2023 9-28 Group Conscience minutes

Original Online Meeting Group business agendas, notes, topics, and discussions
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2023 9-28 Group Conscience minutes

Post by hoffrau »

Present: Adrienne, Nick D., Scott J., Tony, Matthew, Erich, Jennie, Denny, Luoxi, Dags

Tony (co-chair) is subbing for Jeff (chair) who can’t make it today.
Jennie took notes

Officer Updates:
1. Treasurer’s report: Rick was the treasurer but no longer attends. Jeff had said he would reach out to Rick.
2. Updates from GSC (Adrienne): GSC is approving the bylaws in sections, and unanimously approved several chunks at the last meeting.
3. Webmaster: Nick D reports that website is ready to be approved. It’s just that we haven’t had a quorum to approve publishing it.
4. Chair and co-chair: Jeff’s term is up.

1. Trolls
2. What to do about the treasurer situation
3. Approve website
4. Electing a new chair/co-chair

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing what to do about the troll situation. We did not get to agenda items 2-4. A summary of suggestions shared in the troll discussion, which may inform future discussions, is at the end of these minutes.

Troll management guidelines/requirements for OOMG meetings
There was discussion about whether to make a protocol shared by Scott mandatory or recommended, and whether to make any specific security measures mandatory.

We agreed that the OOMG group conscience has the authority to set a protocol that meeting leaders must follow, just as the OOMG group conscience has set a meeting script. It could also provide a recommended protocol for folks who don’t have their own approach to safety.

The following motion was put to a vote:
To share Scott’s protocol with the following note:
OOMG cares deeply that meetings be both safe and open. This is a protocol that some meeting leaders have used to keep meetings safe. Others have used other protocols to keep meetings safe. We provide these as an option not a requirement. Until someone is known to be addict seeking recovery, we require that they not be allowed to start their video.

5 ayes, 3 abstains, 1 nay
Motion passes.

Scott said he would add to his protocol that meeting leaders using these protocols should explain them to participants, especially letting people know that nothing is required of them as co-hosts. He also agreed to add a note about not letting people in from the waiting room while someone is sharing.

Troll guidelines committee:
This approach (making everything optional except limiting video use by unknown participants) was seen as a trial approach to create a minimum level of safety while we as a group work out guidelines that reflect the experience of more fellows/meeting leaders. It was suggested that a committee work on this, but none was established.

Letting meeting leaders know the new requirement
The decision should be posted in the OOMG business WhatsApp.

The current round of troll attacks is more persistent than in the past, and the behaviors more disruptive. Apparently, there is a social media phenomenon where people bomb all kinds of groups, potentially monetizing videos of their attacks, so this might go on for months or years.

There has been a lot of discussion in the Meeting Leaders WhatsApp group and in WhatsApp 1 about how to handle trolls.

Scott shared a protocol he uses that has worked for him.

Fellows shared experience, thoughts, and feelings on different options for troll control. All shared a concern for meeting safety and for creating a sense of fellowship and recognized that there are tradeoffs. Opinions on different security options were varied.

• Making all known participants co-hosts. Some leaders have had problems this approach, while others like it. Some people dislike being made co-host if they aren’t in a service position for that meeting.
• Enabling the waiting room. Some find the waiting room useful, others less so.
• Designating a spiritual bouncer at each meeting to handle trolls. This has worked in some other fellowships. Several fellows have done this successfully for GAA meetings.
• Indicating on the calendar which meetings/groups are following stricter protocols. This would let folks know what level of safety to expect and could give us feedback on any relationship between control protocols and frequency of troll interference.
• Requiring folks to get the meeting password by email. Many other fellowships do this, but it requires a dedicated service position or email autorespond. It may also be discouraging to many newcomers.
• Make it so that people have to type in the password manually to join. Other fellowships have had success with this approach.
• Arrive early and claim host. Otherwise you have no control options!
• Disable renaming, disable sharing video, disable unmuting. While enabling all of these does limit trolling, several fellows commented on the decreased sense of intimacy/fellowship.
• Limit chat to just host and co-hosts.
• Use the waiting room and don’t let new participants into the room during someone’s share. Some fellows won’t share unless they’re confident there isn’t a troll in the room, and have stopped sharing when a newcomer was let into the room during their share. Hosts can message folks in the waiting room that they will be let in when the share is over.
• Use anti-script approaches like CAPTCHA on meeting links. Although there are anti-CAPTCHA bots many trolls may not be using them.

Because most GAA groups use one of two shared zoom channels managed by GSC, and because GSC manages the GAA website, some of these ideas would need to be implemented via GSC unless OOMG gets its own zoom channel and website.
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