Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Moderation and Online Community

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Saturday 12th March 2011

  • Community Engagement Strategies: Rational Debate or Herding Cats?

    by Drew Curtis, Tucker Max, Kelly McBride and Erik Martin

    The promise of social communities on legacy media websites seemed bright at first. Ideally, communities on media websites inform journalists, have reasoned debate on issues, and add to the value of content on media websites. Or at least that's what was supposed to happen. Most legacy media companies have comments and communities, and many are let's just say less than accommodating to reasoned debate. We all know what I mean by that. How did this happen? Is it fixable? Should it be fixed? What are others doing to combat these problems? How does this conflict with first amendment values? On the other hand, many website communities exist without these problems. How did they manage to come into being? How do they stay civil? How do they continue to actually live up to the promise of informing journalism, having reasoned debate, and adding to content value? This panel will explore methods sites use to deal with nutjobs as well as how to encourage and reward productive members in the community.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 1:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In Capitol E-H, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

  • Real World Moderation: Lessons from 11 Years of Community

    by Matt Haughey

    After 11 years of running MetaFilter.com, I (and the other moderators) have been through just about everything, and we've built dozens of custom tools to weed out garbage, spammers, and scammers from the site.

    I'll cover how to identify and solve problems including identity, trolling, sockpuppets, and other nefarious community issues, show off custom tools we've developed for MetaFilter, and show you how to incorporate them into your own community sites.

    LEVEL: Advanced

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 12th March

    In TX Ballroom 1, Hyatt Regency Austin

    Coverage video

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • 27 (Fun!) Ways to Kill Your Online Community

    by Patrick O'Keefe

    In this fun and extremely fast-paced session, you'll learn how to manage an online community backwards. You'll become an expert in the quickest ways to kill your online community, using tips you can take and use today to kill yours as soon as possible! You can even take these skills and work with clients who want to hire you to kill their community, too. Of course, if you want to attend the session to learn from those bad methods and do the opposite, in order to build a successful and well-run online community, you can. But, I'm not sure why you'd want to do that.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Salon K, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage slide deck

Monday 14th March 2011

  • Dealing With Internet Drama In Feminist Discourse

    by Garland Grey and Rachel McCarthy James

    The Internet is a community of communities, all filled with conflict and drama. Social justice and activism are as filled with these clashes as any other group, but the wounds inflicted can be more than difference of opinion or personality discord: in “safe spaces”, tensions can be particularly fraught

    These incidents can often be instructive and valuable. Conflict clarifies loyalties and solidifies friendships; conflict can reveal humility and pride. Controversy can teach anti-oppression activists about how to avoid unintentionally inflicting harm upon folks who do not share their privileges.

    But while call-outs can be essential to honest discussions of inequality, drama is just as often destructive. Conflict comes at a price, sometimes with little payoff. Internet drama cost emotional energy, physical resources, time, and relationships. Blogwars, 500+ comment threads, and 140-character fights are rarely in anyone’s best interest – they are usually costly to the attacker, the target, and those reading on the sidelines.

    Drama and conflict in online social justice is usually best minimized and carefully managed. This presentation, which will focus more on examination than instruction, is not just about how to check your privilege. It’s about when to call out, and how to avoid abusing others. It’s about how to respond, when to check out, and how to take care of yourself in a community that demands everything of you.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 5ABC, Austin Convention Center

  • The Harassment Predicament: Minimizing Abuse, Maximizing Free Speech

    by delbius

    Online services tread a narrow line between enabling free speech and preventing abuse of members. Offline, harassment is often determined contextually; unfortunately, website owners and operators often lack the time, insight, and ability to determine the context surrounding a given behavior. Additionally, the speech itself may not be directly abusive; thus, identifying other vectors for abuse is becoming increasingly important. As a result, Del Harvey, the Director of Twitter's Trust and Safety department, has spent a significant amount of the past two years working to develop objective litmus tests for evaluating potentially abusive behavior in the absence of context. This presentation will draw upon the work done at Twitter as well as Del's previous background working with online safety advocates to provide practical and doable policies and suggestions for sites to utilize with a minimum of engineering investment and personnel needs.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center