PART 2 - MODERATING THE BIOSCI/bionet NEWSGROUPS

Phil Jeffrey phil at xtreme1.mskcc.org
Fri Feb 24 11:55:52 EST 1995


In article <3ij6so$rog at net.bio.net> BIOSCI Administrator <biosci-help at net.bio.net> writes:

 [ snip ]

>>   (2) Freedom of speech!!!  This proposal sounds like fascism on the net.

 [ snip ]

>>   *NO ONE* will do the moderation!!  It will be done by machine and
>>   elimnate the need to find people to preapprove/edit messages.  The
>>   only criterion will be that one has preregistered to post to the
>>   BIOSCI newsgroups.  Messages posted or mailed in to the newsgroups
>>   will first be sent for checking against the registration list and then
>>   approved for distribution automatically or rejected automatically.
>>   There will be no editorial interference with people's opinions.

   This "automoderation" scheme still involves a moderator who 
   approves/disapproves users (as opposed to posts).  So this method is 
   not immune from the problems of moderator bias.  Perhaps there should be
   public notification of a user's removal from posting privelege, as a
   check against abuse by the moderator.  This will necessarily involve
   more admin posts polluting BIOSCI space, but it's a step better
   than users being silently removed from the list, and would allow people
   to campaign against such a removal if it was unjustified.

>>   On the administrative side, the drawback is that every potential
>>   poster has to be listed and the address in the listing would have to
>>   be current.  

   Disk space is getting cheaper by the day :)  A timeout feature in the
   list could remove a user from the list if they haven't posted in the 
   last two years, for example.

   BUT, I don't support the idea of David Steffen (steffen at bcm.tmc.edu) who
   writes in article <3ijah1$eso at gazette.bcm.tmc.edu> :

>>   1) It should be programmed to be fairly flexible as to addresses, and
>>   have the ability to easily add aliases.  If I join as:
>>      steffen at condor.bcm.tmc.edu
>>   ...and later post as...
>>      steffen at merlin.bcm.tmc.edu
>>   I think the software ought to accept my posting.

   ... because the potential for abuse or collision. The subdomain here
   (*.ski.mskcc.org) covers a many researchers, and more machines
   than I care to consider, and the potential for name collision is very
   high.  Of course, I'm not wise to use my first name as my username, but
   it's not unlikely that other users matching phil@*.ski.mskcc.org exist,
   over which I have no control, and who would have an interest in BIOSCI.

   This is an especially large problem for Macs and PC's, which usually have
   no inherent user/password security, and are yet still directly connected 
   to the net.

   However one should be allowed to add aliases at the time of creating
   the initial subscription.

Just my 2c.  Overall, I support the ideas for the future of biosci.

Phil Jeffrey
--
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Phil Jeffrey                                  |                             |
| X-ray/Computer Manager, Crystallography Lab   | If you lie to the compiler, |
| Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC   | it will get its revenge     |
| phil at xray2.mskcc.org, p-jeffrey at ski.mskcc.org |     - Henry Spencer         |
| Ph: (212) 639 2189   Fax: (212) 717 3066      |                             |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------



More information about the Bioforum mailing list