Re: [tech] Managing un-moderated account creation and it's side-effects

Emma Humphries ech at
Thu Jan 7 06:45:38 GMT 2021

Comments inline.

My background on this is my work helping moderate Mozilla's 
Bugzilla bug tracker from 2015 to last year. 

On Wed, Jan 6, 2021, at 20:38, Mansfield Mansfield wrote:

> One of the options I'm considering is to restrict the number of posts a 
> new account can make. Say, only "one page"? This wouldn't remove *all* 
> negative side-effects, but seems to discourage some abuse and 
> facilitate any clean-up since there'd only be one 'thing' to remove.

You'd have drive-by abusers, but in my experience those sort of users 
post will do a burst of posts and either leave or they are banned. Making it
easy to tag those sorts of posts so a moderator can clean them up is key. 

Also, remember that some days a reasonable person of good intent will
have a bad community day. 

Sometimes you don't need a ban, but just a takedown and a, "hey, don't
do that" backed up with bans for people who don't get the message.

You could also do invites so you can do controlled growth. 

> Another option is to limit the *kind* of content that a new account can 
> provide. Say, no links? This could curtail a type of side-effect 
> (facilitating access to external content through my domain/server), but 
> not entirely, since text/gemini *without* explicit links could just as 
> easily be a link-in-plain-text that is copied and used somewhere else.

Limiting new account privileges is a one way to start, in terms of 
no-links, no-attachments, no tagging other users, no direct replies.

One of the issues I dealt with, was too many permissions for new posts 
which caused confusion or missing steps in process. That's less likely for 
people just making posts. 

> A third option I'm considering is to limit the visibility of the 
> content that a new account can provide. I've written an HTTP server 
> that provides access to the Gemini content, so, maybe I disallow any 
> content from accounts less than say, 1 month old? 

A friend has given a lot of though to the onboarding problem,,
and one of the suggestions is about getting people into community. 

So you could ask someone joining "what content you want to find? Cooking, 
Rust, anime, crochet, axe throwing, etc.." and plug them into that community
to start, then broaden the scope as they make connections.

You will have to do some bootstrapping of community, but expectations
are a lot easier to build out of a group of people invested in making

> The last option I've been mulling over is to just accept the 
> side-effects, but that feels too much like an ends-justify-means 
> approach which I find weak as a motivation... but... I *almost* prefer 
> encouraging communication and creation enough to endure negative 
> side-effects.

Creating community and creation are good, and don't get in the the way 
of people doing that, but doing things in the way that someone can't
wreck the place either intentionally or not. 

Emma H

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