Formal Complaint Regarding Marketing DAO Council's Lack of Transparency, Delays, and Potential Conflicts of Interest

For the fairness of the ecosystem :mending_heart:

I am writing to express my deep concern about the mismanagement and lack of transparency from the Marketing DAO. These issues include a lack of transparency in the decision-making process, delays from certain council members in responding and voting, and the failure of polls on AstroDAO despite proposals being approved on the forum. It has become apparent that there are significant issues with the way the DAO is being run.

Firstly, there is a lack of transparency in the decision-making process. It seems that a select few members are making decisions without proper consultation with the wider community. This is particularly concerning when it comes to the allocation of funds, where such proposals like [APPROVED] Wild User Interviews Podcast - Q4 + January 2023 from one of the councils receive approval amazingly fast after 3 days, while other proposals from the community were kept waiting.

Secondly, there have been instances of mismanagement, which have resulted in delays and setbacks. It is concerning that while some council members such as Dacha are actively engaged in responding to proposals, others such as @cryptocredit and @satojandro seem to be contributing to the delaying process. This lack of consistent and timely engagement from all council members not only hinders the progress of the DAO but also undermines the trust and confidence of the community in the council’s ability to effectively manage the DAO.

Notable Evidence:

Category Name Proposal Propose time Final decision Wait time
1 Twitter Onboading devs [Closed] Onboarding Devs into the near Ecosystem and helping non technical Founder Navigate their Way in the Near Ecosystem 09/12/2022 06/01/2023 28
2 Podcasts Near powered podcast [Closed] NEAR POWERED Podcast, Content and Bounties by Nifty Row 09/12/2022 04/01/2023 26
3 Events Marma J [APPROVED] Social Media & Content Creation for MARMA J CON 12/12/2022 09/01/2023 28
4 Podcasts BEExperience [Approved] Showcasing NEAR: by BEExperience & ReadyLayerOne 14/12/2022 06/01/2023 23
5 Community Near UA [Closed] Near Ukrainians Guild Content Creation & Social Media budget for Community Growth 13/01/2023 11/02/2023 29
6 Community Near Turkey Dec,Jan [Closed] Near Turkiye Community (December and January) 06/01/2023 11/02/2023 36
7 Community Near Japan [Closed]February, 2023-NEAR Japan 11/01/2023 11/02/2023 31
8 Community Near Arabic [Closed] NEAR Arabic community (January and February) 11/01/2023 11/02/2023 31

It is important that all council members take their roles seriously and actively contribute to the decision-making process. As a community, we need to come together and demand better. Please, Marketingdao councils, please understand the impact that your actions, or inactions, have on the community. These issues have caused frustration and dissatisfaction for many of us. Additionally, it is vital that the council members treat every proposal fairly and exclude themselves from any beneficial outcomes from the Marketing vertical.

@marketingdao-council @creativesdao-mods @CommunityDAO

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Should marketing councils exclude themselves from the beneficiaries of Marketing DAO?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

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Hello! Thank you for your feedback! Regarding transparency, we are working on the Marketing DAO dashboard (almost here) and have monthly reports (forum + spreadsheet)

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Hi @ninarei I appreciate you posting feedback on the forum, and I wanted to respond from my point of view. I can understand your frustration on the delays. As @dacha says, we are close to being able to publish the first Marketing DAO dashboard (built thanks to the Flipside team) to provide a real-time view into proposals and their status.

Since the relaunch in November, we have had a number of initiatives brought to us by various stakeholders in the ecosystem as the entire community undergoes changes as part of the new governance structure, new approach to regional community funding and changes to processes/team within the NEAR Foundation. In many cases, though we aim to process proposals with the pace we did before the pause last year, we have to prioritize getting the guidance and feedback we need from other ecosystem members before we can make a responsible decision around proposals or certain aspects of proposals when there are questions. This is far more likely, in my opinion, to happen when the proposal is coming to us for the first time or involves a request to fund an activity that requires discussion with stakeholders outside the council members. Regional community funding, for example, has been on hold for weeks pending discussions with NF, the NDC and others.

From my point of view, the council members are all acting in good faith to make sure community funds are allocated responsibly according to the OKRs and KPIs the NF asked us to meet in order to resume operations in November and are going towards projects that have the potential to advance a significant on-chain impact for NEAR.

