October 24, 2004

When kids take over your community

In Why Some Online Communities Never Make It Lineman writes:

(...) inevitably, someone with very little maturity would show up and make the boards miserable for weeks at a time. You could always tell because they were on for hours at a time and would post every thought that came to their head, lacking the understanding that it is more important to listen than to speak. For some reason, they seem to be missing the part of the brain that tells most of us when we aren’t fitting in.

Boy can I feel this pain. During my years of moderating Netalive I found the real problem not to be outright trolling, but users who drag the site's signal-to-noise ratio towards mediocrity through a flood of poorly conceived postings.

Whenever the topic of community moderation is brought up, everyone immediately engages in a headed discussion over abusive user behaviour, and ways to fight it. But what we need is a scalable and socially acceptable way to tell a user to get a life and stop wasting the time of everyone else.