Jump to content
Precious

On "Invisible Promotions"

Is "Invisible Promotion" okay?  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you agree with "Invisible Promotion"? (Read the whole thing before voting please)

    • No, everyone should have to make a Staff Submission if they want a staff role.
      10
    • Yes, if someone is well enough liked in the community, skipping Staff Submission is fine.
      25
    • I don't really care.
      8


Recommended Posts

Before I start, the reason I'm putting this in TF2 Discussion and not General is because I don't know if this is something that happens in the CS:GO division as well or not, and I would prefer to stick to talking about the community I'm more familiar with. Also, this isn't meant to stir up drama or diss anyone who has been "invisibly promoted" in the past, I'm just curious as to what the community thinks on the topic. 

So in the past, I've heard a term thrown around that some people feel very strongly about, and others don't mind. That term refers to when a person is promoted from Member to Moderator without them actually making a Staff Submission of any kind. I've heard this referred to as "Invisible Promotion", where someone is simply promoted by decision of higher ups without the input of the community. Again, I've heard that some people disagree with this way of promotion, while others are indifferent or completely fine with it. I want to ask, what do you all think of this? Do you agree with it? Disagree? Do you not care?

This topic means a lot to me, because to put it bluntly, I am someone who was "Invisibly Promoted" from Member to Moderator. I never applied any kind of submission, nor did I ask anyone for a promotion. To the best of my knowledge, I was promoted by popular demand of the community, and I was messaged by one of the higher ups about it the week after I received Membership to put the Moderator tag in my name. It definitely caught me off guard, as again, I never asked for it or submitted any kind of staff submission. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I got it, and I enjoy being a part of the staff and helping moderate our TF2 servers. 

That isn't to say everyone was as happy about this as I was though. As said, I've heard some people disagree with this way of promotion, and I kinda understand where they're coming from. Promoting someone who hasn't made a staff submission may rob the community of a chance to voice their opinion, and doesn't give a person a chance to try and prove themselves worthy of the role. But at the same time, if someone is very well liked in the community, and can prove they are mature and responsible enough to be a staff member, should they even have to make a staff submission? Is the input of the community enough? 

I would also like to say, I am simply an Admin, and I have no power in who gets promoted or demoted, nor do I fully know how higher up staff members make these decisions. For all I know, these "Invisible Promotions" could simply be a thing of the past, and the higher ups no longer do it anymore. I don't remember anyone recently getting promoted to Mod without first making a Staff Submission, though I could simply not have noticed. Even so, what do you all think of this? Do you think it's okay if someone is allowed to be promoted to Moderator without first making a Staff Submission if they are liked enough by the community? Or should everyone have to make a Staff Submission regardless of popularity? I'm genuinely curious to hear what everyone's opinion is on this. Just keep it civil please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Staff apps are only to let higherups know you're interested in getting staff and for constructive criticism for the person applying for staff

I do think it's a good idea to need a staff application to get mod for the communities feedback but you have to take into account the requirements to make a staff application is pretty hard to get

getting 50 forum posts without spamming the forums takes alot of time and also needing staff apps for mods makes people under 14 unable to get staff aswell 

So in my opinion what we do now with invisible promotions is good but I would only say a system in which you need to make an application to get mod is better as long as the rules get touched up a bit to make the requirements less hard to get, but as the rules currently are it's too hard for people to make an application

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've said this before very recently, but I'll say it again. Invisible promotions make it nearly impossible for the soon-to-be staff member's promotion denied. On staff applications, people are allowed to publicly state their opinions on the OP following up with a +1 / -1 / +0. Invisible promotions don't let people say "Hey, they probably shouldn't get staff and here's why..." until after they get promoted. Member protests and admin abuse threads are incredibly hard to pass, much like impeaching an official government employee (specifically referring to the President of the United States). This basically leaves it up to the higher-ups to realize "Oh, shit, this person is actually a really bad staff member. We should probably demote them!" This seldom takes place within our staff rosters which, in retrospect, can be a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it.

