In the past couple of months, it has come to our attention that there have been concerns with mismanagement of DAO funds, inappropriate and demeaning language, aggressive personal communications, and other instances of behaviour resulting in several community members feeling uncomfortable around community member John X. We take this type of feedback seriously and have taken steps to remediate the situation.
The Community Incident
These claims, both privately and publicly shared, were assessed by the community moderators of the Creatives DAO, and then escalated for NEAR Foundation Community team’s attention over the course of February and March. Several different community groups within the creative community made complaints against John X. Multiple chances were given by the Creatives DAO Community Moderators for a respectful public accounting and input from John X, but he had chosen to continue on an unproductive path that doesn’t align with our Community Guidelines.
Now that John X is no longer a council member of any DAO in the Community that NEAR Foundation is actively distributing funds to, we have:
- Instituted a three-month ban for John X from being able to engage or post on the Governance Forum;
- Informed him that he will not be able to receive any kind of funding or grants from the NEAR Foundation anytime in the foreseeable future.
These terms may be revisited at the end of three months (beginning of July) given true remorse, and a sincere desire to make amends.
It is up to any of the communities involved to decide how they would like to proceed with interacting with John X. However, given his established history of appearing on Creatives DAO Community Calls and sending messages into the Creatives Telegram Chat featuring concerning messaging and inflammatory language, it is recommended that he be temporarily banned from this community chat, if the Creatives DAO Community Moderators are agreed.
Taking a step back and considering the learnings from this community incident:
Let’s all continue to practise ‘pragmatic optimism’ in our interactions with anyone on the internet, that is, give individuals the chance to prove themselves but exercise caution, especially when funds are involved. NF is here to support but we cannot be everywhere nor can we be expected to have an influence that extends to private communications off the Governance Forum.
Every DAO has the ability to exercise their rights to remove council members perceived to be no longer positively contributing to the DAO/community’s activities. If there are any issues with a decision to remove a council member, anyone is welcome to express their views openly and productively, without personal attacks, here on the Forum to the attention of the council in question.
The Community Team will be working with community members to take the lead on developing a Community Moderation Guide and Escalation Process. If you would like to meaningfully contribute, please (tag) community-team in the comments to let us know. We hope to update you on the progress of this moderation guide within a month.
As the NEAR Ecosystem, and Community, continues to grow we can expect to see an increase in Community incidents and matters which may call for mediation.
In light of this, and in light of the lessons learned from this incident, the Community Team will be exploring avenues to improve the efficiency of our mediation processes and will look to build frameworks and guidelines to allow ourselves and members of the NEAR Community to resolve issues prior to them getting out of hand.
Our vision is clear; to create an open, safe, and welcoming space for all in the NEAR Ecosystem. We can only do this when we work together, thank you all for your continued support.