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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:22 am 
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jewelsong wrote:
RELStuart wrote:

Also there is: No longer an age limit to join or post here. No longer a limit to how many usernames one may have. No longer denied or restricted access to new members to the TOE forum. No longer express (or any) prohibition on posting porn. I could go on but I would encourage people to compare the two charters. Frankly I like the specifics listed in Article 2 of the current Charter. I don't like the vague references to a "culture of respect" that Rangers have the ability to punish people for violating. I prefer that we have listed rights and responsibilities so people know what is expected of them.


Those things should be dealt with in a set of by-laws, which could be drawn up and modified as needed. The Charter itself should not be dealing with specifics (IMHO)

A charter is more or less the overview of how things run. By-laws are for day-to-day shit and can be modified much more easily.

Let's get the new one in place and then by-laws can be drafted and voted upon.



I would say this new charter is pretty clear about the day to day operations of the Rangers. And I would re-iterate my dislike of the "culture of respect" theme in the Charter. There was a post tonight from a Ranger no less that IMHO violated a proper culture of respect. But that is my subjective opinion. And I would like to avoid Rangers having to deal with people based on their subjective opinion. Also the way I read the new Charter language if your posting privileges are suspended for less than two weeks there is no appeal method.

If there is a board wide vote on some future date on whether someone should be punished for a violation of the culture of respect I feel like that would be more likely to lend itself to popularity contests rather than the members or Rangers dealing with whether a rule was broken. For example, (though a somewhat silly one perhaps), Yovi posted the he ran naked through the forum in a thread. Everyone giggled, made remarks and moved on. But lets say a Ranger happened on it and felt like it was untoward and disrespectful in real life and therefore a violation of the culture of respect we believe in on this board. The Ranger could remove the post. The Ranger could suspend Yovi posting rights for a week. Lets say the Ranger was really ridiculous and suspended him for two weeks. Then the board could vote on if Yovi's actions really constituted a violation of the culture of respect.

It is all subjective. No "rule" was broken because we have none. We just have a culture of respect. And can you tell me that Yovi's popularity as a fun guy we all now and love would really not have any impact on the votes of the members if we voted on a two week suspension? What if we replaced Yovi in this example with Halplm? Would the vote still be the same?

Everyone deserves a fair shake. Which means that rules should apply to everyone the same. And I don't think we will be as effective doing that with a culture of respect instead of rules.

(Edited to reflect that a member can have a board wide vote on if they should be punished for a perceived infraction for less than a two week suspension.)

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Last edited by RELStuart on Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:23 am 
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Tinwe, there has been talk about drafting a new charter for a while now...certainly before the latest happened.

In fact, the revision committee was in place already.

As I said above, the charter is simply an overview for the board. It should be short and sweet and in some places, deliberately vague. The place for specifics is in the by-laws, which can be drafted as needed and as specific as needed.

We have been lumbering under the current charter for a LONG time now and it has hurt the board and is still hurting the board. I firmly believe that simpler is better in most things and that goes for this, too.

And for goodness sakes - voting "no" is not going to make you an OUTCAST! That's why there's a VOTE. I would encourage EVERYONE to vote - whichever way they feel would be best for the good of the board.


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:28 am 

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Also the way I read the new Charter language if your posting privileges are suspended for less than two weeks there is no appeal method.


Actually, there is. You just have to get at least two other posters to second the request for review by the membership.


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:30 am 
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Thanks Jewel. I don’t disagree with anything you have said, except the idea that the charter has hurt the board. I would argue that it is Hal who has hurt the board. Personally, I’d rather keep the charter and get rid of Hal, but I know that’s not an option (with the current charter, anyway, and not with the new one either, as far as I can tell).

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:30 am 
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REL, a set of by-laws would help define that culture. We have some ideas kicking around in the committee thread right now. Thing is, a culture of respect is what we were shooting for in the beginning and what, in a normal month, we have. What we're trying to do now is come up with a way to give that culture teeth. The vast majority of the people here are fine. This place is something like a public park. Over there we've got people playing chess. Over in another corner we've got people sitting on benches having discussions and chats. There're people playing games out on the grass. Joggers cruising by. Every now and then someone starts streaking. But then there're the handful of people who just ruin things for everybody, who kick over the game tables, let their dogs shit on the playing fields, and so on. Right now, we have no effective means of dealing with that. People demand the Rangers act and then throw a shit-fit when we do because we don't have much power to act.

