1997-01-08 - Re: Sandy and I will run a cypherpunks “moderation” experiment

Header Data

From: Pierre Uszynski <pierre@rahul.net>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: e95586cd0558b26f5f9c636967cf6a87e180a3b30e5b6dc27cdf025841a3da9e
Message ID: <199701081518.AA22101@waltz.rahul.net>
Reply To: <>
UTC Datetime: 1997-01-08 15:19:03 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 07:19:03 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Pierre Uszynski <pierre@rahul.net>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 1997 07:19:03 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Sandy and I will run a cypherpunks "moderation" experiment
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <199701081518.AA22101@waltz.rahul.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> >Rich Graves <rcgraves@disposable.com> very correctly mentions:
> >> 1) Moderator liability and anonymous posting.

> At 09:37 AM 1/7/97 -0800, Pierre Uszynski agreed:
> >I agree that this is actually a critical problem with a filtering
> >moderation scheme. Such a scheme appears to provide the capability to
> >filter out possible "copyright violations" posts. From what I remember
> >of the Netcom/CoS case (without going back to the sources), that may
> >mean more liability for the reviewers (and the operator of the
> >machine). That's a major point against simple filtering moderation.

gbroiles@netbox.com (Greg Broiles) continues:
> [...] I'm not sure it's a big problem. I see three broad categories of
> information which the moderation liability scheme may suppress:[...]

I think I went a bit in the wrong direction mentioning Netcom/CoS:

1) The problem is not so much what posts are "legal" or "illegal", as
it is what posts *could* bring in lawsuits and what effect this has on
the moderators. Not everyone evaluates that "Sword of Damocles" threat
identically: Some argue it is statistically irrelevant, some argue that
their pockets are not tempting targets anyway, some are in different
countries (and have not noticed it does not matter anymore), etc...

The point is that

2) The above "do I dare approve this post" equation is clearly not the
one that determines whether a post is good cypherpunks material or
not.  I do not want this liability issue to matter in any way in the
moderators ratings (no matter how Sandy and John would themselves
resolve it) if we can help it. And we can.


3) This equation would seriously affect how *I* would offer help in a
filtering moderation scheme: I most likely would not (whether or not
anyone would be interested in me participating, and my decision for
reasons that are not relevant, etc...) Again, that's the wrong reason
brought into the discussion: the right reasons would be "do I have the
time now?" (hah! ;-), "do I currently read in sync with incoming
traffic?", and "do I want to participate?".

> Can you name a software package which runs under Windows or the Mac OS
> which automatically processes reviewers' opinions against a mailbox of
> incoming mail?[...]

I spend a ridiculous portion of my time fixing the damage caused by
software that was used just because "it was there". Just because there
is software to do^H^H, sorry, to botch something under Windows is not
reason enough to use it, and even less of a reason to limit ourselves
to these options. Yes, some people couldn't use the *option* initially,
and others could (with ready software or by writing their own). Too
bad.  As someone else mentioned, that's an opportunity (and there must
be a cross-platform java mail reader somewhere that can be modified or
written to satisfy lots of platforms at once), and cypherpunks wouldn't
be the only forum moving toward "after-the-fact cooperative

> [Greg Broiles
> US crypto export control policy in a nutshell:
> Export jobs, not crypto.]

Great summary,