Quick post: Could @OurSayAust prevent the rorts? #atheism #auspol #bolt #democracy

I’m kicking ’round with numbers at work, so thought I’d quickly jot down an idea, musing on whether it would work.

The current OurSay model gives members of the community seven votes to distribute amongst the questions asked by other members of the community.  In a recent post, I noted how easy it was for people to rort this system, particularly if they had greater levels of social influence than other people posting questions.  This was demonstrated rather worryingly by the new atheist crowd being marshalled by an American megaphone to drown out a question relating to Indigenous disadvantage.

Would the system change if you could down vote as well as up vote?  This would give members of the community the ability to ‘punish’ transgressions against the community’s norms of appropriate behaviour.  On the other hand, would this reduce the system into a warlike state of nature.

Would the system change if you were asked to compare questions?  After registering, you’re given the option of asking your own question, or being presented with two questions at random and being asked to decide which is the better question of the two.  After answering, you’re then presented with another two for comparison, and again and again.  This would make it difficult for people to astroturf support for their question and give a ranking of questions that people generally thought were high quality in comparison to those which were not.

Anyway… Back to work…

Author: Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher is a Canberra-based PhD student, writer, and policy wonk who writes about law, conservatism, atheism, and popular culture. Read his blog at OnlyTheSangfroid. He tweets at @ClothedVillainy

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