AKASHA Conversations #6 — Monster Island and the Ethics of Moderating

AKASHA Conversations #6 — Monster Island and the Ethics of Moderating

By Philip Sheldrake & ZERO

·

May 27, 2022

This month’s conversation was with Aaron Rabinowitz! 🎙️

Aaron is a secular moral philosophy educator with 10+ years of experience helping students develop their capacities for flourishing and value-centered community organizing.

He’s currently working on a PhD in education at Rutgers University, with a focus on developing a new pedagogy of luck to help generate greater compassion, humility, and personal fulfillment. Aaron hosts Embrace the Void and co-hosts Philosophers in Space. 👩🏽‍🚀🚀👨🏽‍🚀

Aaron’s article on Monster Island was published in The Skeptic in 2020. You can read it here for further context on this topic.

In the recording below, Aaron describes how his Facebook group Monster Island was an informal experiment testing unmoderated spaces composed of diverse political and ideological communities.

The Monster Island experiment lasted for four years, and the group immediately experienced issues with moderation and facilitating productive discourse. The island did have some rules: no doxing, no deleting content, and no inappropriate photoshopping of group member pictures.

Learnings from Monster Island 📚👹🏝️

  1. Irrelevant and harmful content will overwhelm relevant and productive content. Moderation is essential to achieve a functional level of discourse.

  2. Moderation is an evolving process and needs to continually adapt to new concerns, social technology, and legal requirements.

  3. It is impossible to please every member of a group and create rules that will cover every circumstance. People will test the boundaries of rules and search for edge cases. There will always be individuals who are unsatisfied with moderation decisions.

  4. Moderation approaches and guidelines should be developed by the community and support the values of the community.

Watch the full presentation and follow-up discussion below! 👀 Content warning – some examples may be disturbing.

About the AKASHA Conversations

AKASHA Conversations is a regular webinar exploring the critical questions of decentralized social networking, with expert presentations informing and inspiring open dialogue and action. To put it another way, AKASHA Conversations is designed to foster the collective design of decentralized conversation.

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Header image by Nicolas HIPPERT on Unsplash.

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