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  1. Title: Introducing the "IndiaSpeaks council" - Important Subreddit Points inside
  2.  
  3. Content:
  4. I. Background:
  5.  
  6. Our sub is growing. With growth comes new issues and challenges. What worked previously when the community was smaller, would not work effectively. New user additions will bring their ideas, opinions and mentality into the sub. Growth also attracts users of nefarious motive, at the same time emboldens existing members to be more conservative and off-putting. These are just a few of the issues, but the most pertinent of the issues would be the responsibility on the mod team.
  7.  
  8. The moderators are human, with human flaws - and often times, have to moderate with certain level of cognitive dissonance (They may feel a certain way, but have to moderate in another way as required). Secondly, the mod-team has the weight of constantly battling certain conflicts of interest. Apart from the regular mod duties, the additional charge the mod team incurs is to promote activity.
  9.  
  10. Due to various recurring issues, conflict-of-interest and diversification of initiative - We plan to introduce an "IndiaSpeaks Council". Briefly:
  11.  
  12.     The council would be a middle-level group (Between the community and the Mod team) of 10 users who would help promote activity, resolve serious conflicts, organize their own events. They will help share the weight of responsibility and accountability of the mod team (Decision making) while guiding the community towards positive growth (Activity) without directly indulging in regular mod duties.
  13.  
  14. II. Duties and powers of the council:
  15.  
  16.     Initially help draft the constitution (It is currently in a crudely completed state)
  17.  
  18.     Precede on controversial cases in a humane and just manner.
  19.  
  20.     As major stakeholders for the success of the /r/IndiaSpeaks - advise and/or instruct on what is the best course of action in situations.
  21.  
  22.     Ask for a policy to be surveyed by the larger community.
  23.  
  24. II. I. Powers of the council:
  25.  
  26.     A majority verdict of a case can be made to be implemented by the /r/IndiaSpeaks mod team.
  27.     Major rules changes and/or bans can be asked to be implemented or revoked.
  28.     Moderator disciplinary action can be asked for.
  29.  
  30. II. II. Counter-Powers of the Mod team (Council Limitations)
  31.  
  32.     Mod team continues to have its rights to take discretionary decisions on issues of lesser importance.
  33.     Mod team continues to have its rights to take immediate, intermediate or interim decisions until the council comes up with a better solution.
  34.     Mod team continues to have its right to take a call on a rapidly emerging situation.
  35.     In cases of Subreddit security, they can use their Limited Veto a negate a case or council decision. A short reason can be given to the council privately.
  36.     If a case is going nowhere, the Mod decision would take preference.
  37.  
  38. III. Council selection:
  39.  
  40.     3 Members would be from of the Tark Jury who would elect council representatives among themselves. The can choose to cycle their members if they wish.
  41.  
  42.     3 Members would be Mod Team nominations.
  43.  
  44.     3 Members would be community elected via partial-democracy. (Elected every 3 months)
  45.  
  46.     1 Invited member (External) upon agreement of the other 3 factions.
  47.  
  48.     Why a partial democracy?
  49.  
  50.     (a) Any electoral process on reddit can easily be rigged, so to maintain security, we will have a voter registration. (b) Additionally, the candidates who can stand for this election would have to someone who basically is not a cause for concern (users who think "My way or I burn down the whole subreddit", "Generally abusive", "generally argue ad nauseum and are not open to middle ground reasoning", etc are problematic and time wasting, We wont entertaining them for the sake of our and council sanity
  51.  
  52. IV. Regular month of the Council
  53.  
  54.     The council convenes once every month to look into events of the going into the next month. They will also look into past month's events, and see what worked, what did not and how to improve. Council can organize its own events with just basic event management from the mods, if they feel like.
  55.  
  56.     Any major issues would be addressed. Brief Protocol:
  57.         A /r/IndiaSpeaks user with Major concern will Modmail the Private council sub
  58.         If (atleast) 3 council members (preferably 1 from each faction atleast) agree there is a case, they can bring the user (as temp approved submitter) to discuss the issue.
  59.         The council decides on the case and the mods will act accordingly. (Exception: If the decision conflicts with Mod rights and veto).
  60.  
  61.     Council would be privy to all mod initiatives and plans. They would advice and sign off on them. If they feel a larger community needs to be sought advice for, they can opt for it.
  62.  
  63. V. How it works in Realtime?
  64.  
  65.     /r/IndiaSpeaksCouncil is a private sub where the council members, Indiaspeaks mods and certain observers will be mods or members of.
  66.  