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Thank you for your work Dacha!

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Thanks for your post,

In regards to transparency, I encourage you to go read the current Guidelines for Approving proposals. These are the outcome of the review process in October and have been carefully drafted drawing from the lessons learned over the past year and in conjunction with NEAR Foundation to ensure they are aligned with the broader ecosystem strategic goals.

If you go to my profile, you can see both how much time I have spent on the forum and all the activity. More specifically, I encourage you to have a browse through all the proposals I have judged. I often go to great lengths to explain my reasoning for either approving or rejecting (how the application stacks against the guidelines, factors I’ve taken into account, etc.)

In regards to delays on processing applications, we apologise for any project that has been affected. Proposals only require three out of five Council members to be either approved or rejected, which means that naturally not all proposals will have comments from all five Council members. Usually the only proposals that exceed our 14 day processing time are proposals where there is not a clear-cut outcome as we are - waiting from information from the team, waiting on guidelines from NF, arranging calls with teams to get better understanding (we try out best to workshop a proposal until it is fundable). The proposals you have listed as ‘evidence’ are mostly Regional Communities which have been on pause by NF and we’ve been doing the heavy lifting to open up the funding back to them, a proposal which was also funded by NF so we had to liaise with multiple parties to get a better understanding of the situation, etc.

Finally - all proposals are required to be posted on the forum where they are available for community participation. We have taken into account community feedback in many instances where it is available. Would welcome any ideas or suggestions on how to increase engagement on the forum.

A few additional and important points:

  • Any affected party is able to reach out to us directly to discuss the specifics of their applications. Without the context provided above, some of the accusations are unfair and incorrect (general delays v odd few outliers, etc.)
  • We are operating under a shoestring budget. Noticeably, budget is half of what it should be due to ‘community optics’. This is a contentious issue we are constantly raising with NF. Unless and until the DAO is properly resourced, there will always be some constraints.
  • The nature of our workload has increased and shifted over the last tree months. There is A LOT of work being done which would not be captured just by looking at gov forum. This includes but is not limited to - bounties (first was ETH Denver, two council members actually attended and covered costs out of own pocket), legal incorporation, Regional DAO (funding), among others.
  • Finally, I believe it is extremely unfair to attack me based on the funding I receive for my podcast. I abstain from those decisions, and, as explained above, the decision making for all proposals that have been going on for a while and showing good results is much faster than newer proposals. True bureaucrats are those who only made decisions - I’ve said it many times, we do not want a protocol of politicians and no builders. The best people suited to run a Marketing DAO are people who are actually on the ground, with skin in the game, creating content.

Thank you, @satojandro. I have known you for over three years, and your style has always been the same. Sorry, I didn’t attack you :slight_smile: I simply pointed out a fact that perhaps you did a fantastic job in getting your proposal approved by your peers in just three days. However, there still remains a conflict of interest. And, I mentioned more than just that.

Beating around the bush and ultimately denying responsibility doesn’t help. Thanks @Dacha and @so608 to look into the point.

I am not looking for much because I know the voice of the community is truly small within the current “political” system. I just hope that at least we are heard, and that matters like this complaint and Near Nordic are not swept under the rug.

Would you like some insight?

$7125 was approved in March 2022. And here’s the complaint we get as of July 2022, 4 months after the approval:

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Imho, as things evolve, is only natural that those in charge of disbursing funds should not be the recipient of those funds.

I don’t think this ‘complaint’ is attacking you and I’m not replying in order to attack you. However, people have raised this issue time and time again and your response is below what should be expected in democratic environments; please understand that abstaining from voting on your own proposal does not solve the issue of ‘influence’ over others.

To put it simply, in any healthy democracy, this would be considered a case of corruption. It should not hard to see that, even in a small scale, there is nothing you can say that ‘makes it right’, and it continues because your influence over others is strong enough. Even Dasha, the champion of the people, eheh, does not complain when in all other cases he did.

Creatives DAO mods stopped receiving funds other than the monthly paycheck. You also had a hand in forcing those (good) changes. Why not apply to yourself the same standards you apply to others?

Keep up the good work, everyone; only a few issues to solve until no one is able to point fingers.

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