On having a private "leadership" category

Hello fellow SourceCred-ers:

I’m currently considering setting up a private “leadership” sub-category on the Discourse. This potentially has big implications around transparency and accountability, so I’d like to get thoughts from the community early in the process.

The rationale for having a private leadership category is simple: as SourceCred matures, there will increasingly be sensitive matters that it doesn’t make sense to discuss with full transparency. Potential examples include:

  • discussing details and strategy around raising capital
  • assessing and aligning with potential partners
  • (someday) discussing strategy re: competitors
  • handling sensitive interpersonal issues within the community

I think it’s unrealistic to expect that we’re going to do all of this in public. My sense is that if we don’t have a private leadership forum, it will all happen through back-channels. This has disadvantages around knowledge getting lost (we can’t onboard new leaders into past sensitive decision making) and leads to the tyranny of structurelessness. I’d prefer to have an explicit and sanctioned way to have these necessary private conversations–it has more potential for future regulation and accountability.

One may object that this risks bifurcating the community into “insiders” and “outsiders”. However, I suspect something like this is inevitable in practice, and making it explicit may make it more accountable.

If we want to flow cred within the leadership forum, it will make SourceCred less transparent and less audit-able, since only the leaders will know the true context of the cred graph within the private forum.

My proposal is that we do inaugurate the private category, but for now we don’t flow any cred through it, and just use it for sensitive communications. We can also make the list of people with access to the leadership forum public knowledge, so that the set of insiders is explicit. (I’m thinking of including @s_ben, @beanow, and @burrrata in this set at the moment.)

Please share your thoughts!

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Yes. The tyranny of structurelessness must be mitigated. In order to maximize the system itself being transparent (and able to be put on trial) we need to make sure that everyone knows that this is part of the system and why.

Again, in order to make the system as transparent as possible I would prefer not to flow Cred to private parts of the forum. This has a few consequences. First, it will incentivize us to conduct as much of our business in the public domain as possible. Second, it will make it clear that the Core Cred community graph is pure and all contributors can audit and understand the Cred flows just as well as anyone else (like a public blockchain).

Yes! That’s exactly what I was thinking :slight_smile:


This strikes a good balance IMO. We will need to have some conversations be private, and making the leadership membership public is a smart compromise. If people are dissatisfied with certain decisions, they can at least know who has decision-making power. Arguably the largest problem with existing oppressive power structures today is that those that wield power obfuscate it, making it difficult for people to hold them accountable.


Should we put this in the governance category?

Works for me. (20char)

As it turns out something for Discourse itself also is there by default. Though not quite the same.

About the Lounge category

A category exclusive to members with trust level 3 and higher.

I agree there’s a need for it. Better to have it explicit, sanctioned, accountable and with transparent membership.

Explicit and with transparent membership are fairly unambiguous and easy to get around to. I’d like to see a bit more clearly what the sanctioned and accountable parts are.

For example, should there be an explicit role for who’s responsibility it is the rules for it are followed and who to send inquiries to for questions / complaints? Can we figure out a way to ask someone else to audit? etc.

I think you nailed it there with reasons not to flow cred to this private forum. I’ll add to that, that isn’t to say work that includes private discussions aren’t valuable. You’ll just have to get creative and find ways to publicly report on it.

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