In conversation with @Banter and @Emily Barnett and others, I came up with some thoughts that could improve moderator performance, and also give niche owners a means to address moderator underachievement effectively, within parameters controlled by the system (to prevent abuses by owners).
The thoughts revolve around moderator performance reports periodically sent to owners, and depending on the system-determined analysis for each moderator, opening up options for the owner to address issues. They also include the concept of owners being able to have some degree of control over whether moderator rewards are somewhat performance-based, or if they all get paid equally based on the system's algorithm. I've always assumed that algorithm would at least take into account the volume of work done by a moderator so that those mods who work through 100 posts per week would get paid twice as much as those who work through 50. But I'm now thinking of the option for mods who receive better community feedback getting paid higher than the other mods.
The following post contains the outline of all these thoughts:
As you will see, this approach to the system would very tightly control when a niche owner would be able to dismiss a moderator. Over time, the team could monitor whether that tight systemic control can be decreased or not. After all, niche owners would suffer from dismissing good moderators, as it would disrupt the functioning of the niche and decrease revenue and content throughput. So owner self-interest is an inherent safeguard to abuses.
I'm happy to discuss further if the @Narrative Network Team wants clarification of any of these thoughts, but I trust there is probably enough here for the team to initiate their own internal discussions on this, if any of this is new ground to them.