I have seen some captchas like “What’s the capital of [Some Country]” in some forums. We can add some basic captchas that need some level of highschool math and basic familiarity with the sequences for verifying new user registrations, and then wall-off certain posts from unverified users.
I’m not sure this will be that effective though. All it takes to defeat it is some screenshots.
I was 80% kidding. I do believe that the type of people that could attack this community are hugely people that can’t tolerate trying to read and understand the kind of content in here; let alone Scott’s 999999 word analytical yet clear essays. They didn’t sign up for real thinking and nuance when they went into activism.
And unlike others, I don’t think mobs are organized. They look like it, but its some sort of emergent behaviour that can be managed by making it boring for the average mob member to attack.
They look like it, but its some sort of emergent behaviour,
I agree with this assessment. It almost feels like a hive mind; I’ve dipped into the peripherals of online mobs before, and have felt “hey, this action is a good idea” thoughts enter my head unbidden. I’d probably participate in such things often, if I didn’t have a set of heuristics that (coincidentally) cancels out most of this effect, and a desire not to associate with the sorts of people who form mobs.
If the barrier-to-entry is increased to “requires two minutes of unrewarded drudgery, where it’s not intuitively obvious what needs to be done” in such a way that a short, well-worded “mob instruction” message can’t bypass the effect, it’s unlikely a mob will form around such actions.
Incidentally, I wonder whether programming for the mob is a field of social psychology.