2015/09/08

Hugo Committee Reneges on Resolution to Release Data

Hugo Asterisk

In a move that's par for the course in this drama-fraught Hugo Awards season, the Sasquan committee has announced their intention not to follow through on a non-binding resolution to release anonymized data pertaining to the 2015 award nominations.

Back at Sasquan, the BM passed a non-binding resolution to request that Sasquan provide anonymized nomination data from the 2015 Hugo Awards. I stood before the BM and said, as its official representative, that we would comply with such requests. However, new information has come in which has caused us to reverse that decision. Specifically, upon review, the administration team believes it may not be possible to anonymize the nominating data sufficiently to allow for a public release. We are investigating alternatives.
Thank you for your patience in this matter. While we truly wish to comply with the resolution and fundamentally believe in transparent processes, we must hold the privacy of our members paramount and I hope that you understand this set of priorities.
Best,
Glenn Glazer
Vice-Chair, Business and Finance
Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention
In an emotionally charged atmosphere where both sides have been accused of impropriety and some have even voiced suspicions of misconduct on the part of the con administration, do I have to point out how imprudent it is to withhold information that could confirm or refute these allegations?

Here's my email to Sasquan.
Dear Mr. Glazer:
I was disappointed to learn that Sasquan has opted to ignore the non-binding resolution passed at this year\'s business meeting to release anonymized nomination data from the 2015 Hugo Awards. As a supporting Worldcon member who nominated and voted in the 2015 Hugos, I demand that this information be made available.
Best regards,
Brian Niemeier
It's worth pointing out that I am a member in good standing of the World Science Fiction Convention whose supporting membership helped to pay for all the lovely panels, plastic rockets, and asterisks. Keep that in mind while reading Mr. Glazer's response.
Mr. Niemeier,
I, too, am disappointed, but I must take into account the trust the entire membership has given Sasquan to securely and privately record their votes.  That must be of, as I wrote, of paramount importance and specifically, of greater importance than the release of the data.
As to your demand, you have no basis to make such and your membership does not grant you either more or less privilege in this regard. There is nothing in either the WSFS Constitution or the non-binding resolution that forces Sasquan to expose this data.  It is completely and utterly at Sasquan's discretion to do or not do.
Best,
Glenn Glazer
Vice-Chair, Business and Finance
Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention
I thank Mr. Glazer for his prompt reply. I have carefully read and considered his words. Yet words are but the shadows of actions, and the clear message that I and hundreds of this year's Sasquan members received was this:

"We'll take your money and use it to throw a farcical ceremony that mocks your friends, beloved artists, and business associates. Having behaved in a manner that casts a cloud of doubt over the legitimacy of the award process, we'll resolve to share information that could acquit us of disenfranchising a thousand or so paid members, only to pull a sudden heel turn and refuse to give up the goods with the laughable excuse of being unable to share voting data without compromising the voters' privacy. Thanks for the 40 bucks, chump!"

Despite the continued efforts of the con committee and assorted CHORFs to discount and ostracize myself and other like-minded members, I will once again urge Mr. Glazer and the rest of the Sasquan administration to adopt full transparency in regard to any voting irregularities. And for the sake of World Con's already tarnished prestige, the sooner they decide to follow through on their original resolution, the better.

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