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[ga] "Moderating" the GA list.

Any "moderation" of the GA list will have to meet some basic 
requirements, besides improving readability and reducing noise.

In particular, every posting sent to a General Assembly mailing list 
MUST be available to the public.  That's what we currently achieve 
by having ga-full on the one hand and the monitored GA list on the 
other.  The effect of this kind of transparency is this: While undue 
censorship becomes provable, unproven assertions of such censorship 
become moot.

Also, it MUST be possible for members of the GA to get quick access 
to postings.  This may be considered solved by having a ga-full list 
on the one hand, and a moderated main GA list on the other - but I 
believe that we can do better.

A possible improved approach would be to make a traditionally  
moderated version of the list available IN ADDITION to what we have, 
and look if people would actually accept it.  One of the problems  
with this approach is that it adds considerably to the complexity of 
the whole GA thing - possibly beyond the point where it's still  
reasonable.  Also, it would duplicate some of the list monitoring  
efforts we already have.

The interesting question is, of course, what the list coming out of  
this would look like.  I've made an experiment and taken the GA  
traffic from weeks 22 and 23 of this year (the first two weeks of  
June).  I have then deleted the things I'd probably have rejected as 
far as a moderated list is concerned (and, of course, all the things 
I'd have just ignored for a summary).  The result is available in  
web archive form at  

When I did this, I noticed that there were some list members whose  
postings (and even threads they started) I collectively deleted.   
With some other list members, I frequently deleted postings because  
they were off-topic or idle chatting. Finally, there were many  
members of the list whose postings I collectively approved.

Thus, a very similar result could have been obtained by making the  
list unmoderated by default, but turning on moderation for a couple  
of individuals.

If you want to put it like this, this would mean that list  
monitoring would intervene much more quickly, and, for instance,  
"block" people for mere off-topic posting.  This "blocking" would,  
however, be soft (as opposed to what we currently do): It wouldn't  
imply that messages don't go to the list at all, it would only mean  
that the individuals in question would be subject to some kind  
"adult supervision" - after having proven that they can't do  

Actually, I'd like to give this approach a try immediately after  
Bucharest - it's not clear to me that it will actually work as  
intended, in particular given the fact that the approach will  
probably require frequent changes to list filter definitions, and  
will have to withstand the usual attempts to game the system by  


Thomas Roessler                          http://log.does-not-exist.org/
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