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Strike Appeals

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The following was written by RabbitSnore slowly before his departing. It is an extremely well-written policy that you must read all the way through. Be sure you understand it completely before appealing a strike.

When a strike is issued, the users to whom it was issued may request an appeal -- or another moderator may raise an objection. If the user requests an appeal, two moderators must accept the appeal in order for further action to take place. If another moderator raises an objection with a strike, then only one other moderator must accept the appeal before further action is taken. If no one accepts the appeal, then the appeal is rejected.

Not that a moderator need not wholly believe that the strike is unfair to accept an appeal; he or she may simply be unsure when he or she hears the preliminary details of the case. Accepting an appeal is not a statement that the strike was unfair. Rather, it means that the moderator believes the case should be reviewed.

In law, this is granting of review is called granting certiorari.

Anyway,once an appeal has been accepted, the case goes under review. The user who has received the strike is informed by one of the moderators who accepted the appeal that the case is under review.

The moderator who issued the strike then has the burden of proof to satisfy that the strike was fair and within the rules. This moderator makes a thread in the moderator section in which all discussion of the case will be conducted. This moderator, in effect, takes a prosecutorial role -- but he or she is not limited to arguing that the user is unequivocally guilty. The prosecutor should present any information he or she feels is important right upfront.

An administrator acts as judge and appoints another moderator to act as an investigator, whose role is to discover whether any mitigating circumstances and present any substantive arguments for the user who received the strike. Ideally, a moderator should volunteer for this role. If necessary, an administrator may assign more than one investigator. The investigator interviews any users (including the user who was given the strike) who might have perspectives on the issue, if necessary, and presents all information he or she finds.

Any moderator, including the prosecutor and the investigator, can then offer interpretations of the information surround the case. After the investigator feels that he or she has exhausted the banks of information, he or she then declares that he or she is done with the investigation.

Moderators have an opportunity at this time to vote or abstain from voting. A plurality opinion dictates the verdict, and the presiding administrator acts accordingly, upholding or reversing the strike.

The decision is then announced to the user -- and to the forum if necessary, along with a summary explanation.

The important thing to remember that this system is not adversarial but inquisitorial. Moderators should make sure to act civilly to arrive at fair conclusions and not try to offend each other or derogate each other's efforts. Its goal is to get the staff working together to arrive at fair judgments. The methodological nature of the system will create a sense of urgency to arrive at closure, hopefully ensuring that cases don't take too long to review.

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Good work!

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