We are Daemo, an open-source crowdsourcing platform governed by its workers and requesters. The Daemo constitution is amended by this community to reflect their evolving needs.
Daemo aims to offer high quality work for requesters and fair working conditions for workers. To achieve this, governance on Daemo is structured to enable workers and requesters to discuss ideas, develop amendments, and ensure the amendments are appropriately interpreted. A team focused on the platform design and implementation ensures that new constitutional amendments are built in, while also improving platform features and performance. This independence facilitates keeping Daemo nimble while also allowing it to respond to the evolving needs of its users.
With this constitution, we describe community standards for platform participation and a mechanism for those standards to be updated through crowd governance.
- Membership: how users participate in the platform
- Governance: regulations for managing changes to the constitution
- Community Standards: the behavior we expect and support on Daemo
- Resources: links to related documents
Participation in Daemo
Participation in Daemo and its governance is not restricted. Anyone with a Daemo account, which is free for all, can participate.
User profiles on Daemo display no personally identifiable information about members by default. The profile will identify members by their role(s) in the community and their degree of activity.
Members are required to adhere to community standards.
The Daemo community is the active population of members that work or create projects on Daemo. It does not include the people who develop the platform unless they also participate as workers or requesters.
Members of the community are categorized as workers or requesters. Community members who spend at least 40% of their time on Daemo performing tasks will be considered Workers for voting. Community members who spend at least 40% of their time on Daemo requesting tasks will be considered Requesters for voting. Members active in both capacities will be able to choose the body from which their votes will be counted.
Members who have spent less than 5 days in the last month, working or requesting on Daemo, are considered inactive. Inactive members’ votes are not counted while they remain inactive.
Daemo platform team
The Daemo platform team implements and maintains Daemo. This includes but is not limited to platform development, financial management, and ongoing research. The Daemo platform team acts as an independent and neutral group whose activities must follow the constitution.
All platform team activities are made public. Because the platform occasionally engages in long term research, some ongoing studies will not be disclosed until after their completion. All research conducted by the platform must comply with ethical research guidance from an Institutional Research Board (IRB) and the Dynamo Academic Research Guidelines.
A resolution jury is called when there are conflicts in interpreting this constitution between the different parties of the community or the platform.
The Resolution jury is made up of 6 participants, 2 each from the worker community, the requester community and the platform team. When a resolution jury is needed, a new one is selected at random from the active members of each stakeholder group. Selected members may abstain from taking part and a replacement will be found through the same process. Members may not be on the jury more than once within 60 days, unless all other viable members of their stakeholder group have already been part of the jury. As much as possible, jury members will be vetted to reduce conflicts of interest with the issue being discussed.
Resolution jury members receive a badge denoting their participation which they may choose to show publicly. Members will also be compensated for this work at the standard rate of $10 per hour.
Daemo governance is based on an amendable constitution. Constitutional amendments allow Daemo workers and requesters to make specific needs and interests explicit, such that the platform team can interpret those needs and refine Daemo.
Anyone can suggest an idea to modify Daemo. If the idea attracts significant interest in the community, it can be developed into a proposed constitutional amendment and the community will vote to decide if it will be put into effect or not. If successful, the platform will then be tasked with executing any changes outlined in the amendment.
Ideas can emerge through this process that can be implemented quickly. Changes like this may be integrated by the platform team on the condition that the current constitution and amendments are not violated. However, there is no obligation for the platform team to implement such changes as they are not amendments, and this will only happen when the platform team internally determines that it is suitable to implement such a change without a full amendment. Even if the change is made, an amendment can still be passed through the normal process, giving formal support to the previously executed change. Voting on Daemo has been designed to incorporate the interests of the workers, requesters and the platform to balance their power and lead to a healthy, sustainable marketplace.
Introducing and selecting ideas
Ideas are suggested in an online list visible to everyone in the community. The list allows others to comment and up-vote ideas they like. Anyone with a Daemo forum account is able to provide and iterate upon ideas. Ideas that reach a threshold of popularity will move onto idea iteration. Popularity is publicly visible on the original post of an idea listing based on the individual votes. An idea reaches the popularity threshold when it receives up-votes from at least 10% of the active members on Daemo. Postings are anonymous until they reach the popularity threshold.
All ideas will be accepted but are subject to the community standards.
Ideas may be developed through comments and edits, or resubmitted as new ideas that encompass different perspectives. The idea can be updated by the original author as it evolves through discussion.
Ideas that have received up-votes from at least 10% of the active community members will progress to the next step, to be developed as amendments.
