Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Email to Peter Merholz

Author:Rogers Cadenhead
Posted:10/24/1999; 10:26:40 PM
Topic:Email to Peter Merholz
Msg #:12307 (In response to 12302)
Prev/Next:12306 / 12308

To be clear, I think Third Voice is serious business for exactly these reasons. Now, I think finally you're getting the point.

Third Voice is not the only vehicle for offensive speech on the Internet, and because it requires a valid username and password, it's no more susceptible to egregious abuse than the UserLand discussion forum.

Besides, I believe that any hypothetical pervs making hypothetical whoopie with my childhood photo would be hypothetically deleted, along with all their hypothetical notes, from the Third Voice servers after a hypothetical complaint was made.

After many months of railing against this plug-in, if you don't have shocking examples of real abuse to trumpet, you need to reconsider whether Third Voice is really that bad. Pervs, cranks and trolls are nothing if not early adopters.

My position on this software hasn't changed since I last addressed the point:

I don't own the distasteful comments of a Third Voice user any more than I own the tacky comment you just made here. They are hosted on servers I do not control and published by other people.

If Third Voice becomes the forum of choice for chatty pedophiles, I'll certainly recommend against using the plug-in the same way I recommend against public AOL chatrooms.

I won't, though, object on the grounds that Third Voice has no right to offer public annotation in the context of my Web site to users who opt to see it.

By being so violently opposed to Third Voice on the basis of what it might turn into, you aren't giving public annotation a chance to develop, work out the kinks, and establish standards that are acceptable to the community.

Back in 1994, someone could have done the same thing to the World Wide Web on the grounds that it would lead to huge amounts of copyright abuse.

While that fear has proven true, other applications of the Web show that it's worthwhile to have around despite its faults.

Public annotation may prove to be so useful we can stomach the occasional perv who wants to use the ASCII character set to make sweet virtual love to a childhood photo of Rogers Cadenhead circa 1969.

It may not, of course, but you're going to need better horror stories for me to join you on the picket line.

There are responses to this message:

This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:53:10 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.