A Case for Social Discrimination – Randy Hamilton

An article by Randy Hamilton on the social media today website is interesting as it talks about and highlights the challenges of mirroring “real” communities within a social networking or social media platform.

What Randy highlights is the fact that in real communities some people have more “weight” when there voice is heard because they are more active, have a reputation or are trusted. Contrast this to someone who might sit at the back of a room and speak only once and there only contribution is to be negative.

This isn’t to say that these voices are less important or less valid, but they need to be taken in context within the community setting. They may not have the breadth of knowledge that others have or they maybe intent of causing confusion or miscommunication.

So how do you replicate the real community within an online community to factor in that some people’s voices are worth more than others?


5 thoughts on “A Case for Social Discrimination – Randy Hamilton

  1. I’m not able to access that link Carl – getting Access Denied – but I wonder if this is an attempt to replicate the limitations of the real world rather than the benefits?

    One of the great things about online communication is the focus on a person’s message rather than their appearance, social standing, reputation etc: this makes (in theory) for a more open debate and discussion.

    The channel itself must not discriminate – people will do that themselves depending on the positions people take.

    Imagine a chatroom full of men discussing gender discrimination: if one of them happened to be a woman without the rest knowing (or caring) – would that improve the debate or diminish it?

  2. When I read the post by Randy Hamilton

    I came away from it with a different notion than you did. Randy’s post at Social Media Today appears to have less to do with “communities” than with the stated fact that someone gave his Amazon “store” a bad customer report card. And Randy wants folks to believe “his side” of the story. In a customer service situation, the customer is always right, though. So Randy continues in the post and proposes a ratings sytem for people who he assumes are pathologically negative commenters and posters, so that they are treated as social pariahs, equal to the way good whitebread “Americans” are supposed to regard “illegal” aliens and others Randy’s construct relegates to lower social forms. Read his post carefuly. If you like freedom of speech and speak your mind, you might be flying in the face of Randy Hamilton’s thought pollice.

  3. Sol… In reality I am more in favor of rewarding people for their hard, diligent work in a community– less focused on the pariahs. Please note… when I say hard, diligent work I’m not referring to contributions that everyone agrees with (as is demonstrated with this very post). Being popular or a significant contributor doesn’t mean you have to be a lemming. Even if a ratings system focused on this alone, and left the ‘sociopaths’ to continue spraying their graffiti on our walls at-will, at least the hard-working diligent folks typically get the spotlight and drown out those who believe otherwise. I wrote this to see what others thought– if there was anything to this subject. Today the mob votes– and everyone has an equal vote. Maybe this represents a good-enough system. Maybe by the sheer number of contributions made by these ‘heavy’ contributors, the so-called pariahs make themselves look stupid? This has nothing to do with what you call ‘lower social forms’ (whatever that means), but rather my encounter with a deviate whose only goal was to be destructive for no apparent reason. And by the way, my rating eventually did go back to 100% on Amazon. So many people complained about this particular ‘pariah’ that the this person’s ratings were removed and he was exiled. Hmmm… I guess a jury of his peers decided his fate. And if it weren’t for our freedom of speech, we wouldn’t be able to have this lively discussion. I for one happen to believe wholeheartedly in our constitution, ‘all’ 27 amendments, and everything for which it stands. Thanks again for your comments Sol.

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