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Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire

Personally, I blame WarGames.

That 1983 movie firmly planted the idea of the curious hacker into the world consciousness at a time when personal computers were still new. Think back to Matthew Broderick, the poor guy, innocently mucking about in military computers. Because they were there. Almost causing Global Thermonuclear War.

When I got my first email account in 1991, I did the same thing in the green and black terminals of UC Santa Cruz. I typed in random commands, poking around the edges, looking for secrets. I never started a war, but I did manage to have playful anonymous conversations with random people until my interest in the game petered out.

The point is, mischievous curiosity is an element of any online interaction, even in this era, where computers are less mysterious than they used to be. Continue...

{ 2:35am }


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{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
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Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
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  the slow glimmering descent
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{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
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