Community moderation as a DEI or CommOps area

Continuing the discussion from Fedora Org Chart Update/Re-Design (looking for feedback!) - #12 by mattdm - Fedora Discussion :

It is an interesting idea and I see the alignment. But I’m not sure this is what the Fedora DEI Team should own per se. I feel like moderation is something better defined in the context of the platform where it happens, and as such, should be handled with less of a top-down approach.

I guess I also feel this is the role CommOps was meant to fill in terms of providing general guidelines across teams and sub-communities. But I also recognize that the way CommOps once functioned is no longer the way it functions today.

Things change, and they can change again! :slight_smile:

As I see it, CommOps might provide best practices, tools, advice on implementing guidelines, and help ensure consistency across the project. But if some group doesn’t take CommOps up on that, it’s their loss. I am trying to find the precise word here (so please forgive some sloppiness), but basically CommOps isn’t responsible for making sure this works across the whole project.

By contrast, DEI has an interest in making sure that moderation is effective everywhere in the project, that everywhere is welcoming, that everything is aligned with our overall community goals. Or, really, this is a whole project interest, and therefore the Council’s job to make sure it becomes reality. One way we could do that is to ask and empower the DEI Advisor and DEI team to take ownership of success in this area.

And, that success could be supported (and even, ensured!) by resources and effort the CommOps team might provide.

Does that make sense?

I’m hesitant that community-wide moderation should be owned by the DEI Team. Instead of the DEI Team pushing ideas and guidance, I would rather teams that need the insight and guidance pull ideas and guidance by seeking it out from the DEI Team. More importantly, I think we have to work on rebuilding a healthy and active DEI Team again. We are slowly gaining some momentum, but it will take some time to get there. Putting moderation on the plate feels like too heavy of a burden.

I’d like to hear from other voices here though. @siddharthvipul1, @amsharma, @jonatoni, @riecatnor, @lilyx, @sarah-thornton, @nikhilkathole, dei-team, any thoughts here?

It is okay that CommOps isn’t responsible for making sure the advice and guidance works across the whole project, but first I think CommOps has to be in a functional state to consider taking on this work. I think COVID-19 zapped this team, and CommOps became a place for piling on things that people aren’t sure where else it fits in the Fedora community.

This isn’t something that will happen overnight, and it will take some time for CommOps to rebuild or evolve to its next form. Instead of unilaterally assigning this to CommOps, I think the future team should self-determine the things they own from the things that they have to say no to due to a limited scope and capacity.

I opened a Council ticket about a year ago to work on establishing community wide Moderation Guidelines. This was put on pause for a multitude of reasons. While I was in the FCAIC role, it was a matter of capacity. Now that I am working in the Code of Conduct Outreach role, the moderation work is on hold to focus on all of the various Supplemental documentation for Fedora’s Code of Conduct (among my other job duties). While I think the Moderation Guidelines work fits under my current job role, I believe the Code of Conduct work should be prioritized. But, there’s progress happening: 1, 2! And multiple other pieces of documentation are under development/in legal review. If someone from the DEI team (or anyone else) was inspired to work on the moderation guidelines in the meantime- I’d be happy to share the resources I’ve gathered so far :blue_heart:

I am of the opinion that community moderation is owned by interested individuals on each platform, with overarching guidelines and recommended best practices coming from the Council. There is simply too much moderation needed across too many platforms for one team to coordinate/oversee it. From my experience the individual platforms mod teams wouldn’t want that anyway. I reached out to the various platforms when I kicked off the ticket last year, and when I am able to pick up this work again, I will be sure to update the ticket, reach back out to the various moderation teams… and at that time the current DEI rep to Council should provide input, make the DEI team aware that there is a call for feedback, and encourage them to do so.


Sorry for replying so late on this topic, but I definitely agree with @jflory7 and @riecatnor. The DEI team can provide feedback and help when creating the guidelines, but I don’t think the DEI team has the capacity to own it. As Justin mentioned we are working on making the team active again - but that will require some time and we have a long backlog we need to start working on :sweat_smile:

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