Social Policing as Peer Review

I recently had pause for thought on one of the great successes on Khub and it’s an aspect of peer regulation we rarely think about. This is most likely because it is so effective we don’t even notice it.

We have a flag system for erroneous content on Khub. Any user can flag any content as inappropriate. We adjudicate, take appropriate action and inform all parties of the decision and reasoning.

The interesting thing is that given the size of the system and the obvious potential for conflict and intervention, this happens surprisingly rarely. In fact almost never. Actually there has only ever been one actual dispute. Bit boring really I suppose. No CSI, no intrigue, no PD James here I’m afraid.

Our most common offenders are people registering just to post advert blogs in an effort to drive SEO. Just yesterday we had a flag on a blog entry named "Your Metabolism and its Effects on Weight Loss" belonging to a user who it transpired worked for an SEO company in Norfolk. Many thanks to Rob Abell a Trading Standards Officer from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for that.

What it brought to mind was the fact that it had been a long time since we had had such an incident. There was a period before Christmas when we came in to a slew of such blogs from all over the globe every day. But no longer. Why?

Well it’s just that our members are both so focused and keen to see the project work for them. Everything odd or inappropriate is picked up within an hour or two and deleted. This is a social policing success story on such a scale and so effective it is amazingly quiet. Messing about is just not tolerated. In fact I’ve been contacted by some private sector users who are quite concerned about posting genuine offers that they are worried might incur the wrath of other users AKA their target audience.

As you may know the LGA is keen on peer review and the by/for the sector mantra is a key part of our message. I was asked today about how we identified good work and brought it forward. My answer was simple. We don’t.

Khub uses a peer review system to identify and promote good information and knowledge. We rely on you, the subject matter experts, to identify and promote good work through commenting, likeing and sharing (via twitter, etc. - see top right of this blog) things you think have quality and deserve the oxygen of your social attention. It works best when, like content policing, people take the time to comment and like things. Using the share buttons to publicise your interest and spread the word also helps promote the best stuff. Every action counts. A different kind of social work but even more important.

Thanks again to Rob and everyone who helps identify good and bad on Khub.


Security level: Public


Leah Lockhart 9 Years Ago
Thanks for this, Michael. It's useful to have this blog to point people to. I am asked quite a lot how inappropriate behaviour can/should be dealt with on Knowledge Hub (usually by colleagues in senior positions who might not use social media and suspect it's all just for farting around or who suspect their staff will morph into idiots the minute they log on to a social website) and it's great to get a take from a Knowledge Hub administrator on the frequency with which improper content is flagged or has to be deleted. People care about their work and their online communities so there is no reason to think they would let others compromise the integrity of this space or that they would abuse it.