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melloden
post Sun 18th March 2012, 11:01pm
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Sorta interesting.

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If you run a website, you need to follow these steps. if you don't, you're making the web, and the world, a worse place. And it's your fault. Put another way, take some goddamn responsibility for what you unleash on the world.

How many times have you seen a website say "We're not responsible for the content of our comments."? I know that when you webmasters put that up on your sites, you're trying to address your legal obligation. Well, let me tell you about your moral obligation: Hell yes, you are responsible. You absolutely are. When people are saying ruinously cruel things about each other, and you're the person who made it possible, it's 100% your fault. If you aren't willing to be a grown-up about that, then that's okay, but you're not ready to have a web business. Businesses that run cruise ships have to buy life preservers. Companies that sell alcohol have to keep it away from kids. And people who make communities on the web have to moderate them.

You should have real humans dedicated to monitoring and responding to your community. One of the easiest ways to ensure valuable contributions on your site is to make people responsible by having dedicated, engaged, involved community moderators who have the power to delete comments and ban users (in the worst case) but also to answer questions and guide conversations for people who are unsure of appropriate behavior (in the best cases). Sites that do this, like MetaFilter and Stack Exchange sites (disclosure, I'm a proud board member of Stack Exchange) get good results. Those that don't, don't. If you can't afford to invest the time or money in grooming and rewarding good community moderators? Then maybe don't have comments. And keep in mind: You need lots of these moderators. The sites with the best communities have a really low ratio of community members to moderators.
You should have community policies about what is and isn't acceptable behavior. Your community policy should be short, written in plain language, easily accessible, and phrased in flexible terms so people aren't trying to nitpick the details of the rules when they break them. And then back them up with significant consequences when people break them: Either temporary or permanent bans on participation.
Your site should have accountable identities. No, people don't have to use their real names, or log in with Google or Facebook or Twitter unless you want them to. But truly anonymous commenting often makes it really easy to have a pile of shit on your website, especially if you don't have dedicated community moderators. When do newspapers publish anonymous sources? When the journalists know the actual identity and credibility of the person, and decide it is a public good to protect their identity. You may wish to follow the same principles, or you can embrace one of my favorite methods of identity: Persistent pseudonyms. Let users pick a handle that is attached to all of their contributions in a consistent way where other people can see what they've done on the site. Don't make reputation a number or a score, make it an actual representation of the person's behavior. And of course, if appropriate, don't be afraid to attach people's real names to their comments and contributions. But you'll find "real" identities are no cure for assholes showing up in your comments if you aren't following the rest of the principles described here.
You should have the technology to easily identify and stop bad behaviors. If you have a community that's of decent size, it can be hard for even a sufficient number of moderators to read every single conversation thread. So a way for people to flag behavior that violates guidelines, and a simple set of tools for allowing moderators to respond quickly and appropriately, are a must-have so that people don't get overwhelmed.
You should make a budget that supports having a good community, or you should find another line of work. Every single person who's going to object to these ideas is going to talk about how they can't afford to hire a community manager, or how it's so expensive to develop good tools for managing comments. Okay, then save money by turning off your web server. Or enjoy your city where you presumably don't want to pay for police because they're so expensive.


Maybe this is why Wikipedia is full of assholes....

This post has been edited by melloden: Sun 18th March 2012, 11:02pm
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Selina
post Sun 18th March 2012, 11:17pm
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Some stuff I posted before:
QUOTE(Selina @ Tue 26th April 2011, 11:08am) *
Soon as one is knocked down, new ones rise, it's the problem of the format not the people. Concentrating on the people loses the important question of WHY it happens when humans gather in large groups, and even more importantly: how to prevent it and steer people towards acting more like humans act ideally rather than how they actually tend to. Why does everything always seem to fail every time someone tries to create something organised by people? It can't be rigid structures needed to 'enforce' people to act certain ways, because Wikipedia has that.

At least, enforced by human beings, we know that doesn't work. I think maybe the idea of making real names and stuff is actually the wrong way, maybe the whole problem with Wikipedia is that it's based *so much* on peoples' personalities, maybe something that is *more* anonymous is the solution?


