[Foundation-l] Moderation and this list

Jimmy Wales jwales at wikia.com
Sat Dec 22 00:03:42 UTC 2007

Matthew Britton wrote:
> Limiting the number of messages an individual is permitted to post will 
> only prevent active, honest individuals being insightful or helpful once 
> they have used up their quota. If someone really wants to make 
> themselves heard, they will simply subscribe multiple addresses to the 
> list and continue posting. Only those who play by the rules will lose out.

If it is a social norm, like normal Wikipedia social norms, it can be 
roughly flexible enough to prevent either of those problems.

I think a policy of 1 or 2 posts a day, adhered to as a social norm, 
will make it possible for active, honest, insightful, thoughtful good 
people to be *more* heard.  What we have right now is a small number of 
people (and only by chance I was not among them this month, I am surely 
an offender myself in the category of latching onto a thread and 
discussing it far beyond the point of positive returns!)... a small 
number of people making a disproportionate number of posts.

Fewer posts, less repetitive, and more quality, would be a good thing.

And, as a social norm, it can be fine to go over it now and then by 
accident or in good faith.

And violating it by subscribing multiple addresses?  Unlikely.  Pick out 
for yourself whoever you think is the worst poster to this list. 
Doesn't matter who it is, just whoever you think is the worst.  Is that 
person likely to sockpuppet to speak more on the list?  To subscribe 
multiple addresses and rules lawyer over what the idea of keeping a lid 
on the quantity really means?

I don't think so.  There are people who post to this list, some in large 
volume, who I think add little more than confusion, misleading 
pseudoinformation, and general hateful nonsense.  But I can't imagine 
any of them being so violative of social norms that they would resort to 
tactics like that just to be able to post a dozen times in a day.

> No offense intended, but this is really a very bad idea. I mean, what's 
> next, limiting the number of edits people can make to the wikis?

Wiki, as a medium, is very different from the mailing list, as a medium. 
    So I don't know that the analogy holds.


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