1997-01-07 - Re: Sandy and I will run a cypherpunks “moderation” experiment in Jan

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From: Rich Graves <rcgraves@disposable.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 89224566168a505a33395c73559b1edbfed63fef768a160dc74bb398eddd6da0
Message ID: <32D1B505.13D4@disposable.com>
Reply To: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970105173751.329A-100000@eclipse>
UTC Datetime: 1997-01-07 02:31:17 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 18:31:17 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Rich Graves <rcgraves@disposable.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 1997 18:31:17 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Sandy and I will run a cypherpunks "moderation" experiment in Jan
In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970105173751.329A-100000@eclipse>
Message-ID: <32D1B505.13D4@disposable.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

I like it.

My take on the issues I see here:

1) Moderator liability and anonymous posting. The open nature of the
   list means that "copyright violations" threads and the like are
   thought more or less safe for the people who own toad.com. With
   moderation, this is less likely to be as "safe." Without calling
   for a blanket assault on copyrights (I do have friends who make
   their living as writers), and speaking only selfishly, I think it    
   would be a shame to lose the "copyright violations" posts. So I
   think we need a way to diminish or at least distribute moderator 
   liability. Let's revisit the "Member of Parliament Problem" thread
   of a month or so ago for solutions. Presumably STUMP or some other
   moderation tool could be modified to support a secure anonymous-
   approval protocol.

2) "Vote of confidence in Sandy." No. I agree with Igor Chudov.
   Absolute power corrupts; confidence, and particularly votes of
   confidence (this isn't a popularity contest), are the wrong way
   to go. Try "trust, but verify." As many of you know, I'm still
   barred from a list run by another cypherpunks subscriber for
   reasons I consider totally invalid. While I have confidence in
   much of what this person writes, and don't mind if other people
   have full confidence in him (because he's usually on the right
   side), this content-based censorship, and particularly the lack
   of transparency about it (his list never had this kind of
   discussion, nor do most of his subscribers even know that some
   people are banned), bugs me.

3) Full v. filtered v. flame lists. I'd choose to dump the full
   list, keeping the flame & filtered. People who want to can
   simply subscribe to both, and filter them into the same incoming
   mailbox, for the same effect. Only minor problem I'd forsee is
   that the flame list might propagate faster than the filtered
   list because it would have fewer subscribers.

4) "Qui custodiet ipsos custodes." When I first saw that thread
   title, I thought it pertained to the moderation proposal. It
   could. That's why I'd like to see the rejected messages archived,
   at least for a while, as they are with Chudov's STUMP. What I'd
   like best, since I don't particularly want to waste bandwidth or
   my disk space with what would, by definition, be mostly crap, is
   a hks.lists.cypherpunks.flames on the open nntp port I'm using
   to read cypherpunks today. As some of you have noticed, I'm not
   on the list now, because most of it is junk; I just point
   Netscape at HKS Inc's open port whenever the whim strikes me,
   and grab the few messages that look interesting. I'd like to do
   the same with the "flame" list, every couple days. Of course, HKS
   and the other public archives would make that decsion, and I
   thank them for the free service they've provided me so far.

5) "[Mostly libertarian] off-topic political junk." As someone who
   disagrees with a lot of, variously, Tim's, Lucky Green's, and
   attila's politics, I strongly agree with them that that's what I'm
   on cypherpunks for. The alternative is not just coderpunks, but
   also Perry's cryptography@c2.net, which is dedicated to the issues
   that cypherpunks were apparently originally about. (I can't really
   say for sure, because the majority of messages have been off-topic
   since about January 1996, and I only joined in October 1995.) I
   don't think it's a capitulation to admit that cypherpunks has
   evolved/devolved to a forum that bears little resemblance to its
   original charter. What we are is a bunch of mostly (but not all)
   libertarian ranters and ravers who are, for various and not
   necessarily consistent reasons, interested in the theme that         
   ubiquitous strong crypto is a good thing. (I just edited the
   previous sentence to change "believe that it's a good thing" to
   "are interested in" because I wouldn't mind having a Denning or a
   Sternlight here.) Not all threads need have *anything* to do with
   that theme for the forum to be useful to me. This happens to be the
   only place I get to hear people like Lucky Green and Tim May rant
   and rave about all sorts of other topics (I mean that in a good
   way; I read most of what they write, and while I don't always agree
   with it, it's always important). I don't want to lose that unique
   opportunity just because it's "off-topic."