by 0x8b257b97c0e07e527b073b6513ba8ea659279b61 (Morph)
District X: Contentious Leadership
Due to contentious leadership, failure to hold up core commitments to original contributors, and improper conduct of RobL#4045 - this proposes to mark District X itself as ‘stolen’ on the Decentraland marketplace.
Recently, the community has engaged in an investigation over the handling of District X, and the current leadership of RobL#4045.
This investigation has brought to light several issues:
Rob became custodian of District X without contributor’s input; when the original custodians left, Rob took leadership custody, alongside Carl F via a centralized decision of original leadership who could not continue.
The land is sitting in a wallet with multi-sig, controlled by an LLC that is owned entirely by Rob and a ‘partner’, no contributors were given a share despite original contributor agreement mentioning group purchase & ownership of land.
Rob has removed all rights from contributors, stating that he owes them nothing, and that the land is his to control.
Rob’s contribution to district X is believed to be 2 parcels out of 2,001 total (.099%)
Rob has failed to deliver financial records of the Districts performance year over year as outlined in contributor agreements, despite public information that he is renting out the land for payment.
Attempts to resolve this in the District X discord has led to Rob banning or muting original contributors from District X forums such as Discord and Twitter.
Rob has conversed with multiple different interested parties to sell the entire district for personal gain (by transferring ownership of the LLC), for a large sum (~7 figures). Rob did not consult contributors and has stated they have no rights. When confronted - he states the assets are his and his partners to do as they please, including selling it in its entirety and keeping the money.
We believe this is wrong for a few reasons:
1.) - The custodians of districts were always intended to be just that, custodians. Their job was to uphold a system in which contributors could consult or be consulted - when a custodian could no longer act in the best interests of the district, leadership should return to the foundation/DAO/contributors to continue the vision. We have seen this occur before with Rob being brought on via centralized decision by previous leadership once they could not continue.
2.) - The district has completely pivoted from its original intent, while this may be acceptable in some circumstances, the decision was made by Rob without consultation of contributors. Rob has not upheld any critical pieces of the original contributor agreement nor the district foundation agreement - after four years and lack of progress, this is a massive failure, and solidifies that Rob not only has no intent to sufficiently develop the district, but also refuses to use existing methods of tracking contributor involvement on the direction - this is further complicated by Rob banning contributors who disagree, or outright deleting history/channels/servers/accounts (like the District X twitter or discord).
3.) - Contributors have made multiple attempts since 2019 to raise these issues, they were either silenced by bans, or outright told they had no rights to District involvement.
When raising this issue, either by contributors, or DCL’s community in general, Rob’s response has been ‘sue me’ and that he is the true ‘owner’ of these contributed lands, despite being rumored to only have contributed 2 parcels himself and little to no relevant district development occurring.
4.) Many of the builds that won the Decentraland public building competition were placed on District X without consent of creators. This, alongside Rob renting land to the highest bidders (most of which seem unaware of the shady nature of the land they are renting) for personal income, is a great example of how Rob is leveraging others work in an attempt to make the district look active while not providing any useful development towards the District plan itself.
5.) Rob is weaponizing the 4M District VP against the community, recently declaring it ‘his’ VP in an interview and continuously voting against DistrictX contributors wishes. Rob has already used DistrictX VP to deny grants to those critical of him, or to vote in favor of those that defend his claims - as this VP was not purchased by Rob, he has an unequally assigned vote which does not carry the standard investment risk, disrupting the democratic process of the DAO.
So that’s where we are now, a user who had a small contribution to district X, was deputized without the contributor’s agreement, and now has outright taken the land hostage via an LLC, refusing to release it even after 5 years of failed district leadership and instead weaponizing the power he has been assigned against original contributors and the platform itself.
We, the DAO, must find a delicate balance of defending against platform level attacks, while also carefully considering the impact any changes may have. For this reason, I believe we must only take temporary and interface level action - designed to notify and raise awareness, so that all decentralized parties may make their own informed decision.
The proposal would add a simple ‘stolen’ flag on the the District X marketplace page:
This would be a front-end change only (including front-end APIs), bids will not be able to be placed nor sales made on the marketplace frontend. However, any user can still interact with the Decentraland contracts themselves to perform these same actions, this is not a blockchain protocol level change, simply an interface modification.
The flag can be removed with District X meeting one of the following conditions:
DistrictX is placed inside a new ‘locked’ District contract that has no removal function, enabling delegation to a community voted leader (by District X DAO vote, fairly tokenized with original contributors share), forever removing the ability to split/sell/transfer the land.
DistrictX is placed under fairly decided new decentralized leadership and DistrictX LLC is disintegrated, with DCLDAO as part of the new multi-sig as a backstop should the same issues occur.
DistrictX is disintegrated and all land is returned to original contributors (although this option likely leads to many lands owned by inactive wallets, it would ensure original contributors are made whole). Any inactive wallets/land could temporarily be used as a community space by foundation/DAO until claimed.
Most importantly, there will be NO contract level changes from this vote, we will not forcefully remove assets, we will not alter NFT immutability, we will simply be making a front end interface change to raise awareness about the situation as decided by the votes outcome. Should Rob/DistrictX want to move forward with removing the stolen tag, they can do so, as they will not be prevented from modifications or continuing development, all requirements to remove the stolen tag will be within District X’s control.
We MUST protect the DCL community from buying or renting District X while unaware of it’s history, only to find it comes with community baggage, agreements, and contributors that were supposed to be involved in decision making. We must prevent contributors from being silenced/banned and removed while their contribution is on-sold without their consent by a leader who has abandoned the outlined agreements and original contracts of contribution for personal profit.
You can find further evidence and past discussions as well as participate on this topic in the Decentraland DAO’s #district discord channel: Discord
You can also read some shorter summaries here:
Given the points above, this is not a simple case of an unhappy consumer - this is a clear case of early good-faith users & creators being stripped of their agreed upon right to participate in the DAO (District) they contributed to, by a shoddily-appointed malicious leader seeking to extract wealth and serve only themself.
We, as the governing body of DCL, have a responsibility to resolve internal issues when attacks are carried out by the platform we have created - as a global platform, we cannot enable criminals to hide behind geo-restricted LLCs as a means to validate their coercion - we must use the DCL DAO as it is designed to resolve this problem that we ourselves have created; Especially one as complicated, nuanced and impactful to the community as District X.
Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO