Founding Documents for the Centrifuge DAO? Part 3 & 4: Code of Conduct & Levels of Engagement

Founding Documents ( cont’d)

This piece is a continuation of Founding Documents for the Centrifuge DAO: Part One

Document Three: Code of Conduct

Every individual has their own ‘right’ idea of behavior and principles, but to be a superbly functioning DAO that governs a great protocol we should adhere to minimum standards.

Without a Code of Conduct there is no clear ‘code of behavior’ that binds everyone and no clear way to act when someone is acting in an aggressive or otherwise negative way. Because of the online nature of DAOs this can quickly spin out of control. There are many DAOs who have reached unenviable environments of trolling and factional fighting. In the worst cases there is outright abuse and aggressiveness, in others, passive aggressive questioning becomes the norm and combativeness is the overarching vibe.

Calls for stronger facilitation and a Code of Conduct have often been defeated by claims that it limits ‘freedom of speech’, the ‘possibility of dissent’ and thus the goal of being ‘truly decentralized’. But it is a grand fallacy that decentralization equates with everyone being able to say or do whatever they want: there is still room for dissent in a group with a Code of Conduct - in fact dissent becomes healthier - we can dissent in a way that is agnostic not antagonistic.

The lack of a Code of Conduct and moderation brings about a lack of decentralization much sooner, either in the form of the demise of the group, or via inaction, caused by FUD, antagonism and regression.

It’s important to remember that a DAO channel like discord or a forum is not a social media platform - it’s a place for governance discussion. Moderation is the normal activity of ensuring that users can participate in the DAO, in governance and building the protocol free of harassing messages or exposure to FUD or trolling.

Members of the Centrifuge DAO have voted that moderation and enforcement of the Code of Conduct should be done by the Governance and Coordination Group who play the role of facilitators in the DAO (i.e. their objective is to hold process).

A code of conduct provides a clear ‘code’ of behavior outlining what is encouraged (in line with the Shared Mission and Guiding and Operating Principles) and what is not accepted nor encouraged and, crucially, what will happen if someone breaks the code.

The below is an example of what a Code of Conduct could look like:

Our Pledge

In the interest of fostering open access , we as contributors and DAO owners pledge to making participation in our project and our community a harassment-free experience for everyone.

All participants in the DAO should use our principles to guide action as well as abiding by the following:

No tolerance for abuse

Our goal is for everyone in our Community to feel welcome, which is why we encourage members to contribute in a way that is inclusive, supports learning, and promotes the engagement of others. To that end, malicious behavior, harassment, and offensive language that is in reference to (but not limited to) age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, nationality, neurodiversity, personal appearance, race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, will not be tolerated.

Be a good poster

  • Include only relevant portions of the original message in replies.
  • Be respectful of others’ views, and refrain from personal attacks.
  • Don’t cause FUD
  • Don’t share Personal Messages (PMs) of others without permission
  • All defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal material is strictly prohibited.

No spam

Content posted to DAO channels must be on-topic and constructive. Promotional content, content designed to create backlinks, trolling, links to harmful websites, or content unrelated to the topic at hand may be removed.

Sybil Rules

You can only use one account on the Centrifuge Forum. If you’re found to be using more than one, you’ll be asked to delete one.

Follow the thread

If you’re responding to a RFC, or discussion please only respond to what the creator of that discussion is bringing forth. If you want to introduce a completely new point (i.e. unrelated to what the discussion is about) start a new thread in the relevant category. We can’t make progress if people are cluttering up discussions with unrelated points and new ideas.

Scope of the CoC

The Code of Conduct would apply both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community, at conferences, and DAO offsites. Examples of representing a project or community include using an official project e-mail address, posting via an official social media account, or acting as an appointed representative at an online or offline event. Representation of a project may be further defined and clarified by the Governance and Coordination Group.

Enforcement

If a member breaks the code, those appointed to enforce the code are tasked to take action as stipulated in the code concerning bans or permanent expulsion, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community. Currently, the Centrifuge Proposal (CP) Framework includes the step that: to remove a group (or individual in a group), a CP-1.2 must be created and passed by governance. This means that they are removed from our DAO channels (Discord, Forum, Slack).

Instances of spam, abuse, or otherwise unacceptable behavior may be reported by contacting the Governance & Coordination Group Ivan: Imdior_CKZ | CFG#8610 Orhan: Rhano | CFG#6808.

All complaints will be reviewed and investigated and will result in a response that is deemed necessary and appropriate to the circumstances. The GCG is obligated to maintain confidentiality with regard to the reporter of an incident.

Founding Document Four: Levels of Engagement

Origins of the mis-focus on inequality

Not all contributors are the same and they do not all have the same context or expertise, experience, capacity to contribute or make decisions, nor do they have the same amount of tokens.

