Emily, I took the highest road I could.
In response to someone who has said openly his 'thing' is to troll, you responded to his flattery by writing one of the longest comments you have written on the Beta - perhaps THE longest. It might be the longest comment anyone has made on a post so far. It doesn't all fit on my laptop screen! And it was entirely sympathetic to him, and referred to my civic sense as tacky and arrogant.
I could have responded in kind, but I didn't. Instead, I tried to make this about uniting so that avowed trolls can't weaken our community. I came here, instead of posting on the Beta, and I let you know he's a troll. Forgive me for thinking you might already have known - you used to be so involved in niche approval votes... But I let you know here. I didn't insult you. I just pointed out that you'd fallen for his ruse.
I tried to take the high road, but I think it is time for me to spell out your hypocrisy once and for all since you won't let me take the high road.
This is a community-driven site. It is part of the very spec that we're supposed to govern ourselves. When we turn to the Narrative Company and ask them - they confirm that we have to come up with our own standards, appeal niches that might be problematic, etc... I haven't even done that much of it since the Beta launched. I asked the community to reconsider a couple of niche approval votes that were underway - one of which was your's. And I've appealed one niche: the BLOG niche, along with four other people appealing it too, and yet others who agreed that it was problematic.
I've also posted 17 pieces of content that have nothing to do with any sort of problem on the site, so if you want to make me out as being focused on negativity, I think that might come across a pretty contrived.
I wish we could rise above this - this is exactly what Gage wanted to happen and he is laughing at how successful it has been, I have little doubt.
You campaigned heavily before the Beta, when you thought there was a problem with a niche. You even badgered me at length privately once because you wanted me to change my vote on a particular photography niche. I never held a grudge, or called you tacky for it, because I knew it was because you wanted the Narrative niche system to work well, just as I do. But I didn't change my vote - I stuck with my understanding of things. Just as I have faith people will do, even if they are invited to take a second look at things in a simple open and above board post (which is nothing compared to your insistence when you tried to make me change my vote in private).
Suddenly when a niche you suggested had issues (the Conversations niche), you hated the community looking at it. That's when you changed. Nobody is blind to that, except you apparently.
Now that the Beta has launched, you've mostly lost interest in helping the niche voting process and are focusing on making content. I couldn't even get you to look at Gage's niche proposal and the comments there - you just don't care, and you've said that again here. You prefer to believe I'm on a crusade against him, rather than to even look at the evidence: his very own admission that he's a troll who enjoys disrupting online communities and making people quarrel with each other.
Fine - that's your prerogative: make content! You're good at it. But don't knock me for trying to strike a balance. I want to post content (and I am), and I also want to keep the civic spirit that we all enjoyed during the Alpha. So if I see a problematic niche, I'll invite discussion about it. If I see a troll, and someone taking his bait to cause quarrels and division, I'll mention it. I even called myself out for having engaged with him more than I should have - so you see, my criticism gets directed to myself as well. You should try it... it can be perceived as a peace offering if the other person is open to such things. Apparently you really weren't.
You think it is tacky to alert the community to votes that need a closer look on the Beta, but how much engagement is there here on the community support forum? Only the people who already care enough about the community governance are here and that's a small handful of people. On the niche approvals? People tend to vote and leave, without commenting - again, the commenters are the same people with a sense of civic duty. You used to be one of those people, BTW.
Democracy only works with an informed pool of voters. So I've tried to engage folks on the Beta to think a little more about their votes.
You once argued very forcefully that niches would clean up easily via discussions with owners once Beta launched, while others thought some sort of cleanup process might be needed. Guess what - I'm here, with a few other folks who still care, trying to have the discussions with niche owners and the community that you said were the solution. You're NOT doing that. And you're repeatedly attacking me for taking time out to implement the solution you preferred, once upon a time.
We've discovered in the process of having those discussions that you advocated, that some owners are incredibly resistant to fixing issues. You yourself turned out to be one of them, irony of ironies! So no biggy - a community member files an appeal and lets the Tribunal decide. That's the system, it is in the spec, and you know that's exactly what is supposed to happen.
The BLOG niche owner, rather than improve his description, preferred to mock and insult the community, then create more than half a dozen dummy accounts to troll the community members who were in discussion with him and who appealed his niche. You can't even consult that discussion because he deleted it... but @Brian Lenz at least recognised its value, regretting it had been deleted because of the thoughtful comments the community had contributed.
When you visit the post I had made with the only purpose of passing on important materials to the Tribunal, your only comment is: why are people upvoting my post? Your gripe with me, born from me having the audacity to actually suggest one of your niches might need some help, blinded you to all the discussion that the Team found useful in evaluating that appeal... and instead led you to express disgust at the low quality of my post. It was only ever meant to alert the Tribunal to a resource relevant to their deliberations. It served that purpose. A few people thought that was a reason to upvote it, and that sets you off! It is so sad that your issues with me have led to this, and all a troll had to do was saunter in and flatter you, while insulting me, for you to stoke further divisions.
If I had wanted to spam the network with that post, as if I thought it was some sort of general interest piece of bona fide content, I could have tagged it to three niches. I only tagged it to one: the Narrative Disputes niche, because that niche is, by definition, for providing the Tribunal with relevant community discussions to give context to their discussions.
If you want to only post non-community related content now, and forget about the community governance aspect of Narrative - you are free to do so. But don't demean the people who still care about it. You call these things insignificant dramas, while we try to help niche owners who have been put off from niches they were actively bidding on and now don't want to be involved in that way anymore, and Telegram users complaining about troll problems they feel we're defenceless against.
All the people whose sense of civic duty you used to respect in the Alpha are spending some of their energy trying to remedy this situation. And some new people too - I'm thankful to say. Now our concerns seem like insignificant dramas to you, all because you hold a sad grudge against me.
Narrative needs an involved community. It needs moderators, Tribunal members and Committee members. That's an integral part of Narrative's definition and always has been. At least the Narrators who are still trying to improve Narrative's process have kept that in mind.
We're aware now that something about this paradigm causes some people to take things very personally. You and the owner of the BLOG niche have taught us that. I'm not sure what the solution is to that yet, but guess what - we're actively talking about what it might be because that's part of figuring out a Narrative platform that works. We're learning, adjusting as we go. All of us. Feel free to get over me, get over yourself, and come back to help that process, if you still want to? It will take REALLY letting go of the things you obviously haven't been able to let go of yet. But I would like to think you can do that.