QUOTE(Selina @ Mon 27th February 2012, 7:01am) *
Anyone truly determined and manipulative will always have the upper hand, and as more and more serious organisations like political parties and their corporate masters with serious money and manpower (think oDesk (T-H-L-K-D) which is what Facebook's worldwide network of monitoring minions are ran off from, or Amazon Mechanical Turk (T-H-L-K-D), or 50 Cent Party (T-H-L-K-D)) get smart and use the same tactics, Wikipedia and every other website - including Wikipedia Review - that attempts to be impartial is doomed.

Because most people are inclined to trust, WANT to trust even when they don't really have any proof that a name isn't just a copy of someone else (or even bypassing that way by being a group being employed together, the "meatpuppets" idea) - and so naturally the people willing to lie have the upper hand over good people. Taking advantage of how most people start of wanting to believe humanity is naturally good, when there's so many bad people that trusting so much is just a weakness, especially on the internet.

Wikipedia tries "assume good faith" and going after the most obvious ones, but that means they're helpless as lambs to the slaughter to the truly manipulative ones...

Is that the kind of world we want to live in?

I am beginning to think the only way that it could be solved is to hide the idea of internet personalities entirely (there is the idea that you can clearly identify individual people on at least some kind of official registration, not even having to be public information to maintain privacy, but then there comes to the question of how useless it would be in the face of organisations employing multiple people in their propaganda campaigns), to protect people from themselves [the majority of average people that are still more inclined to trust than be cynical] and force people to judge on the content contributed on the internet, to deny the manipulative people a platform to do so...



5 Ways to Stop Trolls From Killing the Internet | By David Wong | Nov 11, 2008 [ cracked.com/article_16765_1.html ] "lots of users will communicate online with people they know (virtually all use email and 37% use private text messaging), but only 8% use message boards or blogs or anything else that exposes them to the Internet's assheads .. We just had an article that was read by 305,396 unique users in a few days ... but fewer than 100 of them joined the conversation down in the comments. That's .002%, folks. It's not that the Cracked comments are mostly retarded or nasty; it's that for a normal person, the memory of getting called a fucktard in public even one time is striking enough to make them avoid the comments forever."

How To Keep Hostile Jerks From Taking Over Your Online Community | By Cory Doctorow | May 14, 2007 [ informationweek.com/news/199600005?printer_friendly=this-page ] "The Internet Tough Guy is a feature in all Internet social forums. These are people who poison discussions with anger, hatred, and threats. Some are malicious. Some are crazy. Some are just afflicted with a rotten sense of humor."
— Wikipedia's problems are just part of a wider problem of abuse of power in online social groups really, it's all a combination of Lord of the Flies and The Stanford Prison Experiment...

This post has been edited by Selina: Sun 18th March 2012, 11:54pm
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Vigilant
post Mon 19th March 2012, 12:21am
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QUOTE(Selina @ Sun 18th March 2012, 11:17pm) *

Lord of the Flies and The Stanford Prison Experiment...


I'd have to add in some MMORPG. There's a distinct and unmistakable taste of level grinding in the wikignome, GA/FA, barnstar, good picture rat races.

There is also a strict hierarchy, including tool use.

As you advance in the game, your tools become more sophisticated and your edit count can soar. (Look at some of the guys doing stuff with hotcat and other gnomish, sorting activities.)

Get that edit count up and you'll get rollback and then on to RFA, which requires some schmoozing...

After that, keep your edit count up, smack some vandals, a little IRC and you move to the next rank.

This is very similar to moving up in a lot of the player-run hierarchies in MMOs (Guild Wars, Everquest, Eve).

Tell me how many of the people who join wikipedia now are doing it primarily to advance the commons.
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Web Fred
post Mon 19th March 2012, 12:38am
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QUOTE(Vigilant @ Mon 19th March 2012, 12:21am) *

QUOTE(Selina @ Sun 18th March 2012, 11:17pm) *

Lord of the Flies and The Stanford Prison Experiment...


