who uses the site and isn't currently banned from it is a member of the community and should have some say in how the site runs.

you can make a post saying how much you hate gay people and that will be perfectly fine, but you can't insult a single user for being gay or face a ban.


One is an opinion, the other is a personal attack. I'm not justifying either one, just pointing out that there's a fundamental difference between the two. Context is also important -- if someone comes into your furries thread and says that furries are degenerates, it's obviously a personal attack towards you despite not appearing that way. However if you had a general furry culture discussion thread, that kind of post would be okay. It might make sense to add an extra set of civility rules to personal threads.

Important part of this post

In any case, I'm okay with the following things being decided by the community using the existing system:

  • Meeting some kind of quorum
  • Having a clearly defined majority
  • An appeals process for reasonable reasons
  • Changing the time needed for attempting to reverse a decision
  • Shifting around whose votes are more or less valuable and why

    If you want to make a community discussions thread for those specific issues, I'll link it up top. I have some hard cutoffs for some of those that I'll express in that thread, but other than that, whatever the community says goes.

    I suggest using the Surveys system so votes are easier to track:
    https://gtx0.com/new/survey/community-decisions https://gtx0.com/thread/surveys_post_type

  • 5 Days ago
    Riven
     

    Why not, though? Everyone who uses the site and isn't currently banned from it is a member of the community and should have some say in how the site runs.


    Except Denida who’s technically not banned but has been made unable to post in this thread....right?

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    5 Days ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    Unlike you, I do think people are capable of making their own good decisions based on their own beliefs and ideas.

    Literally voted in favor of hate speech. Literally 2 swing votes away from uncivil conduct. Kind of hard to justify.

    Some users don't want to weigh in on community discussions. I'm not against having some kind of quorum, but we should define it in such a way that it's actually reflective of people who are interested in participating in community discussions, otherwise nothing will ever be accomplished.

    Well, like I said, private votes can probably change things. We can't make a massive sitewide decrees just because 4 people wanted it. If we're going to vote at all, we need to establish a quorum that makes sense, and nothing should change before we meet quorum. It can't just be arbitrary.

    This is why I leave those threads up for long enough for others to weigh in or change their mind. Even when it seems like things have been solidly decided (or undecided), I announce this and still give a few days for things to change.

    The active community is small... but I made a thread the other day and noticed people posted that I barely recognize. There are a LOT of lurkers. People are afraid to post. We need some way to bring people out of the shadows.

    Yeah, there are potential issues there, but they haven't come up yet. One thing I was thinking about was an activity requirement -- like you have to actually be active on the site in some capacity, that activity can't be tagged, and that activity also can't exclusively be in site forums. This would vet users a lot more.

    Activity isn't the problem, the few vocal critics who really, REALLY want discrimination to go unmodded are people who post regularly.

    It's based on consensus, not majority. And yes, consensus is currently loosely defined, but now that there have been a few of these I can go over the numbers and figure out more of an algorithm for it. Alternatively, the community can come up with some kind of consensus (old definition) on a new ratio, provided that it isn't as low as a simple majority.

    If we meet quorum, technically a simple majority should work. If you want a supermajority, 60% and a quorum of 10 people, then a vote like 8/6 would not be enough to meet the requirements. Out of 14 voters, you'd need 9 in favor to get anything done, and that seems really excessive. How about 55%?

    I'm not against there being some kind of appeals system, provided that it's based on something substantial like people changing their vote or having their vote counted wrong, rather than just because the losing side disagrees with the decision.

    Why is this so difficult? Hate speech isn't good. A few people want it for shits and giggles. Why is it so difficult for you to admit this is a problem? The site will practically be unmodded at that point. Can't do anything about hate speech?

    The year-long way is an arbitrary length of time. I'm okay with any length of time that isn't so short that it means decisions aren't actually respected, or that the same issues are debated over and over continuously.

    You're never going to reach consensus with a bunch of very vocal trolls drowning everyone else out. Weird Occurrence just said he was ostracized for saying we shouldn't allow death threats and he stopped posting. How many other people are affected by the troll community? Voting is inherently a problem for a multitude of reasons. Changing the time bad decisions are locked in stone is not going to fix anything. You're finding out why our current government is dysfunctional - one side just doesn't want decency and will fight and claw and lie and avoid the real problem and pull the wool over everyone's eyes and do anything and everything to get their way. The number of arguments I heard explaining why hate speech is good for retaining members and attracting new ones? Zero.

    Now that is a good discussion for the community to have -- who should the site appeal to primarily? Don't worry, I'll make a separate thread for that.

    It's impossible to discriminate massive swaths of people without discriminating the very people who use this site. We have furries, we have LGBT members, we have young and old (though, perhaps getting older, now), we have Muslims, and people who are nonreligious... I came straight from a Nick.com message board to Gametalk when I was 14. The rules need to be family friendly, at least for the majority of this site. We don't need to target children specifically, but a preteen should be able to come here and feel just as welcome as an adult.

    It isn't. Again, see the point I made in the "How it works" thread about rejecting discussions (such as for example, whether the system should exist at all) based on site principles.

    You're basically saying form a subcommittee... But the powers and rules for that aren't really well defined. Do I just present you a bunch of names of people who agree with me, call ourselves the subcommittee to rule with an iron fist, and then do whatever? If a decision comes back wrong, there needs to be some sort of appeals process.

    Why not, though? Everyone who uses the site and isn't currently banned from it is a member of the community and should have some say in how the site runs.

    It rubs me the wrong way when people say hate speech is OK because free speech is OK and we shouldn't make any attempt to curb it.

    One is an opinion, the other is a personal attack. I'm not justifying either one, just pointing out that there's a fundamental difference between the two. Context is also important -- if someone comes into your furries thread and says that furries are degenerates, it's obviously a personal attack towards you despite not appearing that way. However if you had a general furry culture discussion thread, that kind of post would be okay. It might make sense to add an extra set of civility rules to personal threads.

    OK, this is actually a really good, solid way of looking at it. The civil part is really important. If this is what is meant by discussion should be civil, no ban against hate speech, this is how it should play out.

    If you want to make a community discussions thread for those specific issues, I'll link it up top. I have some hard cutoffs for some of those that I'll express in that thread, but other than that, whatever the community says goes.

    I'll need more time to think this through. I'll make those posts later. Some, like the majority and quorum, belong together.

    Perhaps the most controversial would be whose vote matters more... do we count the vote of someone who persistently gets banned for breaking the rules, or not? Do we take off half? I hope it doesn't come to that. You're seeing some of the problems with Democracy in action. Two wolves and a sheep vote on what to have for dinner. Inherently, Democracy isn't going to favor the minority, even if they're right.

    5 Days ago
    mariomguy
     

    ^ Denida said "I regrettably agree." He/she's not banned.

    5 Days ago
    mariomguy
     

    but if this site takes off, this system will get questionable because of the following points I'll be making...


    Yeah scalability will definitely become a problem over time. I figure that's an issue I could work with the community on fixing when the time comes.

    It's so much easier to request to say anything at any time and use free speech as an excuse.


    even if there's no "civility" principle, mods should know that users calling each other derogatory names and slurs (because a vote allowed it) will create an atmosphere where users will inevitably leave, new users won't come, and ad revenue will be hard to get.


    I don't think those kinds of users would be likely to participate in community discussions in the first place. Especially given the very strict moderation in those threads. Several of those types of users used those recent threads as a means of starting drama rather than contributing to any of the discussions, despite how easily they could have shifted the majority. They're even less likely to do it when there's 30+ users voting at a time and their votes don't count for much.

    Now you could say "well they think it's best for the site! They wanted a community like this!" Majority did, some didn't...even if that's a 49% / 50% split with 1% not voting, you're running the risk of losing 49-50% of your community because "majority voted"


    In that case it would be based on RNG, not the majority. And like I pointed out privately, if the issue is that divisive I'm losing half the site either way.

    On the other hand, a 2/3 majority would certainly be a different story and should maybe be considered, especially for large-scale changes...more on voting to come.


    It already works like that. 2/3 majority has been counted as a consensus several times now, most recently with whether explicit content should be allowed in the sexuality forum.

    From what I understand, having the mods and admins discuss things resulted in really good decisions.


    This did work very well for a long time, but had its own set of issues like staff members' visions conflicting or staff members's opinions in general being very distinct from the opinions of the community.

    The reason it worked well wasn't because they were staff members, but because anyone who was invested enough in the site to reply could have an equal voice relative to admins or even the site owner.

    I extended some of this to the community with a short-lived petition system, and it also worked very very well. It makes the most sense to take this to its next logical step, which is making it a global system. Again, only people invested in the site's decisions are actually going to reply -- votes are public, people have to convince each other rather than me, and those threads are very aggressively moderated. Casual GTX0 users just aren't going to be interested. Actively malicious GTX0 users might be, but those are very rare.

    Have you considered a team of final arbitrators that work with you?


    Yes, the idea was rejected by community consensus:
    https://gtx0.com/thread/should_gtx0_have_mediators
    I do realize your idea is a bit different, but it would've made more sense to bring it up then rather than just rejecting the idea out of hand.

    I don't want flaming or blatant segregating ideas. I don't want violence. I want my site to expand. I want it clean enough and presentable enough for ad revenue and new users." or, even conversely, "I want a completely open free speech platform wherein users can say whatever they want at their discretion".


    I want a balance between the two. See principle 4a.

    asking "what is hate speech and should it be allowed?", I would not stay.


    It depends on why they came to the site and what they were expecting. If you know from the outset that the direction of the site is community-run, you know there are going to be controversial ideas that are explored.

    So it's not raw numbers backing the "should we implement this?" but rather the strength of the ideas and points, as they align with the site principles and goals?


    I mean yeah that would definitely make more sense, but would violate the "clearly defined majorities/quorum" that mariomguy there is suggesting. You and him are in a position now where you both have very good points, you sort of agree, but are now contrasting with one another. This kind of thing just reinforces my point about why decisions are better made collectively than individually.

    If 49% of people say they'll leave if they are on a site where people can call them slurs, but whoops, you have a 51% majority who want it just because "free speech" and not wanting to respectfully self-censor, you just lost a lot of support.


    And then if that's true, but also the 51% people will also leave if free speech ends, then both decisions are wrong. Except in my experience people don't actually leave 100% of the time when they say they will. Some do, some don't, and some would've left anyway regardless of what you did.

    And likewise, mariomguy put it nicely, a coin flip seems... detrimental. I think this is part of why. Arguments can be good, bad, neutral, whatever. If a coin flip is the deciding factor, you lose out on the quality of the reasoning behind wanting a feature, rule adjustment or what have you.


    I genuinely don't see a situation where you're going to get a 50/50 split unless both sides are making high-quality and convincing posts. Take the original free speech thread for example where you have Cetasaurus' thread on one side and Famov's posts on the other side. Both well thought-out, both passionate, both very convincing.

    A "coin flip" ensures that one of those sides is respected to its full extent. Instead of both sides being disrespected by a weird compromise that no one likes.

    All that said though, I'm not necessarily opposed to determining split decisions by some other mechanism, provided that mechanism isn't the side that has a simple majority. What are your thoughts here?

    5 Days ago
    Riven
     

    Except Denida who’s technically not banned but has been made unable to post in this thread....right?


    He didn't have anything constructive to say. He tried 191 times under 41 separate IP addresses to say something very unconstructive here and in the "how it works" thread. He's free to post in other threads, such as in actual community discussions threads. If his posts there are removed for any reason, his vote will still count.

    5 Days ago
    Riven
     

    A "coin flip" ensures that one of those sides is respected to its full extent. Instead of both sides being disrespected by a weird compromise that no one likes.

    No. Please, just, no. Wait for a tie-breaker, at least. Don't just flip a coin and hand it over.

    Generally speaking, laws are set in stone and require votes to change, so whatever system we had before should already be considered "in stone," and whatever's getting a recent vote is "in progress."

    5 Days ago
    mariomguy
     

    Agree with mario on this.

    5 Days ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    @Riven:
    I think if Wikipedia could make it work maybe you can too.
    I think if Parler couldn’t make it work maybe you can’t either.
    I’ve already told you what I think about rolling the dice or flipping a coin or cutting the cards or whatever.

    5 Days ago
    chiarizio
     



    4 Days ago
    me
     

    figured it out, guess you not that smart.

    4 Days ago
    kisten
     



    4 Days ago
    Weird Occurance
     



    4 Days ago
    Weird Occurance
     

    Yeah, behavior went right back to being uncivil last night. This community is simply NOT capable of making good decisions.

    4 Days ago
    mariomguy
     

    Reply to: Why the Community Consensus System Doesn't Work

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