Peer Review Pressure
Thursday, February 18 2010 @ 11:07 AM PST
Contributed by: Richard Pitt
Social sites are "THE" thing these days - and peer review of the content of the user-generated sites is the only way they can function. The problem is, peer review can be abused and/or abusive, but you have to take the bad with the good and just keep on keeping on...
A good friend of mine posted a very innocuous post about her dog on the dog's web site the other day. The site has a twitterfeed setup and the posting was noted to both Facebook and Twitter by this automatic feed. I use this facility myself and in fact suggested to my friend that this was a good way of ensuring people know about new posts.
To her horror, the Facebook post got removed because it got flagged as "abusive" by someone. Nothing she has done can find out what made this post "abusive" and that's just the way it is - someone, on her friend list probably but could have been anyone, either really didn't think the post was OK or hit the button by mistake. That's it, game over.
My friend removed the original post to the blog and the twitter notice and sent me a worried note asking my advice. Well, since I love such questions, here's the answer I gave her:
Put on a thick skin and just post something similar again (not the same) and see if it happens again.
And that's the point - you have to develop a bit of a thick skin in this social networked atmosphere. Some people may hit the wrong button. Some people may develop a grudge for reasons only they will ever know. Some people do some things just for kicks. Some people do things like this because they can - and it may eventually lead to all manner of abuse in the real world at some point.
And that's why you can't let one incident rule your life:
Malice is its own reward and ignoring it is the best defense.
Repetition will eventually get the perpetrator caught - so let them repeat, then you have some reason to get the site owners involved and they have evidence to do something about it.
In fact, looking back on my advice I'd almost say "post the same thing again and see if the problem repeats" - especially if you are pretty sure you're not contravening any of the rules of the sites involved - and in this case I'm fairly sure that's the case.
Just my $0.02