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Policy Review Flavour Polls - Campaigning

Discussion in 'CAP Policy Review' started by paintseagull, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. paintseagull

    paintseagull pink wingull
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    @ jas -- Birkal conceeded the point about the "social effort" of discouraging campaigning. Aside from the additional complication of the rule being unclear and disqualification being on the table, a "social effort" is exactly what was behind people changing their votes and being aggressive towards Yilx when they saw he has campaigned on his DA. This is a worst case scenario in my opinion and I think it's a terrible idea. Not to mention the fact that I think it's just a cop-out on our part.

    @ nyttyn -- I guess this is a philosophical discussion that we don't really have the luxury of having. In my opinion, what matters is the reality of how polls work, that popularity and name recognition are things that are impossible to remove as factors, and as such talking about ideals such as "the best design should always win" are irrelevant at this time (but not necessarily unimportant in general). In a case like this where personal opinions are split, it seems best to me that we choose a neutral stance and neutral language.

    @ Bull of Heaven --
    In the above proposal we attempted to find the most neutral language we could for this exact reason -- I'd be happy to brainstorm better wording for it.

    This is an excellent point and actually I'd say that this is something that we already do. I do not think that campaigning would be detrimental to our art polls because the nature of the "advertisement" that is currently done is in this vein.

    That brings me to something else. All the hypotheticals that are being spoken of are assuming that allowing this will bring some sort of plague of twitter followers onto us from some crazy internet celebrity and that suddenly we will have no chance to ever win a poll again. If this actually happened we would of course have to do something about it but I REALLY don't think that's gonna be the case. But the thing that I am trying to prevent is a thing that has already happened -- a user was attacked unfairly and unreasonably. This is exactly why we need to be *CLEAR* and *STRAIGHTFORWARD* with our rules and our OPs, so 6-hour mini-mod marathons don't happen out of the blue before actual mods can deal with it. All I want out of this is clarity on what we think the rule should be, and we can deal with situational moderation issues later.

    Sorry for posting so much guys, I don't mean to thread hog, just the opposite really, but I also wanna keep things focused.
  2. jas61292

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    I have to say I disagree with you on this one. I don't think what happened this past project was because we had a more social effort. I mean, maybe, but what I was suggesting is a social effort backed by policy posted in the thread. As Yilx has stated multiple times, he didn't think he was doing anything wrong when he made his "advertisment." I think it was this lack of clarity that made the social effect negative rather than positive. There is a huge difference between people being mad at someone who intentionally went against written policy and people being mad at someone who never even realized what they did was wrong. If we outright say "don't do this," and someone decided to do it, then consequences coming from people being upset seem fair to me.

    With that said, know that when I say "consequences coming from people being upset," I mean individuals disapproving and not wanting to vote for you. I do not mean the kind of mud-slinging garbage that happened on IRC this past time around. Regardless of what decision is made, I want to make it clear that the kind of bullshit that happened on #cap during the art poll will not be tolerated in the future. It doesn't matter what anyone did, people treating other like that is unacceptable. Maybe my opinion here on the campaigning policy is in the minority, but regardless of what decision is made, I don't think we should be taking into account what happened on irc as far as backlash, as I feel that was an independent problem that I, and hopefully all the other channel Ops, will try and keep from ever going down again.
  3. nyttyn

    nyttyn No regrets
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    At the end of the day, it really boils down to: Do we seriously want to risk another incident like with Yilx on IRC happening? Moderators saying that they'll try to keep it from happening in the future is nice and dandy, but what if they aren't here? Do we seriously want to enable people to try and frame other people trying to campaign by encouraging a culture of looking down on anyone who seemingly "campaigns?" What if they DO campaign and cry foul - how can we prove it was them? How do we prove it wasn't them?

    If you all are fine with those risks, then fine, let us note that such actions are frowned upon. But do understand the consequences of making this the official stance for an action that is easy to frame others of committing, one that is easy to claim innocence of, and one that is extremely easy to commit either way.

