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I have been thinking lately about list filtering, and the moderation
methods that have been tossed around on the list of late.
I come down against any kind of "negative" moderation.
What strikes me as more effective and efficient is a reputational system.
Interestingly this ties into my concept of how the "web-of-trust" should
work as well.
If somehow, the list server could be made to keep track of reputational
signatures on some sort of a point scale and tack the result into a
header like "X-Posters-Reputation-Grade: A-." The result would be easy
filtering, a lack of active censorship, and less user work overload to
make the system work.
Of course this is by no means a new idea. If I could remember who has
suggested this point on the list before, I'd credit you... sorry.
I don't have a firm idea of how reputational signatures would be "valued"
but it seems to me that positive systems are a better idea the negative
ones for a few reasons:
Negative systems allow blacklisting.
In any system, if I have three or four accomplices, it's easy to spoil
whoever I have personal conflicts with.
Negative systems just aren't "nice."
If you can't say something good about someone....
Negative systems don't account for perspective as well:
While anyone can find something poor to say about someone, it is probably
more instructive of a poster's "worth" if a few people can say something
good. Additionally, in a hybrid system where negative systems and
positive systems are balancing (one users positive vote of reputation is
offset by anothers negative one) the filtering tends to be content based
rather than merit based.
For example, just because I post about political and distractingly
political issues occasionally, a list user like, oh I dunno, let's call
him Mr. M., might give me and F or a D. While someone who particularly
likes my posts, even when they are distracting, and approves of my
ability of analysis and perspective, no longer has much impact on my rating.
Simply, in a positive system:
If your a complete idiot, you'll never get any real reputational
If your a poster of worth, and you just tend to annoy some of the
regulars, you'll still get some positives.
It would be nice if PGP had a system to account for a reputational rating
of a users key management and security practices as well.