A Thousand mouths all babbling

Assignment Zero is interesting in that it is open to anyone who wants to contribute their time and their knowledge to assignments that are posted on the board or discussion. Given that the project is so open ended, there exists the possibility that there are people out there who have the time to work on it, but can do so with malicious intent.

The only real limits to participation in Assignment Zero are the choices you make, as well as your time, interest, and imagination. If there are areas we should be researching, tell us. If there are other ways to get the work done, share. This is your project as much as it is ours, so please take it where you think it should go.

According to the outlining pages of the project, there will be editors and fact checkers, and a registry/login for all those who want to participate. With the editors there, most anything will be filtered first before it is posted for the world to see, however if someone signs on who “intends to be funny,” then the fact checkers have to spend time to clean up the mess. This would be problematic in a few ways, that combined, would spiral out of control. First of all, malicious postings have to be checked for accuracy, leading to wasting the editors time and effort to clean it up. Second, if enough people are maliciously posting, it eats the editor’s time even more, allowing more inaccurate information to sit on the site for longer periods of time until the editors can get to it. The longer the information has to sit there, the more it will spread to those who partake of the site for information, leading to widespread inaccuracies. If it remains for too long unchecked, many newer posters might come to rely on the previous as being true information. Another thing that hurts the open ended part is that many you can fool the registering part of the website, remaining totally anonymous in this day and age, making it harder to catch any pranksters posting funny information. Many people will post this way, either because they truly don’t know any better, or they are doing so to be mean, and some might want the project to fail.

One way to keep this from happening is to see how many regular non-journalistic people have registered for the site and make sure that either there is a certain ratio of editors to people or to see to it that there are more certified editors than posters if possible.

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