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Thread: WE Demand Greater Accountability!!!!

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    juliorain's Avatar
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    Default WE Demand Greater Accountability!!!!

    The prevailing idea and what got the discussion I think is fundamentally flawed. What Weir is advocating is complete anarchy. We all want greater staff accountability, but completely removing the moderator position is too bravado and a complete overreaction to recent staff drama. I think it is very easy to get emotionally involved in this and I think it might be a good idea to take a step back. People have said that “having a moderator is regressive” which is literally, “down with the Man” paraphrased. We’re not in the 1960’s. Calm down and try and think about what you are suggesting.

    While I understand the sentiment, I think dissolving the moderator position is a ridiculous idea more akin to absolving the president into congress. While I personally do not like Donald Trump as president, it doesn’t mean the position of president should be eradicated.

    I will be comparing URPG administration to the US government, because, as a non-staff with no experience being in staff, that is the best parallel I can draw.

    Not only will moderator duties will be spread among staff, we have no real heads that can reach out to other forums if we want to expand to other forums, or really no face of urpg. While this collectivity idea sounds great, it is actually rather autocratic and makes staff a board of trustees rather than a working body of government.

    My idea that I have proposed will actually keep the system but change the power structure enough that staff will be able to keep administration accountable for poor decisions and/or decisions that run counter to what is beneficial to URPG. Giving Staff a Veto power to impeach a rogue mod will keep moderator power in check under a unanimous vote in good conscience. It works in the United States Government, and I don’t see how it can’t work in URPG. I have encountered two chief opposing arguments for this idea:

    1. Rainy-Day Clouded Judgement: If I’m a retiring staffer I can cause as much trouble with no consequence or if I had a bad day and I just don’t like anything. That sort of irrationality is a little annoying, but those staff members prone to that sort of petty behavior shouldn’t be staff in the first place. The unanimous veto would seek to eliminate any such of that, as other, more responsible staff will hopefully hold them to a better standard than that.
    2. Giving Too Much Power to the Staff: Another argument against it proposed in the trainer’s court. The whole point of this debate is to give staff more responsibility. This is what we are doing! If the same person that brought up completely eliminating moderators said that, his argument was already hypocritical. We are working as a URPG to discuss viable ways of cutting mod power, hence greater accountability, and the veto/vote of no confidence option is literally the best solution.




    Why were staff even chosen and actively consulted already (which is already giving them tons of power) and then have mods actively disagree with a unanimous decision, all of whom were operating under good conscience? It only makes sense that they should have a collective “no” or “yes” heard from a moderator, hence veto option.




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    No internet connection. Check online for solutions. Ace Member JacenBoy's Avatar
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    I think you need to start at the beginning, because I'm getting the impression you're starting a new argument unrelated to the TC chat. If it was mentioned in TC, it was buried and should be re-explained for those of us who don't have time to dig through chats.



    What Weir is advocating is complete anarchy.
    Again, you'll have to elaborate here. I haven't seen Weir suggest anything of the nature of complete anarchy.



    We all want greater staff accountability, but completely removing the moderator position is too bravado and a complete overreaction to recent staff drama.
    I didn't see anyone suggest this. The closest I saw was the suggestion to consolidate officials and mods, and even that didn't seem to be a major point.



    My idea that I have proposed will actually keep the system but change the power structure enough that staff will be able to keep administration accountable for poor decisions and/or decisions that run counter to what is beneficial to URPG. Giving Staff a Veto power to impeach a rogue mod will keep moderator power in check under a unanimous vote in good conscience. It works in the United States Government, and I don’t see how it can’t work in URPG. I have encountered two chief opposing arguments for this idea:

    1. Rainy-Day Clouded Judgement: If I’m a retiring staffer I can cause as much trouble with no consequence or if I had a bad day and I just don’t like anything. That sort of irrationality is a little annoying, but those staff members prone to that sort of petty behavior shouldn’t be staff in the first place. The unanimous veto would seek to eliminate any such of that, as other, more responsible staff will hopefully hold them to a better standard than that.
    2. Giving Too Much Power to the Staff: Another argument against it proposed in the trainer’s court. The whole point of this debate is to give staff more responsibility. This is what we are doing! If the same person that brought up completely eliminating moderators said that, his argument was already hypocritical. We are working as a URPG to discuss viable ways of cutting mod power, hence greater accountability, and the veto/vote of no confidence option is literally the best solution.
    Once again, this feels like a brand new issue compared to what was discussed in the TC chat. I'd appreciate it if you could start over from the beginning and not assume any prior knowledge or understanding so those of us who aren't completely following the chat can completely understand.

