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Internet Moderation

Abi Sutherland:

Making Light: Points from a moderator's Twitter stream:

  • Surfing sites that I used to love, but which have gone downhill: my personal form of ruin porn.
  • If you’re gonna have feminist front-pagers, the other mods have to have their backs or the women leave the comment threads.
  • If people consistently drag the conversation down, don’t blame others for rising to the bait. Move ‘em on. It’s a big internet.
  • Someone who never improves the conversation, but never breaks the rules, is still a troll — just a skilled one. Move ‘em on.
  • Worthy people can fall into bad (& self-damaging) habits in communities. They might do better w/ a fresh start somewhere else. Move ‘em on.
  • Just as bad money drives out good, so trolling and niggling drives out good argument.
  • Community management is the art of balancing the rights of your most difficult voices against the joy of your most fragile ones.
  • When community managers fail, the interesting voices leave, or become exhausted. The difficult ones just grind onward.
  • It’s not important what site inspired these observations. It could have been any one of a good dozen I’ve frequented over the years.

Yet there are some sites that appear to keep an interesting discussion… or perhaps "discussion"… rolling for as long as a decade now. I think of boingboing, Crooked Timber, Making Light, and (shudder) Unfogged. How do they do it?

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