Discussion: Switch to Polis for CIP Deliberation

Hey everyone,

It’s clear to me that a lot of us are burnt out by the back and forth on Discourse and Discord. They are not designed for constructive critique nor the expression of nuance. Posting on them is public and inherently political (i.e. showing your cards). Ultimately, our deliberations and progress are a function of our tooling.

In this spirit, I would like to propose that we switch from Discourse to Polis for CIP deliberation. From its website, “Polis is a real-time system for gathering, analyzing and understanding what large groups of people think in their own words, enabled by advanced statistics and machine learning.”

I couldn’t find any Youtube videos explaining how it works, but here’s an excellent MIT Tech Review article (The simple but ingenious system Taiwan uses to crowdsource its laws | MIT Technology Review) and it’s a favorite of Vitalik [1]. Please check out this article or see the Polis website for articles, documentation, videos, etc.


  1. Referenced by Vitalik in What do I think about network states? as facilitating “better public discussion”.

Can’t ever remember who says what so I hate not giving proper credit but I know Pol.is has been mentioned before. I think it sounds cool and would tend to agree that Discourse and Discord are hard to use to communicate effectively. Old school conversations seem to be a bit more effective, and face to face conversations are obviously the most effective, but neither are generally available or feasible for an audience as large as the DAO. Polis has the below written on their page - maybe you can reach out to them and find out more on how it would work functionally and then lead the effort?

  • If you are an organization interested in implementing Polis, and need help with integration and analysis, please contact us.
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So I did some reading on Pol.is and it sounds super cool (in general all of the vTaiwan things seem cool).

For those who want to see what a Pol.is output would look like, see this sample report:

It seems like this should at least by a CityDAO experiment, maybe we can make it a part of a guild discussion somehow?

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I have also heard really good things

We should definitely try it as an experiment. @will are you up to reach out to them to figure out what an implementation would look like?

I did but haven’t heard back yet!


To try it out, I’ve gone ahead and created a Polis for this conversation.


Great! added a few statements.


Added a few things as well!

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I logged in to polis and there seems to be no explanations of how to use it. When I clicked the link you sent, I answered one yes/no/pass question and then it immediately asked me to connect my Twitter. I try not to use Twitter, so I was at an impasse. I don’t love that you can only use it if you connect it to Twitter, or that the only way to log in without a new password is via FaceBook. Having said that, Taiwan is super forward thinking, so if they use it that means a lot to me.

Yeah the main issues remains level of participation. We still don’t have 7 people to show the insights, so unclear how often we will hit that level of engagement in the short term which will also disincentivize people from using it.

The issue is one of authenticity. I just beat the system by essentially clearing my cookies and voting 5 times in a row. It’s too easy for a bot to sway the vote and tilt the scale without us knowing.


Hmm, what you say is pretty concerning, its kind of shocking that it hasn’t come up before. The developers seem pretty open source/ and looking to improve, maybe we could help them? I’m sure they’d want to know. I’ll send an email to their team to let them know.

Also seems like we would have some admin capabilities, not sure it would address this issue:

OK so just heard back from Polis. Here’s what they said

Polis is designed to solve this problem at the integration level.

So it seems like this concern can be addressed, though I don’t understand the specifics.

It says there’s a hidden feature to maybe address this but not sure how it would work. Might be able to be integrated on chain…

" :ghost: Polis does support, but not officially (hidden feature that has to be turned on) sending one time usage tokens (via email for instance)"

Based on Aaron’s demonstration of how easy it is to game the system, I think po.lis could be useful for temp checks or quick binary discussions, but not for actual voting on issues.

I reached out to Polis and there is a way to prevent this type of thing, like a one time usage token via email. So I think this concern can be overcome!

The easy way to overcome it is to require Twitter sign in, long term if would be to citizen gate it. But that will take some time.