So companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on an army of workers employed to soak up the worst of humanity in order to protect the rest of us. And there are legions of them—a vast, invisible pool of human labor. Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators scrubbing the world’s social media sites, mobile apps, and cloud storage services runs to “well over 100,000”—that is, about twice the total head count of Google and nearly 14 times that of Facebook.The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed
[W]e may not stop to think much about moderation as a form of labor that composes the Internet. But as the need to grant the audience “a voice” has become conventional wisdom, almost every media organization now needs this work done. [...] This complex tension—between voice and civility, eyeballs and deliberation—is one that future-of-news enthusiasts are good at waving away, but that comment moderators must bear. Within representative democracy, we can think of moderators’ bodies as being like that element of an electronic circuit that dissipates excess energy and allows it to function. They absorb the excess affects in a period of political dysfunction, and allow institutions to appear stable and unchallenged.Jason Wilson argues that, in the comments section, "the facade of liberal democracy only stays clean by putting young women [moderators] in hate’s way."
My elevator pitch for ending sobriety had been “moderate social drinking without ever blacking out again.”
Gawker: We want to elevate the discourse about frogs who sit like humans. No matter how you personally feel about the sites, you've got to admit that the Gawker network is big. So far in April 2012, the eight sites have attracted 1 million comments on 7,500 posts from 130,000 active commenters. But with comments described by Gawker's editor A.J. Daulerio as 'a tar pit of hell', they've decided to try to reinvent their commenting system again, including a system to allow commenters to sign in with temporary, anonymous, throwaway 'Burner' accounts. [more inside]
If your website is full of assholes, it's your fault. from Anil Dash. [more inside]
"Publishing anonymous, unvetted, and unreviewed commentary online is hugely divergent from the policies of [mainstream media] publications' print editions. It's a different kettle of fish, one that can stink for the publishers. Indeed, those publishers and their new-media managers are being reckless." [more inside]
"The amount of time it would take for the community to self-regulate -- I don't think it could sustain itself in the meantime. Anyway, I can't think of any successful online community where the nice, quiet, reasonable voices defeat the loud, angry ones on their own." —Ruling the global masses, one image at a time. The art of moderation as practiced by Heather Champ, Director of Community at Flickr. [more inside]
Warning to chatroom users after libel award for man labelled a Nazi. "Mr Keith-Smith told the Guardian that he took action after a debate about the Iraq war in 2003 on a Yahoo! message board with about 100 members turned ugly. "She was very pro-Bush. Initially, she called me lard brain and I wasn't particularly concerned about that. Then she called me a Nazi," he said."
Shut Up! No, *You** Shut Up At ETech, Clay Shirky covered patterns of community moderation during "Shut Up! No, *You* Shut Up." Notes were taken.
The name "Firebird" was chosen by Mozilla to rename their Phoenix product. However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database project -- and the Mozilla organization was clearly aware of this naming conflict before making their decision. Some feel that such an action, within the context of the open-source community, is unfair and constitutes bad etiquette, at the least. The discussion is ongoing, but LinuxWorld reports that the Mozilla organization has deleted recent message-board comments that criticized their decision.
Moderated. Posts to message boards at the BBC are editorially filtered within broadcasting guidelines. In this 'talking point' in particular, there is a sense of deep foreboding...
"Biggest flame war of all time: Danny Boy - sentimental Irish favorite, or stupid song decried by true Celts everywhere?" A link to a discussion in another forum about how one prevents the banal from driving out the profound in online public-participation forums. (Their conclusion: ruthless and efficient moderation.)