On February 8th, the Precedence Campaign Primer was published ahead of the launch of Aragon Court, a blockchain-based dispute resolution protocol. The goal of the campaign was to test and build confidence in the protocol by running a series of mock disputes that were either completely fabricated or took inspiration from real-world events in the public domain. The framework for assessing these mock disputes would be outlined in an agreement similar to Aragon Agreements.
Excerpt from the Precedence Campaign Primer:
The disputes presented during the precedence campaign may be manufactured scenarios or hypothetical scenarios [...] [M]ock disputes may reference a real situation where evidence can reference publicly accessible information jurors can use to establish the facts of a case more definitively, in these cases, the situation presented will be real, but the agreement and the arguments relating the facts of the dispute will be mocked.
For this first mock dispute, our intention was to reference a situation that took place in public and was already subject to broad public debate so that it would be relevant, familiar, and foster constructive discussion around the funding of public goods in the context of Aragon Court.
We believed the scenario was also a good fit for the Aragon Agreements framework since it concerned fund management and fund recipient eligibility issues applicable to DAOs — the organizational structure for which Aragon Agreements and Court are designed.
In hindsight, failing to ask for consent from the parties referenced in the first mock dispute was a lapse in judgement. We sincerely apologize to Yaz and Gitcoin who were mentioned in the “dispute” without their previous consent. We also apologize to the jurors and appealers involved in adjudicating this first dispute for their inconvenience and confusion.
It was never our intention to harm or damage anyone’s reputation. We created this first dispute in the hopes of furthering development in this space, but ultimately made a mistake.
After multiple conversations with some of the folks involved, it became clear their situation was uncomfortable and we decided to amend the situation considering we never intended to make anyone unhappy.
For all purposes, we will consider Dispute #0 void, remove all related content from the Dashboard, and consider it non-existent going forward in terms of precedence. Aragon One has decided to take exceptional action in removing the contents of the dispute from the Dashboard because it created and submitted all of the contents and hosts the mirror for the front-end. The submission of evidence and metadata is done through links to content stored in IPFS, which makes the total deletion of submitted information extremely difficult. We have unpinned content related to the dispute from the IPFS nodes that we do control, although due to the properties of the underlying technology, we cannot ensure that no other nodes will keep it available to the network.
The protocol wasn’t designed with situations like these in mind for the sake of censorship resistance in adversarial environments like public blockchains. Once a dispute is created, it will go through the full adjudication process outside of the control of anyone other than the drafted jurors and invested appealers. Given that Dispute #0 has been appealed to Round 2, a new set of jurors will be drafted by the protocol on Friday at 16:00 UTC. Since the dispute won’t enforce any action regardless of the final ruling (as this is just a “mock” dispute), we recommend all drafted jurors abstain from voting.
Given that Aragon One created the dispute and then decided to void it in this exceptional case, we will automatically reimburse jurors or anyone else who has spent resources interacting with Aragon Court for the purpose of this mock dispute, up to the end of the reveal phase of Round Two.
The precedence campaign was always imagined as a way to test protocol mechanics, not hurt feelings.
Again, we apologize for our mistakes and are thankful to everyone who gave us feedback for us to improve in the future.
With this lesson learned, we will correct course and continue our mission towards building the future of organizations.