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Nominull comments on Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism - Less Wrong

105 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 02:44AM

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Comment author: Nominull 21 April 2009 03:08:07AM 7 points [-]

4chan is actually pretty popular, I don't know if you are aware. Somehow their lack of censorship hasn't kept them from being "fun" for millions of people.

Comment author: infotropism 21 April 2009 03:32:27PM *  7 points [-]

And the interesting question is : given decentralized censorship, or even no censorship at all, what sort of community can emerge from that ?

My impression is that 4chan is resilient from becoming a failed community, because they have no particular goal, except maybe every one doing what pleases themselves on a personal basis, given it doesn't bother everyone else.

Any single individual will, pretty naturally and unwittingly, act as a moderator, out of personal interest. 4chan is like a chemical reaction that has displaced itself towards equilibrium. It won't move easily one way or the other now, and so it'll remain as it is, 4chan. But just what it is, and what sort of spontaneous equilibrium can happen to a community, remains to be seen.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 April 2009 03:59:34AM 14 points [-]
Comment author: Nominull 21 April 2009 04:40:49AM 11 points [-]

I can see how your moderation strategy might be different if you were optimizing for intelligent debate of issues in your community as opposed to optimizing for maximum fun had by the members of the community. In that case, though, you probably shouldn't conflate the two in your post.

For the record, I am not a denizen of 4chan, but I do have a lot of fun in moderation-light internet communities. I have been fortunate enough to see a natural experiment: the moderation team at my main online hangout was replaced en masse with a much easier going team a couple years back while leaving the community intact, and it was amazing how much easier it became to dick around to be funny when you no longer had to worry that you'd get a three-month ban for "being stupid".

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 21 April 2009 01:29:54PM *  12 points [-]

I can see how your moderation strategy might be different if you were optimizing for intelligent debate of issues in your community as opposed to optimizing for maximum fun had by the members of the community. In that case, though, you probably shouldn't conflate the two in your post.

I won't be having much fun if the discussion ceases to be intelligent. Maybe the people who'll come after will have fun, but this is a community-wireheading scenario: you don't want to wirehead, but if you do wirehead, wireheaded you will have lots of fun...

Comment author: SoullessAutomaton 21 April 2009 04:10:03AM 8 points [-]

Not to mention that 4chan has spawned contributions to internet "culture" that have probably had a bigger impact on society than a lot of stuff the academics have cooked up.

Comment author: gwern 04 September 2011 06:26:04PM 2 points [-]

Would that be a positive or negative impact?

Comment author: William 21 April 2009 04:11:51AM 4 points [-]

On the other hand, 4chan's view of "fun" includes causing epileptic seizures in others.