So I have pushed this idea on saidit, ruqqus and now notabug. D3rr from saidit seems quite interested as well as someone from ruqqus who unfortunately has deleted his posts and name. He gave the idea for tagging and multiaxial voting which seems very good. You can pick up the pieces left in https://ruqqus.com/post/tiz/optional-moderation

and more recently at https://notabug.io/t/notabug/comments/757f8a9f1be5d4aa1a404daa1694a1f1fa925ad9/why-is-notabug-dying

The gist of the system is anyone can moderate, anyone can form a group to moderate. It’s the reader that selects the users or groups they want moderating for them. Like a filter. Ideally these would be in a list ranked in someways that you can easily click to enable or disable etc.

The tagging part is how things could be moderated. In that anyone could add any tag to anything. Say if you wanted something under another topic you just add another topic tag. This would remove the need for communities aka subs. Although it adds far more complexity and is not necessary for the optional moderation. I can just now think of other ways this could be implemented if say you filter based on how many similar tags a post gets.

Multiaxial voting is interesting as I see you are discussing something similar as you federate. My idea for it is you attach votes to the filters or moderators you have selected. Or say allow votes to be grouped in some other way. You could even say allow all votes but exclude those from users that have been banned under the filters you are using.

I hope you get some of the idea and here is my older saidit post if you are interested.

https://saidit.net/s/SaidIt/comments/54cp/can_we_make_moderation_optional_can_we_have/

I am a fan of quite light moderation, and want to remove the power for individuals to be the sole dictators over what others can and can’t read.

Seems like it adds a lot of complexity for the user, for limited usefulness, given that Federation more or less creates a similar ecosystem. Also, there will always need to be a way to completely delete illegal content, which means a need for central moderation (at least at the instance level).

@makemoderationoption
creator
33M

Yes it could be complicated, especially looking at everything with tagging and multiaxel but it can be implemented much simpler with just the basic moderation being distributed and optional.

I am not certain how your federation will work but there is contradiction that you desire decentralization in most aspects except moderation. Centralization is always open to corruption and abuse. And as Aaron Swartz sad “a bit is not a bug”. The fact that content can be labelled illegal means we are not in a free society.

Also on federation, looking at the gab and mastodon fork shows it is not as good as it is claimed. Instead of a sole platform banning subs, you have a collective likely driven by the largest then banning peers/instances. Federation is better though in that the peers/instances are not deleted, but continual forcing of communities apart is just going to further cause the societal problems we see now. If people can’t talk to each other then they will just grow more separate.

How do you plan on deleting across instances that say block you from doing so?

The problem with moderation being forced is it is mainly used to silence people the moderators disagree with and prevent those ideas spreading. I have seen some of the most ridiculous examples on reddit. The thing is just about everyone can find disagreement on nearly everything with someone else out there, cause there is so many people. The same with what is considered legal and not given all the nations and religions. In some places even using certain individual words will get you likely jailed.

Does lemmy have any plans to head off the silly censorship like at reddit now?

When I say centralized, I mean at the instance level. The people running the instance will always be held responsible for illegal content on their instance and need to at least moderate that.

When looking at Gab and Mastodon, that’s literally the point of how federation is supposed to work. If you want to not see something from another instance your instance is federated to, either you change instance or you can just use filters. Community maintained filter lists could even be used to implement what you want, without the need for explicit support on the platform, or requiring every users to opt into it.

Also, the host of an instance are perfectly legitimate in refusing certain type of content from being on their instance.

@makemoderationoption
creator
33M

I just realized the al from optional was chopped off my name when I signed up…

Back to the topic :-) . Maybe if I describe the intention for the system I am desiring. It’s to prevent bad mods, too much censorship etc, by removing the ultimate power from the mods and giving it to the users to choose mods or even go modless. Even simply having an option to disable moderation at the user end would achieve most of this. I think censorship is usually evil but often necessary. If you have moderation as default on but give people an option to turn it off and see the hidden posts and blocked users, it’s the users choice. If mods can’t handle people being able to get around their censorship then by definition they are evil. Wanting to control others like that is evil.

