Sunday, July 19, 2015

Michael David Cobb Bowen — How to Beat the Trolls

The conservative architect and writer makes the case for confronting those who sow discord on the internetall while hiding behind the First Amendment.

"How do you rank a jazz critic? 
Well one thing you don't do is rank them by novelty or popularity. You have to read them and listen to the music they listen to and engage in a decent discussion with them. It's something that can be done on the internet, but it is not the kind of process that is supported by the lame, one-dimensional chat systems that are the majority of webchat systems that exist. 
If you've ever graded term papers, you have an idea of how that process works. Let's call it peer review. I don't consider myself an expert or formally familiar with academic peer review processes, but I do know something about decision making systems. I've been involved with building such systems for nearly 30 years now. I do know that you won't get the 100 top jazz critics on Reddit doing peer review because those rare jazz critics, experts as they would be, would not have the stomach for dealing with trolls. In short, trolls are not the peers of experts, and most every webchat forum on the internet assumes that we all are peers or that we want to be peers."