    For the record, I personally don't it is worth the risk it brings. I understand the viewpoint of the artists, and I understand that campaigning really sucks, but there is nothing we can do without the real and serious risk of hurting innocent users.
  4. nyttyn

    nyttyn No regrets
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    Double posting because apparently we aren't allowed to edit posts anymore.
    My answer is that while it is at least somewhat unfair to allow campaigning, there are already plenty of unfair advantages in the CAP art polls as stands. Name recognition is a serious issue, as is the bias towards shiny, glossy designs, as well as the bias towards great art instead of great design. This is not to say people without a big name or without shiny designs or without great art can win, but they already have unfair disadvantages. On top of posting first, posting frequently, flooding the thread with design updates, so on and so foh. Thus, campaigning being unfair isn't anything new. In addition to the cons I already posted in my last post, it is my belief that campaigning should just flat out allowed. Not expressly, but no bullshit "the community frowns upon it" and no ban.
  5. Eagle4

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    I completely disagree with campaigning. Why do we want influence votes by campaigning? Because it brings in newcomers? Well, we can bring in newcomers simply by posting the submission elsewhere once the polls close. The argument that it is too risky since users might frame other users is extremely flimsy as well; users haven't (at least, from my experience) been framing others before this discussion took place, why should it occur again? Campaigning brings in a new element to polls where the importance of the quality of each submission decreases, something which completely goes against CAP ethics. Campaigning will mean that users with a large fanbase will garner more votes than relatively unknown users and newcomers. If they "deserve" it, than what about the new artists who might put in work of quality at a level among the people who "deserve" the votes, but won't get it because they don't have a high fanbase?
  6. paintseagull

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    Okay, along with the discussion here, we had a pretty long discussion in #cap yesterday about this issue, and I tried to get us to focus on this question:
    in the absence of any concerns about enforcement, policing or punishment.

    The full log is here.
    Overall, we had a good discussion. We debated whether or not campaigning was outside of CAP ideals, and what kinds of things we should strive for, and what kinds of things are unrealistic and should be conceeded to the realities of voting.

    Here are a few poignant things from the discussion that stood out to me:
    (note: Kitsunoh is Quanyails)
    So, I am going to put this to a vote. The question will be:
    As discussion leader I am going to abstain from this vote.

    The possible votes will be yes or no. At the end of the vote we will discuss how to implement our decision. (For example, if we get a no vote, but decide we don't want to have a hard rule, we may go with an "allowed but discouraged" type of solution. If we get a yes vote, we may still decide to put some rules in place about what crosses the line.)

    I'll give everyone 24 hours to make their points, highlight anything from irc chats/previous posts (this has been a lot to sort through and I could use some help parsing it!), or bring up any problems with the question I propose to ask. After that we will have another 24 hour voting period.
  7. Pwnemon

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    This is simple to me. CAP, at its heart, is a battleground of ideas. The only reason anyone should have behind their vote is the content of the submission. What this means is that, given an infinite number of polls with the same slate, no matter what else happens over those 24 hours, the same submission would ideally win. Obviously this is an unrealistic ideal with many complications—we can't control the fact that a CAP mod or known contributor will have an inherent advantage in every poll, and we can't control if the first five votes in a poll all end up being for the same person, biasing the rest, and we can't control a billion other things. Some say we can't control campaigning either; some say we can; personally I can't decide. What I do know is that whether or not we can control it, it adds another factor that brings us farther away from the ideal I stated at the beginning of this paragraph, with submitters who campaign getting more votes than those who don't for a reason other than the content of their submission. (And if at the very least you can't agree with me there, you have to admit that those with a popular name will be able to bring more votes by campaigning, which exacerbates the issue of name recognition). Whether or not it's practical to make rules against campaigning to smogon members, campaigning certainly doesn't help achieve our battleground of ideas.
  8. DarkSlay

    DarkSlay This Wouldn't Have Happened In Romney's Smogon
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    Just wanted to post a log from IRC concerning defining the scope of campaigning and what should and shouldn't be allowed. Enjoy!
    I'll be posting a more fleshed-out opinion on the matter in a bit.
  9. nyttyn

    nyttyn No regrets
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    Note: My post is going to assume that by campaigning we would going to allow people to post "vote for me in the CAP polls" on their art blogs/sites, on another forum, smeargle's studio, etc. It is NOT assuming that we will allow people to create auto-redirecting vote buttons, etc, and it is NOT assuming that we are going to allow the legal minefield of purchasing votes.


