[Home]CommunityDoesNotAgree

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If a significant proportion of a community disagrees with a rule or behavior, any attempts at a CommunitySolution to enforce it are doomed, while even TechnologySolutions and LegalSolutions are hampered. The disagreement may be expressed either actively or passively. Active disagreement is the more visible problem, as attempts by those who agree with the rule to apply a CommunitySolution suffer reverts and other disruption. Passive disagreement is less visible, but may lead to a "rule" that operates in theory but not in practice.

This problem is reduced if there is a strong RightToLeave and RightToFork, as dissenting members may leave rather than staying and obstructing the CommunitySolution.

The same problem may apply to both sides of the argument. Those against some activity cannot apply a CommunitySolution to get rid of it, but those in favour of some activity cannot apply a CommunitySolution to render it acceptable or encouraged. Instead, there is an uneasy tension between the two camps.

The most brutal form of CommunityDoesNotAgree is when the community has to get rid of someone who is contributing negative value, like a troll (cf. WhatIsaTroll) creating FlameWars. Some argue RadicalInclusiveness, others argue to restrict access to only certified CommunityMembership, and all the while you RewardReputation of the person you should DissuadeReputation. This kind of argument rapidly drains the morale of a community and might kill it as the longer the community focuses on the troublemakers, the more the best contributors will leave--in silence. In fact, it is the greatest challenge to wikis (cf. GreatChallengesToWikis). There is no known solution to this; current best practice to maintain order relies on DemaGoguery and charisma (magic) or HardSecurity, neither of which are remotely stable solutions. It's simply the case that SoftSecurity fails when the CommunityDoesNotAgree (hence HardSecurity is employed, which is unilateral in nature).

The above text is PrimarilyPublicDomain.

CategoryConflict, CategorySoftSecurity

Examples

Average driving speed is greater than the speed limit. The PoliceForce try to change this behaviour, but since quite a large portion of the CommunityDoesNotAgree, the police haven't had much success at getting drivers to change. Worse, some in the community actively disagree, and vandalise speed traps. Compare drunk driving, where advertising campaigns have changed attitudes, and there is significant PeerPressure against drink driving.

On WikiWiki, the CommunityDoesNotAgree with refactoring, or even most simple editing. The active disagreement means that attempts to refactor are faced with disruption, while the passive disagreement means that users ignore the call to Wiki:FixYourWiki.

Imagine if SunirShah decided that ThreadMode should be avoided at all costs on MeatBall. This might work - if he could convince enough members of the MeatBall community that it was a good idea. If he couldn't, he might very well end up with a never ending task - refactoring a large percentage of pages after others edit them. imposing TechnologySolutions, CommunityExiles, etc might very well destroy the community without successfully eradicating ThreadMode.

The FreeSoftwareFoundation tries to promote exclusive use of the GnuGeneralPublicLicense amongst members of OpenSource communities. They have some notable successes, but also several sizeable communities which have rejected it for any number of reasons. Examples include the various BSD systems, Apache, and the Perl community (which generally dual licenses in order to allow the users greater freedom than they would get under either the GnuGeneralPublicLicense or the ArtisticLicense?).


Painful people suck

Wikis only work when they are positive environments where everyone comes together to act on each other's behalf, and to do so quickly so we can get on with what is fun. Spending inordinate amounts of time on things that aren't fun is a clear signal that you are screwing up. Your best people are the precious commodities you should invest in, not the worst. Nothing troublemakers do or say is worth the time you will invest in them. That means neither RadicalInclusiveness nor CommunityMembership are the right answer (both require effort). The community must all agree to focus only on the positive aspects and quickly and silently eliminate the negative. Don't quibble, just ensure the environment is always positive. People who are negative shouldn't even make a dent in the community.

And just to be clear, if you see a FlameWar, don't sit on the sidelines. Everyone has to pitch in to make it clear just how unwelcome the flame war is. You may think you'll get involved in a trainwreck, but if everyone pitches in, no one can be singled out. Definitely don't let one valiant defender take the brunt of the attack. Diffuse the pain throughout the community, and thus make it tolerable. Watching silently as someone gets beaten is doing violence; NonViolence demands you work to end all violence, not just the violence you do directly.

Painful people suck the community spirit. If there is anything to protect in an OnlineCommunity, it is the community spirit. No matter what you are discussing, there is no excuse to do violence of any kind, to fail the BarnRaising ideal. If it isn't fun, it isn't worth it. Accepting BarnRaising as a principle standard for a community is the only way for it to grow.

Definitely don't let one valiant defender take the brunt of the attack. Diffuse the pain throughout the community, and thus make it tolerable. Watching silently as someone gets beaten is doing violence;

yes...but...on the other hand, the one who goes help the unique individual making front with the violence, or the one victim of the violence, is often said responsible for raising even more dissent. One victim of violence is *only* one, and is sometimes quietly pushed aside, as he threatens the peace of a community. At best, his suffering and resulting violence is ignored. Once another takes side with him, there is less chance that the issue is ignored, and more chance to generate even more heat. This does not always diffuse the violence, it raises more violence.

Painful people are a part of reality. I think that a major issue is trying to figure out the clueless/newbie people from hurtful people. (I may be saying this from a newbie view.)


Discussion

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