Bandits Beware!

by pieterh on 21 Oct 2009 12:02 is a little like the Wild West: communities of honest citizens working hard to build something important, and random bandits who come in shooting spam and scam and poisoning the well for the rest of us. Few things annoy us more than some low-life posting junk on a site we've spent months carefully building and looking after.

Spam comments tend to get killed within minutes, or hours, thanks to notifications. But there are spam sites and spam profiles, and these cause to be blocked by firewalls, blacklisted as a "spam" hosting service and so on. The bandit sites have to go!

Phil Chett, Helmuti, and other senior community admins have been discussing with me for some months on how to solve this problem. We want to make a 100% spam free zone, and this means firm action to kill the bandit sites that break the Terms of Service and damage

There is no point in keeping these discussions secret. I'm going to form a police force, the Sheriffs, who are super-moderators of Wikidot. Phil will be the Senior Sheriff, mainly because he rode out last weekend and shot dead several hundred bandit profiles. Phil will recruit a force of a dozen or so fellow Sheriffs, all senior community admins and supergurus, who will get the power to shoot dead any Wikidot site that they consider to be a bandit site.

It will be simple brutal justice, but with safeguards. The Sheriffs will look at the bodies and if there was an innocent caught by accident, they'll be able to bring it back. Wikidot Inc. will be the ultimate judge, and anyone who feels their innocent site, perhaps wearing bandit makeup for Halloween, was wrongly killed, can ask us to intervene.

The Sheriffs will get badges, so you can recognize them and point them to bandit sites directly. They will choose new Sheriffs by invitation, and they will be independent of Wikidot Inc. so there is no risk of turning a police force into a private security service. You may laugh but censorship happens easily once we start moderating content.

So what do you think about this?

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