I'd have to add in some MMORPG. There's a distinct and unmistakable taste of level grinding in the wikignome, GA/FA, barnstar, good picture rat races.

There is also a strict hierarchy, including tool use.

As you advance in the game, your tools become more sophisticated and your edit count can soar. (Look at some of the guys doing stuff with hotcat and other gnomish, sorting activities.)

Get that edit count up and you'll get rollback and then on to RFA, which requires some schmoozing...

After that, keep your edit count up, smack some vandals, a little IRC and you move to the next rank.

This is very similar to moving up in a lot of the player-run hierarchies in MMOs (Guild Wars, Everquest, Eve).

Tell me how many of the people who join wikipedia now are doing it primarily to advance the commons.


Am I the only Aspie to have never played a MMORPG?
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The Joy
post Mon 19th March 2012, 1:24am
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QUOTE(Cunningly Linguistic @ Sun 18th March 2012, 8:38pm) *

QUOTE(Vigilant @ Mon 19th March 2012, 12:21am) *

QUOTE(Selina @ Sun 18th March 2012, 11:17pm) *

Lord of the Flies and The Stanford Prison Experiment...


I'd have to add in some MMORPG. There's a distinct and unmistakable taste of level grinding in the wikignome, GA/FA, barnstar, good picture rat races.

There is also a strict hierarchy, including tool use.

As you advance in the game, your tools become more sophisticated and your edit count can soar. (Look at some of the guys doing stuff with hotcat and other gnomish, sorting activities.)

Get that edit count up and you'll get rollback and then on to RFA, which requires some schmoozing...

After that, keep your edit count up, smack some vandals, a little IRC and you move to the next rank.

This is very similar to moving up in a lot of the player-run hierarchies in MMOs (Guild Wars, Everquest, Eve).

Tell me how many of the people who join wikipedia now are doing it primarily to advance the commons.


Am I the only Aspie to have never played a MMORPG?


Oh, you have. You have. confused.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:MMORPG
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Proabivouac
post Mon 19th March 2012, 5:18am
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QUOTE(Vigilant @ Mon 19th March 2012, 12:21am) *

Tell me how many of the people who join wikipedia now are doing it primarily to advance the commons.

Isn't that the famous tragedy of the commons? No one is personally responsible for the success or failure of any particular part of it, so the whole place is strewn with garbage, while everyone looks out for himself. The challenge is to connect that second motivation with the system of rewards. Wikiland doesn't even try, in fact makes it a point of principle that this should not be done (WP:OWN.)
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Mister Die
post Thu 22nd March 2012, 10:49pm
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QUOTE(Proabivouac @ Mon 19th March 2012, 5:18am) *
in fact makes it a point of principle that this should not be done (WP:OWN.)
The odd thing is that this policy is actually defended on the basis that it somehow helps articles, since apparently having one or two users with a serious and enduring interest in a subject (or actually being recognized as specialists/experts on it) and the ability to write it well is inferior to having an unlimited supply of persons who use Google and either don't write well or don't understand what is and isn't relevant to add to an article, not to mention the various anonymous individuals who will gradually corrode said article if left unchecked.

This post has been edited by Mister Die: Thu 22nd March 2012, 10:50pm
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Malleus
post Fri 23rd March 2012, 11:04pm
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QUOTE(Mister Die @ Thu 22nd March 2012, 10:49pm) *

QUOTE(Proabivouac @ Mon 19th March 2012, 5:18am) *
in fact makes it a point of principle that this should not be done (WP:OWN.)
The odd thing is that this policy is actually defended on the basis that it somehow helps articles, since apparently having one or two users with a serious and enduring interest in a subject (or actually being recognized as specialists/experts on it) and the ability to write it well is inferior to having an unlimited supply of persons who use Google and either don't write well or don't understand what is and isn't relevant to add to an article, not to mention the various anonymous individuals who will gradually corrode said article if left unchecked.

That is indeed one of the enduring mysteries of Wikipedia.

This post has been edited by Malleus: Fri 23rd March 2012, 11:16pm
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