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:31 am 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
Quote:
Also the way I read the new Charter language if your posting privileges are suspended for less than two weeks there is no appeal method.


Actually, there is. You just have to get at least two other posters to second the request for review by the membership.


Thank you for the clarification, I am glad that language is there. However, I still object to the culture of respect language for the reasons I listed in my prior post.

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:32 am 
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With due respect to legalism, b77 is a messageboard and not a country. I've said this elsewhere, I think. We have an obligation to judge members fairy, but I don't think that we have an obligation to judge members without the ability to consider their past behavior. The way that the board is going under the current Charter, even though it may be more "legally" fair, we will not have a board for much longer because no member will want to post under these conditions. We have to judge hal differently than we would have judged yov, because hal has a completely and totally different history of past behavior than yov does. It's impossible to compare the two, IMO, and I would not wish to. As a messageboard, our primary interest is to preserve the community, or there is no point in having a messageboard at all. We need a Charter that gives us the ability to act in order to preserve the community instead of having to act according to the letter of the law. This board tried a strict doctrine of rules for several years. And I think most members can say unequivocally that it did not work. We need to try something new. If it ends up not working, well hell, we will try again. But we have to do something drastic in order to prevent the current situation from happening again--as it has happened several times in the past.


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:39 am 
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Riverthalos wrote:
REL, a set of by-laws would help define that culture. We have some ideas kicking around in the committee thread right now. Thing is, a culture of respect is what we were shooting for in the beginning and what, in a normal month, we have. What we're trying to do now is come up with a way to give that culture teeth. The vast majority of the people here are fine. This place is something like a public park. Over there we've got people playing chess. Over in another corner we've got people sitting on benches having discussions and chats. There're people playing games out on the grass. Joggers cruising by. Every now and then someone starts streaking. But then there're the handful of people who just ruin things for everybody, who kick over the game tables, let their dogs shit on the playing fields, and so on. Right now, we have no effective means of dealing with that. People demand the Rangers act and then throw a shit-fit when we do because we don't have much power to act.



Again I do appreciate that the effort here is to make the board a better place and appreciate all that each person has done to do that. Why can't we include a bill of rights/by-laws with our Charter? This charter is already to late to be of any use in resolving the current unpleasantness. What is the hurry that we cannot do the charter and by-laws that will explain and define it at once?

I don't think that anything in the charter now in effect prohibits us from taking into account the past behavior of guilty parties does it? No one has instructed the Jury that we cannot take that into account.

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 6:50 am 

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tinwë wrote:
Thanks Jewel. I don’t disagree with anything you have said, except the idea that the charter has hurt the board. I would argue that it is Hal who has hurt the board. Personally, I’d rather keep the charter and get rid of Hal, but I know that’s not an option (with the current charter, anyway, and not with the new one either, as far as I can tell).


Sure it is. Under the proposed new "charter," if the Rangers in place decide that a member needs to be banned, and a majority of the membership agrees, than the member will be banned. I think it would take a lot for that happen here (I won't comment specifically on any specific cases or members).


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 7:00 am 
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The new charter seems to have much stronger ranger powers, something we were deathly afraid of at the start of B77. Maybe we've come full circle to see that rangers with power who are also accountable could be a good thing.

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 8:25 am 
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RELStuart wrote:
Why can't we include a bill of rights/by-laws with our Charter? This charter is already to late to be of any use in resolving the current unpleasantness..


Typically, a Charter is put into place first. It defines the community or organization in broad terms. Then the by-laws, which tend to be pickier and more specific, are developed and voted on.

I have been a member of several start-up organizations and this is how it was done. There wasn't a whole lot of time between adoption of the Charter and development of the by-laws, but the Charter was put into place first.


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 9:16 am 
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I voted yes. :)

Nothing stops us from implementing the Charterlette, solving the matters at hand, then going back to the drawing board if the membership deems it necessary and draft a more comprehensive Charter. Emergency powers are necessary when dealing with an emergency situation. Try to imagine a democratically-run firemen station with votes taken on everything. "Shall we go put that fire out, guys, what do you reckon...?" ;) I'm with jewel on this too, though. The Charter is one thing, the by-laws another.

And as far as I'm concerned, rotating, accountable Rangers, with Rangership being open to all members, should be enough to guarantee democracy and fairness on the board. :)

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 10:14 am 
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I'm in agreement with Ber. Big surprise there, huh...