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    Steel Soul Design TeamURPG Staff K'sariya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliorain View Post
    The prevailing idea and what got the discussion I think is fundamentally flawed. What Weir is advocating is complete anarchy.
    I’m sorry, but... no, no it’s not. That’s not what it is.

    We all want greater staff accountability, but completely removing the moderator position is too bravado and a complete overreaction to recent staff drama.
    Personally, I think this thread is too bravado, and is a complete overreaction to what Weir was trying to say in TC last night. You’re totally free to respond with your take on things, that’s fine, but I think the only person that’s gone trumpets-blazing on this is you, in this thread. I’m totally fine with you posing your option, but the tone you’ve taken with this is blowing it out of proportion. Nobody last night talked about the potential of a “rogue mod” except for you—we were talking about general staff accountability between the two roles, not someone gone rogue, who also would obviously not be staff.

    I think it is very easy to get emotionally involved in this and I think it might be a good idea to take a step back. People have said that “having a moderator is regressive” which is literally, “down with the Man” paraphrased. We’re not in the 1960’s. Calm down and try and think about what you are suggesting.
    This wasn’t what anybody was suggesting at all. This is completely taking what Weir said out of context—he said that it felt regressive to still have parts of the old staff structure in place after the explosion. Paraphrased, it’s “now’s a good time to see if there’s a way to do this differently.”You’re reading into this far too much and taking it completely out of context.

    While I understand the sentiment, I think dissolving the moderator position is a ridiculous idea more akin to absolving the president into congress. While I personally do not like Donald Trump as president, it doesn’t mean the position of president should be eradicated.
    No, it’s not. The government’s ruling body is technically “the people.” This is not akin to merging the President into Congress. It’s akin to removing superdelegates in the democratic primaries, and akin to removing the electoral college—it’s taking out an unnecessary step of power that seems arbitrary.

    Not only will moderator duties will be spread among staff,
    The only difference between moderator and official, duties-wise, is literally how long they can ban someone. This is the literal only on-book difference. There’s a staff handbook (might be public somewhere in the application threads, if not it’s in staff), and literally the only additional list items under “moderator” are ban lengths and being able to permanently ban someone. Otherwise, they have the exact same responsibilities. So otherwise, they have the same responsibilities. This would not be an issue at all. Nothing would change on the responsibility front.

    EDIT: On second thought, the only other permission difference is that mods can edit/delete/do moderation things on all of the URPG board’s threads. These things (sticky-ing, editing, moving threads, etc.) are not things that mods have to do often, and are also things that most officials (a lot of which are section heads) can do within their own section anyway. Either way, officials can delete messages in Discord, which in some respects is arguably more important, so this isn’t out of the realm of logic to let all officials do anyway. Point still stands. - end edit

    we have no real heads that can reach out to other forums if we want to expand to other forums, or really no face of urpg. While this collectivity idea sounds great, it is actually rather autocratic and makes staff a board of trustees rather than a working body of government.
    This is already solved (note how we don’t have a head right now) by delegating tasks. We delegate people to represent staff when they talk to someone about their staff application, for example. We delegate people to be the person who reaches out to PXR, or the person who makes an announcement of something. You’re making this out to be a much larger thing than it actually is.

    The rest is whatever, but I think you’re making this out to be way more some sort of cinematic, Hollywood governmnent corruption than it actually is. While we might have trust issues between certain members in staff, I don’t think we necessarily have a straight up rogue mod that we’re trying to keep in check. Again, the only person who said this was you, so this is a straw man that you’ve created and are... arguing against, for some reason.

