Code of Conduct Councils

Token House Code of Conduct Council Charter

A Code of Conduct went into affect in December 2021. The Code of Conduct is critical to maintaining a healthy governance community that all delegates feel welcome engaging in, thereby increasing the accessibility of Optimism governance.

The Foundation currently plays an administrative role in processing Code of Conduct violation reports and the Token House votes on enforcement of valid violation reports. The community has expressed interest in a more rigorous enforcement process while other delegates have expressed that they are uncomfortable voting directly on Code of Conduct Violation proposals.

The Foundation accepted two submissions to RFP #2 aimed at the prevention of Code of Conduct violations in the first place:

Season 5 will further decentralize the Foundation’s role in processing violations of the Code of Conduct and remove enforcement responsibility from Token House delegates. Accordingly, the Foundation will authorize a Token House Code of Conduct Council, according to the Council Framework.

Goals

  • Replace the Foundation in the processing of reported Code of Conduct Violations
  • Eliminate enforcement responsibilities for Token House delegates by entrusting the Code of Conduct Council to process disputes. To create accountability for the Code of Conduct Council, the Token House may veto enforcement actions at any time
    • Please note that due to the experimental nature of the Code of Conduct Council and the high security requirements of the Security Council, any Code of Conduct Violation reports related to members of the Security Council will still be subject to a full Token House vote, following the process under Code of Conduct Violation proposals (the operating manual will be updated shortly to reflect Season 5 updates.)
  • Process any violation reports filed in the Citizens’ House that involve a member of the Citizens’ House Code of Conduct Council

Council Structure

The Council will be comprised of five members and a Council Lead. Decisions will be made based on a simple majority of members, using a 1 member = 1 vote model to determine both the level of violation (temporary suspension or severe violation) and whether or not a violation occurred.

Membership

  • The Council Lead will be appointed by the Foundation in the first Season and subsequently elected. The Council Lead is a non-voting member of the Council.
  • Council members will be elected by the Token House in Special Voting Cycle #16b
  • Anyone may self-nominate themselves in the week prior to Special Voting Cycle #16b but:
    • Token House Code of Conduct Council members cannot be badgeholders
    • Token House Code of Conduct Council members must have completed GravityDAO’s conflict resolution training (online or live) by the start of Season 5
  • As with all Councils, membership must be renewed / elected at the start of each Season

Member Responsibilities

  • All Council members should:

    • Process all Code of Conduct Violation reports, excluding Grant Misusage reports which will still go to a full Token House vote, by the end of the nearest review period. If the end of the nearest review period is less than 3 days away, the report may be processed by the end of the next nearest review period.
    • Publish a summary of any enforcement decisions made during the Voting Cycle to the forum by the end of the review period of each voting cycle (Wednesday at 19:00 GMT.) This report will be added to the Voting Roundup and optimistically approved. In this context, optimistic approval means the Council’s decisions are assumed to be approved unless the Token House explicitly vetos an enforcement action. If any of the enforcements receive >12% of the votable supply in no votes, that enforcement action will go to a full Token House vote in the next Voting Cycle and no enforcement action should be taken in the interim.
    • Process any violation reports filed in the Citizens’ House that involve a member of the Citizens’ House Code of Conduct Council
  • The Council Lead should:

    • Facilitate coordination of review and host regular Council meetings, which should occur at least once per Voting Cycle in which reports are filed. It is suggested that meeting minutes or summaries be made available to the community.
    • Exercise decision-making authority in the event that the Council cannot come to consensus on an administrative or operational matter (ie. act as a tie breaker)
  • Warnings may still be administered by the support NERDs and/or the Foundation

  • To apply to be the Council Lead, please apply here by November 10th

Council Budget

  • Each Council member will receive a stipend of 3,000 OP at the end of the Season
  • As the activity level of the Code of Conduct Councils is unknown in advance (as it depends on the number of reports and disputes per Season), the majority of rewards for Code of Conduct Councils should be granted retroactively via RetroPGF

What Does it Mean for Delegates?

Delegates will elect Token House Code of Conduct Council members in Special Voting Cycle #16b.

15 Likes

A very good step in the right direction, the Code of Conduct is needed to make sure everyone is free to participate in the space and feel safe, but so far it’s been a bit clunky, especially since most tokenholders probably won’t want to vote on an individual’s suspension.

There’s a few questions that come to mind after reading the current proposed council structure:

  • Currently, voters can’t (for obvious reasons) see the evidence submitted, which makes the decision harder. Would members of the council be shownsome of this evidence, even if with personally identifiable information being redacted?
  • Will voting be open/onchain? Usually I believe maximum accountability is preferable, but considering the nature of these votes I’d storngly lean towards secret voting to allow some fungibility and make sure
  • Finally, so far we’ve only seen 2 violations be put for discussion after sufficient evidence. It would be useful to know how many submissions the Foundation has ‘filtered’ for a better estimate of the real workload expected.

I look forward to seeing this council progress, but I feel that in its current state it’s hard to estimate its usefulness, workload and the degree of risk overall.

7 Likes

Thanks for the questions @Oxytocin!

  • Currently, voters can’t (for obvious reasons) see the evidence submitted, which makes the decision harder. Would members of the council be shown this evidence, even if with personally identifiable information being redacted?

Yes, the Foundation would remove itself from processing the reports, which means the Council would be viewing the reports directly. All Council members are subject to the Code of Conduct (enforced by the Council in the other House) and therefore could be removed for revealing sensitive information included in reports.

  • Will voting be open/onchain? Usually I believe maximum accountability is preferable, but considering the nature of these votes I’d storngly lean towards secret voting to allow some fungibility and make sure

The votes of individual members are not intended to be disclosed, but any enforcement actions decided on by the Code of Conduct must be posted to the forum for review, and possible veto, by the corresponding House.