1 minute ago, BonfireCentipede said:

getting 50 forum posts without spamming the forums takes alot of time and also needing staff apps for mods makes people under 14 unable to get staff aswell 

Occasionally higher-ups will allow people to make staff applications even though the members enough posts / aren't old enoughimage.png.6adf053fa3fa9677ce1b9673fe0e548e.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it'd really would change anything since like the whole decision is entirely up to the higher ups anyway, so if people are given an invisible promotion that most likely means the highers ups have gotten to know them very well and have asked people around in community what their thoughts on the person ( which I have seen before) and trust the person so much so that they believe they should be made staff, so it wouldn't really change anything if they made a submission thread or not. So as long as the highers up look into the person carefully before doing an invisible promotion, then it should be fine to stay as is imo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you make a great point. I won't name anyone, but there has definitely been a few staff members in the history here that have been extremely questionable and with community input it is very likely that they wouldn't have gotten staff in the first place. A requirement to make a staff submission would ensure that the community has an input as well and would very likely result in us having the best staff roster to date.

However, there are specific rules towards applying for staff which would result in there being fewer people available for staff. Here is the link to the staff submission guide:

For one, it states you must be 14 or over to apply. There has been a staff member or two who at least got staff whilst being under 14. One I can name is @Segal. If you had to apply for staff rather than getting "invisibly promoted", Segal would've not gotten staff.

Secondly, (this only applies for TF2) you must have at least 50 forum posts. I'm sure there have been MULTIPLE staff members in the past that have had pretty much one forum post when they got it, that post being their member submission.

 

If these restrictions were altered, I think it would be fantastic to have a community input onto who gets staff. However, I feel as though the Division Leaders and Managers should still get final say as to whether the member gets staff or not, rather than a +1 and -1 system like we have with the member submissions.

Remember guys, whilst saying your thoughts may or may not affect the overall outcome, there is no harm in getting a community input and should only aide the higherups in making their decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of agree with tatost, but for the most part even if I don't think someone has what it takes for mod I don't post anything negative on their application unless I have a a particularly egregious example. I don't know if that's the case for anyone else, but that essentially means I just use standard staff protest procedure anyway. 

I do think people should be able to protest someone being staff ultimately, even if they don't have hard evidence of abuse or whatever. It allows people to get worries off their chests and forces potential staff to reconcile with past mistakes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having people apply for staff is the better move here.

Making people fill out an application gives everyone the better idea that someone wants to become staff. Everyone can share their input over the applicant and give a better idea to the higher-ups if the person is truly qualified (i.e. not toxic, active, etc.).
Applications create more transparency in the community as well. Let's say that Tatost applies for staff (lol) and Bagel isn't too fond of the idea. Bagel has had issues with Tatost in the past or they just have beef with each other, we can deal with the issue right then are there basically.

If we set it to only applications, obviously the requirements would change. Less forum posts needed.

Also, why the hell do we let people under 14-years-old get the slide by for staff if they don't apply? If the application says that you need to be a certain age, why isn't it the same for invisible promotions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give you guys my reasoning for "invisible promotions".

  • People don't need to apply to be a good candidate for being a staff member.

You guys have to remember that higher-ups are the position that they are because we have a lot of trust in them. We believe in their judgement, and they have experienced through a ton of good and bad staff throughout their time in xG. They take time to discuss if a member who hasn't applied deserves to be staff, and they always reach a consensus before doing so. Of course, we have changed it so we ask the individual if they want staff or not before the promotion takes place. The higher-ups also talk to their fellow staff / friends to get more input, so it's not 1 person who single handedly promotes a member to staff.

  • People can easily get demoted if they don't deserve staff.

Please do not confuse member protests with admin abuse threads. Staff do get a few chances as human error is bound to happen, but people can make mistakes even if they had everyone +1 them. There are also multiple instances where admin abuse threads popped up on people that only had one side of the story, where the accusers were hiding the information to make the staff look bad. If someone is caught Slay All or other abusing instances, they can get demoted if it's a problem. 

  • People under 14 can still get staff.

This is rare, but is always on a case-by-case basis. You can think of it in the real world as someone who gets a job offer without filling the requirements. That is also why (at least in CS:GO) we sometimes allow people to post a mod app without getting 50 posts on the forums. If we feel like we need more input on if someone should get staff, letting them apply doesn't hurt. 

