This proposal aims to establish mandatory “cool down” periods for all measures which are taken against members of the ENS community which might be construed as disciplinary, punitive, or in response to an acute complaint of any kind. It does so in three ways:
First, by amending EP4 to implement a mandatory waiting period of 60 days between when a Working Group leadership change is proposed and when it can be voted on.
Second, by implementing a mandatory waiting period of 60 days between when a change of the leadership of the ENS Foundation is proposed and when it can be voted on.
Third, by demonstrating strong community support for similar rules to be adopted by other ENS adjacent groups. This includes True Names LTD (TNL) and any groups or subgroups formed by (or affiliated with) the DAO in the future. While this proposal cannot be binding for said organizations, it is hoped that they will respect the community’s desire and implement an equivalent rule should this proposal pass.
Everyone is entitled to some semblance of due process. No one should feel the need to leap to their own defense the moment an accusation is made, or risk losing their position in the community if they don’t. Mob justice is never justice, even in cases when the mob has a legitimate complaint.
The worst time to make important decisions is in the heat of the moment. Cool down periods give everyone involved time to quell their emotional responses, reflect carefully, and communicate their positions calmly. This can only lead to clearer headed decision making and better outcomes. This applies even-- or perhaps especially-- in cases where a person’s behavior is ultimately found to warrant disciplinary or punitive measures. When such decisions need to be made, demonstrating they were made only after careful deliberation, rather than at the behest of an angry mob, is crucial to maintaining the legitimacy of leadership in the eyes of the community.
A Vitalik Buterin recently put it in an interview for The Defiant:
I personally favor at least having 14 day cool downs before anyone is fired because of a scandal. I personally would love it if that was a general social rule that everyone had. I mean, numbers even higher than 14 would be even better. And yes, that does mean that there’s going to be people that are very uncomfortable that will just have to sit on their discomfort for a while.
But, at the same time, I think sitting on the discomfort and not making knee jerk decisions is something that’s very healthy. It’s a muscle that we need to exercise. And I think that is something that would also be better at clearly communicating to the community that what was done was the result of a well considered deliberation and not like “the cultural revolution is coming to Ethereum now.”
This is also a matter of security. An organization that is prone to overreaction is at greater risk of being manipulated. This represents a very real social attack vector, one that will undoubtedly be leveraged by bad actors in the long run, given that ENS is vying to be a critical piece of digital infrastructure.
Cool down periods are needed as a defense mechanism against such tactics. The community should always take the time to investigate not only the veracity of any claims, but also the motivations, intentions, and potential conflicts of interests of those making them. Furthermore, great care ought to be spent ensuring that any actions taken are fair, proportional, and have broad support from the community.
The first action of this proposal is to Amend EP4, “Working Group Rules”, Rule 9.1 to read as follows:
- i. Stewards may be removed by:
- a. A social proposal passed by the DAO. Said proposal must not be made available for signature based voting until 60 days have elapsed after it was shared on the ENS governance forum. A good faith effort to notify the steward being removed, and to allow for them to speak publicly, must be made during this period. Any social proposal to remove a steward which is made available before 60 days have elapsed will not be binding, and will not cause the steward to be removed regardless of outcome.
- b. A simple indicative majority vote among the stewards of the working group. Said vote may not take place until the intention to vote is announced on the ENS governance forum and 60 days have elapsed after said announcement. A good faith effort to notify the steward being removed, and to allow for them to speak publicly, must be made during this period. Any vote amongst stewards made before the intention to vote has been announced in the ENS forum, and 60 days have elapsed after said announcement, will not be binding and will not cause the steward to be removed, regardless of outcome.
The second action of this proposal is to create a new rule with regards to the leadership of the ENS Foundation. The DAO has direct legal authority to appoint and remove Directors of the ENS Foundation. Therefore, this proposal establishes that:
Any proposal which would result in an active Director of the ENS Foundation being removed for their position must not be made available for signature based voting until 60 days have elapsed after it was shared on the ENS governance forum. A good faith effort to notify the Director being removed, and to allow for them to speak publicly, must be made during this period. Any social proposal to remove a Direcotr which is made available before 60 days have elapsed will not be binding, and will not cause the Director to be removed regardless of outcome.
The third action of this proposal is to demonstrate strong community support in favor of a mandatory cool down period of 60 days being established by all ENS adjacent groups or organizations. This includes TNL and any other present or future entities founded by, funded by, or affiliated with the ENS DAO.
This cool down period should apply to any measures which are taken against members of the ENS community which might be construed as disciplinary, punitive, or in response to an acute complaint of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, actions such as the removal of persons from any roles within the ENS community, the termination of any compensation, or the revocation of any other rights or privileges. During such a cool down period, a good faith effort to notify the impacted individual, and to allow for them to speak publicly, ought be made.
By ratifying this proposal, the ENS DAO also formally requests TNL publish-- within 30 days of this proposal’s passing-- a response to the community indicating:
- Whether or not they plan to implement the requested cool down period
- Details of how and when the cool down period will be implemented OR an explanation as to why the DAO’s request will not be honored.