  • Finally, so far we’ve only seen 2 violations be put for discussion after sufficient evidence. It would be useful to know how many submissions the Foundation has ‘filtered’ for a better estimate of the real workload expected.

The Foundation has received 19 violation reports since March 20, 2023.

12 Likes

I understand that it is still too early.

But is there going to be any process to denounce a council member?

2 Likes

Yes, using the same process used to remove all Council memners, via the Code of Conduct. We will have a Code of Conduct Council in each House. If a member of the Token House Code of Conduct Council is reported, it will be processed and enforced by the Citizens’ House Code of Conduct Council and vice versa.

5 Likes

I think this is an experiment worth trying. Some questions/concerns I foresee as this council goes into effect:

  • Spam attacks. A malicious actor might try to bog down the committee through spamming violations
  • Participation. So far there are no nominations. With all of these new committees, I wonder if we have enough active community members to fill all of these committee roles.
  • Legitimacy. Ideally, the voting process adds some legitimacy to the council, but considering the potentially small pool of willing participants, I worry that we might not have that many options, thus limiting the legitimacy of those we end up selecting.

Despite these concerns, I don’t foresee this council having real long-term detrimental effects, so I think there is little risk in trying. I’m excited to see where it goes.

After seeing what happened with the latest Doxing incident and how we were requested to just blindly accept the foundation’s evidence without seeing it I think a proper solution is needed.

Now I am not sure if a council working behind closed doors in the same manner is the right approach.

Looking at @lavande 's answers that

  • The vote of the council members are not disclosed

And from the description I can deduce that:

  • It’s still all a closed doors decision making with no way to question the process or hold the decision makers accountable

I am voting NO.

Though I can see that some solution is required here, this does not seem to be it according to how I have understood how this council should work. I see little difference from “Trust the foundation”, to “Trust the council”.

3 Likes

I understand where you’re coming from when you say:

I’ve been thinking about how the DAO can best approach reviewing CoC violations without having to trust the Foundation or a Council, but at the same time without having the whole DAO engage in a tribunal-like process in the public forums.

Perhaps a middle-ground would be to have a Council handle the report violations internally, including blind votes and whatnot, but then publish their decision alongside their rationale and all supporting evidence for their decision. We could then also introduce a Snapshot vote to ratify the council’s decision as a DAO so the council doesn’t hold all the power when it comes to decision-making.

That way, the whole concept of the CoC Council would look more like the Developer Advisory Board in the sense that they would provide guidance/direction, but wouldn’t have exclusive decision-making.

4 Likes

The current design incorporates a similar mechanism in that all CoC Council decisions would be posted for optimistic approval in each voting cycle (meaning the Token House has the opportunity to veto any enforcement decision, rather than the obligation to approve each one explicitly.) In other words, any individual decision made by the Council may be overriden by the Token House.

4 Likes

The below response reflects the views of L2BEAT’s governance team, composed of @kaereste and @Sinkas, and it’s based on the combined research, fact-checking and ideation of the two.

We’ll be voting FOR this proposal.

While we’re a bit dubious about the effectiveness of a Code of Conduct Council, we’ll be voting for it since we see it as a step forward in putting the decision-making power in the hands of the Collective. As we saw from the recent incident, the whole DAO voting deciding and voting on a case isn’t a sustainable approach, and the CoC Council might mitigate that.

3 Likes

We vote FOR the introduction of CoC Council.

We had different arguments and points of view about the pros and cons of introducing this Council. In short, as a trusted, neutral group to handle and make decisions on sensitive complaints such as doxxing, the CoC Council is better than getting delegates to form an opinion on the case. We consider that this is progress. On the other hand, a current concern is what happens when the conflict escalates, and members feel irrational pressure prior to their decisions. This last consideration is something to (in the form of attributes) consider when voting in the election of its members.

5 Likes

I enjoy reading those thought-provoking comments above. As an external party and one of the Gravity DAO members, I see this CoCC creation as a great step forward and a base to start building on. I love to see that the council members have to be trained in conflict resolution and mediation. In fact, holding such a position is about continual learning and growth and healthy practices around prevention and education.

For trust building, it might take some time but I believe the council will have to be very transparent about the process they will develop to handle cases, reports, and investigations, and of course, all parties involved in each case are part of the decision-making, or resolution in other words. This is where the right tools can change the game, the fun part for the initial team to design. And this is how trust can be gained.

So from my experience, there is a line between what should be transparent and what should be kept in secrecy of private archives such as personal information etc.

I have not applied for the position but I know that @juankbell did. And I am happy to provide any further support or insights when needed. :wink:

6 Likes

Firstly, I would like to congratulate all the other elected Council members and thank all candidates and all those whose participating in voting.

As for my own election, I feel a huge debt to gratitude towards those who voted for my candidacy. I am both honoured by the trust you’ve shown me while also feeling a tad nervous as the burden of responsibility dawned on me over the voting period. For those who didn’t vote for my candidacy, I will do my utmost to validate my election and convince you that the other voters didn’t make a bad decision.

Thank you again for this amazing opportunity to participate in greater depth with Optimism, and as this is the first vote where I’ve ever been successful, I look forward to hearing about where we go from here.

All the best,
Axel

7 Likes

A Code of Conduct Council for the Citizens’ House will be postponed until Season 6, so we may experiment with and assess learnings from the Token House Code of Conduct before replicating the structure. As already specified, the Foundation will process Code of Conduct violations in the Citizens’ House in the meantime (before any Citizens’ House Code of Conduct Council is implemented.) All members of the Token House Code of Conduct are still held accountable via the Collective Council or Advisory Board Member Removal proposal type found in the Operating Manual.

6 Likes