Re: Why has CredWeb been silent when it is now needed more than ever?

This topic is quite relevant and current for the SocialCG,  as Sebastian 

I suggest people interested in cross-platform social media moderation 
attend their meeting tomorrow 
<>.  Members of CredWeb are 
welcome to attend, I'm told. It's using a platform called BBB which you 
may want to get familiar with before the meeting.

Related, folks might want to check out eunomia <>, 
which includes modifying mastodon for better handling of misinformation. 
Sebastian and I were at a talk they gave a couple days ago.

       - Sandro

On 1/22/21 12:54 PM, Christopher Guess wrote:
> Hello everyone, it’s been awhile since I last commented on this 
> channel, but now that the tone is turning down a bit on the fact 
> checking side I wanted to say a few words and share a thought or two 
> in response to the ideas on this thread.
> First, around moderation: The first thing to remember, as we’ve been 
> reminded here, is that the W3C is a global organization, so any talk 
> of what is acceptable to moderate should be looked at in a global 
> context. This of course presents difficulties due to the fact that 
> morality and cultural standards vary wildly between different 
> countries, regions, and communities.
> It’s been mentioned that a user-based voting and self-regulation 
> protocol system could be a remedy here, but what’s being proposed, to 
> my ears, actually sounds exactly like the system that Parler had 
> implemented. In their system any flagged post would have five random 
> accounts assigned to vote on if it was appropriate. This, as we’ve 
> seen, did not work out in the long run for them. It would instead lead 
> to the most active users (those most radical in my experience) being 
> the lone voices of “reason” in the forums. Even Reddit, which at least 
> has a somewhat heavier, but still distributed hand, eventually had to 
> step in and shut down the most vile subreddits due to the moderators 
> condoning the actions of the users.
> Second: When it comes to protocols over platforms, I have to ask, if I 
> was working at a social media organization: how does adopting a 
> protocol in any way limit my liability? Agreeing on standards to share 
> information does nothing to prevent someone in a country where Section 
> 230 doesn’t exist from suing me for allowing the information on my 
> system in the first place. Though I am not a lawyer, I imagine saying, 
> “Well, someone else said it was ok,” is almost certainly not going to 
> hold up in UK or German court. Given a lack of liability shielding I 
> can’t imagine any for-profit (non-Fediverse) social network giving up 
> their information via a global protocol unless they get something out 
> of it.
> OK, so, what do we do about this? The honest answer from my 
> perspective is: I find more problems with a standards-based approach 
> than solutions. In the end we are at best preaching to the choir, and 
> at worst screaming into the void. Those people that use platforms that 
> would follow such standards are the least likely to actually need the 
> moderation in the first place. I can’t imagine StormFront or the 
> successor to Parler or Gab caring even a little about a white paper 
> and what Twitter does. If anything, it gives them more followers. The 
> real way forward, as I see it, is beyond the scope of this chain, but 
> involves sociologists, economists and a severe change to 1st amendment 
> interpretation in the United States.
> Instead, because this group does care, perhaps we scope this down and 
> bit of a smaller piece of the pie? While the W3C scope is global, 
> perhaps this group can focus locally. Instead of claiming to be a 
> panacea for all moderation issues, focus on just getting the Mastodon 
> system on board. The system already shares data by default, and gives 
> the runners of each instance full moderation control. Essentially, by 
> putting in a sharable moderation system we’re piggybacking on what has 
> already been built and standardizing that while expanding on it. It 
> may not be the perfect system, but it’s a starting point at least and 
> 1.) Already has buy-in by programmers and 2.) is something actively in 
> use at scale already and 3.) is open source, so the whole process can 
> happen in the open without the smoke and mirrors of dealing with the 
> large tech companies.
> We make it a point to not even mention we want to be an example to the 
> large social media orgs, or part of a wider solution, but that 
> instead, we’re partnering with groups that we share values with to do 
> just a bit of good in the world. If it works, perhaps we can move 
> forward from there, but even getting some solution into the Mastodon 
> protocol and standards written for that single use case would be a 
> huge leap forward.
> Thanks for reading, and I hope you all stay safe, sane, and have a 
> wonderful weekend.
> -Chris
> -Christopher Guess
> US/WhatsApp/Signal: +1 262.893.1037
> PGP: AAE7 5171 0D81 B45B –
> On Jan 22, 2021, 10:51 AM -0500, Tom Jones 
> <>, wrote:
>> Question - I assumed that this group was responsible for CredMan - is 
>> that correct or does that live somewhere else?
>> Be the change you want to see in the world ..tom
>> On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 7:26 AM Dan Brickley < 
>> <>> wrote:
>>     On Fri, 22 Jan 2021 at 14:54, Sandro Hawke <
>>     <>> wrote:
>>         On 1/21/21 8:53 PM, Bob Wyman wrote:
>>>         I could go on at length, but first I'd like to ask if you
>>>         think that this kind of protocol-based solution, as an
>>>         alternative and complement to platform-based systems or
>>>         standards, is something that could or should be explored in
>>>         this group. Is this the right context in which to explore
>>>         and develop such protocol-based approaches?
>>         I think that's more or less the group's mission.
>>         The problem is, we don't have people participating in the
>>         group who are building such systems. It's generally a mistake
>>         to try to create a standard without participation from people
>>         developing viable products which will use the standard. I've
>>         helped people make that mistake several times in the past and
>>         it's not good.  It's somewhat related to the architecture
>>         astronaut problem.
>>         <>
>>         I am, myself, building such a system. Unfortunately, I don't
>>         currently know anyone else who is. I also don't know if it
>>         can become a viable product.  Until there are several other
>>         people who are independently building this stuff, I don't see
>>         a way for standards-type work to proceed.
>>     That sounds about right.
>>     I still believe a big part of the difficulty here is also that
>>     online credibility is kind of an arms race, so those seeking to
>>     be recognized as credible will be paying close attention to any
>>     putative standard or protocol, which makes developing such things
>>     collaboratively in an open way problematic.
>>         The CG has at times been an interesting forum for discussion,
>>         though, and some good has come out of that. Maybe there's
>>         value to re-starting meetings like that.
>>     Even just as a meeting place for folks who want to find
>>     like-minded collaborators, a community group has value...
>>     All the best,
>>     Dan
>>         Most recently, I was imagining us having presentations by
>>         folks developing credibility products, and maybe coming up
>>         with a review process. In particular, I was thinking about
>>         how we could push every project on the "why should people
>>         trust you?" question.  A proper architecture (like CAI) can
>>         answer this question in a way that closed apps can't.
>>         Crunchbase has 500+ companies with the keyword "credibility",
>>         9000+ with the keyword "trust", and 59 with the keyword
>>         "misinformation". [I haven't gone through the 59. Clearly
>>         some like snopes and blackbird are about combating misinfo;
>>         others, like Natalist, are just making reference to how there
>>         is misinformation in their target market.]
>>         Is there a story that would get, say, 20 of those 59 to be
>>         interested in interoperating? I've only talked to a few of
>>         them, and I wasn't able to think of a serious argument for
>>         how their business would benefit from going open-data. It
>>         might be worth trying some more.
>>                 -- Sandro

Received on Friday, 22 January 2021 18:54:44 UTC