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Moderation with vouch - sending vouches was a session at IndieWebCamp Berlin 2019.

Watch: ▶️58:36s

Notes archived from: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/vouch

IndieWebCamp Berlin 2019
Session: Moderation with vouch - sending vouches
When: 2019-05-04 17:00



Jack Jamieson (just listening to the youtube stream in the background so a poor summary, but...)

  • Two types of approval seem important (1) sender is not a spammer, (2) sender is trusted
  • Vouch focuses on the first
  • Criticism: Vouch requires a lot of overhead to determine someone is not a spammer
  • At current very small scale, everyone who sends a vouch is trustworthy, since it's a small circle of excellent IndieWeb people
  • At larger scale this won't continue
  • Because vouch requires collecting a lot of information, it gets better over with continued use (since a portion of the data is already collected)
  • Any time site A links to B, it can be understood as a vouch. Therefore can vouch for someone even in the course of criticizing them. (Another reason vouch is anti-spam and not level of trust)

Tantek Çelik: Vouch is not purely anti-spam or trust, it is a sign of social confidence

gRegor Morrill sends vouches where github vouches for him.

  • My site logs and automatically processes referrers for possible vouches, so Github is one possible vouch URL. gRegor Morrill 15:24, 4 May 2019 (PDT)

Tantek gives analogy of someone vouching for a friend to come into your house. This can be revoked if the voucher becomes deemed untrustworthy. e.g. if A vouches for B, and B turns out to be a jerk, then one could choose to stop trusting A.

Rosemary Orchard: How do I untrust someone?

Tantek: You stop linking to them

Seems this would require removing old links.

Q: What if someone wants to unvouch for someone, but not have to edit their website posts from years past?

Tantek: When evaluating vouches, consumer could take post date into consideration. e.g. Choose only to recognize recent vouches Rosemary Orchard suggested earlier a "half life" for vouches, one from yesterday is worth more than one from a year ago.

David Shanske: How do you do that in the vouch system?

Tantek: could add people to a vouch blacklist.

Could choose not to trust a vouch for people who many many outgoing links (this could indicate they are not selective)

Rose: would like both a whitelist and a blacklist to choose who to trust or not trust with a vouch

David: How do we move this forward?

Tantek: If we start letting vouched comments skip moderation, it will encourage growth.

Tantek: Avoid terms 'whitelist' and 'blacklist' but add an option to specify people who you may trust generally, but not trust their taste in people

Provide UI option to disavow a vouch, which indicates that you don't trust their friends

Sender may not know which people are trusted or untrusted. There is a proposed extension to be able to send multiple vouches (up to 3?).

David proposes that webmentions with more than a set number of vouches are more likely to be spam so could be disavowed.

Rose: 3 is a good number, since 1 pass and 1 fail would put a webmention in the moderation queue Tantek: Since 3 is a good number, allow up to 7, after 7 ignore additional vouches

Rose: senders should send most recent links in their vouch, since consumers may choose to evaluate vouch freshness (or half-life)

Rosemary Orchard suggested that instead of a purely anti spam solution, this could be used instead to show comments, but without indicating approval (approval would be after they have completed the entire moderation workflow, or if they are whitelisted).

https://github.com/indieweb/vouch/issues/3 - Multiple Values for Vouch

General consensus:

  • Allow multiple values for vouch
  • 3 is a good number
  • allow up to 7
  • general heuristic:

Consuming side:

  • MInimum UI is a disavow list
  • User can select a previously approved comment, mark it as bad, and if the comment skipped moderation due to the vouch, minimum viable UI is to automatically disavow the voucher. Additional UI would provide a prompt asking if the user wants to disavow that voucher.

See Also