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  • The Pollyannish Assumption and AskWoody

    Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ben Thompson has another enlightening post on Stratechery called The Pollyannish Assumption. It’s a nuanced exploration (as are all of Thompson’s Stratechery missives) of the problems with “managing user-generated content.”

    Which just happens to be what we’re trying to do on AskWoody.

    The article talks about Apple’s failure to recognize its “root” password security fault, even though a description was posted, repeatedly, on their own site, over the course of weeks. He then goes on to talk about powerful sites and their ambiguous obligations.

    There is a line: what is broadly deemed unacceptable, and what is still under dispute; the responsibility of these new powers that be is to actively search out the former, and keep their hands — and algorithms and policies — off the latter.

    As most of you know, I’ve struggled with the problems of content and how/if possibly offensive material appears on the AskWoody Lounge. In at least one recent instance we’ve had a religious zealot infiltrate the system, and possibly knock it out.

    Bottom line is that I’m an unabashed Pollyanna. I hope and expect that folks can participate here in a genteel way. It’s quite remarkable that things have gone so well, particularly because we tackle topics that generate lots of angst and bickering — and for good reason.

    I’m convinced that the mods and good old-fashioned peer pressure have kept us out of the shallow end of the gene pool. As we wind up the year, I wanted to say “thanks everybody,” and hope that we can keep this general level of conversation going, for a long time to come.