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How to ruin a community in 3 easy steps

Caleb James DeLisle

This is less a presentation than a wild tale of trying to keep the Hyperboria network a cool and friendly place for all kinds of people, especially women and minorities who don't have so many cool places to go on the internet. I failed hard. I tried to keep an open atmosphere for free exploration of ideas but ended up with a community infested with nazis and misogynists. Along the way I learned that tolerance is not necessarily a good thing, that no amount of rules can beat actually knowing the people you hang with online and that what I call "Anonymous Internet People" have proven to be the source of almost all community problems.

Still I have not given up. I and a number of others have taken up the task of trying to understand the forces which lead communities into the gutter and design infrastructure to subtly push people toward being excellent to each other.