A current appeal has revealed some interesting issues with the Tribunal process that I think might be able to be fixed with a small tweak.
- Currently once all tribunal members have voted, the appeal ends immediately regardless of the 7 day clock.
- This is causing Tribunal members to vote in favour of a niche they say they may vote against later if the description has not been changed, perhaps not during the current appeal, but during a subsequent one. They vote in favour of the niche "temporarily" because it is the only way to be sure the owner will get a chance to change the description: if they vote to reject, and all Tribunal members vote within, say, the first 24 hours, the appeal ends and the niche becomes inactive immediately, no recourse, no redemption.
- Narrators who appeal a niche to the Tribunal get a reputation hit if the Tribunal votes to uphold the niche
- This is a bad situation, since the Tribunal may in fact agree the niche is a problem, but are only upvoting to give the owner a chance to fix it - the lodgers of the appeal should not lose reputation for having reported a real problem. This will have a chilling affect on appeals - who wants to be the sucker to point out a real problem that the Tribunal won't act on at first, causing the reporter to lose rep?
- If we continue to proceed this way, we are allowing for situations where Narrators may have to report the same exact niche with the same exact description twice, and the Tribunal may have to vote on the same exact niche, with the same exact description twice. Inefficient and unnecessary.
Change the Tribunal process so that if the vote is to reject, the appeal does not end automatically when all Tribunal members have voted.
Instead, let the 7 day clock continue until it reaches 0.
This gives the owner a very reasonable amount of time to submit a change to the niche description if the Tribunal members have voted it down.
This allows the Tribunal members to vote according to the current status of the niche, rather than in the hope that the owner will fix it. They can vote to reject if there is a real problem, and this will create the impetus for the owner to fix the problem.
This also removes the possibility of Narrators appealing and getting rep hits when they should not, and it removes the possibility of the exact same niche name and description having to be appealed more than once, and considered by the Tribunal more than once.
Please give this situation some consideration.
@Brian Lenz has been privy to some of the discussions that led to this post, here: https://www.narrative.org/post/appealed-niche-blog
What was most unfortunate about this case is that the very community members who spent a lot of time trying to have a reasonable discussion with the niche owner, were the people who then put their rep on the line to appeal to the Tribunal, and will now be thrown under the bus by the Tribunal if it decides to be lenient in the hopes the niche owner will now be... reasonable. Their leniency will cause four dedicated Narrators to lose rep, despite the fact that the Tribunal seems to recognise there is a problem with the niche that needs fixing.
The proverbial cherry on the cake: the owner has now deleted an entire thread that was serving as materials for the Tribunal to consider, and has changed his name and avatar - ostensibly because he didn't like the way the conversation went. So all the efforts the community made to discuss the matter with him would be completely lost, if it were not for a second thread created so it could be posted to the Narrative Disputes niche for the Tribunal's benefit. (For the future, I propose for these community discussions of a niche problem to take place on a post not started by the niche owner...)
The @Narrative Network Team and particularly the Tribunal should be wary of bending over backwards for recalcitrant niche owners, to the detriment of the Narrators who take the time to try to address niche problems.
The niche system relies on community leg work to try to resolve issues through discussion, or if that fails, appeals. If the process makes the community feel like idiots for doing this, problems will never reach the attention of the Tribunal, and flaws will just remain unaddressed. I'll tag @Michael Farris here - I seem to recall you were specialising in the game theory of the platform: I trust you will see this situation reveals our game is a little off here. If the solution I am proposing does not fit the bill for some reason, I trust you will solve this one way or another.