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Re: Reputation and Accountability

by Elian (Parson)
on Jun 12, 2003 at 17:32 UTC ( #265418=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Reputation and Accountability

/borg-ing, as well as any other action that globally affects a user (including things like account deletion), ought to be audited and the actions noted in a public place. If the actions was inappropriate this is the only way for it to be generally known that it happened as well as who did it so there is some measure of accountability.

At the very least, if the records are deemed to be transient (lasting, for example, only as long as the sanction is in place), the user who was affected should be /msg'd and any transient tracking nodes (such as Borg's Belly) should note who did it and when. Borging warrants an automatic message in the chatterbox as well, I'd say.

Nothing wrong with drastic actions. It's just the anonymous drastic actions that are worrisome.


Comment on Re: Reputation and Accountability
Re (2): Reputation and Accountability
by VSarkiss (Monsignor) on Jun 12, 2003 at 18:03 UTC

    Not addressing the real heart of the issue, but strictly from a technical point of view: A message does appear in Chatterbox now when someone is borged, with a random punch line, like

    NodeReaper has swallowed Elian. Elian was tasty!

    I'd prefer to keep the message coming from NodeReaper (hey, we could use a little more humor) but it would be pretty straightforward to privately /msg the borg-ee with something like

    root says You were borged by Elian

    Now, as to the "should": to me this would be a reasonable compromise. I think it would be only polite to tell someone privately who chastised them (I sometimes /msg people when I downvote their writeups) but I don't really see the need for an audit trail.

    It's only chatter, for root's sake...

      While I do realize that it's chatter and isn't that important in the grand scheme of things, it is still a public sanction, and public sanctions of all sorts should have public notice made of them, as well as some means of tracking them over time. For things like being borged, a simple note of the user in the belly node is sufficient along with notice to the user in question. For deleted nodes, the deleter and reason in a permanent form is necessary (and, I will add, already done, which is good). Deleted users warrant the same treatment as deleted nodes, perhaps a bit more. (I don't know if there's a deleted users node anywhere)

      Borging someone is temporarily revoking someone's ability to speak in public. While necessary it is still subject to abuse and as such the information necessary to detect that abuse and the abuser (when it happens) is also appropriate.

      There is some legitimate concern that the borg-ee may well decide to go on some sort of vengeance spree against whoever shut them up, but that's not particularly likely, the damage they can inflict is minor, and there are already mechanisms in place to deal with that damage. There aren't, so far as I can tell, many folks who're prone to vandalisim anyway, and of those who are I doubt knowing who was responsible for squelching them is going to make much of a difference in their actions. (And even if it does, as I said, there are mechanisms in place to deal with it)

Re: Re: Reputation and Accountability
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 13, 2003 at 07:17 UTC

    Your reply at its follow-up show a much deeper understanding of how such accountability is essential to a free society.

    While some may consider it silly to go into such depth about such a seemingly simple anonymous silencing of a user on "just" an online forum, the discussion does serve a very important purpose. These type of policies should not be put into place without careful consideration. As recent (and not-so-recent) history has proven, when we allow these "trivial" things to go unquestioned they quickly spread to the highest levels in our society.

    Your position is very admirable. Thank you for articulating it so well. People are listening :).

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