Some owners do not want to participate in governance which is made evident that even in the ‘most active DAOs’ governance participation rarely pushes above 10% or building the protocol.

Some only on very large proposed changes while some members want to participate in every decision. The community consists of different people, holders, different layers, and knowledge. Some people are more intricately involved in the DAO and belong to its work delivery and facilitation groups, or provide services.

This should be acknowledged in different levels of mandate and involvement in the DAO while we strive to meet our Principles.

Some info asymmetry is ok…

Many people in DAOs argue that everyone must be involved in all decisions and have full access to all information. There are many instances where this so-called fully flat structure (i.e. everyone is equal and should therefore have equal access) have failed. To counter this there have been waves of experiments in delegating tokens and voting power to another voter (see here in Gitcoin, Maker DAO and SafeDAO for leading examples) shows one part of the way forward.

Part of the answer lies with ‘Delegation’ but the need for expert input is not solved by delegation alone. Building a protocol is obviously not solely the act of voting: it involves ideation, proposal creation, discussion, integration of feeding, politicking for votes, voting and execution. To do all this, a chat tool where lots of in-depth information is shared with high context contributors is essential. Quality work and knowledge transfer cannot be done in a gaming tool like Discord with permission-less access, thousands of passive holders.

If the Levels of Engagement is passed by governance DAO members would be invited to a Centrifuge DAO slack via ‘levels of engagement’ criteria.

The four levels of engagement the GCG could propose are:

Daily contributors: CNF team, Kf team, Ambassadors
Active: Active forum/gov participants, VCs and active investors: Bloccelerate, IOSD, ex-founders etc
Partners: Involved representatives from Aave, Maker, Polkadot, Embrio, SR Labs, etc
Issuers: New Silver, BlockTower, etc

This is a not exhaustive list and does not list all the members that would be in each level

Anyone can become a token holder (i.e. purchase tokens) and these users are still able to govern the protocol by participating in governance, however, unless they move levels of engagement, they will have limited access to the communication chat tool of the DAO. The GCG would decide role distribution and give access where needed.

:crystal_ball: :herb: :mechanical_arm:

That’s all for now!

Looking forward to hearing what points you’d like to see in a Code of Conduct, and your thoughts about ‘Levels of Engagement’

5 Likes

Thank you for bringing this up and sharing your opinions, Kate!

Code of Conduct

I fully agree here. I personally don’t think that the crypto space - or humans in general - are ready (yet) to embrace an environment without clear guidelines and rules for how to behave. A quick glance at other DAOs and Social Media platforms quickly confirms this.
Just as it is important to agree in order to improve certain aspects of a project, it is also important to disagree to find solutions to our problems. However, this must be done with integrity and respect (for each other and the project) and a CoC would provide the necessary tool to obtain this, in my opinion.

It is crucial that these rules are agreed on at a very early stage and that they are very clear and leaves as little as possible (ideally nothing) to personal interpretations so they can be enforced appropriately with objectivity in mind. An ambiguously or poorly defined CoC could have the opposite effect.

Level of Engagement

I think it makes perfectly sense that those with the relevant expertise, desire and level of commitment should have access to different communication channels in order to keep the discussions constructive and make progress. I believe this can be achieved and still preserve transparency.
Anyone can still make their voice heard by posting their ideas/feedback on the Forum and anyone can still vote on all proposals - this is not the privilege of the few. To me, that is one very important element in decentralisation.

I am curious to hear what others think.

3 Likes

The crypto world impresses with its heterogeneity and diversity. It unites people all over the world. In crypto communities, different people can discuss the future of the project, and innovative ideas. In the discussion, you can meet from young maximalists and professors of mathematical sciences, from art lovers to engineers, from bank employees to lawyers. And all of them are part of the project’s eco-system and play a key role in the development and future of the project.

Basically, the crypto community is very well-mannered and friendly people (IMHO), but the larger the community, the higher the risk of conflict situations within the community.
It is not necessary that someone is specifically insulted or rude to someone. Conflict can occur due to a simple misunderstanding.

Code of conduct - should be a fundamental document that will regulate conflict situations, describe what is acceptable and what is not within the community, and help to avoid a crisis within the DAO in the future.

2 Likes

I agree that this is very important to include all layers of our Community: Issuers, Partners, VS, Active participants, Team, and Ambassadors.
All of them could and should provide feedback and should participate in Project development.

The Team can not know everything and take into account the interests of everyone.
Only comprehensive, multifaceted feedback from all participants will make it possible to understand the needs.
And based on feedback, improve and/or take into account the opinion of the community in future development.

3 Likes

Hm…Just was thinking now that maybe Collators should be included here or you considered them as Active Forum/Gov Participants? :upside_down_face:

Good point! I think they should be included as Active :ok_hand:

1 Like