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11:00 PM
@Catija I just read it again, and I really think you want to say that "If CM1 determines these actions may be a CoC or mod agreement violation, they will contact the moderator [...]". But I get how @Sklivvz might read it as he described, so would changing the wording to something like that be possible?
 
@terdon Yeah. that's probably a better phrasing. The point of CM2 is to get a second opinion and decide.
If you can suggest that as a rewording, that'd be great and JNat and I can talk about it tomorrow? That definitely is a better sense of the intent.
 
I'll post an answer, thanks.
 
The thing is... we can never completely know that a violation occurred... we can only expect two CMs to agree that it seems to have occurred. The process docs are kinda cut and dry but... um... if there's anything I've learned in a year here... nothing is really cut and dry. It may not say "send five emails back and forth and have a private chat about the situation with the mod"... but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
 
One thing seems sure to me @Catija, you cannot reliably know that a violation occurred without involving the mod, sharing the evidence and hearing their point of view.
 
Doesn't mean it will happen either, though. The only thing that can reasonably be expected is what the process says; if folks don't believe that SE will go any further than that, I wouldn't blame them.
 
11:10 PM
Without supervision, there's no guarantee that the process will not be abused, and it's ripe for abuse
 
@Sklivvz tbh. I know and trust most of the CMs more than the folks above them 😁
 
@JourneymanGeek I know most of them in person, but I would not trust them not to make mistakes. It's not a matter of character, it's a matter of human fallability.
 
I guess the question is what would be a fair check on that?
 
Involve some mods under NDA
So they can confirm that the procedure was followed, and that the process was conducted fairly.
This guarantees both parties because SE also needs to be trusted, it goes both ways.
I would personally involve senior mods as peers of the CMs, but I don't think SE trusts us enough for that.
 
@Sklivvz And we have every intention of doing that.
 
11:17 PM
No offense, but what you wrote is the polar opposite
 
Um... It's not.
If it is, as I've already pointed out to terdon... please help us realize that... but we explicitly state, as I quoted earlier, that we will talk with the moderator who's involved.
 
What you wrote is what's quoted above. I'm not judging your intentions :-)
E.g. "CM1 at their discretion will either abort the process or involve the accused mod so evidence can be gathered and reviewed together before other CMs are involved"
 
What's quoted specifically says that we'll "[prompt] them for their perspective/context/reasoning"... If that somehow doesn't mean "we'll explain the situation and ask them for their side of the story"... we need to do better.
 
instead of "If CM1 determines a CoC or mod agreement violation occurred, they will contact the moderator about whom the complaint was raised and inform them of the ongoing process, prompting them for their perspective/context/reasoning,"
 
And terdon's already suggested a change to "may have occurred".
 
11:21 PM
Agreed, and once there's a new version I'll be happy
Hopefully
Also you need to share all information with the mod
not merely inform them of the process
But this is but one small example of the larger problem: it does not read like you want to work with the community on checking violations. The message is, pretty clear, "trust us, you don't need to see anything, we'll do the right thing"
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The problem is @Catija that we do not trust you completely, nor we should, nor should you trust yourselves.
What are you going to do when you make a mistake?
There will be no third party making this process trustworthy
This would have stopped the last demodding from escalating in its tracks
 
There's some confidential info that we may not be able to share with a mod due to risk of them knowing who contacted us with the information and potentially trying to harm that person.
 
Ergo: you don't trust your mods :-)
 
And forget @Catija. I could trust her, personally, to at least do her level best to be fair and honest. But what about Alex, Jo and Jean who'll be hired tomorrow? I'm thinking of this too much in terms of the CMs I know and respect. I have no idea who a CM will be tomorrow. For all we know, the whole "CM department" could be outsourced to some other company in the future.
 
Also -- trustworthy people make honest mistakes. As a mod, I never meant harm, but I sure made a lot of mistakes
Fortunately, either the community or CMs helped me correct them... because I had supervision
 
@Sklivvz Come on, that's not fair. If a mod has gone over to a user's house and tried to break their door in the middle of the night, I don't want SE to tell this mod who complained! We can't demand that all information be shared all the time.
The problem is finding the line and trusting SE that they've drawn the line fairly.
 
11:28 PM
@terdon that's not what I'm saying
 
No, your main point is very valid. Even the best of people make mistakes and having some input at least, if not oversight, would be very good.
 
If I'm accused of threatening a user like that, and can't see the specific, at the very least I would like you (or someone like you) to guarantee me that the evidence exists for example
 
Yes, that's fair.
And some sort of NDA-like thing (not an actual NDA, I don't think any of us really want to make this a legal thing) to allow some representatives of the userbase to see the evidence makes a lot of sense.
 
I mean there are 2 important outcomes to this process:
1) that the virdicts be correct within reason
2) that the community trusts the virdicts to be correct
For example, imagine instead we had a computer "guaranteed to give perfect judgements" but we could not verify its process, would it work?
Would people not get up in arms once they disagree with a virdict?
The appearance of being fair is equally as important as the substance
 
It comes down to trust. There was a time when I would actually trust SE to be telling me the truth if they told me they're sure this mod needs to be removed. As things are, though I agree, more openness is needed. At least for the vast majority of cases.
And more openness is needed for the future in any case. If this is something for the ages, like.
 