Amendments are developed by interested parties. These will often be the original idea from the author who may collaborate with community members. Once they are content with the refinement of the amendment, it will be made available to the community to review. At this time, comments may be provided and critical feasibility will be evaluated. The authors will then be able to make adjustments based on these comments and submit the amendment for a final vote.
Amendments deemed infeasible to implement will not be submitted for a final vote until they have been revised and assessed as feasible by the platform team. The platform team will provide a summary of the reasoning for their stance and support the amendment writing team as needed to ensure that a feasible option is developed.
Submitting an amendment for final voting involves compiling the changes to the constitution and submitting it as a ‘pull request’ to the constitution’s GitHub repository. A post on the forum outlining the amendment, linking to the pull request, and offering a voting context will be released to allow members of the community to vote on the amendment.
Voting to accept amendments is conducted within the active community (active workers and requesters only). A majority of both the voting workers and voting requesters is required for an amendment to be accepted.
A vote for an amendment remains open for 2 weeks. After that time, if the amendment has not yet been accepted, it will be rejected and archived and stored on GitHub. Rejected amendments may be resubmitted as new ideas in the future.
Conflicts and resolution
The platform is tasked with implementing amendments. When the platform team and the community don’t agree about what it is that an amendment means and how it should be validly implemented, a resolution jury will be evoked to deliberate on the appropriate interpretation. This jury has the power to decide and document the interpretation of the constitution with regard to a specific conflict.
Conflicts start as ideas that are tagged ‘interpretation conflict’. Interpretation conflicts will require popularity as mentioned in the ‘Introducing and selecting ideas’ section of this document, but are treated as conflicts, not amendments, when they reach popularity. At that point a new resolution jury will automatically be formed and assigned the issue.
The jury will resolve the conflict through a discussion process in which each stakeholder group presents their perspectives and comes to understand others’ perspectives. Only after the other side has explicitly confirmed understanding, will the conversation move forward. The discussion is initially private to avoid public influence on the jury’s decision. At the end of this process, they will develop a way of resolving the issue that will involve delivering a proposed adjustment to the constitution based on their findings. This will then be made public along with the entire discussion that lead to the resolution, and the change will be voted on as though it were an amendment undergoing voting.
Daemo thrives on positive and fruitful relationships between its members. To this end, it is very important for each member of Daemo to work hard to uphold the goal of maintaining a positive community for everyone. This means Daemo will constantly strive to have no biases, implicit or explicit, and the Daemo members will be held to this standard too. Application of the constitution will remain consistent for all members.
In practice, membership management and community standards follow those outlined by the discourse community.
Daemo allows members’ activity to be flagged to bring it to the community’s attention in an anonymous way. Buttons for flagging appear near each action made by a member and visible to another member. As a particular activity or user is flagged more frequently a progressive response will be made automatically.
Posts on the forum can be flagged for a range of reasons including:
- inaccurate representation of information,
- does not adhere to community standards,
- and does not support Daemo constitution and its inherent goals.
Tasks posted by requesters can also be flagged if they include error, offensive material without suitable warnings, or if they ask workers to perform work that seems unreasonably priced for the kind and amount of work. When tasks are flagged, the requester will receive a notification. If the task is flagged enough times, it will be removed from the task list of other workers until it is repaired. Flagging thresholds are based on a progressive review as outlined by the Discourse community. Aggregated and anonymized data about what is flagged will be available to improve decision making.
Discuss with evidence
Whenever possible, evidence should be cited and linked directly to the source when discussing changes to Daemo. Prototypes, pilots or other information gathering procedures will be used when evidence is incomplete or when a change is fundamentally a matter of opinion. Such experimentation can occur on a small scale, initiated by any community member, or on larger scales, for instance, as part of an amendment development process, conducted by the platform team.
Other important resources
|Daemo||The open-source, crowd governed, crowdsourcing platform|
|Constitution||This document which outlines ideological and operational instructions for the Daemo platform.|
|Community||The group of all people who use Daemo. This includes workers and requesters.|
|Worker||Someone for whom at least 40% of their contributions to Daemo are through working on tasks|
|Requester||Someone for whom at least 40% of their contributions to Daemo are through requesting tasks|
|Active member||Members who spend more than 5 days a month working or requesting on Daemo are considered active. Only active members’ votes are counted.|
|Platform team||The group of people who develop and maintain the Daemo platform. Currently titled the Stanford Crowd Research Collective|
|Resolution jury||A jury consisting of 6 members, two workers, two requesters, and two platform team members. This group will be tasked with resolving disagreements about interpretation of the constitution.|
|Forum||The main conduit for discussion on Daemo|