|Syntactic Confectionery Delight|
Re: Having our anonymous cake and eating it tooby pemungkah (Priest)
|on Jan 23, 2014 at 18:47 UTC||Need Help??|
Rather than replying in a fragmentary fashion to numerous posts (and thank you very much for reading and considering my idea!), I'll summarize here in a direct replay to the original node.
“…anonymous posting must be left as is because anonymous posting is a feature of this site and really lowers the barrier of entry for asking a question.”As jdporter says, blocklists or ‘block anonymous replies in this thread” don’t affect this. A top-level node is always postable by the Anonymous Monk; if someone has blocked the AM, then they simply won’t see that node and following thread.
“If I marked this post (the one I'm writing now) as disallowing anonymous replies, then Anonymous Monk would still be able to reply to the points I've made - they'd just have to click "reply" under the top node, or under Corion's node.”If the top level node is marked “no anonymous replies”, then all nodes below it inherit the “no anonymous replies” flag, so none of the nodes is eligible for an anonymous reply; same logic applies if you use inherited blocklists. New threads can certainly be started; if you’ve decided to block the Anonymous Monk, then you simply don’t see those posts.
‘People could simply register accounts for single use (anon1234, anonABCD...), post in a 'AM locked' thread and never use them again!”Sure, but this is a significantly higher cost than logging out and posting as AM. If blocklists were implemented (my preference), then one could simply add any new user they found annoying or uninformative as blocked. The “create a new user” over and over again becomes a higher cost when a “target” can with one operation make them invisible.
I’d suggest that the thread render simply stop if a reply is seen by someone on the current user’s blocklist; effectively, the thread ends right before the blocked user posts.
“…proposal misses/ignores a major point made by those who want sub-identication of Anonymonks because they can't figure out who's saying what in a thread populated by comments from more than one AM.”I saw the proposal of differentiated AM’s in a thread go by, and I like it; I think it’s a good idea, and I’d like to see it. However, it still doesn’t address the fact that one of the AM’s in the thread may be being abusive, uncivil, mean, and nasty, and that the person on the receiving end of this has no effective response other than no longer participating in the thread.
“…people have to learn to judge posts by content!”I am solidly in agreement with you on this, but perhaps not in the way you think.
Content is the real core of the issue, and the structure of Perlmonks is why per-user blocking matters. We depend on people seeing things to downvote the bad and up vote the good. When there are many nodes posted, one doesn’t necessarily have enough votes to see and vote down all of the uncivil and impolite nodes - and if one does, there’s a potential of ending up in “dog vote” territory, where a well-meant action ends up punishing the person trying to do right.
Consideration is by policy not to be used for incivility and impolite posts; I’d definitely like to see that changed, but it is a cultural assumption that these posts must be permitted or we’re “censoring” people. Setting aside the fact that Perlmonks is a private organization and not a government and may therefore decide to allow or disallow anything it pleases, I personally believe that anyone being an ass deserves to be thrown out, not just ignored. There’s only so many times you can have to read “you’re stupid” or “you’re a bad person” before you want to just leave and never come back - but as things stand, there are no cultural limits to such posts.
This sets it up so that are limited resources to handle negativity and incivility, which leads people away from doing so. This reinforces a situation of “well, I won’t downvote that because I have to not downvote very much, and I can't consider this because that's not accepted.” This leads to an implicit cultural more that says, “I can’t do anything about someone else’s bad time, because it will end up hurting me if I do.”
The blocklist allows the person receiving the uncivil and nasty posts to judge the content of the posts and say, “you know, if this is how you want to interact with me, I don’t want to have to interact with you.” The “no anonymous replies” filters the easiest route to incivility; if you have to log in and post and have nasty associated with your ID (or you have to create a new ID to do it), then there’s a considerably higher cost to being mean. The blocklist moves the choice of what one decides to see to the reader, instead of to the community at large, which has a negative incentive to act.
This proposal isn’t a perfect solution. I didn’t expect it to be; it’s a idea that suddenly struck me yesterday evening. I’m trying to open the discussion to see what we can do other than what we’re doing now, because there is a hole in our combined cultural/software model: it is easy for anyone at all to post uncivil and impolite replies. We’re doing a lot of “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature” and “this doesn’t seem like a bug to me”, which to the person reporting the bug says “we don’t care about what you want” and “your opinion doesn’t matter”. It certainly matters to the person getting nastygrams; let's look at what we could change to help them.