    To aim for CAP to become or call it a "battlefield of ideas" whereupon ideas rise to the top via merit alone is horribly naive of how CAP operates. It is more akin to a popularity contest, where a combination of merit and sacrifice will gain you a higher, but not garunteed, chance of victory. You cannot win based on the merits of your ideals alone, nor can you win simply by playing to the crowd - in order to successfully gain a victory in a CAP poll, art or otherwise, you need to not only have a great idea/piece of art/what have you, you need to sell that great idea/art/etc. That means constantly posting, reminding people you're in the running, posting revisions, gathering feedback, making sure your posts become the first or second on a page, posting early, hell even sucking up to other people if you want to do that. There are many "unfair" factors that go into winning a CAP poll, but every single one of them requires sacrifice via an investment of time and effort.

    Campaigning, as I see it, is not some sort of 'foul taint' that makes the process more unfair, but rather another tool that one can use to level out the playing field. Is it still unfair? Yes. I'm not going to claim that campaigning is some sort of holy grail. I have touched on the plus sides, but it is ultimately not fair. But it is important to note CAP operates like ubers - all the unfair advantages flying around even themselves out to, ultimately, be fair. And not everyone is blessed with a time zone which lets them post early, or a workload that lets them post frequently. By allowing them to seek outside aid via drawing new blood (which, I will admit, most will not stay) into the project, we even it out for the talented people who have the skills required to gain the popularity behind their ideal yet lack the time or time zone required to obtain the unfair advantages which others can acquire.

    Edit: And yes, some of those people who can acquire those other advantages will be able to acquire this one, but them's the breaks.
  10. paintseagull

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    Okay, since there was no objection to the vote, let's open it up.
    The question is:

    Is campaigning (directly asking for votes during a poll) for oneself ethical and allowable in our project? (Does it stay within CAP ideals?)

    The possible votes are:
    yes or no

    You may post a comment with your vote if you like.
    This'll go for 24 hours
  11. Birkal

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  12. Quanyails

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    No

    CAP focuses on the best ideas; if an idea gains more votes than another, it should ideally be because it is technically better-fitting. Allowing campaigns at all undermines the quality of submissions, and I find it difficult to believe that campaigners will not influence their fanbases that take interests in CAP.
  13. Eagle4

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    No

    @ Nyttyn: I could argue that campaigning would make it even more unfair on those who are less well-known. What you're suggesting is that members and newcomers who aren't well-known can be aided by campaigning to reach the same level of "fairness" per se as those who are popular. Surely, the more popular members will garner more votes than the unpopular or ambiguous members if both campaign? Campaigning will not even out the playing field to create a poll which is more fair. Rather, it will do the opposite. Also, have you ever heard of "Two wrongs don't make a right?" ;) I feel like you see campaigning as a wrong which will even out the other wrongs of the process.

    The negatives of campaigning heavily outweigh the positives. Campaigning completely goes against CAP ideals; it creates an environment where the relevance of the quality of each submission decreases. Is that we want? I am convinced that CAP should value quality over the "ability to sell". Campaigning goes against that. Any reasoning for why campaigning is allowable can be easily countered. It will bring in newcomers? Just post your submission elsewhere once the polls close. Campaigning just gives people with large fanbases to gain undeserved votes, votes which is based on the person who submitted rather than the actual submission.