As to illegal content of course it will be a problem. I do disagree that information should be illegal at all but the situation is what it is. Maybe a peer to peer solution would work better. I just hope what is illegal does not become everything that is not liked or disagreed with like with mods do on reddit now.

So if someone hosts an instance can they block users and their posts from other instances being deleted or banned on their own instance? ie can an instance set itself up to protect against censorship that is occurring on other instances and so become a repository for uncensored speech? If so that sounds promising but still moderation is needed and this is not ideal to me.

My ideal basic version of my idea is instead of deleting non-illegal content it is just hidden, and instead of banning users they are just shadow banned with all posts just auto hidden. Users, the readers, can then just hit a button to reveal all hidden posts. And for illegal content to stop abuse a mod can tag it as such which makes it hard hidden and unreadable, it is then needed to be reviewed maybe by a random selection of another mod or mods that all need to agree it is illegal. A disagreement would require more review and if it turns out it is not illegal then it is allowed. If mods repeatedly abuse the illegal tag then they will face consequences.

I even think that if a post is made by a shadow banned user and a non shadow banned user comments on it then those comments should be viewable by all, with the post then given some generic name. It would drive the dictator mods mad and either force them on ban waves or to give up.

I am sorry if it seems like I have gone on but I am passionate to prevent idea suppression. I don’t want you to get the idea that I want a free for all. Moderation is needed as there is plenty of spam and low quality posters out there. It’s that there is also people out there that should never be given the power they have as mods too. The internet is littered with examples and I have experienced them too. Why when we have democratic and free societies would we allow totalitarianism and dictators over our speech in a world like the internet that can be basically anything we want when it comes to information? If we are allowed and rightly so to choose our leaders then we can too choose what we want to see or read!

I perfectly understand your point but this doesn’t fit at all with any current legal framework. Also, you can’t expect other people to host your content if they disagree with you.

If I host a lemmy instance, I am perfectly legitimate in deleting anything I don’t like. If you don’t want me to have absolute power over what you post, host your own instance, federation makes it work without requiring people to host stuff they don’t like. And even if lemmy implements something like you describe, nothing stops me from connecting directly to the database and removing all traces of a post.

Federation essentially becomes peer to peer if you own your own instance with just you.

do disagree that information should be illegal

It’s not about information, it’s thing like calls to violence, death threats, revenge porn.

The problem with your reasoning is that you want to have to trust absolutely no one. Tough luck, that’s not possible, anyone who has root access to the database can delete anything they want, no matter the moderation scheme you put in place.

Federation gives you the power to decide who to trust, which is already an immense improvement over most social networks.

If you want to trust the minimum amount, host your own server (you are still trusting the hardware and software providers, and if you think that free software is a silver bullet for that, come back when you have audited the 30 millions lines of code of Linux).

If you don’t want to trust any human being, go live in the forest. And even then, you have to assume we are not in a computer simulation (this is just to prove that at some point, you have to blindly trust something, if you want to better understand what I mean, look up what the I think therefore I am quote comes from).

@makemoderationoption
creator
33M

Good discussion thanks for replying.

I am not quite sure where you are getting into issues of trust? Was it to do with potential for moderator abuse? and so trusting moderator decisions? Because equating that with say auditing all the lines of linux code is absurd.

I am not sure on how your federation will work and you seemed to miss some of my questions on that. I will raise them though in another thread and do more reading. I guess because it is an as yet unfinished feature how it will work is not fully fixed yet.

Yes you can delete anything you “don’t like”, just realize that this action makes you an editorializing publisher and in fact causes you more legal problems than had you not… if you really are concerned with “illegal information”. There is a reason the phone company and mail service doesn’t editorialize your phone calls and mail. Also being intolerant, especially of others ideas, is antithetical to free and open societies. In a nation like America where such censorship activities are now become more mainstream the effects can be witnessed as a fracturing of society. The division is almost like a civil war and likely could become one. To that end I think engaging in censorship like is now with big tech and from the left should be viewed as sedition and treason for the effects it causes and so the individuals that engage in it should be liable as traitors. If that makes you uneasy, it should because the line of thinking that you have a right and should stop others from speaking or expressing themselves is just wrong, even when it is against things that are detestable. Speech is not violence.

@makemoderationoption
creator
13M

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