  67.     If the Council chooses, each case can have its own temp sub - and or a separate sub to hold cases (So that other matters discussed in the council is not compromised).
  68.  
  69.     The council decision can be anon (to help their privacy). Eg: "The Council on this case have voted 2-1 in favor of the user. We advice mods to...(a) Unban the user. (b) remove the strike awarded."
  70.  
  71. VI. How it benefits factions?
  72.  
  73.     Mods:
  74.         Mods will no longer be jury and executioner in major cases. Responsibility will be split, with the jury being from the community - so they will draw that flak from angsty community.
  75.         Events on the sub will not be constrained by mod availability.
  76.         Mods can just focus on Mod-queue if they lack time. This would not affect the sub's running.
  77.  
  78.     Council:
  79.         They have the ability to build the sub without all the mundane modqueing.
  80.         They can address and pitch in on serious issues (with the acknowledgement that they bare the responsibility)
  81.         Distribution of power and responsibility
  82.  
  83.     Community:
  84.         More power (and responsibility) to the community.
  85.         Participation in positive Partial democracy.
  86.         Make the community more personal with federation of power.
  87.         Community gets a taste of participatory democracy on the sub.
  88.  
  89. VII. How is the voter list determined?
  90.  
  91.     Individual users will register with their user name - we will see their presence on the subreddit and on reddit.
  92.  
  93.     Alt abuse and troll accounts? We will try out best by using a set factors (Karma on the sub, history on Indiaverse and on reddit, etc).
  94.  
  95.     Suggestions welcome.
  96.  
  97. VIII. Criticism and downsides:
  98.  
  99.     As above, election process can be rigged very easily if it is a full democracy, so it would be reasonably secured to prevent this.
  100.  
  101.     Council members cannot be users who are a bane to the mod group or the community Resp: - while we appreciate difference of opinion, militancy and meaningless stubbornness will render the council useless. It is there to provide solutions - not to cause problems.
  102.  
  103.     Its not perfect, it involves more people and that would be more chaotic Resp: - so certain level of bureaucracy might be added but if it functions well, it will help more.
  104.  
  105.     Its success depends on recruitment of rule-abiding and decent individuals, which /r/IndiaSpeaks lacks. Resp: - this is a controversial topic on the sub (Can we work together for the common good? Or will be drag each other and cause chaos? Which is easier?)
  106.  
  107.     Mods still have the mod veto - Resp: Apart from the reasons above, understand that, it still needs to be tested. An Untested system is best built upon a current working system (if shit hits the fan, the regular process can manage and solve it).
  108.  
  109.     How do we remove council members? Resp: Elected reps - via elections. Jury reps via Jury discussion / lapsed juror/ etc. Mod reps - Mod team discussion. Invited rep - via 3 faction discussion. (It is federated for a reason.)
  110.  
  111.     Why the complication and koleveri? Resp: - Read para 1.
  112.  
  113.     Who will ensure Council - Mods - users adhere to this? Resp: (1) Its a self balancing system. (2) We can have retired mods mediate if needed.
  114.  
  115.     What about emergencies and quick responses? Resp: As mentioned, Mod team decisions would be in effect - the case can be later discussed in the council for future reference.
  116.  
  117.     Will we still have community opinions / advisories? Resp: Yes and no. Previously we used to seek advice on little things and response depended on who's available. Now the Council representatives will usually decide. Only in major decisions - we'll take whole community survey.
  118.  
  119.     How is the Jury nomination different to Mod nomination - Jury selection, if you check the wiki - has different conditions. Jury will internally select 3 council members. While Mod nomination would be separate from it - they cannot be a standing juror or standing for elections.
  120.  
  121.     Can mod nominated member be an existing, retired or ex mod? - At this point, we don't know. In that case, council duty would be an additional charge, but again, there would be a conflict of interest as well. So we'll leave it at a maybe.
  122.  
  123. XI. How do I become a part of the council?
  124.  
  125.     To be a part of Community Faction Stand in Subreddit elections - campaign and get the 2/3rds majority from the community. (Details separate)
  126.  
  127.     To be part of the Jury Faction Get recruited as a juror, apart from performing Debate jury duties, you can campaign amongst the jury team and get selected. The can decide their own cycling method.
  128.  
  129.     To get a Mod Nomination - Hope sensei notices you. No lobbying here. Mods can nominate those who have helped grow the sub / contributed well but are not relatively popular.
  130.  
  131.     To be an Invited Member - The 3 factions will invite an external user to help the council. You can give ideas, but it depends on the external user if they are interested.
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