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 10:47 am 
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I voted yes for the same reasons as Ber.

What is missing from the 'Charterlette' :D is the ability to, put it bluntly, BAN undesirable posters. :neutral:

However, the current Charter, as it stands, is simply unworkable. It is simply too cumbersome and unwieldy for a messageboard. Better to have this new 'Charterlette' in place.

laureanna wrote:
The new charter seems to have much stronger ranger powers, something we were deathly afraid of at the start of B77. Maybe we've come full circle to see that rangers with power who are also accountable could be a good thing.


Well, I make no secret of the fact that I think no online community can function without moderation. :cool: Or the power to ban persistently abusive posters.

B77 was a reaction to the bad judgment displayed at TORC -- and I agree, it was very bad judgment, and not the only example I have seen of it either, I've seen plenty of internet kerfuffles in my time -- but in doing so, it shot itself in the foot. ;)

If someone were to come along and post something rude or abusive on my Live Journal, I have the facility to delete their posts and ban them. I am grateful I have that power. I should have that power. And I don't think that is something to feel apologetic for in the slightest. :horse:

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 12:32 pm 
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elsha wrote:
With due respect to legalism, b77 is a messageboard and not a country.


Just wanted to re-iterate that. I know we all care about our board, but it's still just a board, and one that's entirely voluntary for everyone involve. Please, everyone, keep the importance of all this in perspective.

I'd also like to point out that in the years this board has been going, there have been very few major problems that didn't somehow involve hal or sf. At this point in the board's life (unlike when the original Charter was written), we know just what this board is like and what the problems it needs to deal with are. I think we should all keep this in mind.


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 1:56 pm 
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Voted yes under the good will that all of the nitty gritty bits with be dealt with soon following. ;)

I think REL brought up a valid point, but I can also agree with JS in that they (charter and etc rules) can be separately decided and created entities.

Now I think I need a break from messageboard politics. For some reason I just couldn't stop reading in the bike racks/jury room in the past couple of days...it's like picking a scab. :blackeye:

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 3:11 pm 

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Di of Long Cleeve wrote:
What is missing from the 'Charterlette' :D is the ability to, put it bluntly, BAN undesirable posters. :neutral:


Um, see my response to tinwë above. Under the "Charterlette" if the Rangers currently in office believe that a poster needs to be banned, and the membership agrees, the poster will be banned for whatever length of time the Rangers decide.

There are two guiding principles that I used in drafting this document. First is KISS. Second (and more important) is "trust the Rangers, for they are us."


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 3:18 pm 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
tinwë wrote:
Thanks Jewel. I don’t disagree with anything you have said, except the idea that the charter has hurt the board. I would argue that it is Hal who has hurt the board. Personally, I’d rather keep the charter and get rid of Hal, but I know that’s not an option (with the current charter, anyway, and not with the new one either, as far as I can tell).


Sure it is. Under the proposed new "charter," if the Rangers in place decide that a member needs to be banned, and a majority of the membership agrees, than the member will be banned. I think it would take a lot for that happen here (I won't comment specifically on any specific cases or members).


What I see is this:
Quote:
Rangers have broad discretion to take whatever actions they deem necessary ... including but not limited to ... etc.


Am I to take that to mean the Rangers can do anything as long as the members support it? If that is the case, fine. I can support that. It allows for a solution to the problem at hand, and since I fully agree with yov that there has only ever been one problem here, as long as we can rid ourselves of that everything else should be fine.

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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 3:29 pm 
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tinwë wrote:
Quote:
Rangers have broad discretion to take whatever actions they deem necessary ... including but not limited to ... etc.


Am I to take that to mean the Rangers can do anything as long as the members support it? If that is the case, fine. I can support that. It allows for a solution to the problem at hand


Exactly. It is standard language to allow for any kind of situation, and still have a bit of checks and balances. (I don't think it means that the Rangers can do anything...but they have the power to act with reasonable force and speed if the situation warrants it.)


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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan , 2009 3:46 pm 
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The only problem I see with the new charter, beyond certain minutae (ToE regulations etc.) is the "Culture of Respect" thing. I know we're a small board and so on, but what constitutes "Respect" will be defined by whatever Rangers are on board at each individual moment. It's too subjective. However, as there are several rangers, it's highly unlikely that all of the Rangers will agree that a small, possibly flippant infraction will merit severe punishment, so I don't think that this will raise a problem unless someone who severely steps outside of the lines splits hairs over this issue.

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