“The moderatocracy lives on inside us all.”
July 21, 2015 12:21 PM Subscribe
When the Internet’s ‘Moderators’ Are Anything But [New York Times] The title suggests a steward of civility and decency. But online, unpaid moderators can become a force for mayhem.
Let us begin with a toast to the unsung hero of the social-media age: the moderator. Slayer of Internet trolls! Extinguisher of flame wars! Bulwark against race hatred and child pornography! The Internet as we know it could not exist without moderators, constantly pruning back the wild undergrowth of human nature that proliferates there. Nearly every major commercial site with user content is policed by human moderators. Some are unpaid volunteers who agree to enforce administrators’ rules; others are outsourced workers in the Philippines who flag dirty pictures posted to social media, or domestic employees who delete libelous comments. If you want to see what the Internet looks like without moderators … well, I’m not even going to tell you where to go, because we’d all be raided by the F.B.I. Let’s just say it’s immoderate.
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