These discussions never hurt, and I'm happy to improve a system if you guys feel it is broken. From the staff we have promoted that haven't applied themselves so far in recent memory, at least to the best of my knowledge, none of them have had a negative impact on our community. After a while, you  get a good idea if someone would be a good staff member or not just from interacting with them.

If anyone has anything that they feel contradicts any of my statements, I'm happy to read it so I'll keep this thread open.

Edited by Aegean (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I'm in the boat that silent member to staff promotions are a bad thing. It opens the doors for favoritism and  closes the door for people to say why said people shouldn't be staff. While I can understand the ease of process(as my first time getting staff was silent and when I came back from my break was also silent) It does prevent the discussion from being had of why someone is not optimal for their position. I'm all for reducing personal bias in the application process. It's too easy for someone to be chummy with higher ups and ask for staff i m o. I am also not looking to shit on current staff who have been silent promoted or the higherups who have employed it. I do think that having the opportunity to dispute the promotion with a -1  is a good thing. At the end of the day a -1 can be dismissed if the reasoning isn't clear or accurate but someone who already gets promoted is just going to stir more internal drama from the people who did want them in. All in all though higherups do have the final say.

Overall I think that promotions should be handled clearly and well defined so people aren't suddenly surprised that someone else got staff just because they chill in a discord with a higherup. In my opinion the times that silent promotions end up being abused are few and far between. The potential for the worst is still present. ideally bad staff should eventually be siphoned out before they're a problem. However, there are times that moderators who have been silent promoted have gone untouched because either favoritism or not enough evidence of poor performance were provided.

I say silent promotions shouldn't be a thing even in the case of returning staff. While it's easy to point out what staff were good previously and they SHOULD be good again it doesn't mean their circumstance hasn't changed. The time away from being staff does affect how the community perceives them. It should be a matter of consistency as essentially they're trying to be staff from member again. Case by case can be more extreme from silent leaving to toxicity or whatnot. Opening a window to air the shit so to speak is a good way to get certain distrusts out of the way. If there are no problems then it shouldn't affect the staff returning negatively. The most that'd be asked of them is just to sum up why they want to be staff again.

I'm all for keeping things out from closed doors so to speak. Openness and clarity should be what the community deserves. I think the application process is a good way to provide that outlet. I'm not exactly the most passionate about the subject but I want to throw my two cents in since this ended up getting thrown on my "Hello again." thread in regards to me. That told me a couple things. 1 is that not everyone is happy about how I left and they want to make it clear and 2 It's easy to pass favoritism when you're on the receiving end. I don't care much to stir bad blood, however I don't think they should be denied voicing their complaints (as long as it's within the community guidelines.)

Tl;dr

That's a no from me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To put a little perspective on how these "silent promotions" work, here's how the promotion / demotion process works for higher ups. It varies a bit from division to division, but it's in general the same.

  • A thread/discussion is created for promotions and demotions
  • All prospective (Both members that have applied and not applied) staff are discussed thoroughly
    • All higher ups of the division get input
    • All community managers/Aegean can see all discussion
    • Feedback must be valid, and is under scrutiny of all higher ups, including CMs/CLs
    • (CSGO exclusive?)
      • Goes through chat logs to see how they interact when staff is not available
      • Use GameME to see activity on servers
  • Higher ups come to a unanimous decision
  • After discussion, approval goes to CMs
    • We almost never disagree upon decisions, I honestly cant remember the last time we rejected someone
  • If the prospective staff hasn't applied, they should be contacted to see if they would accept the position
    • To my knowledge, this hasn't always been followed, but we will certainly follow up with higher ups to ensure that this happens

In addition, +1/-1 on a staff application is not entirely representative of if someone will be promoted. We appreciate your feedback, but someone who receives all +1s is not guaranteed to get staff, just as someone who receives majority -1s is not guaranteed to not get staff. Everything is always taken on a case by case basis. Getting "Chummy" with higher ups is not necessarily a way to get staff (see @Jaydow CSGO Division Manager position). I can safely say that there's nothing more annoying than someone asking for staff, and they almost never get promoted any time soon. Obviously, getting to know higher ups is going to get you promoted quicker, as they'll know you better. Honestly, that's life, anyone who's been working before knows that the better relationship you have with your boss, you're probably going to get promoted quicker. This also assumes that you deserve to be promoted, as I've gotten to know people better and realized "Wow, I'll never promote that guy" before, even when I like them as a person.

