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moderated Need help figuring out a policy on this


 

Hi All,

4+ years in, and I've avoided anything like this so far, but I need help crafting a policy for the following scenario. It involves a Yahoo Group that was transferred. The Y!Group has been deleted, and I don't have the original transfer records anymore. This anonymized email lays things out:

I'm writing to inform you that I understand that Mr X was removed as list moderator by Mr Y.
Mr X was the original owner of the list, and now Mr Y has removed Mr X as a list member.
I was removed some months back for [REDACTED and not important]. I don't fully understand how Mr Y stole the list from Mr X, probably because Mr Y was assisting with moderating. I have known Mr X for nearly twenty years and I know him to be a fair and honest person.

I need a policy for how to handle a supposed group hijacking. Also, suggestions for features to make this more difficult in the future would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark 


Barry_M
 

This is so foreign to the dynamics of groups I've managed and been a member of that it's hard to get my head around it.  But, a few thoughts which may evidence some ignorance.

1.  As you describe the above, the dispute largely or entirely occurred before the group migrated to groups.io.  If that's correct, wouldn't a policy about groups.io not refereeing re-existing or offline disputes be sensible?

2.  As for features to make hijacking more difficult, I thought (mostly from reading others' comments and wisdom on beta and gmf) that a group with one owner can't technically be hijacked unless that owner makes someone else a co-owner, who then becomes a hijacker (downgrading the original owner to mod or worse and running roughshod).  If I have that right, then one feature that might help would be creation of a "founder" level that can't be changed or downgraded or banned unless done by you/groups.io mods, etc. So, with that kind of a rubric, a "founder" that annoints someone else an "owner" would be granting equal powers except the new member's ability to mess with the founder.

At the end of the day, I'd imagine it counterproductive on a number of levels for you/Groups.io to get involved in offline issues, politics and disputes.  But, I'd imagine that making a founder a "founder" could force a discontented member to start a new group if (s)he saw fit, rather than "hijacking"?


KWKloeber
 

Mark

R U saying that he's claiming that the hijack took place @ Y!, or after transfer? 
At first read, it sounds like it may be one of those (1) "not my problem things" or (2) take it one at a time, depending on the individual's circumstance and how you feel about to the claims being made (seems honest, seems questionable, seems "doubt it," etc.)  There's a lot of seems honest, but are made up, other side of the story, wool over the eyes, stories out there that are for one reason or 'nother, well, just plain ole BS.


Barry_M
 

I need to better edit post since they can't be edited after replying.  In #1,  maybe obvious but that should be "pre-existing" and not "re-existing."


Glenn Glazer
 

Is it not the case that Mr. X made Mr. Y an admin, either directly or via some chain of people that Mr. X made admins? If so, this strikes me as entirely Mr. X's problem for trusting people that he shouldn't.

There's no programmatic solution to this, it is a root of trust and people problem.

Best,

Glenn

On 5/20/2019 21:51, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Hi All,

4+ years in, and I've avoided anything like this so far, but I need help crafting a policy for the following scenario. It involves a Yahoo Group that was transferred. The Y!Group has been deleted, and I don't have the original transfer records anymore. This anonymized email lays things out:

I'm writing to inform you that I understand that Mr X was removed as list moderator by Mr Y.
Mr X was the original owner of the list, and now Mr Y has removed Mr X as a list member.
I was removed some months back for [REDACTED and not important]. I don't fully understand how Mr Y stole the list from Mr X, probably because Mr Y was assisting with moderating. I have known Mr X for nearly twenty years and I know him to be a fair and honest person.

I need a policy for how to handle a supposed group hijacking. Also, suggestions for features to make this more difficult in the future would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark 


--
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KWKloeber
 

On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 01:04 AM, Barry_M wrote:
that a group with one owner can't technically be hijacked unless that owner makes someone else a co-owner, who then becomes a hijacker 
If the facts are as they appear to be, then it seems the age-old problem of who you partnership with or get into bed with.  Partnerships are designed to fail. 
I (think) I'd lean towards a policy of not getting involved in off-io disputes or even on-io disputes that occur due to owners' actions.  We have to (learn to) take responsibility -- you could soften or "adjust" that policy if there is an overriding reason or circumstances.


 

Mark -
This isn't completely clear if it happened before the transfer to groups.io or not, and that could be very germane to the decision. If this happened before transfer to groups.io, it would seem to be moot because Mr Y would be the new group creator. If this is something that happened after the creation of the groups.io group, I would say that Mr X might have a legitimate beef.
 
One idea might be to poll the group members individually to solicit their candid and private input into the situation and give their comments to an independent judge or adjudication panel on the situation. Since it would seem that the members provide most of the content for the group, they would be closest to the day-to-day activity of the group, and might show a consensus of what would be best for the group.
 
As the owner of two groups that did change ownership, I can see some of the possible situations. I like the idea of a founder not being able to be eliminated or have their authorities removed without their voluntary action to do so or through some adjudication by groups.io. In essence creating a founder badge for one owner that couldn't be removed, only voluntarily surrendered or passed down upon the founder's leaving the group.
 
The larger group I took over was a voluntary transfer where the owner was going to delete the group if I didn't take it, and immediately after promoting me to owner, the original owner removed himself as an owner. At that point I would say he transferred the 'founder' badge to me. I added another group owner, in case something happened to me, but I would still retain the founder status.
 
The smaller group was a case of an owner disappearing for well over a year. As the only moderator ever appointed by the owner, I had to petition Y! for additional authority. Y! made me a moderator with all authorities except group deletion, but they never did eliminate the owner. I took over the 'Owner' title when I created the new group on groups.io, and transferred everything over. That Y! group owner is technically an inactive member of the new group, but we haven't seen anything from him for perhaps a decade. Yet he is still the owner of the Y! group.
 
Without knowing additional details it's hard to add anything that would work universally. And of course, every situation is going to have it's unique circumstances, which means the decision process needs to maintain a lot of flexibility.
 
I wish you much luck in this situation, Mark.
 
Dano
 
 

----- Original Message -----
 
4+ years in, and I've avoided anything like this so far, but I need help crafting a policy for the following scenario. It involves a Yahoo Group that was transferred. The Y!Group has been deleted, and I don't have the original transfer records anymore. This anonymized email lays things out:

I'm writing to inform you that I understand that Mr X was removed as list moderator by Mr Y.
Mr X was the original owner of the list, and now Mr Y has removed Mr X as a list member.
I was removed some months back for [REDACTED and not important]. I don't fully understand how Mr Y stole the list from Mr X, probably because Mr Y was assisting with moderating. I have known Mr X for nearly twenty years and I know him to be a fair and honest person.

I need a policy for how to handle a supposed group hijacking. Also, suggestions for features to make this more difficult in the future would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark 


Jeremy H
 

My thought is that - rather than mess about establishing an extra 'founder' status - it should be set that the only person who can remove 'Owner' status (or delete such an id) is that person themselves, and that nobody else should be able to remove it. And I think that is about the only technical thing that can or should be done. This would prevent someone else actually taking over a group (though you might get a situation of two rival owners) 

As to the 'political' (if I can put it that way) dimension, then the basic position is that Mark/Groups.io should endeavour not get involved (even as a referee), and to pass the issue back to the rival Owners, for them to come to an agreement - perhaps with the aid of a poll, and if they cannot, say 'a plague on both your houses', and freeze (i.e.set everything to read only) or delete the original group, and let them each set up their own replacement.

For the particular case in question, raised by a third party (Z) I think my attitude would be 'as far as groups.io is concerned, the group is (now) owned by Y, and this issue has not been raised by X, so, sorry, that's how it is' (a thought - did Y move the group without reference to X?)  

Jeremy


Duane
 

On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 04:34 AM, Jeremy H wrote:
it should be set that the only person who can remove 'Owner' status (or delete such an id) is that person themselves, and that nobody else should be able to remove it
Even that may not be as simple as it seems.  It has happened (on YG!) that an owner went missing, but was not removed from the group.  Some time later, someone got access to their account and created havoc with the group.  By removing that account, the other owners were able to bring things under control.

I don't believe there will be a simple and/or universal solution to this divisive situation.  It appears to me that only the group members can make the ultimate decision, which may include creating a new group.  In many cases, the loss of the message archive would be painful, but I've done it before and it wasn't a tragedy.  Any 'outsider' may not have all the facts and could make an incorrect decision.

Duane


Bruce Bowman
 

Mark -- Some of the feature suggestions made here might have marginal utility to head some of this off. Other than that, I believe it is generally be in your best interest to avoid inserting yourself into a problem. Better to fail to address 100 group hijackings than to aid and abet one of them.

Regards,
Bruce


Mark Irving
 

You could perhaps apply a rule that to downgrade the Owner status in a group with three or more co-owners, action by at least two owners should be required. That would make some sorts of malice more difficult, specifically displaing a group's original owner, but it wouldn't prevent any moderator vandalising a group in other ways.

As others have noted, this is mainly a problem for the group, not something groups.io can prevent. Just make it a little more difficult.

 - Mark


 

What about group owners having "groups.io living wills"? I don't see any other way around the situation where an owner *legitimately* goes missing or gets hit by the proverbial truck. Group owners could, optionally, set up directives about what to do if and when situations occur that include others claiming they've gone missing (whether valid or not).
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Chris Jones
 

On Tue, May 21, 2019 at 01:17 PM, Bruce Bowman wrote:
I believe it is generally be in your best interest to avoid inserting yourself into a problem.
Mark; I think Bruce may have a good point there. Perhaps it depends on the scale of the problem; you will have a clearer view based on the traffic incoming to "support" than the members of beta or the GMF can have. Internal managerial disputes in any given group are likely to have all sorts of subtle nuances embedded in them, and trying to formulate a software solution might cause further complications; there is no merit in the solution to a problem being numerous other problems.

I can see the attractions of the "Founder" idea, but in reality in any given spat it might actually be the Founder that is "wrong" so having that status might not provide an effective solution. Formulating a workable policy might be the sort of thing that the UK Civil Service would consign to the Too Difficult tray, with good reason.

To (perhaps mis)quote a well - known one - time UK TV sitcom series satirising UK politics It is our policy not to have a policy on this matter.

Chris


Jim Wilson
 

I'm all about simple.

Mr. X, if ever an actual owner, would have been required to assign Mr. Y as a second owner in order for Mr. X to be removed because it is not possible for a moderator to do so. The responsibility is then on Mr. X for making a bad call if (a) Mr. Y subsequently removed Mr. X, (b) Mr. X voluntarily relinquished ownership, or (c) in the unlikely event that Mr. Y somehow hacked Mr. X and nefariously transferred ownership without his knowledge.

Yahoo has very clear policy about this; the owner(s) is(are) the owner(s) and they will not get involved in disagreements, period. Of course, they haven't been involved in site maintenance for the last six months but that's another story.


andy t
 

I personally would like to see a rule that the original owner that started the group on groups.io can’t be removed by any co-owner because there are some power hungry people out there that want to destroy a group for no reason at all.

I had a group stolen from me and I started the group over here with the permission of the original owner of the yahoo group and I am not naming any names on here and after 2 years over here I was removed as an owner even though I started the group over here.

I was trying to be fair when we moved and I made him a co-owner and I was removed from the group and then he closed the group for no reason.

I don’t think this was right or fair.

I know some of you will say I shouldn’t have made him an owner but I was trying to treat him with respect but I originally started the group over here and that should count for something.

He was going to close the yahoo group and I ask him if I could take it over and he gladly said yes and I got shafted for trying to do the right thing.

That is why I think something could be dun to protect the original groups.io owner.

Thanks for reading this.

From: main@beta.groups.io <main@beta.groups.io> On Behalf Of J_Catlady
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 10:16 AM
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Need help figuring out a policy on this

 

What about group owners having "groups.io living wills"? I don't see any other way around the situation where an owner *legitimately* goes missing or gets hit by the proverbial truck. Group owners could, optionally, set up directives about what to do if and when situations occur that include others claiming they've gone missing (whether valid or not).
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


Ken Schweizer
 

Hi Mark,

 

There really is no way to prevent this as long as there are multiple owners of a group. One possible deterrent would be to not allow an owner to be deleted by a single owner, i.e. two unique owners, with x months of ownership, are required to delete another owner. This wouldn't prevent a hijacking as an owner can set up a fantom owner to validate the deletion.

 

The only way to prevent this is for the group's owner to "know" anyone they promote to a co-owner.

 

Just my thoughts,

Ken

 

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." God

 

From: main@beta.groups.io [mailto:main@beta.groups.io] On Behalf Of Mark Fletcher
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2019 11:52 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: [beta] Need help figuring out a policy on this

 

Hi All,

 

4+ years in, and I've avoided anything like this so far, but I need help crafting a policy for the following scenario. It involves a Yahoo Group that was transferred. The Y!Group has been deleted, and I don't have the original transfer records anymore. This anonymized email lays things out:

 

I'm writing to inform you that I understand that Mr X was removed as list moderator by Mr Y.
Mr X was the original owner of the list, and now Mr Y has removed Mr X as a list member.
I was removed some months back for [REDACTED and not important]. I don't fully understand how Mr Y stole the list from Mr X, probably because Mr Y was assisting with moderating. I have known Mr X for nearly twenty years and I know him to be a fair and honest person.

 

I need a policy for how to handle a supposed group hijacking. Also, suggestions for features to make this more difficult in the future would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,
Mark 


Marv Waschke
 

I suggest that there is nothing that can be done to the platform (groups.io) that will prevent hijacking when trust deteriorates between co-owners. Who is the "true" owner of a group? That is a pact between the owners and the members of the group in which the platform has no voice. The only thing the platform can do is make clear that when disputes between owners arise, ejecting other owners is a race condition. A group owner should be aware that extending ownership to another entity is dangerous and should be done only after proper consideration.

Nevertheless, having more than one owner confers many benefits, but only when the co-owners trust each other.
Best, Marv


 

As the postings here have shown, it´s not an easy thing…

I have two examples to add to this issue:

-        In a Yahoo group I was a member of, the owner had “disappeared” and was not reachable over years (mail, telephone, etc.). The two existing moderators tried to keep the group running all this time. Very hard job for both, their disparate opinions creating additional conflicts among members. In the end both moderators left the group. One of the two founded a new forum, the other one changed to an already existing yahoo group and was made moderator there. Each person took along her followers. The whole thing cost a lot of nerves since it implicated troublesome procedures for a long time. The acutal problem here was the missing co-owner.

-        In a Yahoo group in which I was a moderator, the founder and owner lost interest in the group after a few years and “disappeared” gradually. For years she could not decide to pass ownership on to someone else. Since I felt very connected to the group, I helped manage it for a couple of years as well as I could. But since I was not able to take owner-related decisions, non-solvable issues arose. At last I could convince the owner to pass ownership on to a moderator of her confidence. This achieved, the new owner died a few years later, but she had learned from experience and was smart enough to make someone co-owner in time. This new co-owner manages the group since then and moved it successfully to I.O. in 2018. It´s a cats health group called “siebenkatzenleben”. I am co-owner there.

In the case of my own yahoo group (cushinghundevital) which I founded in 2006 and which I moved to I.O. in 2018 and learning from all those experience, I made one of my moderators (and good friend) co-owner. The above experience showed me that you never know what can happen to you, no matter how old or healthy you are. I know it´s natural for people to have disagreements or even conflicts, so there is no perfect solution for this issue but trying to stay in touch among moderators and owners. Discussing divergencies any time they occur might help them to stay befriended. That´s my policy anyway.

The idea that a co-owner dismisses the founder, is something hard to imagine, but it seems to happen as your example shows.

I also like the idea of a special status as founder or alternatively the idea that the founder of a group cannot be removed by someone else, but I do not know if this is technically achievable. As to the question if a group founder could be “wrong” - as someone wrote – I do believe that the group of the founder is and stays his or her group, and even if he might be “wrong” from the point of view of a member, moderator or co-owner, then this may be so, but it´s still his or her group. Besides, the dissenting person can always try to address the owner or leave the group if there is no consensus possible. To solve conflicts by throwing each other out of the game is - in my opinion - the worst solution possible, as my two furry family members would state:

 

Peace

Victoria

 


andy t
 

Hello Victoria, thank you for your comments and I agree with you.

In my case there was absolutely no discussion of what was wrong between me and my co-owner I just found that I could no longer log in to my group and after that I found that I was removed for no reason and I thought I had a true friend and I knew him for 4 years and we talked over everything but I was booted for no apparent reason but I had permission to take over the group and move it from yahoo to groups.io and all went smoothly for over a year and that is why I ask the question of is there a way to protect the founder of a group from being removed for no reason at all.

 

From: main@beta.groups.io <main@beta.groups.io> On Behalf Of Victoria via Groups.Io
Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 6:41 AM
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Need help figuring out a policy on this

 

As the postings here have shown, it´s not an easy thing…

I have two examples to add to this issue:

  • In a Yahoo group I was a member of, the owner had “disappeared” and was not reachable over years (mail, telephone, etc.). The two existing moderators tried to keep the group running all this time. Very hard job for both, their disparate opinions creating additional conflicts among members. In the end both moderators left the group. One of the two founded a new forum, the other one changed to an already existing yahoo group and was made moderator there. Each person took along her followers. The whole thing cost a lot of nerves since it implicated troublesome procedures for a long time. The acutal problem here was the missing co-owner.
  • In a Yahoo group in which I was a moderator, the founder and owner lost interest in the group after a few years and “disappeared” gradually. For years she could not decide to pass ownership on to someone else. Since I felt very connected to the group, I helped manage it for a couple of years as well as I could. But since I was not able to take owner-related decisions, non-solvable issues arose. At last I could convince the owner to pass ownership on to a moderator of her confidence. This achieved, the new owner died a few years later, but she had learned from experience and was smart enough to make someone co-owner in time. This new co-owner manages the group since then and moved it successfully to I.O. in 2018. It´s a cats health group called “siebenkatzenleben”. I am co-owner there.

In the case of my own yahoo group (cushinghundevital) which I founded in 2006 and which I moved to I.O. in 2018 and learning from all those experience, I made one of my moderators (and good friend) co-owner. The above experience showed me that you never know what can happen to you, no matter how old or healthy you are. I know it´s natural for people to have disagreements or even conflicts, so there is no perfect solution for this issue but trying to stay in touch among moderators and owners. Discussing divergencies any time they occur might help them to stay befriended. That´s my policy anyway.

The idea that a co-owner dismisses the founder, is something hard to imagine, but it seems to happen as your example shows.

I also like the idea of a special status as founder or alternatively the idea that the founder of a group cannot be removed by someone else, but I do not know if this is technically achievable. As to the question if a group founder could be “wrong” - as someone wrote – I do believe that the group of the founder is and stays his or her group, and even if he might be “wrong” from the point of view of a member, moderator or co-owner, then this may be so, but it´s still his or her group. Besides, the dissenting person can always try to address the owner or leave the group if there is no consensus possible. To solve conflicts by throwing each other out of the game is - in my opinion - the worst solution possible, as my two furry family members would state:

 

Peace

Victoria

 


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/05/21 06:51 AM, Mark Fletcher wrote:

Also, suggestions for features to make this more difficult in the future would be appreciated.
How about a living will for groups? I mean, the owner of the group fills in information about who may be considered the owner of the group in case he fails to respond himself. The form can specify how long he must not be responding, and what kinds of rights people can get when that happens, etc. The form can be sent to the owner (and anyone else he nominates to receive it) once a month or once every 3 months, for confirmation.

Samuel