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Thread: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

  1. #1
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    As per the recent threads in the Prothalamos, it has been noted that there's a "controversial" line in the Constitution, or:

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    Resolutions can be Amendments, making changes to this document8; Decisions, suggesting changes to the site; Nominations, proposing a member for a Curial award; or Votes of No Confidence (VoNC) against Curial Officers or Staff Members. A VoNC may only be initiated for neglect of duty or abuse of authority10 and, if successful against a Curial Officer, results in their immediate removal from office.11
    As previously mentioned, I'm pretty sure that that is a left over from past times, from when the Curia was involved in the process of picking up Moderators for instance, but since it is there, and in order to avoid unnecessary confusion and drama, I think we should clarify it.

    Let's start with a statement: the Curia has no direct power over Hex or Staff, no matter how loud someone will shout or how hard anyone will try to bring back "the good old times", there's not even the most remote reason to believe the Curia can influence Hex or Staff in any other role than that of an advisor; as per the Constitution:

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    The Curia shall foster all communities within the forums of Total War Center, and in this spirit the Curia serves as an advisory group to, and an awards committee for, the site.
    So the Curia is supposedly entitled to suggest the Hex to remove/reprimand a staffer that it might be considered unsuited for their role or biased; of course such accusations need to be supported by serious and irrefutable evidences, and should be regulated (in the Curia) by the same procedures as the VonC (i.e. abusing the procedure would be ground for an Ostrakon), but I don't really think we should still call it VonC and we should really separate it from the Curial VonC process. Any idea on how to amend this?

    Another point: this is a sort of minefield, for both the Curia and the Hex: having been in Staff for over 6 years, I can safely say that it's very unlikely that the Hex will justify or not any removal of a Staffer (that is part of the Staff Non Disclosure, I'm afraid), so let's suppose the Curia "Voncs" a staffer (most likely condition is prolonged absence, because I don't see how Hex is not going to remove any bad behaving staffer) and the Hex does not follow up with the suggestion... Curia will probably expect some sort of explanation, while the Hex will be bound by the SND... explosive situation.

    So, keeping in mind the above, what could be the best solution? Keeping the procedure in the Constitution, but clearly stating that the Hex is in no way bound to follow the suggestion NOR to justify the reason why they did not follow it?
    And if so, what's the sense of putting up a discussion and voting proposal when it won't bring to anything? Is it worth at all to keep this procedure?

    Let's discuss.

    ps. I beg anyone who's going to be involved in this discussion to avoid starting any tantrum about what powers the Curia should have, what was the past and the like. The past is the past, we need to work on the present. In the present Curia has no power over Hex, while the contrary is very much true, as stated in the very document that regulates this institution:

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    All resolutions are voted on at the proposer's request5, 12 and pass on the basis of a two-thirds majority of non-abstaining votes in favor.13 All Amendments14 and Decisions15 are considered to have immediate effect and no retroactive effect unless specifically stated otherwise. The Administration may veto any resolution.
    ps2: I'm posting this in the best interest of both the Curia and the Hex, in order to clarify a point which can cause further distance by the two, and in the hope to build up a better cooperation (for what it's possible and worth, of course).
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Since the mention confers no ability that members don't already have (complain about/to staff, especially with reports of misconduct) and the outcome is the same either way, a simple alteration to pitch the reference should probably do it.

  3. #3
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Another point: this is a sort of minefield, for both the Curia and the Hex: having been in Staff for over 6 years, I can safely say that it's very unlikely that the Hex will justify or not any removal of a Staffer (that is part of the Staff Non Disclosure, I'm afraid), so let's suppose the Curia "Voncs" a staffer (most likely condition is prolonged absence, because I don't see how Hex is not going to remove any bad behaving staffer) and the Hex does not follow up with the suggestion... Curia will probably expect some sort of explanation, while the Hex will be bound by the SND... explosive situation.
    SND doesn't mean you can't comment on a ing VoNC of a staffer, you people are ing insane with your SND nonsense. You aren't working for the US government or for a fortune 500 company - this is a website with less than 2000 active users and less than two dozen active in the Curia. You guys need to get off your high horses and look at the reality of the damn situation if you think SND is more important than keeping users informed and happy.

