[needs action] Thailand Moderators re-validation - December 2022

Hi all,

As described in the Moderator selection criteria, categories that were created before this was approved, need to run a re-validation of their moderators on December 10th to comply with the agreed policy.

Our category is part of them, so we open this topic to discuss about how the moderation team should look like moving forward.

We have five days to discuss:

  • How well moderation has been working so far?
  • Is there someone else who we feel should join the moderation team? (please check on requirements first)
  • Are there any other changes needed to our local moderation team?

After these 5 days, we will open a public poll to validate the new list of moderators.

Thanks!

2 Likes

Thanks for the heads up. It’s good to finally see this role documented, and evolving slowly into something with more responsibilities. The yearly vote will produce balance and checks which is positive for the community.

Difficult to say since I was told the previous undocumented forum admin role was to only remove spam and warn offensive language, but what I can comment on:

POSITIVE:

  • Bringing one more moderator (@nitinatsangsit) who is very proactive and familiar with government rules and wiki updates
  • Bringing together organized editing teams (@mishari, @stephankn) and knowledge working with these companies
  • Offering different scope of knowledge (@mishari: organizations/street complete, @stephankn: general/high-level, @nitinatsangsit: local/government knowledge)

NEGATIVE:

1. possible conflict of interest with Grab.

@Mishari didn’t publicly document the fact that he’s occasionally consulting for organizations on OSM-related matters and had a history of remunerated contracts with Grab including recently (it seems only @stephankn was aware of this).

The fact that whenever Grab’s recurrent issues were raised in the forum, @Mishari guided the conversations possible in favor of Grab could be seen as a conflict of interest.

Even Grab agreed with this take when reached for comment, and they even mentioned they already asked @mishari to update his public OSM profile months ago. I have also raised the issue directly with Mishari and was promised a public profile update, which hasn’t happened.

Don’t get me wrong, having a moderator working closely with organized editing teams is positive for the community, but hiding this relationship is not.

2. possible lack of inaction against recurring Facebook/Grab issues:

Even if the previous forum role was misunderstood, most people are looking at admins/moderators as role models that have a bigger responsibility especially when important issues arise.

A few mappers who left OSM after recurring Facebook/Grab issues told me privately they blamed admins for not taking action. This is a bit harsh, but I also do not understand why DWG was never involved (they even proposed it) to at least give the organizations a warning. Grab only stopped their conflicting remote campaigns after I proposed to submit a case to DWG I had prepared.

I could see Johnny Carlsen, one of the longest members and most active contributors, joining back the community and perhaps if he has time and interest in fulfilling this role.

For me, any existing/future moderators gaining any OSM-related financial/career incentives with organizations should disclose publicly their links in their OSM profile. Until then, I will vote no for their renewal/candidacy.

1 Like

Thanks @stephankn happy to continue to help moderate. We have a reasonably problem free and friendly community :slight_smile:

That being said, have we considered adopting a code of conduct? I like the one FOSSASIA uses and have adapted it for OpenTech Thailand.

thanks @cmoffroad for taking your time to write a response. As described in the link above, a moderator in this discourse website has duties on enabling productive discussions on the community website.

Quote from:
https://community.openstreetmap.org/t/moderator-selection-criteria/2392?u=stephankn

On-boarding and responsibilities

By putting themselves forward for a moderator position, candidates commit to:

  • Proactive Moderation: Stay active and regularly monitor conversations and community flags.
  • Incident Response: Follow and enforce the category and forum etiquette guidelines.

So a moderator in the community forum does not have any specific duties outside of the forum coming with the role. So especially not to moderate editing conflicts or following up violations of the organized editing guideline with DWG or other entities.

There is certainly an overlap in the persons involved. You are well aware that in our small community many activities are driven by a relatively small group of engaged community members. But they do it without any obligation coming from a role as a moderator here (or in the old forum).

I like your idea of being transparent regarding potential conflicts of interests. I have added a section on my user page. To summarize here: My income is without OSM context. I pay the server for tiles and osmose backends out of my own pocket (~ 800 EUR/year). Many years ago I received a one-time sponsoring by a company in OSM context, but not active in Thailand.

I would like to add: Based on the moderator role, the only conflict of interest here would be in terms of abusing the moderator powers, to probably censor postings or similar. A community moderator role is limited to the forum here. Still publishing for full transparency and encouraging other moderators to follow.

If someone would like to step in as moderator, please announce it here (the sooner, the better). On the 15th a poll for moderators will be opened.

Hello again everyone,

Five days have passed for the community discussion so now a voting poll is opened for another five days to validate the final list.

Please cast your vote before 2022-12-20T08:00:00.000Z.

The list will be validated if it gets at least 80% of yes votes. Note that votes (who voted what) are public to help identify any abuses.

Thanks!

Do you approve @Mishari @nitinatsangsit and @stephankn to be category moderators for the “ประเทศไทย (Thailand)” category?
  • Yes I approve
  • No, I don’t approve (please comment below)

0 voters

@stephankn Are those whose names are put forward expected to vote as well? I would vote for you and @nitinatsangsit but I’d feel a bit odd voting for myself :expressionless:. In some communities I’ve participated in it’s fine and expected, in others it’s considered bad form. I’m not sure which one it will be over here?

Why not? The currently 1 existing vote was done by myself in the hope to get it started.
This poll is meant to confirm the existing moderators and to give the community a chance to voice concerns.

This did already happen: There had been concerns raised about potential conflicts of interest due to commercial engagement in OSM. While the role of forum moderator comes with little power, there is some power. It could hypothetically happen that some users start to write critical about Grab activities and you start to censor those posts as you want to show them how valuable you are for them in the hope to get more money. This is an extremely hypothetical case but it demonstrates how such a conflict of interests might affect moderator role.

@Mishari If you feel comfortable about it, I would suggest that you add a small paragraph to your user profile or wiki user page where you mention that your company (+link) does offer consulting services in the OSM context. If possible, mention potential conflicts of interests and how you plan to deal with them (usually refrain from moderation in such cases and refer to other moderators).

Re: conflict of interest

Generally speaking on the internet, when one gets involved in a situation where there’s a conflict, real or perceived, one makes a declaration right there, which I’ve done, and which is how @cmoffroad knows about this relationship in the first place.

I’m happy to add my company to my profile and mention that I do open source consulting, and in case of a conflict of interest, real or perceived, I will make a declaration to the involved parties in the space where the conflict could be taking place, and if it’s serious (like the moderator vote) I shall maintain appropriate distance or take guidance from the community.

3 Likes

Thanks Mishari for explicitly confirming the process that you are already living.

I hope that this removes any doubts and allows you to support further OSM in Thailand also on a professional (commercial) level. This is very valuable as it was confirmed in the joint call with recently had with Grab and TomTom and it increases the quality of the contributions by the involved companies.

Thank you:

  • @stephankn for listening to my concerns and explaining the often misunderstood moderator role in more detail.
  • @Mishari for documenting your position and explaining your process to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

I am confident this information will prevent further miscommunication/misunderstanding.

@forums-governance please note the voting results

1 Like