We want to help DAOs make better decisions by introducing anonymity into parts of the proposal review mechanism.
Our research has revealed a problem in DAO feedback mechanisms, where bias affects the:
- Generation of ideas
- Evaluation of ideas
This is an age-old problem long recognized by the scientific community, where proposals are greatly affected when the reviewer perceives them as being from a large organization or famous author.
This paper highlights the problem by showing a greater than 20% difference in evaluation outcomes when the author was known.
Nobel and novice: Author prominence affects peer review
Jürgen Huber, Sabiou Inoua, Rudolf Kerschbamer and Vernon L. Smith
The scientific community has begun to use technology to introduce anonymity in the review process:
Understanding and supporting anonymity policies in peer review
Syavash Nobarany, Kellogg S. Booth
However, DAOs have not yet started to use similar mechanisms in support of their decision-making processes, which means that, due to a lack of anonymity:
- Some good ideas and comments are being passed unheard (depending on the status of the author)
- Some bad ideas have the risk of being passed
From our interviews with individuals, some have also stated a reluctance to comment either based on their high status or low status.
Our research is summarized here, where we show a greater diversity of argumentation styles between two groups we tested, where the anonymous group displayed higher levels of discussion and lower barriers to giving feedback.
- Although names are pseudonymous on discourse, they still carry with them a social status, which affects how their comments and proposals are evaluated, creating positive and negative biases.
- This reduces the effectiveness of how ideas are evaluated and discussed.
We propose to provide users on discourse with:
- A free channel where they have the option to post feedback on proposals anonymously
- The anonymous post displays:
- The user’s feedback on the proposal
- The user’s anonymized token holdings of the protocol
E.g. A sample response is displayed below, where the comment is anonymous and only a threshold value of their token holdings is shown.
This empowers users to be able to:
- Give anonymous feedback if the need arises.
- Anonymously display their commitment to the protocol, which would otherwise be impossible by creating a throwaway account.
The service we offer is entirely free and can be used by any member of the DAO
Process: How to submit an anonymous comment or proposal
To have a proposal or comment submitted anonymously:
- A user log’s in through MetaMask (Goerli Testnet) in our app: Home | Sacred Logos
- The user joins the relevant DAO (which we set up free if this proposal passes)
- The DAO has token-gated sections so only users with certain thresholds can post in certain categories
- E.g. > 500 tokens
- The user enters their proposal or comment anonymously (ZK proofs)
- We transfer the proposal or comment and token threshold over to discourse where it is read by everyone
It only takes a couple of minutes, with detailed steps will be provided if the DAO chooses to accept.
Setting up with the Anonymous Service
If this looks and sounds like a good idea to the DAO, we need the following things to happen.
- Approval by the DAO
- We create a channel for the DAO on Logos with token thresholds: (1 day)
- We take a snapshot of token holdings and distribute equivalent testnet tokens (1 day)
This has the advantage of:
- Locking ‘holdings’ so users don’t buy up and sell in order to appear to have high holdings
- Keeps costs low for us by operating in testnet (we cover all costs)
- We open up the service for use
From the users’ perspective, they simply need to log in to our service using metamask, connect without spending anything, and submit anonymously. The comment is then transferred by us to the Balancer’s forum.
The duration of this experiment would be one month. We can review whether this product benefits the DAO during the one month and review after the month.
Our proposal enhances DAOs in the following way:
- Gives users the option to:
- Propose or comment with true anonymity, which is different from pseudonyms.
- While probably signaling their commitment to the DAO through tokens
- This adds an extra dimension to the conversation where proposals and comments are evaluated free from Bias.
- The service is provided free of charge and submissions only take a few minutes to complete.
The advantage to us is that we are able to study and continue to enhance our offerings of anonymous tooling for DAOs to use.
Who are we?
We are Sacred Lógos. We are creating an anonymous forum for DAOs where different ideas, beliefs, and viewpoints are freely exchanged and discussed, and where the best ideas are allowed to rise to the top through open and fair competition. We struggled with Status Bias and Group Think that create dysfunction in Web3 communities especially DAOs. Good ideas are killed easily from this, while mediocre ones are brought to the top.
My name is Jam! (Discord: Jam#1931) My colleague Skyfoxx#1282 and I will assist your DAO to run this experiment; if your DAO chooses YES in the poll below.
Addendum: How our protocol works
Sacred Logos uses ZK proofs to check the users’ balances and also store their comments on IPFS, as summarized by the image below.
- Yes, we want to try out Sacred Logos
- No, we don’t want to try out Sacred Logos