Moderating groups (was Grrr! )

Keith Robison robison at lipid.harvard.edu
Thu Oct 19 22:07:48 EST 1995


Alexander Berezin (berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA) wrote:

: Problem(s) here [ as well as with any censorship, no matter how
: well intended it may be ] is that it always contains unresolvable 
: items, like in the above: 

: "... group sees ..... posting should not be there ... ".

: Who and how can define all that ?  Group by definition consists
: of people and people generally disagree (otherwise, no point to
: have a group) and often "see" one and the same thing differently.
: ...
: The only agreement which you can perhaps sensibly implement is 
: that there must not be explicitely offensive language (f-words, 
: say) and libelous statements against specific people. All the 
: rest is more-or-less grey area : yes, almost all have consensus 
: that chain letters like "how to make money by sending $5 to me" 
: do not belong to science discussion groups, but some ads 
: nonetheless can fall in a grey area.

: And by all means discussions of general character like Motives 
: of Scientists, science funding and peer review, etc. must not be 
: censored at all. No to Big Brother on Net. 

Agreed.  One reasonable way to do this is to not reject
borderline posts, but to kick them into another newsgroup
(for bionet, bionet.general is the obvious place).  For example,
bionet.info-theory frequently gets postings which _do_ have
to do with biology but _do not_ have anything to do with 
information theory.  Posts such as that should probably be
redirected to bionet.general, with the poster notified of
the redirection.  

Keith Robison
Harvard University
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI

robison at mito.harvard.edu 





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