Minutes/2018-06-30

This meeting was held in the Discord #forktogether group on July 8, 2018 and moderated by Satsuma, Maloki, PaulFerence@awoo.space, and Clar

Minutes were written by Clar and adjusted by Codl and Satsuma

Roll Call

30 people listed themselves on the roll call, shown below. These are the people who actively participated in the meeting, either by voting or otherwise.

Persons Elected

Chairperson

The chairperson runs the meeting and reads the meeting script as the meeting progresses.

  • Maloki was accepted as chairperson.
  • No one else volunteered.

Secretary

The secretary is in charge of writing the meeting notes here.

  • ClarCharr was accepted as secretary.
  • No one else volunteered.

Minutes Adjusters

The minutes adjusters are in charge of double-checking the minutes before they are shared with a larger audience.

  • Codl was accepted as a minutes adjuster.
  • Srn was accepted as a minutes adjuster.
  • Satsuma was accepted as a minutes adjuster.
  • No one else volunteered.

Announcements

  • Laurelai, Maloki and PaulFerence reject any formal positions in management, interim-committee, or the committee of the ForkOffTogether initiative in its first full year.
  • ClarCharr planned to create a Mastodon account that people can follow for more information on the project. This is now live at forktogether@toot.cat.

Agenda Discussion

The full agenda for the meeting can be found at Agendas/2018-06-30. The meeting was open to questions about and additions to the agenda. These additions were:

  • hoodieak formally volunteered to speak about identifying a target codebase for the fork.
  • ClarCharr volunteered to speak about creating a separate Mastodon account for updates on this project, at least temporarily until other infrastructure is settled. (This has been resolved post-meeting, and was removed from the agenda.)
  • Satsuma added a note to point 18 requesting to clarify where the next meeting is held, in addition to when.
  • @Sylvhem@eltritch.cafe recommended XMPP for an option for synchronous communication.

Question about Auditors

@KitRedgrave@glitch.social asked specifically about the role of "auditors" on step 13 on the agenda, what the "authorized signatory" is, and what's necessary for them.

Maloki clarified that auditors audit the accounts of the organisation, if there's money involved. She clarified that they were mostly based on Swedish org stuff, and agreed to introduce what they are when we reach those points on the agenda.

Question about Acclamation

@KitRedgrave@glitch.social asked whether acclamation votes were based upon the 58 people online on Discord, or the 27 people on the roll call.

Maloki clarified that in a physical space, acclamation would be what the chairperson heard the most of, and they would decide on that. By voting "No" on an issue instead of "Yes," a person would make it clear that an issue needed to be discussed, and then they'd have an option to do so. If the issue becomes a long discussion and an acclamation vote wouldn't work, then we'd have to set it up another way. But we don't for now.

The room brought to a vote whether acclamation was based upon the number of people in Discord, versus the number of people on the roll call. The room voted for the roll call.

@viv@snoot.tube asked to explicitly add an option to abstain from an acclamation vote. The room voted to use a red circle with a line through it (:no_entry_sign:) as the abstain option. Cassolotl later asked to clarify this, and :no_entry_sign: was confirmed as the abstain option.

Rjt asked to switch the "Yes" and "No" emoji from the yellow thumbs up and thumbs down to something else, as yellow isn't a neutral skin colour. The room decided to choose up and down arrow emoji (:arrow_up: and :arrow_down:) instead, and @hoodieak@pleroma.site later confirmed these choices with a vote.

Discussion of Speaker Format

Laurelai brought up that the format of only allowing one speaker at a time is not conducive to people participating with social anxiety and other problems. She requested that the discussion be made more open to allow more people to speak.

Cassolotl mentioned their experience in co-ops with many participants, in one case over 100, where free discussion had the opposite effect on people's participation. In those meetings, structure was important for keeping things on-topic and short, and it also meant that people with social anxiety were more comfortable and confident, because who was speaking and being heard depended on whose turn it was, rather than who was loudest.

Request to End Discussion

ClarCharr requested to end the discussion of emoji and speaker formats, as the meeting was already taking a long time. The room agreed to end after the speaker queue was finished.

@kibi@glitch.social also asked if there was a formal way of terminating discussions that are taking too long. Maloki clarified that this is the role of the chairperson, and that people can either informally end discussion or bring it to a vote.

Satsuma mentioned that the format of the meeting should be discussed alongside section 18 of the agenda, on where/when the meeting will take place.

hoodieak also requested to table discussions of the semantics of voting except in cases where it's urgent. Fae mentioned that fae wanted to remain entirely present for the meeting and that moving the meeting along was important to accomplish this.

Welcome Introduction

  • The meeting is based upon Sweedish organisation formalities, as it tends to be a good/clear way to hold a meeting of this type, get everyone's voices heard, etc.
  • Voting will be done by reactions on Discord.
  • Voting counts as acclamation (loud/enthusiastic approval/disapproval).
  • Discussions can be tabled for later if needed.
  • We plan to get through the meeting in 1-2 hours. (We didn't.)
  • The goal is to investigate and entertain the possibility of forking.
  • This meeting is to bring together everyone's experience and knowledge to do so.
  • Today, we plan to start an Association, which will be a stepping stone where the leaders of the association will get to do some of the hard work that's ahead.
  • We will be deciding organization form, country of formation, bank accounts, funding etc.
  • The association won't do it alone, as another goal is to form working groups, where people put their experiences to use and help the project get off the ground.
  • The association, like all of us here, will be listening to marginalized voices during development.
  • Maloki organized this meeting because she felt the fediverse boiling with anger, resentment, disappointment, and is hoping we can turn that around, put it to good use, and not make the same mistakes again.

Operational Plan

The Operational Plan is available for viewing on the wiki. The meeting is opened for comments on the plan, although no comments are given and the plan is accepted.

Bylaws

The bylaws are available for viewing on the wiki. The meeting is opened for comments on the bylaws.

Power of the Board

Laurelai brought up that the members should be allowed to call an assembly even against the board's wishes, to prevent board corruption. Maloki asked for clarification on where to add this in the Bylaws, and if it can be added by the interim board before the first annual meeting.

Laurelai mentions that the board should be worried about upsetting the general assembly, so that the power is to the people and not the board. She also mentioned that the power of the board should be limited even before the creation of an interim board, as interim boards are often made permanent. She offers adding the below to the bylaws, which is accepted:

Recall assembly. If one third or more of the membership not counting board members call for a recall assembly one shall be assembled within two weeks time. During this assembly there will be discussion and a vote solely on recalling and replacing one or more members of the board.

@Sylvhem@eldritch.cafe mentions that there may need to be proper legislative/executive/arbitral separation, and that she didn't see this in the bylaws. She states that this should be added before the bylaws are finalised. She links the Wikipedia page on separation of powers and mentions that she's not used to having these discussions in English. No action on this is taken immediately, although she wanted to make sure that it was pointed out.

Laurelai mentions that the bylaws should be created by the members of the general assembly, not by a committee, and voted on by the assembly. She states that having the board choose a committee is a bad power structure which allows the board to set all the rules, and is anti-democratic. She urges everyone to vote against the creation of a committee and have the general assembly handle bylaws.

Laurelai clarifies that while it takes more time and energy, democracy done right requires it. She also refers back to the separation of powers Sylvhem mentioned and how the general assembly should act as a legislative branch.

Definition of Diversity

Satsuma mentions the statement of not having a "majority of a single gender or race" on the board, and asks for clarification on if this is the best wording. They cite the example "a board of five women, four men, and four nonbinary people would have a majority of a single gender while still being a quite diverse board."

ClarCharr clarifies that Satsuma is misunderstanding the difference between majority and plurality. Plurality means that one party has the most members overall, whereas majority means that one party has more than half of all the members. In Satsuma's case, the example would have a plurality of women but not a majority.

ClarCharr mentions that an explicit list of what groups are included in "diversity" should be added in the final version of the bylaws. Additionally, we should clarify now that "diversity" means "representing groups equally" rather than "representing groups proportionally to those who use whatever software we end up with." This way, an argument like "well most instance admins are white men, therefore it's okay to have mostly white men on the board" is not viable.

Simple Version of Bylaws

ClarCharr mentions, referencing Sylvhem's comments, that it may be helpful to have a simple-language version of the bylaws which is developed concurrently to the legal version of the bylaws. This way, people voting on the bylaws have an understanding of why they exist as they are. This does not have to happen now, but in the future.

Clarification on Etiquette

hoodieak notes that a laughing react was used on one of the messages mentioned, which is very rude and should not be done again. Questions should be praised, not laughed at.

Tabling of Discussion

Maloki motions to table the discussions of the bylaws, moving to discuss the bylaws more at the next meeting.

Srn mentions that fae is uncomfortable going forward with no agreed-upon bylaws. Fae would be okay with a minimal set of initial bylaws which are more open to amendment than the ones currently proposed, so that we can develop a more defined set of bylaws and accept them at the next meeting. Going forward with none whatsoever seems undesirable to faere. Additionally, having a 2/3 majority requirement to change bylaws is good long-term, but for a provisional set, we should make them easier to amend.

Accessibility of Meeting

Cassolotl mentioned that they have to leave soon and mentioned that the length of meetings and lack of breaks is an accessibility issue. Long meetings without breaks force people to drop out if they can't concentrate long enough, get burned out, have to leave, etc. They also mention that we're not very far in the agenda and already late (3 hours in).

Making sure to stick to the planned length of the meeting is important, and having the ability to table the meeting for later is important. Breaks are also important. This helps people with lower executive function/spoons, and they mentioned that they themself are very burnt out. They are upset that they have to drop out while there's no plan of tabling the meeting for later.

They clarify that it's important to make the job also not exhausting for the chairperson and moderators, because people need to keep volunteering for these jobs and we need to make sure that not only abled people volunteer.

Ending Meeting

Maloki proposes a 15 minute break, as the meeting has gone for over 3 hours. Votes on this decision are mixed, and people clarify that they voted no to a break because they would rather table the meeting for later. Srn clarifies that fae isn't comfortable voting on multiple issues at once, referencing both tabling the discussion of bylaws, taking a break, and tabling the meeting.

Maloki mentions that the bylaws were in progress for 14 days, and kibi@glitch.social mentions that said two weeks weren't very structured and that most people were waiting until the meeting to work on the bylaws. In response, Maloki raises a vote to table the meeting to July 8, which is accepted.

Satsuma proposed that the next meeting be limited to 2 hours at most, and Maloki proposed a 15 minute break every hour. Both motions were accepted.

Additional channels in the Discord are created for extra working groups. Additionally, to offload some of the work from herself, Maloki appoints ClarCharr, Satsuma, and PaulFerence@awoo.space as admins for the discord, and hoodieak, Laurelai, Woozle, Rjt, and KevinMGranger@cybre.space as moderators. Some of these people were appointed as moderators before the meeting, but this is the final arrangement of moderators.


Minutes approved by Codl on 2018-07-08 at 03:41 (UTC)


Minutes approved by Satsuma on 2018-07-08 at 03:50 (UTC)