The Griefer Matrix: Griefers Reloaded

The purpose of focusing on a set of issues is not intended to catalogue ‘victory conditions’ for the GSBA. Such a person/group may have also sorts of other things that they regard as victories or positive results. Rather the focus is on those things which impact negatively on everybody else or provide strong incentives for bad-actors in general to target the Hugo Awards.

Going through the solutions and judging them against the issues is the name of the game. I was going to present this as a literal matrix but it didn’t fit in a visible way. So here it is as a list. Part 1 is here. You probably need it open in a spare tab to cross reference the numbers.
2 Membership

a) Restrict nominations to attending members.
b) Restrict nominations to a jury.
c) Remove second year nominating rights.
d) Increase supporting membership fees.
e) Ban bad actors.
f) Restrict nominating to members with consecutive years of membership.

Each of these attempt to deal with the GSBA at a high level by disrupting their ability to join, nominate, vote or influence voting. Each one attempts to act on the issues listed as A,B,C, and D. Arguably each runs the risk of point E. The GSBA forces a change in the character of the awards.

2a. may achieve A, B, C, D by effectively increasing the cost of nominating. As voting in the final awards is still open to supporting members many of the specific issues may still apply. Specifically 3 & 6 (and hence 10, 12, 13) are still possible actions by a GSBA.
2b. Stops all the issues (assuming the jury functions) except issue E. Changing to a jury award is a major change in the character of the Hugo Awards. It is a single bad outcome but a significant one.

2c. limits the overall capacity of the GSBA to cause issues but does not any specific one.

2d. Raises the cost of the GSBA’s actions but at the expense of members and may result in E.

2e. Would in theory succeed on all issues but it is unclear how this would be done pre-emptively.

2f. This makes it harder for a GSBA to attempt entryist tactics with the award. Again this reduces the ease with which the GSBA can act but may not stop a particularly determined bad-actor.

3. Nomination
a) Implement slate detection algorithms
This may be technically feasible with few false positives. This would only stop issue 5 – i.e. forcing No Award by sweeping a category. Without No Award as an option it would limit the chance of 10 (but No Award is an option of course). It limits point 9 (publicity) by stopping sweeps. However it is easy for a GSBA to adapt to and doesn’t stop 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 or 8. It might encourage 3.5 depending on how it works (i.e. voters might avoid nominating a work on a Griefers slate for fear that their ballot will be ‘detected’ as a slate work – voters may act this way even if the algorithm is smart enough to spot the difference)

b) Allow the membership to confirm nominations through a long list (DN).
This limits/stops 1 but a harassing work would still appear on the long list and this might be sufficient incentive for the GSBA. Unclear of the impact on 2 but would probably stop it. Doesn’t stop 3. Does stop 4, 5, 7 and 8. Probably stops 4.5 and 5.5. Doesn’t stop 6. Possibly encourages 3.5 (hostage taking)

c) Allow membership to deny nominations through a long list (3SV)
This more clearly stops 1 but a harassing work would still appear on the long list and that might be sufficient incentive for the GSBA. May need a quorum or other measures to prevent this system making 2 easier for the GSBA by down voting enemies. Doesn’t stop 3. Does stop 4, 5, 7 and 8. Might not stop 4.5 (weak nominees via a slate) and possibly even 5.5 (sweeps due to a slate) if people are shy about using it on marginal cases. Doesn’t stop 6. Possibly encourages 3.5 (hostage taking)?

d) Empower the admins to remove ballots of bad actors.
Unclear how this could be done and may just result in a shift in tactics. Probably stops 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 depending on what tactics the GSBA is using and how public they are initially. May encourage hostage taking for the same reason as given in (a).

e) Empower the admins to add a limited number of nominees in years with bad actors (A+2)
Stops 5. Limits 2 but only partly. Doesn’t stop 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 (and hence 9, 11, 12)

f) Empower a jury to add a limited number of overlooked nominees to the short list (Juried+2)
Stops 5. Limits 2 perhaps better than (e) as a jury may feel moe able to add nominees. Doesn’t stop 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 (and hence 9, 11, 12)

g) Algorithmically filter the nominations
Hard to say without knowing more. Probably stops 5 and possibly 2. Limits 7 and 8.

h) Restrict the nominations relative to the field (4/6)
Stops 5. Limits 2 a little. Limits 7 and 8. Encourages 3.5 possibly?

j) Empower the admins or a jury to remove works which tend to bring discredit on WorldCon
Assuming other works take the place of the removed ones, stops 1, 4, 5, limits 2. Combing both jury powers in (f) and (j) stops 1, 2, 4, 5, limits 7 and 8. May be perceived as a change in character of the awards.

k) Allow the membership to vote on expanding just the number of nominees on a given year’s shortlist.
A more complex way of doing (e) and (f) with a similar effect.

No solution deals with all issues. #3 and #6 are the hardest issues to deal with via a voting reform. 3b DN and 3c 3SV deal with several high impact issues. A combination jury (3f, 3j) would probably deal with the same range of issues but with less administration and with more capacity to adapt to different circumstance.

Other possibilities beyond voting reform:
A code of conduct around voting/nominating? This would help empower solution 2e (Ban bad actors) but also would act as a deterrent for various kinds of campaigning – particularly negative campaigning. However, may encourage hostage taking (i.e. the GSBA campaigning FOR a declared enemy aka ‘black knighting’)

An anti-shenagigans jury/panel with various discretionary powers might be the only sufficiently flexible solution but it may be perceived as changing the character of the awards – with a remit to ensure the validity and integrity of the voting?

3SV looks like the best bet as a voting change but it needs a quorum limitation to prevent 2 (down voting a GSBA enemy) which in turn may limit its capacity to deal with 4.5 (weak nominees) and even 5.5 (sweeps). Those issues may be solved by EPH or a combination of measures (e.g. +2).


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