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  Resignation of Jia Yiyang as moderator

+ 2 like - 2 dislike

I hereby claim to resign from moderator position. Although it's first proposed by Arnold, I do so completely out of free will. It has nothing to do with Arnold's accusation of me for lack of mercy, and I'm firmly unapologetic of my own division line for justice and mercy. Arnold's proposal simply reminds me that this is a good chance to resign. 

This claim shall not be taken as a precedent of breaking promise(I promised PO one year of moderatorship), the justifications for my resignation are as follow:

(1)I took up the moderator position during a political and legal fight where the two sides could hardly have one single unemotional exchange, while both sides seemed still willing to talk to me peacefully. Hence I agreed to be a moderator to lower the communication barrier, and I've always considered the appointment as an emergency measure.

(2)Related to (1), my nomination and appointment were both hasty. I got +2-0 votes when I took the appointment, not an impressive margin. In addition, the short duration between the nomination and appointment practically eliminated the possibility for downvotes. Hence it was not strictly lawful.

Hence future legitimately elected moderators are in no position to repeat my case.

Personally, this seems to be a good timing for me to resign: with the newly implemented feature "revision history" for comments and the user right document saying

Protection of text

The final say on the text always belongs with the original author, and there is no imposition of content change without reversion.

Any closure/deletion of text will be for a publically stated reason, which is "off topic, spam, duplicate, plagiarism, low-level material, incomprehensible text which could not be explained by author". But it is requested that the author try to make efforts to help clarify the text in case others have a difficult time understanding it.

I think it's safe to say even in the worst imaginable scenario, Physicsoverflow is still a much more inhabitable place than PhysicsStackexchange, which drove me away by their absolutely zero protection of speech. I now have no fear even if I can't have my eyes on how moderators work in private.

In addition, being a moderator has severely restrained my willingness to vote on the recent moderator-related issues due to potential conflict of interests and the moral common sense. If I resign, I can finally freely vote on these issues as I have wanted.

My only concern after resigning, though not a big one, is that Dilaton's earlier resignation decision due to a severe moderating crime gets revoked. I would consider a revocation quite dark and disgraceful, since it basically says "We moderators don't have accountablity and you ordinary users can't do anything about it". In that case please consider my resignation out of a utter shame to ever take up such a shameful position. The ideal case would be Dilaton resigns for a symbolic period and go through the voting procedure again before he/she can be re-elected, if this is what finally happens please consider this paragraph irrelevant. 

PS. I promise I'll cast no vote under this post, neither answers nor comments.   

EDIT: It has become too late in my time zone, I apologize in advance that I can't quickly response to inquiries.       

asked Mar 23, 2015 in Public Official Posts by Jia Yiyang (2,605 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 25, 2015 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments

@dimension10 Thank you for the offer, I have a lot of work to do, including a masters thesis. In fact even this current meta discussion is kinda eating into my time. Maybe in 1-2 years I could consider.

I would also ask you to make make a meta post clearly indicating the following. "In the event that the moderator makes a mistake, Its only upon the community to allow him to continue." To ease Jia's responsibilities.

@JiaYiyang So what? I want to resign too (because I feel I'm in an utterly deluded world thanks to mod powers), but I'm staying because there's no replacement - you should, too.

It almost as if nothing progressive happened. Its still just as chaotic. 

maybe I overreacted a bit, but I would say counts it as progress only when the issues are absolutely resolved. Even the past discussions are leading to some form of a agreement, Despite being tedious and slow.

Its clear that a lot of people don't want you to resign, if you really want it will be so.
The only issue seems to be that you were nominated under circumstances of pressure. Therefore you consider the fact that you were elected some what illegal.

Treat this as a request, but perhaps you can resign until April 4th, and someone can renominate you, as the elections are close by.

@dimension10, but you know I'm doing almost 0 moderation work after the settlement of Dilaton's case, while you and polarkernel are doing the most laborious things. There is no replacement for you, and I don't need any replacement, my resignation doesn't have any practical consequence. 


The only issue seems to be that you were nominated under circumstances of pressure. Therefore you consider the fact that you were elected some what illegal.

No that's not the issue, I stressed those points to reason that future moderators should not follow my case.  My own reason starts after points (1) and (2), just read them literally.

Treat this as a request, but perhaps you can resign until April 4th, and someone can renominate you, as the elections are close by.

I won't accept the nomination, I really want to spend more time in Q&A, and be a freer meta participant.  I will only consider to be nominated when we start to implement rotating moderatorship and if I see a shortage of people. But this is not happening anytime soon, so currently I see no necessity of doing so.

