Is Quora’s BNBR policy reasonable?

This has been said plenty by others, and I’m just clearing my backlog with this, but:

All justice is reasonable when administered with equity. See Michael Masiello’s answer to What do you hate about Quora as of March 2017?

BNBR sure does not look like it is administered with equity. Moderation does not do context or extenuating circumstance, and it’s not supposed to.

But that’s the complaint about the implementation of BNBR.

I have plenty of concerns about BNBR as a policy itself: I think it is problematic.

BNBR licences bad knowledge and truthiness: Nick Nicholas’ answer to Why has Quora become a magnet for flat Earth and Moon landing conspiracy questions that must be given BNBR respect, even though they’re undeserving? BNBR suppresses criticism of individuals, and has a chilling effect on criticism of a lot of things. BNBR gets fetishised as an end in itself, rather than a means to more civil discourse. And BNBR is blatantly culture-specific: there is no universal measure of niceness or respect. (So everyone gets measured by a Northern Californian norm. Or that of the subcontractors thereof, or that of the bots thereof.)

These are all controversial claims, and there’s plenty of arguments to be made for and against. But saying BNBR is reasonable as a given, before moving on to how it is misapplied in practice, is not how those arguments get had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *