Change in Niche Moderator Certification Policy

Service: Narrative

Change in Niche Moderator Certification Policy

Service: Narrative

There has been a lot of community discussion about whether certification should be required for Niche moderators.  I went over our reasons for requiring it here:

https://community.narrative.or...for-niche-moderators

We've had further discussions here at Narrative HQ about the policy and have decided to reverse things by no longer requiring certification for Niche moderators.

The arguments for requiring certification are still valid, but ultimately we decided that the cons outweighed the pros, in that certification is definitely a strong barrier to entry for potential moderators. In addition, the child protection was contingent on niches actually pre-screening submitted posts in advance, and that is a feature that will not even be available when we initially roll out the beta.  Requiring certification for Niche moderators would be a strong protection, but since content is not moderated on journals already, it's probably overkill.

We have not implemented this change yet, but plan to do so before the Beta launches.

Thanks to everyone for your spirited feedback on this issue!

TL;DR

All is right with the world now. Niche moderator certifications will be no more.

Original Post

Activity Stream

Interesting. Any chance Niche owners could be given a choice? I'm really not looking forward to having some of my Niches brigadiered and taken over by trolls, a la Reddit.

Moderators still need to be elected and reputation will be listed for each nominee.  Thus, this should not impact the quality of moderators at all.

Gord posted:

Interesting. Any chance Niche owners could be given a choice? I'm really not looking forward to having some of my Niches brigadiered and taken over by trolls, a la Reddit.

Also, remember as a Niche Owner you can set the number of moderators. Here is a 1 min new video (currently in the FAQ) on how to do this. 

I can see the logic behind this decision.

For one - certification - for those who go through it - will give them an advantage during elections, so there is still a positive effect for the platform overall, in terms of decreasing bad actor damage.

It took some thinking through for me to get there, but I think this is probably a good call.

Thanks @Narrative  I know this is going to make many people happy, especially @Gaia Glee with her issues she was coming up against regarding her particular niches, and  @James  whom I felt particular empathy for, and felt he articulated very well why someone under the age of 18 should be allowed to moderate.

I have certified, and my husband plans too as well very soon, but it feels a lot better that it is only required to improve  reputation, and not to gain access to additional income streams on the platform.

I'd encourage anyone below 18 to wear this as a badge of honour when applying to moderate.  Especially if the niche is about a field where your age is a positive attribute - it will be important to let people know that your reputation might not be as high as another person who can certify, but you might still be way better qualified to moderate this particular niche...

Ted posted:

Moderators still need to be elected and reputation will be listed for each nominee.  Thus, this should not impact the quality of moderators at all.

So just to confirm: Brand new accounts will be rep negative and not be allowed to vote in mod elections, correct? How much effort would be required to get a new account eligible to vote? Are we talking a day of effort? A week? One upvote on a comment?

I cut my social media teeth on SomethingAwful.com and it was par for the course for a call to go out like "everyone create a minimum of 10 accounts, head over to exampleforum.com, take over, and cause as much damage as possible". And with that, 100,000+ new users would cause unimaginable disruption. I'd hate to think what an action like that could have on a Narrative Niche election, even if new accounts even had 1/10th of a vote.

MOLLY O posted:
Gord posted:

Interesting. Any chance Niche owners could be given a choice? I'm really not looking forward to having some of my Niches brigadiered and taken over by trolls, a la Reddit.

Also, remember as a Niche Owner you can set the number of moderators. Here is a 1 min new video (currently in the FAQ) on how to do this. 

That is definitely a good safeguard should 'bad actors' take over a Niche, and I'm thankful for it. I would prefer to avoid having to do this, however. A Niche toggle for "Only allow moderator candidates who are certified" would be amazing.

Gord posted:
Ted posted:

Moderators still need to be elected and reputation will be listed for each nominee.  Thus, this should not impact the quality of moderators at all.

So just to confirm: Brand new accounts will be rep negative and not be allowed to vote in mod elections, correct? How much effort would be required to get a new account eligible to vote? Are we talking a day of effort? A week? One upvote on a comment?

I cut my social media teeth on SomethingAwful.com and it was par for the course for a call to go out like "everyone create a minimum of 10 accounts, head over to exampleforum.com, take over, and cause as much damage as possible". And with that, 100,000+ new users would cause unimaginable disruption. I'd hate to think what an action like that could have on a Narrative Niche election, even if new accounts even had 1/10th of a vote.

Brand new accounts will not be Conduct Negative. You need to do something negative to be classified that way.  Brand new accounts will not have a high reputation, however, and thus will have very little impact on any votes.  You can see how reputation impacts vote points in the spec here:

https://spec.narrative.org/doc...g-and-voting-formula

As you can see there, any score below 60 has a multiplier of .001.  Thus, the weighting of votes is lopsided in favor of higher reputation members.  

In addition, niche moderators can be removed if they are doing a poor job.

The reputation system is designed to limit the impact of bad actors in all areas and of course we will tweak the system over time if flaws become obvious.

@Gord

Regarding your idea of letting niche owners control whether to require certified moderators for their niches...  I can see how that might make sense, but let's see how things work initially and consider that option later if it looks like it is really needed.


Cool idea.

Thanks @Ted, exactly what I was hoping. I don't imagine we'd have to worry about this in the near future... but something to consider as Narrative takes over the social mediasphere 

Teddy posted:

"In addition, niche moderators can be removed if they are doing a poor job." @Ted  Can you tell us, what is a poor job?   

That's not my call to make. The community determines if they want to remove a moderator, not me.   However, I would expect it is because the community feels that the moderator is either rejecting content he/she should not be or is failing to live up the moderator responsibilities in some other way.

The spec describes how a moderator might be removed:

https://spec.narrative.org/doc...erators-from-a-niche

Malkazoid posted:

I'd encourage anyone below 18 to wear this as a badge of honour when applying to moderate.  Especially if the niche is about a field where your age is a positive attribute - it will be important to let people know that your reputation might not be as high as another person who can certify, but you might still be way better qualified to moderate this particular niche...

Actually, you can certify at any age...you just won’t be able to see 18+ content if you aren’t of age.

Banter posted:
Malkazoid posted:

I'd encourage anyone below 18 to wear this as a badge of honour when applying to moderate.  Especially if the niche is about a field where your age is a positive attribute - it will be important to let people know that your reputation might not be as high as another person who can certify, but you might still be way better qualified to moderate this particular niche...

Actually, you can certify at any age...you just won’t be able to see 18+ content if you aren’t of age.

The only clarification here is that you have to be at least 13 years of age to use Narrative, per the Terms of Service.

This is definitely a change for the better, even if being a moderator was the primary reason for me to certify. I agree with the others that a moderator should be able to specify only certified members can moderate though. When I eventually buy a niche, I would definitely use that option. 

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