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Re: Intelligent Rating Systems

From: Michael Dillon <michael@junction.net>
Date: Sat, 24 Jun 1995 22:01:13 -0700 (PDT)
To: Ken Meyering <immedia@netwest.com>
Cc: Kee Hinckley <nazgul@utopia.com>, Peter Deutsch <peterd@bunyip.com>, Marc Salomon <marc@matahari.ckm.ucsf.edu>, www-talk@www10.w3.org, rating@junction.net, uri@bunyip.com
Message-Id: <Pine.LNX.3.91.950624215244.709A-100000@okjunc.junction.net>
On Sat, 24 Jun 1995, Ken Meyering wrote:

> This way, every domain can have it's own "evaluation" of other domains, and
> users.  Why limit the distributed "ratings" and evaluation process to
> "protecting children from filth"?

This is precisely why I am proposing that ratings be served up by a third 
party, i.e. not the WWW author nor the WWW server operator. Any third 
party who wishes can set up a ratings server and serve up ratings. In 
fact, it could be set up in about 30 minutes with a simple PERL script 
serving up records from a dbm database if it were not for the fact that
ratings servers will become the target of crackers, fun-loving college 
students (the ones who put cars on roofs) and so on. In order to have a 
workable solution in the real world, the rating needs to be served up in 
a secure way so that the WWW browser client knows it is a legitimate rating.

> Different domains could be subjectively "weighted" by parents.  These
> "weights" would result in a more balanced "overall recommendation".

While I disagree with your simple linear scale, you are right about 
weightings. The server can't just serve up a yes or no; it must be 
possible for the parent to configure it to their family. For instance,
if a ratings server has a whole bunch of Oklahoma City bombing URL's it 
may recommend some as suitable for younger children while rating others 
as more appropriate to older teens such as photos with blood on them, etc.

An individual parent needs to have the ability to adjust their client end 
so that their sensitive teenage daughter who witnessed her father blow 
his brains out with a gun in the mouth, does not see any bloody pictures. 
At the same time, other teen-rated URL's talking about government agents 
planting the explosives might still be allowed for that teen. The ratings 
system needs to be rich enough to accomodate these kinds of things.

Michael Dillon                                    Voice: +1-604-546-8022
Memra Software Inc.                                 Fax: +1-604-542-4130
http://www.memra.com                             E-mail: michael@memra.com
Received on Sunday, 25 June 1995 01:56:57 GMT

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