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Re: [ga] Message too long (>40000 chars)

On Wed, Jan 26, 2000 at 08:51:47AM -0800, Ellen Rony wrote:
> You see, i do think there are certain mailing list rules on which we should
> be able to agree that do not involve moderation as to content but rather as
> to behavior and technical concerns.  Size of file limitation.  Size of
> attachment limitations, and, of course, prohibitions on spoofing emails.
> There are three core elements in a mailing list rules policy that do not
> touch censorship as to content.

As well as a limitation on the number of messages in a given time.  In
short, bandwith controls.  Putting these in place is a no-brainer. 
However, bandwidth controls alone are not sufficient.  Offensive content
does have an impact all its own.  Threats have have an impact, as well. 

In effect, moderation is happening already.  At this point there is
absolutely no doubt that the actions of baptista, williams, measday,
and, to some extent, us talking about the problem, are causing people to
not participate.  This is fact.  

So we are not chosing between "moderation" and "no moderation".  We are
instead chosing between "conscious visible accountable moderation by
good guys" vs "stochastic malicious moderation by bad guys".  As things
currently stand, the "bad guys" are filtering "good guys" off the list. 

This is acceptable to you, Karl, and others, but it is not acceptable
for ICANN.  It contradicts the very openness of which you are so fond. 
It discriminates in favor of those who have been on the net for a long
time, who are familiar with email filters and other things.  It
discriminates in favor of those who have a high tolerance for verbal
abuse.  It discriminates in favor of those who don't care what they do or 
say.   It discriminates in favor of those who speak thoughtlessly.

It may very well be that *you* are willing to eliminate gentle,
sensitive, or internet-naive people from the discussion, but ICANN
cannot afford to let that happen, and it would in fact be contrary to
their mandate to do so. 

Dealing with this problem, of course, requires making a distinction
between "good" behavior and "bad" behavior.  Unfortunately, there is no
straightforward algorithm for this distinction.  That means there must
be humans in the control loop, who will make judgements about the
actions of their fellow humans.  This is a tricky area of human
interaction, and one that must obviously be carefully watched for abuse. 
But we are fortunate that in this communication-rich envirionment the
actions of the judges will be impossible to conceal. 

Our resident kooks and thugs have demonstrated unequivocally that there 
are people capable of doing these kinds of bad things, and therefore, 
we must have rules in place to deal with them, in advance of the next 

I know it is comfortable to try to put all judgement of your fellow 
humans off on machines.  But it won't work, and it is in fact
shirking a fundamentally human responsibility.


Kent Crispin                               "Do good, and you'll be
kent@songbird.com                           lonesome." -- Mark Twain