A core assumption of is that governments and "experts" can be wrong, that laws and policies sometimes need to be overturned. Discovering when that's the case absolutely depends on the ability of fringe groups to express and campaign on dissenting views, all of which will seem abhorrent and obviously wrong to *someone*. Governments forcing monopolistic platforms to censor fringe views is a threat to an emerging global democracy. We must prevent this, not applaud it.

A lot of people seem to think that having online platforms strictly police users' expression has got to be a good thing, because it protects people from marginalized segments of the population from bullying by trolls. The reality is, it can have exactly the opposite effect:

I've come across reports by radical women of colour, queer activists, indigenous people, and others, of similar abuse of moderation tools by brigades of trolls on FB, Titter etc. It's complicated.

@strypey Here you point at one specific issue I have with codes of conduct: they won't defuse trolls. What can defuse trolls is a proper community team that will handle abuse and enforce community norms. No technical solution exists to this social issue -- and I count CoCs and ToS as technical solutions here -- with the difference that with ToS you can go to court.

Note for CoC proponents and supporters: this does not mean I am against CoCs. I just don't find them sufficient.

@how @strypey
The old school thinking was to never write down any kind of a CoC because as soon as you write something, people start to lawyer about it - old school thinking assumed lots of bad faith actors.

New school thinking seems to be that most people are good faith actors and a bit of guidance is all that's needed (also signaling that the community intends to be non-toxic).

Seems both are a product of their era...

@how @strypey
In an IRC channel where everyone is effectively anonymous and attackers can just bring more and more fake accounts, old school thinking makes a whole lot of sense.

But at a tech conference in the face of the realization that there are a significant number of people with good intentions but just poorly developed social skills, new school thinking is the obvious winner.

@strypey I have no problem with smaller competing platforms doing this sort of "curation". Giving these fringe views a hurdle but not a wall in the way of becoming mainstream.

But when you're as monopolistic as, say, Facebook doing so becomes somewhat troublesome.

@strypey Concept of "emerging global democracy" is an interesting one.

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