Local Chapters and Communities Working Group/Draft implementation plan for moderation of talk and osmf-talk mailing lists

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Below is the draft implementation plan of the Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG) subcommittee, regarding implementing moderation of the talk (community) and osmf-talk (membership) mailing lists, after the request of the board. It was presented to the board during the March 2021 board meeting.

The content has been copied here from https://hackmd.io/@MaggieMaps/SJFDaPye_ (as in April 2021) for archival purposes (with minor corrections).

Implementation Plan Proposed by the LCCWG Moderation Subcommittee


This Implementation Plan is based on the subcommittee Scope of Work that was presented to the community at the January OSMF meeting. It has been split into two distinct elements. We plan to progress the ‘Process for moderation’ and ‘Revision of the Etiquette Guideline’ work in parallel subject to enough volunteer support.

Our goal is to complete all work by the end of July 2021. This estimate is based on time required to allow for thorough research, bi-monthly subcommittee meetings, community consultation and feedback, and OSMF board review. These efforts have been defined separately below.

Community Involvement

We want to balance visibility against the feeling of exhaustion from being copied in too many messages or asked too many questions. We therefore created four groups that will be consulted and involved in the process to a different degree than the others. Participation will be defined as part of the workflow set out below.

  1. Subcommittee: Join the subcommittee to attend bi-monthly meetings, develop draft documents, respond to comments and drive the process.
  2. Reviewer: Provide the Subcommittee with early, timely input on initial draft materials. We invite the Review Group to include the OSMF Working Groups, OSMF Local Chapters and other established communities, in addition to self-nominated individuals.
  3. Community: Individuals interested in being notified when final drafts are ready for community input. Everyone who wants to provide feedback will be considered part of this group, but if you want an email when a draft is ready please sign up and let us know.
  4. Research: Individuals or organizations interested in sharing relevant experience and recommendations with the Subcommittee via interviews or online communications.

Your participation and support can help us to shape and strengthen this initiative. Please fill out this Call for Participation form by April 10 to sign up and participate in the process.

Processes for Moderation

The Workflow

Part 1: Define guidelines and process for moderation

Define a process for moderation of the existing Etiquette Guidelines that will apply to the talk and osmf-talk mailing lists. This stage will include:

  1. Subcommittee researches existing moderation processes and guidelines, holds interviews/forums with Researchers who have indicated interest in providing feedback and recommendations. Goal: May 3
  2. Subcommittee drafts moderation process for Review group feedback. Reviewers have 2 weeks to provide input. Goal: May 17
  3. Subcommittee to incorporate Reviewer feedback in a second draft. Goal: May 31
  4. Subcommittee shares final draft with community for feedback (translated as available). Draft will be open for comment for 3 weeks Goal: June 7
  5. Subcommittee edits final draft based on feedback and makes a recommendation to the OSMF Board. Goal: July 5

Part 2: Recruit Moderators

The remit of moderators (and the moderation team as a whole) will be to moderate the talk and osmf-talk mailing list and respond to any complaints of violations of the Etiquette Guidelines. We will develop a method for selecting moderators and will consult on this before proceeding to the selection itself. This stage will include:

  1. Subcommittee to research moderator recruitment in other spaces Goal: April 20
  2. Subcommittee to draft moderation recruitment process for Review group feedback. Review group will have 2 weeks to provide input. Goal: May 3
  3. Subcommittee to incorporate Reviewer feedback in a final draft.
  4. Subcommittee shares final draft with community for feedback (translated as available). Draft will be open for comment for 3 weeks Goal: May 24
  5. Subcommittee edits final draft based on feedback and makes a recommendation to the OSMF Board. Goal: June 21

Part 3: Review Moderation Support Material

In addition to providing moderators with a process, we intend to supply some guidelines for how to moderate international communications channels. This stage will include the following and conclude when moderators have been selected:

  1. Subcommittee to review exising support materials
  2. Subcommittee to recommend additional support material and ask for feedback from Review group
  3. Subcommittee edits final recommendations based on feedback and shares materials with moderators, and makes any necessary recommendations to the OSMF Board.

Approval

Given that the new moderation process will apply to key communication channels (talk and osmf-talk mailing lists) it is seen by some as a change that has the potential to have a large impact on OpenStreetMap. We therefore recommend that the OSMF Board is the final point of approval of the new moderation process. Board approval also sends the positive message that respect towards others is a fundamental component within OpenStreetMap.

We are unaware of any existing working group required to have their selection/recruitment process approved by the OSMF Board. We will therefore share the new moderator selection/recruitment process with the board for their feedback but not for a vote. Likewise, we feel that the actual selection of individuals and the revision of moderation support material is a delegated task that does not require OSMF Board approval. As the LCCWG Moderation Subcommittee is accountable to the OSMF Board, this does not prevent the OSMF Board from intervening should they wish to.

Revision of the Etiquette Guidelines

The current Etiquette Guidelines were adopted by the OSMF Board in June 2011. For many people community norms and expectations have changed over the last 10 years. Much work has also been done within other communities outside of OpenStreetMap. We will therefore review and update the Etiquette Guidelines based on current best practice, OpenStreetMap’s mission and values and community feedback.

The Workflow

  1. Subcommittee researches existing guidelines and codes of etiquette/conduct, conducts interviews with Researchers who have indicated interest in providing feedback and recommendations. Goal: May 10
  2. Subcommittee to assess findings and incorporate into an initial update to the Etiquette Guidelines. Goal: May 24
  3. Subcommittee submits initial draft to the Review group. Reviewers have 2 weeks to provide input. Goal: June 7
  4. Subcommittee shares final draft with community for feedback (translated as available). Draft will be open for comment for 3 weeks Goal: July 12
  5. Subcommittee edits final draft based on feedback and makes a recommendation to the OSMF Board. Goal: July 19

Approval

The OSMF Board approved the current Etiquette Guidelines. Board approval also sends the positive message that respect towards others is a fundamental component within OpenStreetMap. We therefore recommend that the OSMF Board approves the new Etiquette Guidelines.

The OSMF Board has already indicated that it wishes to ask the OSMF membership to vote on the new Etiquette Guidelines. We understand why this is beneficial but do not want to let this lead to an unnecessary delay. We therefore encourage the OSMF Board to explore options including provisional approval by the Board subject to a membership vote, and/or holding a membership vote as a written resolution prior to the next general meeting.