The Political Philosophy of Moderation
February 8, 2007 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Are there any good academic papers out there applying political theory and philosophy to the moderation of online forums? Also interested in recommendations of papers on moderation in online forums in general.

I'd also be curious to see if anyone has applied "canonical" models of political modelling to online forum moderation. It seems like they'd be good microcosms for experiments in freedom versus state control, individual rights, etc. Is mathowie our Leviathan? Can a forum be run by the principles of committee communism? What are examples of forums run by different political models? Is 4chan what anarchy looks like?
Oh, and bonus points for citations, of course.
posted by klangklangston to Law & Government (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
You might find any of these papers useful...

Thierry Vedel (2006). The Idea of Electronic Democracy: Origins, Visions and
Questions. Parliamentary Affairs: UK Politics and The Internet - The First
Decade, 59(2), 226-235. Retrieved February 8, 2007, from Research
Library database. (Document ID: 1072719461).

Brian Wilson (2006). Ethnography, the Internet, and Youth Culture:
Strategies for Examining Social Resistance and "Online-Offline"
Relationships. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(1), 307-328,346. Retrieved
February 8, 2007, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1095080671).

Dhavan V Shah, Jaeho Cho, William P Eveland Jr, Nojin Kwak. (2005).
Information and Expression in a Digital Age: Modeling Internet Effects on
Civic Participation. Communication Research, 32(5), 531-565. Retrieved
February 8, 2007, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 900825761).

Peter Dahlgren (2005). The Internet, Public Spheres, and Political
Communication: Dispersion and Deliberation. Political Communication, 22
(2), 147-162. Retrieved February 8, 2007, from Research Library database.
(Document ID: 927485721).

Bruce W. Hardy, Dietram A. Scheufele. (2005). Examining Differential Gains
From Internet Use: Comparing the Moderating Role of Talk and Online
Interactions. Journal of Communication, 55(1), 71-84. Retrieved February 8,
2007, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 818529251).

Matthew C Nisbet, Dietram A Scheufele. (2004). POLITICAL TALK AS A CATALYST
FOR ONLINE CITIZENSHIP. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 81
(4), 877-896. Retrieved February 8, 2007, from Research Library database.
(Document ID: 813926451).

Ann M Mack (2004, January). How the Internet Is Changing
Politics. Adweek, 45(4), 18-22. Retrieved February 8, 2007, from Research
Library database. (Document ID: 532391161).

Daryl Koehn (2003). The nature of and conditions for online trust. Journal
of Business Ethics, 43(1/2), 3-19. Retrieved February 8, 2007, from Research
Library database. (Document ID: 470202541).

Nicole R Brown (2002). "Community" metaphors online: A critical and
rhetorical study concerning online groups. Business Communication
Quarterly, 65(2), 92-100. Retrieved February 8, 2007, from Research
Library database. (Document ID: 140751681).
posted by sswiller at 11:13 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Paul K Ohm, On Regulating the Internet: Usenet, A Case Study, 6 UCLA L. Rev. 1941 (1999)
posted by Brian James at 11:23 AM on February 8, 2007

Holt, R. (2004) Dialogue on the Internet: Language, civic identity, and computer-mediated communication. Westport, Connecticut: Prager.

This has some of what you are looking for.
posted by oflinkey at 12:14 PM on February 8, 2007

Have you tried searching Google scholar?
posted by kenchie at 12:42 PM on February 8, 2007

Peter Ludlow is a philosopher who does a bit of work related to this -- one of his current projects is on "the role of game theory in... the formation of social institutions in virtual environments", and he wrote a couple of books about online environments in the late 1990s. His stuff is not exactly what you're after, but he's a prominent philosopher who works on online social stuff, so might be a good starting point. (eg, find out who cites his stuff on these issues)
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:00 PM on February 8, 2007

Derek Powazek's Design for Community has a section regarding designing forums and tips for subsequently moderating them along with case studies.
posted by perpetualstroll at 8:51 PM on February 8, 2007

Response by poster: This is good stuff. Now to find out what journals we subscribe to.

Honestly, I was getting too much chaff on google scholar. If I'd thought it through a little better, I probably should have called an academic librarian and found out what the index terms are to search for. But this has given me some stuff to look into, and some authors to pursue. I also wanted more of a sense of who was authoritative, and was hoping that some of you were in enough of a related field that your recommendations would avoid wandering into some third-rate vanity journal. I'll wade through these and then probably mark a best (but they've all been good).

But keep 'em coming!
posted by klangklangston at 9:12 PM on February 8, 2007

Any of these papers might help you out, and they have some authority (between 2-5 citations).
  1. Dahlgren, P. 2005. The Internet, public spheres, and political communication: Dispersion and deliberation. POLITICAL COMMUNICATION 22 (2): 147-162.
  2. Riegelsberger, J; Sasse, MA; McCarthy, JD. 2005. The mechanics of trust: A framework for research and design. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN-COMPUTER STUDIES 62 (3): 381-422.
  3. Juris, JS. 2005. The new digital media and activist networking within anti-corporate globalization movements. ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE 597: 189-208.
  4. Marra, RM; Moore, JL; Klimczak, A. 2004. Content analysis of Online discussion forums: A comparative analysis of protocols. ETR&D-EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 52 (2): 23-40.
  5. Wade, SE; Fauske, JR. 2004. Dialogue online: Prospective teachers' discourse strategies in computer-mediated discussions. READING RESEARCH QUARTERLY 39 (2): 134-160.
  6. Kling, R; Courtright, C. 2003. Group behavior and learning in electronic forums: A sociotechnical approach. INFORMATION SOCIETY 19 (3): 221-235.
  7. Koehn, D. 2003. The nature of and conditions for Online trust. JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ETHICS 43 (1-2): 3-19.
  8. Kling, R; McKim, G; King, A. 2003. A bit more to it: Scholarly communication forums as socio-technical interaction networks. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 54 (1): 47-67.
  9. Johnsen, JAK; Rosenvinge, JH; Gammon, D. 2002. Online group interaction and mental health: An analysis of three online discussion forums. SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY 43 (5): 445-449.

posted by sswiller at 9:35 AM on February 9, 2007

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