    You guys sound like insane trumpists with their "presidential privilege" rhetoric. "Hurr durr sorry can't talk about this, SND". How ing convenient that SND prevents the administration and staffers from ever having to take responsibility for their or any of their peer's actions. How about you guys just do your ing jobs or get off the pot and let someone who isn't worried about doing everything possible to maintain a semblance of power over a dying internet community take over things.

    ps. I beg anyone who's going to be involved in this discussion to avoid starting any tantrum about what powers the Curia should have, what was the past and the like. The past is the past, we need to work on the present
    "I know I've said something inane and antithetical to TWC's democratic institutions but you shouldn't get upset about that because that's all in the past now" - Flinn 2022

    (most likely condition is prolonged absence, because I don't see how Hex is not going to remove any bad behaving staffer)
    That's ing hilarious. People have been complaining about specific members of staff for years now and Hex hasn't done anything but threaten to infract users who bring up issues in the moderation commentary.

    No one but the members of hex give a about SND, you people take yourselves way too ing seriously. This is a dying internet forum, not the Roman senate.

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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    Let's start with a statement: the Curia has no direct power over Hex or Staff, no matter how loud someone will shout or how hard anyone will try to bring back "the good old times", there's not even the most remote reason to believe the Curia can influence Hex or Staff in any other role than that of an advisor; as per the Constitution:

    So the Curia is supposedly entitled to suggest the Hex to remove/reprimand a staffer that it might be considered unsuited for their role or biased; of course such accusations need to be supported by serious and irrefutable evidences, and should be regulated (in the Curia) by the same procedures as the VonC (i.e. abusing the procedure would be ground for an Ostrakon), but I don't really think we should still call it VonC and we should really separate it from the Curial VonC process. Any idea on how to amend this?
    That's pretty much how many VoNC cases work in real life. Often, they are non-binding. No need to come up with a new name. I'm hoping that the HEX is intelligent enough to know the difference between a binding and non-binding VoNC.
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    Sir Adrian's Avatar the Imperishable
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Curia will probably expect some sort of explanation, while the Hex will be bound by the SND... explosive situation.
    My memory might be rusty but I distinctly remember that hex can decide to ignore SND. Also, unless it's been changed recently, this isn't even covered by SND to being with.
    Last edited by Sir Adrian; August 11, 2022 at 04:22 PM.
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Don't worry, they'll claim it's covered by SND but then refuse to elaborate or provide a clear list of topics covered by SND so that whenever they don't want to talk about something they can play the SND card.

    "oh sorry, we can't answer that criticism, SND"

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  7. #7

    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    In an era where even long term staffers, tribunes, moderators, administrators, magistrates, censors, librarians, and you name it may go inactive for long periods of time, I think we should move towards further melding staff and the Curia. As TWC becomes smaller, I think we should all move closer together. This site is still, as ever, staffed by volunteers. Regardless of our various conflicting views, personalities, politics, etc, we are all bound together by one thing: we kinda like it here. TWC may end up looking like some sort of anachronistic club house at some point, but if we're going to pull up the ladder let's at least do it before any members are excluded from it.

    What is the alternative? What we have today is a bit of a soft civil war between active users and staff as I see it. The OP here confirms it. This proposal is a curt dismissal of the Curia as an awards committee while confirming the absolute authority of people who have been in absolute authority here for what, nearly a decade? What does anyone here stand to gain by this? Continue like this and soon there won't be anyone to moderate, and appeals, any content work being done, or any other posts. Other than the mudpit, geez, where are people posting? I can't even maintain a discussion about how bad the latest episode of Better Call Saul was. But the subreddit for it certainly provides endless responses.

    As for SND, or any other policy, if adhering to it measurably contributes to the decline of TWC (which is indisputable at this point), why even have it? The Curia, ironically, has adapted for the times. Non-citizens can propose things, comment on things, etc. Staff, however, seems to have barricaded itself behind a wall of outmoded policies and an increasingly apparent good ol boys club - whether real or imagined. An infusion of true "old blood" in Garb and Soren has been seen by perhaps less experienced members as an extension of bad policies. I disagree. Soren and Garb hail from an era where people with severe ideological and strategic disagreements were forced to work together and compromise in service of advancing TWC. I am hopeful this is the beginning of a turn around.

    In short, I am very pleased at the results of the staffing of the tribunal. My proposals may or may not have had anything to do with it, I will probably never know - but even if they didn't I don't regret them. I was willing to accept bad or mediocre tribunes so long as the tribunal survived, so I am very pleased we acquired exceptional tribunes instead. Let's continue to increase mutual trust. Let's continue to increase transparency. Let's continue to increase working towards keeping TWC relevant and renewing what we all love about this website.

    Let me be the first one to say it: I was very cynical regarding the tribunal situation. Hex fixed it. I did not give them the benefit of the doubt for this issue. For the next issue which may arise, I think I will.

    Now all those constitutional issues having been laid out, Flinn, what are your opinions? I have utmost respect for you and would like to hear what you have to say.

    edit: holy , 60,000.
    Last edited by Pontifex Maximus; August 11, 2022 at 06:23 PM.