  14. DarkSlay

    DarkSlay This Wouldn't Have Happened In Romney's Smogon
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    Yes

    My answer is more complicated than a solid "yes", but I've been told that this isn't a concrete poll that will ban all forms of campaigning. I do feel like this entire argument, however, has been victim to both absolutes and assumptions, which I advise my fellow PRC members to look out for when making a decision.
  15. Elevator Music

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  16. Nyktos

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    No

    While I have serious doubts about any attempts to actually prevent campaigning, I agree that from a philosophical standpoint it is "wrong".
  17. jas61292

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    No

    I pretty much agree wholeheartedly what Pwnemon said in his last post. I don't really know if any good could come of it, but in my mind, it is simply against the spirit of the project as a whole. Smogon is a competitive site, and CAP is a competitive project, but it is competitive in the sense that it is about a competitive game, not that it is a competition itself. Anything that tries to make it such, or supports the notions that it is would be against the ideals that make CAP what it is.
  18. Pwnemon

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    No

    already posted about it
  19. Kadew

    Kadew Never not late
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    No

    This is a collaborative project, where ideally we would work together for the best possible product. To campaign for oneself, recruiting votes from elsewhere with the intention of "vote for me" instead of "vote for what you like best" is indicative that it is more about an individual's desire to win than about the community. Difficulty of enforcement aside, at its heart campaigning for oneself turns away from the ideals of CAP in my mind.
  20. capefeather

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    No

    As the thread has shown, there are a lot of nuances in the topic as a whole. I didn't post until now because I honestly wasn't sure on what to do about this issue. On the specific matter of ethics, I ultimately don't believe that campaigning is ethical. To compare with an existing CAP rule, I would liken campaigning to animations. Animations introduce a skill set that is largely irrelevant to the credentials that we actually look for in concept art submissions. It's the same with campaigning. The difference between this and advertising IRL is that art submissions don't particularly need advertising to be noticed individually, beyond getting the word out for the vote in general.
  21. uwnim

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    After thinking about it, I will have to vote No. While I don't believe all forms of campaigning are unethical, campaigning does go against the idea of CAP being a community project where not winning is completely fine.
  22. No

    I had to give this one some thought, since a CAP poll is a competition to some extent. As I've noted before, while there do seem to be some members that genuinely don't care about their own submissions winning, it's hard to believe that there are very many, and I know I'm not one. That said, competition within the community should always be secondary to a collaborative mindset, and I don't think I can reasonably say that campaigning is consistent with CAP principles. If this makes any sense, which it likely doesn't since it's very late here, I don't think of campaigning as "flat-out wrong" so much as "not quite right" or "a little off," but even if one accepts that those things are actually different, none of them lead to a "yes" vote.
  23. PttP

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    No.

    I'm PttP / ballabrown24 in case you didn't know, so yes, I am eligible to vote.
  24. Qwilphish

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    No

    In an ideal situation, campaigning goes against the spirit of the CAP community, in that people are on a level playing field if they are slated. Campaigning may tip the scales in one way or the other and thus goes against the way I see this.
  25. paintseagull

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    It looks as though we are mostly agreed on this question - 13 to 1 for No.
    So what does this mean? We don't think that campaigning aligns with CAP's philosophy to be a collaborative and inclusive project where the best idea and not the best person wins.

    Many have already said that they don't think we should have a rule against campaigning, not only because they think it is difficult to control, but because you can easily frame people. I think, though, if we are so united that it is bad for the project to have this occurring, we should formally say it is not allowed. My suggestions would be to have a rule along the lines of:
    "Asking for votes for your submission or for the submissions of others is not allowed. Anyone found to have done so risks punishment at the moderator's discretion. If you find that someone has broken this rule, please contact the CAP moderation team with your evidence and no one else. Mini-modding of this rule is also considered a serious offense."
    In this way we can more tightly control the possible side-effects of framing, vote-changing and mob mentalities forming. I don't propose that we will be able to control everything, but we can at least try.
    I'm also "drawing the line" here at specifically asking for votes. Even though there is definitely a grey area where some forms of showing off your art, linking to the poll without a comment, linking to the poll with a winky ;) face could be construed as somewhat asking for votes, we have to make a distinction and I think this is the clearest place we can do it. This means that promoting in #cap, #smeargle, posting your art on DA, asking for feedback early on, etc, is all still fine.

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