censorship alternatives (was: Re: )

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Mon Oct 14 16:58:57 BST 2019

On 14/10/2019 16:50, Jean Louis wrote:
> * Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> [2019-10-14 20:57]:
>> When I wrote re-think the whole platform, I meant either finding a
>> de-centralized way to distribute control of list membership or an
>> alternative technology.  I wasn't just thinking about everybody
>> endlessly moving from one list server to the next.
> That should be so, if mailing list is set up for discussion of certain
> subject and anything related to that subject, an ethical administrator
> shall allow people to communicate.
> That is expected from a mailing list.
> For example GNU project is not political, and Guix people are making
> it political for their agenda, but not allowing people to speak to
> Guix people about the same issue they have started talking inside of
> Guix space.
> That is censorship, not just moderation of off-topic communication.
> But setting up such system in place would be something similar to
> Bitcoin block chain that makes sure that certain emails are always
> there INSIDE of the block chain, but some are on topic and visible and
> some are off-topic and not visible.
> Verification of the block chain could make sure that everybody knows
> who wrote what to the mailing list even if some emails were marked as
> off-topic. 
> Something like that.

I started thinking that maybe some of this could be done with a
Thunderbird plugin, managing a BCC list in any block chain or
distributed data structure.

There are various questions:

- does the data structure store the list of subscribers or the actual
messages or both?

- how do people add and remove themselves?  I suspect this won't be
completely immune to abuse, some users could potentially hang on to the
addresses of people who unsubscribe.

- which headers does the plugin need to set, e.g. just the List-Id header?

- how to handle bounces?

There are also some answers: for example, any individual user can make a
decision to block email from another user.  It is therefore a personal
decision and not a moderator decision.  The solution will not attempt to
re-create moderation facilities.



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