the policing of public space March 29, 2006 5:49 PM   Subscribe

On metafilter, there is a bottom up approach to the policing of public space. Ie, citizens flag “bad” posts and then have meta discussions which really serve as trials by a peer group, if you will. The analogy breaks though because the jurors are not randomly selected and thus usually have a vested interest in the decision (which can lead to name calling, etc). Ultimately, these discussions are formed such that mathowie and jessamyn have moderating powers “in check” by the people. They can weigh in on the issues, make decisions, and face public scrutiny when a decision is made, especially if the decision is vastly unpopular. What are some of the other ways that you can think of to police public on-line spaces?
posted by |n$eCur3 to Etiquette/Policy at 5:49 PM (32 comments total)

On other forums and blogs, there is usually a moderator, or group of moderators who make decisions: dictators. They have the ultimate power to squash posts and don't really have much accountability to their community.

On places like, there is a mob mentality, which is in my opinion just as undesirable, because sometimes unpopular, but important ideas can be buried. This has also happened here at times (remember dios?).

My question is... what are some even more revolutionary ways to police on line space? Do you guys have any links to such systems? What is the fairest way to come to a group decision? My intention is not to criticize metafilter, but rather find out all of the ways that people have dealt with the on-line policing problem and how to limit trolls while at the same time hearing all opinions whether popular or unpopular and keeping the community experience enjoyable and "noise" free.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 5:50 PM on March 29, 2006

sorry about the run on sentences... i get excited sometimes
posted by |n$eCur3 at 5:52 PM on March 29, 2006

Do your own homework.
posted by fire&wings at 5:54 PM on March 29, 2006

Prediction: this ends well.
posted by ChasFile at 5:55 PM on March 29, 2006

MetaFilter users should be randomly selected for mandatory jury duty when posts and comments are accused of violating site guidelines. Only the randomly selected jurors and mathowie and jessamyn would be able to comment in the ensuing MetaTalk threads.
posted by driveler at 5:59 PM on March 29, 2006

MetaFilter users should be permabanned for having 1337 names.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:01 PM on March 29, 2006

It's an endlessly interesting question, to me at least, but this does kind of smell like homeworkfilter to me, too.

|n$eCur3 (can I just call you Insecure? Please?), there's been an enormous amount of discussion about these kinds of issues over the years here in Metatalk. I don't think it's a bad thing to talk about some more -- process is more valuable than output in these things, so why the hell not -- but reading back through the archives (searching for some apt keywords) would yield some good discussion for you, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 PM on March 29, 2006

OP: If I called you fat, would it hurt/help your self-image?

posted by hototogisu at 6:03 PM on March 29, 2006

thanks starvos, i'll try to dig around a bit. sorry if i offended anyone. i am so fat and my posts suck...
posted by |n$eCur3 at 6:06 PM on March 29, 2006

MetaFilter: I am so fat and my posts suck.
posted by kindall at 6:07 PM on March 29, 2006

you think you got problems. My posts are so fat and I suck...
posted by jonmc at 6:17 PM on March 29, 2006

can I just call you Insecure? Please?

$t4vr0$th3w0nÐ3r(h1(k3n n33Ð$ t0 w4k3 th3 Fµ(K µp t0 th3 4w3$0m3n3$$ 0f £33T.
posted by dgaicun at 7:26 PM on March 29, 2006

and...lock thread...
posted by hototogisu at 7:42 PM on March 29, 2006

well, you took it well. here's to you!
posted by shmegegge at 8:53 PM on March 29, 2006

This website existstends to break downreinforce the barriers between people, to extend a weblogthe frustration of JRun beyond just one person, and to foster discussionsnark among its members. (1)
It's a draft, but I submit these as proposed changes.
posted by sequential at 9:01 PM on March 29, 2006

Prediction: This ends now.
posted by ChasFile at 9:16 PM on March 29, 2006

what are some even more revolutionary ways to police on line space?

posted by carsonb at 9:18 PM on March 29, 2006

How about the people with the most money own the police and have them at their beck and call whilst being totally immune to their own laws. No, that's just silly.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:52 PM on March 29, 2006

You want to talk to Quartermass.
posted by Eideteker at 11:04 PM on March 29, 2006

What Eideteker is referring to, in case you haven't found it yet, is Quartermass's MA thesis "Capital and Stratification within Virtual Community: A Case Study of," linked and discussed here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:19 PM on March 29, 2006

(remember dios?)
posted by |n$eCur3 at 7:50 PM CST on March 29

No. Who is he?
posted by dios at 6:29 AM on March 30, 2006

"dios is just this guy, y'know?"

/Gag Halfrunt
posted by longbaugh at 6:33 AM on March 30, 2006

Just flag it and move on.
posted by keijo at 7:23 AM on March 30, 2006

This is an interesting question. But ultimately matt is a 'dictator' here. He banned the poor blink tag the other day without any consultation with the community. The flagging system exists largely to focus their attention and make their jobs easier.

A post can get a million flags and stick around.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 AM on March 30, 2006

Metafilter: (remember dios?)
posted by sveskemus at 8:11 AM on March 30, 2006

dios does not exist
and if he did he would want to come down from the clouds
posted by squirrel at 8:28 AM on March 30, 2006

If dios did not exist, it would be necessary for MetaFilter to create him.
posted by gigawhat? at 9:09 AM on March 30, 2006

Wolfdog that was mean.

I remember when I first started posting on metafilter - the first time I voiced an opinion someone made fun of my username and I almost didn't come back.

I mean, come on. It generates cognitive dissonance and it's alliteration. A baby balrog? inconceivable!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:26 AM on March 30, 2006

I think that quartermass will have a much more difficult time defending his thesis on metafilter than he will in Canada. Not that there is anything wrong with Canada. I can't wait to see it.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 10:37 AM on March 30, 2006

The above does not make any sense, that I can see.

Did you not notice the huge January 6 2006 timestamp on that thread, or the phrase 'here is my defended (and revised) thesis'? Or that he is in fact in Canada? *scratches his head*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:30 PM on March 30, 2006

Oops, I was looking on his profile page and stumbled across another link that was from a much earlier time (prior to when you posted the embarassingly obvious link). Like I said before, I am fat and my posts are the suck.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 4:24 PM on March 30, 2006

Just flagged this thread. Please close now..
posted by |n$eCur3 at 4:26 PM on March 30, 2006

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