11:34 PM
@Sklivvz tbh. There's cases of rogue mods
 
Once you say "rogue mod" any discussion on a fair process is already impossible because you poisioned the well.
If you can determine a mod is rogue, then no further process is necessary
The process is only necessary because we are going to assume mods are innocent until proven guilty
 
@JourneymanGeek Think of the time, in a distant future, when we're all dead and gone and the only relic of the olden days is Shog's disembodied head floating in a jar of formaldehyde issuing wise proclamations. How can a young, wet-behind-the-ears mod who doesn't remember the living, breathing Shog trust his verdicts? Why would she, in the absence of any evidence?
 
I’m sorry... we’re not really in a position to make any headway on trust with this. 90% of these cases will be immediately dismissed,10% will get investigated and only 1% will get public... when a mod is removed. We’re always going to be the bad guys. We want to make this as reasonable as we can but we also need to respect the privacy of the people involved. If there’s ways we can improve... we’re open to it... but we can only use ideas we get or have.
 
No, protecting the privacy of the others involved is paramount. Agreed. But some way of opening a window into the process would be really helpful as well.
For instance, at least when the problem is a conversation in chat, the relevant transcript should be shared with the mod. No need to specify who complained, but the specific conversation should be.
Would that be a problem, you think?
 
@Catija frankly I know this is repeated internally as a mantra but it's not correct. CMs are trusted becaused they signed a contract. Mods supervising can equally be trusted for the same reason.
In other words, make them sign a specific NDA
 
11:41 PM
no
 
@Sklivvz It's also important for users to know they can make a complaint in good faith and that it will be kept private.
 
@terdon not really
 
@Sklivvz Ah. OK, it is for me.
 
@Sklivvz put an NDA in front of me, I'll quit. I suspect others will too.
 
the right to face your accuser is pretty much uncontroversial
 
11:42 PM
But I’m struggling because I really feel like people are assuming we want to remove all mods from their posts. Which we don’t. We have always made a best effort to protect mods as best we can. I felt it as a mod. I understand it feels like y’all are under attack because of how this happened. I’m not happy with it, either. But I’m doing what I can to alleviate it.
 
@ArtOfCode it would be optional, to participate in a specific process
 
@Catija I don't think you are. I admit I am less clear about the nebulous concept of "SE inc." But that's not really the point. If this is official, then this should be something that doesn't depend on the good relationship between the mods and the CMs.
 
@Sklivvz Ah, to be able to see details of the ongoing mod-removal? I guess that makes a bit more sense. I'd still refuse to sign it, but at least that doesn't mean quitting.
 
.... and right now I need to focus on keeping my 3-y/o in the tub along with the water while keeping the 1-y/o dry.
 
@Catija No, but the demodding of Monica came across as unjustified and arbitrary -- with the implied intent to threaten any other mod who disagrees
2
 
11:44 PM
@Catija The solution is to accept your position as the human shield; the outcome is the 3yo in the tub, the 1yo dry, and the water on you.
 
@ArtOfCode yeah, It would be up to you. But as long as someone volunteers, that'd be feasible
 
@Catija If you can juggle that, I'm sure you can sort out anything we throw at you! Go wash your kid!
 
Except we haven’t removed anyone else, despite dozens of people disagreeing...
 
@Catija I am not judging your intentions, I'm referring how you come across
you -> your company, not personal
I certainly largely disagree with the CoC, but I have resigned instead of fighting that battle
 
How about this: when a user has made a complaint about a mod, 2 random users are selected (maybe other mods, maybe random established users, maybe something else). The complainant has the right to reject these and ask for another random choice, but once a pair has been deemed acceptable, the details of the complaint can be shared with them and they can act as community oversight.
 
11:48 PM
I'm pretty sure many other mods didn't really fear the demodding, but rejected demodding as a way of handling dissent
@terdon users or mods?
 
@Sklivvz To be decided. I would lean towards mods.
 
@terdon I know I'm jumping in here, but would that be intended to be kinda like a jury of your peers, just in an advisory role?
 
I just want to make sure a user who feels bullied or harassed can complain without fearing that the person they'll complaining about will find out. I don't want people to be afraid of retaliation if they complain.
@HDE226868 Please, jump in! And I don't really know. I'm spitballing. I just agree with Sklivvz that some community oversight is needed.
 
@HDE226868 the idea is to avoid further "you said, she said" by having a third party at least assessing that process was followed
 
If we always need to trust SE, then we will always have this sort of problem if a popular mod is demodded.
Even if SE were completely right, if there's nobody not affiliated with SE who can vouch for the decision, it will never go down well.
 
11:52 PM
The same mechanics happen on sites all the time
Mods suspend a popular user
Community complains
Mods can't share info because it's private
 
@terdon I do like it; it does seem to promote transparency. I might suggest one regular user and one mod, to represent both the mod team and the rest of the community. All levels of users are involved. (Well . . . I guess two levels. But 2 > 1.)
 
CMs intervene as a third party
 
@Sklivvz Yes. So we need a third party here too.
 
@Catija I raised a pretty important set of points on the moderator team q and a and no one reached out for clarification. I repeated those points in my resignation, and no one reached out for clarification or to ask what I meant. At this point at least publicly it doesn’t appear as if anyone takes these sorts of concerns seriously. Feedback goes in, silence comes out.
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@HDE226868 how do you pick those though, and how do you know they will both keep their trap shut?
Pardon my exact choice of words. It's been a long night
 
11:58 PM
@JourneymanGeek randomly, and at least one of the mods should come from the site in question. They should sign the nda and if they choose not to it gets randomly selected again
We have 500 mods, we can’t trust 6 of them to impartially weigh and work with the CMs to ensure justice and fairness?
 

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