Why it's impossible to agree on what's allowed

# · 🔥 323 · 💬 355 · 15 days ago · danluu.com · imadj · 📷
On large platforms, it's impossible to have policies on things like moderation, spam, fraud, and sexual content that people agree on. The idea behind the site is that it's very difficult to get people to agree on what moderation rules should apply to a platform. Even if you take a much simpler example, what vehicles should be allowed in a park given a rule and some instructions for how to interpret the rule, and then ask a small set of questions, people won't be able to agree. Given how "Wiggly" the per-question majority graph looks, it would be extraordinary if it were the case that being in the majority for each question meant that most people agreed with you or that there's any set of positions that the majority of people agree on. If we had a sharp drop in the graph at one point then it would suggest that most everyone has the same cutoff; instead we see a very smooth curve as if different people read this VERY SIMPLE AND CLEAR rule and still didn't agree on when it applied. When you move away from a contrived, abstract, example like "No vehicles in the park" to a real-world issue that people have emotional attachments to, it generally becomes impossible to get agreement even in cases where disinterested third parties would all agree, which we observed is already impossible even without emotional attachment. Charged issues are often fractally contentious, causing disagreement among people who hold all but identical opinions, making them significantly more difficult to agree on than our "No vehicles in the park" example.
Why it's impossible to agree on what's allowed



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