Tribunal process

Service: Narrative

Hello all,

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.

The problems

- 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.

A solution

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.

Original Post

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THANK YOU. This whole incident has me very emotionally invested now, because this WILL set a precedent one way or another. 

Does the Tribunal want to set a precedent where they follow their actual instincts that the CURRENT NAME AND DESCRIPTION are unacceptable, the many reasons for which have been outlined in great detail by active members who are concerned about Narrative's future...

...or are you going to set a precedent where you side with a niche owner who becomes openly antagonistic to members of the community who brought the issue to his attention - even supplying him with reasonable examples of name/description changes - and has a temper tantrum where he not only deletes the thread where much of the discussion had taken place, but changes his name and avatar?

 

There's a problem indeed. We put not only reputation at stake (I won't go further here). We took risks for the good of the platform, he won and we lost. And if he changes name/description NOW, his business (which is a fundamental niche, like Writing is) will continue. That's the result of what happened.

In a democracy, there is some protection, at least. Here, who protect us? Will niches stay ill-defined because we have to fear appealing, especially when niches will be businesses?

To be honest, that whole story with the Blog niche disgusted me... I'm with @Malkazoid@Christina Gleason and @Vico Biscotti on it but I don't actively participate in the discussion because I decided a long time ago things like that don't serve my mental health. Also, as the offended tantrum-throwing original poster deleted his article, sadly it seems to be a waste of time and energy.

I disagree with the fact that a Narrator who files an appeal and loses, gets a rep hit. I filed an appeal that should have been an edit change request, lost it (rightfully) and got a rep hit. Fine, my bad, I should have asked how to "request an edit" works first. Then I lost an appeal for an edit (not sure if there is a rep hit for this as well). I still think my edit was justified and some of the community members expressed their support as well but I can live with the outcome and I understand where this decision came from. It was consistent with the rules (albeit not necessarily with common sense). Fine.

But then I appealed to reject the niche "Mobile Photos" on the basis of its redundancy to the niche "Smartphone Photography". I had no vested interest in this one, I just wanted to be a helpful, vigilant member of the community. And I lost it too! (5 to 2 decision). And surely got a rep hit as well. And I still disagree with the outcome because this niche IS redundant to me. Of course, it may be a non-issue because no one ever will purchase it (seeing it being redundant to an active and thriving niche). But still, I'm being penalized.

So what's the outcome? I won't be filing any appeals unless someone will encroach on my space in future. I will just ignore things that I see as non-working. I understand the point of rep hits (to discourage trolls and harassment situations) but they also discourage well-meaning people from sticking their heads above the parapet. Why risk?? (Especially when you clearly see your outlook widely differs from the one held by the majority of the Tribunal.)

But I believe I have a simpler solution to the issue described by @Malkazoid:

can we have an option to "request an edit" for any member of the community, not just the owner of the niche? I think it's impossible at present. In that way, guys could have just requested an edit to the Blog niche and - following the logic expressed in the Tribunal's explanations in the current appeal process - that would have been granted.

Just for clarity - since I think the Team may not easily get a sense for this point from where they stand: when I say "side with a niche owner who becomes openly antagonistic to members of the community who brought the issue to his attention", I mean uphold his niche definition, despite agreeing it is a problem for the platform, and despite that translating into a rep hit for the appeal makers.

This may not feel like taking sides to them, but it does to the community members who had to put up with Ethereum's hostility, wasting their time and patience on him.  It feels like taking sides to those same people who wasted their time and rep making an appeal that would end up being decided not on the basis of the problem itself, but on the basis of unearned and undeserved leniency.

There was a solution that would have allowed them to vote down according to the problem they recognised with the niche, still allowing Ethereum another 6 full days to either change the niche name or see the niche deactivated...  If they had been sensitive to how this would be experienced by the community, I think they would have thought of this solution.  I had discussed the precursors of the idea with @Brian Lenz on the Narrative Disputes thread, but ironically he was the one tribunal voter who voted to keep it because he genuinely felt it was ok.

Malkazoid posted:

Meanwhile, Ethereum is spreading a cancer.  He started his third malicious account today:

https://www.narrative.org/m/MrAnderson/activity

And with a name like that, the cancer metaphor is apt, since I don't see him in the role of Neo, but as the one saying "Mr. Anderson" contemptuously, Smith. Preying upon every individual until there's nothing left but him and the literal last man standing. And he's already gone after @Garden Gnome Publications with a nonsensical appeal. @Brian Lenz has already informed him that there is currently no way to ban a user from the platform, only make them conduct negative, so he can keep making new accounts to make malicious appeals and screw up the entire Narrative voting process until each of his accounts reaches conduct negative.

Congrats, Tribunal. You gave us this mess.

Maybe it's for the best. The Team will see what kind of a person he is. Obviously, there is no way to prove it's him but I guess it's too much of a coincidence to think otherwise. Maybe they'll look differently at the original appeal now.

Gosia Rokicka posted:

Maybe it's for the best. The Team will see what kind of a person he is. Obviously, there is no way to prove it's him but I guess it's too much of a coincidence to think otherwise. Maybe they'll look differently at the original appeal now.

They had already told us exactly how it would play out. They'd "give him a chance to make the REQUIRED edits," and if he didn't, we could appeal again in 30 days, and not a single day less, because THAT'S HOW IT WORKS HERE. 

It's been less than 24 hours since the first appeal ended, and look at the chaos that has already started.

And who among us is willing to make a single appeal against him right now?

We're not even two weeks into beta yet, and the well has been poisoned. If @Narrative Network Team doesn't put something into action to stop this now, the community may not recover. It's not a good look to new/not very invested members of the site.

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