@JiaYiyang We have already "started to implement rotating moderatorship", and I hope you'll accept to be rotated in when I'm rotated out at the end of the year.

Most recent comments show all comments

@JiaYiyang OK, done : ( I'll still nominate you in the coming election, I hope you accept it. By the way, you might want to edit your profile now to change "Jan 2016" to "March 2015".

@dimension10, thanks!

1 Answer

+ 1 like - 1 dislike

Jia, you don't have any obligation to do adminstrative votes, imports, anything. You are mainly there to be a voice, because your opinion would not be represented if you were gone, and for some crazy reason, despite this being ridiculous, moderator opinions always count for more.

The attempt to get you to resign is also a form of social pressure. There is no reason for you to resign, and many reasons for you to stay on. Prathyush did not get a chance to vote on your nomination, from comments, he would vote for. There are others would would certainly vote for your staying on.

The subtext here is that Dilaton would like to reneg on the promise made to resign by the end of the month [[EDIT: No, the subtext is that Arnold would like peace, and would like the whole thing to be retracted]] . That's just not appropriate behavior. It is inconceivable to me that this would happen, it in itself is not trustworthy behavior, when someone says that they will step down in two months, a compromise between stepping down immediately and staying on indefinitely, that someone should do what they said they would do, even if they ask to be renominated immediately and win the vote. The step-down could even have been a 1-day symbolic gesture as Arnold suggested. My opinion is that it can't hurt if it were longer, but I can compromise, and I recognize a compromise for what it is.

You should know that I resigned my modship because you were there to take over, and I figured you are a normal person who has the point of view of an outsider, so you wouldn't be too far from the point of view of others here who are not in a real-world position of authority. That's the point of view of everyone in the world except professors of physics, it includes Lubos Motl, Myself, Robert Kraichnan and many others, including young people who make breakthroughs. This collection of non-academics includes students. It includes you and dimension10, Drake and Eduardo. There is a difference of opinion in academia regarding the value of speech by non-academics, non-academic opinions are 1/5-th of an opinion, become 3/5-ths of an opinion with a PhD, and become a full opinion once tenure is granted. There are exceptions made for Kraichnan and others, but exceptions are unnecessary here. This site needs to respect the opinions of academics only because it is really the one that is most often correct, due to academics' experience and wisdom, not simply because it is authoritative, because authority on sites like this is extremely damaging when the need arises to reverse the occasional bad consensus. This is a rare event, but it is an important situation to consider, it is the rare event that the internet is best at dealing with.

I didn't do any more administrative things than you did, there is no reason for you to resign, and you must count my vote on the mod pages, and ignore VK. You are the best moderator here now, as you are levelheaded and independent. Stepping down will shift the balance of power, and it is very easy to remove the safeguards afterwards. There is no unanimity in the current system, it was set up as a compromise between all sides under certain conditions. Without your presence, the conditions are altered, the compromise can vanish and convert into something else.

answered Mar 23, 2015 by Ron Maimon (7,535 points) [ revision history ]
edited Mar 24, 2015 by Ron Maimon

The attempt to get you to resign is also a form of social pressure.

If asking for something in a polite tone is considered social pressure, all talk about freedom of speech here is hypocrisy.

I explained what I did here.

@VladimirKalitvianski Earn your right to vote in this site by making useful contributions, or just leave its fine with me.

@ArnoldNeumaier your link does not work

@RonMaimon Jia clearly indicated it was not social pressure. He wanted to leave even before hand.

@ArnoldNeumaier: I didn't say you were wrong to exert social pressure, I am just calling it by its proper name. It isn't immoral, it isn't underhanded--- you are doing what you think is best within your rights. I just disagree with you, because of things you don't know about, because you weren't here during the dispute.

Jia agreed to become moderator, and promised to stay on for a year. I resigned with a promise to stay out for one year on the precise hour he was elected, based on this promise, because I wanted the balance of power to stay exactly the same as before. I felt it would be wrong to have an extra moderator who leaned toward my position, and also for me to stay on, it would be moderator-stacking instead of moderator rotation. But I also felt I would be betraying those who voted for me with the idea that I would protect their rights, if I were to abandon them without supporting a replacement who I felt would be able to protect their rights just as strongly.

I made sure he meant it, in personal discussions, he was willing to stay on for a year, and to do what he thought was right, based on his conscience, nothing else. I wanted to make sure that precisely this situation wouldn't happen, where one moderator begins to do things unilaterally. I was elected on the promise that I would investigate and honestly report on moderation problems, and if there is no one to continue this on the inside, with the power to see hidden comments and get moderation emails, the moderation problems can begin again.