    Giving Too Much Power to the Staff: Another argument against it proposed in the trainer’s court. The whole point of this debate is to give staff more responsibility. This is what we are doing! If the same person that brought up completely eliminating moderators said that, his argument was already hypocritical. We are working as a URPG to discuss viable ways of cutting mod power, hence greater accountability, and the veto/vote of no confidence option is literally the best solution.
    Again, responsibility isn’t a change if we were to merge the two roles. The problem isn’t giving staff too much power—it’s giving a small group of people more power for somewhat arbitrary reasons. So, no, it’s not already hypocritical, because the problem isn’t that the entirety of staff has too much power. We’re not looking at “cutting” mod power, but rather distributing it so that everyone has the *same* power, and most likely leaving decisions to democratic vote. Again, as I mentioned, maybe we need a Head for tiebreakers or something, whose sole only other function would be to be a tiebreaker/final decision-maker. But what you’re saying is not at all what Weir or anyone else is trying to say.

    Why were staff even chosen and actively consulted already (which is already giving them tons of power) and then have mods actively disagree with a unanimous decision, all of whom were operating under good conscience? .
    This I agree with—we have already vetted and chosen staff based on their good, responsible qualities. People who are promoted to staff aren’t elected, but they’re typically on good terms with most of the non-staff populace, and most of the non-staff populace trusts staff to make good decisions. So why arbitrarily make some peoples’ voice matter than others? That was what we were trying to get at, not any of what you were trying to say we were getting at.

    I might be being a bit short with my responses on this, but like I said before: I think you’re the only one who has taken a bravado approach to it with this thread. I would personally reread what was discussed last night, because it seems like you might have misread a few things on what the discussion was actually about. I’m happy to hear about your veto idea, but I think you need to approach it from a completely different context—you’ve approached it from this fabricated “rogue mod” scenario that you’ve created, but that’s not relevant to what we were talking about. I would try again and talk about how it’s relevant to what we talked about, IE accountability within staff in general, not some “rogue mod.”

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    I have to add, if you want to veto a decision, you should provide a good reason.
    Same for a vote of no-confidence.

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    URPG Demoderator Monbrey's Avatar
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    It's really kinda remarkable that being a staff member in URPG is so ridiculously over-valued, yet somehow the role of staff in this game is grossly underappreciated.

    When you have people make decision for you, either as an individual or a group, that structure does impose some limitations on transparency and accountability.

    I think this game worked best when Harry was treated as the owner. He appointed people like me, Ataro and other Seconds to lead the Staff team in making decisions for the community.

    At some point, people started shifting that to a far more political thing than it ever should have been and introducing political processes that I always believed to be completely unnecessary. Most of all when Harry was accused of "power politics" to be replaced in a system he didn't introduce. It wasn't a perfect system, it did lack accountability, but the game ran smoothly.

    Now we have a "rule by council" which I find to be far more political than anything we had previously, but that's the direction it was going after replacing Harry. To be clear, this has nothing to do with who is in that council. Be it the three we have now, or 10ish if it included all Officials too, its the same political structure of a ruling body.

    Accountability can only happen if and when other people actively hold staff accountable. Adding more people into Staff does nothing. It's the people outside staff who have the power to demand answers, to demand change, to take action if Staff are in the wrong.

    I say this knowing full well that's what happened to Harry and I. Others thought we were in the wrong and took action. I'm not here to debate if that was right or not, but to highlight it as the method that brings change.

    Staff don't have power. The community does. But you can't sit around and demand that staff be accountable because it doesn't work that way. The responsibility of making leaders accountable is on the people.

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    I don't really think the US government functions well anyway, so most of those analogies are lost on me.
    What I do know is that the general players are not the ones electing staff and mods and leaders and such. We aren't voting. It's the people already in power who are doing the promoting. So, in that way, staffing doesn't seem like a democratic process at all. I'm not saying it should be! That would be very messy and we might end up with incompetent but popular people running the game. But, yeah I hope it's not like a government in there!

    More on topic; I never really understood the difference between mods or officials or whatever, but having more people able to edit and clean up things on the forum would probably be good.

