2015 May San Francisco

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Universe of Topics


  • Educating "Beneficiaries
  • how do we document success and lessons for others to learn?
  • Getting literacy / competency distributed
  • Educating elites/power holders

Scale Up/Out

  • Framework for effective change, distributing solutions
  • Integration into "real world" systems/institutions
  • Scope insensitivity (maybe hyperbolic discounting, too) ("my contribution doesn't matter")


  • Error correction (can it ever happen online?
  • Glorifying learning in public
  • individual rights balanced with community health
  • Solidarity with critique
  • "Free Speech"

(Potential) Platform

  • Prosocial UX: how the medium shapes the message
  • Front end features
  • back end support
  • how do you design a social platform to discourage conflict?
  • ethical platform/medium experimentation


  • Social norms in hyper-permeable spaces (Durkheim's anoemie)
  • Can we change social norms?
  • How do social scripts break down on internet?
  • How proposal traits get exploited (e.g.: first-round defectors love the norm of "always cooperate on the first turn")
  • "listening period" for n00bs in online space
  • Familial dynamics (parent/child, sibling/sibling)
  • Empathy generation


  • who does enforcement?
  • Bridge figures/translators
  • closed groups which deter racist/sexist/etc patterns
  • Transactional analysis (Games People Play)

Discussion Topics

What is a social script, anyway?

Kind of important to the whole idea of shifting them, in this discussion we covered what social scripts are to us.

What is currently going wrong?

Using a facilitation method picked up from Tim Davies, we arced thru what we know, how that makes us feel, what our gut tells us, and what that means we might do.

Components and workarounds of dog piles

Individuals bringing their historical experience to bear on one example of a long-standing issue, without maintaining the sustained attention necessary to actually change the issue.

Are virtues scalable?

We discussed how communication-targeting virtues and tactics for improving small-scale interactions could be reinterpreted as strategies for larger social environments, with a focus on preventing or interrupting large-scale hostility phenomena without intruding on individual expression.

Detailing components of communication

We laid out various aspects of how communication and community occur. This will feed into how to build a pro-social platform.


  • Communication Karma Score : Matt suggested a way to get credit and signaling for being a good conversational partner, for using logical fallacies, etc
  • IntrospectionBot : just like a desktop reminder to occasionally stretch or go for a walk, this would occasionally prompt a moment of self-reflection. We hope this would de-escalate.
  • Visualizing solidarity : when outrage happens online, it's often because people are dog piling on an exemplar of a historical issue, rather than using the moment of attention to direct energy towards understanding and addressing the historical issue.
  • We discussed (and hopefully contributed to) TQ's Pro-Social Platform as a way to build healthy interaction into the structure of a platform, and associated Parameters of Interaction as related to Sands and Ethan's uncomfortable networks.
  • Quiz to comment : to ensure a commenter is both not a robot AND has the context of the entry, a captcha of sorts would be necessary to indicate having read the full entry before commenting.
  • Aggregated comments : rather than dealing with every negative (or positive!) comment which occurs, instead aggregate with "there are 47 other comments similar to this one"

Things for further perusal

  • Squelching Plugins : mute anything which matches {predicate}
  • Individual accessibility settings : we're ok with Out Of Office responses in emails, why can't we signal that we are stepping away from social media?
  • Data-driven introspection for communities and individuals based on data generated from interactions
  • Hedging versus accountability
  • Saving face
  • Different intents of education (providing data) vs correction (proscribing behavior)
  • Providing labeling tools for airing grievances
  • Handshake before mutually beneficial argument
  • spaces for relaxed, civil group chat ("hangouts")
  • Sentence structure (conversational style) / word choice (filter bubble) machine learning as curated by an individual
  • Introductory / recovery circles or levels
  • 9.5 Theses toward Internet Reformation: An Anti-Manifesto
  • Monkeys and electrified ladder. GR Stevenson
  • Targeted ads on Twitter. Look at how cheap and easy you've made it to put terrible things into people's timelines
  • Unintended audiences

UnitendedAudiences.jpg Lables.jpg Consent.jpg