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skjoldburger comments on Kialo -- an online discussion platform that attempts to support reasonable debates - Less Wrong Discussion

2 Post author: mirefek 05 November 2017 12:48PM

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Comment author: skjoldburger 20 January 2018 10:15:07AM 0 points [-]

The internet can, I believe, fix itself. Kialo is one attempt at doing so.

The pros of Kialo appear to be that 1. Participants are civil, 2. Arguments are deconstructed, and 3. one can look at a topographic map of an argument. Also, the system checks to see if any arguments have already been made elsewhere so as to prevent repetition

Deeper than this is what could be be called the Wikipedia effect. Though anyone can edit a page in Wikipedia, pages more or less get better and better, particularly in the areas that are not controversial. There is a constant improvement process in place.

That is in Wikipedia. However, arguments are inherently controversial but with editors and flagging I can imagine that improvements could lead to improved arguments. I cannot say if that is in fact the case. One troubling part is that sub arguments get voted upon to appear higher or lower on a pros vs. cons list. Truth is not democratic.

Furthermore as there are no barriers to entry of participants, such as a test of reasoning skills or a test to eliminate those with a pathological bias -- the hallmark of a online troll -- the voting process hinders rather than furthers the "Wikipedia effect".

Comment author: kialo 03 February 2018 01:31:26PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for your feed-back!

We are considering questionnaires for certain discussions, but aren't sure this would help. We do have flagging, once you have been granted discussion editor rights. Can you recommend a good quick reasoning test?

Unlike Wikipedia, not everyone can just edit a discussion. Currently you have to be invited by the discussion creators (no we haven't seen much bias due to that, as one-sided discussions look really stupid). Until you are invited you can only suggest claims, which admins have to accept. This also keeps the trolls out.


The next phase will be to have user levels and allow roaming powerusers that have writers etc rights in all public discussions. We are learning as we go. As you say, dealing with controversies is a very different game than with definitions of terms (although they are sometimes controversial too and then they might well get edit-locked)

In case you are interested, some more background info about us can be found here: https://twitter.com/KialoHQ/status/956152914720026625

And a very kind shout out by Reddit cofounder Ohanian, incl how we differentiate ourselves to Reddit here: https://twitter.com/KialoHQ/status/954500647835054080

We agree that the voting and displaying of avg is not ideal and will probably introduce perspective tagging.

Msg support if you want private teams / portals, for decision-making etc..

We know we got a long arduous journey ahead of us...