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FixBrokenWindows is good, because when people see ugly stuff, they do ugly stuff. So we fix things.

However, ColdBlanket screams out in horror at the idea. Slower! Not so rushed! We need time to fix this problem. Maybe a month or two before we really know the best solution. And she's right, of course. Patience is a virtue in these things, and an excess of zeal in fixing problems doesn't LimitDamage very well.

Therefore, LimitVisibility of the conflict. This doesn't mean making the problem invisible (which would violate OpenProcess), but rather avoiding drawing too much attention. This sets the GuidePost that the conflict is not interesting to us — that FightingIsBoring.

By limiting visibility of a conflict, we can LimitScope. By limiting the visibility to those who are already involved, we prevent the conflict spreading to consume the wider community. This acts as a FireBreak? to the conflict, which is important in large communities.

By contrast, when someone does something beautiful, increase the visibility of that thing, and the act of creating that thing. An AwardRitual is one way to do this.


On WikiWiki (which has an editable recent changes), that means manually taking disputed pages out of Wiki:RecentChanges and Wiki:RecentEdits. Elsewhere, it might mean making them less noticeable in DigestedChanges, or carrying on BusinessAsUsual. We can also LimitVisibility by marking edits as MinorEdits. On MeatballWiki, EditCategories can be used to explicitly mark disagreements and meta-discussion as such, so that uninterested parties can avoid them.

The CanTheWorms? solution to a ForestFire is a special case — this limits the visibility of the fire as a proportion of the PageDatabase (the WikiNow audience), at the cost of increased visibility initially to the RecentChangesJunkie — i.e. HijackingRecentChanges. Of course, if everyone maintains the discussion on the canned page after that, this will LimitVisibility on RecentChanges. Thus, it's important to achieve buy in before canning the worms if possible.

Technology can spring to our aid here by automatically reducing the visibility of pages with lots of edits (likely EditWars, or simply pages that are too hot).

Discussion boards

On discussion boards, mailing lists and usenet (and similar), we LimitVisibility by practicing DissuadeInteraction — on that medium, responding to a post boosts its visibility, so simply not responding, we can avoid feeding the AttentionSeekers. This can be a bottom-up response, or it can be imposed top-down, as in the ability to LockThread?s.



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