Nobody had more power after my resignation, not myself, not Dilaton, not Dimension10, not Jia, it was all perfectly balanced. All the meta community comes to consensus through compromise, everyone has to listen.

I trusted Jia's conscience not because he always agreed with me (many times he didn't), but because he was so sensible and independent, and properly aware of what moderator misdeeds are, that I figured that if Jia doesn't agree with me, it must be me that is totally wrong. I did not trust consensus mechanisms to ever change Dilaton's mind on anything, because whenever consensus developed during the disputes, the statement was "We do not have enough users for a real consensus", and then to accuse me of using my mind-control rays to brainwash the gullible (sorry, Dilaton, I know you don't say these things anymore, and you are totally down with consensus. Sugarplum faries dance when you smile. Thank God.)

@RonMaimon (and also @Yiyang and @Dimension10 and others): please to not claim that or act as if I had retracted my promise. I did not.

@Dilaton: I am so sorry! I apologize to you sincerely, and perhaps all is resolved.

Thanks @RonMaimon

@Prathyush: I fixed the link.

Jia agreed to become moderator, and promised to stay on for a year. I resigned with a promise to stay out for one year on the precise hour he was elected, based on this promise

So it is just fair that you come back earlier. I still don't know according to which authority, but is seems there should be anyway elections in April. Properly prepared, everything can be settled in good order, and with the present nightmare lying behind us all. 

@ArnoldNeumaier: I try to keep promises, I don't think anyone wants to see me back for another year in a political role (I certainly don't). I expect others to keep their promises as well. Dilaton and I have started communicating in a friendly way again, thanks to you and you-know-who. But I also made a promise of (not crappy) scientific contributions that I would also really like to start to keep now.

I don't see any of the involved parties have changed their minds on the old stuff. The previous arrangements were carefully worked out over a period of a very acrimonious month, trying to get consensus from everyone. They are full of compromises, and miraculously satisfactory to everyone, and they sound even better now, at least to me, and I know to Jia and Dimension10, and I believe also Dilaton, now that we're all talking again (thank you).

I know you think we reached all the wrong conclusions because we used lousy methods without enough consideration of feelings and without enough spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, and you are welcome to get consensus for changes, but I think it's a hopeless task except for the minor thing about the length of the symbolic resignation. I think we did the absolute best that could be done under the circumstances, aside from even more forgiveness and reconciliation (thanks again).

While your recent contribution to resolving the rudeness issue once and for all were ingenious in the highest degree, regarding the old stuff, you weren't present and you didn't see the discussions unfold, you don't see the now hidden discussions. and these things were worked out by well meaning people. While you are welcome to say we were all deluded we did not reach a correct compromise position, I think this is a mistake. I think everyone knows you put the site on the right path going forward, but I don't know why to change the path already trodden.

As far as I can see, Dilaton, Jia, Dimension10, me, not to mention Drake and Eduardo who aren't here anymore, have not changed their mind on the old nonsense, except now Jia decided to step down. Not on me staying out of moderatorship for at least a year (it will be good for the site), not on the nature of the events (they are sorted out), not even on the need for reconciliation, except for a bit more of it, and sooner.

Maybe people wish to accomodate your request for the resignation to possibly be quite a bit more symbolic than intended, which was already extremely symbolic, because Dilaton voluntarily agreed to do less site moderation anyway. That's really just a minor quibble to make you happy, it doesn't matter to me so much.

 Dilaton and I have started communicating in a friendly way again,

This is very good news. If it shows in the next few days in a publicly visible way, I'll stop being confrontational - it is not my usual way of acting and it costs me far more energy than you may think.

While you are welcome to say we were all deluded, I think this is a mistake.

 Please don't (even in a merely suggestive way) put into my mouth words that I'd never say.

except now Jia decided to step down. 

To a large extent because

being a moderator has severely restrained my willingness to vote on the recent moderator-related issues due to potential conflict of interests and the moral common sense. If I resign, I can finally freely vote on these issues as I have wanted.

 (Thanks for the edit welcoming me to say something specific.)

 Without your presence, the conditions are altered, the compromise can vanish and convert into something else.

Ron, I think your fear, though somewhat understandable, is unwarranted. After becoming a moderator, I have gained no more respect or social influence than when I was an ordinary user, the compromise and balance were achieved partly from me , dare I claim, as a valued user not as a moderator. I went into that position just to rest your fear and get Dilaton to start talking in public. I know my step down might cause a bit of anxiety in you, and I'm just gonna ask you to give a bit more trust. You should see by now there's no more severe loophole on PO. I'm looking forward to seeing you at Q&A and review sections.

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