As for bad staff, staff are held to a high standard. Of course, you learn through mistakes, and our staff are people too. But for example, toxicity and abuse will never be tolerated, and its quiet easy to remove staff that don't deserve powers. Anyone can post a staff abuse thread, and demotions can occur without a staff abuse thread. I've found that many times that people don't want another person to be staff hasn't actually been due to if the person does or doesn't deserve staff, but more personal vendettas against one another.

Edit: I'll also be moving this to General, as this applies to all divisions

 

Edited by LeToucan (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to get the bias out of the way, i have never made a staff app before and all my promotions have been due to being good friends with higher ups and (hopefully) for being a good staff member.

To add onto what @LeToucan said, there is almost no way we'll be getting rid of silent promotions entirely as it easily helps us regulate the amount of staff we feel like we need at the moment (high pop times during summers usually see a bunch of promotions, even if we usually never have the expectation of them sticking around for a longer period of time).

If people believe there is some sort of conspiracy around us higher ups to only promote our friends and thats the reason we need to disallow silent promotions, we really need to take a look at what we can do to regain that trust.

 

Abuse reports is actually something i was talking to @Tatost about yesterday on discord, and id just like to drop some pointers regarding those real quick.

An abuse report can be made at any time for any reason, as long as you believe you have been unfairly treated. HOWEVER, just because you make an abuse report does not mean that the staff member in question will be demoted. For example, the situation yesterday was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things and it would very likely not have ended up in any punishment past a warning (if tatost was in the right) but i still encouraged him to make an abuse report because it sets an example and gives us as higher ups the heads up that "hey, someone is unhappy with this person, we should keep an eye on them".

 

You guys have the potential to do a lot of things and its up to you guys to hold the higher-ups accountable for their decisions but that requires you guys to actively raise your voice when we do something bad. That said, i also believe that you should place some trust in the higher ups, we all want the community to be the very very best but we cant please everyone and sometimes we do get things wrong. If there are any doubts around that its something we need to work on and adress as soon as we can.

 

Great thread @Precious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like even if community +/-1s on staff applications were taken into account on whether or not someone were to be accepted as a staff member (read: someone that got all -1s on an app was rejected whether the higher-ups wanted it or not), I would still be trusting of them to promote staff without the community's input. I trust Lithium (and bleed?*) to accept staff that will do good for the server, even if there is someone that disapproves of them being promoted. He's been around long enough that he knows whether or not someone will be a good staff member and actively improve the servers, or vice versa.

 

*idk if bleed is still sectioned off into strictly CS promotions or not

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Bonk said:

I feel like even if community +/-1s on staff applications were taken into account on whether or not someone were to be accepted as a staff member (read: someone that got all -1s on an app was rejected whether the higher-ups wanted it or not), I would still be trusting of them to promote staff without the community's input. I trust Lithium (and bleed?*) to accept staff that will do good for the server, even if there is someone that disapproves of them being promoted. He's been around long enough that he knows whether or not someone will be a good staff member and actively improve the servers, or vice versa.

 

*idk if bleed is still sectioned off into strictly CS promotions or not

All though I am a higher-up, I feel/felt the same way. I was not the child of an invisible promo but I have never seen the issue with them unless the community as a whole is finding an issue with it. I think its kind of like a see-saw. The higher-ups make a call and the community checks it, or the community makes the call and the higher-ups check it. I trust the other higher-ups and I trust the community. But @Ms.Spooks has just as valid a point about favoritism. Ultimately - personally, I feel silent promotions are an issue, but only if you don't have faith in the higher-ups to make the right call. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Who Viewed the Topic

    1 member has viewed this topic:
    Reiki