    The veto power sounds fair enough- as long as theres a reason its used. Idk. If it occurs often, and in a targeted way, we would easily be able to tick the boxes and say it was bullying. But like at a meeting (do mods have meetings? Suggestion boxes and agendas and stuff?) It seems like it could go ok!

    Anyway, I'm not here to tell you guys how to run a site/game! I'm just a player and I hope you get whatever the problem is, sorted out :)

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    If we’re on the topic of separation of powers I would just say that we can have 3 top URPG Mods, followed by the rank of officials, and then senior level section leaders.

    With the three mods having distinct jurisdictions. One to manage Discord, one to handle PXR, and the final one taking charge of PWN.
    Now, the other two would still need to have access the other parts of URPG. Just have them blend in at the the rank below Mod (in this case as officials on the servers they are not in charge of.)

    What this would accomplish... We expect the game to run smoothly and in order to do this everything should pretty much be the same across the three platforms. Each mod would then be responsible for updating their respective area and discrepancies seen by any URPG player can then be brought up in the trainers court and addressed accordingly.

    The officials in this case would serve the purpose of assistants to the mods. They also do updates and resolve any issues that they can.

    Section Seniors are responsible for the funtional operation over the jobs they oversee.

    So for example if a member is causing problems in a section then the section leaders can step in and give verbal warnings.
    Should they deem it necessary for an official to step in then the officials can be called in to review the situation and take appropriate action. At this level that means that temporary bans may take place or the situation gets forwarded to the three mods and they then decide whether or not a complete ban from URPG is warranted. Because the mods are responsible for the final decision they can then choose to do a complete ban of the troublesome member and it would be obvious that this was a unanimous decision.

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    the vibration pokemon Nitro's Avatar
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    This thread has been dead for a while so it would probably save yall some stress if it was left dead. But while I'm not entirely in alignment with Julio's OP, I think K'sariya has made great points on here and on TC, so I'd like to lend my support. My perspective comes from being an Official twice, a Moderator once, and a regular member for many years.

    Speaking from experience, there are very few Staff discussions that are Moderators-only. This is good, and I imagine that it's only getting better. But these few discussions tend to be the most significant, and one example has always been on Official-to-Mod promotions. I'm beginning to agree with K'sa that Officials should be included in those conversations.

    Of course, people get uncomfortable when their merits and faults are being discussed in public, but if you're a member of Staff, you should be assumed to have the maturity to deal with it, or at least to excuse yourself from any conversations you aren't comfortable or rational in. Frankly, I think most Officials would appreciate that high degree of involvement in significant decisions and have a right to it.

    Staff "structure" has usually been a decision finalized by a moderator, after a healthy amount of discussion between all Staff members. This rarely ends badly, because generally, Staff reaches a consensus, but in rare difficult cases where opinions are split, I think that's a case where we'd appreciate a system that involves removing the Official/Moderator tags and assigning each member of Staff an equal vote. Under this system, if you believe in it, there are no discussions that an Official can rightly be excluded from, which is good, because a basic part of the job involves being trustworthy enough for that.

    (Recent examples of these discussions include: Staff promotions, Weir's ban, Adamantium fallout. To a lesser degree, Swift, Monbrey and I all held strong opinions on repeat Legends, and I imagine cases like these -- not angry or secretive, but highly opinionated between Mods -- can be uninviting to Officials.)

    There are a number of ways to implement this system, but mostly, it seems like the next logical step of a movement that URPG seems to have embraced lately, with beliefs in sharing of power and involvement of community. This isn't really about accountability, but it helps with that too when more of the community's voices are at the table for these highly significant decisions. The comparison to super-delegates is the best political comparison in this thread.

    There will always be times when the community disagrees with the decision-makers. As a decision-maker, I used to think that I knew better than the community, and a lot of times I still think I know best. But even if I was capable of making the objectively best possible decision at any given time, not really a healthy way to operate long-term if the community believes me, or any contingent of Staff members, to be wrong. Best to continue opening up conversations at all levels and this is a good way of doing it (in addition to using more TC threads).
    Last edited by Nitro; 04-01-18 at 05:42 PM.
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