[EM] Noise (Was: Credentials?)

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Jan 20 09:35:34 PST 2007

At 12:33 PM 1/19/2007, Ken Kuhlman wrote:
>Perhaps there's another method of organizing the group that can help
>alleviate some of the pain, however.   I recently ran across the free
>list serving site Nabble, which has an innovative solution to these
>problems.  Take a look at www.nabble.com, particularly the FAQ
>question here: http://www.nabble.com/help/Answer.jtp?id=28.
>Does anyone have experience with Nabble, or know of other reasonable
>solutions to this problem?  It's time we stop pretending the problem
>doesn't exist.

I've been a participant in a list "top-politics" on gogglegroups. TOP 
stands for Transparent, Open, Public. Methods have been discussed 
there for quite some time about filtering as is involved in Nabble.

The FAQ isn't about rules. It is about a process whereby members of a 
list may be freed from seeing posts that are rated suffiently low. 
The members of the list rate the posts.

I'm not going to discuss this further because there is possibly a 
motion on the "floor" regarding it. But a little more information. 
 From the nabble web site, first, from the FAQ page above cited, and 
from the page on Ratings.

>What is self-moderation?
>Active forums are often targets for senseless posts from bad users 
>or commercial spam. Traditionally, a user has to file a Spam Report 
>or Alert and then, a forum moderator has to deal with it. If the 
>moderator does not keep up with the spammers, users will complain or 
>just leave. Additionally, users may disagree on issues and conflicts 
>may escalte into name-calling and flame wars. In the worst case, the 
>vendettas stalk one another to rekindle spats. This degrades the 
>forum quality and drives away users. Again, a moderator will have to 
>step in to moderate the dispute. But as soon as he attempts to fix 
>the problem, one group or another won't like it. A moderator is 
>likely to get some heat whether he chooses to moderate or not.
>Nabble uses <http://www.nabble.com/help/Answer.jtp?id=16>ratings to 
>solve this problem. Users that act poorly and attempt to engage in 
>flame wars will be rated lowly by fellow members and their posts 
>will automatically get filtered out. Eventually, these users will 
>either learn to behave so their voices will be heard or they will 
>leave because they won't get the negative attention that they seek. 
>Likewise, the cream will rise to the top and users will be 
>encouraged to act respectfully and to post interesting, humorous and 
>generally more useful content so as to garner higher ratings and a 
>more respected position in the community. This way the forum 
>moderates by itself.


>SPAM and bad posts are common problems for forums. Traditionally, 
>users send e-mails to the moderator to report bad or offensive 
>posts. However, with Nabble, you manage a bad post by rating it down 
>to 1-star. If other users also rate down this post, its average 
>rating will fall below the 2-star minimum and it will disappear from 
>the default view.
>Such bad rating will gradually carry over to the author's other 
>posts, causing his future posts to be automatically filtered out 
>from the view. This way the forum is 
><http://www.nabble.com/help/Answer.jtp?id=28>self-moderated by all 
>As much as we believe in democracy and self-moderation, you should 
>always feel free to contact us for extreme cases and malicious user 
>behaviour. We will take any necessary actions immediately.

I will note that this is used with free on-line forums at nabble.com. 
I have not yet determined what happens to posts below the 2-star 
rating, beyond being "filtered out from the view." Can someone set 
their preferences to view 1-star posts?

Note that Nabble substitutes a presumably trusted administration for 
the owner function on this list. Normally, this administration acts 
with respect to posts through a system which aggregates user input, 
which requires that users take specific action to rate posts. From 
what I can tell, any registered user may quickly rate a post, reading 
it on-line. I don't know if there is an off-line rating method, i.e., 
rating by email. My guess would be not, though. I'll say more, 
presumably, if we have an actual motion and it is seconded.

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