  8. #8
    Sir Adrian's Avatar the Imperishable
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    When I joined staff, precisely 9 years ago, SND was meant to be a cover for preventing people from sharing private information such as who got infracted or competition entries or people's ips and stuff like that. Sadly it has been corrupted over time to also cover for people not caring enough to do their job more than the bare minimum, and in some rare but shameful cases, get away with lies and badmouthing people on forums they cannot even see.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    When I joined staff, precisely 9 years ago, SND was meant to be a cover for preventing people from sharing private information such as who got infracted or competition entries or people's ips and stuff like that. Sadly it has been corrupted over time to also cover for people not caring enough to do their job more than the bare minimum, and in some rare but shameful cases, get away with lies and badmouthing people on forums they cannot even see.
    Agreed; but also used as an excuse to avoid accountability.

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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Great post, Ponti - agree almost entirely.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    That's pretty much how many VoNC cases work in real life. Often, they are non-binding. No need to come up with a new name. I'm hoping that the HEX is intelligent enough to know the difference between a binding and non-binding VoNC.
    Agreed, non binding here and no need for another name.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Adrian View Post
    My memory might be rusty but I distinctly remember that hex can decide to ignore SND. Also, unless it's been changed recently, this isn't even covered by SND to being with.
    I am assuming Flinn alluded to dismissal reasons that are not publicly known. Hex ignoring SND would be a real extreme case. Despite Akar's intimate connection to non-disclosure and his tantrum here it's not in Hex's interest to flout rules. Like the relevant, and indeed recently updated one, see second bullet point.



  12. #12
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dismounted Feudal Knight View Post
    Since the mention confers no ability that members don't already have (complain about/to staff, especially with reports of misconduct) and the outcome is the same either way, a simple alteration to pitch the reference should probably do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    That's pretty much how many VoNC cases work in real life. Often, they are non-binding. No need to come up with a new name. I'm hoping that the HEX is intelligent enough to know the difference between a binding and non-binding VoNC.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantus View Post
    Agreed, non binding here and no need for another name.



    I am assuming Flinn alluded to dismissal reasons that are not publicly known. Hex ignoring SND would be a real extreme case. Despite Akar's intimate connection to non-disclosure and his tantrum here it's not in Hex's interest to flout rules. Like the relevant, and indeed recently updated one, see second bullet point.
    So adding a footnote such as "Staff VonCs are not binding and the Administration is in no way compelled to execute them"?

    I mean, someone else can phrase it better , but I guess that that would be enough in this case to clarify the issue?
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    I don't think adding more is necessary, I was in favor of removing the reference to eliminate possible confusion.

    Otherwise I would think they are implicitly non-binding for staff members, since removal is only stipulated for curial officers and there is no defined consequence even for a successful VONC to a staffer.

  14. #14
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dismounted Feudal Knight View Post
    I don't think adding more is necessary, I was in favor of removing the reference to eliminate possible confusion.

    Otherwise I would think they are implicitly non-binding for staff members, since removal is only stipulated for curial officers and there is no defined consequence even for a successful VONC to a staffer.
    I agree that removing the mention is the easiest solution, but if we keep it, would a footnote suffice to clarify the procedure and avoid future drama?
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    I agree that removing the mention is the easiest solution, but if we keep it, would a footnote suffice to clarify the procedure and avoid future drama?
    No footnote necessary. No need to come up with a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    I would vote for remove the mention too.

  17. #17
    Flinn's Avatar His Dudeness of TWC
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    No footnote necessary. No need to come up with a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.
    The fact that you get well what that mention implies doesn't mean everybody else is or someone else won't use it to create drama and the like. Better be on the safe side, I guess.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    The fact that you get well what that mention implies doesn't mean everybody else is or someone else won't use it to create drama and the like. Better be on the safe side, I guess.
    It's not something up for interpretation. How could it be used in such a way?
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    I agree that removing the mention is the easiest solution, but if we keep it, would a footnote suffice to clarify the procedure and avoid future drama?
    Doubt it. If it's this clear and we already had a problem then that energy will be spent making a problem through some other peephole, and for the rest of the time it's just more text to chug through.

    I also didn't really see confusion regarding it being binding or not, hardly even saw that replied to or challenged. Supporting members wanted to express their dissatisfaction with a situation, and themselves acknowledged that it wasn't binding. That would apply regardless of the footnote and it's people's right to express even if a curial procedure is an overly bureaucratic way to do it.

  20. #20
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
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    Default Re: [Discussion] VonCin Staffers

    I agree that removing the mention is the easiest solution,
    "It's easiest to remove any accountability for staffers" - Flinn

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